When I was in the grocery store today, I saw Tearrow's sugarless tea gum for sale, with "Natural Tea Flavor" and all. Five sticks of gum for 99 cents, heck you can't get anything for 99 cents anymore, so I bought 'em--and at about the same price as a cup of home brewed tea.
I'm chewing on the Oolong Tea flavor, and it still has a surprising amount of tea flavor after chewing for 10 minutes or so. It is sweet, and the tea taste is quite pleasant and actually tastes like tea. I would wager it's a Dong Ding oolong, tasting like what I've had served at Chinese restaurants here in the states. Floral and not at all bitter. Yum!
I'm curious to try the Black Tea flavor... let me give it a go. Hmm, the stick of gum is green, just like the oolong flavor, maybe a tad darker. Wow, this is sweet! Much more of a honey taste. Although, I can't really taste any tea at all.
Here are the ingredients of both gums, if you're curious: sorbitol, gum base, mannitol, tea powder, xylitol, natural flavorings. The various "tol's" are the sugarless sweeteners--that stuff they make out of sugar, but complexify it chemically so that the body can't break it down. That means no calories, and while Splenda and other calorie-free sugar substitutes claim that they simply pass undigested through the body, the headaches they have given me make me suspect that they aren't at all good for me.
Not that I pretend to resolve the sugar substitute debate here, but its synthetic nature alone is enough to go against Tearrow's own claim to why their gum is so healthy: "It's a bit cliche but the fact is 'we are what we eat'. We are the sum total of the good that we do (or fail to do) for ourselves. All of our body systems, our vital organs and the entire miracle of the healing process are entirely dependent on the living, bio-chemical integration between ourselves and nature."
This gum was tasty, and satisfies my sweet tooth, but on most days... I think I'll stick with drinking tea!