Monday, March 13, 2006

Tea Review 59 - Anteadote Black

Anteadote Pure Black Tea
Adagio Teas

It's still Assam Month, but we're going to take another brief detour from the region, this time to China's Yunnan province. It's here that the tea for Anteadote's Pure Black Tea is grown. Whatever they're doing in Yunnan nowadays they need to keep on doing it, as this is one of the more distinctive bottled teas I've tasted.

Pure Black is one of Anteadote's four flavors - the others are Pure White, Pure Green and Pure Jasmine. Anteadote comes to us from New Jersey's Adagio Teas, who, until now, have mostly been doing loose and bagged gourmet teas and assorted and sundry accessories.

It's what Anteadote lacks that sets it apart from most bottled teas, and that would be sweeteners. It's billed as "pure black tea unsweetened with no carbs or calories." Ingredients are purified water, black tea and vitamin C. I'm not even going to bother going into one of my "ruining perfectly good tea with sugar" rants. All I have to say about the Anteadote concept is a resounding "amen."

After saturating myself with a bunch of heavy, malty Assam teas for the past few weeks, Pure Black really caught me off guard. It's got a bright, almost pungent, aroma and a taste to match. The label would have us believe that it's a "smooth peppery taste." After some reflection I've decided that I don't see anything wrong with that description. This is also one with a very long finish, as they say in the trade. That's not a bad thing - it's just a thing. There's also some flavor note in there that I just can't place (as is so often the case with this amateur taster). Frustrating not to be able to identify it, but this is good stuff nonetheless.

Recommended - and what do you know, it won't be long before iced tea season is upon us.

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