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Steaz Sodas
Part of the Steaz line of 5 regular and 3 diet flavors, all based on organic green tea. Above, Cola, Raspberry, Lemon Dew and Orange.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


BETH COLLINS is a contributing editor to THE NIBBLE.


 

May 2006

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Beverages

Steaz Green Tea Soda

Organic Sodas in Regular & Diet

 

NOTE: In 2007, Steaz repositioned its products from “green tea soda” to “sparkling green tea.” In the process, they significantly changed Diet Steaz, from a zero-calorie drink to a reduced-calorie beverage flavored with evaporated cane sugar, about half the calories of regular Steaz and no longer suitable for people seeking sugar-free beverages. We’ll do a complete revision of this line in the first half of 2008.

CAPSULE REPORT: Steaz makes a line of organic, green tea-based sodas and diet sodas that contain the same health benefits as a cup of green tea in each bottle. The company uses organic Ceylon green tea as the soda base, and combines it with organic cane juice from the Florida Everglades, sparkling water and natural flavors to create a flavorful, fizzy beverage. You don’t taste the green tea, but you do taste a better soda thanks to all-natural ingredients. Rightly, not overly, sweet, lightly carbonated and loaded with antioxidants, Steaz sodas are healthier—and tastier—soft drinks.

“Nutritious” and “soda” don’t often find themselves together in the same sentence, so when we learned that a bottle of Steaz—a pillar of the “tea soda” category—contains the same health benefits as a cup of green tea, we knew we had to check it out.

Created by Eric Schnell and Steve Kessler, Steaz (“soda” + “teas”; as Schnell and Kessler put it, “we added the ‘z’ to be stylish”) was an attempt at marrying two of their loves: sweet-tasting sodas and a healthy lifestyle. Their success, we think, lies in their approach: instead starting with the processed-sugar-and-artificial-flavors formula of commercial sodas and stripping ingredients away in an attempt to make the drink healthful (or, at least, less bad for you) they started from scratch. Using organic Ceylon green tea leaves from Sri Lanka as a base, they added organic cane juice from the Florida Everglades, sparkling water and natural flavors. The result is a naturally sweet, lightly carbonated beverage that has all the things we love about soda, but none of the things we don’t: no high-fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavors, and no artificial caffeine (Steaz has about 10 milligrams of caffeine in an 8-ounce serving, all of them natural).

(Review continues below.)

Homemade Root Beer, Soda & Pop by Stephen Cresswell Healthy Drinks by Kathryn Hawkins The Book of Green Tea by Diana Rosen
Homemade Root Beer, Sodas & Pop, by Stephen Cresswell. Make your own soft drinks that are tastier and healthier than mainstream soda brands. You’ll find easy-to-follow recipes for over 60 classic and modern soft drinks. Click here for more information. Healthy Drinks, by Kathryn Hawkins. Read about the best way to store, prepare, and serve over 60 healthy, refreshing beverages. This volume makes it easy for you to choose lower fat, high energy drinks over commercially produced over-sweetened drinks. Click here for ore information.

The Book of Green Tea, by Diana Rosen. Discover the world of green tea. Fun and informative, this book explains every aspect of green tea from how it’s processed and its history to how to drink and cook with it. Click here for more information.

Even better is what is in Steaz. Thanks to the green-tea base, the sodas are loaded with naturally occurring antioxidants like polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins. Big words, big benefits. And because each bottle contains the same health benefits as green tea, Steaz can be linked to all the things green tea gets credit for: cancer prevention, reduced stroke risk, reduced blood cholesterol and positive effects with liver disease, just to name a few.

The nutritional breakdown isn’t bad either: an 8-ounce serving of the regular Steaz flavors contains 90 calories (about 10 fewer than commercial sodas); the same size serving of the diet flavors has 20 calories. Most Steaz flavors, however, also offer anywhere from 20% to 60% of your daily Vitamin C—something the big brands could never claim.

Of course, none of this would matter if the sodas didn’t taste good. Thankfully, they’re great: refreshing and flavorful, with just the right amount of sweetness. There are eight original flavors: Ginger Ale*, Grape, Cola, Raspberry*, Lemon Dew*, Orange, Key Lime* and Root Beer.

Good News For Diet-Soda Drinkers

There’s Steaz for you, too! Diet Black Cherry, Diet Cola and Diet LemonLime*  are flavored with stevia. Derived from a South American herb called Stevia rebaudiana, Stevia is very natural-tasting (like shuga!) and almost calorie-free. It has been used for centuries in Paraguay and Brazil and accounts for 40% of the sweetener market in Japan. The reason you don’t know more about it is because the American sweetener business (the folks behind Sweet ‘n Low, Splenda, and Equal), who don’t want new and potentially better competition, have lobbied to keep it classified as a dietary supplement instead of a food additive. As a result, you can only buy stevia in health food stores and not in the sugar aisle of the supermarket.

Steaz Diet Soda Trio
Steaz Diet Sodas: Black Cherry, Cola and LemonLime.

* Author’s favorites

Figuring out where Steaz fits into your day, food-wise, is a no-brainer: drink it anytime you would drink regular soda. There’s no guilt about guzzling a bottle or two; you can actually feel virtuous. How often can you say that about a soda?

STEAZ SODAS

ORIGINAL FLAVORS: Ginger Ale, Grape, Cola, Raspberry, Lemon Dew, Orange, Key Lime and Root Beer
DIET FLAVORS: Cola, Black Cherry and Lemon Lime

Certified Organic
Certified Kosher by the Orthodox Union

  • Steaz Soda Set
    Includes two 12-ounce bottles of each original flavor
    $22.32
  • Steaz Diet Soda Set
    Includes four 12-ounce bottles of each diet flavor
    $22.32

Also available at fine supermarkets, specialty stores and health food stores.

 

Steaz.com

Shipping additional. Prices and item availability are verified at publication but are subject to change.

Steaz Family
At left, the Orignal Flavors; at right, the Diet Flavors.

Black Cherry Soda


 

© Copyright 2005-2014 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. Images are the copyright of their respective owners.

 



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