I love coffee, but I am also besotted by tea. I know tea has great health benefits: A doctor friend of mine only drinks tea and never coffee and when you ask him why he refuses to drink coffee he looks you surgically dead in the eye with great precision and says, “I drink tea.”
The great folks at Lipton — and I admire that company because, for the last 100 years, they brought tea time to the American masses — have revolutionized the tea business with their new synthetic “pyramid” tea pouches where “only the top two leaves and a bud are blended to delivery an exceptionally pure tea taste and aroma”:

Tea Time

You can see the tea leaves in the bag are much bigger and of higher quality than the ordinary paper bags of yesterday.

Tea Time

The only trouble is figuring out how to wring out the last bit of tea
goodness from the bag without burning your thumbs!
The old tea bags were plump and fat after brewing and you would cozy
the bag in the dip of a spoon and wind the tea bag’s thread around the
spoon and cuddled bag to get that last big of juiciness out of the
A pyramid, I learned, does not want to cozy and it refuses to be

A pyramid tea bag is big, triangular and it really doesn’t enjoy being
squeezed at all!
But as a proper tea addict, squeeze I must, and so I pinch a pyramid
side or two and all those extra bits of 140mg. of “naturally protective
flavonoids” — free-radicals neutralizing flavonoid antioxidants —
come rushing out of my Black Pearl Lipton Pyramid tea, plucked from the
dangerous heights of Sri Lanka, and all is right with the world in
spite of my blushing thumbs.


  1. I see that Lipton has a pyramid for a green tea with mandarin orange flavor!
    I feel the need to pick up a box, then swing by the little Chinese take-out place to get some General Tso’s chicken to enjoy with the tea.

  2. Hi Chris!
    Yes, Lipton have a whole new line of “fruity” pyramid teas. We also have the Vanilla/Caramel pyramid tea with “real bits of caramel” in it — but the price you pay for sweetness and light is the loss of 50mg of those radicals fighting flavonoids! It doesn’t seem fair!
    Let me know what you think of the green tea. I wonder why they added the orange flavor to the green tea — to make it even more “Asian” tasting or something?

  3. I’ll have to compare it to the regular tea bag version of Lipton’s green tea to see if there’s any difference.
    I bet you’re right about the mandarin orange flavoring being added to make it more interesting and appealing to people.

  4. I will have to check out those pyramids. Pretty weird. Coffee upsets my tummy. Tea seems to make it feel better after coffee.

  5. Chris!
    I will be curious to know the results of your tea test! The pyramid bags are nothing if not fun!
    I seem to remember the McDonald’s “Asian Chicken Salad” also has slices of mandarin oranges in it to make it “Asian-y” — kinda funny when you think about it!

  6. Hi Rickki!
    Welcome to the blog! I am a big coffee drinker and sometimes, like you, the acidity in the coffee can upset the strongest of stomachs. I find coffee in the morning and black tea the rest of the day is an excellent combination for health and well-being.

  7. You drink tea with anything in it? I try to add milk but don’t like it like I do in coffee.

  8. Someone could put mandarin oranges on top of the chili salad to make an Asian-Mexican fusion meal!
    Small cups of green tea could be served as the beverage.
    :mrgreen: — The face of green tea.

  9. It reminds me of chicken curry. I’m betting one of these days, we’ll start seeing fast food Indian food featuring mandarin oranges.
    I remember buying chicken tikka sandwiches from a little store during my summer program in England.
    Now that I’ve given people the idea, give it about 3 years to appear.
    Maybe we’ll see McChicken Tikka Masala on the menu. πŸ˜‰

  10. I haven’t heard of a chicken tikka sandwich, Chris, but I think the idea is super! You should start your own franchise!
    I think any move toward traditional Indian food is a good move. It is a much healthier overall diet than our current American fast food fare!

  11. Wow!
    I normally don’t eat in Mc; but if they come up with this it looks like I have to be a regular customer there! πŸ˜€

  12. I’ve actually been drinking tea in Pryamid bags for a few years now. In the UK, a tea brand named PG Tips came up with the idea because the shape of the bag gives the tea leaves more room to move around and therefore you get a better flavour.
    Unfortunately, I can’t drink my tea black. I have to have both milk and sugar, although one drop of milk is all I’ll add. It does have to be a strong tea.
    I also can’t drink any herbal blend. My partner, Jeff, drinks only Green Tea and for some reason the stuff makes me want to heave.
    As for eating healthily at McDonalds, I discovered that quite recently. I discovered their Philly Cheesesteak Deli Sandwich and haven’t looked back since. I’ll leave Jeff to his Quarter Pounder and his Chicken Nuggets. Give me the Philly Cheesesteak Deli Sandwich ANY time!

  13. Hi Dawn!
    Ah, the power of the pyramid! Are your pyramids made of plastic or are they paper?
    McDonald’s has a Philly Cheesesteak Deli Sandwich? I don’t think we have that here yet!
    There are many people who have allergies to herbal teas but don’t know it. They drink the teas and feel nauseous of their noses start to run or get stopped up and it’s all because they’re drinking in what’s making them sick…

  14. My Pyramids are made of paper … however, they don’t have a drawstring on them, but they make for great fun squishing them against the side of the cup with the teaspoon.
    Yeah, McDonalds have a Deli Sandwich menu here in Canada – so far I’ve only tried the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich, but I may go for the rest at some point. I find though that they tend to promote healthy eating, and then ruin the effect by offering things like the Sandwiches as part of a meal with fries and a drink too. Of course, an Orange Juice could be considered healthy, but the fries are fried in oil no matter which way you look at it.
    I had no idea that people could have allergies to herbal tea! That’s stunned me! I wonder if thats what I have …. hmmm, I think it’s research time. Thanks for that tip!

  15. Very cool, Dawn!
    Our plastic pyramids do not like to collapse as easily as paper. It makes for more burned thumbs!
    The McDonald’s deli sandwiches sound interesting — I think Wendy’s has that sort of thing right now here. What at the other deli offerings at McDonald’s?
    Many herbal teas have flowers in them so allergic people need to watch the list of ingredients.
    One tea I used to drink had Evening Primrose in it and it took a long time to figure out why I would immediately burn when I went into the sun. I stopped drinking the herbal tea with the Evening Primrose in it and my “burning” immediately went away.

  16. I love this tea! I enjoyed your review! I found it when I was googling before writing my own review of the Mandarin Green. πŸ™‚
    Personally, I make 2 cups of tea with each teabag. I brew the first cup for about 3 minutes and then make a second immediately. By the time I’m nearing the end of the second cup, the tea is cool enough that I can squeeze out every last (usually very bitter!) drop! πŸ˜‰
    Oh, yeah, and I actually make 4 cups of tea each time I heat up the tea kettle. Often I get them all drank while still at that perfect temperature, but I don’t mind cold tea, either! πŸ™‚

  17. Hi Tammy and welcome to Urban Semiotic!
    You use each bag twice?! Yeowzah! Doesn’t the flavor fade too much for your second cup?
    I have been known to gulp down a cup of tea that has been sitting alone and cold for over six hours. Tea is life and not a drop shall be lost!
    Do you drink any coffee?

  18. Well, then, you’ll be surprised to know that I used to have a (wonderful) porcelain-enamel 3-cup teapot and I made my tea right in there and only used one teabag for the whole thing!
    I prefer weaker teas, I guess… plus I’m frugal. And with being pregnant or nursing babies, I also prefer less caffeine. So, no coffee.
    By the way, thanks for the reply. You seem to have a “bigger” blog, and most who do can’t be bothered with replying to comments. So thanks! It’s nice, actually!
    Now, if only the rest of your blog interested me, I might be back. Write some more tea reviews! πŸ™‚

  19. Heya Tammy!
    Your teapot sounds lovely! Weak tea is still tea so I’m sure you’re getting all the keen benefits.
    I think if you run a blog — big or small — you owe it to the people who take time to comment to answer them. Each of them!
    No blog starts big and if you begin small you only get bigger in a good way by building community well-being and I try to do that by answering everyone that posts a serious and thoughtful comment.
    I will try to have more tea time here!

  20. As an Asian, I find it ridiculous that adding orange flavor to something makes it Asian. Sure, there’s Mandarin Oranges and Mandarin is also a Chinese language, but adding orange slices to a salad does not make it Asian and adding orange flavor to tea does not make it any more Asian because Lipton tea is barely even tea. It’s all flowers and added flavor.

  21. I think a lot of people in the United States still have the same mentality of the characters of the fine film The Christmas Story – they go to the “Chinese” restaurant at the end and have the wacky meal. Did you know that “General Tso’s Chicken” – I write as someone who knows the real General Tso – was invented in this country?
    As for tea itself, I can’t stand tea bags – and while I admire that Lipton brought tea to the masses, The Republic of Tea brought high quality loose leaf tea to said masses. πŸ™‚ To me, a brew basket is the best way to go – let the leaves swirl around and breathe the way they are supposed to do πŸ™‚

  22. Gordon —
    I had to remove some of your links for being Spammy — WordPress.com gets physical with direct links to purchase pages — don’t want or need that threat here. πŸ˜€
    Brewing baskets and French presses are made for people who have nothing better to do with their day than clean up after their drinks after every serving! πŸ˜€ The rest of us love coffee grinders and tea bags!

  23. Hmmm if that’s the case, Lipton’s does offer instant tea (I’m pretty sure that’s just an information page) πŸ˜›
    Should I make a video on how easy it is to make tea with a tea basket with about, let’s say, 30 seconds to clean up?
    Also, my neighbor across the hall has a delightful machine that makes tea – heats the water to the right temperature, steeps the tea for the right amount of time and then pours it into a teapot for you! Couldn’t get any easier. πŸ™‚

  24. 30 seconds is too long, Gordon!
    I can take a teabag, squeeze the water out of it, and toss it in the trash in 1.5 seconds! Clocks are ticking!

  25. Time, i have found, is a luxury that we have created through improper scheduling. If we look at what we do through the day we can find time where others would not see any. If someone followed you around and wrote down everything you did down to the second you’d see that you have 30 seconds – and it’s actually more like 15 if you know what you’re doing πŸ™‚ to make a better tasting cup of tea! πŸ™‚

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