Jason Draper (2751 reviews)

Jason plays bass in Failures' Union and owns/operates a screen printing shoppe called Wooden T-Shirts. He also eats veggie dogs by the gallon.

Yachak Yerba Mate Berry Blue

Yachak Yerba Mate Berry Blue

Ladies, Gentlemen and everyone in-between, I am here to spread the gospel of yerba mate. It is the superior brewed beverage and that includes all teas and coffee. It is the best as you should worship it for the golden god that it is. I am obviously glad that more companies are popping up who put out this wonderful beverage. Not only is it delicious, but it is also my favorite form of caffeine intake.

The mate flavor in this here can of Yachic isn't as strong as my favorite, Guayaki. The water to tea ratio is off and it is causing it to lack the earthiness that you normally get from a yerba mate. Anything that is lost from that imbalance is made up for by the taste of the blueberry though. It's flavored with organic blueberry juice, which causes it to actually tastes like the berries instead of the usual fake flavoring. This may taste more like a “regular” tea, but it at least tastes like a great version of that. This is what I would expect Arizona’s take on yerba mate to be, but you know with better added flavors.

Website
http://yachak.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 29th, 2018
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Rip It Energy Fuel Stinger Mo

Rip It Energy Fuel Stinger Mo

So everyone thinks that most energy drinks taste like Wonka candy right? You know the candy company that came into reality from a fictional company in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. From Nerds, to Spree, to Runts, and most commonly SweeTarts energy drinks are mimicking the flavor of these candies. At some horrible point in a dystopian future Wonka is going to just give in and release their own line of energy drinks with a “if you can’t beat them, join them” mentality. I mean if sugar gives kids crazy energy and makes them go nuts why not go all in? Perhaps it has already happened and Rip It is really Wonka under a pseudonym because this really tastes like Spree. It’s crazy how much these things taste like candy from my youth. Let’s make that an internet rumor. Spread the word, delicious candy is now delicious energy drinks. I’m sure it will end with someone getting sued.

Website
http://www.ripitenergy.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Categories
Energy Drink
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 28th, 2018
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Teavana Craft Iced Tea Mango Black Tea

Teavana Craft Iced Tea Mango Black Tea

When there is a line of beverages comes out that is on the fancier side of things I get excited. I dust of my spat and polish up the old monocle in preparation for greatness. More often than not there is one flavor in said line that just doesn’t live up the uniqueness of the others. For Teavana it is the mango black tea. I can be all uppity and say something along the lines of, “why don’t they make a raspberry one while they are at it?” Mango has become a fairly commonplace flavoring of tea nowadays and it certainly does not like up to the expectations that one has for say a Passion Tango or a Pineapple berry Blue. I certainly wouldn’t de-collapse my opera hat for such a peasant’s beverage.

Yeah, all of the above is me being a pretentious buffoon. This tea is wonderful and it is incredibly far from being a tea that anyone would call common. The ingredients are listed as tea infusion, sugar, natural flavors and citric acid. Now most mango flavored teas use some sort of syrup that isn’t actually derived from the fruit and it shows. This tastes like someone cut up a half dozen mangos and let their juicy sweetness just soak into the brewed tea. This tastes so much like actual mango that I am a bit dumbfounded that mango juice isn’t an ingredient. Teavana you’ve won me over yet again. Keep them coming.

Website
http://www.republicoftea.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 26th, 2018
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Naked Nutrition Rice

Naked Nutrition Rice

Vegan protein powders are surprisingly on the rise. I’ve been seeing a bunch of them that are mostly made from pea protein. They are also normally flavored (chocolate or vanilla) and sweetened with stevia. I could definitely do without the last part. I would rather no sweetener in the protein shake than have that flavor lingering around. Naked decided to go in a different direction and made this out of brown rice protein. Keeping true to their name there is also no other added ingredients in here. It’s simply 25g of rice protein. It also just tastes like watered down brown rice. That sounds bad, but it’s fairly pleasant. This is a natural, vegan protein supplement that I can get behind. Death to zero calorie sweeteners.

Website
http://nkdnutrition.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 26th, 2018
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Me & the Bees Lemonade Prickly Pear

Me & the Bees Lemonade Prickly Pear

True story: Just outside of Buffalo there is a barn whose side has been painted with a mural of bees and it says “When we go we’re taking you all with us.” With the numbers of bees on this planet dropping that is a terrifying thought. They do a lot of good here on Earth, and their disappearance is concerning. Mikaila (the human child that helped form the company that makes these lemonades knows this a problem so she donates some of her profits to organizations who are working to help the bees. If you don’t think this is wonderful in itself, keep in mind that she started doing this when she was 11. She’s a better person than most adults I know and that is before you take into account that her drinks are delicious.

This lemonade is made with real lemon juice and cane sugar. In my opinion a beverage that does not have those two ingredients isn’t lemonade, but you’d be surprised with what companies try to pass off. It also has honey in it, you know, because of the bees). This proper beverage is tart and refusing with some sweetness to even it out. On top of all of that there is prickly pear in here, which is actually not a pear at all, but a cactus. It adds a nice fruity flavor that is vaguely melon tasting. Overall it’s quite tasty and with the weather finally breaking it’s a nice treat. Maybe I’ll drive out to the mural and sip on a bottle pretending that I’m a street tough with a soft spot for bees and an indifference to the human race.

Website
http://www.meandthebees.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Lemonade
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 22nd, 2018
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Hype Energy Up Maximum Punch

Hype Energy Up Maximum Punch

From Poland, to Knoxville, TN, and then all the way to Buffalo, NY this brand is quite a world traveler. The question is was all of that travelling worth it? I mean they are bringing that standard blend of energy drink flavor to the people with their original blend, but so are about fifty other companies, many doing it “locally.” To stand out Hype decided to switch things up and while they were doing so they slipping and smashed their dang face on the way down. This drink is definitely a misstep. It has that children’s chewable vitamin flavor that most energy drinks have, but along with that they decided to mix the taste of children’s aspirin as well as some adult vitamins. Perhaps that wouldn’t have been so bad if it sat underneath a nice fruit punch flavor, but things got all mixed up and the fruit punch is the minor flavor in here and all the weirdness is so much stronger than it. It’s like someone watered down Hawaiian Punch and then ground up a whole mess of vitamins and aspirin and mixed it in. It’s not the best. Functionally it works great and I got the much needed energy I was looking for on an overnight drive, but I was really forcing myself to get through this can.

Website
http://www.hype.com/
Country
Poland
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Energy Drink
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 20th, 2018
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Qii Oral Care Lemongrass Ginger Green Tea

Qii Oral Care Lemongrass Ginger Green Tea

Ladies and Gentlemen, Please take this moment to enter your bathrooms, open your medicine cabinets, grab your toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash and throw them directly in the trash. You no longer need them. Think of all the hours you have spent throughout your life cleaning your teeth, when you could have simply been drinking a can of this tea after every meal. Say goodbye to toothbrush stains on your shirts (if you don’t know how to brush in a proper fashion) and say hello to a ginger green tea that has a lemongrass aftertaste. It tastes like real ginger and it tastes like real lemongrass, and it tastes like real tea. The reason being that they are all real in here and it’s wonderful. On top of that perfect blend they add their XyVita compound on top of it and that is what is there for oral care. It is a mixture of Xylitol, vegetable glycerin, sodium bicarbonate, and sodium alginate. Actually my dentist just called and yelled at me. I was also told that 9 out of 10 dentists would tell me that I am a moron for throwing all of my teeth cleaning utensils away. This is not a replacement, but to be used in conjuncture (it reduced the acidity in your mouth). I don’t really care. All that matters to me is that it tastes pleasant and that I can’t really taste the Xylitol. That could have really messed things up.

Website
http://drinkqii.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Xylitol
Categories
Ginger, Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 19th, 2018
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Honest Green Dragon Tea

Honest Green Dragon Tea

Honest has had a lot of tea on the market over the years. Throughout their dozens and dozens of flavors there have been quite a few green teas under different names. I will go out on a limb and say all of them are wonderful. Honest is a company that doesn’t mess around and they make nothing but quality products. Looking online, it seems that this is still just the Green Dragon Tea with Passion Fruit. For some reason it doesn’t taste the same as I remember. The passion fruit flavor isn’t as strong and it’s more of just a “just a tad sweet” green tea with a little lemon in it (and some other light flavors). Whatever you want to call it, it’s tasty and I’m not complaining. Green tea is always fantastic when it’s not buried underneath ridiculous amounts of sweeteners. I’ll just take their word for it and sip in pleasure.

Website
http://www.honesttea.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 15th, 2018
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Naked Nutrition Energy Fruit Punch

Naked Nutrition Energy Fruit Punch

Oh boy, this one is a doozy! We don’t review many non-ready-to-drink beverages, but when a company contacts us about sending samples for review we aren’t going to say no. I mean, they are still things you drink, it just takes a little more work on your end. I was really expecting to be sent a one serving sample of this, but Naked were very nice and sent a full sized 1lb container. It is much appreciated.

So it’s been a slow Sunday in mid-April and the weather is pure garbage. I had no plans this afternoon, so I decided to go to the gym and take this for a test drive. The directions say to mix one of two scoops into 8oz of water (or your favorite beverage and mix it thoroughly. The nutritional facts say that one serving is two scoops so I did just that. Unfortunately I have to say that it did not taste all that pleasant. The fruit punch flavor was very much overshadowed by the taste of supplements. It’s a bit chemically. I would advise someone to mix it into something other than water to avoid that. If I use it again I’m going to try mixing it into some vanilla seltzer, which seems weird to drink before working out. I’m gonna be all burps.

Okay, so the flavor is not all that great. That can be acceptable, as it is a functional product and not meant for the pleasure of one’s taste buds. This is some strong stuff though. It’s meant to help push you in your workouts and give you “clean” energy. I can attest that it does that very much. I also had some side effects though. Now, it’s happened very rarely, but it has happened that I have gotten the “Niacin Flush” from certain strong energy drinks. For those who don’t’ know what that is, it is when you take too much vitamin B3 and you get warm, look like you have a sunburn, and experience a tingly/burning /itchy sensation. In the past when it has happened It was in my face and top of my head. With this product my whole body felt insane. If I didn’t know what it was I would have been highly concerned, searched Wed MD and convinced myself I was dying from some exotic disease. Being in the know, I just went on with my workout and this product definitely pushed me more than I normally would have. I did feel completely crazy the entire time and was just aware of my entire body. Then when I toweled off sweat my body just wanted to be touched more (not like that you creep). I’ve never taken Ecstasy, but from how I’ve seen it portrayed in movies and tv, I’m guessing it feels like this to a way crazier extent. Keep in mind I’m not saying this will happen to everyone, but I would suggest starting off with only one scoop and see how that works out for you. I’m going to try again in a few days on my next gym outing and lower my dose and see how that treats me. Hopefully not feeling like a maniac.

Website
http://nkdnutrition.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Pure Cane Sugar
Categories
Energy Drink, Mix/Concentrate, Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 15th, 2018
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Honest Organic Mango Mate Black Tea

Honest Organic Mango Mate Black Tea

It’s never too late to catch up and get with the times. Actually the times seem pretty terrible to me nowadays, so maybe getting with them is not the best of ideas. Let’s rephrase that and say it’s never too late to change and try to better yourself and expand your world view. Honest gets that. They have an organic line, which is always a plus, but more importantly they have started releasing some mate teas. Sure it’s a mix of mate and black tea, but it’s still moving in the right direction and I love it. I’m a sucker for mate so any amount of it is a positive to me. I also see this as a great introduction, or a stepping stone if you will, to get people into yerba mate. I can see stepping into it blind being a bit strange as the earthy flavor could be off-putting if you are expecting it to be like black or green tea. This has a mild earth flavor. It’s smoother because of the black tea ( and the sugar). It’s a great balance between the two. The mango flavor comes from mango puree as well, so that means it’s wonderful. I hope they expand their products into a full yerba mate line. Ahh to dream.

Website
http://www.honesttea.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on April 13th, 2018
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