Review: Rishi Sparkling Botanicals
Covers Products: Black Lemon, Dandelion Ginger , Grapefruit Quince , Patagonia Maqui, Schisandra Berry, Turmeric Saffron
Having built its reputation as a premium tea company, Rishi is now moving into ready-to-drink with the launch of its new Sparkling Botanicals line.
Sitting somewhere between sparkling water and sparkling tea, the line contains 5-15 calories per can with no added sugar or sweeteners. They are formulated with real ingredients and don’t contain any added flavorings or extracts.
Here’s a look at the initial six flavors:
Turmeric Saffron -- made with golden berries, lemon, turmeric, cardamom, black lemon, eucalyptus, black pepper and saffron. This was one of our favorites, with the citrus, spice and saffron being the dominant flavors and giving it an almost lemon tea like flavor.
Schisandra Berry -- made with just carbonated water and schisandra berries, this product has a slightly sour flavor and a crisp finish.
Black Lemon - made with lemon, black lemon (which is actually a dried lime) and black tea, this variety has a tart citrus flavor and a nice note of tea to it.
Grapefruit Quince - This SKU features complex flavor notes from added quince, hibiscus, orange peel, lemongrass, strawberries, grapefruit peel, yuzu juice and grapefruit essential oil. The blend has a citrusy floral taste.
Dandelion Ginger - This is another one of our favorites. Made with ginger, lemon, roasted dandelion root, black lemon, fermented green tea, rosemary, tangerine, chili peppers, lemon and ginger essential oils, it has layers of spice and a nice note of citrus as well.
Patagonia Maqui - Made with blueberries, hibiscus, maqui, raspberries, rooibos, elderberries and hawthorn, this variety has a tart fruit flavor. “Patagonia” is simply a descriptor and one that seems distracting more than helpful.
The team at Rishi has done a great job formulating all of these products and it's evident that great thought and care went into them. However, all of these are pretty adventurous and we’re not quite sure what the entry level -- and volume driver -- flavors are.
On the outside, Rishi Sparkling Botanicals comes in a 12 ounce can and utilizes a glossy shrink sleeve label. Each SKU has a different colored background that corresponds to the drink’s flavor (e.g. Grapefruit Quince has a reddish pink background).
The front panel is quite busy and this starts with the product’s logo, which is text heavy and takes up the top half. The logo itself is circular in shape and features an illustration of a flower in the middle with “Sparkling Botanicals” and “Real Plants, Real Botanicals, Real Virtual” displayed in a circular pattern around the logo. Finally, “By Rishi” sits at the bottom and this text is displayed horizontally and is the easiest part of the logo to read.
The lower portion of the label displays the flavor name in large letters, which makes it easy to spot, and the outline of a rectangle with “steeped botanicals & sparkling water” inside which is a pretty good statement of what the product is.
Still, there’s just too much text on this can, all of which is in capital letters. It feels like the product is shouting at you and is difficult to read, especially when it comes to the ingredients list and the explainer copy that’s on the back. That being said, we’d love to see this cleaned up a bit and for the text to be made easier to read.
Overall, Rishi Sparkling Botanicals are top notch when it comes to flavor, ingredients and package design, and we think it will live up to the quality expected by their existing customers. However, if they want to go after a broader audience, there might be some work to do to make the line a bit more approachable.