Iced Tea (829 reviews)

Core Organic Orange Clementine

Core Organic Orange Clementine

I’m not exactly sure what this beverage is supposed to be. It’s not really a juice, but it’s also not a sports drink. The bottle says it is an “organic fruit infused beverage,” and according to the ingredients list it’s kind of a mix of everything. It is composed of coconut water, 4% juice, white tea, and a whole mess of organic, zero calorie sweeteners. The result just tastes a bit generic, like some random “juice” box you’d get as a kid, expect now it tastes overly diet. This sort of tastes a modern version of Kool Aid. The orange/clementine flavor is there, but it tastes a bit powdery. I appreciate what they are trying to do with this, but the arrow is hitting just outside of the target. It’s almost good, but it just doesn’t mess right.

Website
http://core-hydration.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Erytritol
Categories
Coconut, Iced Tea, Juice
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on January 22nd, 2017
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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 on January 17th, 2017
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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 on January 11th, 2017
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Arizona Asia Plum Green Tea

Arizona  Asia Plum Green Tea

This is an old favorite from my pre-Thirsty Dudes days. Man those were different times. I drank so much sugar back then and never thought twice about it. How was I not gigantic? I would easily drink at least three Arizona tall boys a day, not counting the other garbage I consumed. This wasn’t a constant back then, but that was only because it didn’t come in a 99 cent can and I only splurged on the extra half dollar when I was feeling special. It was a treat that I gave myself.

Most of my favorite drinks from that time period don’t really hold up for me anymore, because my body has changed and so much sugar makes me feel like garbage. Taking one sip of this brought me right back though. It was the early 2000s. All I did was play music and hang out with my friends. I was in my 20’s it was allowed. Hell, it’s still kind of what I do now. I had terribly dyed black hair and for some reason I tucked my t-shirts in. I was a catch I tell ya. I also existed on seemingly nothing but pizza and tacos, yet I never gained a pound. I wouldn’t say it was a better time, but it was a different time and I had my fun. I drank my teas and didn’t think twice about it. It’s no longer the cost that makes this a treat, but the amount of sugar (45g/bottle). It tastes sweet, but not to an extent that it hurts my teeth. It has that classic Arizona green tea flavor, that isn’t quite what other green tea tastes like, but it’s wonderful. On top of that the Asia plum adds just the right amount of flavor. I’ve had other Asian beverages that said they were plum and they tasted like moldy meat. This is the opposite of that. Wait, would that be fresh veggies? It’s not that, but it is delicious. I hope this flavor makes a comeback because you don’t see it much these days.

Website
http://drinkarizona.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 31st, 2016
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Titan Tea Raspberry Black Tea

Titan Tea Raspberry Black Tea

Cold brew coffee is everywhere these days, so why not cold brew some tea? Oh, you don’t have an extra 12 hours to steep your tea, so you take the quicker hot brew method? Don’t be such a chump, Titan will do all the work for you and all you have to do is walk into a store grab one from the cooler, and hand over your money to the cashier and you are out the door in 5 minutes or less. That is a comparable amount of time as it would take you to hot steep some tea. I don’t even really know the difference. I guess cold brewed coffee is supposed to be smoother or something, maybe the same goes for tea.

Something about this doesn’t taste like I expected. It tastes like a good raspberry black tea, but there’s something else floating around mucking up the flavor. It might be the lemon, or it may be the electrolytes. Whatever it is, it distracts from both the taste of the tea as well as the raspberry. It’s still an enjoyable beverage, but with a little tweaking I would enjoy it a whole bunch more. Maybe spend less time steeping and more time tinkering with the taste.

Website
http://titantea.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Fair Trade Certified Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 29th, 2016
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Runa Clean Energy Blood Orange

Runa Clean Energy Blood Orange

Ladies and Gentlemen, I think I am finally getting old. I get creaks. I get aches. I fall asleep on the couch while watching movies at night. All of the telltale signs are there. On top of all that I have mentioned it seems to happen with increasing regularity that I need some sort of boost to get me moving in the morning at work. I always assumed that when people talked about needing their morning coffee it was due to their bodies getting used to ingesting caffeine. Now I am realizing that sometimes you just need the push, even if your body is not used to it. I try to not make it a regular thing, but at least once a week I find myself drinking something caffeinated in the morning (usually tea). This is a great alternative though. It’s a mixture of guayusa tea and fruit juice that tastes amazing even without added sugar.

In this beverage the fruit juice sits pretty evenly with the tea flavor and that is exactly where I want it to be. It’s not sweet, but it’s also not bitter. Everything about this falls right in the middle. All of the energy in it comes from the caffeine derived from the guayusa leaf, so it doesn’t leave you feeling insane. It’s just a gentle push to help you get through the morning. It’s just a bonus that it won’t leave you with gross coffee breath or unwanted calories from sugar. It’s simple, it’s delicious and it’s just what I want in the morning.

Website
http://www.runa.org/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Energy Drink, Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 5th, 2016
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Runa Clean Energy Sweet Peach

Runa Clean Energy Sweet Peach

There is joy and there is sadness in the world of Big Lots. We tend to find a decent amount of tasty and interesting beverages there. If we find something we enjoy and we are lucky then it’s simply there because a company ordered too much, or there has been a change in the label and the company is trying to blow out their old stock. Unfortunately there are other times when a product is being discontinued or a company has gone out of business. This seems to be the case more often than not when I find something I like there, so I buy up what I can and enjoy the limited time I have with it.

Luckily in the case of Runa, their teas presence at the discount store is due to nothing more than a chance of label. I will still be able to find these delicious teas in the future, but you can bet your bottom that at fifty cents per bottle I will be buying up the stores stock.

It’s been awhile since I’ve drank an iced tea that has impressed me, so I was caught completely off guard with this. It’s no secret that peach flavored beverages tend to be a little much, and end up tasting candied. This tea is flavored with “organic peach flavor” and that apparently equates to a taste that is like a peach that is right on the cusp of being perfectly ripe. It has a sweetness to it, but also a vague bitterness that comes with unripe fruit. It’s a refreshing change of pace for this particular flavor. It also helps that they didn’t go overboard with the sweetener and there are only 16g of sugar in the entire bottle.

This drink is very smooth and you get a little kick from the caffeine that is found in the guayusa. Flavor and energy; this tea truly has it all.

Website
http://www.runa.org/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on November 28th, 2016
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Pearl Soda Company Soda Syrup Dancing Dragon (Sarsaparilla Puerh)

Pearl Soda Company Soda Syrup Dancing Dragon (Sarsaparilla Puerh)

If you’re looking for a natural tasting beverage this is certainly for you. I don’t know what this has to do with a dragon, dancing or not, but what I do know is that it tastes like someone made a soda out of throat coat tea and it’s a little much. I like sips of this drink. I’ve been nursing the glass I made for the past 45 minutes. If I take tiny sips it’s enjoyable, but if I drink too much at once it becomes a bit too overpowering and medicinal. If you’re not familiar with throat coat (which is absolutely wonderful hot) imagine chewing on a licorice stick (the plant not the candy) while drinking some black tea. It’s pleasant and helps your throat. It’s not quite the same in soda form but it is a re-imagining of a classic soda.
In here the tea is a mixture of pu-erh (fermented tea)and yerba mate. The rest of the flavor comes from a combination of sarsaparilla root and honeybush. It kind of tastes the way a natural market smells. Take that as you will. To me it’s not bad thing, but it certainly is unique. Out of all of these tea sodas, this is the one that is certainly not for everyone.

Website
http://www.pearlsodaco.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea, Mix/Concentrate, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on November 15th, 2016
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Eco Teas Mate Flower With Hibiscus

Eco Teas Mate Flower With Hibiscus

I’m not one to complain when a yerba mate is put in front of me. I will happily drink each and every one that is placed into my hands. This is simple and it is also delicious. It is simply brewed organic free trade yerba mate and hibiscus with a pinch of salt added. There is no sweetener added, because there is no need for one. It is a beverage that is wonderful just the way it is. It’s slightly bitter and a bit woody, just like a proper mate should be. The hibiscus gives it just a hint of floral taste. I could drink this stuff by the gallon if it were an option. If someone wants to make that a real option for me, please do.

Website
http://yerbamate.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on November 9th, 2016
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Alley Cat Tea Original

Alley Cat Tea Original

Did you know that Alley Cat Tea is a Southern original? No? Well, don’t feel too bad because I don’t think that most southerners know it either. It is a probably that surely needs to be sorted out though because they should all know and love this wonderful beverage.

Whenever anyone thinks about the South and tea they more than likely think of sweet tea. Now take that delicious treat and improve on it by mixing in a bunch of fruit juice. The label has pictures of pineapples, oranges, lemons and strawberries, although the latter is not listed in the ingredients. It tastes like it’s 50% pineapple, 25% tea, 10% orange, 10% lemon and 5% strawberry. It’s one of those wonderful concoctions where you can pinpoint each of the flavors or enjoy it as a whole. The whole thing is dark and so very cloudy that it looks like it could be cider. I wish I had picked up more than one bottle on my dumb drive from FL to MI.

Website
http://alleycattea.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Pure Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on November 4th, 2016
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