Writer: Karla Walsh
Photographs courtesy of Copenhagen Sparkling Tea Co.
When I shared three new Copenhagen Sparkling Tea Co. flavors at a recent outdoor dinner, the response was a collective thumbs up from wine drinkers, beer fans and teetotalers alike. These teas are the Goldilocks of spring and summer beverages; they’re not too yeasty, not too sweet, not too heavy, and not too boozy. They’re just right.
Clocking in at 0 to 5% alcohol and made with a blend of up to 13 organic black, green, white and oolong teas (plus a splash of white wine in the bottles with alcohol), these sommelier-crafted sparkling teas are balanced, elegant and flavorful without being overpowering. The teas are then blended with freshly crushed grape juice like traditional wines and allowed to age and ferment for eight to 12 weeks.
The resulting blend is bottled like a bubbly wine and sold in a 750-milliliter format for a stellar swap for—or between—glasses of Champagne. And get this: While it’s not yet available in large cities like Chicago or Austin, you can find it in Des Moines for less than $25 per bottle at the Cheese Shop and in limited release at Gateway Market and select WineStyles, thanks to Joshua Gingery, the director of sales at Ruby Fine Wines.
“Nobody is drinking the same anymore,” Gingery says. “They’re either drinking less or drinking more or drinking something different—the pandemic changed everything. … These low-alcohol teas and no-alcohol teas are a healthy alternative to drinking that is still drinking something fun.”
We sampled three styles:
RØD (5% alcohol): Like a sparkling rosé, this semi-dry tea tastes like a mix of red berries, hibiscus, blackberries and citrus, plus a hint of bitterness from Lady Grey and Earl Grey teas.
BLÅ (0% alcohol): While this smells like jasmine, chamomile and citrus, it’s soft and round on the palate, thanks to white, green and Darjeeling teas.
GRØN (5% alcohol): Lemongrass and citrus prevail in the aroma and the flavor. Apple and ginger join the taste bud party to deliver a crisp, mineral-forward experience.