The Good: Decent aroma, Does not taste bad.
The Bad: Tea bag garbage, Not at all flavorful, No caffeine.
The Basics: Tazo “Zen” tea smells better than it tastes, which makes it another disappointing Tazo tea.
When it comes to teas, Tazo tea seldom impresses me. I keep giving it the chance, but the teas I try from Tazo usually fall short. In the case of Zen tea, I am hugely disappointed in that the scent is so much better and diverse than the tea itself.
Tazo Zen is a naturally caffeine-free green tea from Tazo, a tea company in Portland, Oregon. The tea comes individually wrapped in the box of twenty bags, each tea bag with its own string and paper tab, much like the classic Lipton look. For a company selling itself on responsibility to mind and body, one might find this ironic; why they did not mimic Celestial Seasonings' stringless bags in tribute to the environment is something of a mystery. The twenty bag box is generally found in the same price range as Celestial Seasonings tea and the stark contrast in boxes makes for an easy visual distinction.
Zen is a green tea designed to relax the drinker, though it does not have any medicinal properties to do that.
Ease Of Preparation
Zen is a remarkably easy tea to prepare. Well, it's not as easy as a Celestial Seasonings tea; those you open a single wrapper and drop the tea bag into a teapot! Zen requires one to open the box, remove the paper-wrapped tea bag, unwrap that, unwind the string from around the tea bag and then set it into the teapot. Yes, it's still easy, but it's fun to be dramatic about it from time to time.
In all seriousness, Zen tea is very easy to prepare. One need only place the tea bag in a mug or a steeping pot and pour near-boiling water over it. Let steep for three to five minutes and the tea is ready. For my first cup, I let it steep the full five minutes to get the full flavor from it. This still yielded a fairly light cup of tea.
For those who are tea bag misers, a second cup made by reusing the same tea bag resulted in a mug of tea that was only 1/4 strong as the first cup. This is not an ideal tea for reusing the tea bags.
Zen Tea smells like mint and lemon. The scents are not terribly strong, but they are inviting. The smell does not contain any hint of tea in the bouquet.
On the taste front, the Zen tea is surprisingly generically tea flavored tea. For a tea that smells so good, this is a very light-on-flavor tea. The green tea flavor dominates over any spearmint or lemon flavor that the smell indicates the tea possesses.
Adulterated by sugar, Zen is no sweeter. All sugar seems to do is cut out the hint of anything other than tea. This tea has no aftertaste to it.
The ingredients to Zen green tea are very simple: Green tea, Lemon Verbena, and spearmint leaves are the prime ingredients. There is nothing sinister or unhealthy in this tea.
In terms of nutrition, this tea is devoid of it. One 8 oz. mug of this tea provides nothing of nutritional value to the drinker. There are no calories (save what one adds from sugar), no fat, sodium, caffeine or protein. Zen (tea) will not keep one alive or healthy. Zen green tea is Kosher for those who keep Kosher.
Because of the various layers of packaging, Zen appears to stay fresh for quite some time. So long as it is kept dry, this tea has a decent shelf life. As far as cleaning up, one need only rinse out the steeping pot or mug to prevent it from staining. The tea bags may be tossed easily enough. For those - like me - who compost their old tea bags, it is important to remove the staple and string with the little paper tab before composting this. That's an annoying extra step, especially after years of Celestial Seasonings teas!
As for the tea itself, this is a very light green-brown tea and it will stain light fabrics, so it is highly recommended if one actually gets this tea that they clean up any spills promptly.
Tazo Zen tea is a tea that does not liven the consumer up, make them more restful, or taste particularly flavorful.
For other Tazo tea reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Wild Sweet Orange
For other food and drink reviews, please visit my index page by Food And Drink Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.