Thursday, September 28, 2006

Lipton Pyramid Teas

You know, Lipton has a bad reputation in the US among the "tea snobs." It's a reputation that is just on one hand, and not-so on the other. On the just side, the quality of tea in a Lipton tea bag is pretty crummy. However, folks in the US have been drinking Lipton tea (mostly iced) for a long time, and are used to that flavor. So, if it works for you, keep it up!

Lipton started as a purveyor of fine teas over 100 years ago, and slowly degraded its product (in the US) to be cost-competitive. In other markets, Lipton has retained higher-quality teas. In fact, a friend who recently visited Asia reported that Lipton sold loose teas there. Another friend sent me a recent newspaper clipping from the NY Times that spoke of Liptons re-entry into the high-quality tea market in the US with its "Pyramid Teas."

Pyramid teas aren't unique to Lipton. Other companies, such as Revolution, Harney & Sons, etc., have already been releasing high-quality teas in pyramid-shaped mesh bags. The idea is to combine the portability of the tea bag with the desire for high-quality, long-leaf tea. The pyramid shape also gives room for the "agony of the leaf" - the unfurling and expansion of the leaf that is necessary for a good cup. I think the pyramid tea bag does a pretty good job, and is especially convenient for traveling.

I haven't had the chance to try a Lipton Pyramid teabag yet. The one thing I wonder about is their flavoring...will it be natural or synthetic? Time will tell. There are 6 varieties being offered, all flavored except for one.

The big kickoff events for the US are underway. In NY, next Wednesday, Oct 4, Lipton is hosting a "Gen Art" party to showcase the pyramids. Never heard of a "Gen Art" party, but then I live outside of most media streams.

I'm not sure when the Lipton Pyramid Teas will hit stores. When you see one in your area, let me know. I'd enjoy your review.

To read more, check out Lipton's Pyramid Tea website. It's a snazzy little site.


John said...

I like the harney earl white. I've also been getting Rishi tea which is fair trade and organic and fairly priced at about $3.50 oz. said...

I have tried the white tea pyramid and the green tea orange flavor. Both are quite good, but I read an article about tea processing that makes me nervous. Do they use harsh processing techniques like fluoridation or bleaching. The taste is great though. Also nothing on the labels about it being organic tea so I am guessing it is not.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for nice tea information:) Really interesting ideas)

Anonymous said...

Received a sample of the Green Tea w/ Mardarin Orange. I am a big green tean drinker but this tasted like plastic to me. I wonder exactly what the bag is made of?