April 13, 2021
Saicho – A stunning cold-brewed range of innovative sparkling teas
Just in time for Summer and the perfect treat for picnics; Saicho, has created their brand new sparkling cold brewed tea brand that is set to transform the way we pair non-alcoholic drinks with food.
I recently had the pleasure of trying the new Saicho sparkling cold brewed tea in range of three sparkling tea flavours; Jasmine, Darjeeling and Hojicha. I received the drinks packaged in beautiful 500ml bottles all designed to be served chilled in a Champagne flute or coupe.
What’s Inside The Package
Cold-brewed for twenty-four hours to extract the most delicate and complex flavours from the tea leaves, Saicho teas are then finely balanced with a hint of sweetness and a dash of acidity. As a finishing touch, sparkling the tea enhances the flavour and creates an effervescent drink that can be enjoyed as a non-alcoholic alternative to Champagne or Prosecco.
Created by husband and wife team, Charlie and Natalie Winkworth- Smith, Saicho was born out of a personal desire to create a non-alcoholic drink that could pair well with food. Hailing originally from Hong Kong, Natalie can’t drink alcohol, and turns as red as a tomato with even the smallest sip, so she always missed being able to fully enjoy the experience of food and wine pairing.
As a solution, Charlie and Natalie turned to tea with its rich history and wide variety of flavours, from floral to fruity, nutty to smoky, influenced by its terroir and processing methods. After two years of testing hundreds of different teas from around the globe, they chose their first three teas; carefully selected to pair well with food.
This black tea is grown in the foothills of the Himalayas in Darjeeling, India, at almost 2,000 metres above sea level. Harvested in the summer to develop its unique Darjeeling flavour, the tea has notes of wood spice, nectarine and muscatel and has a subtle astringency. This tea was harvested in the summer when the muscatel flavour was most pronounced and the leaves had turned a beautiful purplish-brown colour. Pairs well with grilled meats.
Originating in Kyoto in the 1920s as a way of utilising leftover leaves, stems, stalks and twigs, Hojicha is a roasted green tea grown in Shizuoka Prefecture and is now one of the most popular teas in Japan. The tea has notes of seaweed, roasted chestnuts and molasses. This Hojicha is made by roasting late-summer Bancha green tea, a process which changes the colour to a deep reddish brown and produces a toasty, nutty flavour. Pairs well with Asian salads or cured meats.
Scented with jasmine blossoms, this green tea from Fuding, in China’s Fujian province, has a rich creaminess and delicate floral aroma and is a light introduction to sparkling cold- brewed tea. A distillate of toasted oak adds notes of vanilla and spice. The tea leaves are harvested in early spring, dried and stored until the summer when the jasmine flowers are in bloom. The flowers are picked at midday when they are tightly closed against the sun and the tea is blended with new jasmine flowers over several nights until the aroma is perfectly balanced. Pairs well with creamy pasta or panna cotta.
With subtle, sophisticated and complex flavours in each glass, Saicho Teas are the perfect option for those who choose not to drink, but would like to enjoy an elegant glass of bubbly to go with their meal. Ideal for both luxurious, but light lunches, paired with dinners, or as the perfect accompaniment to Afternoon Tea, Saicho is bringing something entirely new to a market, uniquely filling a space between the traditional wine industries and the burgeoning new world of non-alcoholic drinks.
Saicho’s retail price is £8.99 and is available to purchase at Saicho shop
Other stockists include: Borough Box, The Whisky Exchange, Yumbles, The Artisan General Store & Tendai Hong Kong