If you like AHA’s Black Cherry + Coffee, we have some bad news for you. It’s been discontinued.
But in its caffeinated stead, a Mango + Black Tea has arisen to quench your palate, mildly caffeinate you, and give corn syrup behemoth Coca-Cola more of your hard earned dollars. We love to see it!
Actually, we thought Black Cherry + Coffee was one of the more interesting sparkling waters out there. It had a flavor profile and taste unlike the other caffeinated bubblers, and we are disappointed we never got around to reviewing it. Foolishly, we thought we had forever. Also, we love a good RIP. If it’s not immortalized on The Bubbleverse, did it even exist?
And while Coffee is pretty unusual as a sparkling water ingredient, Black Tea is a run of the mill tag-along. We yawn to see it.
Everyone from Nixie to Dram has been doing it for a while, so now AHA is diversifying its tea portfolio, expanding beyond green to include black, too. Whatever, we guess.
Either way, we’re always excited to see a new sparkling water on the shelves, and this eye-catching marigold yellow paired with an electric cranberry is pretty pleasing to the eyes. We were sold. We snatched two of the four remaining boxes on our local shelves and cracked one open as soon as we got home.
The nose on this Mango + Black Tea is allllll mango, a good one too. No tea aroma present, but sometimes a bold fruit overpowers a lighter aromatic, so we’re still expecting something loud and hallucinogenic inside the can, as per usual with AHA.
Upon first sip, this remains a mostly Mango experience. But it’s a great mango!
This is peak ripeness, a snapshot of a mango at the height of its lifecycle. You can practically taste that perfect orange color. None of the faint bitter reediness you might find in a bubly mango. The AHA mango is deep and vibrant.
The black tea expressed in this combination is less a flavor and more of a mild astringent finish that helps keep the mango from developing into a full-on confection. The black tea feels and tastes like an afterthought.
It’s sort of like you’re in the middle of a Mango Sentence, and a Black Tea Period suddenly shows up, ending the thought abruptly. Like, I love this new AHA Mang-.
Done. A little wisp of Black Tea has cut you off, ending it all.
The biggest takeaway here is that this is refreshing, easy breezy, a slice of juicy mango fresh from a fruit cart in Playa del Carmen.
Which is not a total shock: Coke is nobody’s fool, and reading about how they came up with their two new flavors sounded like some sociopathic exploitation of our human frailty and vulnerability. Basically, typical marketing!
You can taste the laser-like precision with which they crafted this flavor combination, expertly executed to translate into a bigger piece of that billion dollar LaCroix pie. Apparently, they started with 300 flavors and 42 pairings before they honed in on this latest addicting concoction.
Spoketh the AHA Brand Manager in a recent press release: “AHA consumers are variety seekers constantly looking for new and exciting flavors. We’ve always taken a consumer-centric approach with this brand, so we started out by exploring gaps and opportunities in our existing lineup to see how we could expand our reach. We think these new flavors taste delicious and are confident our fans will agree.”
But we’d just like to repeat that above all this is a sparkling water. We recently dabbled in Sound’s “tea infused” sparkling waters, and it was hard to wade through the sour, overly steeped tea flavor to try and make out any Orange Vanilla.
On the sparkling black tea spectrum, the two ends would probably be this Mango + Barely Discernible Black Tea on one end and Sound’s full on Assam Explosion on the other. We prefer Nixie’s Peach Black Tea (also caffeinated!) as the Goldilocks here, but we have to say this AHA is super enlivening, and it’s a great way to get a lil’ pick-me-up.
AHA/the product testers clearly prefer the fruitier notes in their caffeine line, so any Black Tea or Coffee (RIP)
Speaking of lines, suddenly the caffeinated AHA offerings now have lines on the top half on the can. Circular lines radiating out from the round little button that announces that the can boasts 30 mg of caffeine. It’s kind of cute, but also like this hypnotic you-are-getting-sleepy maneuver, enchanting you to buy more Coke products. We wouldn’t put it past them. Worked on us, at least.
Carbonated Water, Natural Flavors, Caffeine, Electrolyte Sources (Calcium and Magnesium Chlorides, Potassium Bicarbonate)
caffeine in AHA Mango + Black Tea
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