Thursday, September 16

Tea time: refreshing alternatives to alcohol | Came

JING Jasmine Pearl Sparkling Tea (£ 17.95, The British have been reducing their daily tea intake for decades, a long and steady decline that has coincided with the seemingly inexorable rise in coffee. But despite all the inroads made by Starbucks and Costa, capsules and AeroPresses in our daily lives, tea retains its place in our routines and collective imaginations: According to research conducted for National Tea Day a couple of years ago, daily tea consumption still exceeds coffee by 165 million to 95 million cups. These days, the competitors for tea can be beer or wine, as well as espresso or cappuccino, thanks to the arrival of high-quality products specifically aimed at adults who are looking for a low-alcohol or no-alcohol alternative in the shops. nights and on special occasions. The latter would certainly not be disgraced by this typically elegant new product from single-garden organic tea specialists, JING – a sparkling tea with a heavenly jasmine scent, it is well dry without being tannic, and has the texture and mouthfeel. of a natural sparkling wine. came as pet nat.

Copenhagen Organic Sparkling Green Tea (£ 17.95, The bottle and style of their sparkling tea is not JING’s only reference to wine: there is much wine obsession with the terroir in the idea of ​​the unique orchard, and the cult of the winemaker is highly reflected in the “master tea maker” . . In fact, tea lovers might well argue that their own obsession with the connection between place and taste has at least as long a history as that of appreciating wine, and a properly brewed cup of loose-leaf tea like that. The company’s recent launch, Organic Yunnan Tea maker Yang Jian’s Da Hei Garden Breakfast in Yunnan, China, produces a drink as evocative as any Burgundy cru. JING’s wide range of teas seems like a perfect entry point to the enchanting world of fine tea, a journey that could well lead you to the ineffable small farm teas imported by And if you want to explore more sparkling teas, some with a few degrees of alcohol, look for the various cuvees full of personality in the Copenhagen range.

Royal Kombucha Royal Flush (£ 8, Waitrose) If sparkling tea, and classic Asian tea culture, has obvious appeal to the wine drinker, then kombucha, both in its flavor and in the hipster ’90s way it is sold, is perhaps closer. of the craft beer world. Fermented from sweetened tea to which a culture of bacteria and yeast is added, the kombucha process produces a non-alcoholic beverage that takes some getting used to. But like other sour fermented foods like kimchi or sourdough bread, once a taste for the distinctive acetic flavor is acquired, they can be difficult to do without. Kombucha culture has really caught on in recent years, in part thanks to various claims about its health benefits. I am not qualified to say how effective it is in delivering probiotics and antioxidants. But I will say that the best examples, like Jarr Original Kombucha (£ 2.45,, provide a seriously complex and very food-friendly alternative to beer or, in the case of the exquisite multi-layered Royal Flush, sparkling wine.

Follow David Williams on Twitter @Daveydaibach

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