Posted: Mar 26, 2015 at 12:06 PM
(Last Updated: Mar 30, 2015 at 11:59 AM)
In the traditional sense, “Half & Half” is a blend of equal parts iced tea and lemonade. Red Jacket’s riff on this breaks from this playbook a bit, blending guayusa tea, lemonade and apple juice to create this product, Joe’s Clean Half & Half. As one might expect from a company whose primary focus are apple-based products, this one is definitely apple forward in its flavor profile. That said, the first sip of the product will probably trick your palate to the point where you’ll wonder what exactly you’re drinking. The apple flavor does eventually dissipate and that’s really where the guayusa and lemonade take over. If you don’t read the label, you probably wouldn’t even know it’s guayusa instead of black tea as the taste is pretty similar in this particular formulation. Ultimately, we find the flavor to be enjoyable, although it’s a bit too sweet and apple-heavy for our liking. We’d probably stick with one of the more traditional offerings. On the packaging front, the product uses the same label style as other Red Jacket products. It’s nice looking, although in this particular case the label feels like a bunch of disconnected pieces (the apple icon and text bits “Joe’s,” “Tea-Lemonade,” and “cold-pressed”) rather than something that’s cohesive and clear to the consumer. Fixing this, be it in calling it “Apple Tea-Lemonade” or something else, seems pretty necessary. Overall, we like the idea of a tea and lemonade blend in the Red Jacket lineup, but less apple flavor and better communication of the flavor would make it a lot better.