Reviewer: Tchuggin' Okie
✓ 70 teas reviewed
✓ 3 of Wellness Tea / Medicinal Tea
✓ 3 of Teekanne
✓ 36 from ?????
Review of Multi-vitamin Fruit Tea
April 19th, 2017
Teekanne seems to revel in fruity herbals, based on their variety of offerings in this arena; however, as of this writing, I can't find this specific blend on their company site. Instead you'll see it in German food stores (where I got it) and online (Amazon, GermanDeli, etc.).
As with the other Teekanne fruit tea I've tried so far, the aroma was almost absent in-bag and in water, but the taste was not weak at all. Curiously, the poured color changed during steeping from a slatey gray-green to a deep, maroon-brown tone. The base concoction is a fairly pleasantly flavored, sweet, suitably fruity blend of many of the same ingredients in their pomegranate-flavored tea I already reviewed, but without the pomegranate flavor. It contains hibiscus, rosehip, apple, orange peel, berry flavor, bilberries, blackcurrant, and elderberries, rendering a brew that reminds me of "a nice Hawaiian Punch". As with the others, it should make a decent iced beverage or fairly safe intro to herbal teas for kids.
However, I definitely noticed the flavor of the added vitamins, and I don't think it was just the power of suggestion. It tasted like a nice fruit tea but with the faintly rubbery or metallic taste of about half a crushed-up Flintstones multivitamin stirred in. Those who nibbled down a fair share of chewable vitamins as a kid will know what I mean. My question about this tea is: what proportion of the stated vitamin dosage actually brews out into the water? Or put another way: Is the labeled amount of each vitamin valid for the dry tea or a brew of some particular duration? Long steeping times almost surely will max out that potential.
Perhaps the best use of this tea is to get some vitamins into a kid (or adult) who likes to drink fruity beverages, but who doesn't like (or can't have) the big loads of sugar so common to the latter. They use vitamin C, niacin, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, vitamin B1, folic acid, biotin, and vitamin B12.
|Alex Zorach wrote:|
on April 19th, 2017
Haha, I know exactly what you mean about those Flintstones multi-vitamins. They definitely have a distinctive taste, and I think rubbery and metallic is a good way of describing it. It's funny, I actually really liked the flavor of those as a kid.
I've come to be very skeptical of vitamin supplementation though, personally. The more I learned about biochemistry and nutrition, the more skeptical I got. The whole idea of a "vitamin" is a bit of a social construct...often with a political process. So like, "Vitamin A" includes diverse groups of carotenoids (not all of them), as well as retinol, "folic acid" is the "free form" of folate, and then there are a wide variety of more complex forms. And then there are minerals, which are often added in "free form" like various metal salts that are readily soluble, rather than the complexly-bound-up ways they occur in whole, natural foods. Legally, a company can list all the same things under one entry, and the label thus does not distinguish between foods that have been supplemented with the "free form" of a nutrient, vs. ones that have the nutrient bound up in the foods in ways that are more natural.
I think that whether a given nutrient is in free form or bound up in a natural way, is important because it affects how quickly that nutrient is released into the body. This can affect the digestive tract and with some nutrients (like sugar) it can put stress on the body if it is absorbed too fast, like this is why refined carbs are generally worse for things like Type II Diabetes. I don't know if this is an issue for other nutrients as well, but given what I know about biology and how the body works, I'm wary of it.
I also have some personal experience that reinforces this. Somewhere along the line, I realized that I would feel bad, usually experiencing stomach cramping and a general feeling of moderate to mild discomfort, after taking any multivitamin containing with iron. I researched this and found that supplementation with free iron can cause a bacterial bloom in the digestive tract, because the bacteria are often limited by iron.
Around this time I also noticed that some countries had much lower limits of allowable supplementation for breakfast cereals. I noticed that many of the breakfast cereals I had been eating were supplemented with iron...and I stopped eating them and started seeking out unfortified cereals, things like plain shredded mini-wheats, or just plain oatmeal. I noticed I felt dramatically better after eating these cereals, and I was like, gosh, what have I been doing to my body all these years?
This whole experience was part of an ongoing process in which I started moving away from processed foods and towards whole, natural foods.
I am not sure whether all supplementation or fortification of foods is bad, but I know that I have become very skeptical of fortification / supplementation. I still drink Vitamin D fortified milk and occasionally baked goods made with enriched flour, but when possible I seek out the whole, natural forms of things, and I think overall I feel much healthier than when I used to eat more of these processed and fortified foods.
So because of all of this (wow this was a long comment!) I avoid any sort of vitamin- or extract- fortified tea.
|Tchuggin' Okie wrote:|
on April 20th, 2017
No worries about the length of the comment, Alex--as you can tell from a few of my review stories, I'm the last person justified to impugn anybody else's verbosity. :-)
As for the multi-vitamins, I haven't had the same upsetting experiences as you with enriched cereals and multivitamin pills, but have read much the same about the potential for better results with the nutrients "bound up" in their foods of origin, versus freely absorbed. I only take fish oil as a dietary supplement these days, but probably will drink an occasional cup of this tea or (when in a hurry) a beverage like Ensure just to cover any gaps from what gradually is becoming a less-processed diet too.