Product Review: I.C. Honeydew Green Tea by Panera Bread

After a dismal trial of the I.C. Almond Mocha (see Product Review: I.C. Almond Mocha), I pushed my efforts further to find a snapshot of summer bliss through an afternoon pick-me-up at Panera Bread. I was glad to come across the I.C. Honeydew Green Tea offering, a fairly new iced drink with a green tea base. Green tea, of course, means caffeine; and a natural and gentler version, I now know.

The I.C. Honeydew Green Tea drink by Panera Bread is a satisfying combination of Green tea with a sweet honeydew melon flavoring. This one is a blended drink, and is topped with whipped cream. The I.C. Honeydew Green Tea is made from both a green tea and honeydew mix, so any expectations of real fruit off the vine are out of the question. Regardless, sometimes it’s just the idea of a summer fruit such as honeydew that can make that final decision; it certainly was in my case. The appeal of honeydew combined with a ‘healthy choice’ of green tea should be enough to get you going; this is still a cream-based drink, as the ingredients list reports non-dairy creamer, and non-fat dry milk. Consider it a ‘light’ version of a milkshake or frappuccino.

The 16 oz. Grande size has 300 calories and just 12 g of fat, most of which is from the whipped cream. The 20 oz. Largo is just 340 calories, and 13 g of fat, so do opt for the larger size if you can fork over the extra cash; you’re not making a huge difference nutrition-wise. The green tea base provides a nice balanced flavor, while the sweet honeydew is a signature taste. I enjoyed the I.C. Honeydew Green Tea thoroughly, as the blended consistency and sugar content were enough to chase away the afternoon blues.

Panera Bread offers a variety of iced drinks this summer, including the I.C. Mango, I.C. Caramel, I.C. Cappuccino Chip, and I.C. Mocha. Take heed of all nutrition facts before assuming that you are getting all caffeine or fruit with these drinks; I was recently dismayed by the lack of caffeine in the I.C. Almond Mocha, although a shot of espresso can be added by request. Thankfully, the I.C. Honeydew Green Tea doesn’t require any ‘extra attention.’ The drink is a somewhat healthy choice for blended drinks, and is comparable to the Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino that is also gaining popularity this summer.

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