Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tea Forte Minteas Lemongrass Yuzu

Tea Forte Minteas Lemongrass YuzuYou may have seen Tea forte before. It’s a line of premium teas that come in little pyramid shaped mesh teabags. The blends are quite tasty but very expensive.

The company also introduced a line of sugar free, all natural mints called Minteas recently that come in these attractive leaf shaped (or surfboard, take your pick) tins. They’re also expensive, but a little more affordable considering the number of servings in the $2 package. I picked out the Minteas Retreat: Lemongrass Yuzu.

The bottom of the tin says: Get away with the soothing calm of wild-crafted lemongrass and the comforting citrus of Japanese yuzu. Relaxing chamomile offers the perfect antidote to stress. A sanctuary for the senses.

Tea Forget Minteas Lemongrass Yuzu

The tin says that they use organic botanicals and fair trade certified, organic white tea. (The fair trade tea is a minor component in the ingredients, the second to the last element, right before calcium stearate. There is also some plain old organic green tea in there.) They’re sweetened with sorbitol and xylitol, natural sugar alcohols that feel cool on the tongue and have fewer calories per gram than regular sugars.

The scent of the candies is quite nice, if you like Murphy’s Oil Soap or other citrus based cleaning products and candles, you’ll love this. Each little leaf shaped piece is a little longer than a half an inch. The pressed tablet candy dissolves or crunches, depending on your eating style.

The first thing I get is a sharp, bitter zest note. It’s not quite lemon and not quite grapefruit. It’s yuzu, which is a Japanese citrus similar to a grapefruit in its flavor components, only it’s usually the size of a lemon or orange and costs about $30 a pound here in Los Angeles. There are more floral blossom notes to it than just oily zest.

The little mint has a slight lemongrass note as well, which is kind of gingery and soft. There are other herbal and tea flavors in there, some green tea, which might also contribute some of the bitterness and soapy notes and chamomile, which always reminds me of catnip.

As far as “mints” go, these do have a long lasting flavor, a sort of jasmine freshness that lingers after the candy is gone. But the flavor while it’s in my mouth is a bit bitter, a little too much for me.

The package says that the product was designed in the USA but made in China. However the website says that the “source” of the ingredients is Egypt for the chamomile (ingredient #5 on the list) and Japan for the yuzu (not specifically listed as an ingredient, but probably is part of the “natural flavors” of ingredient #3. I feel misled about their transparency. If they’re going to say that something contains fair trade and/or organic ingredients, I also want to know where all the other ingredients come from. The website says they’re gluten free but makes no mention of their vegetarian/vegan status or any nuts or other allergens.

Related Candies

  1. PUR Gum: Xylitol Sweetened
  2. Maple Ice Mints
  3. Newman’s Own Ginger Mints
  4. Choward’s Spearmint & Lemon
  5. SparX
  6. XyliChew
  7. HiCHEW Yuzu & Valencia

Name: Minteas Retreat: Lemongrass Yuzu
Brand: Teaforte
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Park LaBrea)
Price: $1.99
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: 75
Categories: All Natural, Candy, Ethically Sourced, Mints, 6-Tempting, China, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:48 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     All NaturalCandyReviewEthically SourcedMints6-TemptingChinaCost Plus

  1. Howdy,
    I enjoy all of your candy posts very much… Just commenting today to clarify the “made in China” issue—the *tin* was designed in USA/made in China!! The candy, well, I’m sure that was exactly as described.

    Thank you for your blog, which is enjoyable, informative, and delicious!

    Comment by Ann Rosenfeld on 8/04/11 at 12:39 am #
  2. Cybele's avatar

    Ann - Here’s a photo of the bottom of the tin. It doesn’t say anything about the tin. Just, “Product of China, Designed in the USA.” It’s strange wording, most companies list things separately - tin made in China, candy made in Canada, etc.

    Comment by Cybele on 8/04/11 at 7:20 am #
  3. Also, even if the mints themselves are made in China, that does not mean the *ingredients* aren’t from Egypt ant Japan… yuzu and chamomile are shipped from their respective locations to China, where the mints are blended and molded…

    Comment by Kristina on 8/19/11 at 9:48 am #
  4. Kristina, I didn’t mean that it’s not true that the ingredients aren’t from Egypt and Japan, however, those particular items are a miniscule percentage of what you’re consuming. As I said, I’d also want to know the origin of the other ingredients, like the sorbitol/xylitol. (Sorry to say, I don’t have a great deal of faith in Chinese food products and if a company is going to manufacture in China these days and slap things like Organic and Fair Trade on their package, I want more information than the cherry picked stuff they’re putting on the package and their website.)

    Comment by cybele on 8/19/11 at 9:55 am #
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