What do Harry Styles, Ozzy Osbourne, and Brad Pitt have in common? No, not the net worth—they’re all obsessed with tea. Around the world, tea’s innovating in the way it brews, pummeling tea drinkers into herbal enlightenment. To catch up with the fame of coffee, its direct competitor, tea’s had to fight back fiercely to demand its prominent and rightful place at the table. Trying to offer something other than a morning pick-me-up, lots of tea brands got bogged down in fake claims and promises—from curing your hangover, sore head, hair loss to literally anything that bothers you, except for maybe childhood traumas. Then, luckily, tea found proper PR reps who realized that it can be itself, only a better version. A few years later, the industry rolled out one of the most tempting additions so far: the healthy, cold-brewed, low-sugar sparkling teas. These perfect summer day refreshers make the idea of cracking a cold one sound classy. But can tea actually be cool? As part of National Tea Day, we investigate.
Courtesy of Ozzy Osbourne
A few years ago, when Once Upon a Time in Hollywood came out, we watched Brad Pitt’s character binge on Chattanooga Beer—another made-up brand from Tarantino’s universe. Today, Pitt’s characters would likely be sipping tea, as he’s joined the ranks of celebrity founders en route to health, sobriety, and wellness. Like many of us, the actor reconsidered his relationship with alcohol during the pandemic, but he didn’t just stop there. To support his newfound conscious lifestyle, he teamed up with his friends Cristina Patwa and John Fogelman to launch a brand of sparkling teas–which surely doubles as his motivation and reminder to keep going. Behind Enroot is a community of farmers, advocates, entrepreneurs, and wellness lovers dedicated to sustainability and mindful nourishment in our food systems. Grounded in culinary wellness and masterfully crafted by 12 award-winning James Beard chefs, Enroot’s organic beverages are small batch and slowly brewed cold in northern California with fresh fruits, loose tea leaves, and ayurvedic botanicals. We tried the teas to see if they’re actually worth rooting for, and we must say, they didn’t disappoint. Coming in a range of thoughtful, complex flavors like Lemon Apple Yerba Mate, Strawberry Lavender Tulsi or Raspberry Mint White Peony, Enroot’s non-alcoholic rituals are finished with a sparkling texture to both awaken and excite the palate. Clean caffeine levels and only 25 calories and 5 grams of sugar from fruit purées and juices make for an exciting alternative to the sugar-loaded, artificial plastic bottles of bodega RTD teas.
TÖST brought together a team of beverage and culinary experts to create a tea that by design imparted some of the characteristics often found only in alcoholic beverages. Dubbed ‘bubbly for those who are forgoing bubbly’ in one of their customer testimonials, TÖST offers sparkling refreshers perfect for any meaningful occasion. While the original TÖST flavor features a white tea and white cranberry base with notes of ginger and citrus to give it a little verve, the rosé offers a splash of elderberry for that delicate pink glow. With hints of crisp citrus and a fruity nose, Rosé has a subtle effervescence and dry light finish.
Both a delight for innovation lovers and a nightmare for grocery clerks trying to figure which aisle to put it on, SAYSO is creating a new category in the beverage space. Designed as a three-minute solution to making premium craft cocktails, SAYSO comes in a tea bag format, but unlike regular tea, infuses with cold water. All you have to do is combine water and non-alcoholic spirits, steep your cocktail tea bag for ~3 minutes, add ice, and voilà — a flawless mocktail, every time. To make things even easier, we bundled SAYSO with some of our best spirits, like the Clean T tequila alternative in the Cardamon Paloma Cocktail Bundle and the zero-proof Ritual Tequila liquor in the Spicy Margarita Cocktail Bundle.
If you’re missing your old libation habits, the best way to soothe alcohol cravings is to replace drinking full-proof with elevated ‘rituals’. Serving a tea or non-alcoholic cocktail in a sophisticated glass will make you feel like you’re throwing a whole ceremony and let you appreciate what’s in your drink rather than focus on the lack of the ethanol.
Some of our recent favorites to sip or spill the tea in style are these ferm LIVING Ripple Glasses in stylish smoked grey. Mouth-blown into the mould, this set of four tinted glasses features a beautiful rippled surface, making for a strong and sophisticated look—and only your willpower will be stronger. You’ll also skip the dread of mixing up your glass with some of your friends’ ones–those generously filled up with the alcohol–as each of the four glasses features the distinctive use of geometric levels, saving you the headache of marking it up.
Another favorite for a solo five o’clock is this mid-century modern glass by Rolf Glass inspired by the iconic, bygone era. Imported clear glass is diamond-wheel engraved with playful geometric patterns, bound to hypnotize you into breaking up with the alcohol. You will also forget about cleaning, as Rolf Glasses are dishwasher safe and designed for easy cleanup. These glasses are the perfect size for serving up classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned, Manhattan, or Whiskey Sour, as well as their tea-infused alternatives. Anyone for a brew?