Sunday, 4 September 2011

The mis-selling of tea: Cho Yung tea

Forgive me, this may be a long post.

The other day, I was in Holland and Barratt buying some bits and pieces when I heard a lady asking for Cho Yung tea. The sales assistant gave the lady a leaflet and spoke about how good the tea was for weight loss. The customer then agreed to pay £39.99 for what looked to me like a small packet. I decided to investigate.

For £39.99, you get THIRTY tea bags. You're supposed to drink two cups a day. So a month would set you back £80. Blimey, this must be some miracle, right? Wrong. As far as I can tell, it's just green tea with some traditional herbs associated with weight loss thrown in.. I thought I'd break it down:

Oolong tea: on its own, oolong is used as a weight loss aid. So you could pick up a decent packet of this from Cup of Tea for around four quid (you'd get more than thirty cups out of it too...)

Hawthorn: Again, another ingredient that is used in Eastern medicine for digestion. You can buy tablets from Holland and Barratt if you really want to try this (but fennel and peppermint are much cheaper and nicer as teas)

Lotus leaves: basically another digestive aid, with added roughage.

Alisma rhizome: stimulates the kidneys and makes you pee. So you'll lose water weight. Which you would put back on really easily. You could just drink more liquids (including green tea and water) if you want to cut down on  the bloat.

Cassia seeds- most commonly used in laxatives.

Gynostemma Pentaphyllum- this may lower cholesterol. But so do apples, brown rice and avocados. Still not seeing how this tea is worth eighty quid a month.

Poria- another pee-inducing ingredient.

So, in essence Cho Yung tea makes you spend a lot of time on the toilet. I have no background in herbalism (I just really like tea!), but this is stuff I was able to Google and find out. There are plenty of herbal teas that do a lot of the same jobs and that don't cost you a fortune. Although there is no such thing as a magic bullet- with the teas, you have do change diet and lifestyle to see any major changes. (Even Cho Yung Tea admits this)

The company also has a reputation of offering free trials and not sending anything , as well as charging £60 to bank accounts. You also have to wonder when Holland and Barratt put a disclaimer on their UK and Irish sites that they won't take any money other than what you have paid for. This is only on the Cho Yung tea page. Fishy, non?

All in all- it's a very expensive case of smoke and mirrors that gives green tea a bad name.

Friday, 2 September 2011

The London Tea Company

The London Tea Company is one of those tea companies that a) should be massively popular and b) I'd like to work at. This is all because of their positive ethos and a cheerful passion about what they do that is evident when you take a look at their website. I'm also always impressed with companies who give back to the communities that provide them with tea. So, two thumbs up for the company... but what about the tea?

The range of teas at The London Tea Company is small but wide ranging and many of them are organic and/or fair trade, so you can have a cuppa and feel good about the choice. I tried four teas from the range.

English Breakfast

A very well-rounded, flavoursome black tea (I'm not sure where the tea comes from, but I suspect it's Sri Lankan...) which works very well as an enhancer of other flavours, as a breakfast tea should be. Low tannin after taste and very refreshing. I found that it worked very well with Marmite and toast!

Vanilla Chai

Quite frankly, this is one of the best chais I've tasted and is the best vanilla chai I've come across. Clean, creamy and rich, I will be stockpiling this as one of my go-to teas for autumn/winter. I would recommend this as a healthier alternative to chai lattes; still a decadent tea!

Green tea, Mango and Ginger

This tea is an unusual blend that you'll either love or loathe.. It has a distinctive smell, which doesn't seem to match the list of ingredients. But the taste is very refreshing, although I couldn't really distinguish the taste of ginger or mango. The tea is slightly sweet and grassy and I think it works really well with a bit of honey added into the mix. An interesting tea for when you're feeling a bit adventurous!

White tea, Elderflower and Apricot

This is lush. Delicate, fruity and fragrant, this is like a cup of summer! I would recommend that you drink this on those dark, cold days in deepest winter when you want to remember sunny days. Also, the white tea is an excellent tea for purifying and detoxing... so you can be healthy AND have delicious tea.