Matcha Love Unsweetened Japanese Matcha + Vanilla

Matcha Love Unsweetened Japanese Matcha + Vanilla

This is not what I expected. It's less bitter and bold than other matcha I have drink/drank/drunk. You don't get a lot of really anything. It tastes like "tea" and a watered down tea at that. It tastes like a green tea but it's only slightly bitter. I don't know about this, man. It's like they only had a little bit of mix and had to make a lot of drinks and they had to stretch it out. "Hey kids, I've got one pack of single serve Kool-Aid and there are four of us so we have to make due, alright?" While I don't mind, and have been known to water down my own drinks, this seems like a wasted attempt. Also, wut vanilla? It's not bad but it's also not much of anything and certainly nothing to write home about. Do we have to change that phrase? Are enough people writing home that we need to keep it? The alternative, which is unfortunate is something abysmal like, "This drink is nothing to text your daddy about." Begrudging and shuttering.

Website
http://www.itoen.com/matcha_love
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on September 27th, 2018
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McCol Spark Up!

McCol Spark Up!

This is simply not my speed. I originally wanted to say that it is simply not good, but there has to be someone out there who likes this weirdness and he tastes are subjective. I really want to like this, it’s an odd twist on orange soda, in that it tastes malted and like someone dissolved a handful of all natural vitamins in it. It has a harshness to it that I really like and while it’s in your mouth it tastes great, but as soon as you swallow and breathe it gets a bit gross. I feel like this is what orange beer would taste like if you removed all the alcohol. I do have a feeling that if there was a case of this just sitting around, I would keep drinking it because it was there and eventually grow to truly enjoy it. All hail the learning curve.
Ps. I just looked on line, since I can’t read the can and it’s a barley soda, so that’s the flavor and not malt, apologies.

Country
Korea
Sweetener
???
Categories
Other/Weird, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 25th, 2018
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Hydro One REVd Pineapple & Mango

Hydro One REVd Pineapple & Mango

What sits before me is a healthy sports drink that doesn’t taste like you are drinking the vat of chemicals that the Joker fell into. Sure, it has a slight diet edge to it, but it comes nowhere near the artificial taste of its contemporaries. Yes I know that their Bode line is their actual sports drink, but this is a beverage that falls under the same wheelhouse. If it makes you feel better, we can compare it to a Vitamin Water instead. Either way it has a great taste with zero sugar and zero calories. I believe their secret is that they have included a little cinnamon that really masks the stevia extract that is used to sweeten it. The cinnamon isn’t very strong, but what is there sits right where the diet flavor normally hits me.

I wanted to say that the pineapple mango aspect of it could just be listed as “tropical,” but once I separated the cinnamon I can make out both specific flavors. It was formulated to support diabetic health, but against all odds, it’s just plain tasty. I never thought I would ever find myself truly enjoying a zero calorie beverage of this sort, but here I am at 10am on Monday sipping away.

Website
http://https://hydroonebeverages.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Rebaudioside
Categories
Diet, Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 24th, 2018
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UCC Melon Creamy Soda

UCC Melon Creamy Soda

I came across this while looking for drinks to gift to Engineer Jay Zubricky at GCR audio while my band was working on our new record. I saw it and though, “Awesome, a green melon cream soda. Jay loves honeydew and while I’m sure it will be super sweet, it will probably also be tasty.” Little did I know at the time instead of it being a typical vanilla cream soda, it was actually a “creamy soda” meaning that it is soda with milk in it. Now that is strange. It certainly tastes like a regular, cheap, cream soda that has some melon flavoring added to it, but the milk adds another dimension to it, that I can’t 100% get behind. It leaves a weird taste in my mouth and it also changes the viscosity of the beverage and makes it a little thicker than I was expecting. I was able to drink a few sips. Jay drank more than I did and seemed to enjoy it more as well. I guess all drinks are not for everyone.

Website
http://www.ucc.co.jp/eng/
Country
Japan
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Categories
Milk, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 20th, 2018
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Belvoir Fruit Farms Cucumber & Mint Lemonade

Belvoir Fruit Farms Cucumber & Mint Lemonade

Let’s get things sorted, shall we. First off, this is a company with a French name, which means “beautiful.” Secondly, it is not a French company, and they actually reside in the United Kingdom. Finally, this is a flavor that leads my mind to not drift to neither France, nor the UK, but instead to the American South. This is something I could imagine being sipped on the porch of a fancy plantation in a time when racism ran rampant. Wait, am I talking about the 1800s, or 2018? Garbage humans aside, this is one hell of a beverage. It’s as refreshing as anything on an oppressively hot summer day.
Something about the cucumber and mint gives it an almost pickle smell, but trust me that is nowhere to be found in the taste (as pointed out by recording engineer Jay Zubricky). This is pure luxury in a sipable format. It is mostly cucumber and mint, in a good way that does not resemble chewing gum one bit. I had thought that just being at that point would be wonderful, and the added lemon seemed like overkill, but I was wrong, it adds something wonderful to the mix. It hides around the edges and gives it the little bump it needed to become an ultimate summer beverage.

Website
http://www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk/
Country
United Kingdom
Sweetener
Beet Sugar
Categories
Lemonade, Soda Pop, Sparkling
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 18th, 2018
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Polar Seltzer Pineapple Pomelo

Polar Seltzer Pineapple Pomelo

I think there should be an APB on the scientists over at Polar. How can one company come up with so many different flavors in such a short period of time? Surely there are unsafe work conditions and inhumane amount of hours. Flavors come out and, look; I've got my ear to the ground when it comes to new drinks, especially Polar. I can't keep up.

Pineapple pomelo. It was good. I say "was" because, much like the Hall and Oates song, she's gone. It wasn't the best. The pineapple was good and I might suggest that they have left it there. The pomelo didn't taste like much. It didn't add a whole lot of flavor. Side-by-side I might have been able to tell a different. It was not bad and I would get it again because of my love of pineapple, maybe just to pay more attention to where the pomelo lies in the mix.

This is good. Keep your jobs, wildly overworked flavor scientists.

Website
http://www.polarbev.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sparkling
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on September 12th, 2018
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Coca-Cola Fiesty Cherry Diet

Coca-Cola Fiesty Cherry Diet

I'm a sucker for spice. Blame it on my Western New York upbringing. I've lost that part of me where I masochistically eat things that will burn my face off in exchange for flavor enhancement. Sue me. This tastes like a diet cherry Coke with (somehow) less "diet" taste and rewards you with a little bit of burn. I could be wrong but I burped while drinking this and it had a pretty distinct ginger beer burp flavor. I liked it. I drank the whole can. I rarely drink cola let alone diet cola but this is actually something I would revisit. I was told again and again to drink it cold. One would think that something was going to come out of the can, like a heat activated cola demon, if I let it get lukewarm. Little does he know that we Thirsty Dudes drinking warm pop all the time. There's not enough room in fridges nationwide to house the amount of drinks that we've had at one time in our heyday. Now, unfortunately, sadly, apathetically, Jay and I could probably contain our back stock in a college dorm room fridge and still have room for a cool, crisp can of Milwaukee's Best that we would never drink but you know goddamn well that Chad would drink it in a heartbeat. Chad. You're the worst. Don't even get me started on Chad. Chad sucks. We'll leave it at that.

Website
http://www.coca-cola.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Aspartame
Categories
Diet, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on September 11th, 2018
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Blume Honey Water Vanilla Citrus

Blume Honey Water Vanilla Citrus

Well it certainly is nice to try something new again. This was great. I'll come right out of the gate, swinging my fists like a complete idiot; ready to fight no one and everyone at the same time. Honey rules. I put it in my coffee at home. I put it on ice cream. I add it to other stuff that you mind your G.D. business about, that's what! This is sweet. It's a different sweet than "1,000,000 sugar" sweet. It just tastes like honey which tastes sweet. It's a bit of a mental thing. As far as the "citrus vanilla" goes., yeah, that's there lighter in the mix. It's certainly a honey base but it does have notes of citrus and vanilla. I don't know how they do it. It's not thick at all. It's "like water" but tastes like honey. A drinkable honey for those of you cosplayers who go to Winnie The Pooh conventions but don't want to get your $1900 costume all sticky before the inevitably sex party afterwards aptly named "The Piglet Roast."

As sweet as this is, the whole (tiny) bottle is only 70 calories. This was generously sent to us but if I saw it in the wild, I would buy it. It's nice. A+. Quick shipping. Would buy from again.

Website
http://https://www.blumehoneywater.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Honey
Categories
Juice, Water
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on September 7th, 2018
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Lifeway Elixir Hibiscus

Lifeway Elixir Hibiscus

I learned today that hibiscus is often used in rituals to protect against evil, invoke divination, and clairvoyance. You would think with the amount of hibiscus I consume and the fact that several people have told me that my house looks like it should be somewhere a fortune teller runs their business, that I would be in the know of that information. Well, I suppose I am now and that makes me love it even more.

This is the most “pink” tasting beverage that I’ve ever tried. You know there are flavors that you associate with blue, orange, and purple that aren’t necessarily the flavor of the fruit they pretend to be and instead have just become the flavor of the color? Well this should be the taste associated with pink, and for an added bonus it isn’t even overly sweet. It’s sweetened, but not in a mouth rot kind of way. This is not a spiced hibiscus, so if you were hoping for that you will be disappointed, but then excited once you realize that it may not be what you had wanted, but it’s pretty great in its own way. It is simultaneously both vaguely floral and vaguely fruity.

My only complaint is that it is the lightest carbonation I have ever had in a beverage. My ladyfriend says she loves it that way because more bubbles would detract from the flavor. To me it feels like it’s about to go flat. That didn’t stop me from getting a great deal of enjoyment from it though.

Website
http://lifewaykefir.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on September 4th, 2018
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Gold Thread Plant Based Tonics Hawaiian Ginger with Jasmine, Coriander + Vanilla

Gold Thread Plant Based Tonics Hawaiian Ginger with Jasmine, Coriander + Vanilla

If you looked up the opposite of a Trigger Warning, I’m pretty sure the returned result would simply be a picture of this beverage. I mean maybe it comes up with different results for different people, but the list of ingredients hear could very well be a secret code to break into my soul. Ginger is one of the greatest things that has ever graced this planet. I sure do like to go overboard with it. The other night I got a meal that was just shredded ginger and scallions with some fake chicken. You know when you get a bag of shredded carrots, well it was like someone dumped the full bag on my plate, but instead of carrots it was ginger, and a complaint didn’t even cross my mind because it was amazing. Jasmine may be my favorite type of tea and vanilla, well it’s vanilla and it’s delicious. The only red flag here is coriander, which is the same plant as cilantro, you know pure soapy garbage. Luckily there is not a trace of that dirty dishwater taste I associate with the plant in this drink.

I’m going to say something crazy here. I feel like my friends are going to be concerned and perhaps I will come home to an intervention later, but I could actually do with a little less ginger here. By no means does the ginger taste bad. The only reason I say this is that it is so strong of a flavor that it doesn’t really let the other flavors shine. Sure they are there, but I want them to have equal billing with the ginger. It’s slightly floral with hints of vanilla, but how great would this be if those flavors were stronger?

I love this, but there is room for improvement via my imagination. I want this to be to summer as chai is to winter.

Website
http://goldthreadherbs.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Lakonto Monkfruit
Categories
Ginger, Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 28th, 2018
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