by Honest Tea
(Browse flavors at their Web site.)
While on a routine shopping trip to the local grocery store, I stopped at a pyramid display of bottled iced tea. The label was new and interesting to me, a large letter T with various designs, but it was the name that struck me. Honest Tea. After reading the bottle label, and doing a little research, the business model is apparent in the name. They sell fair trade teas, with particular attention to tea growers, as well as tea ingredients. Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff were a student/teacher team turned business partners. They wanted to make refreshing bottled tea that wasn’t overpowered by sugar and preservatives. I have to say, they accomplished that goal.
Honest Tea is satisfyingly strong, with a bold flavor that is enhanced, not overpowered by the flavoring. They offer a variety of flavors; I chose Peach Oo-la-long, a fun play on oolong tea. Part of what made me choose this flavor was the image of Opus, of Bloom County fame, filling the frame of the large T on the label. He is holding a peach, looking very proud of himself.
The label describes a request from Bloom County’s creator, Berkley Breathed, for a little sweeter flavor for an already enjoyable tea. The result was “Just a Tad Sweet,” one of a few combinations, including unsweetened and caffeine-free. I noticed that some flavors were pure, unaltered blends, such as Just Green Tea and Just Black Tea.
Peach Oo-la-long has a bold, full-bodied oolong strength that I have only tasted in Honest Tea. The nice, but not overpowering peach flavor adds to “Just a Tad Sweet” to create a truly enjoyable sip of tea. I’ve also never seen oolong tea in bottled iced tea form. This was an extra treat for me. It’s USDA organic and does not contain the preservative sodium citrate, often found in so many bottled teas. The plethora of information on the label and the humorous quote under the cap add to the overall pleasant experience. (Mine read “Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine. Robert C. Gallagher.” Nice.)
I’m looking forward to sampling more flavors of Honest Tea.