Statera Marketplace is a Florida based tea company that brings the Colombian tea brand, Bitaco, to the US Market. Previously, I looked at their Black Coconut tea, but today I am looking at their Andean Princess tea. This tea is the first that I have tried that has grape skins in it, which intrigued me right away. (Update: it looks like their website is under construction since my last review, but I am sure they are adding new teas and features). Here are my thoughts:
Andean Princess: The aroma of this tea reminded me a bit of a flavored tootsie roll (look it up if you do not know what I am talking about). The taste was completely unique, however. The black tea was really embraced by fruity notes and the hibiscus did not overpower the tea. Instead, it added a delicate sweetness that really just blew my mind. This was my first experience with Grape Skin as an ingredient, but I think the combination of the grape skin, Andean raspberry, and the hibiscus really made a wonderful mix of tastes for my palate. The character of the tea was quite smooth with a light to medium body on it. The next time I had this tea, I paired it with dragonfruit because of the Central American and Northern South American origins of the fruit.
They sent me both the bagged version of this tea and the loose-leaf version, so I experimented with the different versions. I was very impressed that the bagged tea maintained such consistency and each cup tasted very similar, whereas the loose-leaf changed with the amount of leaves I used.
Ingredients: Black Tea, Grape Skin, Andean Raspberry, Hibiscus Flower
Price: I was given this tea in the form of loose-leaf tea and bagged. Currently, it does not seem to be available on their website, but they do have it in teabag form in a pack of three different varieties. For 12 sachets, it looks to be $7-9. But I cannot be totally sure of that, especially now that their site is under renovation.
Packaging: The packaging was a standard tea pouch. I did not notice much aroma coming out of the bag, so I will not have any need of replacing the packaging. The bagged teas were individually wrapped and stored in a cardboard-like box.
Sourcing: The website says that their tea is sourced from Colombia, as well as their whole brand being built around selling authentic Colombian tea. Statera Marketplace is the company that is bringing this tea from Latin America into the US tea marketplace. So, I went to the tea company, Bitaco and saw that their coconut is also from Colombian providers. They also state that they are strong supporters of environmentally friendly products, direct relationships with source, and fair trade.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever tried Colombian tea before? Let me know in the comments if you have! Happy Brewing!