Non-GMO, gluten-free, organic, Georgia-grown and plant-based. If you want a kick of sweetness without the calories or the guilt, the newest stand at the Emory Farmers Market, Olympus Greek Teas, has the perfect beverage for you. Located across from Doggy Dogg and Revolution Doughnuts, the beverage stand sells four flavors of their naturally caffeinated drinks for $3 each: “Yia Yia’s Sweetie,” “The O.G. (Original Greek),” “Blueberry Citrus” and “Strawbee Lemonade.” The stand accepts card, cash or Dooley Dollars as payment.
As I walked up to the table, the vendor greeted me warmly and explained each beverage displayed on the wooden stand. Upon her recommendation, the vendor pulled bottles of “Blueberry Citrus” and “Strawbee Lemonade” from an ice bucket for me. When I twisted open the bottles, I was delighted to hear a satisfying “pop” as the air escaped. Still chilled from the ice bath, “Blueberry Citrus” and “Strawbee Lemonade” tasted subtle and distinct. “Blueberry” was slightly more bitter and tangy, while “Strawbee” tasted more like a classic strawberry lemonade. Both were pleasantly sweet without being sickening, and tasted natural and fresh.
The smooth glass bottles presented the drinks cleanly. Each bottle is covered by a black-and-white label with pops of bold color to illustrate the beverage’s main ingredient. A silver plate proudly showcased the company’s victory at the University of Georgia 2018 Flavor of Georgia food and beverage contest.
Every Olympus juice shares a common ingredient: Sideritis. According to the company’s website, the Sideritis plant is used in traditional Greek teas and offers several health benefits, including lowered blood pressure, reduced digestive inflammation and natural antioxidants. During the brewing process, the Sideritis is “kept whole and unprocessed [and] then traditionally brewed and steeped like tea allowing for purity and potency.” The original “O.G.” flavor, an unsweetened tea that most strongly showcases the Sideritis plant, consists of just three components: water, sideritis tea and citric acid. The sweetened teas contain a few more natural ingredients, including fruit purees, agave and lemon juice.
Based in Atlanta, Olympus Greek Teas offers a quintessential natural, homegrown charm. Their plant-based drinks are refreshingly authentic and unrefined in the best way possible, with few natural ingredients. The next time I stroll through the farmers market on a Tuesday morning, I’ll definitely stop by the Olympus tent to grab a bottle of the tart “Blueberry Citrus” tea.