It’s (Unsweetened) Tea Time

Original Image by A Girl With Tea via Flickr
Original Image by A Girl With Tea via Flickr

By: Nikki Nies

It’s not uncommon for many to gravitate to iced tea and the name of the product can be a deal breaker when choosing brands. Who couldn’t trust a brand named “Honest?” A lot of people drink iced tea because regular water doesn’t taste as good to some.

After some research, I believe Pure Leaf Iced Tea Unsweetened ice tea can provide someone the taste they crave with iced tea, while not packing on the extra calories, sugar, sodium, fat, etc. If you need an extra sip of sweetness, add some lemon juice at your discretion. If you try and don’t like the Lipton’s Pure Leaf brand, check out Inkos Unsweetened Hint O’Mint White Tea. In my local grocery store, this brand wasn’t with the rest of the iced teas, but in the natural section. It has the same great nutritional information as Pure Leaf’s, but provides a hint of mint as well.

When I was in the iced tea aisle at my local grocery store, I was surprised to see Snapple doesn’t carry an unsweetened version. However, I was able to get a good idea of the nutrient content of Snapple’s products.

Pure Leaf Iced Tea Unsweetened Pure Leaf Iced Tea Lemon Inkos Unsweetened Hint O’Mint White Tea Snapple Green Tea Snapple Diet Lemon Tea Honest Green Tea Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng
Serving Size 8 fluid oz. 8 fluid oz. 8 oz. 16 fluid oz. 16 fluid oz. 17 oz. 8 fluid oz.
Servings per container About 2.5 2.5 2 1 1 1 2
Calories 0 70 0 120 g 10 0 70
Total Fat (g) 0 0 0 0 g 0 g 0 0
Sodium (mg) 0 0 0 10 mg 15 mg 10 mg 10 mg
Total Carbohydrates (g) 0 18 0 31 g 0 18 g 18 g
Sugars (g) 0 18 0 30 g 18 g 17 g
Protein (g) 0 0 0 0 0 0 g
Price * $1.00 $1.00 $1.49 $1.49 $1.49 $1.49 $0.99
Caffeine (mg) 30 25 70 mg
Potassium (mg) 25 20
Ingredients Brewed tea, citric acid Filtered water, organic ginger, organic mint and citric acid Filtered water, sugar, green tea concentrate, acerola fruit extract, citric acid, green tea, natural flavors Filtered water, citric acid, tea, aspartame, potassium citrate, natural flavors Purified water, organic cane sugar, fair trade organic green tea leaves, organic honey, natural flavor, citric acid and ascorbic acid Premium brewed green tea, filtered water, high fructose corn syrup, honey, citric acid, natural flavors, ginseng extract, ascorbic acid

My thoughts:

  • Both Honest Tea and Snapple Diet Lemon Tea listed “natural flavors” as an ingredient. What exactly does that mean? I looked more into this ambiguous term
    • Natural flavors covers everything from bugs to MSG to aspartame. I was surprised when I saw MSG, but when you break down the word MSG—monosodium glutamate, it makes sense. It is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, which means it can rightfully be called a “natural” flavor. When you’re looking at ingredients, look out for the words “ autolyzed yeast extract” and “hydrolyzed soy protein.”
  • Snapple’s website only lists the sugar content for regular Snapple products. It doesn’t list the sugar content of “diet” drinks. It would appear diet Snapple is not a bad drink, but by leaving out the nutrition information on Sugar, it skews one’s perspective on Snapple’s Iced Tea. I couldn’t upload this post without going back to the store to see what the product’s sugar content was.
  • It’s interesting to note that although Pure Leaf isn’t as common of a brand, made by Lipton, it is still in the average range of prices compared to Snapple, Arizona and Honest Tea.
  • It makes a difference if one opts for the Pure Leaf unsweetened version, compared to the Lemon. The unsweetened Pure Leaf is the only part of the iced tea line that has zero calories, sugar, sodium, and fat. The Lemon flavored Pure Leaf iced tea has 70 calories per serving and 18 grams of sugar.
  • As always, wording’s everything. I would associate the brand Honest Tea with providing the most “honest” ingredients and byproducts, however, I am foolishly wrong.

I hope you walk away with this information with a greater awareness of what tea’s you’re sipping! Happy tea time!

*All prices are retrieved from the ShopRite of Oakland,NJ. Prices may vary.


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