Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Southern Boy Teas
Er, yeah, we went there. On our recent trip to the ASD tradeshow in Las Vegas, we met some folks who were from the “Garlic Capital of the World”. They challenged us to make a tea with garlic in it, and here it is. It’s our premium organic Iyerpadi black tea with organic garlic, bread and butter flavors. If you like garlic, you’re going to have to try this one. It made the whole office smell like a pizzeria or something.
Learn more about this tea here.
Learn about SBT’s subscriptions here.
OK … this is the weirdest flavor that 52Teas/Zoomdweebies/Southern Boy Teas has ever come up with. And if I’m going to be honest, I’m a little jealous. I admit it! I wish I had come up with it.
Yes, this is weirder than bacon tea. It’s weirder than chocolate covered bacon tea. It’s weirder than the pineapple bacon tea. It’s weirder than Jalapeno Tea. It’s even weirder than my beloved Tomato, Basil and Black Pepper tea.
When I opened the pouch, WOWIE! This smells like garlic toast. Like fresh from the oven garlic toast! I steeped it the way I usually steep these large tea bags: I heated 1 quart of water to 212°F and dropped the teabag into the water and let it steep for 2 minutes. Then I removed the teabag and poured the hot tea into my favorite iced tea pitcher and repeated the process, adding 30 seconds onto the “resteep” time.
The brewed tea smells less like garlic toast than the dry tea. Oh, it still smells like garlic toast, but it’s just not nearly as potent.
After allowing the tea to chill in the refrigerator overnight, it was time for testing! I admit I’m excited and nervous and a little weirded out about trying a Garlic Toast flavored iced tea. When I opened the pitcher, I could smell the garlic! It’s still a rather distinct aroma, even though it’s not quite as strong as the dry tea was. The odor of garlic is still there. Then again, it should be, right? I mean, I’m about to take a sip of garlic flavored tea.
OK. Here goes …
Hmm … OK, here are my first impressions: the garlic doesn’t hit you right at the start. The smell of garlic hits you before you even take a sip, mind you, because the aroma, as I said … is THERE. But the flavor of garlic doesn’t smack you upside the palate from the onset.
The first flavor I notice is the black tea. The flavor is smooth and brisk and refreshing. I am picking up on sweetness from the black tea that I hadn’t noticed from this particular black tea base before this tasting. (The Pumpkin Cheesecake iced tea uses the same Iyerpadi black tea base.) I suspect that the different flavoring has inspired the palate to pick up on different flavors from the tea.
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
After about a half a second of tasting the black tea, I start to pick up on delicate garlic notes.
Yeah, I used delicate and garlic in the same sentence, and one was used to describe the other. I don’t know that I’ve ever used the word “delicate” to describe garlic before.
And really, delicate is the right word to use for the garlic flavoring here. Although the pungent odor of the garlic in both the dry tea and the brewed tea wouldn’t really suggest a delicate garlic presence, the flavor itself doesn’t overwhelm the palate with garlic-y … um … goodness. Yeah, that’s the word I was looking for.
It’s garlic toast but it’s not all about the garlic. It is also about the tea. And SBT has managed to create a balance to bridge these two seemingly opposing forces. I mean, really … when was the last time you sat down with a cup of tea and thought: you know what would really go well with this tea? A piece of garlic toast! No. I might sit down to a plate of spaghetti and think, ‘I need garlic toast.’ A cup of soup perhaps, but a cup of tea? No.
But I like this. The zesty, savory flavor of the garlic brings flavors of the tea into focus that I might not have otherwise picked up on. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m noticing the sweetness of the tea itself more now. When you have sweet flavor elements in the tea – such as pumpkin and cheesecake – you miss some of the sweet nuances of the tea. But with the garlic tasting like … well, tasting like garlic … I am noticing some of the sweeter qualities of this tea base. I like that I taste the garlic but it’s not a garlic-y assault on my palate.
I will actually be buying at least one more package of this tea because I want to try it as a cold-brew. I noticed that an iced tea that I didn’t really care for (the bacon iced tea) tasted much better when it was cold-brewed so I want to see how this one works with the cold-brew process.
It’s definitely different – but really tasty.