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Best of Expo West 2017 Products Series: Beverages

Can you believe how fast this year is flying? Expo West was already a week ago! This year's expo was packed with an abundance of brands and products, which means the time has come to compile my favorite products in various categories and share them with all of you! I had the privilege of meeting and speaking with some really awesome founders and reps from various brands, and will be highlighting many of them soon! Also, expect some giveaways as well :).

This year, I was looking for products across different categories, which was a little bit overwhelming. Because I wasn't focusing on just one aspect, I probably missed a lot of amazing brands (sorry in advance), but was still able to discover and learn about some seriously standout companies with products that stopped me in my tracks! Since I am trying to lead a holistic lifestyle, I was on the search for all things that fit into that. If you're interested in what I was looking for, please click here

I have decided to split my favorites up into multiple posts because there are just TOO many products! This post will focus on my favorite beverages. From fermented drinks, wellness tonics, herbal teas, drinkable veggies and juices, there is a little bit of everything on this list! Almost every single one of these has some sort of herb in them, if you couldn't see the trend! I've got kind of a tea obsession inherited from my Mother, as well as a passion for herbs and holistic health :). These are in no particular order, but I will mention the ones that stood out to me.

1. Yogi Teas are some of my favorite teas. It seems as though they have released a few new teas this year, including Green Tea Blackberry Moringa, and Mango Ginger. Moringa was EVERYWHERE at the expo, and I was loving it! I've been a fan of moringa for at least a year, so this trend was a welcomed one. Both teas were tasty, especially the mango ginger! It was zesty with a hint of passion fruit in there as well (one of my favorite flavors). I'm not seeing these included on their site, so they made not be in stores yet.

2. Organic India Tulsi Moringa Tea. Like I said above, moringa was everwhere this year. I did not discover this tea at the expo, but right before it. They had it brewing daily, and I found myself going back for a cup all four days. It is definitely one of my newly favorite teas! It tastes similar to green tea, is a stress reliever, and uplifts the mood. I'll be going more into depth on moringa soon! This tea is also Certified Organic.

3. Choice Organic Teas Reishi Matcha and Reishi Detox Certified Organic Teas. These two teas surprised me. I picked up a few of these samples because they caught my eye, but did not actually try them until I returned home. Both of these teas are SO good! Mushrooms and matcha were also very big trends this year (again, not long as the mushrooms are in powder form :D). The Reishi Matcha tea is a great alternative for drinking coffee. It gives you a slight boost of energy, but does not give you the crash, at least from what I experienced. The Reishi Detox is packed full of my favorite detox herbs such as dandelion, burdock root, cinnamon, and nettle. Moringa is in there as well! Definitely two teas worth trying. All of Choice Organic Teas are forumulated by a Master Herbalist who is a staff member at Bastyr University. They will be available starting in April!

5. Asante Mama Organic Teas and Spices. This is a smaller brand with a large heart. These teas come in loose leaf form, and they also sell spices. Asanta Mama's founder, Pamela, started her own organic farm years ago to help lift farmers in Uganda out of extreme poverty. She wanted to do this in an ethical, innovative, and sustainable way. Now, Asante Mama works directly with contract farmers in Uganda to provide them with all the needed materials and training. They also support the income of over 7,000 families, guaranteeing them a better livelihood, access to education, health, and social services, while earning a sustainable wage. If that wasn't enough, Asante Mama also gives back to rural communities, providing schools with materials, clean water, school meals, and even dormitories for girls, and homes for teachers. They also focus on planting indigenous trees to protect and conserve the environment. Absolutely love this brand.

6. Vive Organic Wellness Shots. Okay, these were AWESOME. Definitely one of the standouts not only from day 1, but the whole expo. Their original line consists of three different shots, but they debuted three additional shots at the show! I got to try a few and loved every single one. Their shots are certified organic, non-GMO, and cold pressed. Each wellness shot has a different purpose, from an immunity boost, vibrant wellbeing, digestive balance, wellness rescue, natural energizer, and super antioxidant, these are packed with goodness. The immunity boost has turmeric and ginger, vibrant wellbeing includes an ounce of wheat grass, but moringa and blue green algae. The digestive balance has coconut and probiotics, and the wellness rescue featured elderberry if I do recall. These are great for on the go wellness!

7. Jarrow Golden Tea Turmeric Infusion. Think golden milk meets chai tea. This tea infusion has a base of coconut milk and almond flour making it vegan and gluten-free. Each serving is packed with 1,000 mg of organic turmeric powder. For those who are living under a rock, turmeric has an abundance of benefits, especially when it comes to inflammation. This powdered mix makes it easy to add turmeric into your diet in a tasty way.

8. Clearly Kombucha Ginger Mint Lemonade This one is pretty obvious, as it has kombucha, ginger, and mint in its name. I'm going to steal the description they have straight on their website, as I think it is fitting. "Tastes like: the freshest twist on a classic summer favorite. Feels like: ocean waves washing over your toes. Goes with: sunshine, beach blankets, and high SPF". This was light and refreshing. The most surprising thing was the sugar content, which is a low 4 grams per serving, or 8 per bottle.

9. MALK Organics Nut Milks in Maple Pecan and Pecan + Cold Brew Coffee. Okay, I tried all of their nut malks including almond and cashew, but the pecan malks BLEW my mind. MALK Organics is the only dairy-free milk company that I have seen offering pecan milk. Not only that, it was freaking delicious! I'm talking pecan pie in liquid form (trust me, it's good). Pastry girl dreams coming true. THEN, they take it to a whole new level and mix their pecan goodness with organic cold brew coffee. Take all my money. The sugar content isn't at high as you would expect either. 7 grams per 8 oz of the pecan malk, and 4 grams per 8 oz of the cold brew. I will be an addict once I search for this in stores. THIS IS A MUST TRY PRODUCT. Unless you have a nut allergy, then I recommend you stay far away... sorry, but you're missing out.

10. MatchaBar Mint Matcha Tea From the looks of their website, this seems to be a new flavor AND a rebrand. This one of my favorite beverages from the whole show, if not my favorite. MatchaBar is actually a cafe with two locations based in NYC. They have one in Chelsea, meaning it was fate for me to try it, obviously ;D. This tea was SO refreshing. I am currently obsessed with all things matcha, and I'm always obsessed with mint. Put the two together and you have a very happy Chelsea. You know what else I love about this product? The teas are in glass bottles, and this particular flavor has ZERO sugar. Yeah, I said it. ZERO. SUGAR. A tasty bottled tea beverage with no sugar is very hard to find these days! The guys behind the brand were extremely nice as well, and when I came back a second time for more, they were more than willing to give me a bottle to take home. Which, by the way, said bottle is currently in safe keeping in my refrigerator because I refuse to drink it yet. I must savor the goodness for as long as possible. I'm pretty sure I could drink this daily and be extremely happy with my life. This is another MUST TRY PRODUCT!

11. Kevita Cleansing Probiotic Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic in Elderberry. Okay, after I posted this photo on Instagram, it was brought to my attention that Kevita was recently purchased by Pepsi Co. While I am thoroughly disappointed by this news, this drink was one of my favorites from the show. While I may hesitate to purchase it in the future, I still wanted to include it to highlight the awesome ingredients included. Like many ingredients mentioned in this post, apple cider vinegar has so many benefits. Internally, it aids digestion, helps with indigestion, and can boost the metabolism. This specific tonic includes elderberry, which is literally why I stopped in my tracks when passing Kevita's booth. Elderberry is one of my absolute FAVORITE things for boosting the immune system. I consume elderberry syrup and products any time I feel under the weather, which nicks whatever I may be feeling in the butt, fast. This tonic also includes goji berry extract and rose hips. Goji berries are great for your eyes and energy. This beverage is certified organic and also comes in a variety of flavors including turmeric ginger, chili lime ginger, ginseng mandarin, meyer lemon, and cinnamon.

12. Modern Alkeme Cleansing Tonics Spicy Matcha Daily Detox This little tonic packs quite the punch! This is basically a much better version of the tonic that I drink every morning (dandelion tea with fresh lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, and sometimes cayenne). You can find dandelion, burdock root, ginger, red clover, ghost pepper, wakeme, lemon juice and rind, coconut cider vinegar, reishi mushrooms, coconut water, ceremonial grade matcha green tea, and Japanese honey in this extremely awesome tonic. All of the ingredients included in this tonic really do assist with detoxing the body from harmful toxins, as well as giving you a natural boost of energy that gets you going for the day. Certified organic and non-GMO, there is no BS here! I loved discovering this during the expo because I was traveling and staying with my aunt, so I was still able to have a detox tonic! My only advisory is that it was a bit spicy. I loved it, but if you are not a fan of spicy, I would proceed with caution! It looks as though us West Coasters can only buy this online at the time! These are great for traveling when you don't have access to your daily routines!

13. Jun Kombucha Wild Tonic in Blueberry Basil. This year was all about innovative fermented beverage flavors! I asked the rep at the booth what her favorite flavor was, and she said blueberry basil. Working in pastry, using basil with produce is a common practice. This flavor was really tasty! First, you get the fruity blueberry flavor, then, an ending accent of basil. Not too sweet, not too savory. It was the perfect blend! I'd love to sip on this in the summertime.

14. Wonderdrink Organic Kombucha in Thai Carrot, Honey Lavender, and Strawberry Basil. Again, with the innovative flavors. I was loving it! The usual kombucha flavors can become quite boring, so I love seeing brands go outside the normal box and use flavors that I see paired together in the kitchen all the time! All three of these flavors were really spectacular. The thai carrot had a nice tang to it, which balanced out the natural sweetness from the carrot. This flavor won best kombucha flavor of the show, according to the rep I spoke with! The honey lavender was much sweeter, but still not overwhelmingly so. The lavender was a perfect accent to the honey flavor because it was very subtle. Liking the strawberry basil flavor was a no brainer, as I've been using that combination in desserts for years! I learned a few things about Wonderdrink at the expo: They are based in Portland, Oregon (I WILL move there one day), they have a food scientist that comes up with the flavors (I almost went to school for that...), and there is such thing as a phD in Kombucha, and yes, they have one on staff. These flavors are not yet available, but will be coming out in the near future!

15. Teaonic Herbal Tea Tonics. I had seen these products all over Instagram, so I knew I had to try them. They offer organic herbal tea tonics addressing various health needs. They have blends for the skin, adrenal glands, liver, gut, brain, hair/nails, femininity, and weight loss. These are in glass bottles and great for on the go, whole body wellness.

16. Daily Greens Organic Juices and Lemonades. Last, but definitely not least. Daily Greens was yet another standout brand for me, with really tasty, good for you products! I got to meet and chat with the founder, and was able to learn about their sustainable practices. Daily Greens supports local, organic farmers in Texas for all of their produce. These drinks range from all veggies, a mix of veggies and fruits, to sweeter lemonades mixed with greens and superfoods. The founder, Shauna, was inspired to start Daily Greens after her own battle with breast cancer. Remember this brand, because you'll be seeing more of them on my blog soon!

You rock if you stuck with me through all of that! Stay tuned for my next post in this Best of Expo West 2017 Products Series! Next up is the Superfoods and Supplements category!

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