Iced Tea - Give us the Benefits

By Michael Cramer

Sobe Lifewater

Snapple Raspberry Peach

Anteadote Organic Green Tea

Americans are entitled to do a bit of chest-beating upon learning that iced tea - that amazing thirst-quencher - was invented on native soil. Snapple, SoBe, AriZona and Nestea can all trace their history to a fateful day a hundred years ago. A tea exhibitor at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition could not entice a soul to try his steaming beverage. The sweltering heat drove all visitors past his wares. Until he struck upon a solution. Borrowing ice from a nearby ice cream stand, he created a beverage that would endure for the next hundred years.

Unfortunately, some bad things happened along the way. The all-natural, simple-to-make beverage had morphed into a mass-market concoction our hapless exhibitor would hardly recognize. To see how far we've strayed, simply glance at the list of ingredients on any iced tea product in your fridge. Warning to the wise: be sure to brush up on your chemistry notes beforehand. You'll be hard-pressed to decipher the contents otherwise.

Why all the mumbo-gumbo? Do these strange-sounding ingredients make tea taste better? Unfortunately, not. Their role is preservation. Giving your tea years of shelf-life, as it completes an arduous journey from factory to warehouse to your fridge.

More ominously, many tea brands are tea in name only. Long ago, they ceased to be brewed from tea leaves. Powders and concentrates that aim to resemble tea are the base ingredient now. But not the biggest one. That role is reserved for corn syrup and caramel, rendering most iced teas on the market today brightly-packaged, much-hyped, and sadly overpriced sugary water. A bit of tea powder is typically thrown in to tap into the "tea is good for you" sentiment. After all, allusions to the many health benefits of tea are an important selling point for these products.

Sadly, they fail to mention a growing volume of research showing how empty their promises are. It turns out that iced tea made from concentrate contains a fraction of the benefits found in a tea brewed from fresh leaves. A sad fact of life that no amount of ginseng or echinacea flowers or any other exotic ingredient their marketing folks dream up will be able to reverse.

Does this story have a happy ending? Of course it does. Jostling for your attention is a new product called Anteadote, an iced tea made with a progressive bottling process that extracts oxygen, the cause of food spoilage. With oxygen gone, so is the need to laden the product with chemicals or preservatives. The result is a product that is as pure as any tea freshly prepared.

Nor will you need a degree in chemistry to read its list of ingredients. These are simply fresh tea leaves, filtered water and vitamin C. Its authenticity goes well beyond taste, which is indistinguishable from a freshly-brewed cup. More importantly, Anteadote delivers on the many promising health benefits of tea, which include an ability to ward off cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, weight gain, and more. Please view information on the many health benefits of tea. And when you next find yourself in a supermarket, confronting the dismal options on display, remember that your choice of iced tea has now become much better.