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Lala said


So I came across this in a local grocery store and just had to share.

I was at Sobey’s (grocery chain in Canada) and in the tea section I found Bistrotea. It is individual serving sizes of loose leaf tea, in a foil stick/pouch with perforations in it. You are supposed to boil your water, insert the stick, swirl it around for 3-5 minutes until desired concentration, discard the foil stick, then drink. Advertised as loose leaf tea on the go. This really makes me laugh. Almost like a big corporation taking a stab at the loose leaf tea market.

Anyway, I just had to buy some to try it out.

I paid $9.99CA plus tax for 25 sticks of Earl Grey (Ceylon base). It appears that there is 1 tsp or less tea in each stick. Not sure how much loose leaf it is compared to actual tea dust because the foil sticks are not very large in diameter – no room for the tea leaves. The foil stick is half full with the tea. The perforations are extremely tiny.


My verdict: glorified tea bag.
Did the advertising sucker me in : Yes.

I will have a tasting note up shortly.

10 Replies

Hope it was at least good, that does seem a tad silly to call it loose tea, its just another form of a tea bag…

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Lala said

It wasn’t too bad. I would say it was a generic bagged earl grey tea. There was no astringency and the bergamot blended well with the Ceylon.

After I was done I cut open the foil stick and it was just CTC Ceylon.

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Tea Forte does the same thing! Single-serve looseleaf packets were mostly bitter dust. Yuck!

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My accident prone self would probably
a. burn my fingers from steam and stirring
b. drop it into the glass

Looking at the site,
“In addition to adverse quantities of water and energy, ordinary teabags require enormous quantities of Manila-hemp (Musa textilis). Vast areas of agricultural lands have to be cleared for this mono- cultivation practice, thus forcing back the tropical forests in East Asia more and more. Harmful substances such as glues or pesticides that may exist in teabags cannot be found in Bistrotea.”

But thinking about the packaging, which is recycled aluminum pods, kinda makes me think like it’s a pop can poked with holes. (figure many people wouldn’t be down with aluminum)

Admittedly, if I saw them on sale, I’d probably try it for fun. They have a US site, so guessing they sell outside Canada.

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Lala said

Here is my tasting note if anyone is interested.


So,Lala, if it’s loose leaf how do the leaves unfurl in that tiny foil tube? They do need room. “Me thinks it a bit scammy!” If there isn’t any tea dust, think it would take a very long time to steep tightly packed loose leaf.

Lala said

I agree. I wouldn’t say it is a scam because CTC could be considered loose leaf. But essentially it s just a fancy tea bag with low grade tea in it. It like saying all tea is loose leaf tea, whether or not it is bagged.

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Uniquity said

I’m a sucker, I think it is a really interesting idea. The catch for me is that I feel worse about aluminum (recycled or otherwise) than paper bags. Plus, I rarely use bags so the odd time doesn’t give me the same pang of conscience as it could.

Lala said

I agree. I would rather have a paper bag vs foil/aluminum.

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I also agree it is an interesting idea, if it actually pulls of great taste. Nothing says tea has to be loose leaf or that tea dust is a horrible thing. However, if it’s they say loose leaf they are counting on the connotation of what we expect from loose leaf. I’d say it’s a bagged tea and leave it at that. Taste is the big decider.

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