Oishi Green Tea with Honey and Lemon

The Oishi Green Tea with Honey 🍯 and Lemon 🍋 is a particularly sweet ice tea from Thailand that you’ll find in Asia-shops all over the world. On the label it says “Japanese Green Tea with Honey Lemon – Oishi Green Tea Brand”.
I guess with ‘Japanese’ it means the green tea recipe used, because it’s not made in Japan, but by the Oishi Group PCL in Thailand.
It seems that the word “oishii” means “tasty” in Japanese – and I’m sure that’s what they want to make people come to their mind when they see it!

  • green tea based
  • very sweet
  • very honey-y

Color
A very light yellowish, this ice tea’s color is bright and clear. It looks like a camomile tea and does not hint at the extreme sweetness that follows.

Taste
The honey is the first thing I feel on my tongue. It immediately sticks to my lips, but because it is honey, instead of sugar, this is less annoying.
You want to take another sip, but it just keeps sticking…

Because it’s green tea based, it tastes even a bit refreshing and doesn’t have any bitterness at all. It’s what gives it all its unique sweetness, but as it doesn’t contain black tea to balance out the flavor, that sweetness can be a bit too much.
And the added lemon is quite decent, so as not to make it bitter (thankfully). It enhances the flavor nicely, but doesn’t impact the extreme sweetness from the honey.

All said and done, this is one of those ice teas I really like to drink once in a while and it makes for a great little change to my usual black tea based lemon ice teas. But because it’s so very sweet and sticks to the lips, I can’t really drink too much of it at once and also not every day.

Availability
I have seen this ice tea mostly at Asia-shops and Asian restaurants (this particular bottle I bought at a sushi-stall). I assume you can find it in specialty shops in many countries all over the world. Unfortunately it is usually not the cheapest, I’ve seen it mostly priced somewhere around 3.50 CHF or US $ per 0.5L bottle.

+ nice honey-y sweetness
+ refreshing green tea taste
– almost too sweet
– high price per bottle

Overall Rating: 7/10

Arizona Pomegranate Green Tea

This is the third of the three Arizona ice teas most commonly available here in Switzerland.

  • reddish color
  • fruity sweetness
  • slightly sticky
  • dense consistency

Color
As expected for a pomegranate ice tea, it has a reddish color, somewhat orangey. But is mostly clear with just a little bit of opaqueness.

Taste
I immediately feel how sweet it is at the tip of the tongue. And it’s taste is quite full and very fruity. (Although I’m not sure I would have recognised it as being pomegranate, without the big picture of a pomegranate on the bottle.)
But this full and fruity flavor also makes it pretty sticky. Its consistency seems dense and so personally, I prefer to drink it with a lot of ice and don’t mind if it gets diluted a bit.

Availability
This one is about as easy to find as the other two most popular Arizona ice teas, Honey Green Tea and Blueberry White Tea. You’ll find it in supermarkets and delis in Europe in bottles of 0.5L (for 1.80 $ US) and sometimes also in 1.5L bottles (for 3.60 $ US).

+ sweetness
+ fruity taste
–  sticky
– consistency
– price

Overall Rating: 6/10

Arizona Original Green Tea

An American classic (and popular all over the world): The Arizona Original Green Tea with Honey. As its name says, this is also a green-tea based ice tea, but its taste is quite soft and delicate for a green tea. It lacks a ‘minty’ flavor and instead you feel the mild sweetness of the honey.

  • fresh
  • light
  • honey-flavor
  • delicate, only slightly sticky sweetness

Color
It has a very light, very clear yellow (with maybe just a slight hint of green). The ingredients are processed and so it stays clear and there isn’t much that can settle in the bottle over time.

Taste
Even though it is a big-brand, mass-produced ice tea, the acidity of the additives and artificial flavorings is bearable. Only on the edges of the tongue you can feel a slight bitterness. (Or if you drink too much of it, it still can stick a bit in your mouth.)
The honey in the Arizona Original Green Tea makes it really sweet, without giving it a too sugary taste. I really notice the honey all over my throat and it is a joy compared to artificial sweeteners. Maybe that is the reason that this is one ice tea that you can drink quite well even if it is not ice-cold.

Availability
This specific Arizona ice tea, the Original Green Tea, is the one most widely available around the world of the Arizona ice teas – but not everywhere at the original price of 99 US cents for a can. Instead, you’ll find only 0.5L bottles, priced upwards of 2 Euros.
Some other varieties of Arizona ice tea are also easily available, but most of the very large Arizona range is very hard to find outside of the US. Especially the black tea based ice tea types I have never seen in Europe (even though they’re my favourite ones).

+ fresh and very light
+ nice sweetness (from the honey)
+ easily drinkable
– slight bitterness at the edges
– high price outside of the US

Overall Rating: 8/10

Volvic Thé

Volvic Thé – or as its sub-line says: “The vert avec saveur de citron”. This is another big-brand ice tea, from the French Volvic beverage company known for its mineral water.

It is the first ice tea reviewed on here thats based on green tea, instead of the usual black tea. This gives it a very fresh flavor, reminiscing of peppermint. The lemon-taste makes it even fresher, but you can’t get around noticing how artificial both flavors really are.
It says on the label that they use real sugar and certainly this ice tea is quite sweet for a green tea. But its taste is not as sweet, as most of the black-tea-based ice teas. (And nowhere near the sweetness of an Italian ice tea like San Benedetto.) This lack of sweetness, despite the sugar content, probably stems from the dominance of the green tea in the overall flavor. Nevertheless you can’t help but suspect they used some artificial sweetener in the production too, because of this fake-sweet taste. And as always with these additives, the artificial taste keeps on lingering at the back of the throat, and in this case at the edges of the tongue, long after you has your sip of ice tea.

  • green tea
  • light and fresh
  • medium-sweet

The color of the tea is an extremely light, clear yellow – fitting to its light, fresh taste. On the label it says that they use the Volvic mineral water (“‘l’eau minérale naturally Volvic”) and this automatically gives you the impression, that you can feel the freshness of the water.

Overall it is a fresh, light, easily drinkable ice tea that is not too sweet and an ok refreshment for once in a while. But with the artificial flavorings, a certain sweetness keeps sticking in my mouth and makes it so, that I can’t drink too much of it.
Still, due to its lightness and sweetness, one of my more preferred green tea-based ice teas.

In Europe this ice tea is quite easy to find, though it is not quite as ubiquitous as Lipton and Nestea. As far as I’ve seen, it mostly comes in 0.75L and 1.5L PET plastic bottles (pictured). Especially the small bottle is a really good size bottle for the road.
The packaging-size also indicates that this is a mid-price range ice tea – usually slightly more expensive than your local (non-)brand and big-brand ice teas, but way cheaper than the ‘specialty’ ice teas in small-form packaging.

One thing I really like about this ice tea, is the labelling (which I’ve already quoted from). It’s nice to actually be able to read that this ice tea contains: 96% mineral water and 3.8% sugar (even if I personally can’t verify that).

+ light, easily drinkable
+ fresh
+ good labelling
– artificial sweetness
– sticky after-taste
Overall Rating: 7/10