Every time we learn about a new beverage dropping in Canada, we ask ourselves the same question: how would this libation fare out during a taste test?
While this thought may cross our minds, it’s not something we’ve ever had the opportunity to pursue. Well, until Freed Earth Hard Tea came along, that is. This great tasting hard tea became available across Canada in April of this year, packing just 100 calories per can.
As tea enthusiasts ourselves, we were interested in discovering how this newcomer to the hard tea space would taste given it’s crafted to be better — in terms of both taste and impact on the planet — using sustainably sourced tea.
On one of the hottest days of the summer yet, we left the office for David Lam Park and decided to have our very own blind taste test featuring the three flavours available in Freed Earth’s six-pack of sleek cans.
Upon arrival at the park, we didn’t waste any time getting prepared for the taste test. Were we about to become amateur scientists and drink critics for the day? Well, kind of — with blindfolds and mini cups at the ready.
And with the sun providing vacation vibes, we were curious to see whether Freed Earth would become our go-to drink for camping trips and backyard hangouts for the remainder of the season (and through the rest of the year, really).
The first tea on our taste test lineup? Freed Earth’s White Tea with Raspberry. A fusion of natural flavours, cane sugar, triple-distilled vodka, and brewed white tea extract, it was bitter-free, balanced, and beautifully bright in colour.
“I really loved the White Tea with Raspberry,” says Justin Walls, a DH staff member after his first blindfolded sip. “I was expecting the flavour to be subtle but was shocked as to how sweet and flavourful it actually was, especially being a tea-based beverage.”
Having tried many hard teas by other brands, we were almost expecting Freed Earth products to be a little sweet. But this, thankfully, isn’t the case as each can contains just three grams of sugar — a fraction of the amount typically found in drinks within this category of beverages.
Upon tasting the next beverage of the day, Freed Earth’s Green Tea with Honey, we found a new appreciation for hard tea. An effortless blend of authentic green tea extract with cane sugar and notes of honey, it was dreamily sweet to the perfect degree — with the timeless green tea aroma we know and love.
The triple-distilled vodka (4.5% alcohol) married effortlessly with the authentic green tea base, to the point where we questioned whether we were drinking chilled green tea or an adult beverage, which is a big change from the often alcohol-heavy hard iced teas you find at the liquor store.
Black Tea with Lemon, the last Freed Earth bevvy of our taste test, quickly lived up to the standards set by the two flavours that came before it. Two sips in, and it proved not only to be exceptionally clean on the palate and easy to drink, but it struck a balance between sweetness and tartness — all complemented by zesty notes of real lemon.
“I think the Black Tea with Lemon was a perfect blend,” says Walls. “[It was] a refreshingly sweet taste of lemon with a subtle black tea.”
The brewed tea extract found in each of Freed Earth’s hard teas is ethically and sustainably sourced — something that’s of the utmost importance to the brand because it helps drive more sustainable agricultural production and responsible supply chains.
And when it comes to packaging used by the brand, all cardboard is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative program. “We’re actively working with our suppliers to further reduce our ecological footprint moving forward,” reads a statement on the Freed Earth website.
These efforts towards creating a greener future — coupled with a range of light and refreshing yet noticeably unmatched bevvies — make Freed Earth the kind of hard tea crafter the world needs.
By the time we concluded our very professional and mildly scientific taste test, we were telling our coworkers about the drink that’s dubbed “refreshingly down to earth” and genuinely is.
Freed Earth is currently available in six-packs and variety packs containing 12 cans. To try it for yourself, head to your local liquor store or learn more at freedearthtea.com.