Monday, August 25, 2008

Inko's White Tea

I was extremely excited when I received this drink from my buddy during a trade because tea is just awesome in an energy drink, I think. I had thought Inko's White Tea looked completely different than what it is after I opened up the package and took a glance at it. It looks like someone hit the can with a blast of urban font, just to make it look more modern and less of the old English writing it may be based on. I know that it's based on something older because of the design of the vines and flowers next to the word "Inko's" near the top. It has a dark blue background with a lighter blue design in front of it looking most like fancy flowers, vines, stems, and plants. It says "White Tea" in a usual font but with the word "Energy" below it in an orange, stenciled writing. Towards the bottom of the can, I see "Jitter-Free" which could mean I could get some massive focus after drinking this energy drink, most likely from the white tea itself. Below that, I see "All Natural", I like to know that I'm drinking a true White Tea based energy drink. What caught my eye was the term "Adult Energy Drink", so does that mean there's alcohol? A quick check at the back of the can reveals there's actually no alcohol in it. So, the 'Adult' term, probably refers to the amount of caffeine, hence producing a nice kick.

It cracks open smoothly to show a scent quite plain, almost like the Arizona Green Tea, but with a bit sweetness mixed in. Inko's White Tea comes out of the can a cloudy pale color, a bit like lemonade, no fizziness and less of a yellow color. Hm, it's taste is mellow and smooth, but it's lacking a white tea flavor that should almost dance on your tongue. Instead, it's light and there seems to be more of a lemon flavor to it, rather than tea. Right as it hits the mouth, I get a semi-sweet tea flavor and it fades away slowly to form more of a sour lemon and less tea essence in the background. So in general, it's a nice flavor, but I want to taste more of a stronger tea, and more sweetness, with less lemon-sourness. The aftertaste is quite different and tastes like cane sugar, although I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any whatsoever. In fact, it's sweetened with crystalline fructose, making it a bit dull, but not as dull as if it were sweetened with high fructose cornsyrup. Call me dumb, but I just figured that it's not carbonated, I guess I'm just so used to carbonated energy drinks. Despite the sweetener, it's not really gummy because all the flavors mix in to form that smooth, natural flavor, without gumminess. Overall, I was a bit impressed with this tea flavored drink, it was light enough on the palette that even non-tea lovers would at least like it. However, if you're a heavy tea drinker, like me, you're expecting a deeper flavor to it, but that's all right because you have that lemon juice in there to pair with the tea to enhance the main flavor.

In one can of Inko's White Tea, there's not a lot of ingredients, but there's enough in there for a decent energy drink. I see premium brewed white tea using filtered water, crystalline fructose (Not corn syrup), lemon juice, citric acid, natural caffeine derived from tea, natural flavors, ascorbic acid, ginger, riboflavin, guarana, and ginseng, Although there's crystalline fructose, there's still a bit of dullness, but not as much as what you'd find from HFCS. The kick is great, much better most likely due to the natural caffeine in the drink, much better than the usual caffeine in, say, a Monster. I have to say, the lemon juice really gave this drink an improved flavor, other than just tea. For some reason, the combination tastes extremely familiar, but I have not a clue where it could be from. Per can of Inko's, you get only 160 calories and only 38g of sugar. It's yet another energy drink that's good on sugar and has just the right flavor for what you're getting. I especially liked the kick, I can't say it enough. It probably delivered a kick for a good 4 hours, and little crash afterwards. All in all, a good drink for tea lovers, but I'm more interested in the more intensely flavored tea energy drinks.

Taste: 7 - A quite refreshing lemon/tea flavor contained in a lightly carbonated can
Kick: 8.4 - Once again, a great long-lasting kick was provided
Overall: 7.6 - Hm, I'm not quite sure I'd buy one of these, I'll keep looking for a better energy tea

Reviewed by: Chan

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Jeffery "Jeff," Chandler "Chan"