Over the years I’ve grown accustomed to feeling somewhat nervous when Teaist Junior goes shopping “for just a few things…”
Invariably she comes home with two carrier bags stuffed full to the point of bursting, the unpacking of which will entail a level 5 game of fridge Tetris.
This time she had a surprise in store for me amongst the salami, Brie, and litres of extravagantly flavoured dairy products. “Ta-daaaaa!“, she exclaimed, as she deposited four brightly decorated bottles on the kitchen table with a theatrical flourish.
These were the flavoured tea-based drinks I alluded to in an earlier post. The spectre of tea-snobbishness had clearly not been defeated, merely temporarily banished, and here it was, back again, demanding an audience with my taste buds.
The bottles in question were produced by AriZona, who are, as I learned by reading the side of the bottle, “..an American Company“, one based in New York city according to their website.
Teaist Junior had found the bottles in the “International” aisle of our local supermarket. The four bottles contained Blueberry White Tea, Green Tea With Citrus, Green Tea With Honey, and Pomegranate Green Tea.
As with the case of that chai powder, I was kind of expecting to be disappointed, but was nevertheless prepared to go into the experience with a nice open mind, and at least give AriZona the chance to make a favourable impression.
Right then, here we go. First up was the Blueberry White Tea.
On first sip I found the blueberry flavour really dominant, with almost no discernable tea flavour at all, but after swallowing was pleased to find an aftertaste of white tea hanging in the mouth. It was a very distinct impression of white tea too, with the dried hay and dark overtones of a Bai Mudan. This was a combination that actually worked quite well, to be honest. Not bad, not bad at all.
The fruitiness completely overpowers the green tea aspect here, which is way to the back and experienced more as an astringent, dry mouth feel rather than a taste. A green tea flavour was more evident if you held the drink in the mouth for 20 seconds or so before swallowing. If taken on face value as simply a fruity drink this would be perfectly fine, I just feel that when judged as a tea drink it was a bit disappointing.
Green Tea With Honey
Out of the four drinks this, in my opinion at least, was the best by a considerable margin. It combined the best aspects of a good gunpowder with a silky smooth honey sweetness. I can well imagine that during a long, hot summer day that this would be dangerously quaffable.
Green Tea With Citrus
This was very similar to the pomegranate flavoured beverage, insofar as the green tea was almost completely hidden behind what was, to be fair, a very pleasant lemon flavour. Interestingly, this drink also packed a quite robust mouthfeel.
In conclusion, then, I can certainly see us purchasing the Blueberry White Tea as well as the Green Tea With Honey when summer rolls around. They’ll make a pleasant not to mention quick and convenient alternative to my usual cold-brewed teas. It would make good sense to have a few bottles of these sat in the fridge should you find yourself having forgotten to set a batch of cold-brew going the day before a hot spell found you pining for a chilled tea drink.
It’s not that the other two aren’t nice drinks – they are – they’re just not packing enough tea flavour for my personal taste.
Can’t say fairer than that.