Review: Tea Forte Iced Raspberry Nectar

Apple Tea, Berry Tea, Blackberry Leaf Tea, Fruit Flavored Tea, Herbal Tea, Hibiscus Tea, Iced Tea, Raspberry Tea, Tea Forte Add comments
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The raspberry tastes bang on. I mean, it's G-O-O-D! "
Jamie’s Teaview: 8.5/10
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teaforteraspberrynectarAfter more than 6 weeks straight of rain and cool weather, a stretch of deliciously hot and sunny weather has come to New England this year, giving both my garden and my sanity time to recuperate from the craziest start to "summer" that this area can remember (and there are a lot of LONG memories in New England!). The hot weather has also given me cause to tuck in to iced tea, including a sample of Tea Forte's Raspberry Nectar.

The first thing I noted about Tea Forte's offering is that it comes packaged in a very peculiar, rigidly pyramidal enclosure. I can't call it a bag, exactly, since that seems not to do justice to its truly geometrical shape. It's described by the company as a silken pyramid. It's neat looking, to be sure. To be honest, though, I ended up using the tea outside of its pyramid purse as the material felt a little plastic-y to me. I didn't really want to immerse it in boiling water. The packaging also bears a note mentioning not to microwave the infuser, which was on the one hand a moot point, since I wasn't using a microwave, but did make me wonder what would have been an metal to be seen on the infuser. The website mentions the great deal of care that Peter Hewitt, the CEO of the company, took in sculpting these interesting infusers, and it probably seems anathema to destroy the work. Sorry about that! But I couldn't find anything more detailed about the rigidity of the pyramids and silk alone didn't seem like it would stand up (no pun intended) to heat and water without some additive that I wasn't sure I wanted added to my tea.

Long story, sorry. In any case. This particular tea I poured loose into an iced tea pitcher meant to hold 32 ounces. I brewed my sample using 24 ounces to be sure I didn't end up diluting it. The tea is made up of hibiscus, rosehip, apple, blackberry leaves, orange peel, raspberries, flavoring, and citric acid. I'm not keen on blends including "flavoring" as it is a little "cheaty" to my mind, but it certainly smelled very good (I hate to think that's mostly due to the flavoring agent, but that is possible). The chosen materials for the tea bag are carefully cut and combined, creating a really attractive blend. This is basically a loose leaf tea. In the pyramid, the tea has ample room to move about, and fully infuse. I'm impressed with the appearance and scenting. I heated my water to a boil (the website suggests 207 degree water!) and poured it over. Almost immediately, the water took on a fantastic scarlet pink coloring with a wonderful smell issuing forth. Raspberry and almost a vanilla like scenting.

I chilled the tea down for a couple of hours, and when we opened up the windows in the evening after it had cooled outside, I filled two pint glasses with ice and poured the tea over. Great flavor! Perhaps the flavoring enhances the raspberry (probably), or perhaps (as I like to dream) the flavor is owing mostly to the raspberry and hibiscus, but the raspberry tastes bang on. I mean, it's good! It tastes like a raspberry pie I made a few years ago after spending a delicious afternoon outside at a U Pick farm. It's delicious! It tastes of summer and makes a great iced drink. This tea is excellent on its own and tastes even better with just a slight amount of sweetener. I was thinking that a splash of any kind of creamer (dairy, soy, what have you) added would be delicious, as well. This tea's radiant color and phenomenal taste will delight you on a hot day. For those wary of hibiscus, you would have no worries in trying this tea. The hibiscus is not sharp and is completely eclipsed by the berry flavors. It lends its color beautifully and perhaps just a bit of flavor layered quietly in there without any of the things that people seem to resent in hibiscus (a distinct puckery tang).

I give this tea high marks. It is delicious and I highly advise you to enjoy a sample of it soon. The pyramids are very attractive and unique, even though due to my own personal quirks and biases they spook me in terms of immersion. I think a lot of people would love the design. I also found on the website that Tea Forte makes up a lot of collections of their offerings in gift packaging. You could really surprise someone with a gorgeous collection of teas, beautifully wrapped and presented. They come in all sizes, these packages. They even have a size that is recommended as a wedding favor, and it would certainly serve that need admirably. Might be a nice idea for a tea loving couple to consider if they are hosting a wedding and want to include tea in the theme! Loose tea is also available in attractive tins.

My only reserves about this tea are personal ones that may or may not apply to others. I would see if I could find it in a loose leaf format, as I'm just not a fan of lots of packaging, anyway, and I mentioned my other concern about immersing the pyramid. I also prefer teas that don't include "flavor" as one of the listed ingredients. That's a tough requirement with many flavored teas, for obvious reasons. Those notes aside, this is a delightful and awfully delectable tea that I would imagine would be widely enjoyed! For parents concerned about sugar consumption, this might be a super tea to ice up for the kids in the summer time. It has all the color (with no artificial coloring) and flavor (without sugar) that kids would love to guzzle down after playing outdoors. And adults will love it too.

For a wide selection of Gourmet Organic Teas be sure to visit Tea Forte.

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