It’s hardly a secret that I’m a coffee drinker. Whether I’m brewing a humble cup at home, getting a quick fix at a fast food joint, or indulging in a perfect espresso in Florence, I love the stuff. And as varied as coffee might be, the world of tea is even bigger. Some of you may have already experienced this revelation with hot tea, but have you enjoyed an amazing cup of loose leaf iced tea? I endeavored to find out more at Tea Sparrow’s first ever Iced-Tea Off.
From what I can recall, I was first introduced to Tea Sparrow at the Vancouver Tea Festival a couple of years ago. The big idea with Tea Sparrow is that you get a box of four different varieties of tea delivered to your door every month. These aren’t just any old teas pulled off the random shelves of your local grocery store. Instead, they’re carefully curated and taste-tested to select only the best.
Yesterday’s Iced Tea Off offered a glimpse into this subscription service, providing attendees with the opportunity to sample and rate a total of fifteen different iced teas from eight different vendors. Most of the tea varieties were complex in nature, mixing together several different ingredients to provide unique flavor profiles.
And when it comes to the intense summer heat wave we’ve been enduring, a refreshing glass of great iced tea goes a long way (and the health benefits are a nice bonus). Because of the very nature of loose leaf tea, you can brew it as strong or as mild as you’d like. I’m not about to give up my coffee habit any time soon, but I’ll gladly add some iced tea to the usual routine.
For more information about the Tea Sparrow monthly subscription and upcoming events, check the official website. Enjoy some more photos from the first ever Iced Tea Off below.
UPDATE (JULY 28, 2015): The votes have been tabulated and the results are in. The following is quoted from the Tea Sparrow newsletter sent this evening.
The results are in! We are actually shocked at how close some of them were. ALL of the teas did very well and received lots of high scores. The lowest scoring teas still received an average of 7/10! So without further ado, here are this year’s Iced Tea-Off winners!
15. The Tea Guy’s Organic Green Mystique
14. The Tea Spot’s Ginger Peach
13. The Tea Spot’s Blood Orange Smoothie
12. Mighty Leaf’s Organic Green Sunburst
11. Mighty Leaf’s Organic Ginger Peach
10. Herbal Republic’s Camillo
9. Sonnentor’s Organic Peppermint
8. Samovar Lounge’s Pineapple Coconut Oolong
7. Sonnentor’s Spring Kiss
6. Herbal Republic’s Strawberry Mint
5. Aromatica’s Freedom
4. The Tea Guy’s Organic Pink Grapefruit
3. Tea Butler’s Market Spice Sweet Cinnamon
2. Aromatica’s Walnut Green
1. Tea Butler’s Maracuja Orange!