July 18, 2013

Snapple Raspberry Iced Tea K-Cups Review

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As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and so, we finish our Snapple K-Cup review series today with their Snapple Raspberry Iced Tea K-Cups. We really enjoyed the other 2 flavors in the line-up but this particular flavor caught us off guard as Keurig & Snapple kept it a secret right up until launch date. We can't recall hearing anything about a 3rd flavor in the Snapple K-Cup series, so imagine our surprise when we saw 3 listings pop up on Keurig's site instead of 2.

The ingredients are much the same again with green & black tea leaves/extracts being present along with natural flavors plus the combination of sugar & aspartame. As we noted in our last 2 Snapple K-Cup reviews, aspartame is being used as an artificial sweetener here and thus it brings about a warning for people who are sensitive to phenylalanine (one of aspartame's ingredients) and more importantly, we'd like to warn people who have a genetic condition known as PKU since consuming phenylalanine can cause severe side effects for them. This essential amino acid doesn't pose any risk to people who don't have this condition or who aren't allergic to phenylalanine. We know there's only a small percentage of people who have this condition, but we owe it to them to post some form of advisory anyway just in case they happen to miss the warnings on the labeling/packaging.

Brewing these K-Cups resulted in mild aromas of raspberries and a more pronounced black tea scent in the background than in any other Snapple K-Cup in the line-up. While the berry notes were subtle, the tea notes were unmistakable. Flavor was again more of the same as we got some mild raspberry notes at the beginning followed by a considerably stronger tea taste than the other 2 flavors. The raspberry flavor was noticeable but not as pronounced this time around as the tea flavors were.

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Again, flavors were blended rather well together so that we didn't notice any chemical notes from the aspartame but it's been a while since we tried the bottled ready to drink variety, so we're not quite sure if this compares to it or not. From what we can recall, the bottled version had a stronger raspberry taste overall. Acidity was a bit livelier this go around as we could definitely discern the tannins in the tea blend which lingered around during the middle of each sip and gave for a bit of a dry finish near the end of each sip. Body was identical with characteristic shades of light brown & amber orange throughout the cup much akin to what we're used to seeing from an average iced tea.

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The addition of ice didn't hinder mouth feel as we got a smooth substantial consistency comparable to most bottle versions of Snapple iced teas. Finish was, as noted earlier, a bit on the dry side as the tea notes were more noticeable in this flavor than the others and this made for a very mild raspberry aftertaste. Overall, we liked this flavor but think it was more muted and less intense when compared to the peach or the lemon K-Cups. We used the same brew size and the same amounts of ice in each review, so we can rule those out as possible causes towards this flavor's subdued strength. We like it, but we think there could have been a bit more flavoring thrown in to balance things out.

  • Aroma - 10 - Mild notes of raspberries up front with a considerably stronger black tea aroma in the background. MUCH more pronounced than any other flavor in the line-up.
  • Acidity - 10 - A bit livelier this time around as we could definitely notice the tannins from the tea blend which was present in the middle of each sip and gave a bit of a dry finish as a result.
  • Body - 10 -Looks identical to what you'd get with the bottled Snapple varieties or any other iced teas.
  •  Flavor - 8 - While there are definitely sweet raspberry notes up front, they were as intense as what we were expecting given the performance of the past 2 flavors. What we DID notice was a much stronger tea flavor overall which dominated the back end of the cup. We just wish there would have been more raspberry flavoring and find that's the only thing which merits us removing a few points in this category.
  • Mouth Feel - 10 - Adding ice didn't hinder anything as mouth feel remained smooth and substantial throughout and was right on-par with most bottled versions of Snapple iced tea.
  • Coffee Drinker - Obviously, not a coffee, but if you like raspberries and are looking for something a little lighter on the palate than the 2 other flavors in the line-up, you'll want to give these K-Cups a try.

Overall Rating: 98 - Excellent!

Now that we've have a chance to try all 3 flavors, we'd have to say that the peach K-Cups are our #1 favorite followed closely by the lemon flavor with this raspberry flavor taking 3rd place overall. It could have easily tied 2nd place with the lemon flavor had there been just a bit more raspberry flavoring present, but as we said, it's been so long since we had the bottled version that we can't recall if it's normally a less intense flavor or not. That aside, this is a decent performer and it STILL beats most of the competition. We love that we can't detect any chemical taste which is often not the case with competing products.

Another thing we'd like to quickly mention is the artwork on the foil K-Cup lids. It's not too often that we see details in the artwork and this K-Cup series is some of the nicest yet while holding true to the designs on the bottle labels. The lemon flavor had lemon wedge & a lemon tree in the background, the peach flavor had a peach wedge & a farmer carrying a peach basket in the background while this raspberry flavor had 3 raspberries & a raspberry bush in the background while all 3 had vibrant colors & patterns throughout. Pretty neat little attention to detail if we say so ourselves and it adds to the appeal of the final products in our opinion. As for what's next? We're sure a Half & Half Snapple K-Cup can't be too far behind or perhaps they might want to experiment with white tea blends and release a Blueberry Iced Tea K-Cup next summer? Time will tell and if the results are anything like what we've seen to date, we can't wait.

Snapple Raspberry Iced Tea K-Cups work in all Keurig K-Cup Brewers and are available in USA in 22-packs for $17.49 USD ($15.74 USD Member Price) at Keurig.com. Canadians can also order these K-Cups from Keurig.com if they're willing to pay a $10 FedEx brokerage fee.  Please note that K-Cups will NOT work with Keurig Vue brewers.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to note that we purchased a box of these K-Cups on our own for the purpose of this review.

Read More in: K Cup Reviews | Keurig & K-Cups | Reviews

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Posted by Jay Brewer at July 18, 2013 5:12 AM
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