Wednesday, October 13, 2010

An Average Tea Masquerading As Something Extraordinary: Saphara Mango Ginger Green Tea Leaves Me Unimpressed.

The Good: Does not taste bad
The Bad: Expensive, Environmentally irresponsible, Does not carry the flavor of mango or ginger.
The Basics: Another overpriced tea from the Saphara line of Celestial Seasonings teas, Mango Ginger Green tea fails to taste like the flavors it claims to.

Sometimes, the more things change, the worse they get. I am feeling that way currently about the Celestial Seasonings tea line as they attempt to innovate and make a product that is geared toward a "higher class" of consumer. With their Saphara tea line, Celestial Seasonings is wooing the consumers who are looking for high-quality ingredients and are willing to pay top dollar for them. Unfortunately, as I make my way through their six-box collection of teas, I have been more or less disappointed with the Saphara line. With my fourth flavor, I find myself once again falling toward underwhelmed by these pricey teas.

Tonight's flavor is Mango Ginger Green Tea and my gripe - outside my usual gripe about the lack of environmental responsibility of the Saphara line – is that this is yet another tea with a great name that tastes far less like any of the fruits or herbs in its title than it does just plain, generic tea. And while I like green tea, the promise of mango and ginger was wonderful . . . and the execution of it left me unfulfilled.


Mango Ginger Green Tea is an organic green tea from Celestial Seasonings's Saphara line, which is "organic fair trade certified." This green tea is entirely natural and organic. Unfortunately, Saphara Mango Ginger Green Tea seems to be overwhelmed by the fresh flavor of the green tea leaves, leaving little other flavor in the beverage. Like the other Saphara teas, the consumer appears to mostly paying for their principles with this box.

Mango Ginger Green Tea comes with Saphara's standard pyramid-shaped tea bags. Each pyramid-shaped tea bag is made of biodegradable materials (I'm guessing bamboo) and unlike other Celestial Seasonings products, the Saphara tea pyramids come with strings and little tags. Each box of tea has fifteen individually plastic-wrapped tea bags. On the plus side, because the tea pyramids allow the tea leaves to expand and offer more surface area for the tea to brew with, a pair of tea bags will make an entire pot of tea.

Ease Of Preparation

Mango Ginger Green Tea is your standard green tea as far as the preparation goes. A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea and could be reused and make a second cup of this tea, and the second brewing is not bad. The second cup is likely to come out about ¾ as strong as the first brewing. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and two tea bags makes a pot of tea as strong as this gets and may be used to make a fair second batch.

To prepare Mango Ginger Green Tea, bring a pot of water to a boil and pour it over the tea bags. Filtered water should be just boiling as this will brew the flavor out of the green tea leaves. This tea takes three to five minutes to steep and when the water is at boiling, and it needs at least the full five minutes to get the full flavor from the bags. After five minutes, the flavor does not concentrate any more so there is no benefit to letting it steep longer than that.


The Saphara Mango Ginger Green Tea has a great scent. Dominated by a fruit scent obvious to anyone who has had the fresh fruit as mango, Mango Ginger Green smells inviting and intriguing. This is a scent that fills the kitchen and makes the consumer believe they are going to taste something rich and fruity.

Unfortunately for the consumer, this is another tea that smells better than it tastes. The tea tastes like a strong, but rather generic green tea. There is not even a hint of fruit flavor to it, which the scent insinuates. Instead, this as a strong green tea flavor with a slight ginger aftertaste, like a bite from a ginger snap just as the taste is fading off the tongue. The tea has no aftertaste, so it is mildly refreshing as a beverage.

With a teaspoon of sugar, Saphara Mango Ginger Green Tea becomes no fruitier, but it does take on more of a ginger taste to it and the tea tastes drier. Milk makes the tea taste more like sour milk than a creamy tea when it is added to the tea. Cool, this becomes an exceptionally dry tea with a very seaweedy green tea taste to it.


This tea mediocre green tea comprised primarily of organic decaffeinated green tea, organic mango-ginger, and organic mangoes. As with most Celestial Seasonings teas, there is nothing unpronouncable in this tea and it is 100% natural and organic. It is not noted to be gluten free and it is Kosher.

In terms of nutrition, I would not suggest trying to live on Mango Ginger Green Tea. In an 8 oz. mug, there are no calories, nor fat, nor sodium, nor carbs, nor protein. Any nutritional value would come from what you add to this. As well, because the tea has been decaffeinated (as opposed to naturally caffeine free), sticklers for health and organic processing (which this has been certified both organic and decaffeinated) might find this somewhat suspect.


Mango Ginger Green Tea is very 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. The tea itself is a medium dark tea and it will stain most fabrics. Consult a fabric guide if you get the brewed tea on a fabric.


The Mango Ginger Green Tea tastes good, but not like what it claims, making it a much tougher sell for those who want good tea at the price Saphara is demanding for their premium blends. And for those who like green tea, they are likely to feel cheated because it is not at all fruity.

For other teas by Celestial Seasonings, please check out my reviews of:
Black Cherry Berry
Lemon Zinger


For other beverage reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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  1. What a great article on a topic that's so near and dear to our hearts. Thanks for sharing the closet-love!

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