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Celestial Seasonings

Recent Tasting Notes

76

Tea of the afternoon here… planning to take it easy for the day since the Aleve regime the Dr. has put me on is making me totally nauseous. Not fun when you have to make a choice between being in pain or feeling sick to your stomach.

Anyway rooibos does seem to be good for settling the tummy and this is a good bagged tisane to have for that purpose. It doesn’t have a lot of funky flavors, just the nice creamy vanilla. Good with a splash of soymilk today. I think I’ll need to keep a box of this on hand.

TeaKlutz

Can’t win, eh? I’m sorry you’re not feeling well. I’ve never tried rooibos with nausea, I’ll have to give it a go next time round. Feel better soon!

CHAroma

Hope you feel better soon!

TeaBrat

Thanks guys, I hope to stop complaining soon :)

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88

This tea tastes just like a Sugar Cookie. It has the butteriness of a sugar cookie. The citrus pulls this tea together. I have a cup of this at least twice a week. It is very weak with just one bag so I use 2.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Orange Zest, Vanilla

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 7 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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71

I drank three very good green teas all day long, with multiple satisyfing infusions. For the final brew of the night, I decided that I needed to switch gears, having consumed not a single flavored tea—hard to believe though it might seem. Of course, I needed to sleep, too, so I opted for Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Vanilla, a pleasant and simple to prepare herbal vanilla tea. I do need to make sure that I get my RDA of vanilla!!!

Bonne nuit!

Flavors: Vanilla

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68

This is not the worst I have ever had, but I am not impressed. I am grateful that it tastes almost like its supposed to, but it has a candy after taste. Reminds me of lemon heads. The color freaked me out a little though…

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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91

MissB is a star! I have been equipped with no less than four boxes of this one AND a myriad of other samples. I counted them. There were nineteen different teas in the box. Nineteen! Many of them are herbals, so I’ve got a lot of choice in my Before Bed Beverage now. (As has Husband, of course. I’m not that selfish) Some of them are from companies I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of before. How exciting!

So, yes, this is intended as a Before Bed Beverage, but as I’m writing this it’s only actually mid afternoon. I just couldn’t wait. I have high hopes of this one. I’ve come to be quite fond of the normal Sleepytime before bed, so in my mind adding vanilla to that couldn’t possibly go wrong. The worst that could happen, that I can think of anyway, is that I can’t actually find the vanilla in it at all, leaving me with something that tastes much like regular Sleepytime and then… what have I lost, really? Not much, the way I see it.

Well, I can detect the vanilla in the aroma, definitely. It’s rather peculiar, because it depends on how close I put my nose to the cup. I do have a bit of a cold, but my nose isn’t completely incapacitated at this stage (and I hope it stays that way!), so I can still smell things. If I put my nose close to the cup, I can pretty much only smell mint. If, however, I’m sitting normally upright with the cup in front of me letting the steam waft up past my face, it’s all sweet and vanilla-y. It’s almost as if the mint is a heavier scent and doesn’t make it all the way up to my face. I’ve never noticed this happening before. Isn’t that odd?

I tend to like steeping Sleepytime for a pretty long time so I’ve done that with this as well. It must have got at least six or seven minutes I think. Now that it’s stronger I can also smell the vanilla among the mint when putting my nose closer to the cup. It smells wonderful!

I’ve tried a few sips, but I can’t really taste anything. Still too hot. I’ll have to be more patient, I suppose… Ah yes, that’s better.

It still tastes like Sleepytime. I’m not sure I would have been able to tell that it’s a different variety had I not known, but as I do know, I can find the vanilla. I can find it because I know it’s there but that doesn’t mean that it’s not done properly, if you know what I mean. Sometimes you don’t need to be able to taste everything. Sometimes just a hint is enough to enhance an overall experience. Just think of a sauce which has just a pinch of salt versus the same sauce with too much salt in it. The pinch of salt enhances the flavour of the whole, but too much of it just takes over. I tend to like heavily flavoured vanilla teas, but in this particular blend I think the vanilla works much better as that enhancer. It smooths the whole thing out and adds a touch of sweetness.

I’m really glad I decided to ask for someone to play middle-man so I could have some. I don’t usually like doing that because it seems such a lot of bother for everybody involved. I shall have to put together a really great box to send back to MissB after we’ve moved now.

Sil

when are you moving?

Anna

She already moved.

She has a queue.

Anna

(Yes, Ang. I am your secretary now.)

Sil

i know she has a queue..i’m just used to see her prenotes when it’s from the backlog lol

Anna

TIME WARP. This might not be backlog, though, and that last sentence really reads, ‘…a really great box to send now after we’ve moved.’

Sil

haha

Anna

ANG WE NEED YOU TO EKSPLAYNE

Sil

I think you need to come visit me Anna. I think we would have fun together being weird. Except that my hair might get jealous and try to take yours out.

Anna

I agree. Imagine how awesomely we could stalk Ang if we teamed up on the same continent!!!

And I’m sure our hair would probably just merge. For world domination.

Sil

oh man. I’m coming your way… we can stalk ang, and hit fru p on the way!

Angrboda

…gosh. O.O hides

Yes, Sil, this is from the queue and from before we moved. I try to remember to write ‘from the queue’ on them, but I’m not very good at that. I don’t know why I don’t just start with that sentence when I write the post in the first place. 99% or what I post are from the queue, so you can generally assume that it’s a couple months old.

Also, you two are scary. Seriously. Scary. (But I’d still feed you and rustle up something you could sleep on if you showed up)

Anna

SIL DID YOU SEE DID YOU SHE WOULD FEED US FOODS AND BUILD US A NEST DID YOU SEE

Sil

Would she also hug us and call us George? ;)

Angrboda

I would, Geor-I mean Sil.

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75

Last tea of the night!

I think I’m half done what VariaTEA sent me? Somewhere around there, anyway. Thankfully I haven’t totally gotten sick of it or anything like that – though this cup was really sour/tart, and less enjoyable than most.

So, boo to that I guess.

VariaTEA

If you do get sick of it, you can always pass the teabags along or sell them or make them disappear :P

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74

I’ve been obsessed with Harney & Sons Chamomile of late, so I have not brewed up any Celestial Seasonings Chamomile in quite some time. Once again, it seems better than expected. They appear to use both Egyptian and Mexican chamomile flowers in this simple filter bag. The result is yellow and soothing. Clearly this is a competent chamomile!

This marks the end of tonight’s Celestial Seasonings binge. Bonne nuit!

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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68

Tonight’s glass of Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile tasted and smelled a bit off. I cannot figure out what the problem was. Perhaps the chicory was too strong in this particular filter bag? I don’t know, but I am definitely sure now that I prefer Sleepytime Vanilla. Yesterday, I thought that the chamomile was dominant, but this brew smells and tastes rather woody, strangely enough. I cannot really figure out what else may be the culprit. Lemongrass? No. Licorice? No. I’m guessing that it’s the chicory.

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71

Feeling nostalgic about Boulder, I decided to binge on Celestial Seasonings tonight. First up was Sleepytime Vanilla. Judging by the number of bags left in my various CS boxes, this must be my favorite! The vanilla is really smooth and somehow the infusion has body and substance even while containing no camellia sinensis.

Flavors: Flowers, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 45 sec

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50

I happened across this one in one of those odds and ends shop that sell all sorts of small things relatively cheaply. I don’t really like shopping in there much, because although they have lots of fun things to look at, the shop is laid out so that you follow a path all the way from the door to the till and if you later discover you want to go back and look at something again, it can be difficult getting back there, because the path is fairly narrow. If there are many people in the shop, you can forget about it. Easier to just go through and go in again. Not really something that makes for a pleasant shopping experience in my book.

I knew they had a selection of Celestial Seasonings as well, but I thought it was much the same as everywhere else that has CS these days. It’s a relatively new brand in Denmark, it’s only been available here for a few years and compared to you Americans we’ve only got a fraction of the available flavours. Obviously this was not one I thought I’d see here at all, but there was one box, so I took it. I remember the name of this one from Steepster, and I remember people have been raving madly about one of these Christmas-y flavours. Couldn’t remember which one, so having checked the ingredients for known dislikes (none) I took the box on the off chance that it might be this one.

It has a funny creamy smell. I can smell vanilla and orange, and it’s a creamy-thick smell. It reminds me strongly of something I know I know, but I can’t think what it might be. Husband had the same sort of reaction when he tried it. Smelled familiar to him but he couldn’t think what it was.

I gather it’s the milk thistle that makes it feel like warm milk. I can also detect orange and vanilla quite clearly in the flavour, but apart from that it tastes very much like coconut to me. I’m surprised actually that there doesn’t appear to be coconut in it at all. Is that the flavour of thistle, then? Coconut-y?

It’s pleasant enough, but not really something I would get in much of a state over. In a large mug I find it a little cloying towards the bottom. I think this one box will be enough.

I’ll have to dare another visit to that shop though, and have a closer look at their CS selection, because clearly it must be MUCH larger than I’ve seen anywhere else. I’ve become fairly interested in it lately what with Husband having taught me this ’ cup of herbal while reading in bed’ habit. I never cared about it before at all. Funny how things can change. Perhaps they even have that Sleepytime Vanilla. Wouldn’t that be typical now that MissB is sending me a few boxes?

As this is a queued post, it has been a while now since MissB provided me with a good supply of Sleepytime Vanilla. I am halfway through my third box of those…

Flyawaybirdie

I’m not a fan of those ‘go only in one direction’ shops either. I went to Ikea the other weekend and had to go around the showroom about three or four times. I’ll have to check out CS, I’m in the US but have never really gone for any of their offerings.

Angrboda

Ikea isn’t even too bad for that here, because the ‘paths’ are wide enough that you can go back or you can slip between the displays. In this shop the path is only about two people wide and you have to go through till and outside and in again if you want to go back but can’t. (Or be a pain to everyone else to get back, in which case I often actually prefer going through and in again.)

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71

I am comparing Sleepytime Vanilla tonight with a fresh box of Honey Vanilla Chamomile. My verdict is that Sleepytime Vanilla is a more appealing chamomile blend. This is an interesting result because I recently tested a packet of Harvest Chamomile, which is apparently the former name of Honey Vanilla Chamomile. Now I need to check to see whether the ingredients are different in the two blends. Otherwise, my reactions are completely contradictory, since last time I claimed that Honey Vanilla Chamomile was better than Sleepytime Vanilla!

Why do I prefer Sleepytime Vanilla in tonight’s side-by-side steep-off? Probably because I was craving vanilla, which is demonstrably present in Sleepytime Vanilla, while rather muted in the Honey Vanilla Chamomile. I need to go check the ingredients of the Harvest Vanilla—ASAP!


update: I do believe that the formula for Honey Vanilla Chamomile, formerly known as Harvest Chamomile* has changed. My only evidence, however, is that vanilla is explicitly listed among the ingredients in the latter but not the former case. In the Honey Vanilla Chamomile, “natural flavors” is the only place where vanilla might be implicated, but vanilla is not mentioned, except in the name of the blend. One thing is clear, Honey Vanilla Chamomile is much more about chamomile than either honey or vanilla!

Flavors: Flowers, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

I’ve become quite dependant on the Sleepytime Vanilla since MissB furnished me with four boxes of it. I’ll have to see if I can’t get it locally. I’ve got an idea of a place where it might be possible. I think I shall have a gander for that honey vanilla chamomile as well then…

sherapop

It’s good, Angrboda—much more about chamomile than vanilla, but devoid of mint. I’m going to try them again tonight and see what I think this time!

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68

In this evening’s steep-off chez sherapop, Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile is going sniff to sniff, sip to sip against Sleepytime Vanilla.

First observation about Honey Vanilla Chamomile: the dried tea smacks very strongly of orange oil—and not without reason. Orange peel is the number two ingredient, right after chamomile! The brewed tea does not, however, taste very much like orange at all. In fact, it seems closer to a rich chamomile blend with a focus on chamomile, not the other showcased ingredients. Neither the honey nor the vanilla is very pronounced, despite the name of the blend.

I like the flavor of this infusion. It is a pleasant mint-free and somewhat hefty (probably because of the chicory and licorice) chamomile composition, which could be good news for those who find Sleepytime too spearmint heavy. Do I like Honey Vanilla Chamomile more than Sleepytime Vanilla? In a direct, side-by-side comparison, the answer is clear: No, I do not.


update: I just read my review of Harvest Chamomile, which seems to list the same ingredients as this new box of Honey Vanilla Chamomile. I am now wondering whether they changed the proportions of the ingredients, because the chamomile is much more pronounced and the honey and vanilla seem very light. Are they identical? Is my change in evaluation due to facts about me rather than the teas?

We’ll never know, because the Harvest Chamomile sample packet is depleted, so I cannot compare my new box of Honey Vanilla Chamomile with the old supply of Harvest Chamomile reviewed by me earlier, and which at the time I concluded was better than Sleepytime Vanilla!

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 15 sec 2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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81

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Cinnamon

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52

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Flavors: Cinnamon

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Sipdown! (246. I think.)

Thank you for letting me revisit my childhood, VariaTEA! :)

2 tea bags, 14 oz, steeped 4 minutes, topped with, yes, homemade coconut creamer of high fat deliciousness.

I made more because the medication is making me nauseous, and I need to get calories into me before leaving for work. Solution? Add high nutrient creamer to tea. :) I didn’t put vanilla in it this time, but it’s still so good.

The coconut really tones down the SPICE factor of this tea. It’s much more of an “herbal chai” right now. Yum.

TeaBrat

I almost bought some of this the other day, I’ve been drinking it off and on for years…

OMGsrsly

I might get more when I start running low on non-caffeinated teas. It’s easier to resist adding everything at the grocery store than it is on a website. :)

TeaBrat

yes, very true

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Thanks VariaTea for sending me like half my wishlist, this included! You’re a sneaky generous one, that’s for sure.

Because she sent me like five hundred teabags of this, Mr. keychange and I both had a large mug full, and each used two tea bags. I’m thinking that was a good choice, as six minutes later, the tea indeed tasted very much like a sugar cookie. Actually, it tasted spot on for shortbread, and although the mouth feel was a bit thin (I wonder if that’s just because it’s bagged tea and so the leaves can’t “swim” as much), the resemblance to a sugar cookie is uncanny—especially towards the end of the sip, when you really get that bready, yeasty, buttery taste that the best sugar cookies have (oh, and speaking of sugar cookies, Mr. Keychange and I made banana pudding sugar cookies, thanks to the recipe provided by our very own roswell strange!) . Having said all of those things, the fact that this yielded a thin cup was a little disappointing.

Bottom line: I might actually look around for this next winter, but am not going to be writing dark poetry about its absence until then.

VariaTEA

I am glad you got shortbread. I tried but all I ever got was soggy crackers from this one :(. Banana pudding sugar cookies sound delicious btw. I wanted to try them so badly every time Roswell Strange mentioned them

Roswell Strange

Ooh! Did you like the cookies?

keychange

I sure did! And we even made icing for them and I can’t wait to dig into them when I go home. Nom.

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59

This tea is not kiddin around. It really will put you to sleep. I mean, it won’t knock you out but if you find yourself over thinking a lot of things it helps calm your mind. Oh and don’t worry the flavor is good too.

Preparation
5 min, 15 sec

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69

Sipdown (207/209)!

I’m glad this is gone; getting Christmas teas out of the way is definitely something that I welcome and besides I’m really getting sick of this one, which is sad because I liked it so much the first time that I had it. But take this cup for example; total let down!

I even sort of got the soggy cracker flavour that VariaTEA was experiencing so strongly with each cup. So, on that note I’m sad to be finishing this off on a slightly sour (rather, soggy) note and to feel like I need to be lowering my rating…

A lot.

K S

I am still loving this one. I went to Target recently to try to stockpile but they were out. Which is fine. Now I can hoard the remaining bags making them more special.

VariaTEA

I am sorry I sent you so much that you got sick of it :P

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60

I’ve been having this as a breakfast tea, trying to sipdown the rest of the box I have. This tea works well with some added milk and sugar. It smells like vanilla baked goods and retains that baked good flavor throughout the sip. A nice, sweeter breakfast option. Yum!

Preparation
Boiling

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75

Officially the last tea of the night; delicious! Kinda tired though (need me sleep for tomorrow’s shift) – so not much else to write on it, heh…

Flavors: Cinnamon, Plums

VariaTEA

Good luck tomorrow!

OMGsrsly

I hope tomorrow goes super well for you!

__Morgana__

Sleep well and good luck!

Roswell Strange

Tre just got home, he’s piss drunk and very loud.

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