June 15, 2012

Tea Review: Iced Teas by Salada

It's time to chill out with some refreshing iced tea, an innovation that goes back to 1904, when a tea vendor decided to help people cool off at the St Louis Worlds Fair.  This truly American invention is now one of the most popular ways to drink tea, thanks to the RTD bottled industry.  And every June is National Iced Tea Month.

There are numerous way to make iced tea.  Either you can use cold water and steep your tea for an extended period of time or you can brew hot tea and then ice it down.  There are a bevy of iced tea makers - machines dedicated to the sole practice of making tea, often with convenient pitchers, which in its self can be a handy item to own.

So when I was asked to try Salada Tea's Iced Tea Line, what with it being the National month-long celebration of icy camellia sinensis, I was more than happy to oblige.

Now there's nothing that differentiates their tea from any other tea that you could use to create iced tea, if you were using tea bags, although their iced tea bags are indeed bigger. I tried to show the difference in this photo. And while the instructions say to use 2 of these "Family Sized" bags, I found that using 3-4 tea bags was better because the taste of the green tea is fairly washed out.

This fairly washed out taste is common with "naturally decaffeinated" teas because to decaffeinate them they must be soaked (twice) in the processing - leaving you with a less robust taste.  This process also diminishes the antioxidants that people prize green tea for having, which means any supportive health claims having to do with "decaffeinated green tea" are grossly over-exaggerated.

I tried all 3 of the iced teas (Raspberry, Tropical and Peach Nectarine), only to find them to be rather similar.  A weak iced tea accented by a touch of fruit flavoring.

I wish I had something more to say besides "hey, I like the super-sized tea bags" but I am now the owner of 3 big boxes of 18 mega-tea bags.....and as they say, "That's Salada Tea".


Alex Zorach said...

I love iced tea, and I do drink quite a lot of it in the hottest parts of the summer. I wish people would move away from the so-called RTD or "Ready-to-drink" products.

At the risk of sounding a bit new-agey, I really do think that these sorts of things spiritually disconnect people from their food. I think there's something really wonderful about brewing up tea yourself, and I think it gets you more in touch with what you're actually drinking.

I also like what you say here about how people over-hype the "health benefits" of decaffeinated tea...and forget how decaffeination extracts a lot more than caffeine. I think there are so many great herbs (which are also antioxidant rich) which make great iced concoctions. I grew up drinking pitchers of iced spearmint and lemonbalm, and as I grew older, I took cuttings of other types of mint and other herbs, which we blended in...really refreshing, and no need for any sort of decaffeination.

Darjeeling Darlings said...

Great Review! I found this tea to be rather bland and weak.

Unknown said...

Nice tea and food. I like drinking tea, especially Oolong Tea and Yixing Teapot is also one of my favourite!

Unknown said...

I love drinking tea and for me, tea is better than a coffee. I have also my favorite brand of tea, its the ayahuasca tea. Thanks for sharing your wonderful review of tea.