Review: Teakoe Tea Supply: A Craft Beer Look for an RTD Tea

Posted: Jun 25, 2018 at 3:59 PM (Last Updated: Jun 26, 2018 at 9:38 AM)

Covers Products: Half & Half, Pear Iced White Tea, Pineapple Iced Yerba Mate, Pomegranate Iced Green Tea

The most notable part about Teakoe Tea Supply’s new line of ready to drink teas is their appearance: a 12 oz. matte finish can that looks straight out of the craft beer category.

In addition to the design, the names of the product, which include Block Party Pomegranate (iced green tea), Fairway Half & Half (nitro infused), Peacemaker Pear (iced white tea), and Peg Leg Pineapple (iced yerba mate), continue the similarities. While it could potentially lead to some confusion, it’s definitely an interesting and novel approach that we haven’t seen used in the RTD tea category.

Our primary feedback on this approach is that the execution is pretty busy. There’s a lot of different typography on the can. Plus, you need to read it from the bottom up, starting with the company logo that’s the lowest element on the can. This requires your eye to jump around, which certainly reduces the overall intuitiveness of the product. Still, this is a somewhat minor point as these cans otherwise really catch the eye and are, thanks to the uniqueness of the approach, memorable.

As for the liquid inside these cans, all four of the flavors that we sampled are sweetened (at least partially) with stevia. Looking at the design of the can, which calls out “classic brewed,” we were surprised to see this as an ingredient. Even more confusing is that the flavors range from 5 to 60 calories, 1-16g of sugar, and 50-133 mg of caffeine. From our perspective, these products are potentially for very different consumers.

However, when it comes to taste, there’s definitely some work to do. All four of the flavors have the noticeable taste of stevia. Even the Fairway Half & Half, which has 16g of sugar and is also nitro infused, has an off taste to its finish and we really don’t see the benefit of the nitro. Then there’s the Peg Leg Pineapple, which further complicates things by adding monk fruit. Lastly, all of the products use flavorings for the fruit flavor, which is somewhat surprising given that some of the other ingredients, such as wildflower honey, are quite premium.

In the end, we’re just looking for some consistency -- and we think consumers will, too. In the current form, you’ll have to pick up each flavor and examine it closely, which seems like a lot to ask. What we’d suggest is this: ditch the zero calorie sweeteners (they really don’t taste good with tea) and having a consistent (or close to) level of sweetness across the line. They’ve clearly spent a lot of time an effort coming up with these products and developing the craft look of them, but the liquid inside doesn’t quite hold up.

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