Starbuck’s Via Cool Lime Refreshers, flavor review

Starbucks, you stole my idea!  Thank you, because I love your new Cool Lime Refreshers™. Seven years of my life were spent blending mint with all sorts of flavor combinations. My favorite mint variety to blend with fruity notes is Native Spearmint (Mentha spicata): herbal, green leafy, tea like and dry. Scotch Spearmint(Mentha gracilis) is preferred for chewing gum: creamy, green and buttery. Truthfully, I never perfected the mint blend: Starbucks did with their Refreshers™ Cool Lime. Some successful flavors I made were pear mint, melon mint and key lime mint. If I were to mix all these flavors, I'd have Cool Lime Refreshers™; perfection!  The Starbucks Via box claims Cool Lime combines kaffir lime, hints of mint, cucumber and apple, but … [Read more...]

SoBe lifewater black & blue berry review

Because I grew up in an agricultural area in California, I know what a good peach, strawberry, plum, cantaloupe or tomato taste like. The only way to truly know what a fruit or vegetable tastes like is to try it fresh and ripe.    Moving to the Northwest has given me the opportunity to try other fresh fruits and vegetables. Some new favorites are raspberries and blueberries.   In fact, I like blueberries so much, I planted some in my backyard.   Before moving here, I would have describe blueberries as floral or green; maybe even watery. Blueberries are a touch more complex when picked ripe, they have a nice full sweetness, a touch of a floral character, some seedy notes, nice juiciness and a subtle tartness. The SoBe lifewater black … [Read more...]

SoBe LEAN Honey Green Tea

Fifteen years ago I was formulating green tea beverages for beverage manufacturers and trying out the natural high potency sweetener stevia extract(Reb A). I was working for a Japanese flavor company making prototypes for large beverage manufacturers in the United States and evaluating beverages sweetened with stevia that were on the market in Japan. Stevia has been approved for use as a natural sweetening agent in Japan for years. Recently, the United States deemed stevia safe for use in food and beverage. Honestly, I am not a huge high potency sweetener fan. They (aspartame, sucralose, Ace K, stevia, saccharin) all taste different from sugar. However, I am fifteen pounds more than I was before I had children and would like to lose that … [Read more...]