I sort through a lot of different articles and press releases in order to bring only the freshest and most interesting content to the Site. I’m always on the lookout for great pieces of Caffeine Culture to bring to you. A week ago I was sent information of a product which caught my eye. Golden Star Tea is a non alcoholic sparkling beverage. To be served as you would Champagne or White wine. I contacted the company and was lucky enough to be sent a sample to try.

What I received in the mail was an example of what people should send with their products. The two sample sized bottles of Golden Star Tea came with an information packet which answered any and all questions I might have had about the beverage. Nutritional information, the official press release, recent awards, and a letter from the Co-Founder Joel Rosenberg. Before we go any further, thank you for making my experience and my work that much easier and more enjoyable from the moment the box opened

The associated literature suggests a pairing with sushi, smoked salmon, nuts, chocolate or salad. Lacking the simplicity of having those dishes readily available, and excited to try the drink. I decided that I would see how well it matched with a traditional White wine dish of Chicken and Carrots over egg noodles with a reduced chicken and garlic sauce. It is a heavier dish that I have previously had with a crisp Pinot Grigio and found it well matched. I was hoping that the Tea with its comparison to Champagne as a sparkling beverage would hold up well.

When I opened the Chilled Tea I was treated to a rush of bubbles up to the top which capped in a light fizz, and a sweet fresh scent of jasmine. The beverage smelled very much like a light Jasmine tea, no surprise there. I decided to share this beverage with the rest of the family to get a more well rounded opinion. I like Champagne, My wife does not, and our 21 month old son is always asking for a portion of whatever the adults are drinking. This is the first time I have been able to give him anything like this so I was very curious as to what his reaction would be.

This drink is a unique experience, and to be honest I wasn’t sure what type of beverage I was about to enjoy. The drink has a wonderfully complex composition. It has the bite of a Champagne followed by a smooth and light sweet floral note. The effervescence provided a cleansing touch to the pallet which broke through the heavier savory elements of the chicken dish with no problem providing a very nice counterpoint to the meal. This is a outstanding product. I would have no problem serving this to company on any occasion.

My wife, who does not normally drink Champagne, was not a fan of the drink but said she thought that it would be a great drink the serve to kids during special occasions such as New Years, to people who don’t normally drink, or who are driving. She was also impressed with the nutritional information, there are only 64 calories for 8oz of Golden Star, a serving size of Champagne is roughly 4oz. So if your keeping track a single serving of Golden Star is 32 calories, which is only 1 point for you Weight Watchers out there, as opposed to 2 points for Champagne.

My Son was a different story. After his first taste he smacked his lips looked thoughtfully off into the distance and smiled. After about 30 seconds he then asked for more, This would prove to be the pattern until the glass was empty, so this drink was a huge hit with him. This from the kid who leaves half a glass of grape juice because he tires of the taste. I was floored, and very happy with his reaction.

The best part about this beverage is not only the taste but that there are no limits to who can drink it. I would be able to serve this regardless of views on alcohol, age or any inhibiting factors which so often limit the choices available to serve at a party. More often than not when occasions like Weddings, New Years or any special toastable occasion those who don’t drink are left without a viable option and are often marginalized when the time comes to raise their glasses. With this beverage no one is left out, and I could even see people picking this up for its taste alone.