We’ve done quite well in terms of herbal teas in recent years. When I get the chance to nosey round people’s kitchen cupboards I often find a fine collection of brews. And even though I have always turned my nose up at fruit teas – they look pretty, smell divine but taste of nothing – I seem to have found a role for peppermint and jasmine green tea.
But will we ever be convinced on iced tea? I’m not sure. Starbucks et al tend to give them new exotic names, I assume, to convince us it is something other than cold tea. Unilever’s Lipton is persevering too. 2-3 years ago they were acknowledging that we found the concept strange with a ‘give it a go’ advertising strategy. They were also doing lots of sampling, I must have been in their target as I kept having bottles thrust in my hand. I’m not sure I ever tried one though, in my (entirely fallible) memory, the bottles were always warm and it put me off somewhat.
Over the weekend I noticed that Lipton are trying another approach ‘Tea only cooler’. That’s cooler as in chilled and refreshing, and cooler as in street cool. I quite like the ads, which an image of a tea-leaf against mirror image of someone dramatising cool. The problem is the image of the plastic bottle filled with what I imagine to be stewed, stale, sickly sweet tea.
You see tea is sacred, it should come with ceremony and ritual and it should be fresh. I wouldn’t put tea in a flask, much less in a plastic bottle. If you want to bring me round to the idea of cold tea, serve it to me on a hot summer’s day in a tall glass clinking with ice with a sprig of something fresh (mint?) in it. You never know, once I’ve been convinced on the substance I might just think “mmm ice cold tea – just what I fancy” one day when I look in the chiller and spy a Lipton bottle.