Apart from having a highly redundant title, Tazo’s Golden Amber is a decent organic honeyed oolong iced tea. Yes, I’m still reviewing iced tea. Maybe i shouldn’t but then, this year i keep finding stragglers further and further into Autumn so of course I’ll grab them up when i spot them.
Tazo is… well I’ve often thought of it as the Anti-Tea. Basically, Tazo is Starbucks tea: that is to say, it’s designed to convince you that tea sucks and you should be drinking coffee. ^^;; I haven’t had a chance to visit the new Tazo shop itself that supposedly sprang into existence in Seattle last year, but in this case i doubt it would really be worth the effort. Starbucks being who they are, they feel its brand identification more keenly than actually presenting a great product or actually making money off Tazo.
Golden Amber is definitely a Ti Kuan Yin Oolong (though the bottle isn’t quite that specific), which is nice to see in an iced tea I’ll warrant. The flavor is crisper than most Ti Kuan Yin, probably owing to a high mineral concentration in the water used. Unfortunately, it’s also a heavily “honeyed” flavor (with cane sugar and citric acid) that really ruins the experience for me. Why? Well sweetening iced tea is so American at this point it feels like Tazo was obligated to make it sweet, while the tea itself would have been great without it. They were obviously just cowtowed into believing it wouldn’t sell in the U.S. without being laced (13g for a 13oz bottle) with sugar, which we’ve managed to disprove on this blog. They did manage to keep it under 50 calories per bottle however (but honestly that just makes me believe it would be perfectly fine with zero).
I find this image, borrowed from Tazo’s Golden Amber page to be highly amusing and appropriate since the color doesn’t match whatsoever.