Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Tea in Honesty

No, this isn't an article about Honest Tea. Nor is it even a big deal, but as I sit here with my smoke detector having its second false alarm of the day, I thought I would share this.

It's hard to say if this happens more often in the tea industry than others, but there's a certain lack of honesty for many of these tea flavors. Take Good Earth's Red Tea Raspberry. The front of the box (seen here) shows pictures of raspberries, which isn't surprising. Until you look at the ingredients:
Rooibos, Chicory Root, Chamomile, Hibiscus, Ginger Root, Rose Petals, Spearmint, Licorice Root and Natural Flavors.
As I see it, even if those "Natural Flavors" are raspberry, they're a bit too far down the list for that flavor to invoke raspberries.

Here's another example: Republic of Tea's Wild Berry Plum (seen here). Again, the box shows what appears to be wild berries and a plum in the background. The ingredients read: China green tea, black currant pieces, natural flavors. At first glance, this might seem worse than the first case, but wild berry is another name for black currant, (in case you didn't know) so the only missing item is pear. Also, unlike the previous example, this tea actually tastes something like pear and black currant (I was told that I should add sugar if I wanted the raspberry tea to taste like raspberries).

How widespread is this? Please post your mistitled teas to comments. Also, your thoughts on why the tea companies do this. I guess raspberry teas sell better than "Chamomile Hibiscus Ginger Rose" teas (or whatever the real name should be). Neverthless, I won't be buying it anymore since I was looking for something that actually had raspberries in it.

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