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Get Ready for Fruit-Infused Iced Teas at Starbucks All Year Long

August 10, 2017
Starbucks Shaken Iced Tea Infusers

Courtesy Starbucks

In a world in which it feels like bad news hits us from every direction, here’s some good news for a change: Starbucks has announced that three new Shaken Iced Tea Infusions will be available at participating stores year-round.

The fruit-infused iced tea flavors are:

1) Pineapple Black Tea

2) Peach Citrus White Tea

3) Strawberry Green Tea

The beverages, developed in partnership with Starbucks-owned Teavana, are the brainchild of two main developers: Culinary Institute of America grad Melynda Cheng and food science degree-holder Megan Droz.

Inspired by the increasing number of Starbucks customers ordering unsweetened iced teas and their rising demand for customization, Cheng and Droz wanted to update the goliath chain’s iced tea menu to reflect evolving consumer preferences, turning to fruit to provide both flavor and a healthy dose of sweetness.

After five months of trial and error, the duo came up with the three Shaken Iced Tea Infusions that debuted on July 11.

Just 45 calories per Grande serving, each iced tea contains tea, botanical blends, and liquid cane sugar. Additionally, each contains no artificial sweeteners and no artificial flavor, answering consumers’ call for real, wholesome ingredients and nutritional transparency.

Said Droz in a Starbucks press release, “The fruit and botanical blends of pineapple, peach citrus and strawberry take the place of sweeteners for a lighter mouthfeel and more delicate flavor than other iced tea beverages.”

For guests that want to have it their way, they can now customize any iced tea with the new flavors. Pineapple, peach citrus, and strawberry are “all complementary to our core Teavana back, green, herbal and white teas,” explained Droz.  Isn’t it nice to get exactly what you want?

The new iced teas have been launched with the “Good Feels Good” campaign.

Check out the inaugural ad below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7K4bh2qvDw

Wondering who all the folks in the ad are?  Here’s a handy key from Starbucks:

“Good Feels Good” campaign

Courtesy Starbucks

Good does indeed feel good, and Starbucks is hoping that tea can be a good part of getting you to feel that way. We hope so, too!

Starbucks acquired Teavana five years ago in a $620 million deal.  Having solidified itself as the biggest name in coffee, it was time to expand to tea. With product releases like these three new iced teas, Starbucks is hoping to become the company you think of when you hear the word tea. Will that in fact transpire?  Starbucks bet $620 million that it would.  Stay tuned.

For more information and videos about these new iced teas, head to tea.starbucks.com.

 

 

Iced Tea

Get Free Iced Tea Mocktails This Summer from Teavana

June 6, 2017

Teavana Beach Bellini Iced Tea Mocktail

Swimsuits, barbecues, and iced tea. Like the smell of sunscreen and the sound of the air conditioner blasting, they define summer. And this beach season, you can score free cocktail-inspired iced teas at Teavana stores every Friday between 3 and 7 pm.

With its “Summer Fri-YAYS” promotion, Teavana will offer customers who buy a 24-ounce featured iced tea, a second drink for free. The second beverage has to be of equal or lesser value, but the 2 for 1 deal has our mouths watering, especially after reading the featured tea descriptions:

  • Beach Bellini ™, has notes of papaya, pineapple, and citrus that make a bright, tropical splash.
  • Strawberry Daiquiri, combines sweet strawberry, smooth vanilla, and rose petals.
  • Piña Colada, brings you to paradise with coconut, pineapple, and vanilla-kissed tropical fruit.
  • Mandarin Mimosa, a breezy, citrus-brightened blend that combines mandarin orange, mango, papaya, and lemongrass.

The promotion combines two things people love: iced tea and cocktails, taking out the buzz but keeping all the refreshing flavor. The flavors chosen for the featured iced teas reflect consumer preferences in the US.  According to Business Insider, the pina colada was the 25th best-selling cocktail of 2016, while the daiquiri was the 4th most popular.  No doubt, these stellar performances informed Teavana developers when finalizing the Summer Fri-YAYS menu, while the inclusion of mimosa and bellini-inspired teas will tantalize consumers familiar with these flavors from classic brunch menus.  And since the Tea Association of the USA reports that 80% of the tea consumed in the country is iced, Summer Fri-YAYS seems likely to resonate with American consumers.

If you fall hopelessly in love with any of these featured iced tea flavors and want to whip up a glass at home, each is available in loose leaf.  You can get your hands on a $40 sampler that includes 2 ounces of each variety. Teavana suggests this sampler will brew anywhere from 24 to 34 cups of iced tea.Teavana Happy Hour Craft Tea Cocktail Sampler

Whether you enjoy one of these cocktail-inspired iced teas in a Teavana store or from a home-brewed pitcher, since they contain zero alcohol and zero caffeine, Happy Hour can be fun for the whole family. Plus, sober friends will appreciate being able to partake in Happy Hour stress-free.

To locate the Teavana store that’s closest to you and start your weekend off with a huge dose of flavor, click here.
Teavana Beach Bellini Iced Tea Mocktail

Iced Tea

The Best Iced Teas of 2017 Are…

May 23, 2017

global tea championship emblemJune is National Iced Tea Month. To make sure you’re drinking the best iced tea you possibly can next month, get your hands on the iced teas that took home top honors at this year’s Global Tea
Championship
 in Mentebello, California.  After dividing entrants into three categories (Ready to Drink, Food Service, and Instant) and subcategories (straight, sweetened or flavored black, white, oolong, etc.), the competition awarded 4 gold medals, 12 silver medals, and 15 bronze medals to the best of the bunch.

Each iced tea was evaluated on a 100-point system by three judges: Scott Svihula of coffee/tea company Hula Consulting, Royce Van Twest of Qtrade Teas & Herbs, and John Culliott of sustainable tea company Walters Bay. To receive a top score of 96-100, an iced tea must meet the following criteria: “Unique tea, difficult to replicate, exceptional vintage.”
global tea championship judging

Here are the Gold Medalists for your sipping pleasure:

Tejava—The Unsweetened Tea

Category: Ready to Drink

Tejava—The Unsweetened Tea

Tejava’s motto is Tea + Nothing = Tejava. The company says, “We believe in letting the tea speak for itself so we don’t hide its flavor behind sugar, additives or added ingredients.” It’s simply made with handpicked tea leaves from the Island of Java in Indonesia. Tejava uses only leaves picked from the top of the tea plant between the months of May and October, limiting itself to only the best that camellia sinensis has to offer.  Tejava is Non-GMO Project verified and Rainforest Alliance Certified.  You can scoop up your own bottle of Tejava any of these locations.

Lotus Blossom White Tea with Organic Coconut Water #2300 from Templar Food Products

Category: Ready to Drink

Lotus Blossom White Tea with Organic Coconut Water #2300 from Templar Food Products

Templar Food Products creates custom private label iced teas for its clients. The developers brought home the gold for its white tea flavored with lotus blossom and coconut water.  Click here to request a sample.

Karkade Hibiscus Tea

Category: Ready to Drink

Karkade Hibiscus Tea

Karkade Tea is made from hibiscus plants that are picked in Egypt and then brewed in Texas.  CEO Ahmed Mahmoud says, “Since the days of the pharaohs, families in Egypt have enjoyed tea made from hibiscus flowers. It was the same for our family.”  When the Mahmoud family moved to the United States, they continued to drink iced hibiscus tea, and then decided to share it with the rest of the country under the Karkade Tea label.  Order online here.

Red Berry Iced Tea from Mighty Leaf Tea

Category: Food Service (Commercial Fresh Brewed)

Red Berry Iced Tea from Mighty Leaf Tea

This variety from Mighty Leaf was honored in the Commercial Fresh Brewed category, defined as ” dry tea in either open brew fraction packs or filter packs to be brewed on commercial iced tea equipment and sold in cases to foodservice customers.”  Mighty Leaf teas use the whole tea plant leaf. Says the company, “Our whole leaf teas showcase larger, bolder leaves – never broken, torn or crushed. We love whole leaf tea because these teas provide a complex, nuanced taste that you just don’t get from leaves that have been crushed or broken. Only whole leaves deliver the full flavor and aroma essential for the ultimate multi-sensory tea experience.” Look for this gold medalist variety on restaurant menus.

And here are the Silver and Bronze Medalists:

Silver Medalists:

 Bronze Medalists: