The Good: Caffeinated, Good ingredients, Very healthy, No aftertaste
The Bad: Very bland and basic taste
The Basics: Celestial Seasonings has a good, but in no way superlative, tea with its Natural Antioxidant Green Tea!
Green tea drinkers, it seems, do not care all that much about flavors. At least, that seems to be the logical conclusion one might draw from the marketing and development strategy from Celestial Seasonings. Celestial Seasonings has a decent green tea line, but most of their green teas are not new or interesting flavors, they are simply even healthier variations on their original green tea. Enter Natural Antioxidant Green Tea, a green tea that is marketed on the power of antioxidants and the infusion of white tea to give it a “smooth taste” (which, as near as I can tell is no dry aftertaste!).
Natural Antioxidant Green Tea is a tea from Celestial Seasonings. It is a green tea that is caffeinated and made of green and white tea leaves and flavored with additional flavors. This means that instead of letting the leaves dry or harvesting them after their prime, the leaves are plucked at the peak of growth. Natural Antioxidant 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 Natural Antioxidant Green Tea comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.
Natural Antioxidant 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 this will fit the bill. It does not do much more than that, though the lack of a green tea dry aftertaste is a nice change for the line.
Ease Of Preparation
Natural Antioxidant 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 Natural Antioxidant 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 two minutes to steep and after a couple cups and pots, I've found that with almost boiling water, the tea is ready at the two minute mark and letting it steep longer does not truly change the results. Letting the tea steep more than three minutes does not net any additional flavor, nor does it denature the flavor of the tea.
Natural Antioxidant Green Tea smells like a very basic, standard tea with a hint of lemon in its aroma. The minimal hint of lemon is an inviting change from the standard tea scent that many green teas possess.
As for the flavor, Natural Antioxidant Green Tea is a light tea-flavored tea. There is nothing distinctive about the flavor, save a bare hint of sourness and citrus in the “middle” taste. The initial flavor is tea, followed by a very faint lemon tartness, then a watery finish that is surprisingly thirst quenching. This might be the only green tea I can recall having no dry or sour aftertaste once the tea flavor dissipated!
With sugar, Natural Antioxidant Green Tea becomes sweet without enhancing any sense of its flavor. Sugar makes it blandly sweet and sugary, drowning out the tea flavor. Milk, even, overwhelms the tea flavor of the Natural Antioxidant 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.
It is utterly unsurprising that the green tea flavor dominates Natural Antioxidant Green Tea as the main ingredients are Green Tea, white tea, and natural lemon and orange flavors. Natural Antioxidant Green Tea is gluten free, kosher, and does contain caffeine (though there is no caffeine meter on the box to indicate how much caffeine there is in this!).
Were it not for the sugar I add whenever I make pots of Natural Antioxidant Green Tea, this tea would be devoid of any nutritional value. It contains no calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates or protein. The front of the box claims the beverage is an excellent source of vitamins A and C and it is; this drink has 20% of the RDA of Vitamin A and 100% of one’s Vitamin C.
Natural Antioxidant 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!
Natural Antioxidant 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. The box we bought last month had an October 8, 2014 expiration date, so properly stored, this can be a good, healthy tea now and in the future!
For those who like green tea, it's hard to go wrong with the Natural Antioxidant Green Tea. It might not be the most flavorful, but it is good and it tastes better than most green teas I have tried. The health benefits help make this a tea worth drinking, even if it is not one that will truly excite the taste buds.
For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Sugar Plum Spice
Sweet Harvest Pumpkin
For other food or drink reviews, please be sure to visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!
© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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