Anyone who knows me will know I’m incredibly against energy drinks. I remember the first time I tasted Red Bull – it was so gross I only said I liked it to impress a boy. Since Red Bull came out others have joined them like Relentless and Monster. I know they’re not meant to be really that bad but they have horrible names, taste nasty and come in cans with neon logos. They’re probably full of colours and E numbers and so much caffeine. I just don’t want to touch them. I foresee a future where they’re banned because someone has discovered a terrible ingredient in them and we’ll be faced with a generation of dehydrated zombies walking around not knowing how to wake themselves up from their sugar and caffeine crash.
Anyway, I am always on the look out for something new and natural to drink. My regular readers know how much I love iced tea and when I was followed on twitter by a company called Vivid Drinks (@VividDrinks) I was intrigued. A new company, Vivid promotes itself as a natural, subtle caffeine boost with added matcha for a brain stimulating hit of anti oxidants. For those who have never heard of matcha, it’s a green tea leaf powder so high in nutrients it blows superfoods out of the water boasting 20 times the antioxidants of foods such as pomegranates – and 130 times the antioxidants of normal strained green tea. Yes, I’m all for health boosting, energy gaining, thirst quenching drinks – but it was the flavours that really caught my eye. So I contacted them and they agreed send me some of their drinks to try – and of course let you guys know all about it!
The Vivid range consists of three flavours: Lime, Ginger & Honey, Grape & Elderflower and Pear & Rhubarb. I was most excited about the lime, ginger and honey flavour. Having recently discovered ginger tea I was very interested to see how a cold equivalent would compare. I also gave a couple of bottles away to see what other people thought of the flavours.
I wanted to see how these drinks would help with general thirst quenching, a perk throughout my working day and also post run/work out recovery. I wasn’t disappointed.
Lime, ginger and honey was my favourite of the three. The flavours were balanced really well but you could taste all three separately which I really liked. I loved the warmth I got from the ginger, the sweetness from the honey which added to the natural dryness of the tea. The lime added welcome acidity to the other two flavours – sadly I have drunk all of them and am suffering withdrawals…. I also gave one of these to my Mum to try. She’s a huge fan of ginger and she really liked it too. She had poured the drink out into a glass and wasn’t too keen on the colour of the drink, but to me that just shows it’s all natural stuff inside 😀 I took one of these to work and I did find it pulled me out of the post lunch fuzz I was in and right back into my spreadsheets!
Next I tried Grape and Elderflower. I had this one straight after a run when I was boiling hot and gasping for a drink. Straight from the fridge, out of the bottle, down the throat. I’m usually a fan of a Vita Coco straight after a run but I wanted to see how Vivid did. I liked this one too. It was refreshing and tasted sweet but not over the top. I found the elderflower flavour a little strong – potentially headachey, but the grape did come through behind it. It cured my thirst well. Mum tried this one too and gave it 10/10. She loved the flavours and found them really refreshing, saying she’d love to drink it on a hot day and was much happier with the colour of this one when poured into her glass!
Pear and Rhubarb was the last one to try and I have to say I was hesitant. I don’t mind eating pears but usually find anything with pear flavour tastes like feet. I’m not a fan of rhubarb either, but I gave it a try. In fact I gave it to a friend to try before I took the plunge myself and she really liked the flavour. As a non iced tea drinker she felt the flavours were a bit washed out but could taste the individual fruits. I on the other hand, felt I could taste a whole new flavour as the two fruits merged into one. Maybe I’m not familiar with pear and rhubarb enough to taste them separately. I think it worked for me though because I really enjoyed drinking it! The labelled ingredients would have put me off buying it but having now tried it I would drink it again!
So what’s the verdict?: I love these drinks. The packaging means they’re easy to drink and carry around. I liked that the bottles are resealable, unlike Vita Coco which means post-race I have to down the whole bottle (not great for rehydrating) but with these I could sip over time. They’re obviously a healthy option from the packaging and contain information about matcha and how it can benefit you. As you’ve no doubt gathered, the lime, ginger and honey option is a total winner and I’m going to have to go on a hunt to find some more and stock up!
Vivid drinks are available from Whole Foods, As Nature Intended, Planet Organic, Booths, Selfridges, Waitrose, Harvey Nichols and WH Smith retailing at £1.85 a carton. There’s more info about the wonderful stuff that is matcha at their website. They were kind enough to provide me with a free box of yummy goodness, but my review is totally my opinion – when you try them you’ll see for yourself!