To the world, the cereal aisle of supermarkets in the US is absolutely glorious. Browsing through shelves donning colorful boxes with all sorts of flavors is a highlight for cereal/breakfast enthusiasts. The cereal aisle’s equivalent in Asia (Singapore, in particular) is the drinks aisle – where there’s something for everyone from a reasonably large spectrum of flavors. Cola and water are popular, but with choices from sweet teas to coffees and other local/regional drinks to choose from, everyone’s got their very own go-to beverage (mine’s lemon tea).
One of the most enjoyable aspects of living in Asia is that some of the most unique and delicious drinks are available virtually everywhere – supermarkets, news agencies and convenience stores, for instance. From iced lemon tea to peach tea, there’s a plethora of selections featuring sweet teas that are perfect for re-charging yourself in a tropical climate. I recently spotted a new range of teas that I’ve not seen before, hence deciding to try them out.
The red date black tea was the very first drink that heightened my curiosity of this tea range. I love munching on dates, they’re guilt-free sweets! With a varied selection of teas to choose from, I made my picks and instantaneously decided on beginning with the red date black tea, as it’s the one that sparked my interest in this tea range from the get-go. The idea of having a date tea was rather fascinating, so I began sleuthing to discover more about this particular tea.
Recalling the post where I featured the special Palm Sugar Sago Ice Blended Drink from The Coffee Bean in August, I shared a little about sago’s significance in traditional medicine. While certain ingredients are added for a boost of flavor, they actually possess medicinal value. It’s like this red date black tea, for instance.
Red date black tea, as it turns out, is a popular beverage in traditional medicine – specifically Traditional Chinese Medicine. My knowledge on traditional medicine is limited, but I learnt that red dates primarily strengthens and nourishes blood supply. It seems like teas with red dates in them are paired with another superfood ingredient – some being longan (a fruit that’s in the same family as lychee) and goji berries. As red date is a solo headliner, apart from the black tea base, I was expecting a bolder red date flavor. This tea, I discovered a while after, isn’t sugar-free (‘rock sugar’ and ‘sugar’ are listed as ingredients too). It’s probably a slightly ‘healthier’ beverage than regular selections as the notable ‘Healthier Choice’ symbol (i.e. the red pyramid on the bottom) is printed on its packaging.
Upon uncapping the bottle, a gentle aroma both astonished and greeted me with a familiar welcome – a welcome which is reminiscent to that of brown sugar. As I began taking sips of the tea, I realized that the flavors aren’t overpowering but the red dates and black tea are blended pretty well. The brown sugar-like sweetness from red dates and from what I reckon is rock sugar (it’s a type of sugar commonly used in East Asian cuisine – including teas) become apparent first, followed by an aftertaste of a mildly bitter blend from the black tea. It’s rather pleasing with cookies (I paired my tea with a ‘fun-sized’ packet of Red Velvet Oreo).
Overall, this tea is unique from its name alone, but it possesses flavors that are pleasing as those flavors have tones of familiarity in them. I enjoyed it!