If you have read any of my posts, you will have noticed I rarely review tea. There are some that I “feel the need to share” about, although, this is not the crux of my focus.
My interest in many teas are not for the pure enjoyment, experience or to add or notch another leaf in or off my repertoire, as a Tea Consultant/Blending Educator, much of what I explore is to increase my knowledge and share the information to my clients/students when necessary.
When I was contacted by Pique Teas to review their tea crystals, it came at a serendipitous time as I had just looked up the product on Amazon after reading a review by iHeartTeas, Rachel Carter.
I have been interested in instantly dissolving tea for a while and have investigated a few. My involvement in this research has been prompted by the current Matcha craze and how it will impact the tea consuming marketplace.
About three years ago, I began blending Matcha with other instantly brewed flavors and was successful in creating a few: ChocoMatchaLatte, Matcha Passionfruit, Matcha Peppermint and MatchaRose. Currently in our marketplace Matcha is being flavored with everything imaginable.
The concept of easy, neat and quick, may not apply to the die hard tea enthusiasts, though the notion is one that has kept many major brands at the forefront of the industry. I remember as a child being subjected to Lipton’s Ice Tea Powder Mix, introduced to the market in 1964. Even with my sorely underdeveloped palate, I found it less than stellar.
I have been waiting for someone to master the instant tea category with superior products that embody what I look for in quality tea (orthodox loose leaf tea).
Pique Tea Review
On one of their information pages Pique Teas, refers to an ancient process of tea making “Cha Gao” (tea paste). If you would like to know more about the puer tea paste read a post by Geoff Norman, SteepStories of the Lazy Literatus
Recently, new techniques have been developed that mimic the results of Cha Gao and has produced a potent concentrate that when water is added, creates the brew.
Pique Tea Crystals describes its product as “the modern day interpretation of this ancient Eastern practice”. This “proprietary, leaf to crystal brewing technique, Low & Slow Brew” is utilized to extract the flavor and nutrients. The concentrate is then distilled into Tea Crystals using heat and pressure that “locks in essential antioxidants and fresh tea nutrients”.
Pique sent their variety pack, organic tea sampler. The box contained 14 packets/sachets, of 5 types of tea, only one which was not flavored or blended.
The instructions for mixing is 1 packet per 8oz of water. It also states Green/White Tea use warm water (175°) and all other teas use hot water 205°
So, here we go…
Tasting the Pique Tea offerings:
- Added one packet to 8oz water at 205°
- Aroma: mild tea Notes: bitter front and astringency on end notes, Mouthfeel: brisk bright
I was prompted by my palate to add milk and sugar which, enhanced this cup for me and I found it enjoyable.
- Aroma: slight bergamot citrus, Notes: mild citrus, smooth Mouthfeel: full
A very easy cup of Earl and I can see why it is a favorite of many who have tried it. For those who enjoy the Earl in a cup this is a really convenient go to (Margo take note).
- Added one packet to 6oz water at 175°
- Added one packet to 8oz water at 175°
- Aroma: faint, Notes: grassy, verdant, slight bitterness, Mouthfeel: Dry
This does pack a punch using 6oz of water
2. Aroma; Chicken soup, Notes:very very slight grassy, very slight bitterness, Mouthfeel: slight
Much less flavor and impact using 8oz of water
- Aroma: prominent spearmint, Notes: spearmint front ending in a slightly bitter end note. Mouthfeel: Dry
The spearmint remained on my palate for a while refreshing, to the cold brew I added coconut sugar to smooth the bitterness
Again packs a punch with 6oz water
2. Aroma: mild spearmint; Notes: minty no bitterness, Mouthfeel: Dry
Much milder using 8oz water
- Aroma: mild jasmine, Notes: strong jasmine floral overpowering, slight, very slight bitterness
Packs a punch at 6oz water
2. Aroma: very slight jasmine, Notes floral bitter Mouthfeel: Dry
Milder at 8oz water though it imparts more bitterness in the endnotes.
Out of the 47 reviews on Amazon the rating is 4.7 which would confirm that there is a a market for these products and that the ease of use fits into the desire of some tea drinkers to “keep it simple”.
Overall, I would like to try these again with 7 oz of water, I think that would be the best result for my palate preference. I can definitely see myself using these in a pinch situation and stuffing a few into my daughters travel bag.
I would also be interested in using some of these in cooking as the strength of flavor really is impactful.
I am happy to see that there are companies like Pique Tea looking to create new and innovative ways to reach the tea drinking population. Thank you
If you are interested in trying Pique Teas here is an offer readers, an exclusive discount of 15% at the Pique Teas website. Enter the discount code TEACRYSTALS15.