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PRODUCT: Lipton Natural Energy Tea

We come from a tea-drinking family, and the tea of choice in the olden days of our childhood was Lipton. There was no “gourmet tea” back then, unless you went to the one place in town, in Greenwich Village, where they sold loose tea (and most people considered it an oddity).

As we grew into a foodie, and premium coffee bean and tea shops opened up around the city, we started to brew loose tea. We found the variety of whole leaf teas so flavorful on their own, that we never used milk and sugar again with our stash of fine teas (and coffees, too).

But that may change. Lipton has launched a new Natural Energy Premium Black Tea, with increased caffeine “to keep you alert and energized throughout your day.”

They sent us a box to try. We’ve been drinking it all day and don’t notice that we’re any more energized; but we refer you to our theory of cold medicine: It may not seem like it’s helping, but how do you know how much more congested and miserable you’d be without it?

 
It may give you more of a boost than regular
tea; we can’t tell. Photo courtesy Lipton.
 
One thing we will aver: Compared to our recent experiences with other Lipton products, this tea tastes the best—so much so that if they wanted to send a crate of it, we’d continue to drink it every day. It tastes fine black as well as with milk and sweetener.

And, since we’ve been drinking 4 cups a day of it, we’ve had the will to attack piles and piles of papers that we’ve ignored since the beginning of the year. If this keeps up, we’ll be happy to buy our own crates of Lipton Natural Energy Tea from Amazon.com.

It’s also available in K-cups. The tea is certified kosher by OU and is Rainforest Alliance Certified.

 


Photo courtesy Historic-spode.co.uk.
  To unleash the flavor and aroma, Lipton says that it “crafted an innovative process where we press fresh, high-quality tea leaves to release their natural essence. The result is a delicious blend with natural caffeine and theanine: 75mg caffeine / 20mg theanine per 8 fl. oz. serving.”

We’ve written several hundred pages of information on tea, and we have not come across the concept of pressing “fresh, high-quality tea leaves to release their natural essence.” In the language of tea, “pressed tea leaves” are those that are first fired (panned or steamed to stop the natural fermentation) and then pressed into molds. (All black, green and oolong teas are all panned or steamed, whether or not they will be pressed into molds.)

Our guess is that Lipton takes fresh-off-the-bush tea leaves and presses them to extract that “natural essence.”

 
We inquired, but did not receive, answers to this or to how the levels of caffeine and l-theanine differ from the regular Lipton tea.
 
WHAT IS L-THEANINE?

Theanine is an amino acid found in tea (amino acids are building blocks for proteins). The L- designation describes the structural form found in tea and supplements.

L-theanine is also found in guyausa, a natural energy tea along the lines of yerba maté and in the bay bolete mushroom (Boletus badius, completely edible despite being called “badius”).

It is used in pill form to treat anxiety and high blood pressure. It is used to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and to make cancer drugs more effective. It may help the body’s immune system fight infection. In studies that showed efficacy, participants consumed 600 ml, more than 20 ounces, a day.

  




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