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, … [Read more...]

Starbucks Refreshers, Sparkling Energy Beverage with green coffee extract, flavor review

Starbucks RefreshersLike most moms, I survived the new baby/full-time work phase with lots of caffeine. Coffee is my beverage of choice for "energy". Energy drinks are popular and most flavor chemists have made flavors and energy blends for these beverages. In early 2000, I copied Red Bull (TM) flavor for a successful bar drink. My flavor memory of Red Bull (TM) was cherry cough syrup. It is shocking to find out that Red Bull and Vodka is served at bars (combination of upper and downer drugs), but maybe not so different than the Cola mixed drinks I had become accustomed to. Through my career, I've created other flavors for energy drinks: passionfruit, orange, and melon; then I moved on to confection flavors. On a recent trip to Target, … [Read more...]

Activate Vitamin Performance Beverage, Fruit Punch review

It's Monday and it can be difficult to get motivated and going.  The Activate Vitamin Performance beverage is a perfect choice for a review on a Monday. Activate Vitamin beverage has a unique delivery system: a powdered drink in the red cap that you must "twist, shake, activate". The tag line for Activate Performance beverage is "a turn for the better". The advantage of this beverage over typical vitamin beverages on the market is that the vitamins in Activate are held under dark, dry conditions. Vitamins dispersed in water and exposed to light are subject to degradation (reducing effectiveness). Activate Vitamin beverage is packed with vitamins. One bottle has the following nutrients: Vitamin A  37.5%     Vitamin E   37.5%     Niacin … [Read more...]

Silk all natural soymilk, Mint Chocolate review

I'm a fan of Silk soymilk products. Silk's soymilk vanilla creamer is delicious and amazing in coffee.  Silk soymilk mint chocolate sounded like something my girls might like (since they love Westsoy's mint chocolate soymilk); so I gave it a try. I did not look at the ingredients or label closely and later realized that it was sweetened with Stevia. Stevia tends to be bitter and have a lingering aftertaste. I was hopeful that this product would taste good, since it was the Silk brand and it contained evaporated cane juice as well as Stevia.  Silk soymilk mint chocolate is pretty good as a cold beverage: creamy, sweet, nice mint flavor, low soy notes; but it is lacking in fullness & chocolate flavor. Unfortunately, my daughters don't … [Read more...]

SoBe lifewater black & blue berry review

Northwest Berries 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. My Impression The SoBe lifewater black & blueberry has an excellent flavor. It is distinctly blueberry with a nice juicy, sweet, seedy and full … [Read more...]

SoBe LEAN Honey Green Tea

Stevia first introduced in Japan 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. High Potency Sweeteners Honestly, I am not a huge high potency sweetener fan. High Potency sweeteners are usually 100-300 times sweeter than sugar. They include aspartame, sucralose, Ace K, stevia, … [Read more...]