Sweet Treats for Tea-Lovers

Bali’s Best Tea Candy

Bali’s Best Tea Candy

I Paid: $2.19 for a 5.3-ounce bag (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 4 stars

Marketing: 4 stars

With packaging that communicates understated luxury, and flavors including Green Tea Latte and Classic Iced Tea, the oval lozenges known as Bali’s Best Tea Candy are clearly taking a crack at being the new Werther’s Originals. Or perhaps they’re positioning themselves as more sophisticated Werther’s for people who consider themselves to be a little too good for mainstream hard candies.

One thing’s for sure: The tea flavor—mildly astringent, herbal, authentically charming—actually comes through in these hard candy treats. The Green Tea Latte flavor, despite a slightly heavy hand when it comes to the use of creamy milk, still tastes like its namesake beverage. Classic Iced Tea, meanwhile, is a remarkable taste-alike; if sweet tea were a candy, it would be this. Both varieties are a bit too sweet for this adult’s palate, but (a) tastes vary, and (b) these are, in fact, candies, and are labeled as such.

The ingredient lists are heartening. Green Tea Latte contains just glucose syrup extracted from tapioca starch, cane sugar, milk powder, tea extract, natural green tea flavor, and salt. Classic Iced Tea is the same, minus the milk powder and with tea flavor rather than green tea. This gives the functional-food claim on the bag (“a natural source of anti-oxidants”) a bit more heft. If you’re going to suck on a hard candy for a few minutes some afternoon, it may as well be one of these.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.