To freshen your breath, to provide a wake-up punch, or to tide you over when you're hungry: breath mints are something that most of us carry around with us every day. Some come in large sizes to save money, some come in stylish boxes or fit into reusable cases, and some have a stronger flavor than others. How to choose?
Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites such as Amazon and Rakuten, as well as Japanese supermarkets and convenience stores for the best breath mints available. We then picked out the most popular products and tested them.
We focused on 2 things:
We then ranked the products and put what we learned into a buying guide to help you choose the best strong-flavored Japanese breath mints available online.
We recommend considering these four points when choosing a breath mint.
To get rid of bad breath in the morning or after eating, tablets that are just mint are the most effective. The mint will spread throughout your mouth, covering up garlic or onion odors, morning breath or coffee breath.
Those which are mixed flavors, like fruity ones, are not as effective. In this article we focused mainly on pure mint tablets, so please refer to our scores to see which worked best.
As we mentioned, the stronger minty products tend to come in black packaging. They also often use words like "hard" or "sharp" in their names.
They're great for freshening your breath or waking you up, but they're too strong for some people. If you're not sure they're right for you, check our scores to see how strong the flavor is for each one.
You can carry these around just the way they are, but there are also fashionable cases available for them in leather, plastic, fabric and wood. We included the sizes of both the boxes and the tablets themselves, so you can check if they'll fit in the case you want to buy. You can see some examples on websites like Rakuten.
If you use breath mints a lot, you'll certainly want to pay attention to how many are in the package and how much it costs. We've listed how many tablets there are in each (if available) and you can see it underlined here on the Japanese package. Also, the stronger flavors might go further, since you'll only eat one at a time, while you might be tempted to have a few of the weaker mints.
We picked out some of the most popular products and tested them for their mint taste and how well they freshened our breath. Then, based on our tests and with the advice of our expert, we ranked the top 11 strong Japanese breath mints available online.
Japanese prices for some of the products are given, but they've been converted into US dollars to make it easy for you.
Mintia Mega Hard
Black Black Tablet Strong Type
Mintia Dry Hard
Mintia Excare Herb Mint
Frisk Black Mint
Frisk Clean Breath Strong Mint
mybest's Top Choice! Stay Wide Awake and Super Fresh With This One!
Recommended For Hardcore Mint Fans
For Those Who Need Quick and Strong Refreshment
Recommended if You Have a Sore Throat and Want Fresh Breath Too
Great for Those Who Want Quick, Medium-strength Refreshment
A Sweet and Weak Mint for People Who Can't Handle Strong Flavors
|Japanese||アサヒグループ食品ミンティアメガハード||ロッテブラックブラックタブレット ストロングタイプ||アサヒグループ食品ミンティア ドライハード||アサヒグループ食品ミンティアエクスケア ハーブミント||クラシエフーズフリスク ブラックミント||クラシエフーズクラシエ フリスククリーンブレスストロングミント|
|Tablets per box||50||Not indicated; 32 grams||50||25||50||150|
|Tablet size||16 mm||11 mm||7 mm||13 mm||8 mm||12 mm|
|Box size||90 x 69 x 122 mm||62 x 124 x 158 mm||40 x 80 x 100 mm||135 x 52 x 94 mm||37 x 70 x 11 mm||131 x 88 x 62|
|Bad breath control||4.7||4.5||4.2||4.2||4.0||3.8|
|Tablets per box||50|
|Tablet size||16 mm|
|Box size||90 x 69 x 122 mm|
|Bad breath control||4.7|
|Tablets per box||Not indicated; 32 grams|
|Tablet size||11 mm|
|Box size||62 x 124 x 158 mm|
|Bad breath control||4.5|
|Tablets per box||50|
|Tablet size||7 mm|
|Box size||40 x 80 x 100 mm|
|Bad breath control||4.2|
|Tablets per box||25|
|Tablet size||13 mm|
|Box size||135 x 52 x 94 mm|
|Bad breath control||4.2|
|Tablets per box||50|
|Tablet size||8 mm|
|Box size||37 x 70 x 11 mm|
|Bad breath control||4.0|
|Tablets per box||150|
|Tablet size||12 mm|
|Box size||131 x 88 x 62|
|Bad breath control||3.8|
And why they didn't quite make it.
Frisk Peppermint is just fine as a standard breath mint. They're spicy like peppermint should be and have some eucalyptus flavor. They're not, however, strong enough to wake you up or shock your taste buds. If you want something moderately minty, sweet, and easy to eat, these are a good choice.
Mintia Breeze Relax Green were mildly sweet and slightly cool and minty. They did a good job at breath odor control, canceling out our stink with a refreshing mint fragrance. These are a good choice for people who want a powerful breath mint with a candy-like taste.
Mintia Breeze Crystal Silver is less sweet than the original Mintia and slightly more minty. however, they're not stimulating enough to wake you up, and even though they're large, they dissolved fast. They also didn't cover the stench of our stinky breath, but mixed mint with the smell of garlic and onions. They just didn't cut it overall.
Frisk Neo Peppermint are subtly minty and rather sweet, like candy. They're refreshing, but not strong enough to clear brain fog or keep you awake during a boring lecture. If you just want something tasty to suck on, they're OK.
Mintia Wild & Cool are easy to eat and moderately minty. They won't wake you up with stimulating tingling, and the mint taste is not quite comparable to the actual herb. They're also small tablets, so we felt like we needed to eat more than one to be satisfied. If you hate strong mint, you might be more impressed.
Five of our editorial staff tried the mints and rated them for how they tasted and how effective they were at bad breath control. Then we gave them scores from 0.1 to 5.0.
We learned that the ones sold in black packaging are so minty that the cool flavor actually becomes hot and spicy! In fact, they can irritate your tongue, so be careful eating these. But the strong flavor is perfect to wake you up, and many of the black-packaged ones contain caffeine too.
So if you want to clear the cobwebs from your head after waking up or stay alert while driving, try the black kinds. If you're just looking for a breath freshener that tastes great, try some of the ones in the middle of our rankings like Frisk Peppermint or Mintia Excare Herb Mint.
Some of us ate stinky food (we chose gyoza, which are Chinese dumplings full of garlic, leeks, and oil) and then sucked on a mint until it dissolved. Then we checked to see if any odor remained, or if the mint covered it completely.
Once again, the products in black packages performed best. The strong mint taste effectively covered up our garlic breath. We also found that the two products containing polyphenols worked well against the dumpling stench.
Those were both Clorets brand, and since they're not Japanese, we didn't include them in the rankings for this article, but the packages are pictured here if you're interested in trying them. We found they did work well for bad breath control. If you want to stick to the Japanese brands, go for the strong mint types.
Keep your breath smelling good and your taste buds stimulated all day using these products.
Author: Ryuichi Ohira/Translation: Susan Lucier-Ogawa/Photos: Yasuhiro Shimoya, Ryuichi Ohira, Kouhei Matsuda
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