Spot of Tea: Plan Tea Bottled Teas


[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

I'll admit it: I was drawn to these teas because of the pretty typography on the labels. But as soon as I kept reading, I knew I wanted to try them: bottled tea freshly brewed from whole organic Fair Trade tea leaves? No concentrates or flavorings, and sweetened with honey? Sounds good to me. The closer bottled teas get to real brewed tea, the better.

The White Tea with Lemon and Ginger is shockingly tan in color, due, I think, to a serious dose of ginger. This stuff is quite spicy! Though the ginger overpowers the delicate white tea a bit, I really appreciate how real this tastes; the flavors aren't masked with too much sweetness, and the drink is lightly tannic and just a tiny bit tart. If you were expecting an Arnold Palmer-like drink, this isn't the one (there's lemon peel in here, but not lemonade.) Still, I recommend it for fans of ginger. One warning: the flavorful stuff hasn't been filtered out of this tea, so there's a bit of sediment.

The Black Tea with Mint is intensely minty and cooling, with rich (but not bitter) Darjeeling tea flavor. I do wish they'd consider peppermint instead of spearmint, which always reminds me of toothpaste, but the level of sweetness is pretty near perfect in this tea, and I'd definitely drink it again.

Around $2,