Monday, August 16, 2010

Flavoreeds Review

Have you ever popped that reed in your mouth wishing it tasted like something other than cane? Do you want an easy way to tell when your reeds need to be replaced? Do you need some incentive for young beginners to practice? If you answered, "Yes," to any of the above questions, you may want to read this review and see if Flavoreeds are for you.

First Impressions: Flavoreeds makes flavored reeds for alto and tenor sax, clarinet, and German clarinet. They offer ten different flavors in strengths 1.5-3.5. They are currently only available in twin packs. I was sent blue raspberry, pina colada, strawberry and cinnamon to try and see what I thought of them. I opened up each twin pack and closely inspected each reed and immediately noticed some defects. One of the blue raspberry reeds had a tear, a cinnamon reed was missing part of it's tip, and a pina colada's tip was warped right out of the box. I decided I would soak each reed and observe it's playability and taste. I numbered each reed, soaked it, played a quick song on each, and recorded how it tasted and how it played (if it closed up, squeaked, and if it looked warped after soaking). Here were my results:

1.  Taste- sweet Playing- tip was warped, airy sound and closed up often
2.  Taste- sweet, more strawberry-flavored than first Playing- like a normal Vandoren
Blue Raspberry:
1. Taste- sweet for first few seconds, then taste disappeared Playing- tip warped, closed up when I tried to play
2. Taste- sweet, lasted throughout playing Playing- like a normal Vandoren
Pina Colada:
1. Taste- sweet Playing- like a normal Vandoren
2. Taste- sweet Playing- like a normal Vandoren BUT tip was warped
1. Taste- like cinnamon Playing- like a normal Vandoren
2. Taste- like cinnamon Playing- very difficult to produce a tone, when produced very airy (this was the reed missing part of the tip)

Overall, the success rating was 50% which, of course, isn't very good. This could have been caused in flavoring process and the packaging. Also, they might now have inspected each reed. I would like to note that the blue raspberry reeds turned my lips and tongue blue (a side effect notorious with these reeds) and the reeds left a sticky residue on my mouthpiece. The only reed that really tasted like it's state flavor was blue raspberry and cinnamon.

Cost: $4.95 per twin pack

  • flavors encourages playing for young children
  • comes in packs of two so you don't have to buy many to see if you like them

  • $5 per pack is a bit pricey
  • only a 50% success rate
  • leaves a sticky residue after playing
  • little quality control to pull damaged reeds before getting packaged
  • some reeds came warped
  • can turn your lips a different color

Rating: 2/5 stars
The potential for this product is high if they fix problems like equal flavor intensity, safe packaging to ensure no damage during transit, inspecting reeds to make sure they aren't damaged before packaging, and lowering the price or offering them in larger quantities (like boxes of 10).

They sent me eight reeds, a business card, and a sticker

Blue Raspberry flavored

Pina Colada flavored

Strawberry flavored

Cinnamon flavored

front and back view of the blue raspberry reed

one of the reeds came with a tear in it...

A cinnamon reed was damaged when it arrived

The results of my test


  1. thank you so much for doing this research and testing then. i am in 8th grde and have been playing for 2 years now and i was thinking about investing in the Pina Colada flavored reeds but i didnt know if they would be up to par with my band director or even worked when i played and this helped me decied if i wanted to go ahead and get it. . . .would the cinnamon or Pina Colada be better for me? thank you again and i enjoy your blog.

  2. Mercedes,

    I'm not sure if you read the entire review, but some of the reeds I received were warped, split, or chipped right out of the packaging. Some became warped when I soaked them. The quality may have increased since I reviewed them, but I wouldn't risk spending lots of money to get sub-par reeds that taste good. You may ask your band director to send an email to Flavoreeds to see if he can get a sample pack so you can try them yourself and see if the quality is better. As for taste, it's a personal preference. Piña Colada isn't my cup of tea, so I'd have to go with Cinnamon. If I were you, I'd stick to plain old cane flavored reeds such as Vandoren or Rico and learn how to adjust your reeds to get the optimal sound (Check out Larry Teal's, The Art of Saxophone Playing. It has a great section on reed adjustment with a chart telling you what tools are needed and where to adjust. It also has tons of other great information handy for any saxophonist.). Thanks for taking the time to write to me, and I hope you are able to make the right choice. Feel free to write on my blog or use the contact tab to shoot me an email with any questions or suggestions for future posts.


  3. They forgot to put a stamp when they delivered my reeds. Mediocre garage company at best. Extremely dissatisfied.