Tuesday, February 22, 2011

V8 V-Fusion Plus Tea

Ever since I was a child, I have always hated tomato juice. I do, on occasion, drink the occasional glass of the stuff simply because I know how good it is for me, but those occasions are always exercises in my mental capacity to manage disgust. However, I am a big fan of V8's other ventures into fruit/vegetable juice fusions, and I've been enthusiastically drinking V8 Spalsh and Fusion for several years now. Diminishing returns has been setting in recently, however, until I ran across this flavor at a local Big Lots and decided to give the stuff another (hopefully rejuvinating) try.

I am sad to say that this was not the particular rejuvination that I needed. I'm not entirely sure what this country's sudden obsession with mixing things with green tea is or where it came from, but there are some things that are better off just standing on their own. Don't get me wrong, I love green tea. But I feel like green tea is the new "last flavor resort." I imagine a lot of board meetings proceeding as follows:

"Sir, we have our new flavor finished and we've sent out samples for testing."

"How are the reactions?"

"Well...so far they've been subpar. People don't seem to like it a whole lot, but we've got two weeks before the finished product ships and we can't make any significant changes to the formula."

"Hmm...well...just mix it with some green tea. It will sell like crazy."

I understand that green tea is a wonderful beverage. It is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients, but it has a very distinct flavor and really only works well with specific types of other flavors. And yet, it is everywhere, being mixed with everything. It is the new "buzzword" in the beverage industry, and I'm not entirely sure why.

Anyway, rantings aside, this blend of V-Fusion is only okay. It is certainly not undrinkable in any way; in fact, I'd prefer it to a lot of the other casual health beverage alternatives that are out there. But it's not great. The flavors amalgomate heterogeneously into a strange pile of tastes on the palatte, and it feels as though the ingredients are fighting for dominance in one's olfactory. The strange combination of tastes also tends to accentuate the sucralose. I don't mind the taste of sucralose as much as other artificial sweeteners, but I still prefer it to be a background taste that is masked by the flavor of whatever I am drinking. In my opinion, the function of sweeteners (of any sort) is to accentuate the natural taste of the beverage and add a bit of drinkability to an otherwise bitter or acidic flavor, not to be present as its own taste.

Hence my rampaging distaste of stevia extract.

But, to get back to the point, V8 V-Fusion Raspberry Green Tea is just trying to do too many things at once. Between combining fruit and vegetable juice and trying to bring the raspberry to prominence, all while featuring the green tea, the drink just collapses into a black hole of flavors in which all flavors are contained but none of them escape. It's just...odd, really, and there are definitely better versions of the stuff out there.

Verdict: Not recommended, try another flavor

Purchased: Big Lots [Greenwood, SC]
Size: 46 fl. oz. [1.36 L]
Price: $1.50 [Discounted]

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