REVIEW: Van Leeuwen Limited Edition Arizona Green Tea Ice Cream

In this chaotic world, it seems like there are only a few things you can rely on, but next time you feel caught up in a vortex of uncertainty, swirling, swirling, swirling toward uncontrollable, unpredictable change, just remind yourself of one comforting consistency: A can of Arizona iced tea still costs only 99 cents.

Yes, that seafoam-green-and-pink-floral mainstay of every convenience store beverage section is reliable, but that’s not to say it isn’t up for new collaborations. Enter Van Leeuwen, the people who brought you such weirdly tantalizing ice cream flavors as Hidden Valley Ranch and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, with its new limited edition Arizona Green Tea Ice Cream. The base is green tea-flavored with honeycomb mix-ins.

Dressed in inviting packaging that perfectly represents Arizona’s iconic aesthetic, the ice cream base itself is, well, more rustic-looking. It is an earthy mixture of pale gray, brown, and mint green, bumpy with golden honeycomb bits. Think guacamole or the skin of a cartoon witch.

Don’t let this deter you because this ice cream is made for green tea fans. The green tea flavor is strong, but never too earthy. Some bitterness remains in the aftertaste, but overall the flavor is successfully tempered by the balanced, creamy base. (If you have never sampled Van Leeuwen’s products, let me double-underline the word “creamy.” The brand is known for its French-style ice cream, which uses extra egg yolks to achieve a rich consistency.) The flavor and smoothness remind me of a quality matcha latte.

While the base is good, I don’t think I’d like it as much without the honeycomb mix-ins. Scattered in small pieces throughout the base, the honeycomb – which is candy in the toffee family, often made by boiling together sugar with honey, corn syrup, or golden syrup – is crispy, crunchy, and coated in sticky syrup. While the syrup tastes like honey, I believe it is the tapioca syrup referenced in the product’s ingredients list. (Honey is not listed as an ingredient.) Besides adding a delicious pop of texture and flavor, the honeycomb pieces work well with the green tea base. When eaten together, the bite has an extra boost of sweetness that reminds me more of a sip of Arizona iced tea than a matcha latte. I wish there had been way more honeycomb per serving.

Van Leeuwen Arizona Green Tea Ice Cream pays dutiful homage to the flavors of Arizona iced tea and is mostly successful. Fans of the stuff may wish for a more pronounced honey vibe throughout the base, but anyone who loves green tea will want a scoop. While Van Leeuwen can’t match the 99-cent bargain of an Arizona iced tea, a five dollar bill and an extra stop in the freezer aisle are small prices to pay for this limited edition treat.

Purchased Price: $4.98
Size: 14 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 2/3 cup): 270 calories, 16 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 27 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.