31

May

Pablo Mocca: The Ultimate Review

NGP Empire have produced some of the most popular snus pouches around of late. Killa has been largely successful over the past few years, and Pablo, the stronger cousin of Killa, came to market for those seeking a little more punch. At 50mg of nicotine Pablo goes up against some formidable brands in that strength range. Pablo released the Mocca Exclusive into the range, and I have been patiently waiting for my can to be sent to me by Snusboys

Packaging 6/10

There is something about the Pablo Ice Cold that really turned me off using the Pablo products. Maybe it is the imagery of Pablo Escobar on the front of the can, the guns, or the affiliation with violence that dissuaded me. NGP Empire sell more products in the UK than virtually any other manufacturer of snus. The vulgar promotion of a man who destroyed a whole country and bombed innocent people in the preservation of funds is low by any standard. As much as I thoroughly enjoyed watching Narcos I cannot condone the usage of a mass murderer as a choice of branding. 

The Pablo Exclusive line, to which the Mocca belongs, is a toned-down version of the Ice Cold, but still offensive. The logo, a graffiti-style red, bears a heavy resemblance to blood that needs no reiteration, given the brand’s name. However, I can say that NGP Empire do make some of the best cans of snus. The packaging is tight and nicely wrapped, and the shine on the logo that rises slightly from the sticker adds a little more of a premium feel. So many brands neglect these nuanced touches that increases user experience. Pablo Mocca includes the bin tray at the top of the can, which is also important to discard your pouches after use. There is a nice level of depth in the bin, too, meaning you can easily go 3-5 pouches up before fully discarding. Enough to get through a morning shift in the office before you reach the bin at break time!

Smell Test 8/10

Cracking a can of snus is always exciting when you have a flavour that is new. I have to admit I have been unsure about what to expect from the Mocca flavour. To my knowledge, the Mocca is a mixture of coffee and hot chocolate. It is not my first choice when I head to Pret, yes I said it Pret, full blown yuppy London, membership card and all. I have indeed tried a couple of the drink combinations both at home and out for brunch with friends. The Pablo version leans more toward the chocolatey side, with a waft dispersing instantly when the can cracks. That being said, there is not that intensity that you would associate with something like the Ice Cold, or Iceberg products. There is a good scent of chocolate with a coffee undertone. It could be surmised, to some extent, the Pablo line has a demographic in mind, hence the chocolate preference in smell. 

Pouch Composition 15/20

NGP Empire typically manufactures products that have a moist pouch. The moistened pouches usually fuse to the gum a little easier than drier ones. Usually it makes for a more comfortable time with pouches in the gum, especially in the first couple of minutes. However, Pablo Mocca surprises me that the pouches are a lot drier than some of the other products in the line and, indeed, the brand. I wonder if pouch composition differs with the flavours due to the manufacturing process, or the mixture of contents to achieve the flavours. Either way, the drier pouch means that the first minute or so feels a little more alien than usual as the pouch needs to moisten via your own fluids. It makes for a slightly more uncomfortable rest on the gum in the short term, but the pouches take on fluids quite quickly.

One thing to note, the drier pouches also mean that the Mocca is more prone to breaking in the can. If you have not been there before, believe me you will be. There is nothing worse than opening a can to find many of them have already broken. It is even worse when one breaks in the gum, you get a mouthful of Mocca and powder. Good luck spitting that out, it is absolutely nasty, and on my test I did that once. My wife rolled over to find a brown patch on our sheets. Luckily, being tall I could explain why, how and when. Would have been screwed if we top and tailed, try explaining that one!

As a side note, in Sweden, they recommend keeping the cans in the fridge. I have done that with some cans, especially Siberia, and it does actually work. The drier the pouches are, the less time they last, and, in my opinion, the flavour dissipates too.

Flavour 15/20

Flavour is subjective, and to be fair, Mocca would probably be a divisive product for most people. As I mentioned, it is not something that is for me, however I do like coffee and I have been known to partake in a few hot chocolate evenings with the kids. My scoring is not based solely on the flavour but also the intensity of flavour and duration. 

The Mocca scored pretty well. The hot chocolate is the front runner in the profile and leads the coffee for the most part. Every now and then, you can taste a slight coffee hint, but not enough for me personally. There is a richness to the chocolate that does resonate with my pallet and lasts for a time, but certainly not 40 minutes. If you are looking to drain every last drop of nicotine from the Pablo Mocca, then you can expect to be licking on a flavorless pouch by the end. It is fair to say that you can expect anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes of flavour, after that point it becomes a distant memory.

Strength 10/20

I am a little torn about the strength. NGP Empire makes good pouches, there is no doubt about that. But this Mocca fails to do what it says on the tin. At 50mg of nicotine, the Mocca should have the same amount of nicotine as the Ice Cold. The Ice Cold is true to form, and you get the type of nicotine hit that you would expect from pouches that strong. Unfortunately, the Mocca fails to deliver anything near that. 

If you know anything about snus then you know that the morning hit, is probably the most accurate for a representation of strength. During the day, as the physiological effects of movement, hydration, food etc is factored in, the effects of nicotine can be negated. Therefore, I test the strength of pouches after a solid sleep and what I would consider a physiological reset

The Mocca tastes nice, but it fails to deliver the expected hit from the described nicotine level. I can only base my review off my experience in using 50mg snus pouches. It can be a little misleading sometimes, with some brands opting to promote mg, and some mg/g. The latter is used by Pablo Mocca to promote the overall strength of the nicotine used which is 50mg. However, the pouch actually only contains 30mg as the pouches do not weigh one full gram. Regardless, the Mocca barely scrapes the sides at 30mg, more comparable to Cuba White products that are technically only 16mg. I have a theory that the pouch composition plays a part in the delivery of nicotine. These pouches are slightly heavier set than the Ice Cold Pablo, and the contents are dispersed via a drier pouch. I have a theory that suggests the thicker walls of the pouches, combined with the drier composition, disturb the flow of nicotine. I could be wrong, but there is a reason that so many snus brands at the same strength level feel stronger than others. If you have a theory, please let me know in the comments I would love to debate!

Longevity 15/20

These pouches start average and finish pretty average too. Can I honestly say that the Mocca has been made with the user in mind? No. There is a lack of execution between the pouch and the flavor, which means the Mocca struggles to really get going. My tests, especially in the morning, have been pretty consistent across the board. The flavour will hold for 20 minutes or so, which is pretty standard retention time for most snus users. Past that point they do become a flavourless wet portion in your gum which is probably better off out than in.

The strength remains the same for the entirety of my own personal load times. After around 30 minutes or so I notice that my body is pretty much done and starts to feel alive again. Sounds like a horror movie! But, I have been using snus for around 15 years or so now. I can tell when the effects of the nicotine begin to subside. Therefore, the Mocca is most effective between the 5 and 20-minute marks. It is a little slow on the uptick compared to some products, but it is a nice calming ride thereafter for a time.

Pros & Cons 

Pros

Decent enough flavour, especially if you like chocolate 

Slower to hit which means Mocca can be enjoyed without the nicotine rush

Packaging is always secure and feels more premium than some other products

Cons 

Pouch composition is a little dry – those preferring a moister pouch will struggle 

Not enough strength for those expecting a true 50mg nicotine hit

Nicotine wears off faster than some other brands and products

Verdict & Score 69

The Mocca is a decent enough product, especially for those users who enjoy chocolate. The exclusive line is a good line of snus but the competition is getting stiffer among the snus users, especially in the UK. The quoted 50mg nicotine level struggles to hit home at that level and is probably best marketed as its pouch quantity of 30mg. The Mocca fails to deliver anything near that strength level which will leave users disappointed. It also tends to make you a little “nose blind” after a few pouches as the flavour is just not rich enough to sparkle every time.

Who is it for?

If you like chocolate you will probably like the Mocca. 

Younger users, or those wanting to share a couple of pouches at university during class. As an office man, these pouches can be quite nice alongside a cup of coffee. But, that being said, I feel that I am supplying the other half of the product taste there, perhaps I should ask NGP for half of my money back. You supply the chocolate and leave my trusty Nespresso to do the rest. Cheers, guys! If you fancy checking out the Pablo range at Snusboys you can see our Pablo Snus here

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