Orbit Mist Crisp Mint Waterfall

Flavor : With Orbit Mist, I’ve come to expect a great burst of flavor-filled hydration when I chomp down, but I don’t get that from the line’s newest flavor, Crisp Mint Waterfall. It’s one of those bland minty flavors that doesn’t go anywhere or have any “definition,” good for those that aren’t into intense chewing experiences, but for me there’s just nothing there.

Texture: This is horrible. It’s almost like I got a stale pack, but this is a brand new flavor and I purchased it in a newly-opened convenience store, so it’s not like it’s been sitting on the shelf for a year. It’s super tough from start to finish, my jaw aches just getting it to soften down, and once it’s semi-malleable, it remains a danger to my dental work. There’s little to no elasticity.

Presentation: Orbit Mist jumps the shark. The packaging used to stand out from the standard Orbit line, but they’ve gone and “fashion packed” it. I miss the refreshing ripples and metallic accents. My sympathies go out to the color blind, as I’m not sure they’d be able to see the dot-matrix Marlin that’s hanging out all stealthy on the package (not that it’s anything to get all excited about anyway). In fact, the outer cello wrap is far more impressive and exciting than what lives inside.

Overall: What’s going on, Orbit? Your Mist line was so refreshing, pun very much intended. And now it’s more of the same old, same old. Acutally, it’s not even the same old, same old. It’s much, much worse.

Rating: o (one gumball)

mentos Pure Fresh Fresh Mint

This review was sponsored by our friends at mentos.

Flavor : mentos Pure Fresh Fresh Mint reminds me a lot of Extra Polar Ice in its minty simplicity, offering a cold burst of freshness without any frills. The packaging suggests otherwise, however, as it indicates that I will detect green tea extract somewhere in there. Alas, much like Trident Vitality Rejuve’s failed promise of white tea, you’ll be hard pressed to taste anything tea-like here. That said, I like to imagine that I’m benefiting from some of the antioxidants in the green tea extract in this gum, so it doesn’t bother me too much that there’s nothing very unique about the flavor.

Texture : Although it doesn’t say it directly, I was led to believe by the illustration on the package that there would be some kind of liquid center in each pellet. I didn’t experience that at all, so I cut a piece in half and took a look to see what was going on in there. There is indeed something different happening in the center of this gum, but if you’re looking for a juicy center, look elsewhere. Otherwise, this is a good chew, consistent, a bit on the soft side, but quite enjoyable.

Presentation : The hard plastic pack does a good job of keeping the pieces contained while rattling around in a purse, which is a hard characteristic to find in packaging these days. I’m not sure if it was intentional that the name of this gum is redundant– the other variety of Pure is called “Pure Fresh Wintergreen.” This one is called “Pure Fresh Fresh Mint.” Why the double fresh? Another adjective might have worked better, “Cool mint,” maybe.

Overall : The Pure line is delightful, when you get past all the aforementioned nerdy packaging critiques. Recently a reader asked what gum we recommended to be the best straight up breath-freshening gum. I’m going to go ahead and add this one to the list, a simple, cool burst of fresh fresh freshness.

Rating : oooo (four gumballs)

Wrigley’s 5 Cobalt

Flavor: This is where it all began. The first 5 flavor I remember ever seeing, the one that paved the way for the 5 brand. Describing itself as “a cooling peppermint” on its outer cello wrap, 5 Cobalt is exactly that: a cooling peppermint. This was before 5 went and got all “hip” on us with “electric” or shape-shifting flavors and claims of almost other-worldly sensations. It’s got no frills, no extras, and that’s just right with me. It’s a fantastic peppermint, one of my favorites. Freshens the breath and the flavor is long-lasting.

Texture: Starts off a slight bit grainy, and a little bit too soft in that it gets stuck in between my teeth. Once you chew for about a minute or so, however, it firms up nicely and stays that way. It’s easy enough to pop between your teeth, though I can’t recommend it for bubble blowing.

Presentation: Like all 5s, the presentation is striking. Ribbed black matte cardstock highlighted with a bold color statement on the right. Sexy.

Overall: We’ve been getting requests to review this gum for months, it’s only just now that I was able to get to it after the new-gum and sponsored-gum rush. In all actuality, though, this is the fourth pack of it I’ve bought with the intention to review it, and I have gone through the previous three very quickly. It’s just a really nice gum, what a gum should be… it’s unfortunate what 5 has become.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Trident Vitality Rejuve

Flavor : So this gum is called “Rejuve,” with the subtext, “A rejuvenating blend of luscious mint and white tea.” Uh. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this is…spearmint. And I think subliminally, that’s what they’re telling you with the packaging– it’s the green package in the Vitality trio (alongside blue and orange). It’s a really good spearmint, actually, sweet and long-lasting. The taste reminds me a lot of those gelly spearmint candies that are covered in sugar, which my mom used to buy a lot when I was a kid. I loved those things, but I haven’t found the urge to buy those sugarbombs myself in my adult life, so it’s nice to have this throwback to an old classic, without rotting my teeth. That said, I don’t see anything “luscious” about the flavor, nor do I detect any semblance of white tea. At all.

Texture : The crunch at the beginning is really pleasant, and contributes to that memory of the crunchy sugar coating on the aforementioned spearmint leaf candies. It might be a little soft for some, but I think the consistency is just firm enough. Again, I wouldn’t describe it as “luscious.” The soft center varies from piece to piece, I find, some pieces pumped with a firm gel, others with almost no variation in texture at all.

Presentation : They’re going for sophisticated, healthy. “Rejuve,” “Awaken,” and “Vigorate” sounds like the names of the Tazo Teas they sell at Starbucks, but there’s nothing tea-like about any of these gums. It’s just gum–good gum, don’t get me wrong, but just… gum. The marketing here is just misleading.

Overall : I’d buy this again, but not for the reasons they want me to buy it. I offered it to folks in the office, and they didn’t seem to care about the added benefits, whether or not it wakes you up or spikes your daily vitamin intake. For the most part, when co-workers saw it on my desk, they picked up the package and just asked one question– “Is it any good?” Oh yeah, it’s pretty good. So good, in fact, that I took it out of the free gum and candy basket on my desk.

Rating: oooo (four gumballs )

Juicy Fruit Sweet Berry

Flavor: Awesome. This is a juicy, tangy fruit explosion. It’s a sugar- and guilt-free sweet treat. Starts off really potent and settles down into a nice, smooth flavor. Highly recommended.

Texture: Standard pellet crunch, followed by about 5 – 10 minutes of near perfection. This gum is easy to chew and a pleasure to pop , but after 10 minutes or so, starts getting overly sticky and kinda mushy. If you’re looking for a quick chew, this one fits the bill nicely.

Presentation: I’ve been unable to find this gum in any format other than the plastic 60-piece “Big-e-pak” tub. Usually I’m put-off by that, but this one has been just fine with me because I’ve chewed through two of them before getting around to reviewing this. I like the graphics: dew-kissed grapes and blueberries on a simple purple background. Not sure they needed to include an illustrated piece of gum itself, however.

Overall: This totally should have been the flavor of Juicy Fruit Juicy Secret, instead of the Berry Pearadise rip-off debauchle it is. It’s recognizable as both grape and berry, but also vague enough that it would have kept people guessing. As it is, though, it’s really a fantastic offering from Juicy Fruit, probably my favorite from the (continually expanding) line. You’re almost forgiven, JF. Almost.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

vitamingum Peppermint

This review is sponsored by our friends at vitamingum!

Flavor : Brrrr. I’m usually not a fan of peppermint gum, as the cooling sensation tends to be a little too strong for my tastes– something about those Halls menthol sinus-clearing fumes that just doesn’t do it for me. vitamingum, however, has produced a much more delicate cooling sensation here. It’s subtle, well-balanced, and lasts as long as the other, more pungent varieties.

Texture : The pieces are a little small, but that’s a matter of preference. I popped a second in my mouth and was satisfied, and discovered that a proper serving size, according to the package, is indeed two pieces. That said, it’s as balanced a texture as it is a flavor, and provides a consistency that doesn’t harden or stale the longer you chew.

Presentation : There’s a characterization of flavors that happens in the gum world (and the candy world in general) that doesn’t necessarily correspond with the natural properties of the flavors represented. An “apple” flavored lollipop doesn’t really taste like an actual apple in most cases, nor does a piece of watermelon Hubba Bubba remind you of a cool wedge of fruit on a hot summer day. Take the packaging of the flavor spearmint. When you think of it, what color comes to mind? Green, right? Well, what about Peppermint? When I think of peppermint, I think of the green leafy stuff that nice ladies grow in terracotta pots in the summertime. But what about in the gum world? I did a quick Google image search on the word “Peppermint,” and here’s what came up:

Meanwhile, a search for the words “Peppermint gum” produced this result:

What what what? How did that green leafy plant become this crazy blue color? The peppermint plant itself doesn’t even appear on any of the packages, replaced by swirls and lightning bolts and electric shock stuff. I’m guessing the blue-ness is an interpretation of the distinct cooling sensation present in peppermint that is missing in lots of other mint varieties– a cool, glacier-blue flavor that refreshes your whole mouth and leaves you feeling brisk and alive and skiing in the alps on your coffee table! Brrr! (York Peppermint Patty commercials… anyone?) I respect this artistic rendition of the peppermint I know and love, and hey, vitamingum even puts a leaf on the pack!

Overall : It’s good for you, too! (Well, it has vitamins, anyway.) Although 10 percent of your daily vitamins in one serving of vitamingum might not sound like a lot, I can’t imagine chewing the entirety of this pack in any less than a day or two. So you say, (stand back… I’m going to try math) 12 pieces to a pack, 2 pieces to a serving, 10 percent of vitamins per serving and… um… well… it’s still better than nothing, right? I don’t know, you figure it out.

Rating :ooooo (five gumballs )