For the past week I've been winding my way through Oklahoma and Kansas seeing the sights, visiting with family, and trying new-to-me things. It was during these wanderings, which may have included one or two random grocery store visits, that I stumbled across another unique bottled tea—Oak Brewed Black Tea from AriZona. Over the past few months I've seen more than one company experimenting with both wood aging and brewing. It's a trend I dismissed at first, but after sampling a fabulous tea that is aged in a rum barrel (Rummy Pu from Liquid Proust) I decided that this was a trend I needed to pay more attention to.
The addition of American oak during AriZona's brewing process adds a distinctive flavor to the final brewed tea, but there was an overwhelming sour taste I found incredibly off-putting. Even more off-putting is the fact that this unsweetened tea actually contains three different sweeteners: honey, sugar, and maple sugar—a fact that completely escaped my notice until I had finished most of the bottle.
Yes, you read that correctly, this unsweetened tea contains three different types of sugar!
This completely blows my mind...
These sweeteners are only included in small amounts—less than 1g—an amount that according to the label is deemed a dietary insignificant amount of sugar, but the fact that they are included at all in a tea labeled unsweetened really troubles me. For that reason alone I wouldn't recommend this tea, but quite frankly, the sourness that is present overwhelms the delicate oak flavor, ruining the entire beverage.
Would I order this again? No. While I did like the depth of flavor the oak provided I really hate deceptive labeling practices. This is one tea I wouldn't purchase again.
Where to Purchase
Check your local grocery store or any place you typically find bottled tea. Otherwise you can visit the AriZona website for more information.