Monday, February 18, 2013

Presto change-o, Tazo

Tazo Awake was an esteemed brand in our chambers (read kitchen, living room, study). The tea was recently repackaged as Tazo Awake English Breakfast, or as the box would have it, “awake english breakfast.” The 2.0 packaging lacks the Indian design elements and dowdy typography of the old, but it’s acceptable. The problem is that what’s inside has changed. Awake English Breakfast is not Awake.

I’m offering that assertion as a fact, even after calling Tazo and hearing a friendly fellow tell me — after putting me on hold to check — that the Awake blend has remained the same. It hasn’t. The old Awake was a distinctive tea: its instantly recognizable flavor came from a blend of Assam and Ceylon leaves. Awake English Breakfast tastes like any other English Breakfast tea. It’s an adequate black tea. But there’s nothing distinctive about it, and there’s no reason to continue to pay more for it.

My tea-drinking wife Elaine also notices the difference. And we are not alone: of the thirteen reviews on this Tazo page, eleven note that the tea has changed for the worse. As for the other two reviews, one appears to be of the old Awake, and one appears to be from a tea-drinker who is unaware of the change.

Tazo, if you’re reading, please bring back the old Awake. If Coca-Cola can own up to a mistake, you can too.


February 20: An e-mail from Tazo says that the blend remains unchanged. But it just ain’t so.

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comments: 2

Unknown said...

Thanks, Michael. My thoughts exactly! My Tazo dilemma actually started a couple of years ago when they changed the Iced Black Tea. I switched to Awake then, and now they've changed it too. The new Awake lacks substantial flavor, and tastes remarkably like dishwater. Sad, sad. I was a loyal Tazo customer for years. Now I'm looking for a replacement. What brand are you and the missus drinking now? I've tried a couple but nothing comes close. I'm considering blending my own. Thoughts?? Also, I wonder why the denial on the change from Tazo. It is beyond obvious that it isn't just the packaging that has changed.

Michael Leddy said...

Our everyday tea is Red Rose Irish Breakfast. We prefer it to Twinings.

Tazo’s review page continues to accumulate reviews that comment (unhappily) on the change. I imagine that they’re intent on making a cheaper product for a less discerning consumer.