Continuing our look at sweet teas here at BevReview.com, which started with the mainstream release of McDonald’s Sweet Tea and followed up with MaryAnna’s Summer Sweet Tea, we’ve got another to add into the mix. Recently, my wife Amy & I took a road trip along the historic Lincoln Highway, and while driving through Iowa, spotted signs for Turkey Hill Sweet Tea at a small convenience store.
Turkey Hill Sweet Tea is produced by Turkey Hill Dairy out of Lancaster County, PA. The packaging announces the following marketing angle:
Turkey Hill Iced Tea is made the COLD-fashioned way. It’s bottled COLD, shipped COLD, and stored COLD to preserve its all-natural flavor and just-made taste. So it’s as fresh when you buy it as when we made it.
The packaging supports this angle by noting that you should keep the product refrigerated.
We picked up a 20 oz. bottle of Sweet Tea. It’s cloudy plastic, in a tall narrow shape, more resembling something you’d probably associate with a fruit juice. The twist-off cap looks just like one you’d see on a milk carton. Turkey Hill Sweet Tea denotes the flavor with a tan-colored label (they have a lot of different iced tea flavors — Peach, Orange, Lemonade, Raspberry, Unsweetened, Decaf, Diet — each with a different color to set them apart). Below the flavor name is a subtitle noting that this is “Southern Brewed”. A photo of a polar bear is superimposed over ice cubs to remind you that this drink is “Cold fashioned for freshness”.
When you open the bottle, yes, it smells like tea. That’s a good thing! This tea is colored brownish, like you’d expect with an iced tea. No surprises there. So far, a pleasant experience.
As for the flavor, it gets a thumbs up from us. It’s pretty sweet, as should be the case with something called Sweet Tea. There’s more of a sugar/sweet flavor present rather than an authentic, diverse tea taste (like we saw MaryAnna’s Summer Sweet Tea). If you are a tea connoisseur, you’ll probably miss some of that tea flavor, however if you are really thirsty and just want something cold and sweet, then you are in luck! Interestingly, the sweetness comes from both sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
Here’s what else is inside:
Turkey Hill Sweet Tea
Water, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, tea, natural flavors, citric acid, potassium sorbate & sodium benzoate (preserve freshness)
A 20 oz bottle will cost you 200 calories, 25 mg of sodium, 47.5 g of carbs, of which 45 g are sugars.
If there is any negative associated with Turkey Hill Sweet Tea, it’s the experience of drinking it out of the plastic bottle. The bottle opening was a bit rough, and in reality it did seem like you were drinking out of a milk container. Additionally, the plastic had a distinctive smell which seemed to affect the overall flavor experience of the tea. You might be best off pouring this beverage into a glass!
Overall, Turkey Hill Sweet Tea is a smooth sweet tea experience, with an emphasis on the sweetness over the core tea flavor. The taste quenches your thirst at an affordable pricepoint, using a unique balance of sugar and high fructose corn syrup.