Today I had the pleasure of trying out the new offering from  Bai Brands the Bai5 Congo Pear. Bai means pure in Chinese, and the Founder of the Company Ben Weiss has worked to craft a set of beverages that leverage the long  unused  fruit from the Coffea Arabica plant, better know to you as coffee. Bai’s mission is to create good tasting all natural healthy beverages. the Bai5 line specifically is the low-calorie line from Bai Beverages.

The Fruit of the Coffee plant is extremely perishable and for years has been  regulated  to being the byproduct of my favorite habit. The Coffee Cherry is usually discarded as the bean is harvested, roasted and sent to my stomach. According to the information provided the fruit of the coffee cherry is  apparently  extremely high in antioxidants. And these beverages were designed as a good tasting all natural delivery system for this new form of antioxidants

The Bai5 product line uses an all natural sugar substitute called Stevia, which is touted as being sweeter than sugar. It allows for the beverage to still be sweet while only containing 5  calories  as opposed to the regular version which contains around 70. Either way these beverages are well below the equivalent  amount of fruit juice in terms of caloric impact.

As per usual all products submitted are run through the same process. And with non coffee beverages I like to enlist an elite team of tasters. Specifically the focus group this time  consists  of my wife, myself, our good friends  Marianne  and Dave. Marianne and My Wife  Jen  are both non coffee drinkers, Jen being an expert in diet foods I figured this would be a good group to try these beverages out. Specifically we strive for honesty when we taste things at the Caffination, and these are some of the most honest and direct people I know.

The Journey

  • Smell: If it doesn’t smell good How can you drink it?
  • Taste: Obvious and penultimate
  • Aftertaste: Beverage is done, but is the  flavor?
  • Notes: Anything I might notice or want to share

Smell: The drink had an odd smell. it wasn’t bad, rather quite refreshing but hard to place. it wasn’t  exactly  fruity but very light. I’m not sure if Pear is a good flavor for a juice cocktail. Since I can’t tell you what type of flavor the coffee fruit  supplement  adds to a beverage by itself I’m not sure if a Pear Juice would be a good match.

Taste: Overall the Pear flavor does come through but is overpowered the odd sweetness of the Stevia. Again I think a stronger flavor might have stood up to the sweetness a bit better. Most of the testers did not find this particular beverage particularly  satisfying,  especially  when also given the reaction to the  Jamaica  Blue Berry. Despite the all natural claims the drink did not taste that way. The pear flavor came across as a bit artificial.

Aftertaste: The drink had an odd lingering aftertaste that reminded some of the tasters of Splenda, despite the fact that the drink doesn’t use that particular sweetener. All tasters this was a labeled as very  noticeable.

Notes: This drink does have caffeine in it but goes to great lengths  to not be  labeled  as an energy drink. I like that they made mention of the 70 mg of  caffeine  for the whole bottle, less than a cup of coffee. So people who are  sensitive  to caffeine might just want to be aware of the presence. But they consider the caffeine as a byproduct of the process not the desired deliverable.

Conclusion: As much as I enjoyed the Full sugar version of the Bai beverages I didn’t honestly enjoy the Congo Pear nearly as much. I think that perhaps a stronger flavor would have worked better. And honestly when you consider that the full sugar version isn’t all that many  calories  I would much rather have that. Most of the tasters agreed that while the beverage wasn’t bad it was Just OK. the Jamaica  Blue Berry continued to get rave reviews during the review process of the Pear.

*Full Disclosure:  I was sent a lovely care package at no cost by the fine Folks at Bai Brands or the purpose of writing this review. This agreement in no way affected my opinions of the unit nor was a desired  outcome  asked for or agreed upon.