While attending the 2013 National Restaurant Association Show here in Chicago, I came upon the folks at Alley Cat Tea, a unique fruit tea out of suburban Nashville.
While they were at the show promoting the product for use in foodservice and restaurant applications, it’s also available for private label bottling. Alley Cat is available in 12 oz glass bottles as well, however, they seem to have shifted much of their focus on the foodservice/commercial market with bulk gallon packaging.
Alley Cat Tea was a product of a small restaurant called Ashburn’s Alley Cafe forged by a combination of black tea and fruit juices. In fact, the company claims that this product features 70% juice. The Cafe is no longer around, but the drink product it created continues through Alley Cat Tea.
We were provided an unbranded bottle for review purposes, so can’t fully comment on the packaging or look/feel from a marketing perspective. Upon opening, there’s a strong orange juice scent, combined with the hues of other fruit flavors. Right of the bat, this isn’t some normal tea. Coloring is a dirty yellow/orange, with a texture that is a bit “heavier” than most teas.
Let’s talk taste… Alley Cat Tea is quite different, but also quite excellent. It’s sweet, citrusy, and packs a strong amount of fruit flavor. Excellent quench factor when chilled. The taste of black tea is faint, though it hangs in there via the aftertaste. The fruit is what drives this tea/fruit combo product, however. The tea does a nice job cutting the overall sweetness, however, balancing the mix into something that just dares you to take another sip. Well done.
Alley Cat Tea
A 12 oz bottle contains 140 calories, 15 mg sodium, and 36 g carbs (34 g sugars)
Official Website: AlleyCatTea.com
Full Disclosure: This beverage was provided compliments of Alley Cat Tea