I made some awesome (to me) discoveries this weekend I wanted to share on the tea front. It looks like for their premier market stores (the three in Michigan: Stadium Blvd. in Ann Arbor, Main st. Royal Oak and N. Adams in Rochester Hills) Noodles & Company is rolling out two new tea concepts. Don’t be surprised if you don’t encounter these features at your neighborhood franchise. First of all they’re switching their iced teas to China Mist (yup, definitely a cheesy sounding name) and I totally approve. Secondly, they’re starting their own version of a coffee house menu with coffee, cakes and hot tea. Since I was housesitting over the weekend I haven’t had a lot of down time to write up this post so instead I dictated it to my phone in a kind of stream of consciousness way. Good luck.
China Mist Iced Teas:
The Jasmine Green was a 50/50 split between Chinese Green and a floral white Pai Mutan. I could tell as soon as I poured it into my cup from the scent that it was extremely floral. The mild caffeine content gave it a crisp, soft flavor and texture. I was kind of floored with just how Chinese this American fast food restaurant iced tea was. If you get a chance, you should give it a go.
Their Estate Black is easily one of the best ice teas I’ve ever tasted. Brewed to perfection without any harsh notes or overly burnt texture. The full-bodied mellow flavor definitely lives up to the moniker “estate.” If it was caffeine free I would want to drink it all day long.
Unfortunately the third option (passion fruit black) hadn’t been brewed yet so I wasn’t able to give it a go. Hopefully I’ll remember to drop in the next time I’m in the area.
Leaves (by China Mist) hot tea (bagged):
The English Breakfast has a fabulous burnt note with a malty undertone. It has surprisingly less caffeine than I would’ve thought. If I was doing a blind taste test I would barely be able to tell between this and an actual fine tea that might cost $10. It has a warm welcoming overall body.
The manager Charlie was extremely helpful, though he had never brewed with their new hot tea/coffee system before I asked for it (I later couldn’t find any notes about it under company press releases or on their Facebook so who knows exactly how new it is). The system has 3 cup sizes but when we pushed the button for the Small, it only filled about three fourths or maybe two thirds of a cup with water. Still I could tell as soon as it was brewed that that was the correct amount . I’d have to say that for a fast food establishment, this is easily the best tea I could’ve ever expected. Combined with this gooey dessert (rice crispy marshmallow pyramid that sat in my car in direct sunlight for three or six minutes), I’d say Noodles & Company is top of the line when it comes to fast food.