Makava Delighted Ice Tea

Makava, the Austrian company that produces it, calls this drink “delighted ice tea”…  I didn’t know what they mean by that. But they sent me some samples (Thanks!) – and after trying it, I have to say it really is quite unlike any ice tea I had before. It is made with mate tea, instead of black tea – which gives it an uniquely spicy and refreshing taste.

  • mate tea based
  • added lemon juice
  • spicy and fresh
  • fairtrade and organic

A very bright, transparent-ish yellow. It’s light and pretty clear, but I can see some substance flowing in it – I guess it’s the lemon juice – which gives it a certain cloudiness.

At first sip is almost mild… at least the taste on the tip of the tongue. Just a very refreshing lemon-ness from the added lemon-juice (according to the label). But as soon as I swallow the bitter-sweet drink, I sense an entirely different and quite unusual taste, at least for an ice tea. It’s just because I’m so used to black tea and the occasional green tea, but never mate tea. I’ve had mate before (great with vodka), but not as an ice tea with lemon flavor.

The mate is very refreshing, even more so than green tea. It’s flavor is very light and not as full as a black tea based ice tea (even though it does cone in some black tea, according to its label). But it’s spicy in my mouth 🌶 , a very strong taste, almost fish-like (which I personally don’t mind) and that goes well with the added lemon juice 🍋 .
That said, the taste is so spicy, I can’t drink too much of it or it tickles my throat somehow! But its flavor is so much more interesting than your average black tea, that I keep going back to it… Therefore this ‘delighted’ ice tea brings me in a funny situation. I keep switching between it and other ice teas, but keep coming back to it… It’s also medium-sweet, so I can drink quite a lot of it and it doesn’t stick too much in my mouth.
I guess all this goes to say: Great if your looking for a change in flavor from your usual ice tea! (But probably too spicy to drink every day in large quantities.)

This is something I love about this ice tea: The label indicates more or less the source of the ingredients. The water is Austrian spring water. The rest: Mate*°, black tea*°, sugar*, lemon juice*, elderflower extract*, citric acid is all marked as either *organic,  °fair-trade or *°both.

Price and Availability
The Makava delighted ice tea comes in a 0.33 L glass bottle and it’s available in Austria 🇦🇹  and parts of Germany 🇩🇪  and Switzerland 🇨🇭 .
Priced at 2.10 CHF ( US $ 2.10) per bottle at the whole-seller (and obviously way more at the bars and clubs where you’ll usually encounter it), this is not the cheapest of ice teas. But it’s neither the most expensive and actually an average price for a specialty tea and compared to the big-brands.
Nevertheless it’s not the ice tea I could afford to drink every day.
But as I said before, this is anyway not an everyday ice tea! 🌞

+ refreshing
+ surprising taste
+ organic and fair-trade sourcing
– too spicy to drink all the time
– high price

Overall Rating: 8/10

Coop Ice Tea Lemon (Swiss)

The Ice Tea Lemon from the Swiss Coop is a pretty standard black-tea-based ice tea – sweet and pretty refreshing, as long as it’s served ice-cold.

This sort of ice tea is the hardest to review, as it doesn’t have any one quality that would make it stick out: It’s a black tea based ice tea with lemon flavor and not unique in any particular way. Nevertheless the Ice Tea Lemon from the Swiss coop supermarket-chain is certainly amongst the better one’s of this type and I’ll try to find out why!

It is very similar to the lemon ice tea from the ‘Kult’ range of the competing Migros chain of supermarkets (full review here). I can’t get around the feeling that this ice tea as a whole – right down to its packaging design – is heavily inspired by its competitor Migros’s product with it’s cult-like-following that gives it its name. Nevertheless they do have a few differences, some of which make this ice tea from the Swiss Coop even superior to the original in certain ways (and in other ways not).

  • black tea based
  • sugary-sweet
  • fairtrade
  • vegan

A brownish-beige, almost with a hint of red, this ice tea is medium-clear: Just a little bit opaque, so that I can see through it, but not quite clearly. It’s a classic color for a black tea based ice tea and in my experience that’s usually a sign that it’s pretty sweet. (Compared to the Migros ‘Kult’ ice tea, it’s slightly darker and less opaque.)

As I said, you gotta drink it cold. (If I leave the glass for a moment and it warms up just a bit, the ice tea sticks to the edges of my tongue when I drink it – which makes me constantly lick my lips.) But the flavor is really nice – sweet and refreshing, just as an ice tea should be.

Its taste reminds me of the Migros ‘Kult’ ice tea. And as the label confirms, it does also contain rose hip tea, which gives it some of that distinctive taste. The difference here is that the Coop ice tea also contains hibiscus, whereas the other one has added roselle.
This one from Coop tastes sweeter on the lips than the one from Migros, but I tend to say almost too much so. I guess it contains more sugar and that’s also what makes it so sticky once it warms up.

Fairtrade & Vegan
One thing that makes it superior to its competition in my eyes, is the fact that is certified as fairtrade by the Max Havelaar foundation. Though even this is not a guarantee that it is 100% ethically sourced, it still shows a noticeable effort for a product that has several ingredients where this is critical: Both the tea and the sugar are imported from places far away from where this ice tea is sold.

The fact that this ice tea has a vegan certification is also interesting – even though really no ice tea should contain animal products, or is there something I’m missing here?

Only available at stores of the Coop supermarket-chain in Switzerland 🇨🇭.  Priced at 75.- cents (CHF or US$) per litre, it is quite affordable compared to other products on the local market (but still 5 cents above its closest competitor’s price-per-litre).

+ flavor when cold
+ fairtrade sourcing
– stickiness
– price-per-litre compared to competition

Overall Rating: 7/10