Review of Zevia Natural Soda: Calorie-Free and YUM!

My husband and I were both super psyched when I got picked to do a Mambo Sprouts product review for Zevia All-Natural Soda -- for the last couple of years we've gone all-natural on almost everything, and organic when possible too.  We had thought that choosing natural and organic options meant giving up soda all together, and boy was it HARD!  Even when I was waitressing and broke right out of college, I still used to find enough loose change to keep my fridge decently stocked on soda.  I more or less gave it up cold turkey after we made the natural/organic shift, but I still miss that sweet, bubbly goodness on a hot day... which, lately, means pretty much every day here in Atl.

Enter Zevia!

Zevia is all-natural, but doesn't carry a load of calories due to the fact that it's sweetened with Stevia, a South American herb that is naturally extremely sweet (100 times sweeter than sugar!) and calorie free.  I did a lot of research on Stevia a few years ago and added it to my first attempt at gardening -- I even tried to brew sweet tea using fresh stevia instead of sugar -- but basically I discovered that it can be a little tricky to isolate the 'sweet' without keeping the 'herb aftertaste', so I shifted my energies on to other things.  It's a great herb though, and Zevia was one of the first brands to utilize its potent sweetening-without-fattening abilities in soda form.

I received samples of six flavors of Zevia:  Mountain Zevia, Cola, Cola Caffeine Free, Grape, Grapefruit Citrus, and Cream Soda.  Other flavors on the market include:  Ginger Root Beer, Dr. Zevia, Black Cherry, Ginger Ale, Lemon Lime Twist and Orange.  Here are my impressions of the six flavors my husband and I tried, roughly in order of preference:

Cream Soda:  OH MY GOSH SO GOOD.  And heck, I don't normally even like cream soda.  But it was AMAZING;  the soda had a perfect balance of flavors and a wonderful creaminess.  My taste-buds thought they had died and gone to heaven.  My husband's quote:  "The Cream Soda was divine.  Transcendent.  It was exactly what Cream Soda was always meant to be."

Grapefruit Citrus:  Crisp and refreshing, and even more than that, this soda tasted FRESH.  I'm not talking about the carbonation here either (though it was plenty bubbly), the flavors themselves had a fresh edge that I'm not accustomed to finding in a can.  It was certainly a pleasant surprise though!  My husband called it "better than Fresca" and thinks it would make a great mixer.

Grape:  Neither my husband nor I had previously had much experience with grape soda, but we found this one was surprisingly good.  It was just as fruity as we would have expected, but not in a "generic purple candy" kind of way, but more reminiscent of actual fruit juice.  Yum!

Mountain Zevia:  You can probably guess which mainstream soda this one is meant to evoke, and since I'm a pretty big fan of that mainstream soda (or was anyhow) I can say with authority that it does a good job in evoking it.  I thought that this one had a veeeeery slight herb-y aftertaste, but then it was the first of the samples that I tried and I was sort of expecting an aftertaste due to my previous experiences with Stevia, so I might have been projecting my expectations on it.  I thought it was still really good, but  Husband wasn't as impressed.

Cola and Caffeine Free Cola:  These two were my least favorite simply because colas always tend to be my least favorite soda option.  So what can I say but... they tasted like cola.  They were quite refreshing.  I would certainly drink Zevia Cola while eating popcorn or pizza and I'm sure I would enjoy it just fine, but I would also be keeping my eyes open for someone with Cream Soda that I could trade with.  My husband on the other hand liked them a lot more than me, and said that they were everything he would expect from a cola.

Overall, our Zevia tasting party was a lot of fun, and definitely an eye-opening experience.  Stevia-sweetened sodas can be DELICIOUS!!  And even better, Zevia is 100% natural (no nasty chemicals or excitotoxins), calorie-free, gluten-free, Vegan, and certified Kosher.  If you want to try them for yourself (which you SHOULD by now, have you been READING this blog post???) you should hop over to the Zevia facebook page and print the $1/1 six pack coupon you'll find there.  Zevia is sold at Whole Foods, Kroger, Sprouts, Sunflower Farmers Market, Henry’s, Fred Meyer, and Earth Fare, to mention a few.  And may I recommend the Cream Soda?  It is, after all, transcendent.

Why look!  Proof that Zevia wrote the book on tasty, healthy, and refreshing.  (I entered this photo in the recent Zevia facebook A-Z photo contest... sadly, it didn't win.  I wonder why?)

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