Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pom Tea

Although I am only just now getting around to reviewing it, I am actually quite familiar with Pom Tea. I have been enjoying it from time to time since it was released several years ago, and we even have a few of the old Pom Tea glasses in our cabinet that are still regularly reused. Unfortunately, I have been met with some difficulty in tracking down a bottle of Pom's Blackberry Tea in local (and less than local) stores. But I have, however, been able to find the Pomegranate Lychee Green Tea and the Peach Passsion White Tea without any difficulty, which I actually find a bit odd. In any case, I will just go ahead and start with the lychee green.

Pom's Pomegranate Lychee Green Tea is very good, and is surprisingly light and smooth, despite the green tea base. I love green tea, but it is usually not exactly the first thing that pops into mind when I think of cool, refreshing beverages. The first time that I ever had this tea, I had no idea how the tart juiciness of the pomegranate and the dry, aromatic nature of the lychee were going to work together. They seemed like conflicting flavors, but Pom has shown that they can be anything but. Although the flavors don't exactly meld together, they form a very interesting combination, with the pomegranate and green tea flavors settling heavily in the middle of the mouth and the lychee spreading towards the sides of the mouth and the back of the throat. Despite the general lack of mixing among the flavors, the drink sets up an extremely interesting "flavor environment" that is very unique and definitely worth experiencing.

The Peach Passion White Tea, on the other hand, is a totally different experience. The Peach Passion is good, but it is very busy. White tea already has a pretty delicate flavor, and adding three strong, pronounced fruits (pomegranate, peach, and passionfruit) on top of it makes the subtle taste of the tea very difficult to detect. The flavors of each of the three fruits are all very strong and tend to compete for dominance, ultimately melding into one strange flavor that reminds me a lot of chilled sake. This is a strange sensation to have when drinking a fruit-infused tea, but I actually don't mind it at all. Although, I do think that the drink would benefit from Pom maybe dropping one of the flavors and simplifying the formula a bit, I still think that the flavor as it is now still works, somehow. The drink definitely tastes a bit weird, but it is a good weird; the interesting sort of weird that leaves you a bit confused after each drink, while actively encouraging you to take another and try to figure it out. And then, before you know it, you have finished the whole thing.

Although the differences between the two teas make it somewhat hard to recommend one flavor over the other, I find it very impressive that Pom has managed to maintain one common, underlying structure in these two drinks while still creating two very different and unique experiences. This is a difficult thing to do, especially once a company starts to hit mass production. This is demonstrated repeatedly by the often tiresome "sameness" that permeates the product lines of many of the older and more established beverage companies, so it is definitely nice to see a company as expansive as Pom really making an effort to keep their drinks individual and unique. Although I personally prefer the pomegranate lychee green tea variety, both of these teas are definitely worth your money.

Verdict: Recommended

Purchased: Bi-Lo [Greenwood, SC]
Size: 16 fl. oz. [473mL]
Price: $2.99

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