Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Aiya
Similar to Aiya’s flagship Ceremonial Matcha, Matcha to Go is intended to be used with water exclusively so as to enjoy the pure, smooth tea flavor. Either cold or hot, simply open the single-serve stick, add directly to water and quickly stir – there is no need to sift first or even whisk!
Matcha to Go Sticks are designed to make Matcha drinks as quickly and easily as possible. By blending Matcha with dietary fiber, we have eliminated Matcha clumping, making it easier to mix into hot water with just a spoon. For an Iced-Matcha on the go, just pour the stick into a bottle of water, shake and enjoy!
All of our Matcha is grown and produced in Nishio city in Aichi prefecture, known the world over as the cradle of the finest Matcha for more than 800 years.
Learn more about this tea here.
I have enjoyed many different teas from Aiya, so when they approached me to sample their new Matcha-To-Go sticks, I was excited. They have some of the VERY BEST Matcha that I’ve ever tried so if this new product was anything like the Matcha teas that I’ve sampled in the past, I knew it was going to be really good.
And it is!
The product label states that this Matcha can be enjoyed both hot or cold, and for the purposes of this review, I decided to try this tea both ways. First, I tried it cold. I grabbed my 16.9 ounce water bottle that was chilling in the fridge. Then I added one of the “pixie” stick packs of the Matcha into the bottle, screwed on the cap and gave it a vigorous shake or two.
Mmm! Tasty! I’ve tried quite a few of these convenient “pixie stick” Matcha packs at this point and some are better than others. This one is one of the very best that I’ve tried. I can taste the quality of the Matcha here. This is a really top quality Matcha! It is sweet and it has that silky texture that you expect from a high quality Matcha. No bitterness whatsoever!
This is sweet and buttery. It has a vegetal flavor, of course, with a creamy texture and a buttery flavor to complement the texture.
This is the kind of “instant” tea that I can enthusiastically recommend to those who are looking for the ideal tea while on the go. It is everything that you would expect from a top notch Matcha, but prepared in a water bottle so that you can take it with you.
Then I decided to prepare it hot. After I had prepared it the way I would normally prepare a chawan of Matcha, I wished I had instead gone a less traditional route and tried stirring it in a tea mug or something, like someone who didn’t have the “proper tools” to enjoy Matcha would. But, I didn’t think about that when I started preparing this. I thought: Matcha? OK, I need my chawan. But really, you don’t need a chawan. You can prepare Matcha in a cereal bowl … or as I eluded to above, you could prepare one of these pixies of Matcha in a tea mug or other drinking vessel.
When it came to stirring, I grabbed my chasen (bamboo whisk) and again, I wish I would have thought to grab a spoon instead and tried to stir it the way someone who was less familiar with Matcha might approach their first experience with this tea. Oh well! A spoon would work just fine, although you won’t get very much froth with a spoon.
Then again, with this particular Matcha product, I didn’t get a lot of froth anyway. It does froth up a little bit, but not nearly as much as a traditional ceremonial Matcha would. And the froth disappears really quickly.
But the flavor that I expect from a ceremonial Matcha is there! It tastes great! Sweet with absolutely no bitterness. Smooth and creamy. Buttery notes and hints of cacao that are more noticeable in this hot version than they were in the cold bottle. I don’t notice anything from the fiber except for the possibility of a somewhat thicker texture. It’s barely noticeable and I only noticed it because I was trying to focus on whether or not I was noticing anything from the dietary fiber. So … it could have all been in my head.
Anyway … this is a superb to-go instant tea! One of the best products of it’s kind, if you’re a Matcha lover or just someone who appreciates good tea and wants something of high quality to-go, this product is for you.
It starts with certified organic and fair trade green tea sourced from around the world – we then brew our tea with the most flavorful fruits that are rich in antioxidants and finished with a hint of organic cane sugar for a healthy and delicious refreshment that will enhance your senses. And becuase our farms are Fair Trade Certified™, we ensure equal pay, better health care and equal opportunities for our farmers – so they too can reach new heights as well.
Learn more about this product here.
I’ve said before that I’m not the biggest fan of RTD (Ready to Drink) teas that are available in just about any convenience store or grocery store. Most of them are crafted primarily of sugar or other sweeteners. They tend to be so full of sweetener and flavoring that the drinker can’t even taste the tea!
Occasionally, I come across one that’s different or at least, I come across one that seems to promise to be different. This can of Organic Lime Pomegranate iced green tea from steaz says “Lightly Sweetened” on it, and that’s what immediately caught my attention about it. Other eye catching features: “Organic” and “Fair Trade.” Two other things that I appreciated.
So, I’ll give it a try.
The description above states that there is a “hint of organic cane sugar.” However, the ingredient list tells a slightly different tale:
INGREDIENTS: Filtered water, organic evaporated cane juice, natural pomegranate & lime flavors, organic lemon juice, fair trade certified™ organic green tea.
When the ingredient is second on a list five ingredients, that suggests to me that maybe there’s a little more than just a “hint” of sugar in this. Also, after reading the ingredient list, I’m a little disturbed by the fact that the green tea is the LAST ingredient on the list! What?!?
And unfortunately, with this tea, you can taste the ingredients as they’re listed. I taste more sweetener and flavoring than I do green tea.
That said, this drink does have some redeeming qualities. It is a tasty drink. The lime is the strongest of the flavors, but I taste a sweet-tart pomegranate note in there too. While I do taste more sugar than I do tea, it isn’t TOO sweet or cloyingly so. This isn’t as sweet as say … the typical soda pop would be. My teeth don’t feel as though they’ve been coated with sugar as I drink this beverage.
It’s a tasty, refreshing beverage. I do wish I could taste more tea than sugar or pomegranate and lime. I feel like this has been marketed as a tea product and as an organic product for the health appeal without any real focus on the tea. Those who are trying to make “healthier” choices while shopping would probably buy this. This isn’t a drink for tea drinkers, it’s a drink for those who probably have never really tried green tea and think that this is what green tea is supposed to taste like.
Step into the limelight – experience bright and refreshing flavor with zero calories.
Learn more about this product here.
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:
INGREDIENTS: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!
Oolong tea unfolds its floral honey and light caramel essence, resting on a blanket under the midday sun and sprinkling sweet sugar cane on a pillow of daydreams.
Learn more about this product here.
My oldest daughter brought me a bottle of this tea recently, so I figured I’d give it a try. I can’t recall ever having tried a RTD Oolong tea, so this may very well be a first for me!
The first thing that I notice is that there is no sediment at the bottom of the bottle. This appeals to me immediately, because that sediment … just isn’t attractive. Yeah, I know, just give it a shake and then it dispenses the sediment throughout the tea. But, I’m drinking that! I strain the tea that I brew myself before I drink it because I don’t like floaties in my tea. The fact that the sediment is there means floaties if I shake it into the tea, or if I don’t, I may be sacrificing flavor. I don’t like either option.
So, when I find a RTD tea without the sediment, I’m a happy tea drinker. I’m also happy about the ingredient list here:
Water, Organic Oolong Tea, Organic Cane Sugar, Citric Acid.
Woot! I’ve been kind of hard on Tazo products in the past, and for good reason, but, this one … this one may just be worthy of some praise.
My first impression: Not too sweet! I’m liking that immediately. It has a light sweetness to it, it doesn’t taste syrupy or like it’s more sugar than tea. That’s my biggest problem with the RTD teas. They’re way too sweet. I am liking that while there is a pleasing honey-caramel sweetness to this, it isn’t an overpowering element, and I think that some of these sweet notes are coming from the Oolong tea and not the sugar.
My biggest complaint about this is probably that it’s chilled. Sure, I like iced tea. It’s a great refresher. But, I think Oolong needs to be served hot to get the most flavor out of it. I have on occasion made iced Oolong tea, but I usually use a Formosa Oolong for this because the deeper flavor of the Oolong isn’t too transformed by the chill. Something happens to the flavor of tea when it goes from hot to cold. Sometimes … it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. With Oolongs, I find that the flavors begin to mute and there is such a lovely complexity to an Oolong that you don’t want to obscure it by chilling it.
But, I am still getting a nice Oolong flavor here. I’m picking up on some floral notes and hints of fruit notes (peach). It’s sweet and it has that thick texture that I’ve come to expect from an Oolong.
I’d give this tea extra points for the fact that it’s a RTD that’s not too sweet. Bonus points for that! I’d subtract a few points, though, because I’m missing the complexity that I seek when I sit down to enjoy an Oolong. That said, it’s a refreshing beverage that if I were to see this in the refrigerated section of a convenience store and I’m thirsty, I just might grab it based solely on the fact that I’m pleased that it’s not overly sweet, it’s made from organic ingredients and there’s not a heavy sediment collection at the bottom of the bottle.
Tea Type: Green Iced Tea (Ready to Drink/Prepared Drink)
Where To Find: Dutch Bros. Coffee
OK, so my youngest daughter’s latest “thing” is the Italian sodas from Dutch Bros. You know what I’m talking about right? Basically, it’s like club soda that’s been infused with Torani Syrup and then generously topped with whipped cream and/or infused with a dollop of cream (both of those are optional). As we were sitting in the drive through, waiting to place an order for her after ballet class treat, I noticed “Torani Infused Teas” on the menu and my curiosity was piqued.
So, I asked the clerk what it was and was told that they add the Torani syrup to either green or black tea. Then he listed off the flavors of Torani syrup that they have and when he said Grapefruit, I decided I’d try a Grapefruit Flavor Infused Green Tea from Dutch Bros. Coffee. I mean … I figured the worst that could happen is that it tastes like an overly sweet tea much like the ready to drink teas that you get at the corner convenience store.
My first sip of the beverage – yep, that’s what it is. It’s a very sweet tea with more grapefruit flavor than tea flavor and an abundance of sugary sweetness that overpowers the tea notes to oblivion. This drink … well, it was … alright. Drinkable. Something that I’d be able to finish but not something for which I’d want to return to Dutch Bros.
But then something impressive happened. My husband told the clerk that I’m a tea snob and very picky about my tea. When the clerk asked me how I liked the tea, I said, “It’s drinkable.” My husband translated this to the clerk to say, “That’s a compliment from her.”
Ha! My husband fancies himself a comedian. I’ve tried to explain to him that just because our pre-teen daughter and her friends find him entertaining does not mean that he could make a living as a stand-up comic.
When I say drinkable, basically, what I mean is that this tastes alright, but it’s too sweet and it’s not something I’d buy again. I can drink it but would I call it tea? No.
Upon hearing that the infused tea drink was merely “drinkable,” the clerk takes back the drink and explains that their drinks are 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Then he made me a new Grapefruit Flavor Infused Tea, this time, using half the syrup that was used the first time around.
This time, it’s actually quite enjoyable. Not just drinkable, but something that put a smile on my face. I have a mildly sweet drink where I’m able to taste both the grapefruit and the green tea. The grapefruit reminds me of the flavor of a Texas pink grapefruit (my favorite). It doesn’t taste like a candified (yes it’s a word, I just made it up) version of grapefruit. It tastes like the Texas pink grapefruit that I cut in half and lightly sprinkled with a little sugar to contrast with the tart bitterness of the fruit. It tastes … yummy!
And I can taste the green tea this time around (the first cup that was made for me, I could not taste green tea). It tastes light and crisp, with a refreshing hint of vegetative flavor. Slightly grassy. It marries nicely with the notes of grapefruit, and there is a pleasing balance between the components of this beverage.
Overall, this was a really tasty tea. Bravo to the clerk at Dutch Bros. for taking a little extra time to make my drink just right for me. I appreciate this kind of customer service, and this tea exceeds what I’d find at the “average” coffee stop.