Tea is supposed to have quite a range of health benefits, from weight loss, cancer prevention, and hair health, to skin care and wrinkle prevention. Some vendors take advantage of such claims by packaging their teas as products targeting these conditions and charging exorbitant prices. But you, the careful shopper, can get those tea benefits for less money if you do a bit of shopping around.
Not long ago, I received a couple of samples of tea from a company promoting them as good for improving one’s skin. The astounding thing was that the teas were fairly commonly available. One was gunpowder green tea, not exactly hard to find, and no it didn’t have any “secret ingredient” added that made it more effective than other versions of that tea. It was, however, priced at four and a half times more per ounce than a gunpowder tea sold by a regular tea vendor as just tea, not part of a skin treatment program.
This kind of thing goes on all the time. As a painter, I learned long ago to get some supplies at a hardware store, not at the local art supply store. Turpentine, brush holders, cleaning cloths, and even containers for rinsing out the brushes were all much less at the hardware store.
Lest you think I am chastising the skincare tea vendor or the art supply store, I have to point out that I am a firm believer in “buyer beware.” Do your homework. Stores can charge whatever they choose, but you don’t have to buy. Just shop around and find someone who is selling the same thing but without the hype and/or fancy packaging.
While you’re at it, shop smart for your tea. I find that some “brand name teas” can be quite expensive for a tea as simple and commonly available as Irish Breakfast. I recently purchased a 1.75 ounce package of this type of tea and paid almost $6 with tax, or $3.42 per ounce. A similar tea of almost identical quality is available for $4 plus tax for a 4-ounce package, around $1.00 per ounce. In these tough economic times or if you are just frugal like me, getting your tea and all of its benefits for less money is a very good thing!
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