This is one of my all-time favorites: The Italian Estathé Limone – Vero infuso di thé! It’s really hard to find outside of Italy 🇮🇹 , so whenever I come here, one of the first things I do is get myself an Estathé! Its name is a combination of the Italian words “Estate” (= “summer” ☀️) and “thé” (which obviously means “tea” ☕️ ). It’s an extremely sweet black tea based ice tea with lemon 🍋 flavor.
It usually comes in a very special packaging: A small, white plastic cup covered with a tin aluminium-foil lid on top, along with a tiny straw wrapped in paper. To drink it, you take the straw out of its paper wrapping and pierce it through the aluminium lid.
- unique packaging
- very sweet
- black tea based
- lemon flavor
- free of gluten, colorants and conservants
The thing is, the way I normally drink my Estathé, I don’t get to see its color, because you just suck it out of the tiny cup through the straw.
But when you get a can or bottle of Estathé (or if you just tear up the plastic lid) and fill it in a glass, you’ll see its color: An opaque light brown or beige-ish.
I guess it’s just the ‘real tea infusion’ and the lack of colorants that makes up this rather natural-looking color.
As I said, it is one of my favorites: Extremely sweet in its taste! In a way very mild, even though it clearly is black tea (and nothing else), but just sweet and gentle on the lips. The lemon flavor is strong and has a very natural flavor to it.
It is one of those teas which you can simply sip, in tiny sip (or sucks, as is the case here), bit by bit – or I could just drink vast quantities of it, if I had it available. I would not get sick of it, despite its sweetness.
In terms of ingredients the label remains a bit vague in the sense that it only describes the tea as “infuso di the (aqua, the)” and does not specify further. But it does state that it does not contain colorants, nor conservancy and neither gluten.
In terms of sourcing there is also no clear indication on the label, apart from it being an Italian product. It doesn’t seem to be organic nor fair-trade certified. That said, I don’t know of any Italian organic or fair-trade ice tea.
In Italy itself the Estathé is extremely popular and a name-brand in and of itself, which means: In a bar you don’t really ask for an ice tea (a “thé freddo”) if you want one (or you’ll get a San Benedetto or something else). But you have to specifically ask for an Estathé and it would be on the menu with its brand-name. And it mostly comes in that small 2cl cup, priced around 1 Euro at a bar. But in the super-markets you’ll find so-called bricks of 3 Estathé-cups at around 1.50 Euro.
It is also available in 0.3L aluminium cans (at bars, restaurants and shops), or 0.5L and 1.5L PET plastic bottles (at larger super-markets). But the tiny cup and brick or certainly its most popular form of packaging.
Outside of Italy you sometimes can find it too, but only rarely. So if you happen to come across one: Appreciate it! 😉😄
+ very nice sweetness
+ great black tea taste
+ nice lemon flavor
+ original packaging
– hard to find outside of Italy
– not organic, nor fair-trade
Overall Rating: 9/10