Dunkin' Donuts Fruited Iced Tea Blackberry with Strawberries

Dunkin' Donuts Fruited Iced Tea Blackberry with Strawberries

Ahh. A nice, opaque tea in the morning. What better thing to start off the day? That's what I said to myself as I miraculously got my dumb son to school on time and still had time to buy this maroon treat for myself.

What is it? Well it's unsweetened black tea with an undisclosed amount of blackberry puree in it and some assorted chunks of strawberries. It's also available for a limited time so I thought, "I need to get this before it's too late!" as if I didn't get it, I would regret it for the rest of my life like the time that I wanted to see DJ Rashad in Toronto but couldn't find anyone to go with me and he died the next day. That type of regret.

She's good, though. I think there is so much puree that you can't taste any tea, though. "Problem" with that is that the puree itself is so good that you almost don't care and then hate yourself for saying such apathetic things about tea, the lifeblood of everywhere but America, who, ironically and allegedly, runs on Dunkin'. Every once in a while you're treated to a bullet to the back of your throat disguised as mushed up strawberry that is more fun than gross. If you might like tea, like fruit juice and enjoy working on your cheek muscles, this is a great summer drink for you.

Website
http://www.dunkindonuts.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Not Listed
Categories
Chunky, Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on May 10th, 2017
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Naturewise Whole Body Vitality Drink Citrus Matcha

Naturewise Whole Body Vitality Drink Citrus Matcha

I’m always interested in trying “alternative” energy drinks. I’m not really sure who dubbed them that, but at some point a person or a sentient computer decided that any beverage that was meant to give you energy, but did not contain taurine and a bunch of chemicals wasn’t of the norm. I’d like to think that ingesting artificial ingredients would be out of the norm, but who am I. Naturewise tried to remove the stigma by labeling their beverages “Whole Body Vitality Drinks.” They give you a little pep, enhance focus, suppress food cravings (don’t we all need that?), and reduce stress. That all sounds like a good deal to me and I will take the change in moniker to have it.

This is sweetened by erythritol, stevia and monk fruit and it has a strong fruity/bubblegum taste that always accompanies the latter of the three. The first time I ever came across monk fruit was in Vemma, and now I always relate anything with it to that weird pyramid scheme energy drink. It’s a very specific taste and a strong one at that. In fact it is a contender for the prize of being the strongest flavor in this can. The magic trick that monk fruit plays is that the more you drink of a beverage the less you notice the taste and the other flavors take over.
The flavor of this is supposed to be citrus matcha, which sounds great. The thing is I don’t really taste any specific citrus, nor do I get a strong green tea flavor. What I do get is something that, to me, tastes kind of like Juicy Fruit gum. It’s actually kind of great, but it’s not what I expected. Towards the end of the can I got a bit more tea flavor, and I think the bottom ¼ of it was the peak of the flavor.

I am always pleased when a company can make a beverage that uses zero calorie sweeteners and the don’t taste like specific garbage. It’s nice to be able to enjoy a beverage and not feel bad for all the calories you just ingested, and that is from someone who has never been on a diet in their life.

Website
http://www.naturewise.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Erythritol
Categories
Energy Drink, Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 9th, 2017
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Wicked Lekker Rooibos Tea White Peach

Wicked Lekker Rooibos Tea White Peach

This is the last of the three Wicked Lekker teas that are currently available and if they are nothing they are a consistent company. They are actually more than just consistent though. They are a company that makes great tasting teas that I could sip day after day and not get sick of them.

I love peaches, but I am wary of peach flavored things because they have a tendency to taste candied and that is something I’m just not looking for. After my first taste of Wikked Lekker’s black currant I was pretty sure they were going to do right by peach and I was not disappointed. It actually tastes like fruit and the use of white tea is always the wise choice. It has a softer taste that sits a little in the background and gives the rest of the drink a little time to make your acquaintance. After the rooibos tea says “what’s up and stuff” to your taste buds the white peach slips in to make sure that everyone is getting along well, and trust me it’s a love fest in there and my mouth wants to host that party for a long time to come.

Website
http://wickedlekker.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 4th, 2017
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Hydrive Energy Energy Water Black Cherry

Hydrive Energy Energy Water Black Cherry

I don’t know if I will ever get used to non-carbonated energy drinks. Yes, I know the original energy drinks (coffee and tea) were not carbonated and served this world for hundreds of years without people complaining that they needed more. Times have changed though and when I see the word energy listed on a beverage the taste of chemical bubblegum-y citrus flashes across my senses. The thing is that it’s not that great of a flavor, we’ve just become acclimated to it. It’s a nice change of pace to have a product that will give you a rush of caffeine and vitamins to help get you through the day that is out of the norm.

This tastes like a plant was bottling some diet black cherry soda, but the line to carbonate it was out of order and also about 1/3 more water got into it than should have. I understand those sound like negative things, but this is better than any black cherry soda I’ve ever tasted. It also tastes way less diet than I had anticipated since it is sweetened with sucralose. I expected that horrible fake sweetness to punch me right in my uvula, but it turns out it’s fairly mild. To such an extent that I believe it could be passed off as “energy flavor.”

Black cherry may not be my flavor of choice, but I have no real complaints about this. It gave me the little boost I needed to get me through my work day and it did it while maintaining a decent taste. What more can you ask for in these times?

Website
http://www.hydriveenergy.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Categories
Diet, Energy Drink, Water
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 4th, 2017
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Starbucks Frappuccino Dark Chocolate Mocha

Starbucks Frappuccino Dark Chocolate Mocha

Ahhh Big Lots, where seasonal drinks go to die. Well at least until a year passes and they rise from the ashes of discount stores to achieve premium prices once again. Look, the chances of me spending $3+ for a 9.5oz bottle of iced coffee are very slim, even if it is delicious. The chances of me paying $.80 for them a few months after the holiday season that is depicted on the label? Let me grab a case or two and finish them within a week.

This is something else. I hesitate to even call it a coffee drink because it is so far buried under a delicious mountain of peppermint and chocolate that I wonder if it’s there at all. Do you know what the best decision they made about this drink was? To use dark chocolate. Do you know who prefers milk chocolate? Kids and those with weak taste buds. The same people who would put ketchup on eggs or mac and cheese. Those are the same people who probably shouldn’t be drinking coffee, no matter how much it’s hidden in a beverage. People with developed palates appreciate dark chocolate. These people also want to throw all of their fancy tastes out the window and enjoy a sugary nonsense treat and pretend they are kids again. That’s it, this drink is for adult children and I am proud to be part of those ranks.

For a second I wondered why they didn’t just change the label of this and make it available year round. Then I closed my eyes as I took a sip and all I could think about was Christmas and the winter. Like nog it is tied to the season. You can certainly enjoy it other times of year, but I challenge you to drink a bottle and not think of the holidays. It’s like someone made hot chocolate out of a nice dark chocolate(with a bit of coffee in it I suppose) and then melted candy canes in it before chilling it and somehow making it a bit frothy.

ps. This was my last bottle. I should have bought another case and a diabetes testing kit that I would have certainly needed. 33g of sugar in 9.5oz is a lot.

Website
http://www.starbucks.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Coffee
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 30th, 2017
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Mati Healthy Energy Tropical

Mati Healthy Energy Tropical

Okay, I should probably go back and re-review the cherry version of this. I just read what I wrote and after drinking the tropical version I think I was just being difficult. Pretty much my main issue with the cherry was that I misunderstood what it was and had prepared myself for yerba mate and was shocked when that was not what it was. How can I hold the company responsible for me being a dummy? With this can of tropical I knew what I was getting into and I found it to be a much more enjoyable experience.

Like the can says this is “Healthy Energy.” Most energy drinks are full of chemicals that you are not quite sure how to pronounce. This is juice, water and guayusa leaves. There isn’t even any sugar added. All of the sweetness comes from the juice and trust me it does its job. It does have a base guayusa flavor, which can be a bit odd when you’re not used to it. Not to worry though because you quickly become acclimated and after a few sips it no longer stands out. There are a handful of fruit juices in here doing the rest of the flavoring, but to me the tropical they speak of seems to be a mixture of lime and passion fruit. It’s a combo that I have never had before and I need to have a lot more of.

This is bubbly, sweet, and pleasant tasting. I would enjoy it even if it weren’t functional. As it is I also get the added bonus of a bunch of caffeine, antioxidants, and potassium. I feel like I’m winning all over the place. It could also be that the caffeine is hitting me pretty hard.

Website
http://www.matienergy.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Energy Drink
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 29th, 2017
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Kra Sports Drink Fruit Punch

Kra Sports Drink Fruit Punch

In a recent review I spoke of how no sports drink company will be able to overthrow the dynasty of Gatorade. It has become to ingrained in our culture that it’s essentially on the same level as Jello, Xerox , or Kleenex. Many have tried to replace it and all have failed. If there were a movie made about the fall of big Gatorade Kra would be our star. Rising from humble beginnings and fighting against all odds to take down the behemoth.
Sadly, at this point this is only fiction, but I feel a change is going to come. My faith comes from the thought that started this product to begin with; “Why do athletes, who are so committed to taking care of their bodies, hydrate with super-sugary, chemical-filled sports drinks?” The truth is that there aren’t many readily available options and young athletes are taught to bow down before the G at such an early age that they rarely question it. Kra created an alternative. It is a sports drink made from water, juice, minimal (real) sugar, and sea salt. There is nothing artificial in here, which means there is nothing to feel bad about ingesting. It tastes like a slightly salty juice and that salt goes a long way to not only replenish your body, but to also make the flavor a bit more interesting. It in no way tastes like a ton of salt was dumped in here, it’s just around the edges, but it sticks to your lips a little making it intriguing.

This is like a Juicy Juice for adult athletes (sure kids can drink it too). It does it’s intended job and does it while tasting great and not being syrupy. Soon people will chant “The king is dead. Long live the king.”

Website
http://https://www.drinkkra.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 29th, 2017
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Private Selection Irish Cream Cream Soda

Private Selection Irish Cream Cream Soda

I have never had an Irish Cream before. In fact I wasn’t quite sure what it was. I assumed it was some sort of creamy liquor that people put into coffee, hence the saying “Irish up your coffee.” Look at me putting the obvious dots together. Turns out I was correct. One thing I do know in the world of Irish Cream is Baileys and the reason I actually know anything about Baileys is the Old Greg sketch from Mighty Boosh. It’s the best thing the show ever created and it includes some fine art based on Baileys.

With all that said, this tastes pretty much how I would have expected it to. It’s a cream soda with the tiniest hint of coffee in it. It’s quite delicious and I’m enjoying it way more than I had anticipated. The coffee is there enough to make you notice it but it’s subtle enough so that it is still primarily a cream soda and not just a coffee pop.

Website
http://www.privateselection.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Coffee, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 27th, 2017
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RISE Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Original Black

RISE Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Original Black

Before I can say anything else about this product I have to acknowledge the fact that this is the second can I have drank and both of them made the craziest noises when I cracked them open. It was like I was opening a vault door to some sort of cryogenic chamber. Highly pressurized air came rushing forward and for a moment I was in a scene in a science fiction movie.

Cold brew has been making quite a splash over the past couple of years. Not only are local coffee shops serving it more regularly, but it seems like new companies are popping up every week to see you their ready to drink version. RISE only uses two ingredients in their cold brew, water and coffee beans (organic of course). The thing that makes them stands out in this sea(okay small lake, or maybe a pond?) of new companies is that they infuse it with nitrogen to make it creamy and smooth, which I will attest to, it is. To me this tastes like coffee grounds smelled when I was a kid. It was such a wonderful flavor, but then when I tried it brewed, the taste/scent never matched up. This would have made me a regular coffee drinker at an early age. Like most things that are good it is simple. That is where the power lies. The more garbage you add to a beverage the more you have to worry about things evening out. When it’s a two item process, there is so little that could go wrong, especially when you know how to do a proper brew as RISE does.

In our dystopian future where machines have taken over everything and the only hope humanities has lies in the fact that they can still make delicious coffee, RISE will be king. (that’s what we call a call back in the biz. People like when you explain things like that, right? )

Website
http://risebrewingco.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Coffee
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 24th, 2017
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Starbucks Frappuccino Unicorn

Starbucks Frappuccino Unicorn

I don't understand what just happened. Every sip was different and every sip was strange. It was sour in some sips and just an explosion of some sort of mystery fruit in others. There were also glitter sprinkle sparkles on top.

I don't know what the flavor was. Was it strawberry? I think I read mango somewhere but if I put one next to the other, it wouldn't have been whatever I tasted in this. I mean, is "cotton candy" a fruit? It tasted like cotton candy at some points. Who is this for? Within the ten minutes that I was there, they sold a rather copious amount of them so they're doing something right. It won't last long but if it was up to me, I would have drank a dozen of that illusive Polar Unicorn Kiss that I/we never got to try before I would drink another one of these. Was it bad? I cannot even answer that question. It truly was made of the barf of unicorns.

Website
http://www.starbucks.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Not Listed
Categories
Other/Weird, Smoothie
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on April 19th, 2017
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