RISE Kombucha

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Recent Tasting Notes

So RISE put out this kombucha flavour awhile ago along with their new Lime one, but it’s been damn near impossible to find it so when I saw one lone bottle on a grocery store cooler shelf I snatched it up like the little kombucha goblin I am!

Honestly… It tastes… fine?

Like, I’ve been assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that the reason it’s so challenging to find in stock is because it’s very good. I mean, it certainly sounds delicious and the gorgeous blue colour from the spirulina is definitely eye catching and inviting compared to other kombuchas on the cooler shelf. However, it sort of tasted just generic. Like, I really don’t think I’d be able to identify either the peach or the mango in the kombucha if I was tasting blindly. Sometimes things just taste like the general idea of fruit and I felt like that’s sort of what this one was like for me. Not bad, but just lacking distinction.

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drank Relax by RISE Kombucha
13482 tasting notes

So if you missed my reviews of the other flavours in RISE Kombucha’s new sparkling adaptogenic line, I recommend checking them out because the flavours were a wild ride and not in a good way. It was definitely against my better judgement that I decided to try this flavour, but the curiosity was too much and y’all know me well enough to know that my need to experience every flavour was gonna win out…

I’m actually really glad it did, though! The other two flavours I tried were so off putting that I couldn’t finish the bottle, but this was a surprise delight! The lime flavour is so bright and vibrant and I think the juicy sweetness of it offset by both the spicy earthiness of the ginger (which has a strong cold pressed ginger taste) and the kombucha vinegar is just a well executed trio of really refreshing and crisp flavours!

Literally my only complaint is that it almost feels a little too intense and bright for a tea that it marketed under the relax function. I didn’t feel soothed so much as I felt reinvigorated by the lovely taste!

I won’t be trying the last flavour in this line up because of allergies, but it’s just nice that it wasn’t a complete write off for me. There was one winner in the mix!

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drank Boost by RISE Kombucha
13482 tasting notes

Similar to the “Renew” flavour from this new sparkling adaptogenic beverage line from RISE, this wasn’t a good tasting kombucha – however, it’s much better comparatively…

The general flavour of this one is supposed to be ‘cocoa chai’ with the adaptogen being ashwagandha. Personally, I just don’t really think cocoa is a flavour that works very well at all with carbonation/fermentation – it’s strange in a way that leans more off putting than fascinating. However, the chai part of this profile is alright. It leans heavy in sourness from the kombucha vinegar but the dominant spices are anise and ginger which is probably a good thing. The anise brings needed sweetness and the ginger makes this a little bit more like a ginger beer which is familiar among this medley of cacophonous flavours.

Still wouldn’t buy this again, but at least I could finish this one.

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drank Renew by RISE Kombucha
13482 tasting notes

So, adaptogens and adaptogenic beverages are huge right now. It was really only a matter of time before a bigger kombucha brand put out an adaptogenic line, so I didn’t even bat an eye when I saw RISE had released a full product assortment of sparkling adaptogen beverages this year. RISE is a good brand and I like their products a lot; they’re flavour forward but still have the healthful kombucha funk that I want. I was sure that they would nail this assortment…

I don’t think they did.

To be fair, I have not yet tried the whole product line up. However, based on the two I had this past week it’s not looking promising. There have definitely been RISE flavours, like their Ginger, that I knew were decidedly not the flavours for me. However, I’ve been able to see and understand why people like them. I kind of just think this is just gross though, and I cannot really see an element of it that could be “justifiably good”.

For starters, the kombucha itself smells strongly like coffee. Now, it’s supposed to be “Coffee Caramel” flavoured so at least it’s accurate. However, the smell of coffee and vinegar together!? Oh boy is it pungent and weird. It was not looking good. The taste is not better. There’s just so many intense flavours going on and it comes off as horribly busy, intense, and non-cohesive. I taste roasted dark coffee, sour acidic orange, cloying “fake caramel”, vinegar…

And all of that is aggresively fermented and bubbly. It’s just bad. Couldn’t finish the bottle of this one…

Kittenna

Yuck, this sounds quite gross. I really think kombucha works best with fruity flavours; I can’t imagine it with coffee flavour (and apparently also really hate lemon/lavender/ginger kombucha as well).

CrowKettle

Rise Ginger or Rose and Schizandra were my go-to “feeling queasy at work” kombucha for a while. I can vividly imagine this flavour pairing and it makes me physically shudder. Ugh.

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It took me a while but I was finally able to find a bottle of this new summer flavour of kombucha! I will say, I don’t much get the matcha from it aside from in the colour of the kombucha itself (which is a brilliant emerald green) but the lime is brilliant! Just the right balance of sweet and tangy, and reminiscent of a lime skittle.

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Sipping on this one currently while I multi task and write tasting notes while watching some Critical Role streams…

I picked it up because even though I remember not loving it I couldn’t remember exactly what it tasted like and in the moment I was really craving some watermelon. It’s definitely not something I’m enjoying a whole lot though. The watermelon note itself is lovely; it’s reminding me loosely of DT’s “Sour Watermelon” tisane because of the tangy kombucha vinegar and sweetness but it’s not quite as intense as that tea.

The mint doesn’t sit right though. It might, were it not for the pronounced acidity of the kombucha vinegar – but it’s too menthol heavy and cooling and it’s creating a cacophonous feeling as I drink it. It’s a little too much going on.

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Last of the new summer flavours from RISE

This was quite different than what I expected it to be, but I enjoyed it a lot. I had sort of anticipated more of a juicy and sweet watermelon with a softer mint that would add a crisp, cooling finish. Instead, the mint is very upfront in the flavour and also much more herbal tasting than I would have expected – more like mint harvested straight out of a garden than the menthol forward mint from something like an extract. It’s quite nice; very natural feeling and refreshing – especially with the watermelon flavour, which I can only describe as tasting like juiced watermelon. It’s all quite well balanced, and tastes like something that you could probably make at home but just in a far more polished way.

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Had this one again last night; I bought two of this flavour initially because I thought it was going to be my favourite. It’s actually my least favourite of the four summer flavours, but it’s still alright. Very tropical/exotic punch in terms of taste. Reminds me of the juice pouches from my elementary school lunches…

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Still working my way through Rise’ new summer kombucha collection…

This is the one that I expected to like the most – I adore pineapple and I like kiwi a lot too, and the idea of a kiwi kombucha really excited me. It felt really fresh and new, while still making a lot of sense as a flavour combination. That element of “the unexpected” that I thought was missing from the Raspberry/Vanilla flavour was very well balanced to me in this drink…

Plus it’s very pretty! The colour is a super kiwi looking green, though if you let it sit for a long time you’ll notice a collection of blue that drifts to the bottom of the bottle. I need to double check the ingredients, but I’m pretty sure that’s spirulina??

The flavour is nice but different from what I expected – it’s really pineapple forward and doesn’t remind me of kiwi at all. I should theoretically love that because I love pineapple, right? But in practice I find it a little one note/flat. There’s also just a general sense of it reminding me of some type of tropical or island punch drink from my childhood. It’s nice, and very drinkable but I’m shocked to say it’s probably my least favourite of the three flavours that I’ve tried so far! I really thought it would be the best one…

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97

Woke up at four in the morning and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I ended up having an early morning kombucha and watching the sun rise…

I was tired as fuck, but it was beautiful and I couldn’t help but feel like this sweet, summery kombucha with all that juicy mango and papaya goodness really captured the essence of Summer. Also very happy to report that, after the previous kombucha of this flavour, this one tasted much better and was back to the deliciousness that I remembered.

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97

Yes, I bought more of this kombucha. What can I say, it’s my summer love!?

It was still incredible, but I do feel like this batch sort of tasted different from my last batch. It was more papaya heavy in terms of flavour with a significant decline in sweetness from the mango. Still really tropical, refreshing and delicious but a ‘spark’ was missing.

It was actually a very mild let down.

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97

My dad recently mailed me a couple jars of the salsa I wrote about in my last tasting note for this kombucha, and while I saved one of the them for a special occasion I also ended up eating the other one in one sitting – it was SO delicious. Since it was fresh in my mind, I decided to pick up another one of these kombuchas to see if it still reminds me of the salsa and… it does!! Obviously minus the things like onion and habanero, but the juicy mango and pineapple notes?? Oh hell yeeeaahhh!

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97

Another new Rise flavour – and I almost didn’t pick this one up because I was so unexcited about the flavour combination. Papaya is honestly just a boring fruit to me, and mango is hit or miss…

I’m glad I did pick this one up though because it was SUPER delicious, and actually almost painfully nostalgic. One of the best foods I’ve ever eaten is this sweet mango and pineapple salsa from a local Saskacthewan company; I used to go through a dozen jars of it in the summer, and often ate it straight out of the jar. When I came home to Saskatchewan for Christmas, I bought four jars with the expectation to finish one during the week I was there and ship three back to myself in Montreal. Instead I ate all four jars over the course of nine days…

I bring that up because this tastes almost exactly like that incredible salsa, minus a few small flavour aspects like the red onion and slight habanero heat. It’s the same sweet and juicy overripe mango and pineapple notes, though! I swear, if it wasn’t so fermented I probably could have chugged this kombucha.

I will 100% be buying more of it. Gotta stock up.

tea-sipper

Oh man, the salsa sounds amazing.

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78

I’m on vacation for the next two weeks and it’s honestly probably a good thing because I spent yesterday catching up on the last (six hour) episode of Critical Role’s EXU Calamity series. It was a long one so I made sure I had practically a half dozen drinks to sip on over the course in order to stay well hydrated. It was needed because I think I cried for about five of those six hours… It was such a good series.

Honestly I don’t love this kombucha. It’s probably the weakest of Rise’s summer series of flavours – at least in terms of actually matching the flavour of what it’s claiming to be. There’s no vanilla at all and though it does taste like berry it’s more of that generic red berry taste than actual raspberry. However, I was thankful to have something cold to sip on while watching yesterday and even if it doesn’t match the titular flavours it’s also not unpleasant tasting.

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78

One of four new limited edition kombucha flavours from Rise…

I was actually kind of surprised when I found these teas; it looks pretty clearly to be a summer line up and it just felt so early for a summer collection. However, thinking about it, I guess it is really getting to be about that time…

This is probably the flavour, of the new four, that I was described as the “simplest”. That isn’t intended to be a bad comment, I just mean that a raspberry and vanilla combination is pretty commercial and familiar; I think nearly anything picking this one up would have a good idea of the type of flavour that they’d be experiencing. Sure enough, it’s quite tasty (I’m drinking it now while catching up on tasting notes) and refreshing but not particularly exciting. Sweet raspberry notes like the ripe ones picked right off the patch that don’t have any pucker to them and that seem to practically melt in your mouth, and a hint of creamy and floral vanilla. It finishes with a bit of that more acidic note that makes a kombucha feel like a kombucha to me, but mostly this is refreshing and easy to drink. I’d love to try it spiked with either hard lemonade or something like a whipped cream vodka. Now that would be a delicious summer drink!

There’s something to be said for safe/familiar – and I’m constantly going back and forth on if I want something that executes a flavour I’m familiar with really well or if I want something that will excite me because it’s different from anything else I’ve experienced or because it’s an elevated take on a familiar flavour. It depends a lot of my mood which one I want, and I think today I wanted new.

Still, this is good! I’ve been so impressed with all the limited edition Rise flavours so far…

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96

Shockingly one of the few evenings as of late where I’m drinking this kombucha and not also having some sort of fast food or take out – and it’s a nice change of pace. The cinnamon is coming through a lot in this brew – and I did notice more sediment on the bottom of the bottle than normal so maybe that’s why. I love it; it’s still sweet and very crisp red apple but the cinnamon kick makes it feel so cozy. It’s rare you find a tea with that warm cozy feeling that’s still so refreshing!

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96

I don’t know how it happened, but this has somehow unintentionally become my ‘go to’ beverage of choice for my late night Uber Eats/fast food orders – usually pizza. I guess it’s because I feel better about the junk-y food if I’m “off setting” it with a kombucha? I know, logically, that it DOESN’T balance out but it makes me feel better about it in the moment. Plus, I get to feel like I’m having dessert with my meal because this literally tastes like apple pie.

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96

I spent most of my Monday in bed with killer cramps just rewatching New Girl on Netflix, and I actually drank very little tea all day – but I did order in a pizza in the evening as a special “treat” for myself and dipped into the one bottle of this kombucha that I’ve been holding onto in the back of my fridge for several months now…

I loved this kombucha so much when I first tried it that I stashed away some other bottles. This was the last one; I’m bummed because it’s the best kombucha that I’ve probably had all year and I don’t know if I’ll be able to find it again since it was just limited edition. It legit tastes like apple pie, and it’s soooo good!

I really hope it makes a reappearance this fall, or just gets adopted into RISE’ permanent collection. Petition to make that happen, please!

Nattie

I love New Girl! There are a few go-to episodes I have that I rewatch any time I’m sad or sick.

tea-sipper

I happened to flip channels the other day and see the Michael Keaton episode and then I was missing this show!

Nattie

Haha, I love that episode.

Roswell Strange

Such a good episode!! I watched the “meth” episode last night and I laughed soooo much.

Nattie

I snort laughed my way through that one the first time I saw it :’)

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96

It took me a LONG time to track this limited edition kombucha flavour down, but I’m really glad I did because daammmnnn this kombucha honestly has no right to taste so good. It is a little weird/eerie though, because there’s something CRAZY specific that the flavour reminds me of, and that’s…

The sugary, gooey apple and cinnamon pie filling from a McDonald’s baked apple pie???

I almost feel like I need to get another bottle, go to a McDonald’s and drink the kombucha while eating a pie just to compare but I swear this tastes EXACTLY like that.

I love it.

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73
drank Ginger by RISE Kombucha
13482 tasting notes

This is another RISE kombucha that I thought I’d tried before/written about on Steepster but apparently I haven’t prior to now…

I’m unclear on whether or not this is called “Ginger” or “Fresh Ginger” – the bottle I purchased was clearly labelled Fresh Ginger but on the Rise website they call this flavour the former. Is there a difference!? I certainly don’t know.

Taste wise this is pretty solid – it’s like drinking a Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer but just in kombucha form, and really all that means is that it’s a little more acidic/vinegary tasting while still packing a whole lot of strong ginger notes. It’s got a bit of heat, but not a ton – and mostly it’s just very refreshing. I thought I’d hate it, but was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it a lot. I guess that makes sense, I don’t love ginger flavours but I do like ginger ale!

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76
drank Lemongrass by RISE Kombucha
13482 tasting notes

I was running late this morning so didn’t have time to grab tea samples to make at work, except then I ended up having the most perfectly timed commute ever (no delays. metro arrived EXACTLY when I did at both stops) so I actually was EARLY despite running late initially…

I used that little bit of extra time to pick up a kombucha and a snack from the Depp that i walk by on my way to the office – wasn’t sure what one to grab so I just kind f blind selected on from RISE. This was alright tasting, but kind of drying/puckering and not as bright a lemon as I think I really wanted. Good for a convenient kombucha, though!

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76
drank Lemongrass by RISE Kombucha
13482 tasting notes

I don’t know why, but I really thought that I’d tried this flavour from RISE before now but I think that I might not actually have…

It’s very nice though – simple lemon flavour without a lot of the grassy kind of funky quality that I often get from Lemongrass. It’s ultra refreshing/hydrating because it’s basically just this super crisp and clean tasting lemon with a whole lot of fizz to it. It’s not my favourite of RISE’s offerings in terms of flavour but I feel like it’s the one that I would pick up if I most wanted to feel refreshed/hydrated.

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85
drank Elderflower by RISE Kombucha
13482 tasting notes

So, I’m really loving Rise Kombucha’s first ever limited edition flavor: Elderflower & Rosemary!! It’s sweet and fruity, but captures (and balances) both the elderflower and rosemary flavours really well!! I was worried the rosemary either wouldn’t be noticeable at all OR it would overwhelm the taste, but that delicious savory herb note is just right and there’s almost an elegance/sophistication to it! Perfect summer to autumn “bridge” profile.

Would recommend!

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/B27CskTAIxj/

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91

Not too terribly long ago I reviewed the new Orange & Turmeric flavour of kombucha released by RISE – well, after a bit of light hunting I was able to find the second new flavour that the company put out: Lychee & Jasmine!

I was skeptical about this one; I don’t love jasmine and I don’t really see that translating to kombucha in a positive way and as much as I love lychee it’s also a flavour that doesn’t make a ton of sense to me in kombucha. I was so happy to be proven wrong though, because this tasted incredible! It honestly might be one of the best kombucha flavours I’ve ever had, and easily the best from this company.

It’s got a very good lychee and jasmine balance, with a refreshing floral sweetness. Something about it is also giving me “Easter Jellybean” vibes, but in a delicious and nostalgic way that I don’t mind at all. Miraculously neither of the flavours feel out of place and while the vinigar-y note in the kombucha is mild, it’s still present and not really competitive with those fresh Spring-time flavours. It’s even quite sweet in a more natural way! Not to mention, because of the butterfly pea flower, the kombucha is a very striking purple!

Big win on this one!

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