17 Mar 2017

New Coca Cola Zero Vanilla Review UK

Another day, another new soda. Although vanilla might not be the most exciting new flavour, I was pleased to finally see it in a sugar free variety in the UK. The original Coca-Cola Vanilla has been around for awhile and, even though I enjoy the flavour, I really don't like to drink the full-sugar version.

I bought a multipack of cans rather than a full bottle  - it was annoying that the Coke Zero Vanilla bottles were the only ones not included in a 2 for £2.50 offer. This often seems to happen with new flavours. 

Overall, the Coke Zero Vanilla is a tasty enough drink but I did find that the vanilla flavour was not as strong as I was hoping it would be. It's definitely there, adding an extra sweetness, but it's not the creamy vanilla flavour I was expecting. The whole thing tastes a little bit weak for my tastes (of course that might be because I'm used to adding a little vanilla Monin syrup to a Coke Zero for my vanilla fix!). I'm sure I will still buy the Coke Zero Vanilla again in the future but unfortunately the flavour is not as satisfying as the original Coca Cola Vanilla.

If you've tried the new Coca Cola Zero Vanilla then let me know what you thought of it in the comments below - thanks!

Grocery Gems Review: Coca Cola Zero Vanilla

RATING: 7 out of 10.
Buy it again?: Yes.
Purchased: Morrisons.

15 Mar 2017

Review: Pepsi Max Ginger

A quick review of the new Pepsi Max Ginger flavour. I've never been a big Pepsi Max drinker, I  do like it occasionally but I generally prefer the taste of Coke Zero. If I do buy Pepsi Max it tends to be their delicious Pepsi Max Cherry flavour. 

I have to admit that I was surprised to find out that Pepsi had released a ginger flavour - it's not the first flavour combination I would have thought of for Pepsi Max. Personally, I've always hoped that they would release a raspberry flavour one day. I also need the Pepsi Max Vanilla that was released in Australia this year - please bring this one to the UK too!

Of course I had to try the new Pepsi Max Ginger straight away but since ginger is not my favourite flavour, I decided on a multipack of cans (so I can give some away if I didn't like it). Thankfully the Pepsi Max Ginger is extremely enjoyable. The ginger is immediately evident and provides a zingy flavour and background warmth. It's similar to a ginger beer but without the heat or kick that a ginger beer can have. The original Pepsi Max flavour still comes through to give it a sweeter and milder edge. 

It's a lovely tasting drink and, whilst I don't think the Pepsi Max Ginger is as easy to guzzle down as some of the other Pepsi Max varieties, it's one that I would still enjoy in smaller quantities. I'll definitely be buying this one again but I'll still stick to the cans rather than getting a whole bottle. 

Grocery Gems Review: Pepsi Max Ginger

RATING: 8 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes.
Purchased: Morrisons.

Degustabox February Review: Surprise Foodie Box & £7 Discount Code

The February Degustabox arrived at the end of the month and as always it was super fun opening up the gorgeous box to find out what's inside! Last month's box (read here - Degustabox January Review) was filled with an ecclectic variety of snacks and drinks and I was pleased to find that February was just as mixed. Overall, it's a great selection of groceries and once again there are several which are new to me.

Discount Code - £7 off: 8TL75

Degustabox is a monthly foodie subscription service that sends out a range of specially selected foodie products. There's always a great mix of new products that I haven't tried before, as well as plenty of treats from more established brands. Each Degustabox costs £12.99, delivery costs are included in the price, and there is no fixed contract involved - you can cancel at any time.

The discount code is a massive £7 off, making the first box only £5.99 delivered! Check out the Degustabox website below and enter the new discount code: 8TL75

The selection of products can vary but here's a quick round up of all the products I received in the February Degustabox:

Blossom Hill Fruit Bloom: Hello! A full bottle of fresh and fruity Blossom Hill Fruit Bloom in Elderflower flavour (there's also a Summer Fruits flavour available). I love elderflower flavoured drinks so this is very appealing. 

Koko Dairy Free: I don't drink cows milk so I'm quite familiar with all the dairy free brands out there. I usually go for almond or oat based milks so this alternative milk made with freshly pressed coconut makes a nice change. It's creamy tasting and works well in tea and coffee.

Willy Chase's Popcorn: This Apple Cider Vinegar flavoured popcorn from Willy Chase's was one of my favourite products in the Degustabox. I enjoyed the grown-up flavour which had just the right amount of tangy vinegar. Also pictured is a free sample of Willy's Apple Cider Vinegar which was included as an added extra in the Degustabox.

Kabuto Noodles: This Vegetable Laksa flavour is inspired by the warm coconut dishes of Malaysia. It's gluten free, suitable for vegetarians and free from additives or preservatives. The flavour is a lot fresher and more natural tasting compared to other dried noodles pots out there.

Coldpress Fruity Greens Juice: Coldpress juices are, rather obviously given the name, cold pressed rather than heated, which preserves more of the flavour and vitamins. This Fruity Greens juice is a 100% fruit and vegetable juice made with apple juice and puree, celery, banana puree, kiwi fruit puree, kale juice and spinach. The balance of flavours is spot on with the fruity sweetness not being overwhelmed by the vegetable juices. It's lovely and sweet overall.

Heinz: Two single serving cans of Heinz No Added Sugar Beanz. These are made with 50% less sugar but still have the same great taste. I like the hand little serving sizes too.

Maui & Sons: I'm already a fan of the Maui & Sons Coconut Chips so I was excited to find the Banana Chips in the Degustabox. They're dark chocolate coated banana chips that are suitable for vegans. I enjoyed these but I would have liked the banana flavour to be a bit stronger. However, I'm looking forward to try the suggestion of using these as a yogurt or ice cream topping! 

New York Delhi's Americanos: New York Delhi's are known for their snacks and flavoured peanuts. Their Americanos are quite different, made of Guatemalan coffee beans that are roasted and covered in dark chocolate. This is not really my thing to be honest. I don't like chocolate and coffee combinations at all but especially not coffee beans. These are very much for lovers of intense coffee flavours!

Just Bee Honey Water: This is a new one to me, I've certainly never tried honey water before. It's a simple combination of spring water with a drop of honey and flavoured with blueberry puree. The drink is 91% water so it's very refreshing and light. The blueberry flavour comes through strongly as does the sweetness from the honey.

Diablo: A no added sugar chocolate coated wafer. It's made with the sweetener Maltitol instead of sugar. The brand it available at Holland & Barrett and it's a tasty treat for anyone needing to cut down on their sugar consumption.

Peppersmith: A pack each of Peppersmith Dental Mints and Dental Chewing Gum. They're made with xylitold to protect the teeth and keep your mouth fresh. I especially liked the chewing gum which has a fresh and zingy mint flavour.

Bebeto: The Degustabox Product of the Month is Bebeto and it's fun candy shapes. There are two packs in the February Degustabox; the Bebeto Candy Crush Gummy Mix and the Bebeto Cheese Cake Gummies. It's a cute selection!

Overall I was pleased with this month's surprise selection from Degustabox. I especially enjoyed the Willy Chase's Popcorn, Maui & Sons, Bebeto and Coldpress juice. If you're a subscriber then I'd love to hear your thoughts on this months Degustabox selection in the comments below.

For more details:
Degustabox website: www.degustabox.com
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DegustaboxUK
Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DegustaboxUK

PR Samples

9 Mar 2017

Review: New Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Peanut Butter Flavour & Mint Flavour

It's been ages since I last reviewed a chocolate bar but believe me it's not because I don't eat them anymore. No, it's simply that I haven't found anything new recently that appealed enough to me to review. That is until I spied these new Oreo flavours from Cadbury Dairy Milk. As a fan of the original - see my review from all the way back in 2012 of the Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo - I knew I had to give these new varieties a try. Also, peanut butter and mint are two of my favourite flavours anyway (not together obviously!).

Fun spoiler alert: This is a split review - I loved one bar and hated the other. Can you guess which?

Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Peanut Butter Flavour Review: This one is simply described on the packaging as a 'milk chocolate with a peanut butter flavour filling'. In fact it's so much more than that as it's also jam packed full of crunchy Oreo pieces. As soon as I opened the packaging I could immediately tell this was a peanut butter flavoured bar, the scent is immediately very peanutty. I liked the familiar creamy and crunchy texture here, which is just like the original Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo bar but that's just about the only good thing I can say about this one. 

Unfortunately, the actual peanut butter flavour didn't work for me or live up to the promise of that initial opening. Peanut butter is a fairly simple flavour in my mind to get right and this just doesn't capture it at all. Instead the flavour that I'm getting is a bitter peanut one with a hint of salt and a weird aftertaste of coffee. In fact I'm getting queasy just thinking about it. I could only eat a few pieces of this one and it will never darken my tastebuds again. I'm sorry Cadbury, but don't worry there's much better news below!

Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Mint Flavour Review: Have I ever mentioned before how much I like a mint flavoured chocolate? Especially when it's not a classy dark chocolate affair but just a crazy sweet milk chocolate like the Aero Mint Bubbles. Luckily for my taste buds they were much happier after trying the Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Mint. It has all the crunchiness from the Oreo pieces coupled with a smooth and deliciously creamy mint filling. It's not going to break any boundaries for flavour innovation but it's a solidly tasty chocolate. Taste buds rejoice!

Grocery Gems Review:Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Peanut Butter Flavour & Mint Flavour

RATING: Peanut Butter - 3 out of 10, Mint - 8 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Peanut Butter - No, Mint - Yes.
 84 calories per 3 chunks.

Vegetarian: Suitable for Vegetarians.
Purchased: Co-Op.
Price: £1.00p each 120g bar.

7 Mar 2017

Review: Nespresso Selection Vintage 2014 - Limited Edition

The latest limited edition from Nespresso sees the release of it's first 'aged' coffee. Using Arabica coffee beans from the Colombian Highlands that were harvested three years ago, Nespresso pioneered a new method to store and the beans and allow them to mature. The result is described as a new taste experience with an extra mellowness and woody flavour.

The packaging is very striking and captures the 'aged vintage' theme well. There is obviously a strong visual reference to wine with the cork pattern and colouring.

The coffee itself is rich and smooth but with a unique flavour profile. The initial taste is intense and strong but soon mellows out to a slightly milder flavour. I don't know if the vintage theme played tricks on me but I could also taste a little hint of fruitiness in there that reminded me of grapes and wine. The overall flavour is very different to my usual Nespresso choices and it won't be replacing the wonderful Cafezinho do Brasil as my favourite ever limited edition. However, it's easy to appreciate the richness of the flavour in the Selection Vintage and I've already been back to the Nespresso store for more.

Grocery Gems Review: Nespresso Cafezinho do Brasil

RATING: 7 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes.
Purchased: Nespresso store.

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