I was looking for a refreshing drink and this bottle caught my eye. It looks modern and well designed.
It was also on special for $2.99 so that persuaded me to give it a try.
I only noticed after purchasing it that it is made by Itoen, a company who's drinks I rarely like. They are well-known for their healthy drinks, mainly with fruit and vegetables.
At the top of the bottle near the brands logo it has "New York Style" written. I'm not sure what that actually means, the bottle or the contents.
The flavour of the tea is Herb Darjeeling. I'm not a fan of herbs but since herbs and tea resemble the same kind of leafy greens I thought they would probably go well together. The bottle also mentions that Lemongrass is an ingredient, it is unsweetened and there are no calories.
A look on the back of the bottle also confirms this.
The first smell when I opened the lid was very medicinal. I could really smell herbs. However when I took a sip, I couldn't really taste any herbs, but more a flavour of straight black tea.
I'm not a tea conoisseur, I'm really only familiar with a few styles, and I've never had Darjeeling before, but it doesn't taste like it has a definite flavour more than other tea.
There is definitely no sugar in here, there is no sweetness at all. The tea reminds me very much of Straight Tea by Kirin, the same kind of tea flavour persists. There is a bitter component when swallowing the tea and I attributed this to the herbs until I looked on the back of the bottle and found the only herb ingredient is lemongrass. The only other ingredient is "black tea" but it doesn't say it's Darjeeling in particular, so I am not sure if they are just calling it Darjeeling or it actually is.
I'm very familiar with the taste of lemongrass and there is absolutely no taste of that in this tea, so I'm pretty sure they used a minute amount if only so they could put it on the label.
I'm not sure if New Yorkers drink tea this way - I searched the internet and couldn't find any evidence of a particular recipe or way that they drink it, so I will leave that up to my readers to inform me, if they know.
So in all, it's like drinking straight black tea with a bitterness, and no sweetness. It turned out to be pretty bland. It doesn't refresh me, but it doesn't make me thirsty either. It's just very plain.
It=t was a disappointment to be sure. There was no noticeable lemongrass flavour as per the bottle, and the bottle and it's "herb" statement was a little bit misleading anyway. I do like the bottle - it's pretty funky, but that's the only part of this drink that is.
I guess I'll just mark this down as yet another Itoen drink I don't like.