Purchased Price: FREE* Size: 40 tea bags Purchased at: Given to us by Lipton Rating: 6 out of 10 Pros: 75 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine per cup, which is 20 milligrams more than regular Lipton black tea and the ONLY thing that gets me excited about this tea. When it cools down a little, it makes a wonderful hand warmer while in a mug. Rainforest Alliance Certified. Drinking tea with your pinky sticking out. Cons: Tastes like any ol’ black tea. There are tastier ways to get caffeine. Not sure if has flavonoids (if it did, wouldn’t Lipton want to let everyone know?). Not as aromatic as regular Lipton black tea. Microwaving Red Bull to have a warm pick-me-up.
*Thanks to the folks at Lipton for sending me two boxes of Lipton Natural Energy Premium Black Tea to keep me caffeinated for a while.
Nutrition Facts: 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of protein.
Purchased Price: $3.99 (on sale) Size: 1.76 fl oz. Purchased at: Target Rating: 5 out of 10 Pros: Drinkable, but I’d rather get myself an Arizona Arnold Palmer Half & Half. No sugar. No calories. Made from real tea leaves. 26 eight-ounce servings per bottle. Being mesmerized by the liquid water enhancer being shot into a glass of water. Cons: Lemonade and iced tea flavors are too mild. I wouldn’t call it a lemonade flavor, it’s more like lemon juice. Not for those who hate propylene glycol. No caffeine. Unlike MiO which disperses easily without stirring, this needs a spoon, finger, or whatever you have handy as a stirrer.
Nutrition Facts: about 1/2 tsp. – 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.
When I saw this tea, I had a vision that was as horrifying as it was freaky. I envisioned Bam Bam Bigelow was behind this tea company. I imagined him at board meetings in his flaming leotard with a striped blue tie and sipping tea from a dainty ceramic cup with a silver teapot. And God help you if you give Bam Bam any lip or a TPS report missing the new cover. Alas, he’s not the founder of the company.
Eggnog and tea. Oh, dear God. Are we out of possible fruit tea combinations already? Last time I checked, there was lemon, raspberry, and orange zinger. No one has done durian or starfruit or kiwi tea, yet. There’s probably a gold mine in those flavors. Or how about a refreshing garlic tea? But seriously, what were the people behind this tea thinking, bringing together an egg-based beverage and tea?
Here’s an idea, Bigelow Tea.
Roasty Chestnut Tea. It’s as wintery as eggnog and you can have a picture of two chestnuts roasting over the fire on the box. “It’ll warm your chestnuts up in no time at all!” could be its slogan.
All kidding and insanity aside, this tea is actually pretty good. The tea bag pre-teabagging, smells very much like cinnamon oatmeal, but nothing like eggnog. It’s actually quite homely and uplifting. The tea itself, after the steeping process, has a color somewhere between black and green tea which isn’t a surprise since it is made with those two teas. It retains the oatmeal smell, which is quite pleasant since most teas tend to smell musky like, say, Bam Bam Bigelow’s armpit.
The taste of this tea, well, doesn’t exactly live up to its name. There’s nothing rich or custardy about this tea, but it does sort of taste creamy-ish if you consider instant oatmeal creamy. It tastes like tea with a mild cinnamon spice and notes of instant oatmeal. I liked it, but it may not be for everyone. It’s also heavier to most other teas, which definitely makes it a winter tea, but that’s like saying a dog-shaped balloon is heavier than a helium balloon. They’re both still light.
The tea is a little more expensive compared to other teas available on the market, but still a decent product. All in all, it’s a good tea that suffers from a terrible name. Now if only there was a Bam Bam Bigelow Tea that came in a black box covered in flames.
Nutrition Facts – 1 tea bag – 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbs, 0 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 0 gram of protein, and testicle-free.)
Item: Bigelow Eggnoggin’ Tea Price: $3.49 Size: 8 ounces Purchased at: Holiday Market Rating: 8 out of 10 Pros: Instant Cinnamon Oatmeal smell and flavor. Decent bargain. Bam Bam Bigelow Tea. Bam Bam Bigelow the Executive Cons: Nothing eggnogg-y about this tea. Bam Bam Bigelow’s armpit. Heavier tea. Stupid name. Garlic tea.
Coffee and tea are very much alike. Both need to be roasted to get their flavor, both come in caffeinated and decaffeinated forms, and both are spelled with unnecessary letters, that if removed, wouldn’t affect their pronunciations. Cofe or T, anyone? If I had to choose between a racist tea party with Amy Winehouse or a coffee-fueled marathon of The Hills, I would have to choose the racial slur slinging and tea sipping festivities with Ms. Winehouse and hope that no stray needle hits me or her eyelashes don’t devour me like a Venus Flytrap. I would choose the tea party because I really enjoy tea in any situation and because watching several episodes of The Hills would cause my IQ to drop by about 50 points.
Recently, I’ve been enjoying the new Revolution 3D Teas because I like my tea just the way I like my Fruity Pebbles — cold, fruity and sweet. The canned beverage comes in four flavors: blueberry, mango, pomegranate and green apple. According to Revolution Tea, it’s a “Multi Dimensional Beverage” because it contains a super fruit, multiple vitamins, white tea, yadda, yadda, yadda. All of that is nice, but I’ve been staring at these Revolution 3D cans for hours and have yet to see the image of a sailboat or anything else pop out at me.
Each Revolution 3D Tea had a perfectly balanced taste. Its sweetness was just right, each flavor had a slight tartness, the fruit didn’t overpower the flavor of the tea and the tea didn’t overpower the flavor of the fruit. I really enjoyed all the flavors, but the mango and pomegranate were my favorites. What I also really enjoyed about this product are the sweet, sweet antioxidants from the white tea and super fruits, although each only contained 2% juice, so I’m not too sure how much the super fruits contributed to its antioxidant content. All that I hope for is that it’s enough to protect me if I were to get hit by one of Ms. Winehouse’s flying heroin needles.
(Nutrition Facts – 8 ounces – 70 calories, 0 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 100% vitamin C, 20% vitamin B3, 20% vitamin B6, 20% vitamin B12, 20% vitamin B5, and 3D.)
Item: Revolution 3D Tea Price: FREE (12 ounces) Purchased at: Sent by Revolution Tea people Rating: 8 out of 10 (mango) Rating: 8 out of 10 (pomegranate) Rating: 7 out of 10 (green apple) Rating: 7 out of 10 (blueberry) Pros: Well balanced flavor. Sweetness was just right. All flavors were really good. Slight tartness. Use of pure cane sugar. No High Fructose Corn Syrup. Antioxidants, but I’m not too sure how much. Fruity Pebbles. Cons: Contains only 2% juice. Can’t see 3D images on can. Getting hit by a Winehouse heroin needle. Watching a marathon of The Hills.
When I was young, I used to have elegant tea parties. I would put on my Sunday’s best and bring out my finest China plasticware. Some of you may think that tea parties are “girly” and my parents may have “wondered” about me at that time, but when the party guests included Megatron, hooded Cobra Commander, Darth Vader’s Tie Fighter, Kikaida, a 1983 Topps Steve Balboni baseball card, and Tenderheart Bear it automatically became a manly tea party.
Unfortunately, tea was never served at my parties, since my mother wouldn’t let me near the stove due to my pyromaniac tendencies and my dad wouldn’t let me pour hot water due to being prone to what he called “Bill Buckner hands.” So I served room temperature tap water at my tea parties, which is much like the equivalent of having wine coolers at a wine tasting party.
Sure my tea parties were sausage-fests, but it was less about who was there and more about what we talked about. In those days, we would discuss democracy in Eastern Europe, the pros and cons of both VHS and Betamax tapes, the rise of the Japanese Yen, and ask each other whose double-Ts were hotter, Smurfette or Scarlett.
Now that I’m grown up and over my pyromaniac and Bill Buckner tendencies, I could have tea parties with actual tea, but most of my tea party friends are no longer with me. I sold Megatron on eBay for $75, hooded Cobra Commander is lost in the yard somewhere, Darth Vader’s Tie Fighter is in its original box sitting on a shelf at my parent’s house, Kikaida was sold at a garage sale, and my 1983 Topps Steve Balboni card was attached to my BMX bike to make fake motorcycle sounds. Thankfully, Tenderheart Bear still sleeps with me every single night, so I wouldn’t be faced with the ways of the alcoholic and drinking alone.
Recently, we tried the Snapple Classic Black Teas, which come in three traditional black tea flavors: English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and Orange Pekoe. Each of them are lightly sweetened and all-natural. They also contain less than 100 calories per bottle, have antioxidants, and should be served chilled.
I shared some with Tenderheart Bear as we discussed the rise of the Canadian dollar, the impact of Wal-Mart on small business, how mediocre the TV show Heroes is this season, and the likelihood that a woman would get an STD from a member of an 1980s hair band…including the drummer. We also gave our thoughts about the Snapple Classic Black Teas and Tenderhear Bear, a connoisseur of teas, didn’t care for them too much.
He thought each of them tasted like someone made tea, forgot they made tea, left it on the kitchen counter for a day, realized they made tea the day before, was too lazy to reheat the tea, was to cheap to throw out the tea, and added a couple of lumps of processed sugar to the tea. He thought they all captured the essence of the flavors, but felt that serving them cold didn’t do them justice and the sugar did kind of ruin the flavor of the tea. He admitted that he’s a purist and would prefer to drink these flavors as hot tea.
It was nice catching up with Tenderheart Bear even though we see each other every night. That quality time spent together got me thinking about starting up tea parties again. I could invite Tenderheart Bear, my iPod for musical conversations, my black pinstripe dress shirt from Banana Republic for fashion topics, my laser printer for literary subjects, and maybe condom tin to talk about why I’m still not getting any.
(Nutrition Facts – One bottle (varies per flavor) – 70 to 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 to 5 milligrams of sodium, 17 to 22 grams of carbs, 17 to 21 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of sugar.)
Item: Snapple Classic Black Teas Price: FREE (Retail price – $1.39) Purchased at: Given by nice PR people Rating: 2 out of 5 Pros: Antioxidants. All-natural. Made with real sugar and honey. Less than 100 calories per bottle. Scarlett (I dig redheads). Cons: Tastes like cold tea that someone accidently threw in sugar. The sugar kind of ruins the flavor of the tea. These flavors taste better hot. Drinking alone. Steve Balboni’s ability to strikeout.
I don’t know much about Dr. Andrew Weil. All I know is that he’s Oprah’s good friend and has a line of Ito En teas with his name on it, like the Ito En Dr. Andrew Weil for Tea Sencha with Matcha.
Of course, I could assume other things about Dr. Weil by looking at his picture below. He could be Santa Claus. His doctorate could be in the Hippie Dark Arts, which uses free love, Grateful Dead albums, and tie-dye t-shirts for evil. His big, thick, white beard looks like it could holds deep secrets, treasure, or know where in the world is Carmen Sandiego.
I wanted to try the Ito En Dr. Andrew Weil for Tea Sencha with Matcha because I love green tea and anything six degrees of Oprah. I’ve bought all the books from Oprah’s Book Club, which have made wonderful dust collectors, and a subscription to O Magazine, because when Oprah says “jump,” I say, “How high and am I going to get a free car if I do?”
Some of you out there might not be familiar with the terms, “sencha” and “matcha.” Basically, they are both Japanese green teas. In Japanese, sencha means “broiled tea,” while matcha means “rubbed tea.” To explain it better, I’ll refer to the Ito En box, which says:
Sencha–Japan’s celebrated loose leaf tea–receives a brilliant infusion of matcha, the prized tea used in the tea ceremony. To create sencha, tea leaves are steamed and then fired to bring out a distinctive taste. For matcha, shade-grown leaves are meticulously processed and stone-ground to preserve its herbaceous vitality. When paired together, the result is a sparkling green with a smooth yet invigorating taste.
As a regular green tea connoisseur, who drinks it for its high concentration of antioxidants, to represent my Japanese background, and to stop my trembling hands when I’m jonesing for some caffeine, I’ve had my share of green tea over the years and I have to say that the Ito En Dr. Andrew Weil for Tea Sencha with Matcha is a good tasting pre-bagged tea.
Having tried matcha in its actual ceremonial Japanese green tea form, I thought the addition of it to this tea would make it very bitter. If you’ve never had green tea from a Japanese tea ceremony, its bitterness is eye-opening, like splashing your face with ice cold water or unexpectedly walking into the sight of a baby popping out of a birth canal.
Thankfully, the Ito En Dr. Andrew Weil for Tea Sencha with Matcha wasn’t very bitter at all. It wasn’t even as bitter as the Japanese green tea I usually drink, although I’m sure it would’ve been if I steeped it a little more than the instructions on the packaging said.
If there’s one thing that’s slightly bitter about the Ito En Dr. Andrew Weil for Tea Sencha with Matcha, it’s the price, which runs around seven dollars for ten tea bags. My usual green tea on sale costs $1.50 for a box of 16 tea bags; however, if Oprah says I need to buy it, I’ll buy it, just like if Oprah jumped into a volcano, I would follow.
Item: Ito En Dr. Andrew Weil for Tea Sencha with Matcha Price: $6.99 (10 bags) Purchased at: Target Rating: 3 out of 5 Pros: Good green tea. Oprah. Easy to drink. Oprah. Has production date printed on it. Oprah. Green tea is full of antioxidants. Oprah. Not as bitter as my usual green tea. I love you, Oprah. Anything six degree of Oprah. Cons: Significantly more expensive than my usual green tea. The bitterness of matcha from a Japanese tea ceremony. Hippie Dark Arts.