Ito En. Usually bottled teas are far too sweet for me. I want to taste a bit of tea with my sugar, which is hardly ever the case with the bottled selection out there. They are also hard to find without added flavorings aside from lemon.
Today while browsing in a local grocery, I noticed a few bottled Argo teas. I've been to the nearby cafe a few times, but never noticed the bottled offerings, as I usually have to get a bubble tea. Most of the teas in the case had something I wasn't interested in, either a flavor, or use of rooibos. But then I noticed the Carolina honey drink. The ingredients were only black tea, cane sugar, honey, and lemon juice concentrate. That sounded promising. I've been burned by this combination before, but I was in the mood to try again.
Upon opening the bottle, the scent of honey immediately hits me. It actually smells like real honey, which is a good thing. But I was still worried about how much was used. The tea tastes very much like the hot tea and honey mixture my mother would give me when I had a sore throat. It is quite sweet, but the taste of actual honey instead of just sugar was very pleasant. A bit of black tea cuts through the sweetness with a bitter bite. The added lemon juice also helps reduce the cloying sweetness. The honey creates a comforting, soft feeling on the tongue. It was strange to drink an iced tea that was so soothing, but of course it worked for me.
This tea is still too sweet to drink on a regular basis, but it is definitely a good one to keep in mind on a hot day. A good choice for National Iced Tea month! The nifty glass container can also be reused, which is always a plus to me.