Sunday, April 7, 2013

Honest Tea: Panel of Three Gives Honest Review

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.
Unsweetened Passion Fruit Green Tea

Kendan: It’s not how you think sweet teas are – it’s not super sweet but I like unsweetened tea.

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!

Just Green Tea

Jeff: I'm not used to drinking green tea cold, but you can definitely taste the green tea in this.

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.

Just Black Tea

Kendan: I like this one the best.

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.

Zero Honest Ade

Jeff: It’s not overloaded with sweeteners. Whoa. What is this? There’s this different taste to it.

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.

Thanks again to Honest Tea for the great samples that they sent me. It was fun to get together and try them out and we really made an afternoon of it. When we moved a couple of weekends ago, I found another Honest Ade in my refrigerator and shouted out to Jeff, who quickly swooped in to grab one. We enjoyed trying these out and would highly recommend them to anyone who's reaching for a tea while at the store!

Kelsey is a passionate vegan living in Houston, Texas, spreading the word about the benefits of eating a healthy, plant-based diet. She's also a minimalist enthusiast, a self-proclaimed financial guru of her household, and founder of The Little Red Journal.

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