Celestial Seasonings

Recent Tasting Notes

2

Another one I found in the previously mentioned Big Tins of Mystery! It was out of a Celestial Seasonings sampler pack that a former friend (we fell out, probably for the best) once sent me for my birthday along with a few other things from CS. I remember being quite taken by the boxes. Pretty pictures. They had actually made an effort on decoration. I wasn’t particularly interested in the actual contents though, which I found disappointing on account of 75% of them being herbals. I don’t care about tisanes. They are not tea and they are not interesting. (And many of them aren’t that well tasting either) Oh and FYI as a personal little peeve, rooibos falls under this category. It is not tea.

Anyway, berries! I like berries, so while I haven’t bothered to look at the ingredients, I’m feeling semi-confident. I mean if I only have one bag out of a whole sampler pack left, then surely the others must have been used up, right? And if I didn’t like them, there would have been more than one left, right?

It smells like… sweets. Not particularly fruity to be honest. Rather more synthetic and very very sweet. I do notice though that it gets a highly suspicious bright red colour while steeping. This is worrying. I have some very bad experiences with that particular colour. I haven’t even tasted it yet and already I’ve poured the rest of the water into a small pot to heat it up and the kettle on with water for a pot of emergency Lapsang Souchong if I’m right.

Okay. Here goes. takes deep breath and summons all reserves of courage

Ack! Yuck! Spitty!

I was right about that bright red colour. It tattles about the presence of the dreaded hibiscus. That stuff seems to be in just about everything and I just can’t get it down. To me it has a dreadful metallic sort of taste that reminds me most of all of blood. No thank you, says I.

It’s a mystery though that there was only this one bag left. I must have traded the others, but why did I keep one?

Jillian

Temporary insanity maybe? ;p

Yeah, I hate when the company ruins a perfectly good fruit tea/tisane by adding a ton of hibiscus. For future reference any of the CS teas with ‘Zinger’ in the title all have enormous amount of hibiscus in them. Bleh.

Angrboda

Yeah, my infatuation with CS doesn’t stretch any further than their box design. I’ve never been tempted to get any of it now that in later years it’s been available in supermarkets over here. This was a reminder as to why.
(That goes to show how ancient my teabag here was. When I recieved it, CS was only available here in an extremely limited selection at an extremely limited number of places)

Jillian

Well their Christmas teas aren’t bad at all I’ve found, although that might just be nostalgia talking. ;)

Carolyn

I used to love Celestial Seasonings. I grew up with the back when they were teeny, tiny herb company in my home state of Colorado. I used to adore Pelican Punch, which was a tea aimed at children that had vanilla, mint, carob, fenugreek and some other herbs in it. I missed it so much that when we went on a tour of Celestial Seasonings a few years ago, I begged them to bring it back. They offered Red Zinger instead which is totally NOT the same.

Real tea in my house growing up was Lipton’s tea bags steeped forever until the tea was terribly bitter. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered how magical and non-bitter real tea could be if it was made correctly.

TeaEqualsBliss

I agree with your negative ratings on this one…I didn’t like it either!

teaplz

I haven’t had this one, but I’m not a fan of the hibiscus invasion into every single fruit tea I see! The other day, when I tried a Tazo African Red Bush, there was the dreaded hibiscus! Is it really necessary?

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81

The only tea I’ve ever had where black pepper was an ingredient. This is Super Chai and goes very well with dessert or Asian food, especailly curry. As noted before, it can be overpowering if you drink more than one cup a day because the mouth will start to burn.

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77

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 30 sec

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23

This is a neat idea, ‘cool brew’ ice tea. I’m often without a handy hot water source when I’m at work or at school, so when I saw these I wanted to try it out immediately.

It’s OK. I mean, for $5 a box I’m not expecting the same quality from Teavana or high-end tea brands, and I figure some flavor has to be sacrificed for the convenience of brewing without hot water. The black tea is pretty weak, naturally, just a basic orange pekoe made from low grade tea leaves. The peach tastes OK for the first steep, sort’ve sweet-and-not-quite-peachy-but-a-nice-addition-to-weak-tea, but if you try to use the teabag again the peachiness disappears and it’s replaced with the definitive flavor of orange peels. Turns out that’s the third ingredient listed :-p

Not bad for the price, and the convenience is nice. But not a favorite by any means.

JMKauftheil

A lot of teas can actually be cold brewed, it just takes a lot longer, usually. Of course, you’d probably still be using the lower quality teas, because broken leaves leech out more quickly, and there’s not much quality to be drawn from them with properly tempered water anyway.
As of such, cold brew is a good way to get rid of teas that refuse to steep well in hot water. I know I have to do that from time to time.

Hope this helps!

Suzi

I’ve tried cold-brewing a couple of different teas before, but like you said, it takes a lot longer, and I’m definitely an impatient sort. :-p But it might be worth trying, since I have sooo much tea and unreliable access to hot water!

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21

It smells like blackraspberries, but it doesn’t taste like them. Maybe too much hibiscus, but it’s too soapy, perfumey, whatever for me

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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97

I initially avoided this tea, thinking it would be like Celestial Seasoning’s “Blow Your Head Off” Peppermint. But I read Jillian’s suggestion to try this tea. I’m so glad I did. It’s now become one of the daily after dinner teas Mom and I drink. It’s sweet, minty, doesn’t rev you up and soothes the digestive tract. Thanks again, Jillian.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

Last night, I was coming back from a concert and getting ready to go to my fiance’s when my neighbors verbally harassed me. They’ve been loud and smoking right outside my door all year, and I’ve asked them several times to smoke farther away. Well, I’d had the last straw, and I broke down at my fiance’s. When I’m stressed, I like sugar, or something else that I like to comfort me. He consoled me, and then without asking, my fiance prepared a cup of this tea with a bit of sugar and he helped me calm down and think things through. The tea with the packet of sugar was just the right amount of sweetness for me—probably a little too sweet for most, but I love sugar—and the blueberry was really comforting. The best cups of tea are the ones prepared with meaning and which really lift your spirits.
Oh, and I talked to the RA on duty today. Hopefully, having Res Life step in won’t aggravate the situation, but at least I’m protected by the system. Meanwhile, I’m arming myself with proof and violated codes.

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85

Smelled and tasted quite like blueberry to me. I wanted something sweet when I was looking at teas at the store. This one could use a touch of sugar, but otherwise hit the spot.

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84

A Co-Worker brought this in to try and fetched me a cup of hot water and i set it to steeping, I forgot about it for a while(10 minutes or so) and when i got around to adding in a little honey, it was a very tasty tea, i liked how strong and tasty it was.

It tasted slightly yeasty, with hints of licorice, and was very nice even when it cooled off, I bet it would be very tasty as an iced tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more
Cofftea

My fiance has a lot of frequent stomach problems and absolutely LOVES this one both hot and iced.

Azure Luna

i admit i did taste a hint of licorice too but forgot it in my blog till I read yours

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86

Really great smooth and light taste from the white tea. Well balanced between lemon and orange. Great morning tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
rabbysmom

This was in my hands, but I chose the regular green tea instead because I wasn’t sure about the citrus notes. Are they strong? Thanks!

enepze

No not at all

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65

This one I know I got from TeaEqualsBliss! :D

It’s an okay tea/tisane but I’m pretty much of the same opinion of it that I was before – too much hibiscus is wrecking what might otherwise be a great-tasting tea. Sometimes I think Celestial Seasonings should be dragged out and shot for crimes against discerning tea lovers. ;)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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65

After some careful sniffing I think I might be smelling mango while the tea is steeping unfortunately that’s about the only time I can detect it. I reduced the steeping time by a minute from last time, but unfortunately the tartness of the hibiscus didn’t decrease proportionally. I finally resorted to adding a teaspoon or so of honey which toned things down somewhat. When it’s sweetend like this the acai flavouring is actually quite distinct.

So out of all of CS’s Zinger teas that I’ve tried this one is probably my favorite, although, given my loathing for hibiscus, it might be more accurate to say that it’s the one I hate the least. ;)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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65

This tea brews up a beautiful deep red colour and it smells like hot fruit punch!

As for taste I hate to say it but it’s quite similar to every other ‘tart’ tea out there where the flavour is dominated by the hibiscus. It isn’t nearly as bad as in some teas (Stash I’m looking at you guys) and I am getting faint notes of other fruits so I’m willing to give this one points for that. Definitely nothing recognizable as mango though, although I might try less steeping next time and see if that alters the flavours at all.

On an unrelated note: Artichoke Green Tea?! What the hell Adagio?!?!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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22

I think I like it only out of nostalgia

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec
Andriel

Just a thought: you might like it better if you didn’t steep it so long. It tends to get bitter after a while.

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34

not bad but pretty generic with little to no body – I like green teas a little more smokey.

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100

Candy Cane Lane is an absolute favorite! I love that it’s green tea based, and it’s minty with a hint of vanilla. I think it’s the vanilla that makes it so soothing. The icy coolness of the mint and the warmness of the vanilla combine to make this a spectacular tea, all year round! I love it so much, that I stock up at the holidays so that I can enjoy this every month.

Also, as a bonus-check out JASON’s hand & body lotion infused with Candy Cane Lane. A very special treat.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Jillian

Sweet, another fan of this tea! :D

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68

I have tried this tea 2 times and it was good though I think I over brewed it both times.

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76

Getting down to the last handful of bags of this blend, and it’s making me sad! I have to be in the right mood for it, but when I am it really hits the spot. Maybe I’ll write a letter to the people at Celestial Seasonings and ask if there’s a chance in hell they’ll ever bring it back… it’s really the only tea of theirs I’ve ever liked enough to repurchase (okay, besides Tension Tamer, but I don’t drink that for the taste!). This morning’s cup was lovely!

Preparation
4 min, 15 sec

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76

Slowly making my way through the last few bags of this blend… I wasn’t able to find it again in stores (I had a futile hope that it might reappear for the holidays), so I assume when it’s gone it’s gone! I drink it sparingly but there are only about 5 bags left! It’s sad that Celestial Seasonings has a blend that I like enough to repurchase (rare for me—I generally don’t love their teas), and it won’t be around for me to do so.

Preparation
4 min, 30 sec
Meghann M

This sounds tasty, maybe it will come back for Valentine’s Day?

Alannah

I don’t think so, since it says discontinued. The seasonal teas (like the holiday line) still show up on the site all year, as far as I know. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for it but I’ve kind of lost hope that I’ll be able to buy more!

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76

Even though I don’t necessarily think this is the greatest tea in general, every time I drink it I appreciate the uniqueness of it. It’s just really nice to have something so different once in a while. I steeped it for a long time today and there was no bitterness or weird strong notes… just decent fruity black tea with a background of rose and tiniest hint of vanilla.

Preparation
6 min, 0 sec
Jaime

May I ask where you found this tea at? I’ve been looking everywhere for it, and can’t find it anywhere near me.

Alannah

I got it at the very end of last year so I’m not sure if it’s seasonal or not (the box design has a kind of “gift box” design on it too), but I got it at a market called Sprouts here in Colorado. I don’t know if Sprouts is a big chain but it’s kind of like a much smaller Whole Foods/Sunflower Market type place.

Jaime

I’ve never heard of Sprouts, but will google and see if one’s anywhere near me. I’ll keep looking for it; I may have to cave and make an online order.

Jaime

Oh, and thanks for the info!

Alannah

I hope you can find it… I will be looking for another box myself in another month or two, and if I see it here I can easily pick one up for you! Let me know if you have any luck!

Jaime

Thank you so much!! That’s so great of you.

Alannah

I went and looked today, and they didn’t have any… I will start looking more frequently toward the holidays though! No problem, I am curious if it will reappear too!

Jaime

I was just going to purchase from CS’s website…it’s been discontinued.

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76

I’m getting toward the end of my current stash of this blend, and I’ve still got a fair amount left but I think I’ll miss this one when it’s all gone! I’ve been keeping an eye out in local stores to see if I could buy more if I wanted to, and I haven’t seen it anywhere. I think I bought it right after the holidays, and I got the last box and have never seen it since. Ah well, even if I never get more, it has been one of the only CS teas I’ve cared for and it’s one of the more unusual “big name brand” blends I’ve ever tried, so I’m glad I had the chance to enjoy it!

Preparation
4 min, 30 sec
mpierce87

I wonder if it is one of their seasonal collection teas. I missed out on picking up several of those last year (Sugar Cookie and the like) and now I have to wait until the holidays again. I hope you find your tea again this year!

Alannah

I’m not sure if it’s seasonal or not—maybe just a limited release? I live in Colorado so I see those holiday teas in stores for a good few months after the new year… I should start buying extras for people like you who want them partway through the year! I used to drink a lot of Nutcracker Sweet, but they seem to have changed the blend a bit and it isn’t as good any more. I also occasionally enjoy the Candy Cane Lane blend from time to time.

mpierce87

Yeah, I was so bummed about the seasonal ones this year. I was just getting into tea and I saw them at the store but didn’t go for it. By the next time I went to the store I had read lots of great things concerning them and was determined to pick some up…but alas, I was not successful. I am definitely stocking up this year though!

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