Welcome to our second outing with organic jelly beans, reviewing YumEarth Organic Sour Beans.
It’s immediately apparent upon pouring these beans out into the bowl that this experience will be markedly different from non-organic beans, and different even from the first organic jelly beans we reviewed, Surf Sweets Organic Jelly Beans. These beans are vegan, as well, which also distinguishes them from the Surf Sweets, which only advertise themselves as vegetarian.
Let’s dig in!
Size and shape
Size and shape is the first thing one can observe about a jelly bean, and that first impression for YumEarth is that they are definitely not concerned with having their beans look “pretty”. I’m not sure if the lack of inorganic ingredients or animal byproducts makes it more difficult to produce a bean with a consistent shape, or maybe it just helps to visually emphasize that YumEarth wants these to be as natural as possible, but they are all over the place.
Average size is just on the small side, with the biggest ones having the right amount of volume for me. A common shape is impossible to describe for these, but most seem flatter around the middle than they should be, and not as appropriately long, as a result. The surface is very uneven—rough, in fact—and many have a sticky coating adhering to parts of their shell.
I feel a little wary of rating this category harshly, because I honestly don’t know what constraints producing a vegan, organic jelly bean places on the aesthetics of the end product, but I don’t feel like I can diverge from the criteria on which I’ve judged all other jelly beans to date. And it is worth noting that Surf Sweets didn’t have this issue at all.
1 out of 5 beans
These beans are too soft for my liking, both in the shell and on the inside. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I like the shell to have some substance, and to break into decent sized hunks as I chew, and the YumEarth shell has neither of those properties. The insides, likewise, don’t offer much resistance when chewing.
2 out of 5 beans
Completing the trifecta of disappointing physical attributes, texture is also a sore spot for YumEarth. Upon first hitting the tongue, the lack of smoothness on the shell and the stickiness of most of the beans is mildly unpleasant. When chewing, the shell quickly collapses, melding with the insides into a gritty paste.
I’ve had worse, but these don’t make a good impression until you finally start tasting their flavor.
2 out of 5 beans
Taste and flavor
- Pomegranate Pucker
- Perfectly Peach
- Awesome Apple
- Mango Tango
Now we’re talkin’! These beans live up to their sour billing, with big, bold flavors.
Pomegranate Pucker is probably the least tart flavor, which is ironic, considering that in real life it’s probably the most tart of the fruits represented in this bag.
I’m not normally a huge fan of peach-flavored candy, but YumEarth’s Perfectly Peach works pretty well for me, perhaps due to the natural ingredients.
Awesome Apple is the most tart of the bunch, really nailing a true Granny Smith flavor.
Finally, Mango Tango does that rare feat of tasting like a mango at perfect ripeness, which definitely has some brightness to it. This is a feat I’ve never before experienced in a mango-flavored candy.
Outstanding work on the actual taste and flavor of these beans by YumEarth!
9 out of 10 beans
The one-of-each test
Perhaps the ultimate test of a bag of jelly beans is how enjoyable it is to take one of each flavor and eat them all at the same time.1
If you like a little explosion of juicy sour flavor in your mouth, eating four of these beans is for you! The one downside to having strongly sour flavors, however, is that the citric acid overpowers the actual fruit flavors when having more than a couple at a time.
Another minor knock here is that having only four beans that are on the smallish side means you’re not getting quite the mouthful you would want here.
7 out of 10 beans
In the battle of organic jelly beans (which will continue), YumEarth rates significantly better than Surf Sweets on the strength of their deliciously sour flavors. We’ll see how upcoming organic offerings will fare!
|Size and shape||1/5 beans|
|Taste and flavor||9/10 beans|
|One-of-each test||7/10 beans|
This test is specific to fruit flavors only. While non-fruit flavors like licorice or buttered popcorn may be welcome, they are exempt from this test. Because that’s just nasty. ↩