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.: September 2006 --> Upscaling the tea bag

Upscaling the tea bag

» Upscaling the humble tea bag.
 [ 09.14.06 ]


The article seems a little inaccurate, at least on the Lipton tip. The tea line seems to be called Premium, not Pyramid, though it advertises the pyramidial teabags. The line is out now, and has been quietly so for months; however, this may be because I live in a city that's often used for test-marketing.

I bought the Vanilla Caramel flavor, which is gimmicky in that it has little bits of "caramel," about the size of sesame seeds, in with the tea. They melt during brewing. The tea itself seems to be a strong, bitter variety.

The trouble is that the nylon bags have a strong tendency to break along the seams. In a box of about 18-20 teabags, two were broken when I opened the box; one was actually empty, and the tea all over the place. I've discovered two or three more unusable bags since then. (I used the tea from one in my own strainer.) They come tightly packed into a nice cardboard box, but once the wrapper comes off, there's nothing in the box to keep the tea from going stale. Contrast with Celestial Seasonings teas, which always have a resealable wax-paper liner in the box. These Lipton bags also aren't any cheaper, taken cup-by-cup, than Republic of Tea's product, which comes in airtight cans of 50 bags for around $8-9, and which is never bitter.

At Pearl River Market in NYC, and presumably many other Asian supermarkets, you can buy a sizable decorative can of nice Foojoy long-leaf jasmine green tea for around $3. But not in bags. Once the leaves have unfurled, it's like they've just fallen off the tree and landed in a cup of water. By contrast, the "long-leaf" tea in the Lipton Premium tea looks broken up... just not as much as it is in the standard Lipton bag.

The tea I've had from the new Lipton line is definitely tasty, but the quality level isn't there.

"Ooo...I look forward to trying this", says the tea addict.



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