A recurring story on my blog is my relationship troubles with iced tea. Maybe it deserves its own tag at this point. To quickly recap, I had a very long relationship with Nestea mix, but it changed, so we had to break up. I rebounded with Publix mix before settling down with Lipton, who was very good to me for a long time. Then one day, Nestea completely disappeared and while that was a little upsetting, I found Te Bustelo, which made me dump Lipton immediately. Man, that makes me sound like a horrible person.
As in other relationships, the fickle one gets their due, and Te Bustelo ended production, leaving me a widower. I had purchased a case of the mix – the last available – to get me through the next couple of years. Well, it’s been almost three years now and I’m down to probably a few last servings in my last container. I was probably avoiding the looming reality by not attempting to find a replacement. Still mourning, maybe? Today, I finally sucked it up and decided to find out what my options are. Off to Amazon, source of everything.
Searching for iced tea mix, I got results dominated by Lipton, with a few other brands scattered here and there. One of those brands was Nestea (trying to avoid eye contact). You know, maybe I wasn’t completely with my head in the sand about my future tea product because at one point I did consider buying unsweetened tea mix and adding my own sugar. And you know, Nestea does make an unsweetened mix…
This is what Nestea looks like today, the same it’s looked for many, many years.
As I’m working through the results, I see this.
Whoa, what is that? That is a different package with a different logo. And another thing – I am extremely sensitive to names, because of my trauma from “sugar sweetened tea mix” morphing to “sweet tea mix”. This canister says “sweet iced tea mix”. That is different. That must mean it is different. I click the link and look at the ingredient list on the package.
Sugar, Citric Acid, Instant Tea, Maltodextrin, Tricalcium Phosphate (prevents caking), Natural Lemon Flavor
Oh my god. This mix changes out Sucralose with Tricalcium Phosphate, in the same way Sweet Tea Mix changed Fructose with Sucralose. If I haven’t used the word enough yet, let me try some more. Sucralose is why I had to stop drinking Nestea in the first place. It’s an artificial sweetener that hurts my stomach. Suckralose.
I actually couldn’t handle this revelation at the time, bordering between excitement and disbelief, so I return to my search results. I scroll a little further down and I see this.
WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON, HERE? I click this item and look at its ingredient list.
Sugar, Citric Acid, Instant Tea, Natural Flavour, Silicon Dioxide
This mix, I read, is the Canadian version of Nestea, named “Original Lemon Iced Tea”. A second Nestea mix with no sucralose. Where the hell has this stuff been for all these years? (Canada, apparently.) And while I have no regrets over my special time with Te Bustelo, maybe it’s a sign that I should get back, even if it’s with the exotic, foreign cousin of my original love.
Still reeling a little from this sudden discovery, I make a fairly dumb decision to buy both of these items right away. They’re not exactly cheap, since one is a giant container and the other is a giant container imported from a foreign country. So, $60 in tea will be at my house on Tuesday so I can then see if there is still a spark between us.
Hope springs eternal.