Well, well, well. There’s a new Miss Tangie on the block: Topo Chico Tangerine.
We’ve long held the LaCroix Tangerine in high esteem, high enough to compare it to a
summer’s day one of our all-time favorite drag queens.
And while we’ve quaffed our share of Weller’s Tangerine CBD nectar, there aren’t too many other solo Tangerine offerings out there in the bubbleverse. So we didn’t expect to see Topo Chico dropping a new Tangerine out of the blue.
We certainly didn’t expect Topo Chico to announce a new flavor this month (or ever really), and maybe that’s because we personally don’t expect much from Topo Chico’s “flavored” mineral waters. (Don’t @ us.)
Don’t get us wrong: we love Topo Chico as a straight-up mineral water, and even kind of enjoy their flavored mineral waters!
But to say they’re great at flavors would be a wild overstatement. We haven’t been particularly impressed with their Twists of Lime and Grapefruit, objectively unoriginal and tame explorations into the flavorverse.
We feel more confident spritzing our own lime or dashing our own bitters into a bottle of Topo Chico over the mediocre (inept? 🙊) Lime execution and the confusing citric acid dregs posing as “Grapefruit.”
We had started to think that Topo Chico didn’t care about making great flavors, instead just letting their admittedly incredible aguas magias do all the heavy lifting.
So while everything about a Tangerine new arrival sent our hearts aflutter, including the new peachy-orange color on the bottle, every impulse in us said: don’t set yourself up for disappointment. You’re going to break your own heart here.
But still, we rushed out to our local Sprouts, and by the glory of the bubble gods, we able to get our hands on the last four-pack of Tangerine on the shelf.
Upon first crack of the bottle, we can tell there’s a new Topo in town. There’s none of the wishy-washy, guess-if-I’m-a-flavor-or-just-backwash vibes here at all. The nose is peak tangerine, freshly peeled and at the peak of its ripeness.
It smells like a sharp, almost aggressive Cutie, if Cutie’s could be anything but totally adorable.
This is incredible. The pert little Cutie marches straight from the nose to your mouth. This tangerine is everything we like in the LaCroix Tangerine and has nothing we don’t like about the Topo Chico Lime and Grapefruit. It’s bright, it’s bold… it’s accurate.
Much like LaCroix’s Miss Tangie, this tangerine came to slay.
We thought about what might have prompted this 180 from the mediocre flavors of yore, and we suspect this has something to do with the Coca-Cola provenance. (Coke bought Topo Chico in 2017, if you’re unaware.)
We think that some of the maximal, in-house flavor artists that conjure AHA’s dark flavor magic must have walked down the hall to the Topo Chico lab and staged a coup.
This tangerine perhaps marks a sea change for the brand, and hopefully we can expect more flavors like this one.
While we don’t love Coke’s mitts in our sacred waters, we do believe that perhaps they’re the reason that Topo Chico has stepped up their flavors.
The end justifies the means? Maybe this time around. We’re not sure about the rest of Western Civ.
How does this compare to the LaCroix tangerine?
Now we come to the bubbles. While both Topo Chico and LaCroix Tangerines strike incredibly similar flavor notes (thank the tangerine gods), the similarities end there.
Because Topo Chico always was and always will be about their distinct and unrivaled bubble quality.
If you drink these two side by side (of course we did), then the bubble impact is downright astounding. Yes, we’re bubble nerds, but we swear we’re not overstating things. Because basically these two hit the same flavor notes, but the Topo Chico is like, 1000 times better.
In any given sip, the LaCroix Tangerine hits in the palate in a more dominant way than the Topo Chico, where the tangerine gets tangled up in the roiling minerals and effervescence.
And what ends up happening flavor-wise in the Twist of Tangerine is more interesting to us, although we totally understand if hardcore LaCroix acolytes prefer the milquetoast bubbles and tange-forward waters of LaCroix.
But here in the Bubbleverse, we like to surf the dimensions of mouthfeels, explore how the bubbles and flavors merge to create something greater than the sum of their parts. Unpack how salinity and sulfates can change the arc of the flavor expression.
And with the high salinity and assertive bubble structure, the tangerine melds into something super entrancing and keeps us coming back for more. The salty and the sweet is so on point.
Basically, we’re swooning over this Tangerine + Signature Topo Bubble holy alliance.
We know it’s early, but right now this is our breakout star of 2021. Topo Chico’s flavor game has officially entered the chat.
Mineral Water, Carbon Dioxide, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor