Friday, November 25, 2011

Bloggers' Bites: Buy Bai?

Last week, the Penn Appetit blog staff had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner together. We feasted on a homemade roast chicken (masquerading as chicken), an elegant homemade gluten-free chocolate cake, black and white cookies, and homemade pumpkin chocolate chip cookie cakes. We also purchased our sides, macaroni and cheese and broccoli with peppers and onions, from Picnic, located a little past David Rittenhouse Labs. It was a great way to enjoy each other's company and indulge in some delicious seasonal fare. Plus, we learned how to carve a chicken (thank heavens for Youtube videos)!

We also had the pleasure of sampling Bai. An "antioxidant infusion" beverage, we were able to sample 4 different flavors: Costa Rica Clementine, Jamaica Blueberry, Panama Peach, and Sumatra Dragonfruit. Here's what we had to say about the drinks:

Nicole Woon: Every day, it seems like we're assaulted by ads for the latest electrolyte drink or newest vitamin water. As a result, I'm never keen on trying it each time something new is launched. Yet here I found myself sipping Bai. Marketed as a "100% Natural, antioxidant-infused beverage, powered by the coffee fruit," I wasn't sure what to expect. The taste resembles water with fruity undertones. I was surprised by both the large dosage of "coffee fruit" (caffeine?) and the serving size of only 5 calories. While this isn't my usual drink of choice, I'd be fine drinking it every once in a while.

Abigail Koffler: I sampled the Costa Rica Clementine flavor and enjoyed the more delicate citrus taste. The flavor selection was good, as clementine is an uncommon drink flavor. However, I am skeptical of the antioxidant benefits that Bai provides and wary of the sweeteners used in their low calorie flavors. I would probably not pay money for Bai but I'd be happy to enjoy some at friend's house or event.

Laura Sluyter: I don't see myself ever buying Bai. To be fair, I'm probably not their target audience as for taste and health reasons I'm rather skeptical of anything sweetened with unrecognizable ingredients. The taste wasn't as pure or natural as I would like, but I do appreciate Bai's efforts to make a healthier drink. Given a choice between Bai or soda, I would definitely choose Bai.

Elliott Brooks:
I'm not a huge fan of low-calorie energy drinks, and Bai was no different. The Costa Rica Clementine that I sampled tasted vaguely orange-like, but was overpowered with the cloying chemical taste of artificial sweeteners. I hoped the non-sugar free flavor, Jamaica Blueberry, would be different. However, it was just as chemical tasting, not reminiscent of a blueberry at all. I ended up trying to pass off my free bottles to my friends, but they quickly warned each other off saying, "It's a trick! Don't accept any of the drinks from her, they're nasty!"

Brittney Joyce: I enjoyed the Bai more than I expected to. I don't usually like flavored-water type drinks but the Bai was surprisingly tasty without being too watery or too much like juice. My favorite was probably the dragonfruit. Although I have never eaten a real dragonfruit, the dragonfruit-flavored Bai was pleasantly thirst quenching and subtly sweet.

Maggie Buff:
I liked the Bai drinks as a low-calorie, low-sugar, cold, caffeine-containing alternative to coffee and tea. As someone who has been wary of experimenting with anything as “unnatural” as Red Bull for an energy boost, I liked the idea of using “coffee’s superfruit” as an energy source, plus the flavors were all very interesting-sounding (Costa Rica Clementine and Panama Peach, for example). As far as taste goes, the Jamaican Blueberry flavor was definitely my favorite of the three I tried. I found it more natural tasting, which I suspected might be due to its higher fruit concentration (it contained 10% fruit juice, while the other two flavors contained just 4%). Overall, while I like tea and coffee too much to consider switching to another energy supplement, I will keep Bai in mind if I ever want a cold caffeinated drink.

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