VitaLife Cold Brewed Tea Peach Ginger

VitaLife Cold Brewed Tea Peach Ginger

VitaLife is another brand that falls under the Aldi umbrella. Years ago that would have meant that is was probably chock full of corn syrup and other nonsense, but since the company went organic awhile back you are generally assured that you are getting a somewhat quality product.

Now if you have been paying attention to American society in the past five years you are probably aware of the trend of cold brew (which I totally back). It’s generally used for coffee and it makes the caffeinated beverage smoother. Some companies have expanded this practice into the brewing of teas as well, and it has similar results. This is a very smooth tea, especially since it is unsweetened. Okay, it has 3g of sugar in it but it comes from fruit and not processed sugar. This is so smooth that it kind of resembles a tea flavored water, but somehow is very flavorful. The thing is there appears to be no actual tea leaves used to make this and it it’s all herbal tea, which really doesn’t seem like tea to me. It has ginger, apple bits, hibiscus, papaya, rose hip, pink peppercorns, orange blossoms, rose pedals and peach juice concentrate in it. Overall it’s delicious. I do wish there was a bit of actual tea in there to give it a little bite. The more I drink the more the smoothness makes it seem like I’m not really drinking anything. It’s a strange beverage that I really enjoyed at first, but has diminishing returns. I will need to experiment more.

Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 29th, 2018
Comments
View and Leave A Comment

Polar Seltzer Vanilla Zen

Polar Seltzer Vanilla Zen

While I’m not stoked that the Northeast will soon be a frozen tundra and most of the joy in life will be stolen from me, I am very excited that the new Polar Winter line has been released. I wasn’t even expecting it. I went down the water aisle in my favorite local grocer and there they were in all their glory. Right at eye level was this gem, Vanilla Zen. I’ve been saying for years that seltzer companies need to release more flavors that are not based on fruit (what happened to cinnamon? ) and while this is sort of fruity, it at least is mostly spice based.

From the packaging it appeared to me that Zen tastes like pomegranate drizzled with honey, or maybe some weird honey flowers. As far as I can taste though, it’s just a combination of vanilla and pomegranates though., with the pom being very light. The gold kernels were a misdirect, and there is no honey to be found. I don’t know how that could be pulled off without it being sweet anyway.

This isn’t the second coming of the savior that I had hoped for but it’s still really great and I will enjoy a lot of it while it’s still on the shelves.

Website
http://www.polarbev.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling, Water
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 25th, 2018
Comments
View and Leave A Comment

Summit Craft Root Beer

Summit Craft Root Beer

Summit is an Aldi instore brand, and my has Aldi come a long way since their discount beginnings. When Mike and I moved into our first apartment together we shopped way too much at Aldi, because it was all we could afford. The food was mostly trash, but we survived and hey they had cheap produce. In recent times I believe Aldi has made it a policy that all food stuffs sold in the store must be organic. As a result the quality has skyrocketed. There are a variety of different veggie burgers, fancy juices, almond milk, and who can forget that delicious white bean basil hummus that I cannot get enough of. They have also stepped up their beverage game with some cane sugar sweetened sodas.

Now there is nothing wrong with this root beer. It is perfectly serviceable. It is also pretty mediocre. I don’t drink much soda these days, so when I do I want to make sure it’s worth the stress on my aging body. This doesn’t really pass that test. When I was younger I would have ate this up, because the quality to price ratio is just right. I’m at a point in my life where I don’t mind paying a little bit more for something that is of the highest quality. The thing that is great about this though is that hilarious dog on the label. I can’t tell if he’s a bi-plane pilot or a biker dog. Either way I would totally give him some treats and belly rubs.

Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 23rd, 2018
Comments
View and Leave A Comment

Teas' Tea Organic Mango Yuzu Green Tea

Teas' Tea Organic Mango Yuzu Green Tea

Teas’ Tea, and their parent company Ito En, have been long time favorites of us here at Thirsty Dudes. They make quality products that taste like real tea and not some strange powder. After years of their standard flavors they seem to be expanding their line a lot over the past bit of time. As long as the staples stick around you will hear no complaints from this guy. I bought this bottle when Mike and I joked about walking from downtown Brooklyn to JFK and then ended up walking half of the way before we realized we were being ridiculous and we should just get on a train, whose stops we had passed the entire way. We ended up walking 35 miles over a few days and never complained once. That was a good hang. Anyway, we walked. I was thirsty. We hit up a bodega, where I was planning on grabbing a Guayaki, but instead happily ended up with this. I wasn’t disappointed at all. This is one of the best teas I’ve had in a long time. It’s only slightly sweet, which is always a plus and the flavors really shined. Yuzu is a citrus fruit that I hadn’t thought I had tried before, but as soon as I tasted it I was immediately reminded of one of the original Sobe flavors that used to come in glass bottles. I drank far too many of those things in the back room of my first job at a supermarket to forget that flavor. Did I steal them when doing returns? I admit nothing. You do your research. I actually searched on my own the old Google and yuzu is definitely a fruit used by Sobe. So if you remember Sobe in the late 90s you probably can imagine what this tastes like. Man I miss those drinks, they just aren’t the same now. Okay, back on topic, this is really delicious and I can’t encourage you enough to get out there and try it.

Website
http://teastea.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 19th, 2018
Comments
View and Leave A Comment
Buy Now

Tran Quini Positively Relaxing Drink Sparkling Hibiscus

Tran Quini Positively Relaxing Drink Sparkling Hibiscus

Well this is delicious. Hibiscus is the new pomegranate and I could not have been happier. The first time I came across this wonderful flavor was in 2009 when I was in Europe and we stopped by our driver’s mother’s house. She made us lunch and made us lemonade with hibiscus from her garden. It blew my mind and I drank far more than my fair share. When I returned home I searched for more beverages of this flavor and slowly but surely they started to pop up as the years went by.

While I prefer hibiscus mixed with cinnamon and other spices, I have no qualms with it plain either. In here it’s fairly standard plain hibiscus, but it is still more than tasty. It’s sweetened but not overly sweet with 17g of sugar. That does not detract from the main flavor at all. In addition there is chamomile, lemon balm, and theanine from green tea in the mix. Even with these ingredients, it is not a sleepy relaxation drink, but more of a de-stresser. That is something I needed as I stayed in an apartment right next to the BQE in Brooklyn. The constant stream of cars filled with people traveling to and from work is rather unnerving and prone to give me anxiety. So thanks Tran Quini for getting me through that ordeal.

Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Relaxation, Sparkling
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 19th, 2018
Comments
View and Leave A Comment

Limitless Lightly Caffeinated Sparkling Water Blood Orange

Limitless Lightly Caffeinated Sparkling Water Blood Orange

This seemed interesting. At first glance I thought, “This would be something good to get me through a long work day. No sugar. No calories. It’s simply seltzer water with some caffeine added to it.” This had the potential to be a “healthy” morning beverage for those of us who do not drink coffee. Yes, the caffeine is derived from green coffee beans, but there is no coffee flavoring in here at all. In fact the downfall of this product is that there isn’t much flavoring at all. Before you start to argue that seltzer isn’t a very flavorful beverage by design, I very much know that, and I embrace the sparkling beverage for it. This can had minimal blood orange flavoring to it. It tasted more like a seltzer that had been left open for a long time and the flavor dissipated with the bubbles (this was still carbonated though). The natural caffeine also added a little bit of flavor around the edges, which I could have done without. Overall this was fairly bland and that is from someone who drinks seltzer, water, and unsweetened tea all day.

Website
http://limitlesscoffee.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Energy Drink, Sparkling, Water
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 18th, 2018
Comments
View and Leave A Comment
Buy Now

Coft Thai Black Tea

Coft Thai Black Tea

I saw this peeking out from my fridge yesterday and decided that today would be the day. I think I bought this as an Asian Market with good ol' Jay. It was dark and didn't appear to have cream in it so I thought it would be something nice. Turns out, there is some form of milk, possibly in the line item "Brewed Thai Tea" although it doesn't explicitly say "milk" outside of "Contains: Milk"

Who cares. Enough milk talk. This is great and do you know why it is great? Because it just tastes like Thai Tea. If we have to differentiate between this and traditional Thai tea, this is less creamy. Back to milk again. This may have more of a black tea base which is actually really good. It's strange. This tastes like black tea sweetened with Thai Tea. It's hard to explain. It tastes like sweet tea, like Southern sweet tea but then you get the flavors and spices (?) of Thai tea.

A+. Quick shipping. Would buy from again.

Country
Thailand
Sweetener
Glucose Syrup
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on October 12th, 2018
Comments
View and Leave A Comment
Buy Now

Red Bull Sugar Free The Lime Edition

Red Bull Sugar Free The Lime Edition

So picture this, I’m at the gym, attempting to improve my mental health and lost some of the vanilla pudding that has formed on my human frame as I have aged nearly into my fourth decade on this planet. I had just finished running a few miles on the treadmill and then began to use the weight lifting machines, when I notice that there are a pair of women walking around the gym with cooler backpacks handing out cans of Red Bull to people as they work out. First off, that is jut weird and kind of not acceptable. To me the gym is a place that you do not interact with people unless you are asking them if they are finished with a machine, or you are calling them out for being a creep and checking out other human people in their sweaty state. Secondly, you can bet your ass that as soon as I was done with a set of reps I approached them before they could approach me and I got a can from them. The interaction was inevitable, so I was proactive about it to get it over and of course I was going to take a free sample.

We have really slacked on Red Bull reviews because I had heard some unsavory things about the people who run the company, which ended up being not accurate upon doing some research. I was glad to give the newer flavors a try, especially when it was free. This though, was not what I wanted. I actually prefer the sugar free Red Bull to the original variety, and I was hoping this would go the same route. Unfortunately that was not the case. This is supposed to be limeade, but it was not like they added lime to a normal diet Red Bull. Instead it’s a new beast that just tastes like a tiny bit of lime mixed in with a whole lot of sucralose grossness. Here are my parting words for the company; Just add flavoring to your original base products for these “new” flavors, and teach your representatives what appropriate venues to hand out samples are. The way things are going I can only assume after the gym they were heading to a funeral to pass out samples.

Website
http://www.redbull.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Categories
Diet, Energy Drink
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 10th, 2018
Comments
View and Leave A Comment
Buy Now

7 Eleven Black Tea

7 Eleven Black Tea

Fantastic.

I love this. It's got a great maple syrup taste but doesn't taste like you're drinking tea to wash down some delicious pancakes. It's nice. It's not too sweet and the tea tastes pretty great, too. This is a repeat purchase. They also have a green tea that would be pretty interesting with maple syrup. I feel like I've had black tea with maple syrup but not green. I feel like that will come across the ol' Thirsty Dudes desk sooner than later.

Go grab one. I feel like 7-Eleven cycles through their own drinks rather quickly so if this sounds good to you, you might want to get on the unicycle you stupidly use for public transportation and head towards the nearest 7-Eleven. If your 7-Elevens are anything like ours, some of them might have closed recently so, like the nearest exits on an airplane, they might be behind you.

Website
http://www.7-eleven.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Maple Syrup
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on October 10th, 2018
Comments
View and Leave A Comment

Peloton Cascara Tea Cranberry Lime

Peloton Cascara Tea Cranberry Lime


On route to who cares where in New York City, I picked up this bad boy. It's good. I wanted tea. It's like 80 degrees in October, dude. Jay and I are tired and thirsty, man. I got it and didn't think twice. It was kind of expensive but it's New York so who cares? $3. This place is an island. It costs more to get things here.

Cranberry Lime is a good standard. The tea is good. It's darker that I thought. It was pretty low in calories, too. 60 calories for the bottle. Calories. Who gives a rip? It's honestly pretty regular. Regular good. Jay says it tastes like Mamma Chia without the seeds. I'd get it again. That says a lot. They don't sell it by me.

Website
http://https://www.drinkpeloton.com/
Country
United Kingdom
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on October 7th, 2018
Comments
View and Leave A Comment
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |