Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Quick Sip and Sniff: Yogi Green Tea SUPER Anti-oxidant

Here we have another case where a green tea comes labeled with prominent attention drawn to its health benefits. The first line of the text reads simply Green Tea. The second reads, in all caps, SUPER, and the third line reads Anti-Oxidant in a larger font than even the name of the type of tea! 

All of this makes sense coming from the Yogi Tea company, because they are all about health benefits and offer a wide range of products intended to ameliorate every woe known to humankind. Their priority to health-related matters is demonstrated by the very fact that they assay everything, so that the consumer knows precisely the amount of caffeine in a bag of this tea: 19mg. Most tea companies do not take the trouble to do this, because it is difficult, time-consuming, and no doubt expensive to maintain a precise and consistent caffeine level in tea. Batch variations, anyone? These are natural substances, let us not forget!

I have had mixed experiences with Yogi, probably because they are more interested in health than in tea, with the result that some of their salubrious blends strike me as a bit lopsided in terms of flavor, especially the ones in which heavy spices such as clove loom large. This particular brew is a dark golden color, veering toward brown, so it definitely is not a sencha-style tea--but Yogi never claimed that it was, and they are very good about accounting for the ingredients in their products.

In this case, it's quite clear that not only is the tea blend of a variety of green teas probably sourced from China, but some flavorings have been thrown in as well. I no longer have the box in which this bag was packaged, and the ingredients are not written on the bag, but I detect lemongrass and probably a smidgeon of jasmine in this blend. There is also a slight sweetness here. In fact, let's just find out what precisely these flavorings are! Back in a jiffy...

Here they are, straight from a fact-finding mission to the Yogi Tea website, the ingredients in Green Tea SUPER Anti-Oxidant:

  • Lemongrass
  • Green Tea Leaf
  • Licorice Root
  • Jasmine Green Tea Leaf
  • Alfalfa Leaf
  • Burdock Root
  • Dandelion Root
  • Grapeseed Extract
  • Irish Moss Powder
  • Amla Fruit Extract 

Well, I have to say that I would never have guessed most of those, but the jasmine and the lemongrass were unmistakeable to my nose. I am reminded by this little foray of perfume note pyramids, which often list items completely undetectable as separate substances!

All in all, this is a drinkable blend, but it does not satisfy my sencha cravings at all. (I ran out of Stash Premium Green yesterday!) Nonetheless, if I drink a cup of Yogi Green Tea SUPER Anti-Oxidant and evaluate it on its own terms, for what it truly is, among other things, NOT a sencha-style tea but an herbal-laced blend, then I find it to be a perfectly acceptable cup of medium-grade green tea embellished with a complex assortment of flavors. This is definitely better than the low-grade grocery store blends, but it has been adulterated for a reason: to smooth out the rough edges of the tea.

Teabag rating: 6/10

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