New Brunswick

Blueberry, peach and basil? Fredericton coffee company unveils canned ice tea

'Let's make it fun and let's make it weird," said Stefanie Loukes, owner of Rabbittown Beverage Company

'Let's make it fun and let's make it weird," said Stefanie Loukes, owner of Rabbittown Beverage Company

While basil isn't considered a traditional ingredient in tea, it's welcome in this brew. (Rabbittown Beverave Co. Facebook)

While Stefanie Loukes' mobile coffee shop has seen less traffic because of COVID-19, that doesn't mean her business is slowing down.

The owner of Rabbittown Beverage Company has developed two brands of canned ice tea that will soon hit store shelves.

But this isn't traditional sweet tea. Loukes has used her past in mixology to come up with a couple interesting flavours.

"I was a bartender for 16 years so I had a common understanding on what flavours kind of go together," said Loukes.

"When the opportunity came to start selling iced tea I thought well let's make it fun and let's make it weird and so I did that."

Interesting flavours

One flavour which features a decaffeinated tea, blueberries and hibiscus doesn't seem like that odd of a combination. The one that features peaches and basil on the other hand may raise some eyebrows.

"It's an odd pairing but it's one that surprisingly tastes so good," said Loukes.

"It works and it pairs well with a lot of things like goat cheese and prosciutto."

The two flavours have been in the works for about a year and Loukes has sought assistance from food science experts to help narrow down the flavour profile.

But even that wasn't easy, with each final flavour having 20 different test recipes brewed before a final version was chosen.

"It's a balance of how much tea you use and how long you brew the tea and then how much flavouring do you put in … it's a science," said Loukes.

While Loukes canned ice tea is still to hit shelves, that doesn't mean she isn't thinking up new flavours.

"I would love to adjust some of the recipes to kind of cater to more healthier alternatives," said Loukes. 

"So looking at using Birch syrups or maple water just exploring all those options."
 

With files from Shift

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