Review: Tassimo Tea Bar Peach Iced Tea T-Discs
We decided it was time to review something which has long been missing for the Tassimo machine... iced teas. Today we check out the new Tassimo Tea Bar Peach Iced Tea T-Discs. Much like the King of Joe series, Tassimo Tea Bar appears to be a new in-house brand that Kraft created for the Tassimo. Since this is the first time the Tassimo has seen iced teas, we were interested to see how things would play out.
Brewing these T-Discs resulted in sweet, rich peach aromas quickly filling the room and there was no mistaking that you were brewing a peach flavored drink, plus you could also smell some of the black tea aromas in the background as well. Spot on so far. Flavor is where things went a bit sideways. The first thing you notice is the artificial sweetener taste which is almost to the point of being chemical-tasting. Then, once that dissipates, you finally get the peach flavoring and then the black tea notes buried underneath. We were a bit taken aback by the chemical taste which we were NOT expecting, so we checked out the packaging and found the culprit... sucralose, which is more commonly known as Splenda. Things improved a bit once the ice melted and diluted the drink, but we could still taste remnants of the sucralose anyway.
Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than natural sugar but offers a much longer shelf life, so we're starting to see why Kraft went this route, however, there are much better alternatives such as stevia extract which is made from the natural leaves of the stevia plant, but that also has a taste which takes a bit of getting used to. When blended in drinks, it works fairly well, but taken straight out of the sugar packet, it has a bit of a licorice taste to it. The really odd thing about these T-Discs' ingredients? Sugar is also listed. Why add sucralose/Splenda if you've ALREADY got natural sugar in each T-Disc? We think Kraft need to kick the sucralose and stick with just standard natural sugar or at least switch to something that doesn't have such a weird chemical taste to it.
Ok, enough ranting... let's get back to the review. Body was a pleasant deep orange much akin to natural peach colors, so much like the aroma, that was also top notch. Acidity is not normally something you want in an iced tea and the addition of ice was a major factor in keeping it down. We barely noticed any acidic notes of the tannins in the black tea and only detected a very faint hint of it near the end of each sip. Mouth feel seemed smooth and a notch above watery, but hey... you've got a glass full of ice here, of course it's going to taste somewhat watery once it starts melting, so we got what we were expecting.
- Aroma - 10 - Strong aromas of sweet, rich peaches quickly filled the room along with faint notes of black tea underneath. Spot on.
- Acidity - 7 - Almost non-existent here which is usually a good thing, although we can't help but wonder how it would have played with the sucralose. Could it have made it less noticeable? More noticeable? We barely noticed any of the tea's tannins until we got to the aftertaste.
- Body - 10 - Deep orange with tinges of yellow, much akin to the color of peaches, so once again, spot on.
- Flavor - 2 - This is the major fault with these T-Discs. The addition of sucralose/Splenda just totally ruined the taste and even though we did finally start getting a decent peach flavor once the sucralose taste went away, it was almost more of an aftertaste than anything else. Despite getting a peach flavor, we just can't justify a high score here.
- Mouth Feel - 7 - Smooth but a notch above being watery, which is to be expected due to the ice melting. Decent peachy aftertaste with some of the black tea flavors and tannins coming through in the end.
Coffee Drinker - Well, obviously this is not a coffee, but if you like sweetly flavored iced teas & don't mind the chemical-tasting sucralose, you'll probably enjoy these T-Discs regardless. Just be prepared for that weird taste upon your first sip before any of the peach notes start coming through.
Overall Rating: 84 - Average
With the soaring cost of commodities & produce, we can kind of understand why Kraft opted for the cheaper cost of sucralose vs. natural extracts like stevia, however, what really bugs us is that they ALREADY had sugar in these T-Discs! Why not just keep the sugar alone and forego the sucralose? When Celestial Seasonings first introduced their Brew Over Ice K-Cups which featured similar iced tea flavors, they also made the mistake of using artificial sweeteners.
The flavors honestly tasted HORRIBLE. Fans complained and Keurig listened. The ingredients were tweaked and the flavors were re-released. They started using natural cane sugar & different sweeteners for some of their K-Cups and it improved things dramatically. Gone were the weird chemical tastes and we could finally start tasting the flavors as they were intended. We think Kraft needs to rethink things and take a cue from Keurig here... either tweak the ingredients or change the type of sweetener. Until they opt to do so, we think most people will continue to complain about the odd taste of the sucralose, and justly so.
Tassimo Tea Bar Peach Iced Tea T-Discs will work in most Tassimo brewers (read our review of the Tassimo T65 here) and are available in 16-packs for $9.99 USD at CoffeeCow.com. Canadians can also order these T-Discs for $10.99 CAD from ECSCoffee.com.
A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to thank CoffeeCow for supplying us with samples for the purpose of this review.
Read how we review and rate single-serve coffee and other single-serve coffee beverages here.
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Posted by Jay Brewer at August 23, 2012 7:43 AM