When I opened the bag, the smell hit me. They smell exactly the way they look.

Andes Mocha Mint Indulgence, if that’s what they’re calling themselves, are pictured on the label as a kind of light caramel color. They look and smell slightly burnt, like weak diner coffee with milk in it.

I admit it: I don’t drink coffee, so what do I know? I like coffee-flavored candy. I like mint-flavored anything. But combining them... well, I guess if mint and cherry can taste good together, mint and coffee have a chance. Coffee tastes kind of chocolatey, right? And mochas are just coffee with chocolate?

I lifted one up. The underside was mint green, too light in the same way that the top side was. The flavor is the same way: too light. I can taste the mocha, and it has that sort of caramelly flavor that... it tastes like the caramel Skittles, in fact. They both taste like someone in the flavoring department took a shortcut. “Fuck it. I’ll just pound some milk and sugar together."

The mint is harder to taste, which is funny because mint is such a powerful flavor. The main flavor in these little - actually, pretty large, larger than regular Andes - bricks is sugar, and that flavor doesn’t come out until you chew them for a while. Then, maybe depending on which side is against your tongue, there’s some hint of toasted coffee flavor or of mint. If you concentrate really hard on the first sugary flavor, you can kind of tell that there are hints of mint and mocha in there. But they’re not very strong or much fun. The middle-taste of fake mocha and milky mint is pretty good, although I’m not really selling it with that description.

Let’s go to the bag, shall we? Apparently this is “a decadent creamy blend of rich coffee flavor and refreshing mint.” You know, the more of these I eat, the more sure I am that this is actually a really weak version of the regular mint. Like, maybe the flavorings are more expensive than the fillers, so they thought they’d save money by watering it down and giving it a new name and bag. I saw a bag of cherry-flavored ones in the store today - see? They saved all their mint money with those ones.

They do have actual cherries in the ingredients, though, so I can’t really say I’m convincing myself here. So many people don’t even bother to put peppermint oil in mint stuff, or at least to spell it out in the ingredients (I’m looking at you, mint M&ms! Also, candy canes, for some reason!) that I’m basically talking myself into thinking Andes are awesome. The ingredients have real cherries! And real peppermint oil! Gosh, they’re swell.

Here’s what else is listed in the coffee mint ingredients: Sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (palm kernel and palm), nonfat milk, lactose, milk protein concentrate, cocoa powder, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavors, peppermint oil, colors added (yellow 5 lake, blue 1 lake).

I don’t know what lake is, but I always imagine a huge lake of bright yellow paint when I read that. Or blue paint. Here’s my point: milk! Three times in a row! This is what is in there: sugar, oil, milk, miiiiilllllk, miii...lll...k.... cocoa POWDER, schmutz, weird stuff, mint, weird stuff. Which is what my mouth tastes like now. Weird stuff. Why can’t they replace some of that milk with coffee? Or chocolate? Scoot that mint up the list a little? Okay, because then they wouldn’t have a Limited Edition bag of crap to make themselves look all fancy and, um, expand their brand... knowledge... or whatever.

Speaking of which, here is where else they went wrong: “Enjoy this limited edition flavor anytime with friends and family or keep them for yourself... when you want to enjoy a quiet moment of pleasure.” If it’s a limited edition flavor, I can’t enjoy it ANY TIME, right? I can enjoy it until it runs out. Always assuming I can actually enjoy it, which sadly is not the case. I miss regular Andes! Oh well - this is why I also bought a box of candy canes.

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