Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Peace out to Peace Tea

Posted By on Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge peace.tea.jpg

Hansen wants you to give Peace Tea a chance. I'm suggesting we "must think for ourselves," as the graphic suggests on the Razzleberry can.

Introduced in December 2009 by the Hansen Beverage Company -- the makers of Monster energy drink and natural sodas and juices -- Peace Tea is as much about branding as content. The brightly colored iced tea is not just a movement -- it's possibly working its way into the Coca-Cola distribution network. And that means you can expect to see Peace Tea popping up everywhere. 

I decided to crack all four cans and see what was inside. 

click to enlarge peacetea_b_.jpg

I have no problem with the message on Peace Tea's website:  

While Peace Tea is a product, it is a product that stands for social obligation, social awareness, benevolence, compassion and soul. It can, in the form of a mere liquid, be your own form of poetry, art, music, philosophy, belief system.
My problem came when I opened the cans and started pouring that "mere liquid" over ice. In terms of sweetness, all four sit firmly between Honest Tea and Snapple. I'm not sure who that makes happy. 

The green tea is basic, light green in color with a clear note of honey. The sweet lemon tea is sugar water. This tastes like it was meant to compete with Snapple and Arizona Iced Tea. The Razzleberry (can we really call something "natural" if it's named for a make-believe fruit?) has a slight aftertaste, but is decidely raspberry tea. And the Imported Ceylon is the darkest of the lot, reminiscent of Thai Iced Tea before the condensed milk is added.  

Although 99 cents for 23 ounces is a lot of beverage for the price, I can't guarantee you'll want to finish your Peace Tea. Raspberry Snapple fans might find the Razzleberry to be a change of pace, and unsweetened-tea drinkers could be pulled into the Imported Ceylon. But even at 99 cents, I'd leave the oversized cans on the shelf.

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