02 December, 2010

Steaz Organic Teaz

Anytime something is spelled wrong on a label, I get thinking.  I wonder why the hell people can't spell things normally, for starters. And I never think "Hey, that's really clever," no, I usually consider pluralizing with a z or spelling things with an initial K instead of  C to be an irritatingly cutesy (if not plain stupid) marketing gimmick for something that probably sucks.

Allow me to present Steaz Organic Iced Teaz.

Steaz bottled teas are usually pretty good, for the record. I'm not talking about Teaz® here, I'm talking about the plural of the word tea. I've had their regular black tea and it's been good, and the white tea is good enough that I don't ask myself why I didn't make my own damn tea, but as soon as they're slapping pictures of happy tea farmers on the can and adding fruit to it, something happens. It gets nasty.

Steaz Organic Fruit Teaz come in six varieties: Green tea with Blueberry Pomegranate Acai, Green Tea with Peach, Black Tea with Lemon, and White tea with Pomegranate and Lime, unsweetened Green Tea with Lemon, and Green Tea with Mint. I'll be reviewing the first four here, because that's all I could find.

Where do I even start? I'll start with Green Tea Peach. The flavor was certainly that of green tea, but Dave and I found only the barest hint of peach flavor to it. Dave actually described it as, "Like someone walked a peach by it." And that's fairly accurate. The peach flavor was there, but it was more of an "essence" than a real "flavor." My mother, on the other hand, thought that it was "very peachy." She also likes things more subtly flavored than Dave and I, so maybe we're just the wrong market for theze Teaz.

The Green Tea with Blueberry Pomegranate Acai wasn't much better.  There was the typical green tea astringency with a vague fruit flavor there, but the blueberry and pomegranate flavors just sort of muddied each other together without letting either of them be distinct enough to really enjoy.  Acai might have been in the mix, but it was indistinguishable.

Next up was the White Tea with Pomegranate and Lime. My friend Jess was over when I cracked this one open, and I let her take the first sip of it. She described it as "Gymbag Tea." This time, the White Tea's natural flavor was overpowered by a flavor reminiscent of dirt, artificial limes, and something kind of soapy. It was such a completely nasty tea that I ended up dumping  it out, and nothing of value was lost. Everyone in the house who tried it had the same expression on their face: ( ゚д゚)

The best of the ones we found was the Black Tea with Lemon, but even this was flawed.  The lemon flavor was completely out of proportion with the tea, and it tasted more like a blend of lemonade and tea than a tea flavored with lemon.  Props for the tea not being heavily sweetened - there was just a touch of "evaporated cane juice" to take the sharp edges off the lemon and tea, but not enough to make a sickly-sweet Liptonesque concoction - but otherwise still not what I was expecting.


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