I don’t like grocery shopping. At least, I don’t like having to GO grocery shopping. L.A.Z.Y. I aint got no alibi… I’m lazy! Just not a fan. It’s kinda boring, takes awhile, there’s a fair amount of obnoxious people. I suppose since I’m attempting to be gluten and dairy free, it’s also an extreme test of willpower. Trying to find obscure ingredients and exotic spices to use so you stop thinking about how much you miss bread and yogurt… Trying to avoid aisles with gluten and dairy products… Walking by the tortilla end display without grabbing a pack… BTW, if you’ve never been gluten and/or dairy free, try it. Just for lols.
My one grocery weakness is fancy packaging. I’m terrible with fancy packaging. Doesn’t matter what it’s for. Thai Kitchen kills me with packaging. Being gluten free, it’s on my list anyway but I spend forever looking at everything. Ooo… a new curry. Ooo… a new instant noodles. Eww… fish sauce. Barbecue sauce glasses, orange juice jugs, frozen dinner packaging, and of course RTD beverage packaging all cry out to me from the shelves and say, “WE’RE SEXY SO WE MUST TASTE GOOD!” Argo Tea’s RTD called out to me a couple weeks ago, from a low level end display near the produce section.
I blame POM. When they had their pretty little POM tea glasses my mom and I bought quite a few. We’ve been using them for dinner glasses and general use ever since (I’m using one right now actually), and those were only the ones with the decal! I just noticed a couple weeks ago that my friends have the classy ones with the beveled glass. So jealous. After years of washing, mine no longer show the decal but I use them anyway. Of course, ever since then, I’ve been on the lookout for RTD beverage glasses that are similar so I can complete my fancy dinnerware collection. Argo is the first sexy, potentially reusable RTD beverage glass I’ve seen in awhile. Naturally I got excited and was immediately sold. Picked up two to start with – one of them being Carolina Honey.
(BTW, terrible picture in terms of composition and lighting and whatnot, but I couldn’t help myself. Accidentally shot with the hanging lamp on and the way the glass is positioned against the light almost gives it a halo. Behold! The savior of RTDs!)
Apparently I was really excited to try this tea. Ripped the label right off. The whole thing. In my defense, the perforations are terrible. You rip from the top, down maybe an inch, and then rip horizontally around the lid. Mine just tore right down the side. Take that, tea packaging. /flex
And taking the first sip…
Disappoint. It’s like an unimpressive offspring between a real tea and a standard RTD tea. The black tea taste is present – little weak, slight astringency, but definitely recognizable as a black tea. The honey is present – kind of cakey on my tongue. I don’t taste enough lemon to warrant a “splash of tart lemons” on the label, but it’s there. And of course the sugar is sort of there. It’s just… I don’t know. It’s not bad. Either needs more sugar or honey to be sweeter like most RTDs, or less sugar to be more like loose leaf. I appreciate that it has only four ingredients. I appreciate that I can easily recognize them all. I appreciate that I can easily spell them all. It just doesn’t knock it out of the park for me. It’s acceptable. Though comparing it to the rest of the RTD tea market, it’s better than average I suppose. Perhaps it’s some cognitive disparity between the awesome glass and the slightly above standard, yet still standard RTD. If your glass is fucking awesome your tea better be fucking awesome, or I will be disappoint.
Nice glass though! Not feather-light or breakable. Comfortable to hold with the concave curvature in the middle. Appealingly colored lid that’s easy to remove and screw back on. Will use again! Seems like a missed marketing opportunity that they don’t have the brand name on there. On a similar note, it always baffles me a little why more RTD companies don’t take this approach. I’m not the only one who buys an RTD because of the sexy, reusable glassware. I understand why it wouldn’t be beneficial all the time – one can only have so many glasses in the kitchen – but at least every so often. There are always new college kids moving out every year, looking for cheap dining ware. The label is nice and clean too, for what it’s worth. Overall, good design.
What: Carolina Honey by Argo Tea
Type: Black Tea, RTD
Cost: You know, I didn’t actually check. That’s how price insensitive I am with sexy RTD glasses. I’m terrible. I’ll go back and check this weekend. $17.70 for a case of six on their site though. ($2.95 ea)
Cost per Cup: tbd
Tea Score: 65 – Suffers from a fairly serious case of MEH, though it’s better than the average RTD.
Cupboard Score: 50 – Perfectly MEH in terms of being in my fridge. I will probably never buy it again, unless I’m out and about, dying of thirst and it just happens to be there. I probably will try the other flavors though, just to acquire more glasses.