Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Kroger Peach Tea Drink Mix Sticks (Kroger)

This actually has a pretty accurate tea taste, at least as far as powders go.
When in self-isolation, it becomes even more crucial to stay hydrated; yet, as I've mentioned on this blog a thousand times, I hate the “taste” of water. I won't repeat the reasons why again (you can search for it on this blog and get more information than you'd care to know), but suffice to say that, unless I'm really active or super dehydrated, I literally have to force it down.

This one is actually way better than I was expecting, assuming you do the smart thing and half a serving size. (What is it with all of these manufacturers putting enough flavor/sweetness for two servings in each single serve stick? I guess I shouldn't be complaining about that, but it makes many of them almost overly aggressive in terms of taste.) And, assuming you're not against the taste of tea, which - much to my surprise thanks to the vague packaging that touts "peach" front and center while almost going out of its way to hide the "tea" part - is actually the main flavor here.

I was expecting a vague tea flavor with an overwhelmingly fake, medicinal peach taste—kinda like the “briskly” flavored canned teas that are just godawful under every single circumstance. And that expectation was only seconded after taking a whiff of the prepared water, which smells strongly like a peach candy convention gone wrong. However, that is not the case here: this is actually pretty accurate, with a brewed tea flavor standing out front and center, flanked by a somewhat realistic peach flavor that is noticeable, but doesn't call attention to itself. It's pretty obviously faked—after all, there's only so much “real” you can cram into a powder, for goodness sake—but it's certainly much closer to the real thing than I would have expected, and really helps to make things refreshing.

Even if you use the whole stick at once, none of the flavors become all that overwhelming: the tea is still the star of the show, albeit much more fakey, and while the artificiality of the peach does become more evident, it's still not as over-the-top as I was expecting. Regardless, I still wouldn't recommend it, though, because halfing a serving stick actually delivers (what I feel is) an optimal balance of flavor, giving you a refreshingly light, slightly sweetened tea taste with just a hint of peach that goes down smooth. Who says somewhat accurate flavors can't be created in a lab?

In other words, if you're a fan of peach tea, this is a decent way to hit most of the mark, without having to steep some tea bags, or keep peach nectar on hand; the $1.29 price tag (for 10 sticks) also gives it some strong value proposition, especially if you can get two servings out of each stick.

Overall: 7.5/10. This is a pretty delicious drink mix that's more “realistic” than I was expecting it to be, especially when you use only half a stick at once. The tea flavor is refreshingly light, and closer to unsweetened (although there is a touch of sugar flavor), while the peach peeks in just enough to deliver a good peach taste without reveling in its fakeyness. Even using the whole stick doesn't lead to a disgusting overload of flavors, as is usually the case, though it does add more artificiality to the proceedings. And at $1.29 (for 10 sticks), halving each stick cuts the price down to under $.10 a serving, making this a great way to enjoy refreshing tea flavor, without having to do any hard work. Definitely recommended.

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