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4C Totally Light Lemon Iced Tea Drink Mix Review

Updated Review Date: 06/13/2017
Original Review Date: 07/20/2011

         4C has quite an extensive lineup of sugar free drink mixes available in the "Totally Light" product family and today we're looking at their classic lemon iced tea drink mix. From the get-go this product has some winning features for diabetics or anyone watching their sugar intake. Those features include 100% of the USRDA for Vitamin C, zero carbs, zero sugar, no sodium and an excellent overall value. However, the tea is mild with not much of a bite, but still is tasty nonetheless. Sugar free 4C Totally Light Lemon Iced Tea is readily available at Amazon. The product comes in a variety of sizes with the most popular being small and large boxes of "Tea 2 Go" packets, each of which flavors one 16 to 20 oz. bottle of water. The 14 or 16-quart boxed version of 4C lemon iced tea contains multiple 2-quart packets per box and the 14-quart canister versions with 2-quart mini-tubs are also still available for the time being. A liquid concentrate is also available, which will soon be reviewed separately. I have not yet seen a scoopable version of this particular product. It should also be noted that with 4C products you get considerably more per package than you do with the competition, and it's the same price or a bit cheaper as well, especially if bought in some form of a bulk pack. Decaffeinated 4C Totally Light Lemon Iced Tea is also available for caffeine sensitive iced tea drinkers.
         Let's go ahead and find out how this iced tea from 4C stacks up against some of the other iced teas on the market.

Nutrition Information for 4C Totally Light Lemon Iced Tea Drink Mix

Each 8 ounces of prepared 4C Totally Light Lemon Iced Tea, regardless of packaging type, has the following nutrition values:

Calories: 0
Sodium: 0mg
Sugars: 0g
Carbohydrates: 0g
Vitamin C: 100%
Caffeine: 9mg

Ingredients of 4C Totally Light Lemon Iced Tea Sugar Free Drink Mix

Instant Tea, Citric Acid, Maltodextrin, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Gum Arabic, Caramel Color, Acesulfame Potassium, Natural Lemon Flavor, Sucralose, Red #40.

The Scorecard for 4C Totally Light Lemon Iced Tea Sugar Free Drink Mix

Based on the four point rating system, with 1 point for each category, this is how 4C Totally Light Lemon Iced Tea scores:

Taste: The taste is good but very mild at the same time. There is a definite tea taste but it does lack the typical "bite" of regular iced teas. Despite this deficiency, the taste that is there is good and the lemon flavor helps save this tea from being too mild. Also, there was no detectable aftertaste for the 2 other taste testers or me since 4C uses a sucralose and acesulfame-K sweetener combination in the sugar free Totally Light product line. Because the taste deficiency is noticeable and isn't labeled as such, there is a .5 point deduction and for the Taste category. This lower score on taste doesn't mean this product isn't worth your time; it means that if the tea is going to be a mild version it should be labeled that way. (+.5)

Packaging Waste: The packaging is not excessive for the 14 quart canisters with mini-tubs but there is some packaging waste with the Tea 2 Go packets and the newer style 14 and 16-quart boxes of 2-quart packets. The canisters with mini-tubs use #5 plastic for the exterior package and #2 plastic tubs with foil lids to hold the drink mix, all of which are recyclable. The Tea 2 Go packaging uses fully recyclable cardboard for the exterior but uses unnumbered plastic-foil pouches for the drink mix which might not be recyclable in your area. (+1 for the canister packs, +.5 for the Tea 2 Go packets and the newer style 14 or 16-quart boxes of 2-quart packets.)

Value: There's excellent value with this sugar free 4C Lemon Iced Tea mix, just as there is with all other drink mix flavors from 4C. For the same price as the competition you get a 14 quart canister instead of a standard 12 quart canister and if you're into the "Tea 2 Go" packets you'll get 20 packets per box instead of 10 or 12 like you do from competing brands. The value is good enough to add a quarter-point bonus to the already top score in this category. (+1.25)

Health Factor: I see nothing suspect in the ingredients at all. The choice of sweeteners (sucralose and Ace-K) is a smart one since it allows anyone to use the product including Phenylketonurics. There are only two colorings and the natural gum arabic (acacia) is very safe with a long history of use in the food industry. There's a good dose of Vitamin C but no sugar, sodium, carbs or calories to speak of. Overall there is nothing preventing 4CTotally Light Lemon Iced Tea from achieving a perfect score for the Health Factor. (+1)

Overall Rating: 3.75 out 4 for the canisters with tubs and 3.25 out of 4 for the Tea to Go packets and newer style 14 or 16-quart packages when we figure in the quarter-point bonus for the exceptional value. Bottom line: If you like a really mild iced tea with a bit of lemon flavor then 4C Totally Light Lemon Iced Tea is a perfect choice for you, but if you like a more robust iced tea then you might want to look at some of the other iced tea reviews I've posted on the site. Overall it's still a good product that mild tea lovers will certainly enjoy.

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