If sucking on a small pouch sounds better than drinking, coffee chew pouches may be right for you. But they come with some risks.
If you ever drink a cup of coffee and think, “Man! If only I could suck on a pouch of coffee grounds, instead,” I have the perfect product for you: Coffee dip pouches!
They come in a wide assortment of flavors, including caramel, mocha, vanilla, wintergreen, cinnamon roll and many, many more. Each pouch has about as much caffeine as a quarter cup of coffee, so you need to suck on quite a few to get a good buzz going. And yes, caffeine can be absorbed through your gums — quicker than through your stomach, in fact.
Well, coffee dip pouches are chewing tobacco alternatives, not necessarily Starbucks latte substitutes. Instead of nicotine, they provide a safer drug (caffeine) in the same form. “They help with the oral fixation, which is what a lot of dippers are addicted to, besides the nicotine,” says Andrew, a coffee dip pouch enthusiast. “They also give you a caffeine buzz, which is super similar to nicotine.” Therefore, he says coffee dip pouches are only really popular among users of chewing tobacco, mainly those who are looking to quit.
When I ask Andrew if your average coffee drinker might enjoy a coffee dip pouch here and there, he tells me, “Probably not, mainly because of the social distaste for dipping in general. Nobody’s ever going to pop in a pouch while they’re talking to a client.”
Andrew does explain, though, that coffee dip pouches are “much easier to ‘gut’ than regular dip, so you can secretly dip.” What he means is, tobacco chewers generally spit out the juices that their pouches produce, because “gutting” (or swallowing) all of that nicotine can make you severely ill. The juice from coffee dip pouches, however, is easier on the stomach, so you could hypothetically get away with not spitting.
If none of this makes you want to stop drinking coffee and start chewing it, good. “Since coffee chews stay in your mouth longer, they can expedite coffee stains on your teeth,” dentist Kami Hoss warns. “They can also potentially increase your risk of cavities, depending on the ingredients, like sugar, since they stay on your teeth for longer. You’ll like the taste of added sugar, but so will streptococcus mutans, which is one of the primary cavity-causing bacterium in the mouth. The bacteria metabolize the sugar and excrete acid, which will cause cavities.”
So, coffee dip pouches: Not quite the future.
This article by Ian Lecklitner originally appeared on MEL.com