Stephen’s Teaview Snapshot
|"A uniquely-flavored iced tea that hits the right notes in the smoky and flowery categories. Crisp, clean and delicious."|
So far in my ongoing Quest for the Perfect Iced Tea (QPIT), I’ve had mixed luck at best. China Mist has some decent flavors, but their tea is pretty low grade, leaving a lot of particulate matter in the brew. This results in a slightly thicker, creamier texture to the tea which is a big turn off for me. Still, some of their flavors have been ok.
I’ve long been a fan of Adagio’s teas, but up to now have never tried their line of iced tea flavors called “Anteadote”. They only offer four – Black Tea, Jasmine Tea, Green Tea and White Tea. These are pre-bottled in 16.9 ounch square containers, so no muss, no fuss. You crack open the cap and you’re on your way to tasty iced tea goodness straight away.
For my first order I stuck with the Jasmine Tea and the Black Tea. Jasmine was the first one I tried – its also, by a pretty far degree, the best-reviewed iced tea on their site. Its for a 4.5/5 rating, whereas the others are 3.9 or 4.0.
Before I get to the taste, I have to mention the fact that this was the first bottled ANYTHING I’ve ever purchased which didn’t have a single air bubble in it. Usually you shake these things up, and when you turn the bottle upside down, a big bubble void squirms up to the top (bottom) of the bottle. Not so in this case. And so I shouldn’t have been surprised, when I opened the twist cap with quite a bit of effort, that the thing exploded all over me.
Mental note – open with care.
But now on to the important stuff – how does it taste? Well, the reviews were right. Its a delicious and rather unique iced tea. The tea is crisp and clean, with a delightful jasmine, flowery aroma to it which also translates to the taste. The after-aroma is flowery but also a bit smoky, like a very light lapsang-souchang, but not so smoky as to be overpowering or unpleasant. The result is a fairly unique iced tea experience. Drinks well on its own and would probably be an excellent accompanying drink for an Asian summer dish.
The only ingredients: jasmine tea and vitamin C. I’m not sure how much vitamin C exactly – it certainly didn’t taste over “zingy”, but the entire bottle contains just over 200% of your daily recommended allowance of it, so it must be a fair amount.
Now, this will sound strange, but as much as I liked it, I probably wouldn’t order it all that often. At $2 a bottle its a bit pricey. Its also not what I’d call an “everyday” iced tea. Its the sort of drink I’d like to have once in a while; a unique tea experience to shake things up every now and again. It sort of reminds me of a Thai Iced Tea… its delicious and you love to have one when you’re eating out at a nice Thai restaurant, but its not the sort of thing you want to have every day (or even necessarily every week). Its a great once-in-a-while drink when you want to switch things up a bit.
UPDATE: I see now that you can buy the tea in bulk… a case of 15 costs $24. $1.60 a bottle is slightly more reasonable. So if you really, really like the tea that’s a nice option.
UPDATE #2: Ah ha. Just read on another site that the reason why there’s no air pocket in these bottles is that air causes tea to oxidize. Bottling the tea in a 100% air-free environment allows it to stay fresh and tasty without them having to add preservatives. Nice touch! Its almost worth getting a face full of exploding tea every time you crack open a new bottle. (Seriously though, it is – nothing worse than a potentially good tea spoiled with preservatives)