What Kind Of Tea Is Lipton?

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Tea is a beverage produced from leaves of camellia sinensis. Additionally, other versions of “tea” are cultivated from other plants, fruits, herbs, flowers, or spices. For some people, tea is an ordinary drink, but for tea lovers and enthusiasts, it’s a ritual; it’s a culture, and it’s life. Lipton is the world’s biggest tea brand, and that’s no easy feat, so it may make one wonder what kind of tea Lipton is.

What is Lipton Tea Made Of?

Lipton tea, like other ‘real’ teas, is derived from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. By using good quality and grade of tea leaves, their tea experts produce a blend that meets the needs of many taste palettes. Lipton has a tea for everyone, from exquisite iced teas, black teas, and matcha mixes to fruity infusions and green teas.

This article explores the history of Lipton tea and the different brands that are available. We also discuss Lipton’s appeal and how its tea bags compare to other loose leaf tea brands. In conclusion, we share some common flavors you can try out.

The History of Lipton Tea

Until the late 18th century, tea was a privilege reserved for the wealthy in society. It was too expensive for the middle- and lower classes. Sir Thomas Lipton turned things around by ensuring that tea was widely available at reasonable prices. He was a multimillionaire grocer from Glasgow, Scotland.

On a trip to Australia in 1878, Sir Thomas Lipton stopped over at Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka.) At this time, a fungus had destroyed the coffee plantations on the island of Colombo and, having the means to, Sir Thomas Lipton bought five bankrupt plantations. He left with instructions for the laborers to get rid of the dead coffee trees and plant tea bushes instead.

In 1890, he bought tea gardens in Sri Lanka, from where he packaged and sold the first Lipton tea. As was his plan all along, he packaged and sold his tea at a low cost. In 1893, he established the Thomas J Lipton Co.® tea packaging company in Hoboken, New Jersey. A few more first achievements of his include:

  • Directly selling loose tea to the masses. He achieved this by cutting out the middlemen, since he owned his tea gardens and had direct access to tea leaves. 
  • He was the first to print brewing instructions on tea bag tags.
  • He standardized the sale of tea in a quarter (113g), half (227g), and full pound (454g) packets, by pre-measuring his tea into these packets. Tea used to be measured from a wooden chest and packaged by weight in a paper before this.

Because of its affordability and unique marketing, Lipton tea became popular in the US and Uk. Sir Thomas Lipton took the 1983 world fair in Chicago by storm, when he sold 1 million packets of his Ceylon tea. Unilever completely bought the Lipton tea business in 1972 and today, it’s sold in more than 150 countries in the world.

What Kind Of Tea Is Lipton?

All types of tea come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The different teas you know get their unique characteristics and flavor profiles from different processing methods of the same leaves. They could steam the leaves or pan-fire them; partially oxidized or not oxidized, etc. 

For example, black tea is made from fully oxidized tea leaves, while the oxidation of green tea leaves is halted soon after harvest. Herbal teas or tisanes are not made from tea leaves — they consist of a mix of different herbs and spices.

Lipton teas come as tea bags, loose leaf tea, and ready-to-drink teas. Lipton tea bags contain tea dust and fanning: small fragments of broken tea leaves that fall to the bottom of the pile once the good stuff is gone. 

They mostly use the fannings and dust in commercially produced tea bags, and they have a lower flavor profile, quality, and more tannins (what makes the tea bitter), in comparison to many high quality loose leaf teas.

Lipton’s loose leaf teas are not crushed into a bag and the whole/ broken tea leaves maintain their aroma, health benefits, and flavor. With that said, many people may argue that Lipton cannot compete with other premium loose leaf teas. Indeed, if you’re a tea enthusiast, you might not regard Lipton tea to be of outstanding quality.

Lipton still adheres to the vision of its founder, making tea products affordable to middle-class and lower-class consumers worldwide. Targeting the mass market, Lipton sells its tea at a middle price in the market. Mechanical harvesting of tea leaves works best for this kind of production and it affects the quality of the tea produced.

Brands and Common flavors of Lipton Tea

Lipton’s two major brands are the Lipton Yellow Label and Lipton Iced Tea. The Yellow label tea is a blend of black tea (from over 10 different teas) that has been around since Sir Thomas Lipton first sold it. The Iced tea is one of the company’s ready-to-drink teas sold under the jointly owned Pepsi Lipton International.

Other varieties of tea products marketed by the company include herbal teas, green teas, zero-calorie infusions, Lipton Milk Tea, Lipton Linea, etc. Here is a list of some flavors you can try:

  1. Black tea- Amazingly Grey, Irresistible Lady Lipton, Daring English Breakfast, and Stirring Ceylon.
  2. Green tea- Green Tea with Pure Matcha, Green Tea (classic,) and Green Tea with Mint.
  3. Herbals- Berry Hibiscus (my favorite!), Lemon Ginger, and Turmeric.
  4. Oolong -Wuyi Tea and Tie Guan Yin (very popular in the East.)
  5. Pu-erh tea- Pu-erh Black and Pu-erh Green. 
  6. Lipton Iced Tea or Lipton Ice Tea- it is sold in seven  flavors, with two exclusive to the Arab region: mango, peach, lemon, peach & nectarine, raspberry, green tea, and Rooibos flavors (the Arab flavors.)

There are many ways you can take advantage of the benefits of Lipton Tea. Whether you do so hot or cold, bagged or powdered, plain or with milk and sugar, Lipton Tea can satisfy your needs.

Drinking tea is a delicious way to remain hydrated and boost your health, thanks to its antioxidants and other health advantages. Lipton tea is yet one more example of why tea is the world’s second most popular beverage, after water.

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