“ Brand: The Berry Company / Type: Instant Tea „
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Summer's coming and we all know what that means - we all need exciting new things to drink. Well, I do anyway. I get so bored of cold drinks and I'm always on the look out for something new. Years ago, if somebody had told me you could drink iced tea, I'd have probably thrown up (in a suitably extravagant manner) and then called them a fool. It didn't help that I thought that meant cold tea as in a cup of tea that has gone cold (milk, sugar and all). But real iced tea is actually very pleasant and there's been a small but growing customer base for tea-based cold drinks over the last few years.
Special Tea is a sister brand to The Berry Company, which has been producing fruit juice drinks for around four years. I'm a big fan of The Berry Company's juices drinks. They're interesting and don't just go for the obvious fruit choices. Their acai berry drink, for example, is very tasty and I've seen very few like it. They also believe in all natural ingredients (no nasties here) and the high juice content from the berries means that all their drinks are high in natural antioxidants.
The range of products is increasing at a rapid rate. You can now buy Berry Company sorbets, jams, fruit bars and dietary supplements. They've also set up the Special Tea sister company, with two varieties currently available - this one (White Tea with Peach) and a second one containing green tea with blueberries.
I've only seen these drinks in Waitrose, where they sell the entire range alongside the other long life juice drinks but the website lists all the major supermarkets as stockists. I don't actually drink that much completely fresh juice. Long life drinks suit my day-to-day movements better (they last longer in the fridge) and I actually find fresh juice a little over powering. This combination of white tea, water and peach works extremely well for me.
Firstly, although this is a long life drink, it contains no artificial preservatives, colourings, sweeteners or flavourings and is entirely natural. The drink solely comprises water, fruit extract from concentrate, fruit juice from concentrate 11% (peach 10% and lemon), white tea extract, natural flavour and ascorbic acid (a natural antioxidant.
The drink is sold in slim line 1 litre cartons and is easily opened - no tags or ring pulls to open, just twist the cap and pour. The size makes it very compact in the door of most fridges and it also takes up a relatively small amount of space on a shelf in the fridge.
When poured, the drink is translucent, with a very pale orange tint (presumably from the peach juice extract). When I drink white tea, it's usually the silver tip variety, which is actually surprisingly dark in colour, but I'm not sure which variety of white tea is used here. The drink smells distinctively of peach, but also has the subtle aroma of the white tea. One of the things that I like about white tea is that it has a very 'clean' taste and aroma and that carries through here. There's something vaguely herbal about the smell, but it's very gentle.
The drink initially tastes quite distinctively of peach, in a very concentrated manner. Fresh peach juice can be quite weak, unless the fruit is very ripe, but the concentration of the juice here quite notably brings the flavour of the peach out in a way that actually borders on tasting of synthetic peach flavour (like you get in gummy sweets. It's quite an aromatic taste, initially highlighting the sweetness of the peach juice before the white tea starts to come through just a little. White tea has a lovely flavour. It lacks that grassiness that you get with green tea and is not bitter or harsh. It is, however, a delicate and relatively weak flavour, and whilst you *can* discern it here it's mainly the peach flavour that you'll notice. The drink has no strong aftertaste but is delicious served cool (not ice cold). This isn't what I would call a very sweet drink and probably wouldn't be a hit with children or those with an exceptionally sweet tooth. Although the manufacturers recommend that you shake the drink, there is never any sediment or particles in the drink.
Things To Like About This Drink
* Delicate, cool and refreshing flavour
* No artificial ingredients, suitable for vegetarians and gluten-free
* Both peaches and white tea are high in antioxidants, good for healthy skin and slowing down the aging process.
* Easily stored, easily opened, easily poured and lasts well in the fridge.
* Carton can be 100% recycled
Things To Moan About This Drink
* Only 11% juice - the larger part of the drink is water
* Ingredients are not organic (both white tea and peach can be found organically).
* Comparably expensive at £2.09 per litre
* Probably not suitable for children
Overall, I'd certainly recommend this drink, particularly as something of a change.
You can read more about it here http://www.theberrycompany.co.uk/specialtea.html
Brand: The Berry Company / / Type: Instant Tea