At the end of January, I was contacted by Honest Tea to give an honest review of their products. They dropped off some samples on my doorstep, since they are also headquartered in Austin. I was overly excited to try them out, and had tasted their product a few months prior at an Austin Food Blogger Alliance event. When I received the email asking if I'd like to try out the samples, I was more than happy to do so. I recruited my husband and our friend Jeff to help me try them out and see what they thought about their drinks.
Before we start with the reviews, here's a quick bio for each taste tester:
Kelsey | Founder, The Little Red Journal
Born and raised in the country, my mother would set a jar on the porch on warm sunny days with a few bags of tea, and brew us up what she simply called, "Sun Tea". We always sweetened it like crazy, but it's a taste I'll never forget.
Kendan | The Biggest Deep Blue Something fan
While Kendan prefers iced Earl Grey tea, during childhood he grew up around mostly sweet tea drinkers and likes to drink unsweetened tea. He frequently would shake his head at his wife Kelsey, as she poured sugar into her tea.
Jeff | Avid Tea Drinker Since Childhood
With Jeff's strong tea background as a child growing up in an Asian family, his knowledge of all things tea made him a perfect candidate to review Honest Tea. As the years have passed, his interest in teas has grown and his refined taste buds.
Jeff: It smells like fruit punch. It’s really fragrant at first when you first smell it, but the smell doesn’t exactly translate over the taste. It’s not bad, it’s just - I’m not sure if it’s the sweetener that is throwing me off, but… It has more of a flowery taste than passion fruit. I would prefer it be unsweetened. The sweetness takes away from some of that tea.
Kelsey: I like the light hint of sweetness that is in it. I have never tasted a passion fruit before!
Kendan: Yeah, I think it takes a little while to get used to it.
Jeff: It’s not brewed too strong to where it’s bitter. It’s just about right.
Kelsey: Yeah, I like sweet tea. I’m used to Texas tea, where's it's nothing but sugar.
Jeff: It’s kind of hard to screw up tea.
Jeff: Yep, it’s pretty good. It’s just like iced tea.
Kendan: I like this one the best because it’s just black tea.
Kendan: [mixes lemonade with black tea] Yeah, yeah that’s pretty good. They should look into that market, as well. Mix them together.
Jeff: It’s got a nutty flavor. The lemonade is really good but what threw me off at first was the sweetener. There’s a little bit of an aftertaste, but it’s pretty good.
Kelsey: Wow, this is pretty good. There is something nutty about it.
Kendan: I would say the lemonade and black tea are the best and they should mix them!
Kelsey: Kendan, mix one for me.
[ Kendan mixes drink]
Kelsey: Oh yeah, I like that!
Jeff: For the sweetened ones, at least they are not overly sweet. The sweetness doesn’t overpower the tea.
Kendan: It’s in the background. Others are overly sweet.
Jeff: Yeah, others are like sugar water.