Lipton Loose Tea Isn’t Half Bad
It’s going to come as a shock to some of you who know of my tea snobbery but I recently tried Lipton Loose Leaf Tea – and it’s totally drinkable! Oh, and Lipton didn’t pay me to say this either. I was just walking through the tea and coffee isle of Walmart last week, and I noticed that Lipton sells half lb. boxes of loose leaf tea. It was really cheap (like $4.50) so I figured I might as well try it. Most of you know that I enjoy tea. I drink matcha every day and I love most of the green and black teas from Harney and Sons, where I normally buy my tea via their online store. The point is this: While I am not a tea expert by any means, I do enjoy tea and I can differentiate good tea from horrible tea. Lipton Loose leaf tea is not horrible. It’s not Harney and Sons, but it’s not horrible, and it’s totally worth $4.50 if you want a lot of tea but don’t have a bigger budget.
My Opinion: To begin with it has a strongish, almost roasted flavor. It reminds me a little of Hojicha (a cheap roasted green tea from Japan that I like). It’s not a mild tea, but the flavor is also not offensive. It’s a very reasonable, completely middle of the road black tea. What is there to say? It is what it is. If it were a wine it’d be a Yellow Tail or a Barefoot. If it were a beer it’d be Heineken or something along those lines– get’s a bad rap because it’s kinda bland, but any fair minded non snob has to admit it’s really not bad (you know, at least it isn’t Coors Light!). You could do worse than Lipton Loose leaf tea.
On a related note, I really don’t like the cheap Lipton tea in bags. The cheap bagged tea tastes like it contains a bunch of stalks and dust. It’s pretty undrinkable. However, not to be confused is the Lipton teas that come in pyramid bags and which are quite good (they come in white, green, and black teas and also a variety of herbals). They clearly have a different harvesting technique or a completely different plantation for these higher quality (used loosely) teas.
Why You Ought to Drink Tea: Because you don’t want to get cancer or diabetes, that’s why. There are no calories in tea and it’s loaded with helpful antioxidants. Really, there’s no reason not to drink tea apart from those few people who can’t, strangely, tolerate caffeine.
Brewing Tips for Lipton Loose Leaf Tea: Do not steep it the way Lipton tells you to steep it. I suggest using 50% more tea than normal but steeping it for half the recommended time. You will find, by not heeding this advice, that the tea becomes quite pungent. However, more tea at less steep time equals a perfectly acceptable taste.