Grocery Challenge: $1 drink

I received a very important email earlier this month. It was top secret and very formal in nature. Below is an excerpt:

"Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to help me trade up to better foods. Are you up for the challenge?

The first product I'm looking for is a tasty, caffeinated (I still need the stimulant), beverage with real sugar (no artificial sweeteners) and preferably non-carbonated. One other parameter I'm looking for is a price around $1.

What do you think? Do you accept this mission? "

Well, I've never been one to pass up a good challenge, and a nutrition challenge at that. So I wandered through the aisles of Market Street investigating beverage after beverage. Here's what I found...

1. Oregon Chai Original Chai Tea Latte Mix
Ingredients: Water, organic evaporated cane juice, honey, organic spices, organic black tea, ginger, organic vanilla, organic natural flavors and citric acid.

Available in a carton on the tea aisle. Mix with milk. Also available in individual packets for mixing with water. I like to use more milk to dilute the sugar.

Cost: $3.99 for 8 servings = $0.49/serving
Taste: I love this tea! I add a little bit of milk and can drink it hot or cold. Its spices remind me of pumpkin pie.

2. Tazo Chai Black Tea Concentrate
Ingredients: An infusion of water, black tea, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, natural flavors and star anise; along with cane sugar, honey, ginger juice, natural flavor, vanilla and citric acid.

Available in a carton on the tea aisle. Mix with milk. Use more milk for less sugar per cup.

Cost: $3.99 for 8 servings = $0.49/serving

Taste: This is a delicious, spicy tea. Lots of flavor!

3.Starbucks Via Flavored Coffee Packets
Ingredients: Cane sugar, instant and microground arabica coffee, natural flavors

Available in individual packets. Mix with hot water. 

Cost: $6.99 for 7 servings = $0.99/serving

Taste: Delicious coffee in a portable packet

4. Surprise last minute addition by the Registered Dietitian: hot chocolate!
Ingredients: Milk, sugar, cocoa, (and cinnamon)

Cost: less than $0.25 per 8 oz serving

Taste: While 1 tbsp cocoa only has about 20% of the caffeine of 1 shot of espresso, it can still be a delicious pick-me-up. I'll even make two servings and refrigerate the second one for some good, old-fashioned chocolate milk!

Notes: green tea, white tea and popular Japanese teas such as Kukicha, Bancha, Sencha and Hojica and other ingredients like kola nut, guarana and yerba mate, also contain caffeine.

Help me out readers! Have you found a drink that meets this criteria?

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