Wine Alternative: White Jasmine Sparkling Tea San Francisco

published Dec 10, 2008
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

It’s the holidays, a time for special parties, feasts and fetes, and lots of good cheer. For some, it’s helpful to have a non-alcoholic bottle on hand that still captures the feeling of celebration. Or maybe you’re hosting a dinner party and you want to offer a distinctive pairing with the cheese course, something that balances perfectly with your


Then you’ll want to check out Golden Star’s White Jasmine Sparkling Tea.

White Jasmine Sparkling Tea is brand new, hitting the stores just before Thanksgiving last month. It was developed over several years of trial and error in the kitchen of Golden Star founder Eddie Carden, who lives in the Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco. The tea is now being manufactured just south of here in Belmont but it’s still made in small artisanal batches and contains just three ingredients: organic white tea, organic raw cane sugar and filtered water.

While it’s a delight to sip Golden Star Tea as an aperitif, its complex flavor profile really shines when paired with food. According to Eddie, the following pairings are best:

  • Greens The light sweetness of the tea is a perfect chase for robust greens like arugula and dandelion that have beautiful ascendance but can leave bitter notes behind.
  •  Cheese The tea pairs well with many cheeses for the same reason that slices of apples and pears do….its balance of complex acidity and light sweetness.
  •  Seafood The aromatics in the tea can help clear the palate and provide beautiful contrast against the briny flavors of fish and other seafood.
  •  Lighter fruit/pastry desserts The tea provides a bright harmonious accompaniment to these lighter desserts much like a Sauternes or ice wine but without all the heavy sugar and alcohol.

You can find Golden Star White Jasmine Sparkling Tea in Whole Foods Markets across California and other select markets in the Bay Area, LA, NYC and Las Vegas. The suggested retail price is $12.95-$15.95. Keep an eye on their soon-to-be expanded website for more store locations and new products for 2009.