Where to Buy: Stur
Brewed Black Tea + Lemon – a mouthwatering and naturally sweetened blend of real, brewed black tea and fresh lemons! It just tastes natural, not chemical or processed. Add Stur to your tap water, bottled water, Sodastream/ sparkling water, even cocktails.
Learn more about this product here.
During a recent shopping trip to my favorite produce market, Chucks, I came across a end-cap display of Eternal Bottled Water. Attached to several of these bottles were little trial size packets of Stur products. Most were fruit flavored, but I found a couple of Black Tea & Lemon trial packets, so I grabbed one of those.
These Stur products are similar to the popular “liquid water enhancers” that you can find in most grocery store aisles where juice is sold (or alternatively, where bottled water is sold.) My daughter has recently “discovered” the liquid water enhancers because I’m not fond of her drinking a lot of sugared sodas or fruit juice (which has a lot of natural sugars and really isn’t that much better for her than soda, in my opinion). Sure, I do make tea for her on occasion, but she doesn’t want tea that often, so, I find that these liquid water enhancers – many of which do not contain any sweetener in them – are something I’d prefer for her to drink over the over-sugared soft drinks.
This Stur product does have a sweetener in it: stevia. I would rather that not be in there, because … there’s something off about the stevia in this. Either there is too much stevia in it or the stevia used in this product is a lower quality stevia because I’m tasting chemical-y taste … not just “aftertaste” but chemical while I’m tasting and then chemical that is lingering in the aftertaste.
It reminds me a lot of the drink mix that my step-mother would sweeten with saccharine. Not my favorite taste.
And unfortunately, because of the off tasting sweetener, it’s hard to really talk about the black tea flavor or the lemon. The lemon is there – and it’s a tart, acidic flavor (as if someone squeezed lemon juice into my water bottle). The lemon is actually the best part of this “liquid enhancement.”
I don’t taste a lot of the black tea flavor, and that could be because the sweetener flavor is blocking my ability to really taste the black tea. I don’t know, but I’m finding it hard to enjoy this particular beverage because of the stevia in it.
There is either too much stevia in this or the stevia product used is not a high quality product. I wish I could say that I like this, but I just can’t … because … I don’t. And I feel as though I ruined a perfectly good bottle of Eternal Water.
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: The Tao of Tea
Also known as “powdered green tea” and traditionally used in Chanoyu – the Japanese Tea Ceremony, Matcha has a special spiritual significance in Japan. It is said that a person operating within the rules of Chanoyu finds the five senses working at their fullest. Matcha is essential to Japan’s traditional art of the tea ceremony, bringing about with each cup mental concentration, emotional stability, and composure of the mind. Unlike black tea and green tea whose ingredients are infused in water and discarded, Matcha has ingredients that can be utilized fully to activate the organic functions of the human body. It is a beverage good for both the mind and the body. Matcha contains essential vitamins and minerals and has shown long term health benefits due to its many disease fighting nutrients. Matcha has 9 times the beta carotene of spinach, 4 times that of carrots, and approximately 10 times the polyphenols and antioxidants of regular teas.
Learn more about this tea here.
Over the past few years, I’ve consumed quite a bit of Matcha. Some is better than others, of course. This Liquid Jade from The Tao of Tea is a good one – not the best, but certainly better than some others that I’ve tried.
What I like best about this Matcha is the flavor of it: sweet, with very little of the bittersweet flavor that I usually detect with Matcha. This one is sweeter. Very pleasant and not quite as vegetative, although there is some seaweed-ish taste to it that is especially noticeable right at the finish, just before the aftertaste. And that part is weird for me because typically, I am not fond of seaweed. But … this I like! Perhaps it is because the seaweed flavor is a bit sweeter than it is savory.
It coats the palate with the silky mouthfeel, and I like that it doesn’t feel chalky, nor does it taste chalky. Instead, it tastes and feels buttery smooth. It’s really quite delicious.
The Matcha stays suspended in the liquid and doesn’t settle to the bottom, and that’s a big plus in my book. On the downside, there is not as much froth as I would have liked and the color is not quite as bright as I would have liked. I would say that this is a really good, mild-tasting Matcha, and it would be good for those who are new to Matcha as well as for those who typically find Matcha to be a bit too much for them. I find the silky smooth texture and taste of this Matcha to be much more palatable than some of the stronger Matcha teas that I’ve tasted. Overall, it is a very enjoyable Matcha. OH… and another big plus: it’s organic!