Thursday, August 9, 2012

Packaged Loose-Leaf Tea in an Indian Store: Lipton Yellow Label, Brooke Bond, and More

Recently I wrote about a Lipton Tea display in the Supreme Shop n Bag grocery store in West Philadelphia. One block east of this store is a small Indian grocery store, officially called "International Foods and Spices", but known by most people in the neighborhood as "The Indian Store on Walnut", distinguishing it from a similar store one block away on Chestnut street. (I love multiculturalism!)

Unlike the supermarket, the Indian store sells primarily loose-leaf tea, although it also carries some tea bags. It was hard for me to take one photograph that shows the whole of this store's selection, because it was rather spread out, so here's just a brief snapshot that shows only a small part of it, but gives you a general idea:

Reflecting the heavy influence of British culture on India, particularly Indian tea culture, there are numerous British brands represented here. Yorkshire Tea, PG Tips, and Brooke Bond are all represented, but there are quite a few others. There is single-origin Darjeeling and Ceylon tea available as well. Most of the tea sold here is straight black tea.

Lipton Yellow Label:

Lipton Yellow Label tea amuses me slightly, since the mainstream, generic "black tea" marketed throughout the U.S. also has a yellow label, but it tends to never be explicitly named this way. For some reasons, Lipton Tea imported from outside the U.S. often bears this name explicitly.

I have yet to try this tea, so I can't say if it is the same as the tea sold in the tea bags in the U.S. or not. I have been told that it is higher-quality.

Brooke Bond:

Brooke Bond is a particularly interesting brand to me. Most Americans do not know this, but Brooke Bond was originally a tea company of its own, and was the originator of the PG Tips brand. In time, the PG Tips brand soared to great popularity, and Brooke Bond's own brand of tea eventually fell out of popularity and was discontinued in most Western markets. Both brands are now owned by Unilever.

In many non-Western markets, however, including India and Pakistan, the Brooke Bond brand of tea is still not only strong but dominant. The Indian store mentioned above imports Brooke Bond tea, as it is not directly distributed in the U.S.

More to be said later perhaps...

There is a lot more to be said about this particular store's tea selection, but I will save it for a later date.

Have you tried Brooke Bond tea? Have you tried the "Lipton Yellow Label" tea imported from outside the U.S.? For those of you overseas, in which locations is Lipton Yellow Label sold as such, and, have you had the opportunity to try it to see if it is the same blend sold in the U.S. or if it is a different tea entirely?


  1. I think the Yellow lable is definitely different from the US one. It is better, but that's not saying a lot. The best of the Lipton yellow labels is bagged and sold in a very few Chinese markets. It is almost full leave and is wonderful tea. I got some in a swap once and have never seen it since.