You Won't Believe The Newest Trend In Peanut Butter (For Adults Only)

Peanut butter is consumed in 94 percent of households in the U.S., and the average American child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before he or she graduates high school.

But they probably won't be eating a new brand of peanut butter, called STEEM, which takes the beloved nut butter to the next level with just one extra ingredient: caffeine. Two spoonfuls contain around the same amount of caffeine as an energy drink or 16-ounce cup of joe.

Originally marketed as the "ultimate hangover cure," caffeinated peanut butter has garnered some serious buzz since its release in spring 2014.

The product's label explains the unusual pairing. "Caffeine naturally bonds with peanut butter and is absorbed more slowly," it reads. The steady uptake promises eaters a "sustained and consistent release of energy."

What's caffeinated peanut butter really like?

As we passed a sample of STEEM around the table at a recent morning meeting, many of us glanced at the jar with suspicion. Careful to measure out an appropriate amount for our own respective caffeine palates, we each spread no more than a spoonful on some crackers.

It tasted ... like peanut butter. None of us picked up on any hints of mocha, though we did find that it had a very concentrated nutty flavor, with almost a mealy finish.

Ten minutes (and another spoonful) later, a few of us started getting jittery. An editor commented on the "caffeine tingly feeling" that was settling over her, and I felt my heartbeat rise. It was a meeting with a lot more fidgeting, pen clicking, and giggles than usual, and the energy didn't soon fade.

I walked back to my desk feeling invincible — STEEM's superhero logo suddenly making complete sense. I took my pent-up energy to my computer and sat typing faster than ever, staring enviously at my co-workers who use standing desks.

The bottom line

Caffeinated peanut butter lives up to its name — it pairs everything there is to love about coffee with a strong peanut flavor. But, like all good things in life, it should be enjoyed in moderation.

"We try to educate people whenever we can that with caffeine, more does not necessarily equal better," Chris Pettazzoni, a STEEM founder, told mbg. "It's just a lot easier to put more in your body than it is to take it back out, so we suggest easing into it until you know how it's going to work for you."

He recommends that moderate coffee drinkers start off with a hearty serving size (2 tablespoons) and wait a half an hour or so before adding another tablespoon, so as not to end up like one customer who "ate nearly an entire jar in a single sitting."

"He drank a lot of water that night and was pretty chatty, but he made it out okay,” Pettazzoni joked.

If you trust yourself to exert some serious self-control, check out STEEM's website and place an order. The spread is also available in select stores in the Northeast. Unfortunately for me, the list doesn't yet extend to Brooklyn.

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