Starbucks’ Via Instant Refresher Cool Lime

Via Instant Refresher Cool Lime by Starbucks
Fruit Infusion / Flavoured
$6.99 for 98.9g (20g per sachet)

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First Impressions

I was given a carton of the Via Instant Refresher in Cool Lime by a friend a while back and recently got a chance to try it out. It comes in a cardboard carton, with five individually portioned sachets of the beverage powder. I love the fact that it’s individually portioned and that makes it easy to use. The powder isn’t mixed with hot water, so it’s good for people who are on-the-go.

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Via Instant Refresher Cool Lime is made up of: cane sugar, natural flavours, white grape juice powder, erythritol, citric acid, ascorbic acid, stevia leaf extract. The powder smells very sweet and has a strong lime fragrance. The description on the packaging says that it contains green coffee, which isn’t listed on the list of ingredients.

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Preparation

The instructions are to mix 1 sachet with 475mL of water and to mix/stir, with the option of adding ice. I mixed up the sachet of powder with the suggested amount of water, stirred, and added a couple of ice cubes.

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First Taste

Via Instant Refresher Cool Lime has a very light greenish colour that reminds me of pale lime juice. I sipped it and it was very sweet with light citrus/lime taste. I can taste the stevia though, with that unfortunate aftertaste. It tastes delicious cold/iced, which I would highly recommend it iced. It fully dissolved in room temperature water, which was nice to see. I would add extra water on top of what the packaging recommends, because it’s very sweet and could be further diluted.

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A Second Cup?

Because all of the powder fully dissolved (surprise!), I wasn’t able to remix the Via Instant Refresher Cool Lime.

My Overall Impression

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I liked Starbucks’ Via Instant Refresher Cool Lime. It lives up the name of being cool and refreshing, with a great lime taste. I thought it was on the sweeter side, which was weird because I generally enjoy sweets and desserts. The stevia aftertaste was dulled a bit with the presence of ice, so if you easily taste stevia I would add more ice. I think the amount of water that they recommend on the packaging is too little and it could be diluted further. It’s a great option for people on-the-go and want to have something to flavour their water The nice bonus is that despite the presence of coffee, I really cannot smell or taste it (which is a major plus for me). They are a bit expensive though, given that it’s well over a dollar per sachet – it’s still cheaper than buying a cup to go at a local Starbucks store.

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Fox Tea Club’s Watermelon

Watermelon by Fox Tea Club
Fruit Infusion / Flavoured
$9.95USD for 2oz

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Fox Tea Club has provided me with Watermelon for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Autumn has been settling in quickly around here over the long weekend (it’s Thanksgiving in Canada), but let’s pretend it’s still summer for just a day, shall we? Watermelon from Fox Tea Club came to me in plain sample packaging with the name handwritten on the outside, and this fruit infusion smells remarkably like watermelon juice despite the lack of watermelon in the ingredients list. It’s pretty amazing how much the smell reminds me of a sweet, juicy slice of watermelon on a hot summer day.

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Watermelon consists of cherry, foxberry, hibiscus, rose and rosehips. Curiously enough, the product page for Watermelon on the Fox Tea Club website mentions bilberry in the description at the time of writing.

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Preparation

Unfortunately, there were no steeping instructions provided for Watermelon. I opted to do my initial steep of this fruity tea at 100°C (212°F) for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Watermelon steeps to a brilliantly deep ruby red colour – likely due to the combination of all the red coloured ingredients (and the hibiscus!). The smell that comes up from this fruity infusion still reminds me of watermelon fruit, but has a bit of a tart aroma that I attribute to either the cherry or the hibiscus.

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On first taste, I can see why Fox Tea Club gave this fruit infusion blend the name Watermelon. It has a refreshing taste and just a touch of tartness that rivals the sweet. I can taste the cherry and the hibiscus. Despite lacking in actual watermelon in the ingredients, the flavours that are the result of the blend is still reminding me of watermelon – just not as sweet as the actual fruit would be.

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Fox Tea Club recommends this infusion as iced. I did try it cold and found that I enjoyed it hot more. The tartness from the hibiscus was more subtle when the infusion was iced. If you’re not a huge fan of how tart the hibiscus is, a touch of honey or another sweetener helps fix that a bit and brighten up the fruity flavours.

A Second Cup?

I did attempt to resteep Watermelon, but found that both the colour of the infusion and the flavour was lacking. I would say that Watermelon is good for just one steep.

My Overall Impression

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I loved Fox Tea Club’s Watermelon. It has a beautiful aroma and the flavour of this fruit blend is delicious and very similar to actual watermelon. I think that most people would probably be less picky than I am and enjoy this fruity infusion iced or cold, so it’s definitely a contender for those who are experiencing warmer weather than I am at this moment in time. I just find it so remarkable how much this blend reminds me of the smell and taste of watermelon.

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Teavana’s Peach Tranquility

Peach Tranquility by Teavana
Fruit Infusion / Flavoured
$10.95 for 44.4g (12 sachets)

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First Impressions

I received this box of Peach Tranquility from a friend who gave it to me and said “I thought you might like this”. Well, it’s a form of tea so chances are pretty high I’ll love the fact that someone saw tea and thought of me. That said, this isn’t one that I’ve tried before. Peach Tranquility comes in a fairly large box for the fact that it only contains 12 individually wrapped sachets (spoiler: most of the box was completely empty/filled with air).

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Peach Tranquility came packaged in tea pyramids, and each pyramid comes in an individual foil packet. Not entirely the greatest for the environment, but what can I do about that? The smell is amazing, Peach Tranquility smells strongly of peaches with soft floral notes in the background. In reality, peaches are actually low on the ingredients list. Peach Tranquility consist of: apple pieces, candied pineapple pieces, rose hip peels, chamomile flowers, natural flavour, peach pieces, citric acid, and lemon verbena.

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Preparation

Teavana recommends steeping Peach Tranquility in 96°C (205°F) water for 5 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions for my initial steep of Peach Tranquility.

First Taste

Peach Tranquility steeps to be remarkably pale, with a light orange-yellow colour. The aroma that comes up from this fruit infusion is divine though, smelling sweetly of peaches and pineapple – it’s a nice tropical blend with a floral background, much like with the dry leaf. On first taste, I mostly taste the peaches. There’s a nice sweet pineapple flavour that lingers in the background, and the floral notes were mostly found at the end of each sip. Despite all the fruit in this tisane, and the fact that the pineapple was candied, it’s not as sweet as I was expecting.

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I did try a cup of Peach Tranquility with a touch of sweetener added (I used agave syrup) and I found that the peach flavour was even stronger once boosted by some sweetness. I also poured out a cup to be iced and found the fruit infusion to be even better when iced than hot.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Peach Tranquility. I found the flavour to be lacking from the peaches, pineapples, and floral notes that I enjoyed in the initial steep. I would say that Peach Tranquility is good for one steep only.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Teavana’s Peach Tranquility. I really quite enjoyed the first steep of this tisane, especially with some added sweetener and iced. I’m always going to be a bigger fan of fruit infusions iced over hot. I found that the peach flavours were quite refreshing, but it needed just a touch of sweetener to boost the fruit flavours. Unfortunately, this tisane did not do well for a second steep. Luckily, I’m not head-over-heels in love with this tea, as I suspect that I would have issues finding more of it as the Teavana retail locations are closing this month in Canada.

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Kailo Tea’s Zen Out

Zen Out by Kailo Tea
Roobios & Herbal Infusion / Flavoured
$15.99 for 45g (15 sachets)

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Kailo Tea has provided me with Zen Out for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

The second of the teas sent to me by Kailo Tea (the first was Wake Up, which I reviewed earlier this month). This time it’s an herbal infusion with added vitamins so yes, there was another capsule in my tea. This herbal infusion has a great mix of ingredients that smell delightful – I mostly make out the smell of citrus (from the orange and lemon) and the ginger. It smells like a great night time herbal infusion to have since it lacks caffeine.

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Zen Out consists of: rooibos, currants, orange peel, cornflowers, acai, lemon peel, hibiscus, apple, rosehips, strawberry leaf, linden leaf, calendula, rose, natural and artificial flavours, ginger root, vitamin D3, vitamin 3, and magnesium citrate. The packaging mentions lavender and it’s missing from the ingredients list.

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Preparation

Kailo Tea recommends steeping Zen Out in 200-210°F (93-99°C) for 5 to 6 minutes. I steeped Zen Out initially for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Zen Out steeps to a dark orange, and it slightly cloudy (like it’s Wake Up counterpart, I attribute that to the vitamin capsule). It smells mostly of ginger and citrus. I’m a bit surprised that it’s not more pink because of the hibiscus, which I find always turns everything a deep shade of pink. The rooibos base in this tea does give it that usual medicinal smell. On first taste, I primarily tasted the ginger. Pleasantly, the rooibos base wasn’t overpowering the rest of the ingredients. I typically don’t like rooibos, but the ginger and citrus flavours are strong and pretty much rule over everything else. It doesn’t taste too sweet, although I wish I could make out the rest of the ingredients.

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A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Zen Out and found that the flavour to be lacking as it was quite watery. I think Zen Out is best for just one steep.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Kailo Tea’s Zen Out. I’m not typically one for rooibos, but I found that the other ingredients in this blend overpowered the medicinal flavour that I don’t like from the rooibos which was a major plus for me. The ginger and citrus flavours are delicious, bright, and yet relaxing. I don’t think it makes me sleepy though, but doesn’t make me feel overly energetic so perhaps it managed to do what its meant to do.

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Lemon Lily’s Summer Splash

Summer Splash by Lemon Lily
Herbal Infusion / Flavoured
$9.00 for 50g

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Lemon Lily’s Summer Splash came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s July themed subscription box.

First Impressions

Summer Splash came to me in a nice white, resealable bag. I’m a fan of packaging that is useful, so the seal is always appreciated. When I opened the bag, the first thing I smelled was berries and then there was a hint of lemongrass. This tea has some heavy ingredients! I estimate that I could probably get about ~3 teapots worth of tea from this bag (25g). Summer Splash is a special Canada 150 Celebration tea.

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Summer Splash is made up of: organic elderberries, organic hibiscus, organic lemongrass, organic lemon peel, organic orange and orange peel, organic currents and organic raisins. As per their website Lemon Lily is a certified organic tea company (located in Canada!) that uses all 100% certified organic ingredients. I’ve classified this herbal infusion as being ‘flavoured’ as opposed to ‘straight’ because it contains more than one ingredient (which is my usual requirement to be labelled as straight).

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Preparation

Lemon Lily recommends steeping Summer Splash in 200°F (93°C) water for 4-6 minutes. My initial steep of Summer Splash was for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Summer Splash steeps to a bright ruby red, it’s so pretty! The aroma of this tea is primarily berries with some hibiscus in it. When I sipped this tea, the only thing that went through my mind was it was very tart. Quite a bit of mouth puckering going on for me when I sipped this. With the addition of honey, the tartness toned down a lot and I could taste the citrus flavours in it, as well as the berry flavour. I did not really like this tea hot, but Lemon Lily does list Summer Splash under their iced teas, so I poured it out into a bottle to chill in the fridge. Verdict? It’s incredible iced – the level of fruitiness is just where I like it for an iced tea and it has a refreshing quality to it.

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A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Summer Splash and found the second steep to be a bit lacking in terms of flavour. It was missing the intensity of hibiscus and citrus that I found in the first steep.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Lemon Lily’s Summer Splash. I think this herbal infusion is destined to be an iced tea only, and would highly recommend either cold steeping it or chilling it down with some ice cubes. It’s just so much better cold than it is hot (Lemon Lily clearly has the right idea since they list it under their iced teas). I find that the hibiscus can be overwhelmingly tart if you don’t do anything after the infusion is done. I would highly recommend adding some kind of sweetener to help tone down the tartness, it really helps to allow you to realize the other flavours in there. Overall, I think it makes a fantastic iced tea, but it just needs a little help in making it palatable.

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