Archive for the 'Tea-sty Tuesday' Category


December 6, 2011

Recipe: Tea-sty Tuesday: Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea

Author: Chris PerrinDecember 6, 2011

Tea-sty Tuesday is back with

Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea

And also it’s  the longest blog post title ever.  Woot.

So, this morning when I woke up and there was snow on the ground, it occurred to me. This is cold and flu season (which in case you’re wondering is what’s up with the dude over there.  He’s sick.)  My least favorite season next to allergy season!

There are few people in the world that hate cold and flu season more than me.  Not only do I not like being cold, I don’t like getting colds.  Fortunately, for me, there’s a tea for that.

I don’t know if I really believe in the healing power of echinacea, especially after it has been steeped in hot liquid for fifteen minutes, but there’s something about this tea.  I think it’s the fact it tastes like medicine, but drinking it makes me feel healthier.  Anyway, to the review.

Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea

I wish I could take a formal stance on whether or not this stuff actually makes me feel better.  Sadly, as far as aroma and taste goes, Celestial Seasonings teas tend to rate a bit low for me in general and the Wellness tea is no exception.  Still, the minute I get the sniffles, I reach for a bag.  So, what am I to do but complain?

(Oh, and by the way, Celestial Seasonings, could you consider individually packaging your bags or at least separate the packages so the two aren’t stuck together?  I feel gross offering a tea bag to friends after my hands have been all over it!)

Anyway, how does Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea stack up?

Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea: Ingredients

Echinacea is obviously the big ingredient and the tea packs a whopping 650 mg of the stuff.  (Can someone tell me if that’s good?)  Other than that, the tea is all natural and includes peppermint, licorice, star anise, and other flavoring ingredients.

I’m pretty sure this tea is an herbal tea, not a true tea itself, and mostly consists of the natural flavorings listed above and chicory.  Still, the tea gets high marks for caring about its ingredients.

Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea: Aroma

It smells like a eucalyptus plant with menthol extract (which in many ways it is.)  So, in this humble blogger’s opinion, not very good.

Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea: Taste

It tastes like a eucalyptus plant with menthol extract, which sadly is not a flavor even honey can  cover up.  So…um…next!

Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea: Effects

Okay, so I’ve never done a study where all I drank was Celestial Seasonings’ tea when I don’t feel well.  I tend to slam orange juice, take vitamin C tablets, and eat raw garlic along with drinking the tea.  So I can’t be sure that it actually does anything.

On the other hand, when I have a cold, I don’t want to be without it.  And the literature is pretty good in favor of echinacea.

Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea: Overall

I don’t know…I recommend Celestial Seasonings’ Echinacea Complete Care Wellness Tea during cold and flu season for the perceived effects and because I seem to have a little more superstitious medicine man in me than I’d care to admit.  It does not taste or smell good, but at least the taste  can be improved (not perfected) with sweetener.  Perhaps Marry Poppins was right: a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down?

So, with that said, I give this tea 2 cups out of 5.

Enjoy!

Thanks to bark for the picture.

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July 5, 2011

Recipe: Tea-sty Tuesday: Bigelow’s Lemon Lift

Author: Chris PerrinJuly 5, 2011

Lemon Lift TeaTea-sty Tuesday: Bigelow Lemon Lift

Okay, so I was looking and it’s been a long, LONG time since I’ve done one of these.  Yikes.  So, without any further ado we’re going to talk Bigelow Lemon Lift, a tea that in my head deserves it’s own 1970s jingle:

If you want a bit of lemon
And you want a bit of lift
Call Bigelow…
Get your lemon lift tea…
Spoken: Mmm…it’s so tasty
Lemon lift tea…. (cue jazz hands)

Let the record reflect that the quality of my made up jingle does not necessarily reflect my opinion of the tea.

Bigelow Lemon Lift Tea

As noted in other posts on Bigelow, I sometimes question why certain things get in Bigelow tea (namely soy lechitin.)  When compared to some of the hippie-ified teas I drink, namely anything from Yogi, I can’t help but wonder.  Then again, I grew up on Bigelow tea and I turned okay except for the second face I grew during puberty, so I shouldn’t complain.

…Anyway, the Lemon Lift tea ended up in my “to taste” pile when my wife bought a big sampler pack and I, needing fodder for Tea-sty Tuesday, snagged a pack.  How did it measure up?

Bigelow Lemon Lift Tea’s Ingredients

I covered this above.  I’m not going to harp on it.  It’s not fair to Bigelow since there is probably a good reason to have a non-tea/herbal/flavor substance in the tea.

Bigelow Lemon Lift Tea’s Aroma

A+++++  Lemon Lift tea has that amazingly clean, crisp, bright aroma that one associates with the best lemon products.  Within seconds of the hot water hitting the tea bag, my senses were filled with the sweet smell of warm lemon drops, sweet citrusy lemon zest, lemon pledge (which I like the smell of…sue me)…it was wonderful.  I could hardly wait for the tea to cool so I could take my first stip.

Bigelow Lemon Lift Tea’s Taste

D.  To this day, I keep wondering what happened to all the lemon aroma.  Where did it go?  Sadly, if the obviously chemical aftertaste of the tea is any indication, the aroma was a fraud.  And if the aroma was a fraud, the taste never had a chance. :(

Though, to be fair, I didn’t take any sweetener with the Lemon Lift.  I can’t help but think that the flavor would have matched the aroma with a little Truvia.

Bigelow Lemon Lift Tea’s Effects

I got a little caffeine boost.  It was a bigger boost than with a lot of Yogi teas, but that was about all.

Bigelow Lemon Lift Tea Overall

Yes, I was a little disappointed with the tea.  Given the strong lemon aroma, I wanted a fresh citrus taste to go with the smell. Unfortunately, the tea just never measured up.

It’s almost like Lemon Lift suffers from false advertising.  That aroma is so good, anything short of perfection isn’t going to match up.  Still, I think Bigelow could have added a little more natural citrus to improve the tea’s overall taste.

Still, at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, this tea is easily as good as Bigelow’s pomegranate tea, so I give it 3.5 cups out of 5.

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May 31, 2011

Recipe: Tea-Sty Tuesday: Ginseng Artichoke Tea

Author: Chris PerrinMay 31, 2011

artichoke ginseng flipTea-sty Tuesday: Ginseng Artichoke Teas

There are some teas that make you run–not walk– to the kitchen to get more hot water.  There are some teas that make you happy to be awake.  And there are some teas that make you say “What the [insert favorite expletive here]…”

Ginseng Artichoke Tea – Making You Say What The…?

So I ran across this particular gem that a coworker brought (or perhaps an ex-coworker left, I’m not really sure…)  It was nestled amongst some taro candy and something gelantinous that I’m not entirely sure what was (coconut I think.)  To be honest, I don’t really know anything about that the tea, except that no one else was drinking it.  So I, of course, had to.

And really, that’s how I get myself into trouble.  I’m the Mikey of my generation… I’ll try anything.  Sometimes, like my first experience with pig’s salad, everything goes okay.  Other times, I end up drinking ginseng artichoke tea.

All I can say is that it was an experience I shan’t soon forget.  From the weird way drops of water fell off the teabag into my mug, diffusing in a way that looked a little too much like blood to the taste of fried foot odor, ginseng artichoke tea is not a memory I’ll be able to destroy any time soon.

And with that, we go to the breakdown.

Ginseng Artichoke Tea’s Ingredients

I have no idea.  I am assuming ginseng or artificial ginseng flavoring and artichoke or artificial artichoke flavoring.  And tea.

Ginseng Artichoke Tea’s Aroma

Not awful, actually.  The smell was very savory, but a little sweet, kind of like fried artichokes with a side of mayo.  The smell of the ginseng, an odor I associate with awful, was completely masked under the pleasant smell of artichoke.

In fact, the aroma gave me high hopes.  They were soon to be dashed.

Ginseng Artichoke Tea’s Taste

Above I described the taste as being akin to fried foot odor.  I stand by that.

Ginseng Artichoke Teas’s Effects

Well…let’s see…people laughed at me.  Does that count?

All in all, for a tea that is supposed to have ginseng, the overall effect was pretty weak.  I got a little bit of a boost, but that could have been from the rush of folk laughing at me.

Ginseng Artichoke Tea Overall

Surprise surprise..1 cup out of 5.  I was just not a fan, but nonetheless…enjoy!

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May 17, 2011

Recipe: Tea-sty Tuesday: Himalayan Apple Spice

Author: Chris PerrinMay 17, 2011

applespiceTea-sty Tuesday: Yogi Himalayan Apple Spice

So we’re back. Not sure what happened last week. I looked up one day and it was Wednesday and I hadn’t done a Tea-sty Tuesday post, which is really too bad. The following post is one I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. So, here goes.

Yogi Himalayan Apple Spice Tea

Why have I been wanting to write about Himalayan Apple Spice tea for so long? Well, there are a number of reasons: it’s great taste, it’s wonderful aroma and the fact it’s a gateway tea.

A gateway tea?  You ask.

A gateway tea.

See, there are a few unfortunate souls out there who don’t love tea. You may know one. These people believe that tea isn’t good and don’t try to drink at least a cup a day. These are sad, sad individuals who are to be pitied for the teabag-shaped hole in their lives..

But, not all hope is lost. People can learn to love tea, but they’re not going to do it with generic store-brand tea bags you can buy in boxes of 1,000.  No, they need something like the slightly apple-y, cardamom-y goodness of Himalayan Apple Spice tea.  Once they learn to love its flavor, they will begin to experiment with other forms of tea and soon, they will be hooked.

And with that, we go to the breakdown.

Yogi Himalayan Apple Spice Ingredients

It’s Yogi tea, so the name pretty much says it all. In addition to apple and organic black tea leaf, this tea contains spice in the form of organic cinnamon bark, caradamom, and clove.  There’s even some pear thrown in for extra tea goodness.  Also, because it’s Yogi, you can be sure that everything is organic and safe and is probably some ancient blend that has additional medicinal benefits.

In other words, feel good drinking Yogi tea.  It’s good for you.

Yogi Himalayan Apple Spice Tea’s Aroma

If Heaven smelled of apple pie, this tea would smell like Heaven.  Which is an awfully reflexive way of saying that the tea smells really good.  In fact, that’s one of the draws that makes it a great gateway tea.  Even before the tea touches the lips, the aroma wafts into the nose and promises a sweet and savory experience.

Okay, I’ll stop.  But seriously, Yogi has this warm apple smell, like mulled cider.  It promises so much that the tea (almost) delivers.  I say almost because the tea smells of cider and pie and since I take my tea unsweeted, I am always a little surprised at how un-sweet the tea is.  Not that it’s a problem, just something I noticed.

Still, I give the aroma two nostrils up.

Yogi Himalayan Apple Spice’s Taste

I think that if I poured a few packets of Stevia into my tea, Yogi Himalayan Apple Spice tea would taste exactly like mulled cider.  But, I am trying to lay off sweetener, so I can taste the tea for itself, which I still like.  Himalayan Apple Spice is an interesting mixture of sweet from the apple and pear and savory/bitter from the tea itself.  It starts of sweet and slightly spicy (mainly cardamom and cinnamon), but then the tea starts to taste very strongly of the Assam black tea.

In some teas, I would find that transition to be jarring, but there’s just enough of the sweetness from the fruit (and the Stevia in the bag) left over so that the tea’s well…tea taste… is softened.  The result is a tea that is just a little fruity and very nice to drink. 

Yogi Himalayan Apple Spice Tea’s Effects

People start drinking tea.  What more effect do you need to know?  (Seriously, I made someone into a tea drinker with this tea.)

Also, the combination of cardamom, cinnamon and clove is, apparently, an Ayurvedic mixture that promotes cleansing of the body.  I don’t know about that.  I drink Himalayan Apple spice for the flavor.

Yogi Himalayan Apple Spice Tea Overall

So, Himalayan Apple Spice gets… 4.5 cups out of 5.  Of all the non-crack teas, it comes as close to perfect as any I’ve had.  Plus, it’s way cheaper and I don’t have to order it online.

Really, I can’t recommend it enough.  Get some and try it ASAP.

Thanks to psd for the picture.

Enjoy!

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March 8, 2011

Recipe: Tea-Sty Tuesday: Why and Oolong Green Tea Revisited

Author: Chris PerrinMarch 8, 2011

It’s the first inaugural

Tea-Sty Tuesday

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Like the name?  I made it up myself!

As you might have guessed, I have decide to talk about tea every Tuesday, somewhat for the illiteration, but mostly because I really enjoy drinking tea.  If that comes as a great shock to you, I wouldn’t be surprised.  You have to figure that anyone who looks as crazy as I do in their profile probably drinks a lot of coffee.

But for some reason, I never really acquired a taste for the stuff.  Tea, on the other hand, was always plentiful in my house, so I drank it.  Sure, when Starbucks got popular, I had a love affair with $5/cup coffee and it made me feel like this guy (sophisticated, yet bemused at the price I was paying) :

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when I could say (at a very rapid pace) “venti white chocolate mocha with soy, hold the whip” in a crowded room and have everyone know what I was talking about.  (Even when like half of that sentence aren’t really words.)  Still, in the end, I always came back to tea.

And since I have a blog, I figured I should start writing about it.

So, let’s cover some ground rules.  Not really because I expect you to follow them, but because I want to set some expectations.  Basically, Tea-sty Tuesdays will largely cover instant tea

About half of the readers of this post just left. 

Hey, there’s a reason.  I drink instant tea because I can make it in an office setting and have tea with me wherever I go.  Would I prefer to always drink tea from the kettle?  Sure, but I don’t always have a tea kettle and time to boil water.  I do, usually, have access to hot water.

I will cover some loose leaf teas, especially when I buy them thinking they are instant, but also because I enjoy them.  I will also cover tea-based alcoholic beverages, tea+milk mixes, and cooking with tea.  But all that is later. 

For now, I think I’ve yapped about enough.  I will leave you with two things.  First, this picture that came up when doing some image research on tea:

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The picture is somewhat tea related and frankly, I haven’t been using sex enough to sell my blog.

I also will remind everyone about crack tea (aka oolong green tea.)  This was the first tea to really tear me away from the arms of Lipton instant tea (which is kind of like the equivalent of coffee in a huge tin you buy for $9.)  It’s delicious, mild, and it makes you awesome.

Seriously, I don’t know what it is with crack tea, but if you are tired, sick, depressed, or dead, crack tea can cure you.  And I used to think it was ridiculously expensive ($15 for a box.)  However, after paying for a a lot of tea, I can see it’s only moderately expesnive and it’s still the best money can buy.

Okay, well that’s it for this week.  Next week, I’ll be back with a new review.  Until then, thanks to Shandi-lee, Cavin, and Carnival King 08 (and Julie) for the pics.  Go drink some tea and enjoy!

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