Sunday, September 27, 2020

Nature's Nectar Organic Blackberry Blend Cold Pressed Juice (Aldi)

Perfect for people who like chewing on their juice.
 

Well, I just got done taking a look at the “green blend” version of this cold pressed juice and, while I wasn’t completely won over (although most of that might be because I’m not really sold on the idea of cold pressed juice in general), I did mention that I liked it enough to try the other flavors in the line. And voila! Here we go with another one!

As it turns out, the “green blend” is the only one named by color; this one and the remaining one (raspberry) are both named after specific fruits. I haven’t perused the ingredients of the raspberry one yet, but if this one is any indication, it would seem that the “green blend” is also the only one that contains vegetables of any kind, which might help to explain the weird naming convention.

It smells pretty inviting, as it should considering the meager ingredients list: cranberry juice, blackberry puree, and blueberry puree. Diving in, and…wow, this is not really what I was expecting, although the “no added sugar” probably should have been my first clue: this is tart. I mean, like almost pucker-inducingly tart. I suppose given the three berries included, it makes sense, but I could definitely use some sweetness to counterbalance that a little bit. Others that like their juices on the strong side should enjoy this one a lot more than I am.

Actually, I could probably get used to the flavor on its own, but there’s also a secondary surprise that also takes things down a notch for me: unnecessary graininess. I mean, the green blend had fruits and vegetables in it, for goodness sakes, and ended up being more of a juice than this one: it’s like they also add sand to the concoction, just so you know you’re drinking something that’s so much more healthy than regular juice. Honestly, it’s off-putting to me, and in a much more dire way than just some strong tartness. It’s not so bad that it’s a dealbreaker—I’ll finish the bottle with little problem—but it’s definitely an issue that makes me second guess getting this variety ever again.

I get that it’s the puree of the fruits, but come on, you don’t have to go that far to give the illusion of “farm to bottle” freshness—everyone knows this was processed in a factory, and probably the same factory that manufactures their regular juices. It just feels like a tacky illusion to me, but I’m sure others will applaud their dedication to hitting a similar texture to freshly pressed juice. To each their own.

On the side of positives, each 11.2 oz bottle is $1.99, which is affordable for what it is, and something I also gave good marks for in the green blend. I additionally like how the bottles are shelf stable (until opened) and thus, need no refrigeration. It’s something that kind of defeats the whole purpose of cold pressed juice, at least to me, but it is nice not having to rush home and gulp it down before it expires three hours later.

In the end, though, this is a product that proves taste isn't necessarily everything.

Overall: 5.5/10. Technically, the flavor is better than the green, but the texture—a strong graininess (presumably from the blueberry and blackberry puree)—sinks what could have otherwise been a pretty fantastic beverage. Personally, I also find it to be a little too tart, thanks to the no added sugar thing, but it’s at least not bitter, and is something I could get used to, if it weren’t for that pesky, off-putting sandiness that accompanies every swig. On the plus sides, it’s only $1.99 per 11.2 oz. bottle (very good for cold pressed juice) and is shelf stable for over a year when unopened, defeating the purpose of cold pressed juice but trading it off for added convenience. That’s enough to take it slightly above the average mark, but despite the better flavor of this one, I’d get the green again before I ever picked this one up. I'm in the camp that believes you shouldn't have to chew your juice.

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