Taste Test

It's Not Easy Being Green Tea

(Julia Ewan - The Washington Post)
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Green tea, rich in antioxidants, has long been praised for its healthful properties. In an attempt to make every bite count, food manufacturers have added green tea to sweet and savory foods and drinks, albeit with varying degrees of success. At best, it gives a nutty earthiness; at worst, it can taste as if someone dropped lawn clippings in the snack mix.

Food section staffers tasted 13 products with green-tea additives listed as an ingredient. In some items, such as the sodas, the green tea or matcha (fine, powdered green tea) was practically undetectable. But in chocolate and frozen treats, it overpowered other ingredients.

-- Leigh Lambert


· Green Tea Cookies, $5 per 7-ounce package, Ten Ren Tea ( http://www.tenren.com). Surprisingly buttery. One taster suggested pairing them with cheese.

· Steaz Green Tea Soda, $4.99 per four-pack of 12-ounce bottles (cola, ginger, grape and orange), Whole Foods Market ( http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com). Unexpectedly, it was the ginger that let us down. The other flavors came through as dominant and not overly sweet.

· Green Tea Wasabi Peanuts, $5 per 6.35-ounce package, Ten Ren Tea. More heat than tea flavor, but the earthiness of the peanuts worked well with the grassy tea.

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