Taste: Soda Goes Organic

Root beer is health food, thanks to two Newtown entrepreneurs

The bottle looks a little like an old glass Coca-Cola model, the price is similar to soda, and it’s got bubbles. But Steaz, an organic sparkling green tea drink, is anything but pop. The brainchild of Newtown residents Eric Schnell and Steven Kessler, this flavored, subtly sparkling, preservative-free beverage has as its base antioxidant-rich Sri Lankan green tea, and is microbrewed for quality control at the Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre. Though green tea tends to be bitter, Steaz’s eight natural fruit and cola flavors, including raspberry, orange and root beer, have a healthy dose of sweetness, courtesy of evaporated organic cane juice, to mask the acerbity. “Healthy soda is no longer an oxymoron,” Schnell says, noting that the nutrient-rich organic sugar in Steaz has up to 30 percent fewer calories and carbs than the sugar in plain old soda. Steaz can be found at many local health food stores, Whole Foods and Acme.