Snapple Mandarin Tangerine Red Tea

Man. This drink required a pantload of research. Maybe it’s just me being rusty at this beview shizz, but I felt like I was starting from nothing. What is red tea, and how does it stack up against black, green, white, regular and Lipton? Was I supposed to already know what rooibos is? And is this a real thing that’s been around for hundreds of years, somehow only just landing on our marketplace shores, or is it more of a marketing concept, created to re-energize brand-sick consumers? And then, what is a “mandarin tangerine”? Is that like an actual thing, or are they saying it’s a combination of tangerine and mandarin orange flavors. Did they mix the flavors together in a lab, or are we talking horticulture and hybridization here? But how come neither one is listed in the actual ingredients? And for that reason, how come this drink isn’t listed on Snapple’s website?

So I was basically Wikipediaing the shit out of this one. And it all kind of ended up being moot because the first sip was awful, and it went downhill from there. Not at all tea-licious, just flat– that sort of unemotional tastelessness that is currently in vogue in the tea and fruit water sectors. I remember when a Snapple had mad flava. Who’s with me.

It’s unfortunate, because it smells really good. Sort of fruity and herbal-y. Light and gentle. Summer breeze and a carefree smile. If I met a girl whose hair smelled like this I would want to date her. But then if I kissed her and she tasted like this, well, the less said, but I would certainly remove her from my Top 8 on Myspace, I can tell you that.

AND THEN I realized the drink was caffeine-free, which was a bummer because the whole reason I drank it in the first place was because stapling and filing had me down, and I was hoping for a little jolt to get me through the afternoon. So I went and had some of the office coffee instead. I put a little sugar in and it was OK.

I guess my takeaway is: drink first, research later. One to grow on, or whatever.

7 thoughts on “Snapple Mandarin Tangerine Red Tea”

  1. This is how it alway is with herbal teas (hot, in cup, teabag, etc). Smell like heaven, taste like… limbo. So I guess this is a faithful attempt at a tea drink, and probably deserves like 4 stars or whatever comes from that.

  2. You remember those episodes of Hazel or Bewitched or My Favorite Martian where someone was sick so they put their head over a steaming bowl of something and then put a towel over their head? That’s all these newfangled (new-fangled?) teas are good for.
    Oh, yeah, and Pierce, many people, including the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, have expressed doubts about the concept of limbo. It is really only a theological hypothesis and was never a defined truth of faith. So unless you are saying herbal teas taste like a novelty dance that originated on the island of Trinidad you are probably thinking they either taste like Purgatory or more likely, Hell.

  3. Defined truth of faith? Ahem.
    Definitely not hell (that distinction is reserved for Dr. Pepper). Not purgatory, obviously. That implies waiting. It’s not going to get any better.

  4. The actual tea aside, the branding of Snapple Red Tea is disturbingly deceptive. The packaging and ad copy imply an association with the (product)red program. Snapple Red Tea’s label design and advertising are too strikingly similar to the esthetic and message of (product)red products for the coincidence to be unintentional.
    Consider the timeliness of Snapple Red Tea’s release to coincide with the successful launch of the (Product)red campaign. Also, the tea leaves come from where else but Africa, and the tea has an inconspicuous tinge of red – in certain light. Of course the image of Africa is practically spilling over the label, the whole thing slathered in shades of red. And don’t forget the basic stuff like, the word ‘red’ in the brand name.
    Worst of all, Snapple Red Tea boasts the tagline ‘Contributes to a healthy immune system’ which can too easily be misconstrued as, ‘We will contribute a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Snapple Red Tea to organizations that provide ARVs to people with HIV (an immune system disease) in Africa. Ergo, we contribute to healthy immune systems.’ It’s not much of a stretch really.
    (Product)red has installed the color red as our banner for Africa. We now associate red with Africa the same way we all know pink stands for breast cancer. If a brand puts a pink ribbon on their packaging, or even plays up the pink color scheme, they damn well better contribute in some fashion to the fight against breast cancer. Along the same line, the color red is a unified symbol for the broad based fight for humanitarian causes throughout the African continent, and a product that insinuates ‘(red)ness’ should absolutely be held accountable.
    It’s terribly convenient and diabolical for Snapple to capitalize on the pre-branded benevolence of the (product)red campaign. By sidling themselves in with the conscientious consumer, they can sell more high-fructose swill without reciprocating as the conscientious marketer. And I don’t like it one bit.

  5. hmm. i’m a big fan of the (red) movement but never made that connection at all. just didn’t and don’t see it. so if that was their diabolical plan they failed miserably as a far as i as a consumer am concerned. as for me i just like that ‘flat– sort of unemotional tastelessness that is currently in vogue’ at the moment.

  6. In response to the comment about Snapple and the (red) campaign… I disagree. To me the red tea bottle and campaign don’t bear any resemblance to (red) ads. Putting that aside, if you factor in the research and development time on the product, plus the actual manufacturing process of the tea itself… you’ll see that they were probably ahead of the (red) folks in the first place.
    The fact is red tea comes from south africa and it’s called red tea because of the bush it’s made from (rooibos – which in africaans is ‘red bush’).

  7. Snapple Red Tea is fantastic. You should get your taste buds checked. Of course I usually drink my black tea cold with no sugar, which I am sure would send your sugar soaked tongue running for cover.
    I really like the Red Tea. You don’t. There is no accounting for taste. But you are wrong and I am right.

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