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Mar 1, 2007 11:08 AM

Best herbal tea to drink cold and unsweetened?

I'm on a mission to cut some sugar out of my diet. I'm not a huge water drinker. I usually steer to sweetened ice teas and juice diluted with water or perrier. I don't want to replace bad habits with other bad habits by introducing lots of diet soda or other drinks sweetened with artificial lo cal sweeteners. Instead, I'd thought I'd give a try to iced herbal tea, unsweetened.

Please share your favorite brands and flavors that you think would help me kick the sugar addiction. Thanks!

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  1. If you want something that can be found in your grocery store, I've really liked Bigelow herbal teas. They have a bunch of different fruit-flavored ones. My favorite has been Taste of the Tropics.
    Zero calories, and easily drinkable without sugar.

    1. I like herbal teas with a lot of hibiscus, which tastes sweet and tangy to me. That includes most/all of the "zinger" teas from Celestial Seasonings - the Cranberry-Apple Zinger is great as iced tea.


      1 Reply
      1. re: AnneInMpls

        I agree! Think herb teas with hibiscus are the best, especially cold.

        I recently decided to cut way back on black tea (for various reasons); digging through my cupboards I found a package of loose "tea" I bought quite a while ago that's delicious: Orchard Medly from Lost Mountain Lavender. It contains lavender, chamomile, hibiscus, cardamom and stevia (which makes it sweet enough even for people who usually sweeten their tea). Unfortunately, I bought it at Lost Mountain (in WA), so I don't know where to get more locally. I'd order it off their website, but the shipping is as much as the tea, so I'd have to buy a lot to make it worthwhile!

        I see the original poster lives in Seattle, so maybe she can get it more easily than I can!

      2. I find that if you buy the loose leaves & steep yourself, the tea is so much tastier, and you can create your own flavors. I love white peach as hot & cold, as well as green tea & add another flavor to it. Such a variety with loose teas because you can combine them to your liking, however if you want a bag or pouch, go for the online better companies than the store kind. Do you have Teavana store where you live- a great way to try loose flavors out. you should order a sample from the internet to try some out. here's 2 good ones..

        1 Reply
        1. re: pamd

          It's technically not herbal, but I absolutely LOVE to drink Adagio's Casablanca Twist cold and "black."

        2. The Tazo brand, Passion flavor is great cold. It has tons of flavor and doesn't need sweetening. If you want to try it without buying a whole box, they serve it as iced tea at Starbucks (I know, I know, but the iced tea is good.)

          7 Replies
          1. re: SuzMiCo

            Second. Tazo Passion tea is the only thing I get from Starbucks. Also enjoy hibiscus teas and am partial to Ahmad teas with fruit.

            1. re: JungMann

              Tazo Passion *is* a hibiscus tea. Well, the Tazo Passion teabags available in the grocery store are, anyway. Ingredients in Tazo Passion: "Hibiscus flowers, natural flavors, citric acid, orange peel, licorice, cinnamon, rose hips, lemongrass, and red poppy." So it's very similar to Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger, although that one has a little peppermint, lemon myrtle, and wild cherry bark too, and no poppy. I think I prefer Red Zinger.

              Personally, I find Tazo Passion to be a little overpowering. I brewed a big pot of iced tea using hot water with one Passion teabag, a few black, and a few green blueberry teabags, and the Passion seemed to overwhelm all the other flavors. But then, I'm not a huge fan of hibiscus/rosehips teabags. But they'll certainly provide a particular kind of sweetness.

            2. re: SuzMiCo

              Unfortunatly, when served cold the passion tea has sugar syrup added and weighs in about 80calories or so. Im sure you could get them to throw a tea bag in cold water though.

              But you can buy the box of tea and make it at home.

              1. re: cupcakez

                Really? They always ask me if I want syrup added and I say no. The syrup they ask about is in addition to syrup they put in all the tea? How disappointing.

                You can definitely make it at home unsweetened.

                1. re: SuzMiCo

                  They serve it unsweetened here, too, and ask if you want sugar syrup. Maybe some markets are higher volume and they presweeten it?

                  1. re: amyzan

                    Mine serves it unsweet too if you ask. I'm in NYC

                    1. re: sivyaleah

                      I used to work at Starbucks, for three years, in two separate markets and just so you know, they don't presweeten any of the teas, except for the "sweet Tea" only available here in the southeast. The Iced Passion Tea (Along with the Iced Black or Iced Green Tea) are actually supposed to be sweetened to order by default, but almost every store I have been in, partners have found it easier to just ask before hand just in case. So most Starbucks you go into actually will ask, to ensure that it will be unsweetened though, you can always order it that way... Iced (size) UNSWEETENED Passion (blak/Green) Tea. I have also been trying to cut down on my sugar intake (as well as caffeine) now that I no longer work for the big evil corporation. Also trying to increase my water (fluid) intake so I have been doing iced passion/ some other flavor teas at home.

            3. Definitely Good Earth Brand tea! You won't miss the sugar at all, and it is great cold.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Chowsmurf

                Do they still have the one that was super intensely spicy? I drank it at the restaurants in the 80's and then was able to get the bags,- maybe I am not looking hard enuf- that stuff was killer.

                1. re: torty

                  Yes! I had forgotten all about it until I found a box in my boyfriends cupboard and nearly swooned with delight. I buy it now at Whole Foods. I understand that the restaurant is now defunct, but they also had the BEST poppyseed salad dressing and a black bean taco salad on a sprouted wheat tortilla that I still often dream about.

                  1. re: Chowsmurf

                    Found it at my local Vons (Pavillions/Safeway) It was buy one box get one free so I picked up their Chai tea- I actually like it better than the original GE one which I now find has too much of a cinnamon/red-hot candy oil flavor.