In my prior post on the UNLVino grand tasting event, I mentioned that I had found a special drink that really impressed me but also was a bit of a disappointment. Fortunately, my disappointment has lessened after I did a bit of additional research when I returned from Vegas. What might surprise you is that this special drink I found at a wine tasting event is not even alcoholic.
One of my favorite beverages is fresh brewed, unsweetened iced tea. It is something I drink nearly every day, all year round. I much prefer it to soft drinks as it is very refreshing without any carbonation or sugar. I don't like when restaurants only serve iced tea during the summer as it should be a year round drink. I have never before liked bottled iced teas.
Most bottled iced teas are sweet and I usually avoid them. Though some bottled iced teas are unsweetened, they just don't taste right. They certainly do not taste fresh brewed. They almost seem artificial, and even sometimes carbonated. I have tried many different brands, and none of them really satisfied me. Until recently.
While perusing the various tables at UNLVino, checking out the wines that were available, I came upon The Republic of Tea where they had some bottled iced tea. I had some familiarity with their products, having previously purchased some of their loose-leaf teas at Whole Foods. But had never seen their iced tea before. I was very skeptical as I scanned the various flavors available. I thought they might be too sweet or taste artificial. I was very wrong.
I first tasted the Raspberry Quince, one of their unsweetened, black teas, and I was shocked. It was so very different than what I expected. It actually tasted like fresh brewed iced tea. There was no carbonation, no artificial taste, no sweetness. The fruit flavors were there but they were more subdued, enhancing the taste rather than overwhelming. It had an amazing taste, exactly what I have been seeking for a long time. If I had to undergo a blind taste test, I would be unable to tell that this iced tea came from a bottle.
I tried a number of their other flavors and my feelings were the same. They were all delicious, and tasted just like fresh brewed. I was so delighted to have discovered this wonderful drink.
It is also good to know that the iced tea is organic, has no calories, no carbohydrates, no sodium, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, and no preservatives. They are available in either Black or Green Tea in flavors such as: Black Tea--Ginger Peach (also in decaf), Raspberry Quince, Mango Ceylon, Blackberry Sage, and Republic Darjeeling; Green Tea--Passion Fruit, Blueberry Green Decaf, and Pomegranate. Rather than have fruit juice added to the tea, generally the fruits are dried and brewed with the tea leaves, thus adding their flavor without any sugar.
All of the teas, except the Republic Darjeeling, were available in 500ml glass bottles ($4.75). And that is where my disappointment initially came. I was told that the glass bottles were only available at hotels, restaurants and spas. They were not available in any retail stores and they had no plans to do so in the future. So, though I had found this amazing iced tea, I would not be able to buy it. Very frustrating.
The Republic Darjeeling came in a plastic bottle and I was told it might be available in some retail stores. So I endeavored to hunt for it once I returned home, greatful at least that I might be able to find one of their iced teas. My search met with much greater success than expected.
First, you can order the iced tea through their website and it appears you can buy both the glass bottles and plastic ones. The 12oz plastic bottles cost $2.79 each plus they have more flavors available than what I saw at UNLVino. So, no matter where you live, you should be able to order this iced tea.
Second, I received information that at least a few Massachusetts stores, and maybe more, do carry the iced tea. These include:
Barnes & Noble Cafe
1400 Massachusetts Ave.
16 Atlantic Ave.
334 Hight Street
If you love fresh brewed, unsweetened iced tea, then these bottled iced teas are going to satisfy you. I am very picky when it comes to my iced tea and I was thoroughly impressed with these drinks. They are a bit pricey but they are also a high quality product. Check them out.