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kombucha

Tea Spirits from Townshends Distillery

The absolute star of Portland’s Tea Fest earlier this month had to be this series of tea infused spirits from Townshend’s distillery. Normally they are known for their kombuchas, which have about as much alcohol in them as fresh orange juice does.  I chose a bottle of their smooth, high-quality cane spirits infused with roses and white tea, which lead to a dainty, yet crisp summer cocktail. I had no idea this was even a thing!!! Back at home, I mix mine with a touch of sparkling water to add to the merriment. Sipping the 80 proof straight provides an utterly fabulous, naughty at the garden party feel – strong yet uplifting, then a transcendent floral aftertaste that comes across quite differently than your standard rose tea. Definitely floral, but sweeter and not at all like an antique shop. Another fine benefit to this beverage is its ability to encourage me to break my writers block, win! And no hangovers yet, despite my crutch on it through finals week, knock on wood.

My partner ended up getting an early birthday present of Smoke Tea Spirits from them, a strong (smelling) lapsong souchong (in vodka I believe) alternative to scotch that they insist you must have at least two sips of to get the full effect. Not at all my taste, though I cannot really do tannins.  Have you ever had tea-infused cocktails before? What are your recipes? I’m dying to try and DIY some now…


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White Tea
Where to Buy: Townshends Distillery
Description:

Townshend’s White Rose is made from a simple recipe featuring white Tea and rose petals. Our unique low-temperature still allows us to capture the subtle aromas of these delicate botanicals. The result is a clean, velvety spirit that is delicious chilled, or in cocktails.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Ten Flavors of Kombucha from GT’s Living Foods

Kombucha appears to be all the rage right now, with stores stocking more companies and flavors than I’ve ever noticed before, even outside the shelves of my local health food store.  What is kombucha?  Kombucha is fermented black tea.  The fermentation process gives the brew carbonation and bacteria, the good kind of bacteria like in yogurt, which helps the digestive system.  Due to the fermentation process, some kombuchas are contain alcohol, and others have gone through processes to filter out this excess alcohol and make it safer for those who don’t partake.  Check on the alcohol content of the next bottle of kombucha that you pick up to make sure it’s at a level you prefer.

My favorite Kombucha brand at the moment is GT’s Living Foods, specifically their Enlightened and Synergy series.  These teas come in heavy glass bottles with well-designed labels, and those with a white cap contain only trace amounts of alcohol.  Not to mention, these teas are available in seemingly every flavor imaginable.  Each time I find a store that stock’s GT’s Kombucha, I find a new flavor I haven’t seen before.

The best flavor I’ve tasted is their Synergy Trilogy flavor, which I see most often on the shelves.  Trilogy features a trio of fruits and spices, blending raspberries, lemon, and ginger with the bubbly black tea base.  This is the perfect balance of sweet and tart that compliments the sour bite of the fermented tea. The fizziness makes this feel like a sweet treat, but it has far less sugar than a can of soda, and more natural ingredients.  With black tea, bubbles, and that perfect touch of tartness, this kombucha always makes me feel like celebrating.  I can’t speak to how the good bacteria has helped my stomach, as I haven’t noticed a drastic change, but drinking the tea does do wonders for my morale.

Some of the other flavors I’ve had an opportunity try include:

  1. Trilogy – I’ve already waxed poetic about this flavor, see above.
  2. Gingerade – Less fruity, with more lemon and a spicier ginger kick, a great flavor for fans of ginger beer soda.
  3. Limited Edition Liberty – This blend came out for 4th of July, and features a blend of watermelon, cherry, and lime.  It’s a fun limited edition, but the fruit is a bit too delicate to hold up against the bold tea base.  I think it would have been better with a stronger lime-ade presence.
  4. Guava Goddess – Tasty, tropical, and pink, this was one of the sweeter blends available with the guava powering through the black tea base.
  5. Gingerberry – Very similar to the Trilogy flavor, but slightly sweeter with blueberry instead of raspberry, and still a hint of ginger spice.
  6. Cosmic Cranberry – The tartness of the cranberries work well with the sour tea base.  It’s similar to the Trilogy flavor but with more tart zing.
  7. Multi-Green – Surprisingly nutty and not too grassy at all. Much more savory than the other flavors.  Definitely an acquired taste.
  8. Lavender Love – The brew is almost purple in color from all the lavender. The soft, fragrant florals dance over the top of the sweet/sour tea.
  9. Lemonade – Most of the blends feature some lemon notes, but this blend is all-lemon, the sour citrus pairing perfectly with the tart tea.
  10. Mystic Mango – This blend is bright and opaque, full of fresh mango fruitiness.  This is like a kicked-up orangina, with hearty sweetness and a burst of bubbles.

Even looking at their website now, I see additional flavors I’m intrigued to try.  They even have a whole chia-seed series I haven’t seen before.  I’ll have to keep an eye out at my local stores.

If you’re intimidated by the idea of kombucha, give one of GT’s Living Foods many delectable flavors a try and see what new avenues of tea await you.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: GT’s Living Foods (or at your local grocery/health food store)
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Culture Cola. . .A Kombucha from Live Beverages. . . . .

I love kombucha so much.

I love the fizziness, and I love the happy feeling that I get from drinking it, and I love the benefits of probiotics. Live beverages is located in Austin Texas which I will visit sometime in my life. They make a line of soda inspired kombuchas which are just absolutely amazing. I reviewed their root beer kombucha here awhile ago, and today I am trying their cola version, called Culture Cola. It’s obviously a play on coke or pepsi. I seriously don’t know how they make their kombuchas taste like soda, but I’m so happy!

This tastes just like a cola, except each serving has only twenty calories, and five grams of sugar. The bottle says it holds 1.5 servings, so the whole bottle has thirty calories and 7.5 grams of sugar. Not bad at all, especially for how delicious and sweet this tastes. Besides the delicious flavor, something else i love is that this is one of the least expensive kombuchas I’ve found.

I said on my root beer review that I think these would be great for anyone who is wanting to give up soda, but having a hard time. This is a great way to get that flavor, and the carbonation in a much healthier way. I know that Live kombucha is sold at a lot of Target stores, and also Natural Grocers. Not sure where else it’s sold, but if you happen to see it I say give it a try.

It’s really remarkable how they get that soda flavor into a bottle of kombucha. This is also perfect for people who find some kombuchas to be a little on the vinegar-y side, none of that here. I’ve tried almost all of their flavors and haven’t had a bad one yet!!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Kombucha
Where to Buy:  Live Beverages
Description

Our Culture Cola brings you a new take on the classic, with that crisp + refreshing cola taste and a whole lotta feel good to go with it. Our version is more than just another soft drink: it’s a probiotic powerhouse.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Passion Mango Ginger Kombucha from Reeds. . . .

Reeds has been one of my favorite kombuchas for awhile. I came across a flavor I’ve never tried, passion mango ginger on a clearance sale at the grocery and bought five bottles. I knew that since it was Reeds it was a safe bet. I just tried one this morning, and man is it delicious!

The ginger flavor is a real stand-out, so if you don’t like ginger this is not for you. I taste ginger first, and then a wonderful fruitiness from the mango, passion and orange juice. Something that I like about Reeds kombuchas is that it’s made with a combination of oolong and yerba mate teas. I love yerba mate, when I was drinking caffeine on the regular, yerba mate was part of every morning.

Reeds kombuchas are nice and fizzy, and perfectly balanced. They aren’t too sweet, and aren’t too dry or sour either. I feel like Reeds would be a good starter kombucha for people who want the benefits, but are scared to try it. They would also be good for people who are trying to kick their soda habit. In all the places that I’ve purchased Reeds kombucha, I’ve never seen passion mango ginger flavor, and that’s a shame because it is absolutely delicious, and really unique compared to all the other kombuchas I’ve tried. I’m a huge fan of ginger, so anything with a ginger kick gets my vote.

I seriously cannot recommend this flavor enough. And as I mentioned all of Reeds kombuchas are absolutely delicious! It’s a super delicious way to get some probiotics in and improve your digestion!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Kombucha
Where to Buy:  Reeds
Description

Since ancient times people have used cultured foods to improve health and promote longevity. Modern foods have had the life processed out of them. Our live raw organic Kombucha uses the finest Oolong and Yerba Mate teas brewed in spring water and proprietary culture to create a delicious beverage of healthful beneficial enzymes, probiotics and organic acids that detoxify, energize and balance with nutrition your body craves. Each of our creative flavors blend our raw Kombucha with ingredients that are uniquely delicious and very functional.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

#Kombucha Anyone?? GT’s Kombucha

I’ve had many flavors of GT’s kombucha, in fact I thought I had tried them all until I saw Laveender Love the other day at the grocery. They were having a sale so I decided to try it. I was a little bit scared that it would taste very floral-y, but luckily that is not the case. This kombucha has elderberry and lavender so it tastes like berries with a slight floral finish. It’s really refreshing and light. I think this may be my favorite flavor from GT’s.

The best thing about this kombucha is how I felt after drinking it. I felt that little happy lift you get from kombucha, and I also felt very calm and relaxed after drinking it. You know when people tell you to take a chill pill? That’s how I felt.

I also feel like I slept better than usual last night. Sometimes I wake up several times in the night and have to woo myself back to sleep. but last night I fell asleep as soon as I closed my eyes, and slept through the night.

This is by far one of the best kombuchas I’ve tried. GT’s is the first kombucha I ever tried, and back in the day it used to be the only booch you’d see at most groceries. So for those reasons it holds a place in my heart. But this flavor takes that love to a whole new level. It’s fizzy, refreshing, sweet but not too sweet and energizing and calming. This is definitely my new favorite flavor, and I can’t recommend it enough. It would be great for a stressful day when you just need to take a moment for yourself.


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy:  GT’s Kombucha
Description

Our Enlightened™ line of GT’s Kombucha is a new interpretation of an ancient elixir. It has a lighter and smoother personality than our original formula with the same high nutritional value that you expect from us. With a unique blend of proprietary probiotics, each bottle is designed to nourish your body from the inside out.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!