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!