It appears the Bog-tenders over at Ocean Spray used a Mad Lib to brainstorm their new product, because here I am, about to sip an Ocean Spray Brew.
Ocean Spray’s signature cranberries and green coffee beans play supporting roles in two different flavors of this bizarre witch’s brew – Lemonade and Blueberry.
I guess fruit flavor mixed with coffee isn’t exactly a new concept, but I can’t help but feel like Ocean Spray’s tapping an entirely new market that nobody asked for here.
I drink multiple cups of coffee a day but seldom have juice. I don’t dislike it, but I usually find most juices too sweet, almost always too acidic, and any time I drink them, they go down like a shot of whiskey.
So, with that said, am I the market for this stuff? Will I prefer juice with a splash of coffee?
The answer to that question is a resounding YES. These are shockingly tasty.
Imagine you’re drinking a light version of a fruit-flavored iced tea that was not only steeped with a tea bag but coffee beans as well. Huh?
I’ll break them down by flavor:
Lemonade – It smells like iced tea, but once you’re about to take a sip, you get smacked with the scent of coffee. I’d equate this to having a glass of lemon iced tea right after eating a coffee-flavored hard candy. That might not sound all that appetizing in your mind, but it really works. To me, this evoked Italian after-dinner espressos with those little lemon wedges. The brew is perfectly balanced – not too sweet or sour. No flavor overwhelms another.
Blueberry – This one smells like blueberries and coffee grounds. It tastes like blueberry tea that quickly transitions into a berry centric cold brew. I was reminded of dark chocolate covered espresso beans despite there not being any chocolate in the ingredients. I guess it was the dark berry flavor and coffee mixed together that put that in my mind. Imagine an edible espresso bean wrapped in a blueberry-infused chocolate coating. That’s the aftertaste.
Overall, I preferred it slightly more than the lemonade one.
Both of these flavors hit the mark, and deliver on the strange premise. You’ll notice I didn’t mention cranberry once, well, that’s because cranberry plays a great supporting character, despite appearing to be the headliner here. It works perfectly as the bridge ingredient in both flavors. It gave each bottle a nice, mildly sweet dryness that seemed to only elevate the other flavors involved.
Cranberry is better with a partner. Ocean Spray knows this and has managed to marry “cran” to every other fruit in existence. It even somehow managed to convince a chunk of the country that “crayon” is pronounced “cran.” Ocean Spray has that cran-power.
So, to sum up, if you like fruit-flavored iced teas, and you like coffee, you should like Ocean Spray Brew. I loved it. Then again, I used to order my Dunkin’ iced coffees with a shot of blueberry, and I’m a huge fan of coffee stouts with fruited adjuncts, so I guess I was the audience here.
You get half a cup of coffee’s worth of natural caffeine in each serving, so you can even use this as a refreshing energy replacement in the morning.
I honestly think we just tapped into a new market. Nothing is ever “new” so I’m sure there are “juice coffees” out there, but if you’ve wanted a healthy (by juice standards) flavored iced tea that finishes like a coffee while also giving you a caffeine kick? Here ya go!
Purchased Price: $2.99 each
Size: 1 liter bottle
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Cranberry Blueberry), 8 out of 10 (Cranberry Lemonade)
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) Cranberry Blueberry – 30 calories, 0grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein. Cranberry Lemonade – 30 calories, 0grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.