Celestial Seasonings

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Recent Tasting Notes

32

A Berry Frui-tea July! I figured it was time for another bagged tea revisit, and I found this one at the back of the ol’ cupboard. I had five bags left, and figured I could do a cheeky sipdown if I made a quart of iced tea and used the last teabag for a hot cuppa.

I remember I used to really like this tea, and I’m very picky with bagged green teas. But now… ya… no. It just tastes odd to me. It just seems that bagged greens just can’t do it for me anymore. It at least doesn’t taste overwhelmingly-artificial-mandarin like most of the mandarin green and white teas I’ve tried of late, but the flavor tastes… off. A little… chalky, or metallic. I’ve had one other decaffeinated green tea before, and it also tasted metallic to me, so I wonder if my palate just picks up the processing those teas go through as having a somewhat metallic taste? I’m also finding that the green tea tastes more hay-like than grassy… but I imagine that probably has to do with the age of the tea, because… err… I just checked the expiration date on the box, and am not willing to admit that date publicly. (This is probably the SAME BOX I remember enjoying so fondly in the past! Daaaaaaaamn… I uh… should probably clean out my cupboards more often… At least drinking old tea never killed anyone, right?) I’ve certainly tasted worse (PTSD flashbacks to being a poor college student and thinking it was okay to buy Flavorite brand bagged green tea…), but this certainly just doesn’t taste right. Bleh…

The iced tea (brewed hot and then chilled) was only a slight improvement, but not by much. It still tasted very weak, and the same sort of off-putting hay/straw and metallic flavors seemed to be there beneath the mandarin flavoring. Meh.

All this did was make me want to steep my Green Tea with Mandarin Orange from TeaSource… The mandarin in that particular tea is a bit strong and a little artificial tasting, but the sencha base is really nice and grassy at least, and while the mandarin is a little cloying by itself in a hot cuppa, it makes a really nice cold brewed tea, and is even better steeped in lemonade. This just feels like a very, very weak comparison to that loose leaf tea now. Though I can see why I liked it back in the days before I had nice loose leaf teas…

I’m still not rating this as harshly as I feel I should, just based on the age of the tea, which may have a lot to do with the tea feeling so weak. But I still feel like that weird metallic flavor has more to do with the decaffeination than the age, since I’ve encountered that issue before, so it isn’t entirely off the the hook.

Flavors: Astringent, Hay, Metallic, Orange, Straw

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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88

I’ll be in the minority on this one, I guess— I love it.
It has just the perfect amount of maple sugar in it to give it the woodsy, butterscotchy maple flavor without being sickeningly sweet.
The ginger is warming and gives it a nice spicy edge.
You can’t really oversteep it— it’s very low maintenance and suitable for busy work environments, like most CS teas.
I brewed this with hot water from the office coffee machine in my Tervis. I’m drinking this decidedly autumnal/ wintery brew in the middle of summer for the anti-inflammatory properties of the ginger. This honestly tastes loads better than a straight ginger or lemon ginger infusion, or the turmeric ginger tisane I’ve tried (although the turmeric ginger tea works the best medicinally).

Flavors: Ginger, Maple, Maple Syrup, Spicy, Sugar, Wood

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60

May Flowers! This is the final of the four fruit teas I’m revisiting from the Celestial Seasonings fruit tea sampler! And since I had enough teabags of this one to make it iced (and that’s how I tend to prefer my hibi-hips teas anyway) this one was hot steeped and then chilled so it was icy cool!

Hmm… I may have to take back what I said about the True Blueberry being my favorite of the bunch (though it may be an unfair advantage, since I did get to prepare this one iced instead of warm). But I do think of the Celestial Seasonings fruit tea sampler set, this one works the best for me. The flavor is, once again, quite strong, but I think of all the flavors the raspberry blends the best with the tangy fruit notes of the hibiscus base. And since they blend so well together, the raspberry feels a bit more natural and juicy. It’s also easily the least obnoxiously sweet of the teas to me; there is a touch of berry sweetness there, but the tart and tangy notes are more dominant, and feel more natural of ripe raspberries to me. So of the four fruit teas, I think this one blends the hibi-hip base and flavoring the best, and tastes the least artificial of the bunch. It’s probably tangy enough that some folks may have to sweeten this one, which I would not say for any of the others in the sampler set.

Flavors: Fruity, Hibiscus, Raspberry, Tangy, Tart

Preparation
Iced 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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55

May Flowers! Onto the True Blueberry from the Celestial Seasonings fruit sampler! There was only a teabag of this one left, so this is a hot steep.

The blueberry is definitely a step up from the Country Peach Passion and the Black Cherry Berry. Unlike the Country Peach Passion, this one is back to that fruity hibiscus base that I personally enjoy (which I’ll still admit I enjoy better iced, though with the warm blueberry flavor it isn’t too bad, since it reminds me a bit of warm blueberry pancake syrup). Unpopular opinion, I know, but I really like the tangy fruitiness a nice hibiscus/rosehip base provides. The tea has a strong blueberry flavor and a lot of sweetness, which really gives me the impression of a plate of blueberry pancakes (or at least blueberry syrup!)… but again, I just find the overbearing artificiality of the flavor a bit much (I have a feeling I’m going to be feeling that about all these fruit teas…) It’s not… bad, exactly, I just wish the volume was turned down a few notches. But, overall… a quite satisfying bagged tisane. I still need to revisit the Raspberry Zinger, but I have a feeling if I was going to pick up just one of the four flavors in the fruit sampler, the blueberry might just be it!

Flavors: Artificial, Blueberry, Hibiscus, Pancake Syrup, Sweet, Tangy

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Hurray for hibiscus!

Mastress Alita

All the naysayers are just leaving more delicious floral Vitamin-C goodness for us!

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46

May Flowers! Since I started this trip down memory lane by finishing off my expired since [date redacted to protect my shame] Black Cherry Berry, I may as well go ahead and do the rest of the Celestial Seasonings fruit sampler.

I always remember Country Peach Passion being one of my favorites, if I am recalling correctly (at least, I have vague memories of getting an additional box of this one separately from the fruit sampler at one point in time, way back in the day). That may also be why I had a few more teabags of this one left than the others, so I decided to make a quart of iced tea to sipdown this one.

The tea had a strong peach aroma, but the flavor just… doesn’t hold up for me anymore. It may just be the more chamomile-heavy base of the blend (I’m not much of a fan of chamomile), but honestly I think it’s because I have started drinking too many loose leaf peach-flavored teas, which have such a natural flavor, that feels really refreshing and isn’t so overwhelming, and the flavor here just tastes… like fake-peach, like the kind of peach used in candies. It’s really sweet and really strong. It’s passable, but… meh. Honestly, it just feels like a bit much for me to drink this plain. I could imagine it possibly making a decent mixer with a rather plain bagged black tea to make a decent sweet peach-flavored iced black tea, though.

Full review: https://teatimetuesdayreviews.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/tea32/

Flavors: Artificial, Peach, Sweet

Preparation
Iced 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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48

May Flowers! This is another bagged tea revisit; I only had one bag left of this in my cupboard and it’s rather old, so I figured it was time to sip it down. This is a hibiscus/rosehips blend with black cherry flavoring, and while I usually make teas like this iced, since I only had a single teabag of this left, I opted to just make a warm cuppa.

Though taking hibiscus warm isn’t my favorite (I prefer it chilled), that is actually my favorite part of this tea; the slightly tangy, fruity flavor of the hibiscus is very pleasant. It’s the black cherry flavor that I don’t care for so much. It’s very strong, sweet, and tastes very artificial; somehow I just can’t shake the feeling that I’m drinking liquified cherry Life Savers, and if it weren’t for the overbearing sweetness, the black cherry flavor itself reminds me far too much of cough syrup. The tea doesn’t have that medicinal edge or bite too it, but the strength of the flavor is on par with liquid medications and somehow brings my mind to those associations; I think that is why I would prefer a little softer touch.

This was a perfectly drinkable cup, but this isn’t a tea I’d care to restock.

Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Cherry, Hibiscus, Sweet, Tangy

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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78

Nothing to rave about, but the lemon and lavender make a pleasantly soothing combination, and at least there’s no hibiscus. Also it’s a good excuse to break in my new pot and cups :)

Evol Ving Ness

Ooooh, pretty and fun!

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This is a good cup of relaxing tea. Tastes exactly like it’s name-chamomile and lavender.

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73

Chai to Stay Dry! Decided to do another bagged tea revisit. This one fit into my chai theme for the month, but is a decaffeinated chai, making it a nice pick for a Sunday evening when I have work in the morning. I remember enjoying this one a lot in my early tea-drinking days, but I also remember liking Stash’s Chai Black, and when I revisited that tea, I found it extremely clove-heavy and just too artificial-tasting in its spices. So I’ll admit, I was a bit worried I’d have that same experience all over again.

I made a big cuppa of this (with the teabags removed, loose-steeped in my gravity-well infuser, since I find the paper of the bags sometimes comes out in my bagged teas), and settled in to watch Twitch streams with my cuppa. And… this tea totally holds up! This may be only the third (or maybe fourth?) bagged tea I’ve revisited that I still really enjoy! It has a rich, spicy flavor, but there is a good balance to it. I get a burst of cinnamon at the front of the sip, with some cardamom and clove toward the finish. It’s a fairly strong and lingering spice, but the tea has a sweet vanilla flavor to the base that is just so pleasant. Because the spice in this blend does come off a bit strong for my personal tastes, I like adding a bit of sweetened vanilla almond milk, which accompanies the present vanilla flavor very nicely, but if I had a bag of this on the go, I would be fine taking this plain.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Spices, Spicy, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Lexie Aleah

Vanilla Almond milk is the best! It’s definitely my favorite nut milk. Always nice to revisit a tea that still tastes just as good.

Mastress Alita

Most of my revisits of bagged teas I’ve found I just don’t like them anymore since “making the switch”, but there have been a few pleasant surprises!

And yes, I’m a huge Vanilla Almond Milk fan! It’s also my milk of choice. There are a few teas I like to use sweetenend coconut milk with, but the majority of the teas I add milk to, it’ll be vanilla almond milk! I like that it’s already sweetened and has a really creamy mouthfeel!

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70

Guess I’m learning the hard way that i am just not that big a fan of herbal tea. I much prefer black or green.

This tea however, is bearable because of the strong peppermint that masks the herbal tastes.

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96

I like this one for a different take on Lemon tea, especially with fish this goes well.

Flavors: Lavender, Lemon

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97

An excellent afternoon tea to go with chocolate

Flavors: Raspberry

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55

I’m not the biggest fan of pure chamomile tea. I definitely think it’s more of an acquired taste. Thankfully the chamomile taste takes a back seat in this tea, as there are more flavors that are mixed in to make it more tolerable.

Not a huge fan of the taste of this one, but it’s a decent tea.

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65

It smells a lot stronger than it tastes, and there’s something artificial about it, yet I find it goes down easy first thing in the morning, I think because it smells so sweet. I use one teabag in my giant travel mug, so it’s very dilute. Brewed in a regular-sized mug, the fake flavor is way over the top.

Preparation
20 OZ / 591 ML

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So I finished this off the other day, and am not sorry to see it go. I never hated it, but it just never really clicked with it.
But now its a sipdown, so yay!

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This suffers the same exact fate as that of the Sleepytime Vanilla- its a vaguely pleasant cup of hot water, with the worlds smallest touch of flavor. In this case the honey flavor is somewhat musky. Not bad, just not a delicious honey note.
Oh well. I’ll be done with it soon enough.

Lexie Aleah

I think they all taste pretty similar personally but the Honey is one I haven’t tried. Most people seem to prefer the Vanilla but I grew up preferring the Original and still do.

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And a sipdown!
This was a resounding meh. I never warmed to it, and it will not be making a repeat appearance in the cupboard.
Guys, I’m starting to freak myself out with my sipdown prowess. How have I done this? Surely some hitherto unknown secret stash of tea is going to jump out at me?

gmathis

I agree with you on the meh-ness…this has been relegated to the category of “I’ll make this when I know I will be too distracted to take more than a couple of necessity sips.”

MissB

A few years back I sent a few boxes of this somewhere in Europe to someone on Steepster – can’t remember who – because they loved it so much. I’m betting they’ll take any extra! lol

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So this tea tastes of a generally pleasant nothingness. I keep forgetting I’ve had it, so I keep forgetting to log it.
It just sort of gets drunk, unnoticed.

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