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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ooba Hibiscus

Today was yardwork day at the Weird Soda Review lab. Our perimeter fence was under attack by a group of acacia trees (apparently escaped from the Big Fast-Growing Tree Which Showers You With Orange Pollenesque Substances At The Slightest Touch Lab next door). Well, "under attack" might not be quite right. The acacias were leaning on the fence. Not just leaning--leaning menacingly. I didn't know trees could have attitudes. These do. They're also quite pretty, so it was sort of like trying to chase off a group of sullen supermodels who were hanging out around my car as I came out of some bookstore where there was a sale on a Neal Stephenson cyberpunk Lovecraft adaptation. Something you don't really mind doing, and it's pleasant in a way while the task is being completed, but you still end up tired, hot, sweaty, and writing chants to Nyarlathotep to be displayed at 300 Hz on the LED display implanted above your belly button.
Actually, that last part might not be the acacia's fault.
In any case, I was tired and thirsty, so I thought a Weird Soda would be nice. Or interesting, if not nice.
Not too long ago, the Kibbitzer-in-Chief brought home a good one. I had never heard of a soda brand called Ooba, but I like hibiscus well enough, and being called Ooba definitely makes it Weird.

She also informs me that Frazier Farms (the local health food store) has a surprisingly large selection of weird beverages. Including sauerkraut-based sodas. The mind boggles.

Suddenly, hymns to Nyarlarhotep sound much more sensible.

Where and when: purchased 4/1/09 at Frazier Farms, Vista, CA
Color: reddish-violet, clear. Pretty color.
Scent: tealike. Very much like lightly fruit-flavored iced tea.
Taste: oddly not tea. The carbonation is surprisingly strong, given that there are no visible bubbles. I'm not sure how to explain that. Underneath the carbonation, it's quite tart. There's a definite hibiscus flavor. The lead assistant tester says it tastes like sparkling pomegranate juice, and he's right.
The ingredients list is short: carbonated water, cane sugar, pure hibiscus extract, citric acid, and ascorbic acid. That sounds about right; it's crisp and nice. The aftertaste is tart at first, fading into the herbal hibiscus. Very clean.

Quaff rating: 4. I'd buy this again.
Cough rating: 0. Even the Kibbitzer-in-Chief took a second swig of this.


  1. Ooba is incredible! I bought it at a Whole Foods Market. Loved the taste plub it is good for you. I like the high levels of antioxidants.

  2. I have now tried the new flavors: blackberry, vanilla, pineapple. Wow! I am hooked.

  3. wow, I was at a party where ooba was served. I love it. We tried some mixed with Grey Goose. Yummy

  4. Hmm. I can see how the tart/sweet of the Ooba might go nicely with goose or duck. It would certainly be better than having it with fish.

  5. The Ooba I purchased from TJ Max was just delightful. I bought Pineapple and Kiwi. Chilled, I love the taste and can't get enough. My kids love it more than regular old soda that has so much sugar and caffeine. We are all hooked on Ooba.

  6. Monmouth Health Foods of Manasquan, NJApril 14, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    Really? I thought hibiscus was a slightly dicey concept for a refreshing beverage in the first place. We just ended up writing off a whole bunch of past-date Ooba today. I guess Jersey Shore didn't want any =/


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