Online searches for “cold brew tea” ranked fourth in the US and UK between April 2015 and March 2017, the “Think with Google Beverage Trends Report 2017” found.
According to Tiesta Tea, cold brewing tea is a slower extraction process due to the lack of heat associated with traditional brewing, resulting in a more potent and smoother-tasting tea.
“The growth potential of cold brew tea is massive simply because it makes tea much more approachable from a taste perspective. Cold brew tea is smoother and less astringent but still full of flavor," Tiesta Tea co-founder Dan Klein told BeverageDaily.
"The emergence of cold brew coffee has changed the coffee category tremendously. Now, we believe it’s tea’s turn to shine.”
The company works with a copacker in Wisconsin where it cold steeps its tea leaves sourced from all over the world in what look like “giant pillowcases” that function as an oversized tea sachet, Tiesta Tea’s senior PR lead, Rachel Heinzinger, said.
Similar to its loose leaf tea line, Tiesta Tea’s five bottled SKUs will be labeled by function (Energizer, Slenderizer, Eternity, Immunity, and Relaxer) to aid the consumer’s selection process with major ingredients featured prominently on the label.
Each flavor ranges from five calories (lavender chamomile) to 38 calories (blueberry wild child) with no more than six grams of natural sugar per 16-ounce bottle.
Tiesta Tea’s RTD cold brew line will be available in Target for a suggested retail price of $2.99 per bottle.
Loose-leaf tea still a priority
Tiesta Tea started selling bulk tea blends in US grocery stores when it was generally hard to find except in specialty tea stores such as Teavana. The brand’s loose-leaf tea is now sold in more than 6,000 retail locations, according to the company.
“More loose-leaf tea companies are realizing this space is better used in grocery stores,” Heinzinger said.
While the company is diversifying its portfolio with a foray into RTD, its roots in loose leaf will remain a major focus for Tiesta Tea.
“We’re definitely going to still invest in the bulk tea space; we still see a lot of growth there,” Heinzinger added.