Thursday, April 24, 2008

Brutal Honest Tea

Strolling through my grocery store of choice yesterday, I happened to take a trip through the organic and natural foods section. There I found plenty of interesting and tasty-looking delights, including some that made me giggle, such as a line of gluten-free frozen foods from a company called Amy's Kitchen, which of course I found amusing because the Amy most of us d-bloggers know best would most likely appreciate some gluten-free mac-n-cheese every now and then. Heck, her name is literally all over it!

Of course, there was Pirate's Booty and other organic and natural delights, but I found myself taken with the tea section. I am definitely a tea drinker, though I'm not a habitual one. I don't drink it every single day, but I know it's delicious, and it's also a habit that might be fun to pick up again. I love mint tea especially, and while I was in Austin over the summer, I had some really tasty hibiscus tea. I got to try bubble tea for the first time about 2 weeks ago. (And for those of you keeping track, no, I don't know how much sugar it had in it, but the sample was about 2-3 tablespoons of tea with like 3 balls of tapioca, and I had been walking all afternoon. Get over it!) None of the tasty tea bags were on sale, which I suppose isn't the end of the world. The weather is warm and I wanted some iced tea anyway.

I moved on to the rack of bottled teas and drinks, noticing Tazo was on special. Yes, I am aware that Tazo is owned by everyone's favorite mondo-conglomo-coffee giant, Starbucks, but last summer they made a diet mint mojito green tea that was to die for. Every time I was at the convenience store that stocked it, I bought a bottle. I scanned the Tazo, every variety, black tea, green tea, herbal diet. Not a single one. I started to look over the other healthy bottled teas, and I got irritated.

The problem with "natural" teas, in my opinion, is that every one seems to pride itself on being free of artificial sweeteners. Only a handful of them are completely unsweetened. Most of them contain...that's right...SUGAR! I guess that's great and all if you don't want to pollute your hippie children with chemical sweets, but dammit, I want my Splenda! Or aspartame! I'd rather not have saccharin, but it's better than nothing. I like my iced tea sweet, so if I'm going to buy it in a convenient, already bottled format, I want it to be the way I like it.

Granted, maybe I shouldn't be looking for diet tea in the organic/natural foods section, but still...I want some diet, sweet, tasty tea.

Now, I appreciate that Honest Tea makes a lot of their teas "just a tad sweet", meaning the entire 16 oz. bottle has only between 18 and 30 grams of carbs, all of which come from real sugar, not corn syrup. It means once in a while, I wouldn't feel guilty about indulging. But when I'm thirsty, I don't really want to down something that will only make me super-thirsty later because of the nasty high blood sugar it will cause me if I don't take my insulin fast enough.

I just want a bottle of fancy, high quality tea that tastes better than the overly-fake-fruity flavors of diet Lipton or diet Snapple. Granted, I like both of those, but there are so many better-quality bottled teas on the market right now for the non-diet-drinkers, when will the rest of us get our chance? There are like 85 new varieties of diet soda, it seems, but when do we get some new varieties of diet tea?


  1. Hey, thanks Hannah. Me loves it!

  2. As far as the tea, can't really help you. I make my own green/minty/lemony Iced tea in the Spring and Summer, or I buy the Honest Tea. I do know all about Amy's Organics, she has the best veggie balsamic frozen pizza EVER!

    I will keep my eyes open for u in the tea department!

  3. Amy--you're welcome!

    Kelly--Thanks! Mmm, I may have to try some of that pizza. Sounds delish. As for tea, I have found that diet Gold Peak iced tea in a bottle is pretty tasty. In fact, it's one of the only diet teas in a bottle that I've found that is just sweet tea, no lemon, no nothing.

  4. That is what irritates me about Whole Foods. They don't stock any diet or artificially sweetened products because they're "unhealthy." Our Whole Foods has a Jamba Juice in it, but it doesn't sell the lower carb smoothies normal ones have because they have Splenda and Whole Foods won't let them. Which would be unhealthy. Of course there's nothing unhealthy with adding a bunch of sugar to some juice and drinking a gallon of that, right? Aaargh!

  5. I get my tea fix with Nestle Green Tea Refreshers. - They're the only ice tea like drink I've found sweetened with splenda.

    They aren't organic though.

  6. For the record, I am not a natural food fiend, I just like to scope them out once in a while, or buy a couple things here and there. Mmmm, Kashi. Anyway...

    Lili--I totally hear you! You know, it's one thing to not want to give your kids an overdose of chemicals, but sometimes it feels like they're punishing anyone with diabetes or anyone watching their calorie intake for wanting something that tastes like sugar. We were all born with sweet-sensing taste buds. Sheesh.

    Laura--Sounds interesting. I'll have to see if I can find some around. Personally I like the diet Arizona brand green teas. Yum!

  7. I love Pirates Booty AND tea...

    I usually get the Gypsy Rose organic tea bags from the Giant and sweeten with xylitol, that's organic and doesn't do anything to my blood sugar.

  8. I could've written the same post about Blue Sky natural sodas. I used LOVE them before my dx 4 years ago, and then I noticed they don't have a Diet version either. It's frustrating... just like most things when you're diabetic.


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