Sunday, September 23, 2018

Espresso vs. Mint: Crunchy M&M Showdown? (Not Really Though)

Crunchy Mint & Espresso m&m's - Walgreens
I've been out of the blogging game for a I completely missed the chance to review these before the contest ended and the winner was announced.

If' you're like me, and completely out of the loop, m&m's ran a flavor contest with 3 variations of crunchy m&ms. The contenders were: Crunchy Mint, Crunchy Espresso, and Crunchy Raspberry. The winner would become a permanent flavor. 
Since the contest ended (in August), and new packaging would be hitting the shelves, all three flavors were on clearance at our local Walgreens. I could have gotten all three, but I knew the raspberry ones were going to be a flop in our household, so I bought the two I knew we would enjoy. Would we like the same flavor as the one that won the contest? Let's hope so!

So, as far as packaging and design, these are the new norm for m&m's, which I am all about. The bags are gusseted, so they stand up on their own, and they're resealable. Something I had seen in 2015's Banana-flavored Australian m&m's. I am very happy this new functional packaging has become the norm State-side. Now, if we could replace all the potato-sack style seasonal bags with these? I'd be a very happy blogger. These photograph SO WELL! I can't tell you how many times I struggled to make those seasonal sacks look good while not dealing with a ton of glare from my photo lights. (#firstworldbloggerproblems) 

To start things off, I'll go with the espresso flavored m&m's and then we'll finish with the mint. Hopefully that snacking-order will prevent any kind of lingering candy-coffee-breath. 
The Espresso flavored candies aren't too pretty, but they're hitting me with a wave of nostalgia. (Remember when original m&m's had tan colored candies instead of blue?) The colors are very fall-friendly, and very coffee-like with their shades of off-white, brown and tan, and they smell like chocolate covered espresso beans. It's a sweet, but dry coffee aroma that begs to be made into an overly expensive Bath & Body Works candle. 
I popped a few of the candies into my mouth and you know what? These are way yummier than I expected and I am very shocked to find that the espresso flavoring is fairly authentic. I expected this to be a cop-out with a generic coffee taste, but this is pretty spot-on. As a teen I used to devour chocolate covered espresso beans at the mall on Friday nights. They were available in a gumball-machine style set-up at Kitchen Kapers for a quarter, and while I loved how bitter and grown up the flavors were, I hated how the grotty coffee bits would get stuck in your teeth. 
These espresso m&m's have a lighter crunch, less intense espresso flavoring, and sweeter chocolate than the coated beans of my youth, but for the convenience of not having to deal with coffee-ground-teeth? I'd say they're a fantastic alternative. I really didn't expect to like these as much as I do. Sadly, I can't say the same thing for my family. My (formerly coffee-addicted) boyfriend has switched to green tea for several months and wasn't too keen about the coffee flavoring of these, and his daughter wasn't a fan either. 
Next up, the Mint m&m's!
Color-wise, these were quite festive and would be right at home topping St. Paddy's day sweets or in a bowl during an Eagles Superbowl party. (Look at me! I've seen a footballs!)  And let me tell you, these smell like little bite-size Thin Mints. That is the Girl Scout Cookie of choice in this household, so if these taste anything like they smell...they will NOT last long in this house. I grabbed a handful and gave them a try. 
As much as I loved the espresso flavor...these are phenomenal. The crunchy center mixed with the chocolaty coating and the sweet mint flavoring is a crowd pleaser and if this isn't the winner, I'll eat my hat. These taste like tiny little Thin Mint cookies and they have the crispy texture to boot! I knew these were going to be good, but I never expected them to be this snackably-good. My boyfriend loved them, his daughter loved them, and with all three of us snacking... this bag only survived 3 days in the snack drawer.
Thankfully....MINT WON! The mint m&m's are going to become a snack-drawer-staple, and I am slowly nibbling my way through the espresso bag sad that I may never experience their like again.  
Both flavors were great, but Mint is the more marketable munchable, and I am very happy it will soon be a shelf staple.  

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