PRESS RELEASE / May 14, 2021 (SHERBORN, MA) – Stormalong Cider LLC, a Massachusetts-based cidery, announced the launch of Vital Sign, a new brand that features a first-to-market line-up of nitro hard teas made with high grade loose leaf tea and real fruit.
Instead of using cane sugar as an alcohol base, Vital Sign uses apples and grapes that are fermented and distilled to yield a clean taste. And instead of using tea powders, extracts and chemically concocted ‘natural flavors’, Vital Sign combines real teas with real fruit and juices. The teas are also nitrogenated, a first in the hard tea space, to give them a nice creamy mouthfeel without excessive carbonation. As a result, Vital Sign has created a product with high quality, transparent ingredients that people can feel good about drinking when they want a libation.
“When I started making cider, the thing that fascinated me the most was the wide range of flavors possible with a single ingredient: apples,” said Shannon Edgar, founder of Stormalong Cider and Vital Sign. “Similarly inspiring, was the realization that a single species of evergreen shrub (camellia sinensis or ‘tea plant’) was responsible for the wide range of tastes and styles of tea grown and produced throughout the world. This was a lightbulb moment for me and I decided to engross myself in tea, much in the same way my fascination had been itched and driven to apples. In conjunction with our growing passion for tea, seeing the lack of products on the market showcasing high grade teas and ingredients inspired us to create a product line that did. We spent the last few years sampling and tasting teas, and working on different blends until we landed on the three varieties we thought would work best for our vision.”
The teas used are custom blended and sourced from Boston-based loose leaf tea importer MEM Tea. Stormalong had a previous relationship sourcing ingredients from MEM Tea for its holiday spiced cider, Happy Holidays, and turned to owner Gilbert Tsang and his team at MEM Tea again for Vital Sign.
“We have been enjoying Stormalong’s products and their approach to making ciders without concentrates, using specific apple varieties since we started working with them a few years ago,” said Gilbert Tsang, owner of MEM Tea Imports. “When the Stormalong team reached out to help them explore teas, with a similar approach to thoughtfully sourced ingredients, we were happy to lend a hand. After spending months of tasting and sourcing teas and ingredients, we helped them land on three blends for the base of their new product line as an initial offering.”
Vital Sign nitro hard teas will be available in 12 fl oz sleek can 4-packs and range between 110 to 120 calories per can. There will be three distinct varieties available to start, each at 4.5% ABV and gluten-free:
- Jasmine Citrus: made with Yin Hao Jasmine Green tea blended with lemon and lime juices and lightly sweetened with organic blue agave. It’s well-balanced and easy drinking with bright citrusy flavor and wonderful jasmine aroma. 110 calories, 4 grams sugar.
- Mango Passionfruit: made with Assam Black tea blended with mango and passionfruit juices, resulting in a slightly sweet, slightly tart, deliciously tropical hard tea. 110 calories, 5 grams sugar.
- Blood Orange Yuzu: a custom blend of Rooibos, Hibiscus, and Honeybush tea blended with blood orange and yuzu juice, with a hint of sweetness from organic blue agave. It has a delicious zesty flavor profile with caramelized citrus notes combined with a tart and rich flavor from the Hibiscus and Rooibos. 120 calories, 6 grams sugar.
“We took the time to handpick and blend delicious high quality teas and ingredients as the foundation for Vital Sign,” said Edgar. “We wanted the teas to be quite simply refreshing and delicious, without the mystery ingredients and flavors found in the malt based products of the ‘hard seltzer’ craze. Many other hard tea/seltzer brands in the market are made with tea concentrates, cane sugar, citric acid, and so called natural flavors. We wanted to create a product that actually tastes like the unique teas they are made from without sacrificing on flavor or quality.”
Stormalong Cider, founded in 2014, is a Massachusetts-based craft cider company producing a wide range of ciders focused on apple quality and character. Using a blend of culinary and rare heirloom varieties, Stormalong ferments and ages its ciders with traditional and modern techniques showcasing the unique characteristics of these diverse apples. Fascinated and inspired by America’s robust hard cider lineage, Stormalong aims to showcase the diversity, flavor and quality of cider made with the right apples.
Vital Sign, founded in 2020, is a Massachusetts-based hard tea company crafting transparent beverages focused on taste and quality. Initial products include first-to-market nitro hard teas made by cold brewing high quality loose leaf teas. Instead of using cane sugar as an alcohol source we use fruit. And instead of using mysterious “natural flavors”, “extracts”, or “tea powers” we use real tea and real fruit.