Whether or not you live longer as a result of the antioxidants in white tea, these Inko’s brews are delicious.
KAREN HOCHMAN cannot stop drinking Inko’s...which is why it has taken so long to write this review.
Updated June 2007
Inko’s Bottled White Tea
The First Ready-To-Drink White Tea Line
CAPSULE REPORT: This delicious line of flavored white tea is one of the most refreshing beverages to come down the pike in a long time. That it is high in antioxidants and low in calories (zero or 56 calories per 16-ounce bottle) is a triple hit. You can order the bottled white teas by the case—which is good, because a case won’t last long. There are sweetened and unsweetened white tea flavors—all are wonderful. The line is certified kosher.
With studies citing even more antioxidants than green tea, more consumers are demanding white tea. But brewed hot white teas are extremely subtle and lack the more flavorful personalities of green and black teas. They can disappoint those seeking a flavor-forward experience.
Inko’s, the first beverage company dedicated to producing ready-to-drink white teas, has bypassed that dilemma by producing a line of bottled white teas with infused fruit flavors that are so delicious, they would generate demand if they promised no benefits at all.
However, Inko’s does promise: “Rare Tea, Rare Taste, Rare Find.” And, we agree. These are great low-calorie beverages; and if we live longer as a result of drinking them, so much the better.
All tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant: it is the level of fermentation the tea leaves are treated to after plucking that determines whether the tea is green (no fermentation), oolong (partial fermentation), or black (full fermentation). Like green tea, white tea is not fermented; but unlike green tea, it is made mostly from the tender buds of the plant, as opposed to the leaves. The tea leaves you see look pale green, not white: it is called white tea because of the fine, silvery white hairs covering the buds. The highest quality white tea, from which Inko’s is made, is called Baihao Yinzhen (“white down silver needles”).
White tea is one of the rarest teas in the world: the buds are picked before they unfurl, which means the tea can only be plucked for a few weeks each spring. The unopened buds are laboriously plucked by hand from the tea plant then withered to allow natural drying. It is very minimally processed, which is one reason scientists believe it has the highest level of antioxidants. Inko’s has transformed this goodness into five wonderful flavors of bottled tea. Four are low-sugar (56 calories per 16-ounce bottle) and two are unsweetened, for zero calories. We love them all.
The teas are brewed and infused with all-natural flavors, then pasteurized for freshness. White tea is naturally sweet: because it is plucked very young and then rapidly steamed and dried, it does not develop the grassy flavors of green tea or the bitter tannins of black tea. White tea thus requires only a minimum amount of sweetener, and the company uses a small amount of fructose crystals in the four sweetened flavors.
Inko’s Peach White Tea. Peach tea lovers: celebrate!
The combination of white tea, natural flavors and fructose crystals creates a unique and wonderful flavor profile with a clean, crisp taste. We find ourselves addicted to Inko’s, with half of the flavors owning regular space in our refrigerator:
- Apricot Tea. A rich, delicious apricot flavor, and a rare flavor to find in a hot or cold beverage. If you like apricots, you’ll be in heaven.
- Blueberry Tea is a double antioxidant hit: healthy and delicious, tasting of ripe blueberries, it’s got to be better for you than an apple a day.
- Cherry Vanilla Tea is the one flavor we didn’t cotton to—the cherry flavor is strong, whereas the other flavors in the line are delicate. If you like a lot of cherry flavor though, it was not unlike biting into fresh ripe cherries—we just personally didn’t want that flavor in our Inko’s tea.
- Hint o’ Mint is unsweetened, for those who want a totally sugar-free/carb-free drink. Steeped with whole sprigs of mint and some fresh ginger, the result is natural and refreshing.
- Honeydew evokes the experience of enjoying a ripe piece of melon along with your tea—a real treat.
- Honeysuckle is unsweetened but with a deliciously sweet and refreshing honeysuckle taste.
- Lychee. The flavor of the lychee was too subtle in the one bottle we tasted, such that we got the “base flavor” of sweetened white tea—which is excellent—but not much more. When we drank the rest of the bottle at room temperature, there was more lychee—cold suppresses flavor—but still not enough. Perhaps the strength needs to be adjusted. We’ll try a bottle from another batch in a few months.
- Original is steeped with fresh-cut organic ginger that contributes a lively ginger finish.
- White Peach has a bold, aromatic, clean peach essence with secondary notes of honeysuckle—very flavorful and appealing.
Inko’s also has one of the most beautiful bottles in the business: a lovely stippled glass that adds to the overall drinking experience. We wish we could think of how to repurpose them other than recycling.
|HOW DOES WHITE TEA DIFFER FROM GREEN TEA?
Read About The Different Types Of Tea
In Our Tea
Glossary and Tea Facts
The Tastiest Energy Drink
We can’t abide most energy drinks: Just the thought of those sugary, overpowering flavors gives us the energy to steer clear of them. Inko’s has created a better energy drink: White Tea Energy, an all-natural energy drink as delicious as its bottled white teas. For that, it deserves an award—and your patronage.
Like the white teas, this blend of white and black tea is lightly sweetened. It’s flavored with a hint of lemon and ginger—subtle, elegant and very refreshing. Each 16-ounce can has 184mg of tea caffeine, which is jitter-free.
Potential Health Benefits
Ongoing medical research is examining the potential health benefits of white tea. Some studies show it to have a higher concentration of antioxidants than green tea, which could make it a superior cancer inhibitor. Inko’s has promised to donate a portion of the profits from every bottle of Inko’s White Tea to cancer research.
If Inko’s keeps you from drinking higher-caffeine, more-sugared, or alcoholic beverages, then that’s one definitely healthy start. Although it’s hard to think of anything that tastes so good as being healthy.
Bottled White Tea in Apricot, Blueberry, Cherry Vanilla, Hint o’ Mint, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Lychee, Original (Ginger), White Peach
Certified kosher by Tablet K
- One Case/12 Bottles
Purchase online at HealthyWhiteTea.com
Or call toll-free: 1.877.902.0841
Drink up! It’s good for you!
For more information about Inko’s and a retail store locator, click here.
Prices and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional.