Just Ice Tea's New Herbal Flavor Is A Throwback To Honest's Roots

In late May 2022, Coca-Cola announced it would be phasing out Honest tea by year-end, with the exception of Honest Kids, per CNN. Although Honest's co-founder, Seth Goldman, sold Honest to Coca-Cola more than a decade ago (via Food Dive), he took the news as a "gut punch," as did countless Honest fans who took to LinkedIn to support the aggrieved Goldman. But Goldman didn't cry into his tea for long. Within two weeks, he was already developing a new ready-to-drink tea line, tapping into the robust network of farmers, retailers, and employees he'd cultivated over the preceding two decades, per Food Dive, which foreshadowed that the new beverage would "embody the same attributes as Honest tea." Within weeks, Goldman's company, Eat the Change, had secured $14.5 million in funding for his new venture (via Food Dive).

By late June/early July, Goldman was "spilling the tea" on his newest ready-to-drink tea passion project, Just Iced Tea. As Goldman explained in a lengthy LinkedIn post at the time, the word "just" is meant to signify his continuing commitment, and that of Eat the Change, to delivering wholesome, responsibly sourced organic beverages produced using only fair labor and farming practices. On August 16, Just Iced Tea launched its first flavor, Green Tea (via Eat the Change). On August 29, the company announced its latest, an herbaceous, deep red beverage that offers a sentimental nod to Honest tea's roots.

Fans of Honest Tea's OG herbal berry flavor are expected to feel nostalgic

On August 29, Eat the Change, the company founded by Seth Goldman and celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn (via PR Newswire), teased fans of the newly launched Just Iced Tea brand with an announcement regarding its latest flavor. "No tea line can be complete without at least one herbal option," the company announced on its blog. Accordingly, Just Iced Tea is brewing hibiscus flowers with blackberry leaves for a flavor that remains unnamed ("we will be withholding the name and label until our official launch"). Promising a "refreshingly tart and quenching" beverage with a "beautiful deep red color," Eat the Change says that the new flavor is meant to be reminiscent of one of Honest Tea's five OG flavors, "Black Forest Berry."

The author of the post, presumably Goldman, took the opportunity to thank the former Honest tea employees who make up more than half of his current 12-person team and bring a collective century's worth of iced tea know-how to the venture. No news as to the exact date of the launch, but fans should probably anticipate that when it does, the new flavor will hark back to Honest's earthy roots in more ways than just its taste. And by that, we mean that Just Iced Tea, like its predecessor, Honest, has promised to exercise social responsibility in its teamaking (via Eat the Change).