Saturday, September 19, 2009

Review: FUZE Green Tea

547mL (Stop & Shop, $1.34)

Part of the fun of writing a tea blog is that it gives you license to try anything even remotely related to tea. Products that would otherwise be deemed as reckless spending are just new things to write about. Someone needs to keep the tea drinking (and reading) community informed. Who knows what sort of tea related diamonds lurk in the vast roughage of our global marketplace? That being said, it’s hard to call any company owned by soft drink king Coca-Cola as “roughage” but for the purposes of this review the phrase will suffice.

Started in 2001 by “health enthusiast” Lance Collins (see video above) FUZE was created, according to the FUZE website, to be “a breakthrough beverage that not only pleased taste buds alike, but incorporated real health benefits too!” In 2003 the company branched out from light, fruit flavored beverages to include tea flavored drinks. Currently endorsed by twangy country seductress Julie Roberts (not to be confused with the actress of a similar name) and easily found in most any corner store, supermarket, or big box mega-market (at least in my area), FUZE seems to have done well for itself over the past eight years. Not to mention of course, being purchased by Coca-Cola in 2007 for a reported $250 million.

The bottle of FUZE Green Tea does a lot of boasting about the health benefits of tea. Polyphenols, Folic Acid, and Antioxidants are all given mention ensuring the consumer that the contents of this bottle rival the health benefits of fresh vegetables. It all sounds like a good way to kick back with your health conscious friends after a rousing match of yoga right up until you get up to the taste.

Both tasting and smelling something like watered down Herbal Essence Shampoo with a dash of sweetener, Green Tea FUZE is not only unpleasant, it bears absolutely no resemblance to any type of green tea I have ever had. “Green Tea from Tea Leaves” is listed ninth on the ingredient list (behind essentials such as Green Tea Extract and Natural Flavor), but nowhere is it made clear what type of green tea is involved.

Opinions on the internet about FUZE drinks in general seem to be pretty split. Rumors circulate that FUZE products are in fact harmful to your health while supporters maintain that not only are they good for you, the $1.50 or so price range is a steal. Either way, I am unlikely to try any other FUZE products, nor am I likely to try and listen to any more music by Julie Roberts. I tried to make it through “Men & Mascara” for this article but I found the YouTube comments much more interesting. Consider the unfortunate case of commenter darrenmcoy65:

yes it is very true it is a two sided road! i was with someone that i thought was a lady ! im goin to b 25 in octber an i have only bein with two ladys in my life time! an all i ever wanted out of either one was there trust an heart! one just walked a way! an the other well was to much in to cheatin an drugs! sex is fun yes! but i could live with just a ladys heart an trust! so it really is two sided roads!