13 May 2008

Brown Bagging It

Lipton: brown, strong, ubiquitous. I was never much of a fan - other than the noticeable strength, the flavor struck me as one-dimensional. But it's probably found in more food service locations in the U.S. than any other type of tea.

Until the company footed the bill for an extravagant tea press trip to this spa in the desert of southwestern Utah a few years ago, I'd always turn my nose up at it. But it's funny how open you can become to bagged tea when someone's pouring hot oil on your forehead, giving your feet a red-rock-salt scrub, and serving you dark chocolate cake with a black-tea creme anglaise (yes, you must go here, even if no one is paying your way). I think the point of the event was to highlight the antioxidant content in tea, which Lipton was at the time rolling out on its packaging.

I was also pleasantly surprised to meet the people behind the bag, including Lipton's chief tea taster. He really did travel the world with his extraordinary palate, selecting high-quality teas for the wide range of the company's offerings.

It's easy to slip into tea snobbery and proclaim that you'll have loose leaves or nothing. But I've found a lot of people actually relish their cup of Lipton tea, and when faced with a menu that just notes "tea," chances are, it's what you'll get. Don't fight it, and you might enjoy it. I just downed my own cup, in fact.

9 comments:

Seek said...

Lipton still makes the best "base" for our iced tea. 6 of those + 2 herbals (usually Celestial Seasonings) = awesome.

ana dane said...

hmm, good to know. i just may have to include that one in The Great Iced Tea Brouhaha 2008.

marva gladstone said...

I really do like Lipton. It's not my ultimate favorite or anything, but sometimes it's just so good I can't believe it. Seriously! (But FYI I always have milk and a little sweetener.)

Anonymous said...

"brown bagging it" sounds dirty.

Deb said...

I drink Lipton and I vote. Oh and "Tea Snobbery" is a good name for a Victorian feather metal band.

Anonymous said...

Huge fan but never antioccidental

avra said...

when presented with an array of options, my dad actually requests lipton. he also makes sure it is served with lemon...and that's it. i think it may be something reminiscent of "the old country," not that he was born there, where people also candied up their tea by biting down on a sugar cube between their front teeth and letting the hot liquid flow through for effective sweetening. ah, the old country.

ana dane said...

and seeing as your dad is a connoisseur of simple, good tastes (and i do mean that in the best sense), i trust his judgment.

who knew there were so many lipton lovers out there?

Giosue said...

I usually drink Early Grey with Milk, but my mother won't have anything but Liptop with a wedge of lemon and nothing else, and barely steeped.