Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Unconventional Tea Reviews - A Review of Monster Rehab: Rojo Tea + Energy

This evening I am bringing you a tea review of a slightly different kind. I had the opportunity to try an energy drink from Monster, called "Rehab: Rojo Tea + Energy," and the name was intriguing and certainly drew me! Before I get to the review, a bit of clarification is in order. That to which Monster is referring as "rojo tea" is actually rooibos. I have held small rants in the past about how rooibos, for all its awesomeness, is not actually a tea, per se. But I digress, and in Monster's defense there is supposed to be some black tea in this drink, as well.

The actual three-part composition of this drinks flavor is not readily apparent from the title. In fact, the missing third part is cranberry, which plays a large role, as we shall see shortly. Opening the can, the initial aromas that come to my nose are of rooibos, yet there is an indistinct berry aroma lurking in the background. The first sip, however, reveals that cranberry is going to be the dominant flavor, through and through. In the background of the flavor profile, there is the distinct taste of Monster-flavor, which is hard to describe, except to say that it involves the unique taste of a Monster energy drink, which would differentiate it from, say, a Rockstar energy drink. Simply put, one can tell that there is Monster in the base of this drink.

Equally present in the background of the flavor lies the rooibos. However, compared to how it fits in the aroma, the rooibos seems to fade into obscurity with each sip. The dominant cranberry taste still has the bitter/tart edge to it, much like when drinking cranberry juice, but that edge is slightly tempered by sugar and rooibos. As for the aftertaste of this drink: cranberry-flavored rooibos, definitely. Rooibos has a very distinct aftertaste, which is certainly present, here.

I greatly appreciated that this was a non-carbonated beverage, as I feel that carbonation would have detracted from the flavors, masking them somewhat. The high points of this Monster were definitely the incredibly smooth blend of flavors and its ability to re-hydrate. That which I did not like was the overwhelming amount of cranberry. This was very much a "one and done" drink - I was glad that I tried it, but I would prefer to look to other drinks in the future. As an aside, the name really intrigues me. "Rojo" means "red" in Spanish, yet rooibos most definitely originated in South Africa. Ponder that, if you will!

I hope that you enjoyed the first of these unconventional tea reviews. Let me know your thoughts, as there are bound to be more to come!

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