Taste Testing: Honest Tea

by Rachel on March 26, 2010

Working on my proposal this week was quite a marathon and Wednesday I hit a serious wall. I had to run a bunch of errands and I was so tired that not even Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods could restore my cheer as they normally can. That, for me, is rock bottom. I was just so tired; I haven’t been sleeping well at all. I toss and turn, seeing verbs from my proposal and blogs and boys in my sleep. I wake up at 5 AM and can’t fall back asleep.

So I was at Whole Foods and decided to get a drink. I wasn’t hungry — sometimes do you ever get so tired you get nauseous? — but I figured some liquids might help. I was checking out the kombucha because I keep seeing it on health blogs, but then I decided to save $1.50 and grab a bottle of tea.

None of the bottles of Honest Tea really seemed to call my name but I was too tired to care. I ended up choosing the Moroccan Mint Green Tea.

I had no expectations for this tea. I was sort of just drinking it out of boredom. But I thought it was pretty tasty as I sipped on it in the car. It tasted really clean and fresh, better than most green tea I’ve ever had.

Now I know green tea has caffeine, so I almost didn’t get it, as it was already 4:00. Even though I was tired, I didn’t want to be up all night. I no longer drink caffeine after my morning coffee. But…perhaps I need to.

Within about 10 minutes, I felt like a WHOLE NEW WOMAN. I am not even exaggerating. I was no longer cranky, I was jamming to my music in my car…I felt SO fresh and upbeat…it was such a ridiculous transformation, like something out of a commercial! I was so thrilled; I mean, my energy was so low this week, I was about one more sleepless night away from a coke habit.

So, of course, I was like, “I NEED TO GET MORE OF THIS MAGIC POTION, THIS ELIXIR OF THE GODS!” Unfortunately, Whole Foods is a 45 minute drive from my house, so I wasn’t going back for it. I came home and looked at Wal-Mart, but they didn’t have it. According to the Web site, Kroger does, so I am going to look for it this afternoon and then hopefully start injecting it into my veins. (FYI — it only has about half the caffeine that coffee does, and way less funky aftertaste and jitters.)

Since this week’s Outside the Box Challenge was to research a food company and write about it, I took the opportunity to learn a little more about Honest Tea.

I knew a little bit about them, but here’s the whole story…

Honest Tea is made from pure tea leaves as opposed to powders or syrups and it’s certified percent organic. The ingredients are usually pretty simple — tea, honey, etc. The bottles were recently redesigned to use 22 percent less plastic and reduce the products’ carbon footprint. The teas come from around the world but the company is US based and it’s bottled here.

It was founded by two dudes in 1998 and they sold 40 percent of the company last year to Coke. This is actually when I first became aware of the company — I grabbed a bottle when I was hungover one day last summer, hit the Web site, and then read about the Coke deal. (Coke as in Coca-cola, not coke like I was considering on Wednesday afternoon before discovering this lovely alternative.) A lot of people saw this as selling out, but it might be why I won’t have to travel 45 minutes to get another bottle of it this afternoon, so…that might be a good thing.

From the site:

“Honest Tea creates and promotes delicious, truly healthy, organic beverages. We strive to grow with the same honesty we use to craft our products, with sustainability and great taste for all. We will never claim to be a perfect company, but we will address difficult issues and strive to be honest about our ability or inability to resolve them. We will strive to work with our suppliers to promote higher standards. We value diversity in the workplace and intend to become a visible presence in the communities where our products are sold. When presented with a purchasing decision between two financially comparable alternatives, we will attempt to choose the option that better addresses the needs of economically disadvantaged communities.

A commitment to social responsibility is central to Honest Tea’s identity and purpose. The company strives for authenticity, integrity and purity, in our products and in the way we do business. In addition to creating a healthy alternative beverage with a lot less sugar than most bottled drinks, Honest Tea seeks to create honest relationships with our employees, suppliers, customers and with the communities in which we do business.”

That’s definitely good food karma, but honestly, I’m more into it because of how great it made me feel. When I got home from errands, I put on my gym clothes, despite the fact that just a few hours earlier I said, “I feel way too foggy and shitty to work out today.” I went and ran three miles and did my push-ups and then made a bomb-ass salad for dinner and felt incredibly healthy and wonderful. And it was seriously all because of the tea!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Teri [a foodie stays fit] March 26, 2010 at 8:44 am

wow, I’m sold. I might have to leave work and go get one (Whole Foods is about 10 minutes away from my office!) since I’m dragging this morning. TGIF!
.-= Teri [a foodie stays fit]´s last blog ..I Love Running Miles, Not Listening to Miley =-.

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2 Manon March 26, 2010 at 10:56 am

Ohhhhh I’m sooooo pumped! I thought FOR sure when I went for the store locator and looked for the “F ME, I live in Iowa” option, it would be the usual “the closest store is in civilization 100 miles away…. why do you live in Iowa STUPID” but noooooooo, not only is there a STORE, it’s a store I had no idea existed full of healthy local and organic goodness, 5 MINS FROM MY HOUSE…..if I had a boy parts I’d have a total boner right now…….I can’t wait to check it out!
.-= Manon´s last blog ..Happy Monday!!!! =-.

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3 Amy Short March 26, 2010 at 11:00 am

I love this tea…been a fav for a long time. It is a VERY good thing you didn’t choose that moment to try kombucha…you would have been puking out the window of your car on the way home! Tastes very much like vinegar no matter the flavor! I make my own Moroccan Mint Green Tea and keep it in the fridge. You can find Numi bags which are really yummy as well as others. I’m an ice tea junkie…never thought there was anything to it but maybe you are on to something here. Love your blog! :o) Amy (www.amyshortart.com – not a fitness blog but mine none the less) ;o)

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4 Summer May 13, 2010 at 4:21 pm

I bought an Honest Tea just last night because I remember your blog about them. I couldn’t remember which one you’d had, so I just grabbed one—so happens it was the exact same one! I love it, esp the fact that it wasn’t too sweet. It was perfect this morning, esp since it hit 90 in Alabama!

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5 Rachel May 13, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Awww yay! Thanks for coming back to say that you enjoyed it too…it really is kinda magical, right?!

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