Saturday, August 7, 2010

Second Cup Brewed Iced Tea

It was never my intention to talk so much about tea, but I recently tried a beverage that might be a cost-and-calorie-friendly alternative to the Passion Tea Lemonade from Starbucks.

Second Cup's iced tea is brewed Earl Grey tea served over cubed ice, and if ordered on its own I believe it may be served unsweetened. However, a Second Cup employee let me know that they have a lemon sweetener in the form of a syrup that can be added, which tasted really lemony and lent some much needed sweetness to the tea. One squirt of syrup, enough for a small but perhaps a little skimpy for a medium, is only 70 calories and 17g of sugar compared to the Passion Tea Lemonade's 100 calories and 25 grams of sugar in a small beverage. The Brewed Iced Tea also cost around two bucks, if I am not mistaken, whereas the Passion Tea Lemonade is just over three.

I can't find any real faults in the Brewed Iced Tea, but because it's made from actual tea some drinkers may be surprised by the deep, faintly bitter flavour in place of the syrupy Nestea flavour they may have come to expect. Similarly, some may find one squirt of syrup isn't sweet enough and may want to opt for two, or perhaps try a different flavour altogether (I'd imagine raspberry would be good.) I have also heard that many of the Torani syrups used to make these kinds of drinks come in sugar-free varieties, though I can't confirm that your local Second Cup will have these, nor do I know what they use in place of sugar. I should also point out that the drink is not caffeine-free but I haven't noticed any changes in my energy level after drinking it. In a vaguely related matter, I do tend to prefer the more sterile ambiance of Starbuckses to the sometimes cluttered and almost totally brown interiors of Second Cup locations, and I have found myself wishing on at least one occasion that I could get this beverage at a Starbucks.

For those who, like me, are watching their sugar intake and their budgets I think the Brewed Iced Tea is a wonderful alternative. If any of you have tried the sugar-free Torani syrups, or if you have conducted your own comparison of the Brewed Iced Tea and the Passion Tea Lemonade, please do let me know in the comments!

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