The good folks at Honest Beverages recently sent two 500-ml samples of their new Half & Half and Pomegranate Blue for my consideration. Frankly, I'd not heard of their company and had never knowingly tasted their products. Thus, it was surprising to learn that Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff founded Honest Tea a dozen years ago, and that, in 2008, the two co-founders sold 40 percent of their business to The Coca-Cola Company.
Before I took my first sip, my enthusiasm had already been primed by the USDA Organic logo on the label of both drinks. At the same time, however, the adjacent slogan, "just a tad sweet," was slightly disconcerting. I started with the Half & Half, a fifty-fifty blend of black tea and lemonade. Though somewhat sweet, it was refreshing, and reminded me of the iced tea we'd drunk on family vacations long ago. The difference, however, is that the Honest version had a more satisfying tea flavor than did the beverage I remember from my summer trips. For me, this was a taste of nostalgia.
I was also eager to try the Honest Ade Pomegranate Blue (blued with powder and flavor of blueberries). The name alone sounds healthful. Although the label touts "200mg antioxidant activity per bottle," this "organic thirst quencher" tastes more like organic Kool-Aid. As an enthusiast of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice, I found the Honest Ade Pomegranate Blue disappointing. It lacks the gusto of the aforementioned juice and fails to capture the essence of either fruit.
Both Honest beverages left a slight aftertaste—almost like that of an artificial sweetener. A check of the labels, however, revealed that purified water and organic cane sugar are the first and second ingredients, respectively. While it may be honest, the slogan, "just a tad sweet," seems a tad restrained. I try to avoid sweetened drinks in general, and could probably find a more suitable beverage in their "Just" product line.