Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lipton 0 Calorie Orange Tea

I've been told that Lipton yellow label tea is considered one of the more premium varieties of what the Japanese refer to as "black tea" that one can buy in Japan. The label seems to carry more prestige here than it does in other countries. Personally, I strongly dislike Lipton's yellow label tea and never buy it.

That being said, I adore their fatty, sweet, decadent cartons of milk tea. It is rich and has an edge of coconut flavor in it. Drinking a whole carton is an indulgence I rarely allow myself, but I really do love it. With my positive experiences of the calorie-dense milk tea, I decided to give this zero calorie carton of orange tea a try.

To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of flavored tea. I like tea with milk and sweetener and can do without all of the infusions of herbs, flowers, and fruits that you sometimes find. That's not to say I've never met a flavored tea I didn't like, but just that I'll always choose plain tea. However, I'm so desperate for any sort of new no calorie beverage in Japan, that I was willing to set aside my lack of enthusiasm for flavored tea.

The tea smells very good. In fact, it has a distinct bouquet of orange juice. The tea seems to have just the slightest hint of syrup when you pour it. This may be due to the fact that one of the cocktail of chemicals that sweeten it is maltitol syrup. There's also Erythritol, Surcralose, and ascelfame potassium. Though the ingredients sound pretty dreadful, the tea is good. It is sweet without being too sweet and carries a strong flavor of orange capped with some tea bitterness. The orange tends to overwhelm at first, but the tea finishes.

This did seem to taste a little like orange Kool-aid at times, but I still enjoyed it. My feeling is that, while I would certainly buy this again if the mood struck me, it may not be for everyone. In particular, I think that the high amount of sweeteners may be a turn-off for those who are sensitive to them. Personally, I'm so accustomed to drinking diet sodas that I tend not to notice any but the worst chemical concentrations. It could be that the melange of sweeteners is used to mitigate the strong aftertaste of any given one, or it may be that I simply can't tell. At any rate, I can't wholeheartedly recommend this for others, but I can do so with caveats and say that I liked it.

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