March 18, 2020
In a quest for healthy beverages, we’re increasingly seeing new drinks come to market. There’s been kombucha, sparkling infused waster and seltzers, and now get ready to try sparkling tea!
Rocky Mountain Tisane is a small-batch, non-alcoholic carbonated tea beverage that has zero calories, and no sugar.
“My partners and I all have daughters and we were looking for things they could drink that didn’t have all kinds of sugar or caffeine in them,” says Scott Bennie, one of the founders of Rocky Mountain Tisane. “We started doing research and mixing up interesting drinks in the kitchen at home and found that herbal tea worked really well as a base because it has such great natural flavour.”
But Rocky Mountain Tisane drinks (tisane, pronounced ti-zahn, is another term for an herbal tea infusion) don’t use tea made in the traditional way, with boiling water.
“We cold steep our teas for 24-48 hours. Cold steeping brings out more of the aroma and flavours of the tea,” Bennie explains. “Using really hot water when you brew tea brings out more of the tannins and that’s what can cause tea to taste bitter. Cold steeping tea changes everything! Anybody who’s ever tried it is wowed by it because it tastes so much better. You just have to have the patience to wait for it.”
Rocky Mountain Tisane is available in four flavours at Co-op: Rocky Mountain Tisane Lemon Ginger, Hibiscus Cinnamon, Fruit Infusion and Power Up.
“Our Hibiscus Cinnamon Tisane uses just carbonated water, hibiscus flowers and cinnamon and that’s basically it. All our Tisanes are just herbal teas, spices and water, depending on the flavour. They’re natural and healthy—and they taste great!”
The Tisanes organic and high quality looseleaf tea blends, and they’re also naturally caffeine-free, an attribute Bennie and his partners wanted, since their initial goal was to create a healthy beverage for their kids.
Tea has been a beverage for centuries, first documented in ancient Egypt and China and revered for its antioxidant and medicinal properties. Rocky Mountain Tisane took basic tea and added effervescence alongside water from the Rocky Mountains. The tea is cold-brewed in tanks, then carbonated before being canned, a deliberate choice the company made, since they also wanted to be environmentally thoughtful.
“Our cold-brew process greatly reduces energy consumption since we do not heat, and our deliberate choice of cans is beacuse they have a much higher recycling rate and typically contain more recycled material than plastic bottles or glass. They are also much lighter to transport than glass, demanding less fuel when delivering. Our product also does not require refrigeration and has a longer shelf life than something like kombucha.”
Getting the Tisane to market was a lengthy process. Bennie and his partners were actually doing product experimentation in their kitchens in the early days, before getting something they liked and wanted to share.
“We eventually worked with a tea sommelier to choose just the right herbal tea blends for our tisane,” shares Bennie. “We probably tasted fifty or sixty types of tea to find the right blends that would go with the flavours we wanted to create.”
Bennie says that since launching in the fall of 2019, they’ve made quick progress, landing on Co-op shelves quickly.
“We’re so thankful to be working with Co-op. Just having the ability to reach more customers through a company that has such a great reputation for supplying local products is massive for us. We’re really excited that more Calgarians can taste our tisane and find a beverage that’s delicious, and much healthier.”
Find Rocky Mountain Tisane at Calgary Co-op stores.
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