Since I gave up drinking coffee some eighteen months ago, my need for breath mints has been eliminated. Tea drinking simply does not give rise to Dragon Breath, that fearsome halitosis that can incapacitate victims up to ten feet away. Coffee drinkers who smoke have been known to disable a charging black rhinoceros at twenty yards, but I digress.

Vacationing on the Long Beach peninsula in southern Washington state requires at least one trip to Jack’s Country Store in Ocean Park. This store has everything, and a thriving mail-order business to boot. One of the more endearing features is a large display of glass jars, filled with an assortment of small things, from lollypops to butane lighters. These jars are conveniently located near the cash register, where your home supermarket might display tabloids. These jars contain stuff you probably can’t live without.

In front of one of these jars was a hand-lettered sign: GREEN TEA MINTS. Each little envelope, priced at $.29, contains “3 loose leaf mints.” I could have lived without sampling these, but then I would not be doing my duty by T Ching to explore all things tea. The tiny package (1.3 grams) goes on to claim “fresh Breath Therapy in lively lemongrass.”

The mints are leaf-shaped and light green in color. The ingredients are a blend of organic green tea extract, organic lemongrass, fresh ginger root, natural flavors, Lo Han Guo (?) and sorbitol, xylitol and calcium stearate. You can taste the ginger and the lemongrass – a refreshing departure from the membrane-burning peppermint or cinnamon overkill of most breath mints. The packaging is attractive, and makes clear, “Also available – 1 oz (28 grams) Retail Units.”

These are also available in “Delicate Pear” and “Original” flavors. Each uses a blend of organic ingredients, as well as sorbitol, and xylitol. So, the consumer can indulge in the mints without ingesting empty sugar calories. Three mints offer the equivalent of a cup of green tea. My favorite would have to be the Lively Lemongrass.

Perfect for your purse, glove box, or desk drawer, Sen Cha green tea mints offer you a defense when you have been indulging in garlic butter French fries, or to offer to co-workers who get a little too close when they tell you the latest office joke.

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Image 1 is courtesy of SenchaNaturals

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