First Brew is a company that specializes in crafting nutritious yet delicious milk-alternative products for daily consumption, most of them made from their very own blend of in-house ground almonds and brewed in Singapore. On top of their almond-based beverages, they also sell brewed herbal drinks, jellies and non-GMO soy milk on their website. If you prefer buying in person instead, you can find their Almond Culture drinks in various stores like Cold Storage, Marketplace, or Jasons Deli, and the herbal beverages at Fairprice, Caltex and Cheers.
I have actually never heard of this brand before, but thanks to one of CapitaStar’s livestreams, I managed to learn about and win a 6-bottle box of drinks with two different flavours to try! Generally, I look forward to exploring healthier and greener alternatives to the ones I currently consume, but the flavours and price points have always been the main barriers. Having samples like these help me decide which brands are more suited to my palate and wallet (:
The Almond Culture drinks came in a simple brown box with a space to write well wishes if you’re gifting this to somebody. One flavour was quinoa and the other flavour was black sesame. A notably inconvenient aspect was that the bottle caps were sealed so tight (possibly to retain its freshness) that my husband had to use considerable force to open it. Basically, I couldn’t drink it if my husband wasn’t around! Judging from the FAQs on the website, it seems like we weren’t the only ones facing this problem Also, remember to shake it well before drinking or you’ll get a thin consistency with the first few sips and thick sludge subsequently.
I decided to try the quinoa-flavoured drink first as it resembled soy bean milk, a safe and familiar beverage (it’s clear that my appetite for trying new things is almost non-existent). The taste of almonds was definitely at the forefront of its flavour profile, so for someone who rarely consumes almond products voluntarily, it did take some getting used to. It had a smooth, thick and creamy texture like a finely blended smoothie, but light enough to finish in one sitting. I liked that it wasn’t too sweet and the quinoa was nicely incorporated into the drink.
The initial appearance of the black sesame version of this drink was honestly quite a put-off as it looked a lot like liquid cement, but haven’t we learnt not to judge a book by its cover? Turns out that this version is my favourite of the two! I enjoyed the more prominent black sesame taste that worked well with a more muted almond flavour, making it a yummy and substantial tummy-filler in between my meals.
My overall rating of the experience: 3 out of 5 stars. This rating is probably more reflective of someone who isn’t much of an almond fan but who kinda sorta appreciated the balance that went into creating these drinks. Generally, the flavours were light and refreshing, with the taste of almonds thankfully not being too overpowering. I’ll certainly be back for the black sesame Almond Culture drink! However, given that it’s retailing for $3.95 per 240ml bottle, I’d say this would be more of an occasional indulgence instead of an everyday drink. Also, I hope they figure out the situation with the incredibly tight bottle caps soon. All in all, I’m glad to have this tried and tested beverage to fall back on when I’m in the mood for healthier drink options (: