Saturday, April 12, 2014

Product Review: Crystal Light with CAFFEINE! Grape Flavor

Note: I'm not being compensated in any way for this review; I just felt like doing it. 

In my quest for better fitting clothes, I've been trying to up my water intake. I've got water bottles that I rotate through but found that water is, well, plain (no kidding), and I couldn't get excited about drinking it all day long. And while I love coffee, I haven't weaned to straight black so in goes the creamer and sugar which completely subverts the whole notion of not gorging on stuff to wake me up in the afternoon. (Ain't no way I'm getting rid of my morning coffee delight. My pants will just have to deal with it.) So when I came across the pretty little boxes of Crystal Light drink mixes, I was intrigued. Flavor with only 5 calories per serving! (Though let's be real, that's 5 calories per HALF of the little pouch so man up Crystal Light and tell it like it is: 10 calories per packet,) I bought a pink lemonade that was half decent and away we went. But I can't always find it or the raspberry lemonade on the shelves which gives me a sad. But! This past week I found two new-ish flavors: Iced Tea with Lemon flavor and Grape with CAFFEINE! And lo, the clouds parted and a voice from on high intoned 'This is the answer for the afternoon pick-me-up you've been looking for.' Eagerly, I awaited my chance to try it and the opportunity presented itself this afternoon.

The verdict is in and drum roll please....Meh.

The good: Well, it's grape and the flavor isn't as watered down as the Iced Tea with lemon flavor. In fact it's rather in your face. And the CAFFEINE! delivers as promised. I haven't felt drowsy at all this afternoon and that's a miracle on a Friday. It's also a pretty spring purple color.

Totally natural of course*
The bad:  Maybe it's because I work in the food and flavor industry but I can taste the artificial sweetener in the back of my throat and I generally can't in most of these types products. Or it could be the CAFFEINE! that's amplifying it to my bitter/burn threshold**. It's also a bit heavy on the citric acid giving it a tartness that's more suited to citrus flavors (though sadly often found in grape).

Overall, it isn't bad and since it does the job promised, well, I won't kick it out of bed for eating crackers. So if you're looking for a pick-me-up and don't want to go the soda/coffee route, this is worth it. And at around $2.50 for a box of 10 packets, it's more cost effective than a soda from a machine. Go forth and be awake because CAFFEINE!

*No it isn't.
**I'm very sensitive to bitter and the bitter of caffeine in particular so your mileage may vary.

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