The Good: Caffeinated, Good ingredient, Environmentally responsible production (organic)
The Bad: Doesn't taste like much of anything..., Dry aftertaste
The Basics: Despite being the likely product of two current dietary fads, Celestial Seasonings makes a decent, basic green tea with Organic Green Tea!
I'm not one for dietary fads. During the whole "low carbs" thing (is that even still going on?!) I was happily gorging on pizza and donuts (a dangerous thing for a reviewer of movies and music, as opposed to, say, fitness equipment!). And did I blow up to mid-'80's Garth Brooks proportions? No, not at all! Why? Because for the history of humanity, people have been eating carbohydrates and they haven't always been blimps. No, diet is all about proportion, moderation and balancing intake with exercise.
Or just eat whatever you want and drink so much water that your body washes it all out. Sure, it makes things a little harder when it comes to blood clotting, but just don't play with a nail gun! I bring all of this up (hopefully in humorous relief) as I begin a review of Celestial Seasonings' Organic Green tea because I openly acknowledge that the reason this tea is so popular and readily available right now probably has more to do with organic food and green teas being popular than Celestial Seasonings trying to make a quality product. After all, they have plenty of other green teas, making a basic green tea in organic form is their attempt to capitalize on the fad. Me writing about it, that's just an attempt to help consumers out!
Organic Green Tea is a tea from Celestial Seasonings. It is a 100% natural green tea that is caffeinated and made solely of green tea leaves. This means that instead of letting the leaves dry or harvesting them after their prime, the leaves are plucked at the peak of growth. Organic Green Tea comes in Celestial Seasoning's standard stringless tea bags, which are paired together with easy to separate perforations that allow one to separate the tea bags. When I make pots of tea, I tend to use two bags and leave them connected. A box of Organic Green Tea comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.
Organic Green Tea is marketed as a tea-flavored tea and it is adequate in that regard. If one wants something that is flavored like tea leaves - and understated ones at that - this will fit the bill. It does not do much more than that and in fact, it is almost indistinguishable from Celestial Seasonings' Authentic Green Tea (reviewed here!). This is either a testament to the quality of organically grown tea leaves (for blending so perfectly with non-organically grown flavors) or exposes the whole "organic" growing method as a bunch of hogwash on the taste front. The two teas are virtually identical in terms of taste, coloring and scent so as to be more or less indistinguishable (nine out of ten people I did a little taste test agreed with that and the one dissenting vote incorrectly guessed which was the Organic Green Tea as opposed to the Authentic Green Tea.
Ease Of Preparation
Organic Green Tea is a green tea, which means preparation is as easy as almost boiling a pot of water! Green teas, as the directions clearly state, require water that is not quite boiling. Boiling water cooks the tea leaves and ruins the flavor, so water used for green teas like this one must be kept below a full boil. A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea, though reusing the tea bags yields little more than hot water. These tea bags cannot be reused and even credibly call the result "tea." Indeed, the second pots I've tried were incredibly weak, tasting only like the remnants of green tea. These bags are one-use only. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well, though it is impossible to get a decent second pot out of the bags.
To prepare Organic Green Tea, simply heat up some water, and pour it over the tea bags in a cup, mug or steeping pot. This tea is recommended to take three to five minutes to steep and after a couple cups and pots, I've found that with almost boiling water, the tea is ready at the five minute mark and letting it steep longer does not truly change the results. Letting the tea steep more than six minutes does not net any additional flavor, nor does it denature the flavor of the tea.
Organic Green Tea might well be one of the teas that is best to talk about in terms of coffee. If one makes a pot of coffee and reuses the grounds, one ends up with a remarkably diluted second pot of coffee that tastes only like the aftertaste of the original beans' flavor. Green tea is like that for tea, but that is how it starts out. If one were to take a standard black tea, brew a pot or even two with the leaves and then brew another pot, you would have a tea that is about as intense and dark and flavorful as green tea.
The only taste note of note is the aftertaste. Green teas are notorious for a dry aftertaste. Organic Green Tea is no exception in this regard; the tea leaves the mouth feeling and tasting dry. It is not distinct or carrying any other flavor, it is simply the essence and taste of dry. It is a pretty worthless drink that leaves the consumer feeling thirsty after drinking it.
With sugar, Organic Green Tea becomes sweet without enhancing any sense of its flavor. Sugar cuts the aftertaste, but does not make it anything other than blandly sweet and sugary. Milk, even, overwhelms the tea flavor of the Organic Green Tea. It's sadly bland when a tea will be overwhelmed by the flavor of milk, rather than having any other flavor within the tea brought out by the addition of that.
Iced, Organic Green Tea is an equally unremarkable tea. The green tea flavor dominates and when sugar is added to the tea cold, it only accents the green tea nature more. It is good, but cold, it still does not evoke any real flavor other than the memory of tea.
It is utterly unsurprising that the green tea flavor dominates Organic Green Tea as the only ingredient is Green Tea (organically grown green tea!). Organic Green Tea tea is all natural, gluten free, and does contain caffeine. According to the new caffeine meter, this tea is a 40, which is a little higher than a candy bar (25), a little lower than an average soda (45). This is not an ideal tea to try to use to stay awake with!
Were it not for the sugar I add whenever I make pots of Organic Green Tea, this tea would be devoid of any nutritional value. It contains no calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates or protein.
Organic Green Tea is a green tea, so it comes out much lighter than other teas. As a result, cleanup is rather simple. The mugs and steeping pot easily rinse out. One supposes this tea will stain if it is left on fabrics, so simply do not let the tea cups or mugs linger on light colored materials that might stain!
Organic Green Tea is easy to clean up after - the tea bags may be disposed in the garbage, or composted if you have a good garden and/or compost pile. One of the nice things about this tea - like most - is that so long as it is kept cool and dry, it can last for a long time and it is easy to clean up.
For those who like green tea, it's hard to go wrong with the Organic Green Tea. It might not be the most flavorful, but it is good and it tastes like green tea ought to. And hey, when the fad is over (either the Organic or green tea fad), odds are it will be clearanced at a price that makes it worth stocking up on!
For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride
Decaf Green Tea
Honey Lemon Ginseng
For other food or drink reviews, please be sure to visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!
© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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