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A Strategy for When There is Only Lipton

It was silly of me to travel without some quality teabags in my pocket, but there I was in Western Massachusetts on a raw drizzly November day, and I had to have tea. “We only have Lipton,” the waitress said, so we ordered, thusly: “please use two bags, put them in the mug and then add boiling water 3/4 of the way full.” The tea we got from this method was satisfying without and with milk, and the nice waitress didn’t charge us extra for the double-amount of teabags.

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My last visit to Florida about three years ago saw me craving a decent brew. Our hotel had complimentary tea and coffee making and we went to Walmart and they had Lipton or imported PG Tips at silly money so I went for the Lipton tea. How bad can it be?

No matter how many bags I used it still tasted like pish – at best a tea scented dishwater flavour. Truly the worst and lowest quality tea I have ever had the misfortune to taste.

My strategy for if there is only Lipton? Drink coffee

Courtney said

Haha ^ Awkward Soul

Hahaha…Awkward Soul…loved the video.
I have been wondering the same thing stuck in a motel at times…
It’s either Lipton or the “house” Darjeeling which sucks far worse
than Lipton, but hey! I grew up with Lipton…
True that, Luzianne is better than Lipton, but I HATE Darjeeling!

;) video

Cavocorax said


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Lala said

I don’t mind Lipton. It is certainly not my favorite but it will do if there is nothing else. In Canada, when you go to a restaurant or any kind of catered event you would most likely get Red Rose. Again it is not the best but it is what I grew up with, so in that regard it is good becuase it always reminds me of home. I think it all depends on what you are used to.

Ricky admin said

Every once in a while, I’ll make lipton with a bit of honey and lemon. It’s actually pretty refreshing.

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Not that sewage water that is Lipton tea. Four bags later and a tiny splash of milk it doesn’t change colour, wtf is that all about?

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K S said

I agree with Lala. Lipton is home. Of course for me that means strong iced tea. It is like the simplest peasant foods from childhood. There are way better but they lack the emotional attachment. Morebloodytea lacks any attachment. I am sure there are British home teas he has that we would be repulsed by as well.

ifjuly said

Agreed. This is how I feel about Luzianne—you CANNOT make southern sweet tea any other way. It is known. :b

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Lariel said

I sometimes carry a few bags of tea in my purse. So I’ll have something I like.

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My dad worked for Lipton. They work carefully, with a small army of tea-tasters, to ensure Lipton tea continues tasting like Lipton tea. “Lipton is home” explains it – thanks, KS. Emotional attachment to taste is no joke!

Morebloodytea, I hope you recover quickly from any forehead/palm of hand wounds you may experience after reading this.

Uniquity said

I always wonder how those sorts of teas manage to taste the same over decades – Red Rose, Tetley, Lipton, etc. My Dad and his parents drank nothing but Red Rose until a few years back when they decided they preferred the Presidents Choice Orange Pekoe. Everyone has their favourites! :)

K S said

Brooklynsheep I saw a Modern Marvels or something like that on Lipton and as I recall standard Lipton is a blend of some 40 different teas and the mix ratio changes constantly to insure it always tastes like Lipton. It isn’t floor scrapings. It is more than science. It is art. It is also the number one selling tea in the world. Whether it is a taste that appeals to you or not is personal choice but it remains a classic that introduced most of us to tea. Tell your dad thanks.

Emotional attachment I learned years ago from watching the Frugal Gourmet on PBS.

Lynxiebrat said

One of the few cooking shows I never minded watching! Even to this day, not crazy about watching cooking shows.

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I do the reverse if faced with Liptons or bagged tea I dislike but is all that is offered: quick steep time of like a minute or two so I taste less of the flat, bitter, papery flavor. I wasn’t raised on bagged black teas so I don’t have that comfort feel with them.

But yeah, like Lariel, I always have a tea bag or two from Lupicia or Harney & Sons (sometimes a pu’er mini tuocha!) in my purse in case of unexpected tea out and I didn’t bring my travel tea tumbler with my own gear.

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I’m with The Beatles, Awkward Soul and Lariel on this: leaving home without teabags, at least 2 for each day I’ll be away and some quality chamomile for night time, is like leaving home without my toothbrush. No, even worse, for a toothbrush is not hard to come by while tea that makes your day or evening or both, can be the most difficult thing to find! I am sure there are those folks — purely coffee drinkers — who look at me funny but some of them would not like instant coffee for the same reasons mentioned here about tea that’s lost its chi. That chi, though, even in Lipton, Red Rose or Luzianne, can be preserved if the owner — and a restaurant just won’t take the time, that I know of — takes the bags right out of the package and puts them in airtight glass jars. I have been to friends’ homes where tea is not appreciated, and see old boxes in which the bags have been left to languish and die. How sad to have to pretend to one’s host, “oh, this hits the spot.” It is not good form to criticize their storage methods (or lack thereof) in the moment. Pardon my rambling, but it’s all related.

Thank you for sharing the dao of chai’s chi!

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Hey, thanks, Brooklynsheep! I like your rhythmic way with words.

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It still takes like pish – not a taste ill forget in a hurry

Lala said

I think its ok if you do not care for the taste of Lipton. What you have to remember is culturally most tea is drank with cream/milk in the UK, whereas in North America it isn’t necessarily added. So many tea companies formulate teas differently depending on where the tea is being sold – teas are blended to be stronger in the UK because cream is added (a good example is Twinnings). So I am not saying you have to like Lipton. But I am wondering if you experience is more to do with drinking the North American blend?

Good points, Lala ;-)

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