143 – On Nature’s Brew In A Bottle: Triptych 21

Whenever one thinks of tea, images of a hot and steaming cup come to mind. However, not everyone has the time to sit back and enjoy a refreshing cup of camellia sinensis—with people having busy schedules. Thankfully, the advent of bottling has allowed many to indulge in tea – wherever they are and whenever they like.

Most of these bottled teas are made with black tea and flavored with lemon. Some, on the other hand, are made with green tea that contribute a lighter body. Notwithstanding the difference between the base ingredients, both bottled teas made using green or black leaves are usually served chilled. Plastic bottles are the common containers for teas. Compared to glass bottles, these PET bottles are lighter and more durable.

Today′s triptych will feature three teas made from a green tea base. Shall we begin?

Sosro Teh Botol is an iconic beverage in its home country of Indonesia, and the oldest in this lot. The idea of teh botol (bottled tea) was originally conceptualized during the late 1960s as a way to market jasmine tea. A way to conveniently transport brewed tea became a product itself. For those uninformed, jasmine tea is made by mixing jasmine flower blossoms with green tea leaves. The resulting mix imparts a flowery aroma to the leaves and subsequent brew.

Sosro Teh Botol can be purchased from Family Mart, one of the new players in the convenience store sector. The plastic bottle′s design is based on a re-design of the original glass bottle done in 1974. Apparently, black tea was blended in with this teh botol—giving it a deep brown color. The instantly recognizable scent of jasmine flowers emanates as soon as the bottle is opened, and a strong floral taste can be picked out. Teh botol is sweetened in itself, but I found it too sweet for my liking.

Chai Li Won literally translates to ″king of tea″. Launched in 2001, it prides itself as the number one bottled green tea brand in China, Taiwan, and Thailand. Chai Li Won comes in two variants (Regular and Sugar Free), and packs its teas in 500ml bottles in the same manner as other tea brands. They use a particular tea extraction technology in order to get the most benefits from the tea leaves they use. Chai Li Won′s website even touts it as a healthy ingredient suitable for use in mocktails and other non-alcoholic beverages.

Chai Li Won′s two variants can be purchased in 7-Eleven outlets around the metro. I tried out their Regular variant, and this is the best-tasting bottled tea I had so far. It retains the fresh and clean taste of green tea brewed straight from the pot—but cooled to a more favorable temperature for drinking. It has a sweet taste, but not the cloying type of sweetness. Chilling did not remove its property as a palate cleanser, which was another positive point.

C2 Green Tea is the most recent entrant in this lot, only being introduced in 2005. The name is actually an abbreviation of ″cool and clean″, which was used as part of its branding when it was starting out. C2 is touted as being brewed and bottled on the same day – preserving the antioxidants present in regular brewed tea. From its initial variants of apple, lemon, and regular green tea—it now has other flavors like forest fruits, raspberry, kiwi, lychee, orange, and peach.

C2 Green Tea is carried by almost every food and beverage retailer in the metro, so it′s impossible for one to not find it. I discovered the Peach flavor way back in high school, and it′s my most liked C2 variant. Despite the years and competitors that have come its way, C2 still has the ″cool and clean″ quality of its teas. This one, however, has the peach scent that makes it all the more inviting to drink. Open the bottle and a whiff of peach meets your olfactory senses. In my honest opinion, C2 Peach Green Tea has the most toned-down sweetness out of all the flavors in the market today.

Whether one prefers tea chilled in a bottle, or steaming hot in a cup, it cannot be denied that the habit of tea drinking carries certain benefits that will do the body good in the long run.

And that wraps up this triptych—until the next post.


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