Thursday, February 10, 2005

An Exercise in Futili-Tea

I bought and enjoyed a bottle of Lipton Iced Tea (Sweetened, No Lemon) today. Later, gazing at the wrapper, I noticed a little blurb about the drink. It begins:

"Everything that's good about tea starts with the leaf."

You're thinking: OK, fine. I'll buy that. Tea comes from a leaf. Sounds pretty reasonable. The blurb goes on to reveal that "at Lipton, we brew our tea straight from hand-selected tea leaves and bottle it for you."

Maybe it's because I'm an editor and a skeptic, but everything I just quoted sounds wrong to me.

Because for my money, the best thing about iced tea is the sugar.

The same goes for candy and soda. It's not the cocoa bean. It's not the limes they squeeze to make the 7-Up.

It's the damn sugar!

So everything that's good about these comestibles starts with the cane.

Let's take a look at the next line: "At Lipton, we brew our tea straight from hand-selected tea leaves and bottle it for you."

They brew it "straight from" the leaves. As opposed to what? Why is that better? Maybe it's worse to brew it from the leaves straight away. Perhaps there should be an aging process.

"We bottle it for you." Uh, I hate to tell you this, Lipton, but all beverage bottlers do this. That's why they're called bottlers. Everybody who peddles their bottled drinks bottles it for me! Have you ever tried to sell a liquid that's not in some kind of container? It's impossible. You can't do it. So please don't think I'm not onto you, Lipton. This is just doubletalk from copy writers who don't have anything else to say about their sugar water. "Hand-selected." What do they mean exactly? A guy pointed at a bush and said, "Don't use that one! There was a caterpillar on it! He's not there now, but I saw him a little while ago. Great big fucker! Orange, with those spiky black things on it. He's probably building a cocoon right now, that tea-eating bastard."

It's truly amazing what advertising people can make you believe. Just once, how about a label that says, "It's tea. Hurry up and drink it so we can make more money and ruin the environment, and try not to let it worry you that it tastes like elephant piss. This drink actually contains less than 30 percent of one or more of the following liquids: elephant piss, giraffe piss, hippo piss, sunflower seed oil. If you have any questions about this product, call our toll-free number so we can write down your email address and send you spam."

The blurb ends: "So feel good choosing a brand that maintains the simple integrity and natural goodness of tea."

Do you really need your iced tea to tell you to feel good about buying it?


dUgE k said...

Brett, that's where we differ. I don't drink anything for the sugar.

I drink Diet Peach Snapple. Tastes just as good to me as Peach Snapple.

On one hand I figure "why drink all those empty calories?" if the Diet tastes just as good.

However, that's not the real reason I drink diet. I just don't like the taste of super sugary-sweet beverages.

Hey, wait a minute! There's a caterpillar in my Diet Pepsi!

Brett said...

Doug, that's why you're a stick and I'm a 565-pound shapeless blob.

I wouldn't drink Peach Snapple OR Diet Peach Snapple. For some reason I never liked peach-flavored thing. God, that's deep.

Melissa said...

I've learned to drink tea with less and less sugar over the years. I used to be a real sugar addict until just recently I've been cutting back in general and now I feel I don't need as much as I used to. But I'm a tea freak, and I'll drink just about any kind, sugar or no. Although yeah, I gotta admit, I do prefer sugar.

Reid A, muthafuckas!! said...

They also don't put on the label that it causes face cancer.

And I am like 99.999999 percent sure this is the case, at least according to the study I conducted.

Though I suppose all those monkeys could have just gotten face cancer at the same time by total coincidence.

Lemme run this through the bat computer one more time...