6 Different coconut tea biscuits go head-to-head against the legendary Bakers Original Tennis biscuits, to see if Bakers Tennis Biscuits really are the best coconut tea biscuits around.
As a pantry staple item used to make anything from a crumb crust to fridge cakes to the iconic Peppermint Crisp pudding, Tennis Biscuits are South Africa’s most favourite biscuit.
They are buttery and crisp with a sweet syrupiness and moreish coconut bite, and despite being named “tennis” biscuits, there seems nothing concrete to connect them with the sport, other than the obvious assumption that they make a pretty neat court-side snack during a tea break!
The biscuit itself links back to 1911 when Mr Albert Baumann, the original Bakersman, found a cutter with beautiful engravings. Inspired by the cutter’s design, Albert set off to develop the perfect recipe to honour the cookie cutter and that’s how Bakers Original Tennis Biscuits came to be.
Tennis Biscuits are essentially coconut tea biscuits, arguably the most iconic coconut tea biscuits to ever exist, but there are actually quite a few other options available in South Africa. So, we set out to determine how these six other brands compare to the Bakers Original Tennis Biscuits.
It came as no shock that the original Tennis Biscuits from Bakers annihilated the other samples, earning the OG Tennis Biscuits a well-deserved first spot.
1 Bakers Original Tennis Biscuits
Bakers Original Tennis Biscuits claim to be the best and looking at the results, we certainly cannot contest that claim! Despite each sample having been broken up into small bits to disguise any cookie cutter markings, tasters picked this sample as Bakers – “Tastes like Bakers Tennis Biscuits! My absolute fave!”
While they might be more costly than some of the other samples, they’re seemingly worth every extra rand spent as no other coconut tea biscuits were able to rival the OG Tennis Biscuits. They were buttery, perfectly crisp and had just the right amount of sweetness to them, and of course, the characteristic coconut hues came through wonderfully – “Good balance between sweet and coconut,” and “Perfect balance of flavour.”
Other comments tasters left: “This feels like the OG tennis bikkie,” and “Obviously Bakers Tennis Biscuit. And obviously the clear winner,” and “100% Bakers Tennis Biscuits. They cannot be rivalled. You could taste the golden syrup and they’re almost like toasted coconut biscuits. Simply delicious.”
2 Baumann’s Match Biscuits
While tasters noted that this sample had a nice crispness to it, it sadly lacked on that characteristic coconut flavour. Some tasters also noted that the biscuit itself lacked a bit of colour – “This is short of the coconut flavour but nice and crispy,” and “Biscuit was pretty bland looking. Tasted like a Marie biscuit but it was crunchy.”
Other comments tasters left: “Crisp, but doesn’t taste much like tennis biscuits,” and “Too bland… needs more coconut ’n syrupy vibes!” and “Can’t say that it tastes like tennis but a close second.”
3 Checkers Housebrand Coconut Biscuits
Tasters noted that this sample had a lovely golden colour to it, but sadly fell a little short on the coconut flavour, which affected the scoring. Tasters noted: “Missed the coconutty taste,” and “Nice colour, needs more coconut.”
One taster found the sample to be more reminiscent of margarine than coconut, and noted: “Smells like coconut and has a nice colour, but tastes like margarine, which completely overpowers the coconut flavour.”
4 Chelsea Coconut Biscuits
Tasters found this sample to be quite salty, but the overall consensus was the tasters would have preferred the coconut flavour to shine more.
While some tasters liked the salted element: “There’s a nice hint of salt to contrast the coconut and syrup. My second fave,” others were not as charmed.
Comments other tasters left: “Too sweet with hints of salt. Quite flavourless otherwise,” and “Very salty,” and lastly, “Not bad but not quite Bakers. Subtle coconut flavour comes through in the end.”
5 No Name Coconut Tea Biscuits
Tasters found this sample to be very sweet and some found it quite artificial tasting. Overall tasters weren’t overly impressed. Along with tasting very sweet and artificial, the sample was also bland on the coconut front.
Comments tasters left: “No flavour depth, just tastes sweet. Does not scream coconut bikkie,” and “Tasted quite artificial, too sweet and no coconut coming through,” and “I can taste the coconut but no syrupy sweetness… it has an odd artificial sweetness to it,” and lastly, “Does not taste like tennis biscuits or have a coconut taste. Just overly sweet.”
6 Pick n Pay Coconut Tea Biscuits and SPAR Coconut Tea Biscuits
These two samples tied for 6th place.
Tasters found the sample from Pick n Pay to be more similar to a Marie biscuit than a Tennis biscuit. Comments tasters left: “Marie bikkie moonlighting badly as a tennis biscuit,” and “Again not enough syrup/coconut flavours… it’s a masked Marie biscuit!”
Tasters found the sample from SPAR to be overly sweet and artificial tasting with a bicarb aftertaste to it. Overall it did not necessarily scream coconut tea biscuit.
Comments tasters left: “Not a fan, overly sweet and artificial tasting,” and “Too bicarby,” and “Smelt and tasted like artificial coconut, but the desiccated coconut texture definitely evident in this sample.”
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– All tasters tasted and scored all samples. Each individual taster’s preference impacts the score they give.
– The samples were tested without packaging and were not easily identifiable.
– The samples were not labelled and were tasted in random order.
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