We tried the latest Nitro Cold Brewed Tea from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
Instead of infusing carbon dioxide into the drink (to make sparkling tea), they used nitrogen instead. Since nitrogen does not dissolve in water easily, when infused with drinks, it creates small air bubbles that gives the drink a creamier texture (much like how whipping egg white traps air and makes it cream-like).
Tea-lovers, listen up! There’s a new tea collection available at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL) outlets. You would have probably heard of carbon dioxide-infused tea by now but wait, there’s a new talk of the town this April. The latest trend of infusing tea with nitrogen has taken over the brand and we can’t get enough of it. We headed down to their Suntec City outlet to get a taste of their newest items on the menu.
Here’s a summary of what we tried:
- Peach Jasmine: Nitro/Cold Brew/Sparkling Tea (New!)
- Salmon Risotto (New!)
- Espresso Chocolate Cake (New!)
- Chocolate Banana Cake
- Oh-So-Cheesy Platter
- Mad About Brownies Platter
- Mini Quiches
- Almond Fruit Tarts
For ultimate tea lovers: If you’re interested in the tea’s profile, I’ve added it to the end of this post. For now, let’s dive into what our taste buds experienced!
Peach Jasmine Nitro Cold Brew Tea
How It’s Made
Here’s how it’s made: Instead of infusing carbon dioxide into the drink (to make sparkling tea), they used nitrogen instead. Since nitrogen does not dissolve in water easily, when infused with drinks and dispensed through a tap, it creates small air bubbles that gives the drink a creamier texture (much like how whipping egg white traps air and makes it cream-like).
We know some of you are going to be like: What is nitrogen? Is that even halal? Nitrogen is a type of gas and it is available in our breathing air (around 80% of our natural air is made up of nitrogen). So, don’t worry, it’s safe and permissible to consume.
It is not as creamy as you would imagine ‘creamy tea’ would taste like. I was personally expecting a smoothie/milkshake texture. The tea itself has been steeped in room temperature water for 5 hours to extract the optimal amount of flavour. The tea, however, does carry more weight/smoother than normal tea because of the foam but it becomes very light after it sits in your mouth for a few seconds. The result is more flavour, less residue and less acidic.
What I mean by residue is the after-effect of tea that you get after a number of sips. The back of your tongue tastes slightly bitter as if tea has been sitting there for some time and depending on your acidity tolerance, can cause discomfort. Saf drank the cup of the original cold brew tea and by the end of the session, one of her tastebuds was swollen due to the acidity from all the cups of cold brew peach tea she drank.
“It’s like the feeling you get after eating a lot of pineapples.” – Saf, 2018
I’m definitely a big fan of the nitro cold brew tea because I’m a dark chocolate/Japanese green tea and ‘less sugar’ kind of girl. All in all, I drank 3 glasses of the nitro (Saf and Sarah didn’t like it so I finished it for them).
Pro-tip: Keep the tea in your mouth for the few seconds before swallowing for a fuller taste experience. The temperature of your mouth helps to develop the texture of the tea.
What to pair it with: Sweet/savoury cakes or cheesy dishes
I’ve got 2 bad news:
- Unfortunately, they don’t sell loose-leaf and teabag versions of the tea.
Note: (The tea elements they placed at the table smelled so good, I would want to use it as a room fragrance.)
- It is available for a limited time only – from now til’ 2 May 2018. (I hope they’ll release other awesome tea combos soon!)
- Price: $6.80 – It’s a little much for a glass of tea but oh well, I’ll reserve it for ‘treat days’.
- It’s only available at some select outlets! I’ve attached the list of outlets that will be serving the Nitro Cold Brew Tea to the end of this post. Check it out later!
Peach Jasmine Cold Brew Tea
Next, we had the OG Peach Jasmine Cold Brew Tea. Simply put, it’s a fruit tea but it was cold brewed. If at this point, you’re wondering “What is cold brew tea ah?” Click here to read up more on what cold brewed tea is all about.
Anyway, after tasting the nitro, this cold brew tea tasted too sweet for me. I actually asked the rep whether the cold brew tea had more sugar than its nitro counterpart. She said no. It’s the same tea base. I guess the nitro did affect the level of sweetness. Cool.
Sweet-toothed foodies, Sarah and Saf loved this the best, of course! It’s definitely something I would buy on-the-go since this drink works perfectly on its own, as compared to the nitro which might taste a little dull after awhile if you’re not dining on other food items. Also, with the nitro, you need time to savour and appreciate the tea, but the cold brew tea is fuss-free.
As I’ve mentioned before, normal cold brew tea will still have the acidic effect on the tongue. Plus, it felt more dense as compared to the nitro tea.
What to pair it with: Great with mild risottos and sandwiches
Out of the three different version, the Peach Jasmine Cold Brew Tea was the sweetest, followed by the Sparkling Tea and then, the Nitro Cold Brew Tea.
Price: $6.70 (Small) | $7.20 (Regular) |$8.20 (Large)
Peach Jasmine Sparkling Tea
This hardly tasted like tea or peach but it was a good soda substitute. It has less sugar than a normal soda and its fizz longevity is definitely better than any can/bottle of soda you buy elsewhere. I think the closest think I can think of would be peach-flavoured Sprite.
We did talk to a few others who loved the sparkling tea and they said it quenches their thirst well. I personally thought it does help to keep you less full throughout a heavy meal. (Yes, Saf and I ordered ala-carte meals on top of the platter buffet so it was definitely a heavy meal we had.) What is the science behind this?
What to pair it with: Spicy local food/dishes and heavy meals
If you’re the type of person who’s into local dishes that are spicy and more flavourful, the sparkling tea is perfect for you because it helps to cleanse your palette and also keep your mouth from chili burns!
Another thing, CBTL claims that the nitro cold brew tea would be cold from start to finish but ironically, the sparkling tea lasted even longer. The nitro has no ice in it but the sparkling tea and the original cold brew tea do. So, if you’re into chewing on ice and super chilled drinks, buy the nitro cold brew with caution.
Price: $6.70 (Small) | $7.20 (Regular) |$8.20 (Large)
You know what? Jio your friends and just get one of each to taste the differences by yourself. If you’re not into the teas CBTL serves, at least you’ll develop a more refined taste for what tea you do like.
Now that we’re done with the drinks, let’s move on the the food!
Dish of the month: Salmon Risotto
We’ve got to be honest with you. It’s not very flavourful and the texture was an unappetising mush. The salmon was hardly the star of the dish. We have given our feedback to the rep and they will be making some changes to the recipe to ensure it tastes good before its official release.
For those of you who are into porridge-tasting food, good for you. I also think it might go well with the sweeter drinks CBTL serves.
We will reserve further negative comments because we’re assuming it won’t taste like that once the recipe has been revamped. (CBTL, please invite us back so we can update this review!)
Espresso Chocolate Cake (New!)
We were really excited to get a taste of this because we were told it has a lava-cake effect. Most lavacakes are build short and stout but this espresso chocolate cake is slightly taller, like a tulip-shaped cake. The reason for this is so that it can contain more espresso than a normal lava-cake. We also liked how the waitress will wait for you to pour the shot before adding the whip cream on top of the cake.
“No pressure, just pour the espresso. The waiter won’t judge me.” – Rumi, 2018
Yet, of course, I spilled the espresso! The cup was made for sipping rather than pouring so it trickled to the bottom of the cup, missing my target.
It’s the morning after the weekend guys. Pour yourself a cup of expresso shots over lava cake like Rumi here. Promise you it’s much better than just plain ol expresso. Hahha. And what can be be better a plate of all day breakfast from @coffeebeansg ! We also tried out their Nitro Cold Brew Coffee. Review out soon!
The good news is that since less espresso ended up on the cake, it tasted even better. The waitress mentioned that you should only pour the amount that you would be comfortable drinking. The three of us weren’t espresso people so the 10ml of espresso that got into the cake was just nice.
Pro Tip: Pour just the tiniest bit of espresso and only add more after tasting. If you drench the whole cake, it will taste soggy and the espresso WILL overpower the chocolate and no one ends up finishing it. (As experienced by others sitting at another table)
Party Pack Selection
Apart from main dishes and drinks, CBTL offers party platters as well. Here are some of the party platters they served.
(Honestly, we did not get to try most of the platter because we had so much to eat already. We’re still going to add this in so you guys can try it out and let us know how it goes!)
Almond Fruit Tarts
‘Mad About Brownies’ Platter
Chocolate Banana Cake
That’s all for now, folks! We hope you enjoyed this review of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf!
As promised, the tea profile of the Jasmine Tea and the list of selected outlets serving the Peach Jasmine Nitro Cold Brew Tea is just down below.
Select Outlets (for Nitro Cold Brew Tea)
Tea Category: Scented/flavoured green tea blend
Profile: (Including Flavour, Aroma, Body and Colour)
Jasmine tea is the oldest known selected tea. Duing the sumer, the flower is gathered daily by the banks of the Min River andblended with the prepared tea. Rich soil and fluctuations in daily teperations yield fragrant leaf with is further scented with delivate white jasmine blossoms. When steeped, this smooth tea has layers of subtle fragrance and hints of sweet grass. A steamed green bold leaf, combined with the petals of natural jasmine flower. The liquor produced by the combination is mild and gentle. The special gragrance and a touch of sweetness comes for the night blooming jasmine flower. We add the flavour of peach to enhance the product.
Origin: The family-owned tea estate has been producing tea since 1906 in Fuzhon, China.
Process: Hand-plucked, steaming, drying, blend with flowers, packaging.
Harvesting Period: June- August
Plant Description: 100% Fragrant Night Jasmine
Peach jasmine not your cup of tea? Fret not, other flavours will be rolling out very soon. We’ll let you know as soon as they’ve released the other flavours.
For more info on the store locations and the menu items, check out Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s website over here.