Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rumba Energy Juice

Man, never before have I seen an orange-juice like energy drink, without the carbonation. To me, 100% orange juice with energy ingredients in one 16 ounce can is two thumbs up, being a fan of orange juice and energy ingredients. Rumba comes out with a can design that catches the consumers eye, having blue stripes going down the can leading to half an orange at the bottom. In large, messy font "Rumba" is slapped across the top part of the can as well as "Energy Juice." I like the stamp on the orange reading "100% Juice" and "Non-Carbonated"...perhaps this is a drink I want to have as an early morning pick-me-up. The flavors are morning-friendly, and the kick would perhaps get me through half my day, rather than going straight to a tartly fruity Monster or Rockstar. By the way, Rumba is usually not found in standard grocery stores, but is found in the most random places, like where I got mine, in a gas station in practically the middle of nowhere. I'm expecting from Rumba just a plain orange flavor, but perhaps some earthiness and a slight tartness shortly following. Well, I won't ramble much longer, so here comes the next part of this review.

I break open a can of Rumba expecting a non-carbonated and possibly flat orange juice aroma and a scent similar, but with more of a dirty bite to it. Of course, it's color is a standard orange,but with a lot of cloudiness and what seems to be pieces of pulp. Knowing that, I see 100% juice on the label, which convinces me even more that there's potentially pulp in this can. After a quick swig, I analyze a flavor that tastes quite odd, much different than most orange flavors I've come across. I would most likely describe the flavor as a slightly minty and somewhat 'dirty' orange, with a bitter bite shortly following. Rumba makes their energy juice really stand out, I think; it's flavor seems to be more on the natural side and more organic, if you will. About half way, I find myself taking larger sips, more often, most likely due to the amount of sugar and therefore causing a sip-addiction. There seem to be some more notes of other fruits, like pear, apple, and white grape. The general flavor of Rumba is a distinct, yet light on the pallet dirty orange, but not so light as to drinking it too fast, or you will most likely end up like foolish me and get a stomach ache. Gumminess luckily did not play major role in the drink, supposing there would be any. Finishing up the can, I can conclude the flavor was quite disappointing due to the amount of sweetness and the peculiar minty note, but there was a bit of earthiness made it more distinct. The last few ounces of the drink are thicker than the rest, due to the amount of pulp from the pear, apple, white grape, and pineapple.

I'm extremely curious to find out what I just drinking, so a quick glance at the back of the can reveals ingredients such as: filtered water, fruit juices (water, orange, apple, pear, peach, tangerine, white grape, pineapple), apple puree, glucose, taurine, natural gum stabilizer, natural flavors, ginseng, citric acid, ascorbic acid, caffeine, niacin, guarana, glucuronolactone, Sucralose, maltodextrin, inositol, and beta carotene. First of all, I'm a bit shocked to see all those fruits in what's supposed to be an orange flavored energy juice, but I guess it makes it that much better. I also notice a great sweetener in Rumba, glucose, although Sucralose managed to sneak its way into this drink like it does with most others nowadays. Per can, there's about an average 240 calories and about an average 56g of sugar. Yet again, a sweet drink without much sugar, which I think is from the glucose not needing much sugar to be sweet. As for energy ingredients, it has a standard 5000mg of energy blend per can, which is about the same as an average energy drink, like Monster, Ace, or Joker. You also get a standard amount of taurine, which is 2000mg as well 400mg of ginseng. All in all, I have to agree with the others who say Rumba isn't bad, but just plain weird when it comes down to taste.

Taste: 7.7 - Odd, yet nice distinct and smooth orange-apple-pear flavor
Kick: 8 - When it comes down to energy ingredients, it's nearly the same as a Monster, hence producing the generally same kick
Overall: 7.8 - Good drink to have for a decent kick and smooth flavor, but I wouldn't rely too much on these as an every-day energy drink

Reviewed by: Chan

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Jeffery "Jeff," Chandler "Chan"