Wednesday September 12, 2007 | 5 comments
In the past five years, green tea has experienced huge popularity in the United States. Every manufacturer of tea bags, from Lipton to Numi has at least one green tea offering. Most are careful to advertise green tea’s health benefits, “high in antioxidants!” in bold, flashy, red print on the label.
Recently these companies have taken their “healthy” green tea to the bottle, adding lots of sugar and other flavors including lemon, peach, mint, and raspberry. If you look closely, you’ll note that soft drink companies have entered the market with a vengeance. Imagine the marketing department of a large cola manufacturer sitting around a large oblong table, musing, “How can we market our cola so that consumers will think they are drinking tea?” If you are one of those still-rare Americans who actually drinks and enjoys real, unadulterated tea, you will be asking, as did Eric Sternfels in a comment posted June 29, “Where’s the tea?”
Japan, a huge producer of green tea, has come up with an answer that not only promotes real, fresh-brewed green tea, but helps the environment as well. Drive-through tea shops are offering, for 100 yen (less than a dollar), to fill your thermos with either hot or freshly iced green tea. Hugely popular, these drive-through shops offer a quality of tea unavailable in bottles while encouraging the use and re-use of a travel thermos.
While this convenience is a far cry from the ideal tea practice, which combines a gift for the body with a gift for the soul; it would make drinking quality tea on-the-go a very real possibility.
I wonder, would members of the T Ching community queue up at the local drive-thru if you knew that great fresh-brewed tea from real leaves would be your reward?