Thursday, March 6, 2014

Paper Boat Drinks - A Product Review

# This is a requested review #

Summer's around the corner and coincidentally, I'm reviewing a range of ready to serve beverages from a new brand, Paper Boat. They sent me samples and wanted me to write an honest review about them on my blog. Sure thing, I said! I get to taste and write, how could this get any better!

Paper Boat Drinks and Memories

I received the package in a box and the drinks were all packed in one eco-friendly bag. It certainly looked appealing. There were seven drinks inside.

My Experience

The first thing I did when I got their email was to check their website. I was just a couple of minutes into exploring when all my childhood memories came rushing back!

My childhood. New Delhi. Summer. When the entire country reeled under the sweltering heat, we stayed indoors and carried on with our summer pastime. Whether it was eating sweet juicy mangoes while playing carrom or watching a movie while our moms prepared nimbu paani, the heat could never ever catch up to us. It could never dehydrate our spirits. Without any air conditioning back then, we would find relief under a full speed fan and a cooler. Lollies, golas, kulfis, and home made drinks were our amusements. Ah, those bygones!

The Paper Boat website is like opening up an old scrapbook and facing your long lost childhood memories. That's why the tagline - drinks and memories. Their current flavors include Aamras, Aam Panna, Jaljeera, Imli Ka Amlana, Jamun Kala Khatta, Golgappe Ka Paani and Kokum. All the typical summery drinks with loads of sweet memories that we all seem to have forgotten somehow. Well, with these drinks not only can you have them all back but can also enjoy them whenever you like!

The pouches are cute with an easy-to-pour spout. My husband and elder son were at home when the parcel arrived and they were super excited to try these! So, here is what I think of the flavors.

1. Aam Panna

My aunt used to make aam panna at home during summers and we kids would guzzle it all up but could never have enough of it. The sweetness and sourness should tally correctly to bring out the genuine flavors of the raw mangoes. There are some syrups and crushes in this flavor available but none of them is close to the authenticity of home made ones.

Enter Paper Boat's Aam Panna. Sweet, right amount of sourness and spices all combine to make a medley of tastes in the mouth. The closest to home made ones I have ever come across. Delightful and a treat to your taste buds. Do try this one.

2. Aamras

Aamras is usually had with meals during summers. Pair it with hot puris and you don't need anything else to satiate yourself. Enriched with vitamins, ripe mangoes improve the immune system and aid in digestion. Apart from health benefits, it is an experience in itself to slurp the pulp out from the mangoes into our mouths!

This Aamras is particularly thick, like how it should be, and not too sweet like those mango soft drinks out there. It really tastes great and my son emptied the entire pouch! It is particularly a hit with him so next time I have a party at home, I know what to serve the drooling bunch of kids!

3. Golgappe Ka Paani

Yes, you read it right, a flavor called Golgappe Ka Paani! I must say, it is a first! I have never come across such a flavor. The golgappa syrup is usually made of tamarind pulp, mint leaves and spices to create a concoction that tantalizes your taste buds in so many ways! I'm so proud that we Indians have got so many street food options to devour! Lucky us!

This flavor is a little high on sourness, my opinion. The mint and spices come through alright, but maybe a little too sour for me. But don't let that stop you from trying this one out.

4. Imli Ka Amlana

Ok, so I didn't know such a drink exists. I mean I had to Google to find out what this drink was all about. I found out that Imli Ka Amlana is a tangy drink made of tamarind pulp and some spices best served chilled, just like all the other ones here. Tamarind is the main ingredient as it cools the body down giving respite from the heat in summers.

Although my husband loved it, I wasn't particularly impressed with this drink. It just seemed a little plain to me. It lacked the punch all the other flavors had. Least impressive of the whole lot.

5. Jaljeera

Jaljeera is generally used as an appetizer. It contains spices like cumin, lemon juice, black pepper and is perfect during summers for dehydrated souls. It helps in digestion and nausea too.

I've had Jaljeera countless times out in restaurants but it never really interested me. It would either be too watery or unnecessarily laden with spices. I have never tasted homemade jaljeera so I actually don't know what it should taste like. I wasn't too sure about this one either, but then I had to taste it to review it.

And I was stumped! I'm declaring that I haven't tasted a better jaljeera in my life before! No, I'm not exaggerating, you have to taste it to believe it! Very flavorsome, a perfect combination of sweet, sour, cumin and other spices, it adds a zing to your mouth. A very refreshing drink and it is my top favorite!

6. Jamun Kala Khatta

The very mention of Kala Khatta makes me crave for an ice crushed gola! And here, we have a drink to savour the sweet and tangy flavors of this quintessential favorite. How exciting!
This drink is derived from Jamuns, popularly eaten by kids to show off their stained tongues! But it is also good for diabetics. It is charged with antioxidants along with a host of other nutrients and minerals.

Jamun Kala Khatta has a nice pinkish hue. I had a sip and the taste that hit my palate was that of the one you get the moment you bite into a jamun. True flavors and right combination of spices make this a wonderful drink. Loved it! One of my favorites among all.

7. Kokum

I live in Pune and during summers I stumble upon kokum juices and squashes at almost every store I visit. It is a favorite during the season and is extremely healthy. It is known for its coolant properties apart from its nutritive values.

I was out shopping the other day and as I came back exhausted and thirsty, this kokum drink that was stashed away in my refrigerator came to my rescue! Amazingly refreshing, thirst quenching with an ideal balance of sweet and sour, it is a perfect drink for your body and your taste buds! Delicious!

I Like:
  • The drinks have original flavors and can be enjoyed by all, age no bar!
  • Although there are many Indian drinks in the market, the range of flavors Paper Boat offers is impressive.
  • No artificial preservatives added, so that's a thumbs up.
  • Not heavy on the (husband's!) pocket.
  • Easy to carry pouches. Perfect for an outing/travel.

I Don't Like:
  • There is absolutely nothing that I do not like about these drinks. Period.

Price: Rs. 30/- for a 250 ml pouch.

Where to Buy

You can find them in any of the supermarkets like Reliance Mart.

Final Thoughts

I loved all of the flavors (except Imli Ka Amlana) but that is purely my judgement. All these drinks are best served chilled. Paper Boat has launched their beverages at an ideal time, so these are going to be indispensable in my kitchen this season. I would highly recommend these drinks and would urge people to go and try these for an unforgettable experience. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. Hopefully, we'll get to taste more flavors (and in bigger pouches too!) from them soon.

A Special Mention

The Paper Boat website is especially beautiful and attractive. Makes you want to browse the entire site non stop. Rarely do you come across such sites you just don't want to leave. Their Facebook page is also very interesting with many images reminding me of my childhood days. Here are some of them.

Photo: The rainbow pen.

Photo: Please touch-me-not.

Photo: Where did all the chocolates go?                   Photo: The steep way to the top.

Do check out their website: Paper Boat.      Visit them on Facebook here.


renuka seshadri said...

Chitra...luved your explanation reg: each drink and i really wish to taste it :)

Chitra Iyer said...

Thanx Rena! :-)

Akhil Systems said...

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