Chicago-based Argo Tea announced that is partnering with Whole Foods Market, a wholly owned division of Seattle-based Amazon, to launch a line of ready-to-drink (RTD) cold-brew, single-estate bottled teas into the retailer’s stores nationally. The release of the RTD line follows a successful test of the handcrafted single-estate, cold-brew teas in the company’s Argo Tea cafés last year, the company says.
By slowly cold-brewing the single estate teas, the company is able to extract high concentrations of the right tea cells — flavonoids and antioxidants — giving the teas an exquisite, smooth flavor, it says.
This month, Argo Tea will begin the rollout of the following new flavors at Whole Foods Market stores across the country:
- First Flush Darjeeling: Organic and Biodynamic Darjeeling black tea from the Ambootia Tea Garden in India
- First Flush Gyokuro: Organic Gyokuro green tea from the Yamaguchi Tea Estate in Japan
- Armenian Mint: Organic Peppermint tea harvested from Central Europe & the Mediterranean Basin
“We’re passionate about creating new ways for people to experience tea,” said Arsen Avakian, founder and chief executive officer of Argo Tea, in a statement. “With our new Cold Brew teas, we are bringing consumers unprecedented access to super-premium teas from around the world. We are uniquely positioned to do this because of our long-term relationships with growers, giving us access to one-of-a-kind micro lots and ensuring the highest quality teas with low microbial levels.”
Sanjay Bansal, owner and chairman of Ambootia Tea Garden, added: “There’s no other tea company in the world I’d rather have bring our First Flush Darjeeling to market in an RTD format. Arsen and I go back a long time. He is one of the most innovative minds in the beverage business today, and I’m incredibly excited about the launch of the new Cold Brew line.”
Yoshiaki Tsutsumi of Yamaguchi Tea Estate concurred and said: “Argo Tea is truly at the forefront of beverage innovation. Consumers are seeking out unique, authentic flavors, and we are proud that our Gyokuro green tea will be a part of this special line of cold-brew teas.”
The flavorful super-premium teas are USDA Organic certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, all natural, gluten free, vegan and kosher. To enhance the natural character of each tea, Argo adds a hint of Fair Trade pure cane sugar to each flavor. All three flavors are bottled in Argo Tea’s iconic glass bottle, preserving the delicate flavors of the teas. Each tea has a suggested retail price of $2.49-$2.69 for a 13.5-ounce bottle.
The First Flush Darjeeling flavor becomes the only Demeter-Certified Biodynamic RTD tea available across the United States, the company says. In order for a product to achieve Biodynamic status, the ingredients must come from farms that are Demeter-certified — where the farmers manage their farms like a living organism — and the production facilities must meet the Demeter processing standards to ensure an unbroken chain of accountability from farm to finished product, it says.
Argo Tea will support the new product introduction with in-store sampling demonstrations, digital advertising, social media and email marketing, it adds.