Brisk – A Tea for Time Capsules

I hesitate to even call Brisk tea, but for some reason it was calling to me this morning. Maybe I just wanted to watch our new cute Rube Goldberg-like vending machine in action.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an iced tea with this many non-natural ingredients. The biggest problem with Brisk is that it’s not advertised as “sweet tea” (I guess this is what is meant by “130 calories per bottle”), but High Fructose Corn Syrup (my enemy) is the second ingredient after water.  Already it’s soda without carbonation; God bless America.

Then comes citric acid (helps pretend there’s lemon when there isn’t).

Finally the fourth ingredient is “instant tea” (from the Lipton company).  *shivers*  In the Oh My Goddess! manga (no idea which chapter), when Belldandy is undergoing her blind tea taste identification test, among the super elite rare varieties, she’s given “Freeze Dried Instant” tea by demons as poison. As a kid I laughed at that. Now i do not. Instant Tea is a terrifying invention: like a Snuggie or paid parking. An abomination that should not exist, yet it does. Basically it’s tea that’s been ground up as if it was coffee then freeze dried to give it “crisp” taste that dissolves in water and “doesn’t require brewing.” Umm, if it doesn’t require brewing, it’s not tea.

Fifth, Sodium Hexametaphosophate (to protect flavor). In other words, a synthetic preservative. The amusing part here is that I’m really not sure what flavor is being preserved because it tastes pretty awful to me.

Sixth, “Natural flavor”.  That sounds trustworthy.

Seventh, Phosphoric acid. Another preservative, but a natural one. Why they couldn’t use that alone is beyond me.

Eighth, Sodium Benzoate (preserves freshness). A third preservative. >.>  Sodium Benzoate CAN occur naturally, but would be too expensive to use for mass bottling purposes.

Ninth, Carmel color. OMG. That slays me. If we didn’t dye it brown, with the synthetic additives it wouldn’t look anything at all like tea… or even drinkable?

Tenth, Acesulfame Potassium. I have absolutely no idea. Maybe it tastes like lemon so they can avoid needing to use actual lemon juice.

Eleventh, Calcium Diosodium EDTA (to protect flavor). Yes, a fourth preservative. Umm… why do we need this tea to be drinkable by archaeologists five thousand years from now? EDTA is also one of the most notoriously controversial preservatives still FDA approved for mass use. All right Pepsi, you win the crown for Evil Tea Empire.

Twelfth, sucralose. Gotta keep those chemicals from bonding donchaknow.

Thirteenth, Red 40.  Wait… why? Carmel coloring wasn’t enough dye for you? ^^;;

Caffeine content: 14mg/20 oz.  Actually I’m surprised there’s room for caffeine. Freeze dried tea usually has a lot more caffeine than this.


So after all that, what does it taste like? Syrupy sweet with a lemon zest (again, there’s no lemon in the ingredients). A little like other iced teas, but more so like Lipton hot tea with too much sweet and lo. Buh. If I’m going to poison myself, I expect there will at least be alcohol involved! I think we can officially crown Brisk as the worst tea ever. Well played, Pepsi.

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