Starbucks Cold Brew Cocoa & Honey

Starbucks Cold Brew Cocoa & Honey

This is what all coffee should taste like for me. The quest is over. I go to local (Buffalo) places and try iced mocha coffee from all of them and they're missing something or there's too much of something else. This, though, this is fantastic. It's lightly sweetened and relies on the honey to earn some of its keep. It's got a great chocolate taste but isn't too strong. I read that it has cream in it but it's not thick like it could be. It might be there just to smooth some of the taste out. It's really good. It's not terribly cheap at $3 per bottle and I actually don't know where I can get it in Buffalo, which is a good thing. I was in Erie, PA when I got this guy but I feel like it won't be long before I see them here. It's kind of impossible that this won't be successful in the "test market" that is Erie that it won't trickle out to the rest of the country. For all I know, the takeover could be happening right beneath my nose and I could walk outside and see everyone drinking it like some sponsored episode of the Twilight Zone. Eh, could be worse.

Website
http://www.starbucks.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Coffee
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on July 2nd, 2017
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Batch Craft Soda Brown Sugar Root Beer

Batch Craft Soda Brown Sugar Root Beer

Batch, I’m sorry okay? I know you tried really hard and you like to make things a little quirky, but in this instance it didn’t really do it for me. Root beer is an exceptional flavor, and I don’t know if I’ve ever had one that I didn’t enjoy to some extent, but this tastes like it was half root beer and half…I guess it would be brown sugar soda. The second soda detracts from all of the things that would normally make soda one so great. It’s like the Nothing and it just gobbles up everything in its path, including tasty root beer.

Batch, don’t get me wrong this isn’t terrible. I finished the whole bottle and everything. It’s just that I have such a high standard when it comes to root beer, and you did not live up to it. Perhaps if it were names Brown Sugar Soda with Root Beer Flavoring I would be able to get behind it a bit more for being the uncommon soda that it is. Unfortunately it is named the opposite and it leaves me wanting.

Website
http://www.batchsoda.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Pure Cane Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 29th, 2017
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Mountain Fresh Premium Apple & Guava Juice

Mountain Fresh Premium Apple & Guava Juice

I just got home from spending over two weeks in Australia. The only thing I want to talk about are the animal sanctuaries. We went to one in Perth and I spent hours there hanging out with all of the weirdest critters. I held a koala, for an unusually long time as the attendant just walked into a building. No complaints there. I also hung out with what I can only assume equaled a million kangaroos and wallabies. They are so damn docile there and just want to hang out and eat the food you give them all day. I was more than happy to comply. There were also so many rad birds. I booped a dingo on the nose and he loved it. It was all so great that two days later I dished out the money to go to another one and repeat my experience. Life was great. I would have gone every day if I had the chance. I would have also followed up each trip with a bottle of this amazing juice.

This was probably mostly apple juice, but the guava tastes so strong that it took over the beverage. It was exactly what I wanted it to be. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if it was fresh squeezed. If that was an option I never would have flown home. I would have lived a homeless existence in a foreign country just to be able to get that juice on a regular basis.

Why hasn’t guava been the hot fruit of the season yet in the States? It’s a superior fruit, but it’s not commonly used to flavor things. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fresh one in a store. America rectify this mistake and make my taste buds as happy as Australia did.

Website
http://www.mountainfreshfruitjuices.com.au/
Country
Australia
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Juice
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 26th, 2017
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Nudie Veggie Nudie Carrot Apple Orange Ginger

Nudie Veggie Nudie Carrot Apple Orange Ginger

I keep hearing how great Nudie juices are. the thing is that every time I pick one up I see that it has banana in it, which means I might as well put my money directly in the trash because that is where that juice belongs. Man, bananas are one of the worst.
Luckily I stumbled upon this one which is trash free. People were right, it's completely delicious. It's mostly carrot and orange, which sounds odd when you first think about it, but it's one hell of a combo. Add a little apple juice to it for sweetness and a dash of ginger for a kick and you have a juice to write home about. This is 100% pure juice with no added sweeteners and I could drink it all day long, or at least until I got a gnarly stomach ache. It would be such a tasty pain though.

Website
http://www.nudie.com.au/
Country
Australia
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Ginger, Juice
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 26th, 2017
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Kirks Creaming Soda

Kirks Creaming Soda

Sometimes you find yourself in Australia and you don't want to sit around the house you're staying at, so you go for a walk. After a bit you look at a map on your phone and discover you're near the beach, so you decide to walk there. After awhile you realize it's a lot further than you thought, but you've already gone so far that you simply can't turn back. Man are you thirsty though, so you stop at the only open gas station that you pass and all drinks are like $4 each. You curse Australia for being great, but so expensive (except cake for some reason). You end up with a hole in your wallet and a can of creaming soda in your hand.

This is something different than red cream soda or soda mouse as it is known in Canada. It's fruitier with a little something extra. In fact creaming soda doesn't taste like cream soda much at all. It's still good, but it's a different beast. It also gives you the boost you need to make it to the beach and back, completing your 20km+ walk like the dummy you are.

Website
http://www.coca-colajourney.com.au/brands/kirks
Country
Australia
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 26th, 2017
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Solo Original Lemon

Solo Original Lemon

Australia is a strangely biased place. Everywhere I go cans of coke are $3.50 or more. While Pepsi products range from the $1.50 to $3 range. I mean I'm not going to argue with them Coke products are generally better, but it still seems crazy that there is such a price difference. I kept seeing this along with the Pepsi products in gas stations and meant to pick it up since we don't have it back home. I'm not a huge fan of 7Up so I continuously skipped it (mostly for water in an attempt to pretend-consume healthy foods).

Suddenly I have found myself with one being placed in my hands at a show. It is much better than I anticipated. It's straight up carbonated lemonade, including 5% lemon juice. Sure it's overly sweet and sodalike but it's better than any lemon lime I've ever had.

To be fair if this was in the US it would be garbage because instead of bring sweetened by real sugar there would be high fructose corn syrup in it and it would be a thick, syrupy mess.

Website
http://www.solobev.com/
Country
Australia
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Lemonade, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 25th, 2017
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Cawston Press Pressed and Blended Brilliant Beetroot

Cawston Press Pressed and Blended Brilliant Beetroot

PSA: Do not be concerned when you drink an entire carton of this some evening, and then wake up groggy in the middle of the night to have to go to the bathroom. The discoloration that you see in the toilet is not blood, just beet juice. There is no need to be thrown into a panic for two seconds before you remember that you consumed an unnatural amount of this juice and that it's a perfectly normal response from your body.

This is nothing but apple juice and beet juice and it's wonderful. I know beets aren't for everyone, but I love their earthiness in juice form. The apple juice cuts that a bit, but it's still there enough to remind you that what you're consuming most certainly must be extremely healthy. You also probably shouldn't consume as much as I did, but you know what? Live your life. Make your own choices.

Website
http://www.cawstonpress.com/
Country
United Kingdom
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Juice
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 25th, 2017
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Bunderim Ginger Beer & Guarana

Bunderim Ginger Beer & Guarana

I've been in Australia for about two weeks now. Let me tell you, eating vegetarian and avoiding eggs and cheese is not an easy task here. As a result I've spent my fair share of time at grocery stores cobbling together meals that I don't need to cook. I kept seeing 4-packs of this ginger beer, but I've been trying to limit my soda intake so I was hoping I would come across single cans in a gas station. It didn't happen, but I did find a 4-packs today on sale for less than a single bottle of Bundaberg is, so I grabbed it to share.

This is fantastic. I wasn't quite sure how the guarana would mingle with the ginger, but they got "right chatty" as I'm sure someone around here would say. As it turns out they combine into something great. The result really reminds me of Skeleteens sodas from the 90s (Brain Wash/Love Potion 69).
The ginger doesn't have a typical burn. It's transformed into something new. It tastes intense and almost hurts your throat to drink it. I mean that in a very positive way. So much for limiting my soda and sharing. My mom is going to be so disappointed in me.

Website
http://www.buderimginger.com/
Country
Australia
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Ginger, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 25th, 2017
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Kirks Olde Stoney Ginger Beer

Kirks Olde Stoney Ginger Beer

I'm in Australia. I really have no idea what I did right in my life to get here. I've spent more than 20 years playing in bands and making friends through music. Now people who live 7 hours away from me have dragged me halfway across the globe to the place that is the furthest away from home I could possibly be and still be on Earth. Sometimes life is pretty great.

My main objectives for this trip were to hang out with koalas/ kangaroos and drink a buttload of ginger beer. The second half of my plans started earlier than I expected when my 30+ hours of travel was filled with flight attendants serving me as much Bundaberg as I could fit into my digestive system. Now I'm at a house show in Perth (because where else would I be?) And a new friend handed me this unfamiliar can of ginger beer. My friends know what I like.

This is made by the Coca-Cola company and it tastes like it. It's quite good, but it feels like a safe version of ginger beer. The kind an older relative would keep in the fridge and serve to the kids. It's ginger beer with training wheels. It's a bit lighter tasting than what I'm used to, with a more subdued burn. It's a bit smooth and tastes like a strong ginger beer was mixed with plain soda water. I would say it lives in the gaps between ginger ale and beer. It's also pretty sweet, coming in at 47g of sugar pee serving.

Like I said it is enjoyable, but in a country where Bundaberg is king and can be found all over the place, I doubt I will pick up another can.

Website
http://www.coca-colajourney.com.au/brands/kirks
Country
Australia
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 25th, 2017
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Pure Leaf Black Tea Pomegranate

Pure Leaf Black Tea Pomegranate

I'm not going to push any product on this review but this isn't good. It's not bad but it does not taste good. I drank a third of the bottle and am not going to waste my time drinking the rest. Don't get me wrong, I have a long track record of liking Pure Leaf. Their unsweetened is great as is their "Just a Tad Sweet." Their more boutique flavors are great also. This...there is a reason this was at Big Lots. When you buy drinks from Big Lots, you buy them with a little asterisk attached. Sometimes they're diamonds in the rough like the Unsweetened Peace Tea and sometimes they're not. You can't be mad about it.

This has the aftertaste of pomegranate but while you're drinking it, you get a taste of something undesirable. It's hard to pinpoint but it tastes artificial. I think it just has a strange tinge to it. Strange that it tastes better a minute after you drink it but it's when you're in the moment that counts and when you are in the think of it, it's not good. No sir. Peace out, two-thirds of this bottle.

Website
http://theloveofleaves.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on June 23rd, 2017
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