Unsweetened iced tea!!
- LisaM Jul 2, 2003 11:05 AM
Just wanted to alert my fellow hounds to the Teas' Tea line of bottled iced teas, produced by ITO EN of Japan. They come in 500ml bottles. I've tried the Green Jasmine flavor, which is very refreshing, not sweet, w/just a hint of floral jasmine. I've also tried their plain (black?) tea, also unsweetened and crisp -n- clean tasting. Have only seen them in a few places, including Pearl River Market (in a fridge in the back), and the Masa food concession on the lower level at Grand Central.
Anyone else discovered these? Where else can we snag them, in Manhattan or even Westchester?
Suntory makes widely available bottled teas in both sweetened and unsweetened form. You can probably find them at almost any Asian market with a fridge full of drinks. Unfortunately, the unsweetened green teas are a lot harder to find than the red teas (even in Shanghai, the heart of green tea country). "Wulong tea, no sugar" was one of the first phrases I mastered in Shanghai dialect. Walking around on a steamy hot day I would go through four or five bottles in a day. I can imagine doing the same in New York on a hot summer day.
These have started to show up everywhere in the past few weeks. I've even seen ads for them on phone booths. So I imagine that, if successful (and I sure hope they will be), they will soon become ubiquitous.
I always enjoyed these kinds of drinks when I lived in Japan and S. Korea and I really hate the sweet flavor of the Snapple etc. ilk. The Hoji-cha I had was particularly tasty.
The Associated supermarket on 2nd Ave. near my office has them, as does the nearby Korean corner grocery. I've also seen them for sale in stores on 7th Ave. in Park Slope. Tea's Tea... yes!!
Another brand that does a nice, unsweetened iced tea is Honest Tea. I know their HQ is in Bethesda, MD, but I've seen the brand for sale in St. Louis as well as the DC area, so they must have national distribution. I LOVE them. Many different flavors, lots of them decaffeinated, and almost all of them no or incredibly low sugar. The First Nation Peppermint is my fave, I strongly recommend checking them out. I too HATE the snapple, sugary teas!
YES, Smokey!!! Honest Teas are also great. I like their Ceylon-something, a spicy, Indian-style tea; also, I think they make a green tea w/mint, and some fruity ones? Thanks for reminding me. When are the giants gonna get the idea that there's a real market for the barely-sweet stuff? As I recall, I had briefly seen Snapple unsweetened tea, and I think that Lipton did an unsweetened iced tea a few years back too, but these are nowhere to be found these days.
I'm not a real calorie counter, but after reading about a study which identified sweetened beverages as one of the leading causes of Americans' obesity, you'd think that the big boys would jump right on it. Or, unlike me, do most Americans REALLY find overly sweet drinks thirst-quenching (BLECH!!)?
You can also find Tea's Tea upstairs in Fairway behind the prepared foods.
There are many brands of unsweetened tea in Japanese markets, but I think Tea's Tea is good because it doesn't seem to be afraid to present light and subtler teas.
Somewhere today I read that there will be a new type of Tea's Tea: White tea. Should be good.