Pique has found a way to replace tea bags with instant tea crystals that instantly dissolve in water. This Pique Tea review explains the concept of using tea crystals as a teabag alternative, how tea crystals are made, the benefits and advantages over regular old-school tea bags, the nutrition and antioxidant benefits that drinking tea can provide, and provides an overview of the company’s most popular varieties.
Being from England originally, we know a bit about tea! We’ve been through phases of drinking tea regularly in the past – both black teas such as English Breakfast and Earl Grey varieties, and green teas such as Matcha and Jasmine. But one of the things about making a good cup of tea is steeping (brewing) the tea bag in hot water needs to be done for the right period of time, to get the most benefit as well to avoid adversely affecting the flavor or making it too watery.
So, it’s about time that this company came along and reinvented teas for the 21st century – maximizing the antioxidant benefits while also increasing the convenience of drinking tea on-the-go. Here’s how they did just that, together with what we thought of the teas themselves.
Pique Tea Review – Table of Contents
- Why drink tea?
- Popular types of tea
- About Pique
- What are Pique Tea crystals and why use them
- Which teas can you drink cold vs hot?
- Our favorite teas from the range
- Pique’s daily immune supplement
- Where to buy
- Review summary
Why drink tea?
Before we jump into our Pique Teas review, here is a brief history of herbal tea and the health benefits of tea drinking.
Tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world, second to water, and it has been used for many centuries, first believed to be discovered in ancient China.
There are now many studies out there extolling the health benefits of drinking tea. These range from tea being able to provide your body with different types of antioxidants to potentially helping lower your blood pressure and ‘bad’ cholesterol, reducing your risk of heart disease and also helping maintain good gut health. However, in order to put yourself in a position to benefit from those antioxidants and other natural properties you may need to be drinking many cups of tea in one day – and the caveat to those studies is understanding what other lifestyle choices those tea drinkers make to also benefit their bodies and overall health.
Popular types of tea
All tea comes from the same plant, that is native to China. The different types of tea are only different because of the range of methods used to cultivate and process tea leaves. Notably, for tea to become ‘black tea’, the leaves are oxidized naturally before drying (which was initially used to help retain their freshness for longer when shipping it from the East to Europe).
White tea is the least processed type of tea, has the least amount of caffeine and research has shown that it may be effective in fighting certain forms of cancer. Other types of tea, including varieties of green tea (including matcha green tea) and other herbal teas are helpfully summarized in this article.
Tea, as is brewed and drunk in other parts of the world including most Asian countries, Europe and Australia, is not as popular in the USA. The main type of tea that is consumed in America is usually iced, bottled and may or may not be sweetened to some degree.
If tea is brewed using tea bags, it is not uncommon for it to be done in a way that is not optimal both in terms of taste and nutritional benefits, and therefore not often enjoyed as it ‘should be’. If you leave the tea bag in too long then the taste gets progressively bitter, and if it is not brewed for long enough then it is weak, lacking in nutrients and doesn’t taste great. Cue, Pique’s organic tea crystals…
About the brand
The brand’s founder, Simon Cheng (a Stanford MBA and student of Chinese medicine), is on a mission to change how tea is consumed in the US, making brewed teas more convenient and more antioxidant-packed than the typical tea you will find in this country.
Pique Tea (pronounced ‘Peak Tea’) is an organic tea company that specializes in brewed and crystallized whole leaf teas – the end product is commonly known as tea crystals, and it is available in a broad range of different types of white, green and black teas as well as herbal tea blends including hibiscus, mint and ginger tea. Each tea blend has specific properties and concentrations of antioxidants, as well as different levels of caffeine, and their website has tasting notes and explains clearly the potential benefits of each tea blend to help you choose which types of tea crystals may suit you the best.
The company has been around since 2016 and sells its products directly on its website as well as Amazon and in select stores such as Whole Foods in certain parts of the country.
What are tea crystals and why use them
The concept behind these teas is simple: they sell single-serve, dissolving organic tea crystal sachets. This is not the average, freeze-dried instant tea (and certainly nothing like cheap instant coffee!). The main benefits of buying organic teas in these sachets are:
- Convenience – there is no tea leaf brewing time and no tea bag or messy leaves to dispose of. So these sachets are not simply a tea bag alternative, they’re more of an upgrade when it comes to convenience
- Nutrition and wellness – due to the cold-brewing method used to create the tea crystals (explained later), the brew is more nutrient-dense than it would be if you made a cup of tea with a tea bag.
The company’s intention is that those existing tea drinkers that drink iced or bottled, often heavily sweetened teas may shift to drinking something more nutrient-dense – and there is, of course, a whole market of people out there who don’t currently drink any form of tea but may now be interested as Pique has made it just as easy, if not easier, to make a tea than a good coffee.
How are tea crystals made?
A method for turning tea leaves into a form of medicinal paste has already existed in China for many years. This ancient method uses a long boiling process to boil down the leaves, evaporating the water and leaving a paste that can be rehydrated when needed to make a tea drink.
Pique Tea crystals are made using a ‘reinvention’ of this ancient method – the difference being that the tea crystals are instead created using a cold-brewing crystallization process, designed to reduce the damage that may be caused to the nutrients as a result of the extensive hot brewing process.
Because the crystals are created using this pressurized, low-heat process, the result is that the tea crystals can create a highly concentrated drink that allows you to maximize the nutrient benefits from one cup.
According to the company’s website, their cold brew crystallization process preserves up to 12x the nutrient content compared to other tea. It’s not clear what studies lead to this finding, but if it’s supportable then they’re saying you can drink one cup of their tea and get the benefits equivalent to up to 12 cups of another tea brand.
Pique Tea crystals quality
All of Pique’s teas are made using organic tea. The company triple-screens their teas for mold, heavy metals and pesticides, and because they’re packed in airtight packets this means mold and bacteria don’t grow inside them (as is apparently surprisingly common with regular tea leaves and tea bags).
As with coffee, other drinks and plant-based food we consume, we do our best to seek out tea that is minimally processed and has been screened to ensure the absence of potentially harmful toxins and molds, and the brand’s attention to this screening process helps differentiate it from other tea brands in this area.
Which teas can you drink cold vs hot?
All of the teas can be dissolved in hot water, and most teas except for the black tea blends can be made using cold water. We’ve found the tea crystals to dissolve very quickly in both!
The information for each type of tea on their website makes it clear whether it can be cold-brewed, as well as explaining the various health benefits and specifically what the tea includes, such as the level of caffeine in a packet.
Our Favorite Pique Teas
We enjoy a few different blends. Our favorites are the Earl Grey black tea (which we drink black or with a touch of plant-based milk), Hibiscus, Mint, and Ginger Digestion Elixir. As the Ginger tea is caffeine-free, it’s particularly nice to drink in an evening, especially after a large meal!
Some other popular tea blends they offer include their Jasmine and Matcha green teas, as well as their Turmeric and White teas.
Having used these Pique Tea crystal sachets I’m pretty much done with drinking tea made with teabags – it will be tea from tea crystals from now on… unless I know it is going to be made well! No more weak ‘dish water’ teas, and no more over-brewed, bitter teas – which is a particular problem with green teas if you leave the bag in the hot water for too long.
For more Pique Tea reviews you can also read through what everyone has to say about them on Amazon to help work out which ones to try.
Pique’s daily immune supplement
As well as their teas, Pique also offers a daily immune supplement called ‘Elderberry Liposomal Vitamin C‘.
The concept behind this that each sachet contains 7 clean ingredients, including 3 fruit concentrates, and is designed to deliver 1000mg of vitamin C and 1900mg of their ‘elderberry superfood complex’. It contains no preservatives, no refined sugar, no GMO ingredients and no additives. It’s also 100% vegan.
If you’ve looked into, or used vitamin C supplements before then you may wonder how your body can absorb 1000mg of vitamin C in one go, because apparently up to 50% of Vitamin C from supplementation may pass through your digestive tract unabsorbed (and the result is neon pee). This is where their ‘liposomal encapsulation’ comes in.
According to Pique, liposomal Vitamin C can bypass absorption barriers to travel into your bloodstream and cells, to support a healthy immune system, healthy skin and healthy aging.
We love this supplement for its ease of use – you just rip the sachet open across the top and ‘drink’ the bright red elderberry liquid supplement. It also tastes great, and not really bitter or very sweet, so you don’t need to take it with water, although your personal preference may be to have a drink nearby to help wash it down.
Where to buy Pique Teas
The teas are sold in 14 sachet packets and larger, and each sachet makes one cup of tea. The price per packet varies depending on the type of tea blend you choose, however for most blends it costs less than $1 per cup.
This cost reduces if you sign up for a regular delivery of tea using their (optional) subscription service or if you buy them in larger quantity packets than the 14 count.
The easiest way to buy them is either directly from the company’s website or from them via Amazon. In certain parts of the US you can also find the teas in local stores such as Whole Foods and Sprouts.
Buying directly from their website ensures you get full access to all the information on the teas’ ingredients as well as any buying options, such as their tea subscription plan which can help save money if you’re a regular tea drinker.