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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

WFMW: Searching the Supermarket for a Decent Cup of Tea


I’m a self-admitted tea snob. My vanity simply won’t allow me to plunk a paper bag full of microscopic dust into my teacup and call it good. But there are times when you run out of your favorite loose leaf tea. And going to the specialty coffee/tea shop is just not practical (Emma is a bit of a terror, of the grab everything and put it in her mouth variety). And ordering it online would take too long (I need my tea). So you wait until the kiddos are in bed, make your desperate late night trip to the grocery store, and pick over the wall of tea boxes searching for a clue that one of them has real tea in it. Impossible? Well, maybe…but maybe not!

Lipton has apparently made some headway in the tea snob market, with their leaf tea in pyramid bags. Sounds good doesn’t it? The see-thru bag shows you that, yep, it really is tea. More room for the leaves to move around.

soccer 037 soccer 040 Ok, not all that much room for the leaves to move around. Hmmm, maybe I’ll cut open the bag and dump them in my deep infuser.

soccer 056 Those are some pretty small, broken up leaves, folks. And lots of caramel bits. And that’s what it tastes like, caramel. I could drink this stuff and not even know I was drinking tea. Here’s the spent leaves:

soccer 059See how compact they are? So the Lipton has been sitting at the back of my cabinet for months because I haven’t the heart to throw it out. Maybe it would be good iced?

I had pretty much given up finding real tea in the supermarket…but sometimes you are truly desperate. And this time I stumbled across a tea company I had never heard of before.

soccer 039Mint Brook Meadow. Long Leaf Tea! My hopes were high, then I opened the box and the inner foil bag and found

soccer 042 Hmmm, not too thrilling. So I cut open the bag.

soccer 043 Jackpot! Scroll back and compare these beauties to the Lipton, I’ll wait.

Compared to the Mint Brook Meadow, the Lipton is crumbs.

Here’s the spent leaves:

soccer 063

The the proof is in the taste of course. Yes, Mint Brook Meadow’s tea was definitely better than the Lipton. Not my favorite, but better tea. And also a great value: 20 bags for $3 vs. the Lipton which was 15 bags for around $4 (my memory fails me). And a killer deal compared to Mighty Leaf (though Mighty Leaf has great tea) at 15 bags for $8---I simply will not pay $8 for 15 teabags, even if they are silk. I’ll order loose leaves and wait, if it comes to that.

Disclosure: This post is unsolicited and uncompensated. The opinions expressed are my own.

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  1. I have that same Lipton tea sitting at the back of my cabinet! It just wasn't as good as it sounded. :)

  2. love flavored tea will have to try some for sure

  3. I am a total tea snob, too. I even took tea to brew on the plane ride to Africa last year because I couldn't bear the thought of going that long without a proper cup! ;)

  4. I probably should have called this "Lookin' for tea in all the wrong places." Except you never know what you'll find if you look closely enough.

  5. I love tea too! I'm a big green tea fan, however when I first started drinking it I was not a fan at all. I guess it just grew on me. :)

  6. I used to be a green tea fan...but I've discovered recently that I really prefer black tea. I don't handle the caffeine well, though, lol.

  7. Hi - I grew up in Africa and so have drunk tea all my life since little. We love Red Bush Tea only grown in South Africa, available at select stores and Kroger has it in Private Select brand. I order 5 lbs of leaves at a time to brew in the pot from More Than It is so good for you and low in tannin, and great drunk as sun tea or iced tea too, mixed with honey. Delish! Let me know if you want to try some and I can mail you some.
    some how comment on my blog perhaps! tks
    It is caffeine free too....

  8. Yes! Red Bush Tea is delish. I just received some teas I ordered from a lady on post after I try the out.


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