Tama Cafe has added sparkling teas to its lineup of tea-based beverages with the launch of three flavors: Lemon Lavender, Mango Verde and Peach Pear.
Rocco Quaranto, co-founder of Tama Cafe, said the idea for the sparkling teas originated a year and a half ago.
“We assumed someone had to be doing this already, so we researched the idea only to find very little competition in the sparkling tea industry,” Quaranto said. “The brands we found weren’t very impressive, included preservatives, lacked flavor, or were filled with sugar.”
Since that time, he and co-founders Kelly and Wells Struble, have tested hundreds of recipes using all-natural ingredients. Each test batch was sampled to customers, and those receiving the highest marks were selected as the first to be released to the public.
Thanks to a partnership with Wrightsville Beach Brewery, Tama Tea is able to brew and can the sparkling teas at the brewery, utilizing their stainless steel Brite tanks and canning system.
Quaranto said the project would not have been possible without the help of Wrightsville Beach Brewery head brewer, Kevin Zelnio, and co-owner, Jud Watkins.
“We did all the recipe testing and market research, but Kevin and Jud helped us with the process of taking it from an idea to getting it into cans.” Quaranto said.
All three sparkling teas are made with organic green tea and all-natural ingredients. They contain zero sugar and zero calories.
Quaranto said they have received numerous inquiries from retailers wanting to carry the teas, and they are already available at Tidal Creek Co-Op, Epic Food Co., Lighthouse Beer & Wine and Beauty Bar Boutique.
As for additional flavors, Quaranto said he’s continuing to develop recipes for caffeine-free blends, as well as yerbe mate based blends, which contain 80-90 milligrams of caffeine.
Tama Sparkling Teas retail for $1.95 per can, or $6.20 for a 4-pack. They are also sold by the case for $28.80. Tama café will donate a penny from each can sold to the local nonprofit Masonboro.org.
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