Celestial Seasonings

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Recent Tasting Notes

85

I was talking to someone here on steepster about celestial seasonings made as iced teas. I just purchased a TON of tea, including some off amazon, so I decided to pick up a sample pack of celestial seasonings zinger teas (4 teabags each, 5 kinds of tea. the perfect amount for iced teas).

I just recently tried my first cold brew iced tea yesterday, so I decided to try this one cold brewed as well: Filled up my new 2L iced tea pitcher with cold water, placed the 4 tea bags in the water, then set it in the fridge.

All I can say is wow, I’m am VERY pleasantly surprised. I think I have tried a celestial seasonings tea before at my Mother In Laws place, but I didn’t have a good first impression because I think the box said “best before [5 years previous]”. I remember the tea tasting very cheap and, I think, stale.

After 1 hour of cold brewing, I took a sample of this tea. It was weak, but WOW you can definitely taste blueberry. I was shocked at how accurate the flavour was. I decided to let it brew for 1.5 hours more (2.5 hours total) and it was just perfect. SLIGHTLY tart and tangy from the hibiscus, with blueberry flavour afterwards. The slight tartness/tangyness doesn’t bother me at all because that IS the taste of wild blueberries. Awesome, and refreshing.

I must say, this is better than some loose leaf blends I have tried, yet this is approximately 1/4 of the price per pitcher (I have done the math: most DAVIDs tea iced teas cost about $3-4 per pitcher, this is $1-1.5). Plus, no cleaning filters since this is bagged tea! Lastly, did I mention that this tea apparently has no artificial flavoring? That’s better than what I can say for DAVIDs….

I absolutely recommend this tea, and I would totally repurchase.

EDIT: I have this fruit wine (Blueberry Shiraz) I made at the local brewery (it’s actually VERY sweet and closer to a cooler than wine by far) and mixed half tea, half fruit wine together to bring the sweetness down and to bring out more of the blueberry flavour. It’s awesome. Plus, the wine is about 12% and it brings down the alcohol level as well, which is good because it’s frickin hot in my apartment and I get dehydrated too easily.

Flavors: Blueberry, Tangy, Tart

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 66 OZ / 1951 ML

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70

This is not a loose leaf tea, it’s a Tea concentrate used for lattes. I got the bottled version of this and it greatly satisfied me. I tasted both the black tea and the espresso, with the spices liberally dominating the body. It’s almost like a spicy, pumpkin pie that you decide to have with coffee on the morning after thanks giving. I’m not usually a chai fan, but I like this one more because of the coffee. This is good hot or cold. As for the concentrate, you blend a small amount, whether be a few taplespoons or a quarter of a cup, with your milk of choice.
I’d recommend this more for a substitute to Starbucks bottles if you get any tired of those. Otherwise, it’s a coffee drinkers tea, and a latte coffee drinker at that. Also not something you’d go off for in a thorough taste evaluation.

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80

I am not a huge fan of chamomile, but I really like sleepy time teas from Celestial. Mom found this on discount at Big Lots, and got some for her and my brother. I’m drinking some it it was flavored just right. Grape, spearmint, blackberry, and herbaceous leafs are the taste, and the smell. The blackberry is blended as a background, and it certainly moves the grape along. It does not need any sweetener whatsoever.

Some people might be offended by the ingredients that include things like lecithen, especially with the inconsistent health risks of soy. But again, it tastes good, and it’s helping me sleep. It’s also satisfying my tea cravings, which are BAD and I’m resisting the urge to get some oolong or black tea right now…

Flavors: Blackberry, Grapes, Spearmint

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72

Very mild-tasting, gentle unassuming mint tea, is the general impression for this one. The taste of the chamomile is so subtly blended in, it’s more a whisper than an announcement.
I too am a member of the insomniac club, so welcome this as a nice go-to-bed cup. On the bland side, but one doesn’t want excitement before trying to sleep. I made a pot of it so that tonight’s will be at room temp, rather than hot. Nighty-night!

Flavors: Spearmint

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 50 OZ / 1478 ML

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70

Not the best Early Grey I’ve had and far from the worst. It’s above average, IMO. I like it better than Bigelow’s.

They are discontinuing it, though. Their website confirmed it.

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75

This is an odd tea. I liked this tea, but something about it is throwing my taste buds off. It’s a tad bit more fruity than I expected, but it is not overly sweet. I think I would have this tea again.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Fruity

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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70

On the high end of decent for me. The peppermint definitely is able to stand out more once a sweetener is added. Not amazing, but not bad for a run-of-the-mill store tea. If I’m going with mint, I prefer a Moroccan Mint.

Flavors: Peppermint

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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I’m kind of surprised I’ve haven’t tried this one yet, but I guess I tried the Mandarin Orange Spice first and liked it, and though this would be relatively similar so I didn’t bother trying this one. I’m glad I tried it this time. The tangerine and hibiscus made this quite different from the mandarin orange. I really, really like it. I can’t wait to try it iced!

Flavors: Citrus, Hibiscus, Orange, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I just put in another order for some of Celestial Seasoning’s Zinger teas. I really like them for iced tea, with just a bit of sweetener. I saw that they had added this one to the lineup, so I decided to give it a try. I really liked it! It’s exactly what I want from a Watermelon-Lime-Hibiscus tea. It has a strong Watermelon flavor that reminds me of Jolly Ranchers combined with a Hibiscus-Lime tartness.

Flavors: Hibiscus, Lime, Melon, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Kristal

I’ve been doing a lot of iced teas lately- perhaps it’s time for me to try a more inexpensive brand. Or different brands like this in general ;)

rosebudmelissa

If you like Hibiscus iced teas, definitely check out Celestial Seasonings; Zinger teas. They have several really nice ones with distinctive flavors. I like their True Blueberry (which tastes like grape to me), their Mandarin Orange Spice (Which is a non-hibiscus orange tea), and their Lemon Ginger as well for icing.

Kristal

Thanks for the tips! I’ll look around. I don’t really care for hibiscus but I’ve been mixing hibiscus teas with other lighter herbal teas which tends to cut the tartness well enough.

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61

Ok, and personally helps me. I don’t think that it will help everyone though.

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64

Lemon, mint and the green tea are the most dominant. Really gets me sleepy, but I prefer the original and tension tamer.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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71

Sleepy time also really helps me. My favorite thing about it is the blackberry leaves.

Flavors: Blackberry, Herbaceous, Medicinal, Spearmint

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

Fundementally, Bengal spice is a chai with a carob base instead of a Ceylon or Assam. This is one of the few chais that I would drink, but I get this one on discount. It’s tastes like a cross between a dirty chai (tea with espresso) and a fireball. Emphasis on the fireball candy angle, the smell can be almost overwhelming. I think they over saturate the flavor of the tea, but I still drink it on it’s own or with cream or milk and sugar or honey. I’d give this to a friend who I know likes a strong fireball taste, but not to a tea drinker.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Espresso, Licorice, Vanilla

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81

In winter, I brew it hot with a lid or plate on top; in summer I brew it 3 bags to 2 cups for 15 minutes and pour it over ice.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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57

This smells only of cherry to me. The color of the liquid is a very dark and opaque berry red. Maybe something like a black raspberry. The flavor is tart and all cherries.

Flavors: Cherry, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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57

This smells like cherry Kool-Aid during the steep, but there is also something else that reminds me of the Teeccino herbal blends. Maybe it’s the roast chicory? I’m not sure, but the aroma also brings to mind chocolate and is reminiscent of a cherry-flavored Tootsie Pop. I really love the way this smells.

The color of the liquid is a dark burgundy red. It’s tart and a bit astringent but I think it’s probably meant to be since it’s cherry-flavored. I’m not sure I like the taste as much as I like the smell though, unfortunately.

Flavors: Astringent, Candy, Cherry, Chocolate, Tart

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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56

My husband and I planted some fruit trees in our backyard last year, among them a single peach tree. It was the smallest of the bunch but has now grown to be at least 8 feet tall. The branches still aren’t strong enough yet to hold many peaches so at the beginning of the season I had to pick off each little baby peach. There must have been at least 75 and let me tell you – it was painful. Some time passed and I happily realized that three of the baby peaches had kept themselves hidden from me, sneakily tucked away behind some large leaves. By then, they were just too big to pick so we decided to let these three grow. Well, yesterday they were ripe enough to eat and oh were they good. Dark red in the center, almost as dark in some places as a ripe red plum. We snuck a few bites and put the rest in the freezer for safekeeping. Perhaps there will be a small pie in the near future. Or some blueberry – peach jam. Who knows? I do know we will enjoy them fully, whatever we decide. To honor our sweet little peaches, I’m having a cup of peach tea this morning. I hope this lives up to its name.

This tea smells like peaches while steeping but I’m not tasting them at all in the resulting liquid. It actually tastes to me like Peruvian Inca Kola a little bit, though not nearly as good. I think Inca Kola is made with lemon verbena so maybe there is some of that here? Not sure, but I do know that there isn’t enough flavor here for me. It’s also a little bitter and a little weak which is unfortunate. It’s too bad. This really could be so much better.

Flavors: Bitter, Peach

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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76

This tea has been discontinued. I was just starting to get into chai when I discovered this one. I used to make a blended pot, combining this tea with a ‘sister’ blend, CS’ Vanilla Ginger Green Tea. I wanted a flavor which evened out the over-sweetness of this one; the other added more ‘kick’. Milk and honey were perfect in this. As with the other, I’m sorry it’s no longer available. But I’ll recommend it anyway.

Flavors: Honey, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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74

Another tea that has been discontinued. I was just starting to get into chai when I discovered this one. I used to make a blended pot, combining this tea with a ‘sister’ blend, CS’ Honey Vanilla White Tea. I wanted less caffeine, and also a flavor which evened out the spikiness of this one, with its strong ginger surge at the end. I loved adding honey and milk to this. Sorry I can’t get it anymore. I’ll click the ‘recommend’, even though it’s no longer available.

Flavors: Ginger, Honey, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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56

Like others here, I was summoned to buy this tea by Merlin on its box. Alas, that was where the magic ended. This is a pedestrian tea. It’s not bad for evenings, due to lack of caffeine and mildness on the stomach. It steeps to a light brown, due no doubt to the chicory, which I couldn’t taste. I couldn’t really taste the cinnamon or orange peel, either. As much as I enjoy the wizardly art on the box, I don’t think I’ll be buying this one again.

Flavors: Peppermint, Spearmint, Straw, Wet Wood

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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