Product Review: Tart Cherry Black Tea Refresh by Cheribundi

CheribundiTartCherryProduct Information:

Product:  Ready-to-Drink Black Tea Beverage

Where to Buy:  Cheribundi

Product Description:

We made our name with juices that pack 45 tart cherries into each bottle. Though we love these products, one gets the urge to spread their all-natural-juice-loving wings once in a while. This time, our juice makers looked east. To the far east, to be exact.

To the source of fine black tea. The range of benefits in black tea have been touted for centuries. It’s the perfect partner for the nutrients in our cherries.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I love summertime. I love the longer days, the hot weather, the chance to dip my toes in the ocean, and the visits to the Farmer’s Market. Going to my local Farmer’s Market might be my favorite thing, especially when the cherries arrive. For a few short, wonderful weeks there is a plethora of lovely bright red cherries at many of the stalls, and I buy several bags of them for my family to enjoy. In my opinion they are one of the perfect summer fruits. Unfortunately, cherry season is very short here, so I’m often left looking for something with a real cherry taste that I can continue to enjoy throughout the summer. Thanks to Cheribundi I’ve found not only a great cherry drink, but a great cherry tea. Win!

Cheribundi’s Tart Cherry Black Tea Refresh is made from fresh pressed cherries and fresh brewed black tea. The flavor is simply amazing. The cherry juice and tea are well balanced. The tea is brisk while having some depth. There’s a bit of a malt flavor that pairs well with the cherry. The cherry juice gives the tea some sweetness, but since tart cherries are used it’s not an overly sweet flavor. I enjoyed the balance that Cheribundi managed to achieve with this drink. I like that I was drinking a high quality black tea with a super fruity cherry kick. This is so much better than many of the cherry teas I’ve tried that either ended up tasting like cough syrup (yuck.) or highly artificial and candy-like. Having real cherry juice in my iced tea is an absolute yes for me. Now that I’ve tried it I can’t believe I haven’t been drinking this for years!

If you are a fan of cherries then I highly recommend trying this drink. The quality of the tea is top notch, and the added cherry juice adds a refreshing twist on an already tasty beverage. Well done, Cheribundi!

Product Review: Lime Zero Unsweetened Guayusa from Runa

LimeZeroProduct Information:

Step into the limelight – experience bright and refreshing flavor with zero calories.

Learn more about this product here.

Taster’s Review:

I don’t often buy RTD teas/tisanes.  But usually when I’m in the supermarket, I do look over the varieties of teas and tisanes that are available in the ready to drink section.

My biggest issue with RTD teas/tisanes is that they’re usually so loaded with some type of sweetener and often more than one type of sweetener that I can’t taste the tea.  Then it begs the question for me – what’s the difference between this and a soda?  Nothing really, except that the soda has bubbles.  So really, the sweetener has changed the tea into a soda that is more expensive than the typical commercial soda … an expensive soda without bubbles.

So, last week when I was in Chuck’s Produce, this ready to drink Guayusa caught my attention.

The first thing that caught my attention was the price.  It was a featured item that was priced competitively ($ .99 for a bottle, not bad.)  The second thing that caught my attention was the word unsweetened on the top of the label.  This isn’t zero calories because it’s made with stevia or an artificial sweetener that will make me feel queasy.  This has zero calories because there is NO SWEETENER in it at all.

In fact, here is the ingredient list:


Brewed organic guayusa (purified water and organic guayusa leaves**), organic lime juice concentrate, organic lime extract, natural flavors, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).

Now that’s my kind of ingredient list.  OK, I’d like a little more details on what the “natural flavors” are, but, I like that this is has no sugar, no cane syrup, no corn syrup, no stevia, no aspartame, no saccharine, no nothing to make this taste like some sticky, sickeningly sweet, syrupy soda without bubbles.

And what I’m tasting is lime and Guayusa.  The Guayusa has that smooth, slightly earthy and coffee-esque taste that I’ve come to recognize as Guayusa.  The lime is strong in this, but it tastes like real lime juice.  It’s bright and refreshing.  The drink is cool and energizing and it feels clean on the palate, not heavy or inundated with too much sweetener.

I’m really happy that there are some companies out there who are willing to celebrate the flavor of the leaf – even if the leaf in this instance happens to be the leaf of Guayusa and not Camellia Sinensis – my point is that this is the way RTD teas/tisanes should be.  They should be about the leaf and not the sugar!

Japanese Organic Green Tea Powder Packets from Shi Zen


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Shi Zen

Tea Description:

Our organic green tea (sencha) is grown on family farms located in small villages in the foothills of Mount Fuji where farmers pride in their commitment to only harvest crops grown in the way Mother Nature intended. Due to its high elevation, this remote Isagawa-Izumidaira and Kawane region of Shizuoka Prefecture enjoys the perfect combination of clean air, pure water, and fertile soil only found in this area of Japan, which allows for pesticide-free farming. 

In fact, to preserve this way of farming they’ve maintained for centuries, these villages have adopted a strict policy and guidelines on organic farming, and not only tea farmers but also fruit and vegetable farmer’s of this region strive to provide the safest and best quality pesticide-free produce to their customers.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Cool “iced tea” refreshment doesn’t get any easier than these Japanese Organic Green Tea Powder Packets from Shi Zen!  Seriously … all you have to do is take a smaller water bottle (500ml size) full of freshly filtered water – or if you’re on the go and you’re buying one of the bottles from the convenience store, that works too! – open the bottle, pour in the fine, powdered green tea from two of the little pixie style packets and then screw the cap on tight and give it a really good shake!

That’s it!  No measuring and no special tools required for preparation.  All you need is a small water bottle full of water and two of these packets.  (For 8 ounces, just use 1 packet of the green tea powder!)  These are great for on the go, and it’s not only tasty but it’s also much healthier than any of those sugar-laden soft drinks that you might reach for when the weather turns warm and you need re-hydration.

greenteapowderThe powdered green tea becomes instantly incorporated (there was no sediment at the bottom, and you don’t have to keep shaking the bottle to make sure it stays mixed!) and the flavor is delightful.  There’s no sugar added to this and no artificial flavors, so you’re getting pure, green, Japanese Sencha tea and all the benefits of the whole leaf!

The taste is sweet, vegetative and slightly buttery.  It tastes light and crisp.  This is not Matcha – although it might look like it (and I did categorize it as Matcha because it is a powdered tea leaf), and it doesn’t have that characteristic thick, creamy texture that I’d often associate with Matcha.  This tastes and feels lighter … fresher!  It’s really refreshing and it is very invigorating too!  It’s a great way to “recharge” at mid-day when you’re starting to feel a little tuckered out … and because I prepared it in cold water … it’s really easy to chug down to quench the thirst.

This is my first experience with a tea from Shi Zen … and it’s a good one.  I’m looking forward to trying some of their other teas!