Review: Tempo Sparkling Tea

Posted: May 21, 2018 at 8:20 PM (Last Updated: May 21, 2018 at 9:36 PM)

Covers Products: Black Tea, Green Tea

Tempo Sparkling Tea is, as the name suggests, a line of sparkling tea drinks that contain no added sugar and zero calories. The product line, which is launching with two flavors, Green Tea and Black Tea, is packaged in a 12 oz. clear glass long neck bottle.

Let’s start by looking at the two formulations:

First up is Black Tea, which is enhanced with ginseng, grapefruit and lemon juices (2% juice per bottle) from concentrate, natural flavors, and black pepper. The product is dry and light in body, although it definitely isn’t short on flavor with pleasant notes of black tea, grapefruit, and pepper. It’s clean and, thanks to the carbonation, crisp at the finish.

Next, there’s Green Tea, which blends sparkling tea with lemon juice, ginger extract, clove extract, cinnamon extract, turmeric, cayenne extract, and natural flavors. The green tea is smooth and clean, lacking any grassy flavor that you sometimes find when this ingredient is used. We like the subtle spice notes, although we wish there was a tad more ginger in the mix.

As mentioned earlier, the product utilizes a clear, 12 oz. longneck glass bottle. The label, which is rather small both in terms of its height and width, feels a bit rough around the edges. There’s a lot crammed into the small space and the organization of the text requires your eye to jump around quite a bit.

From our perspective, we’re pretty convinced that a soda bottle probably isn’t the best fit for this product. The brand and the design that they’ve created would be much more attractive and functional if it had proper breathing room (e.g. on a 12 oz. slim can). However, there’s still the need for refinement, especially in how they integrate sparkling into the copy (it really should be beside “Black Tea” or “Green Tea”) and something to communicate that the product is unsweetened.

That gets us to our final point, which is the overall approach. On the surface, adding bubbles to tea seems like a bit of a no-brainer and something that shouldn’t be that hard for consumers to adopt. However, we’ve seen a lot of sparkling tea products come and go, with many struggling to find a niche as their placed somewhere in between tea, sparkling water, and energy drinks (due to the caffeine content).

In the case of Tempo, what they’ve created is enjoyable and nice looking, but we’re not sure they’ve cracked that code. The product feels like it needs more from both the liquid (we’re not sure unsweetened is the way to go) and the packaging. Until then, this is a good product but one that we feel needs to evolve to fully realize its potential for success.

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