I have a weird compulsion to buy any product that sounds disgusting. The reasoning is simple: Most of them turn out to be good. As it turns out, the millions of dollars companies spend on taste testing and marketing and focus groups (and etcetera) is generally reliable in terms of how it will fare with the general public. On the flipside, if it sucks, it just feels like a “haha, I told you so” moment. Either way, it’s gratifying on some level.
The latest example of such a product is this wild tea from Publix, who seem to pride themselves on their “deli” tea and lemonade collection. I say this because the number of available flavors seems to grow every time we go. And also because they offer “limited edition” seasonal flavors, such as this one, which blends pear, clove and elderberry in a white tea base. I mean, that just sounds too disgusting to be good, right?
And when that’s the case, psychology states that the opposite typically applies.
Wait…nope…this is fucking awful. God-fucking-awful. Two flavor profiles come to mind: cough syrup and perfume. The first one is acceptable only when you’re drinking cough syrup. Tea is not cough syrup. The second one is never an acceptable trait in anything that’s to be ingested at all. This is a dumpster fire. It’s quite possibly the worst edible thing I’ve ever gotten from a store, period. It’s offensively bad on all levels. The taste is probably akin to when someone puts poison in a drink, and then tosses in copious amounts of sweet shit to cover up the taste of the fatal ingredient. (Obviously I’m not actually insinuating Publix is trying to poison the general public, so let’s not start that theory.)
There’s not really much tea in here at all, at least none discernible to the tastebuds. It’s all lost in the foundation of vomit-inducing flavor created by the other ingredients. In fact, if it weren’t clearly printed on the label, I’d just think this is some “progressive” juice that’s supposedly healthier than normal juice. You know, the kind with marketspeak all over the front like “contains hyperantioxidants” or whatever the latest useless keywords are. My mind would never have gone to “tea product.”
Just as I hate giving perfect scores, I…okay, I actually don’t mind giving goose eggs. It’s the pessimist/cynic in me. But I honestly try not to. Usually, there’s some sort of redeeming quality – no matter how minor – that I can come up with in order to avoid it. For example, I’ve ingested many gross things no one else wanted just to prevent them from going to waste. The fact that I was able to force them down has to count for something, right? Or, in other cases, my wife and/or son liked them. And how can I say something is irredeemable if it provides joy to someone else?
But this is a rare product that doesn’t bring joy to anyone. It destroys it. My wife’s face was visibly contorted in a mix of agony and confusion as she forced it down, before surmising – as I had, with no mention of it to her beforehand – that it tasted “like straight up cough syrup.” And as for my son: He’s much too precious and innocent to subject him to something like this. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for having him try things I know he won’t like just for an innocent laugh. But just the thought of asking him to try something like this feels completely cruel and unfunny. I would probably ask him to eat a turd before I tried to get him to force this down.* In fact, I can’t see anyone enjoying this in any capacity whatsoever.
So, to summarize: fuck this shit.
Overall: 0/10. This is offensively, irredeemably bad. The titular ingredients taste like they were just blindly thrown into a vat and bottled up without any sort of taste testing beforehand. It’s like moonshine, but without the added “benefit” of getting drunk afterwards. The end result is a disgusting mix of “perfume” and “cough syrup” flavor profiles, which is about as enticing as it sounds. The $2+ price tag (per half gallon container) does it absolutely no favors in terms of value, either, meaning there are absolutely zero reasons to even consider getting this. Seriously. Don’t let the “limited edition” connotation on the label lure you in like I did: It should be avoided like coronavirus, circa 2020.
*Clearly a joke further meant to convey just how horrible this product is. I would not actually ask my son to eat a turd for any reason whatsoever.