Benner Tea Co. Chai

Benner Tea Co. Chai

Chai. I got into it too late. It's good and I love a nice spicy, hot tea. This isn't half bad, either. Should I think less of it because it is an Aldi brand? No. It's probably something else branded to look like an Aldi brand, actually.

This had a good, strong anise taste to it mixed with whatever other magic was in here. I promptly drank it and, presumably ruined it, adding a packet of sugar. It was the morning and daddy needed a little pick-me-up.

To whomever I stole this from that works in my office, thanks. I'll pay you back in whatever the equivalent of one bag of tea is. Pretty sure that's a wet T-shirt car wash.

Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Hot Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman 1 day, 5 hours ago
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Ikea Dryck Julmust

Ikea Dryck Julmust

This tastes better than it smells. It smells like...listen...I'll be honest with you. I haven't always been straight edge. Back in the late 90's, it was a difficult time for everyone. I snuck, a bottle of red wine out of my parent's basement over to my friend's and we hid it in the drop ceiling and took sips of it. It was disgusting then. Two, maybe three baby sips. Tops. This smelled like that but sweeter.

How did it taste? Not that much better but good enough that I drank a fair amount of this bottle. It tastes like the fruity part of wine mixed in with a can of Pepsi. It had a bit of a burn to it which was probably from "Christmas spices." It did taste like it could have been alcoholic. It wasn't but if you pulled the wool over my eyes and told me a week later, I wouldn't call you a liar. I'd call you a jerk and probably puke on your car, but I would have had my hunches the entire time.

Website
http://www.ikea.com
Country
Sweden
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman 1 day, 5 hours ago
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Runa Clean Energy

Runa Clean Energy

I can’t believe I forgot to review this. I had drunk one awhile back and I loved it. For some reason I didn’t do a write up for it. I was on tour, so it probably just slipped my mind. Cut to about two months ago and suddenly it shows up at my friendly neighborhood Big Lots, where old labels go to die, for 50 cents a bottle. I bought several cases and have been enjoying it ever since. Today I grabbed my last bottle (the store has since run out) and I couldn’t remember what kind words I had to say about this wonderful tea. When I looked it up, I realized I had yet to say anything, because I’m a big dumb-dumb head (or so children would tell you).

So far every Runa beverage that we have reviewed has gotten a 4 or 5 bottle rating. That may be the most consistently great per capita company we have dealt with. The reason for that is that they keep their beverages simple. It’s water, guayusa tea, cane sugar and whatever flavor that particular tea is meant to be. This bottle may contain 0% juice, but it tastes like actual raspberries and not some sugary garbage like most teas. One of the great things about Runa is that they have wisely chosen to have the tea be the most prominent flavor and the fruit act as the backup. It’s earthy, but a little sweet with a mild berry flavor. It also happens to be just what I want out of this drink. If it showed up at the store again I would buy every bottle they had in stock. I recommend you do the same. That is unless you live around Buffalo. In that case, I call dibs.

Website
http://www.runa.org/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 2 days, 4 hours ago
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Nutrisystem Nutricrush Chocolate Shake Mix

Nutrisystem Nutricrush Chocolate Shake Mix

Round two of the 2017 Shake It Off Challenge has begun, and I have to say I think we have a contender on our hands. Nutrisystem is a long running company and they have had that time to perfect the “diet’ shake powder. This is downright delicious. This is the kind of thing that would make dieting easy. I’m not even on a diet and I want to drink these all of the time because it tastes great and there is no guilt in consuming it. What other chocolate beverage can say that?

It is ridiculously creamy and it tastes like decent chocolate, not like garbage chocolate that you would swear is actually more plastic than food. There is some stevia and monk fruit extract in here as well as fructose to sweeten it, but none of them interfere with the chocolate taste. That is a feat onto itself. The numbers for this are less than the Wonderslim. It has 13g of sugar with 150 calories, but with this you will recognize the names of more of the ingredients, and you can’t argue with that flavor. I personally feel much better drinking this than the competitor.

We have one more contestant in this game. Will Nutrisystem remain on top, or will they be ousted? Only time will tell.

Website
http://www.nutrisystem.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Fructose
Categories
Diet, Milkshake, Mix/Concentrate
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 2 days, 5 hours ago
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Dry Sparkling Rainier Cherry

Dry Sparkling Rainier Cherry

I’m complained on here, a stupid amount of times, that companies should just lower the amount of sugar they use instead of using zero calorie sweeteners. Sure, they save you calories, but it’s at the cost of the taste of the beverage. Dry does exactly what I have suggested. To be fair they have been doing it since before I vocalized my thoughts. This can of soda has less than half the sugar that a “normal” soda would. For a lot of their flavors this practice really works wonderfully. Unfortunately this one just does not taste right to me. There is a natural sweetness in cherries, and it’s lost in tis translation. It’s one of the few soda flavors that I like being really sweet. Actually a middle ground would be perfect. This tastes more like actual cherries than most sodas, but I could use more of the sweetness from a typical cherry pop. Taking all of that into consideration if I had a six pack of these I’m pretty sure by the end I would become acclimated with it and would have no issues once my brain/taste buds adjusted.

Website
http://www.drysoda.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Pure Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 4 days, 5 hours ago
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La Croix Sparkling Water Berry

La Croix Sparkling Water Berry

If I were to substitute all of the cans of seltzer water that I drink with La Croix brand, I would have to be a rich man. Perhaps that is just because the amount I drink is so obscene, but these cans are at least double the price of the 12-packs of Polar I normally purchase. Do you know what though? It’s totally worth it. I love Polar, but La Croix put out the most flavorful seltzers I have ever tried. They have figured out a way for high quality fruit flavors to shine though without any sweeteners, which makes it zero calories. You could drink case after case of this stuff and not feel terrible about yourself. I bet you would have the most righteous burps too.

There is no mistaking this, it is most certainly a sparkling berry beverage. As long as you are not some sort of savage that needs your drinks to be more sugar than liquid, it is incredibly enjoyable.

Website
http://www.lacroixwater.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling, Water
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 1 week ago
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Titan Tea 50/50 Lemonade & Black Tea

Titan Tea 50/50 Lemonade & Black Tea

I’m going to change an old adage and instead of “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” I’m going to start saying “An Arnold Palmer is only as strong as its weak lemonade.” This could have been the world’s best iced tea (it’s not it pretty average), but since the lemonade aspect of it is fairly unremarkable the whole thing just kind of falls apart. I don’t understand what the problem is. Everything in here is organic and they use real lemon juice, but that part of this concoction tastes weak and fake. Actually, it tastes more like someone brewed a bag of black tea, mixed in a squirt of lemon and then put it in the fridge. It tastes like the tea my grandma used to drink, but cold. It’s more of a lemon tea than a 50/50.
It’s not horrible, but I just had higher hopes for this and it ended up being average. Sure, it’s better than Lipton garbage, but I feel it could have been out of this world good.

Website
http://titantea.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Fair Trade Certified Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea, Lemonade
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 1 week, 1 day ago
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Wonderslim Pudding/Shake Chocolate Cream

Wonderslim Pudding/Shake Chocolate Cream

We were contacted to participate in the 2017 “Shake it Off” challenge, where the company sent us three different shake mix products and we are to write about them and compare them. While they are a couple years too late for the name of the challenge to be timely, I’m always up for a challenge, especially when chocolate is involved. Do you think Taylor Swift’s legal team is going to get involved? They are quite litigious, right? Did I make that up?

For my first tasting I’m going with the WonderSlim Chocolate Cream. This is a meal replacement powder that can be made into a shake, or pudding. The outcome just depends on how much water you add to the powder. Whichever way you choose to consume this it has 15g of protein, 24 vitamins and minerals and comes in at only 100 calories. There are A LOT of ingredients in here. Most of which I have never heard of before. I’m sure they all serve some sort of dietary purpose, but I still get wary when there are so many hard to pronounce things in my food.

Flavorwise this has a nice chocolate taste to it, but unfortunately there is an undertone of diet-ness due to the sucralose used as one of the sweeteners. While you’re drinking it, you don’t really notice it too much, but a little while after you swallow that unmistakable flavor starts taking over your mouth. If the sucralose were not present this would be downright delicious. It is slightly chalky, but nothing too terrible and it’s easy to look past that.

Overall this is better than I would have expected from a company named WonderSlim.

Website
http://www.wonderslim.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Fructose
Categories
Diet, Mix/Concentrate
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 1 week, 2 days ago
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Private Selection Hopped Graepfruit Cream Soda

Private Selection Hopped Graepfruit Cream Soda

This soda falls under the category of so obvious that we missed it all of this time. How has the whole of humanity existed for so long without someone saying, “Hey let’s mix grapefruit with cream soda?” Even as I type that out it seems strange, but how many of us love the combination of orange and vanilla? The creamsicle taste is a standard. If one citrus fruit can provide such great results, why have we never tried another? Well, that is until now.

This is a knock your socks off flavor. It’s so familiar, with just enough of a twist that makes you truly appreciate each sip. The base is a fantastic cream soda that would get rave reviews on its own. Adding the grapefruit is just icing on the cake. It’s not overly sour, but it is certainly different than an orange cream. Actually, after tasting this I don’t know if I see a need for orange cream to exist anymore, at least not in the spotlight. This should be the go to flavor.

I’m not sure what the “Hopped” is all about, as I don’t taste anything other than the cream and grapefruit in here. That’s fine. I didn’t want anything else anyways. This is perfection.

Website
http://www.privateselection.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 1 week, 4 days ago
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Kristian Regale Lingonberry-Apple

Kristian Regale Lingonberry-Apple

Sometimes when you’re a non-drinker, you still want to pretend like your fancy. You dress up, get yourself a fancy bottle of sparkling juice, get out the nice glass wear and play at being adults who are better than your current station in life. Then there are other times when you get that same bottle, dress like you always do and just take swig after swig directly from the bottle at a party. Can you guess which category I fell under? I’m not one for delusion, I’m happy with my place in life, and I most certainly love fancy drinks. This is most certainly fancy.

If Ikea is any indication, lingonberries run rampant in Sweden and they are used to flavor everything. I really wish this were true, but when I visited that country I don’t think I saw anything of that flavor. It’s a shame because it’s a fantastic tasting fruit. Oh, you say you’ve never tasted lingonberry before? Well let me let you in on a secret; you know the classic red Swedish Fish candy that you love? Yep, that’s lingonberry flavored. That’s actually the perfect way to describe this. It tastes like someone somehow juiced a huge bag of Swedish Fish and mixed it with apple juice. The whole thing comes off not tasting like candy at all, but coming off as very natural, because you know it is an actual fruit, and not really made from chewy confections.

This is very likely the greatest sparkling juice I have ever tasted. Sure, I’d like to think I could do without the added beet sugar, but who knows maybe that would have offset the flavor balance. I do not want to upset the balance. They have it perfect.

Website
http://kristianregale.com/
Country
Spain
Sweetener
Beet Sugar
Categories
Juice, Sparkling
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper 1 week, 4 days ago
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