Friday, October 8, 2010

Celestial Seasonings' Lemon Zinger Herb Tea: All The Lemon, Without The Sour!

The Good: Tastes quite like lemon, With sugar, it tastes quite good, energizing effect!
The Bad: Caffeine Free
The Basics: Lemon Zinger tastes like the strong, the sour and the sweet that is lemon, even though it is at its best with sugar.

I'll admit, I'm a stickler for truth in flavoring, especially when it comes to things like fruit flavored teas. I want my teas to taste like the fruit they claim to be, nothing more, nothing less. I've knocked down perfectly good blueberry teas because they do not taste enough like blueberry and there's a certain peach flavored tea that went down hard for the same reason. So, it may seem contradictory that with "Lemon Zinger," one of Celestial Seasonings' 100% natural herb teas, I'm happy the drink is more the better nature of lemon, as opposed to the truest nature of the fruit.

After all, lemon is such a bitter fruit songs have been written about its acidity! When your fruit's lesser nature is immortalized in song, it's hard to want to get excited about drinking something so sour and bitter. Yes "Lemon Zinger" is the flavor of lemons without the bite and puckering. This might be the best way to get one's does of lemon/citrus flavoring.


Lemon Zinger is a tea from Celestial Seasonings. It is a 100% natural herb tea that has no caffeine because all of the all natural herbs in it are naturally devoid of caffeine. Lemon Zinger 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 Lemon Zinger comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.

Lemon Zinger is marketed as a lemon flavored tea and it truthfully is the best type of taste of lemons when drinking it.

Ease Of Preparation

Lemon Zinger is a tea, which means preparation is as easy as boiling a pot of water! 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." 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. My attempts found the second pot yielded a broth that was - at best 3/8 as strong as the original pot.

To prepare Lemon Zinger, simply boil some water, and pour it over the tea bags in a cup, mug or steeping pot. This tea is recommended to take four to six minutes to steep and after a couple cups and pots, I've found that with truly boiling water, the tea is ready at the four minute mark and letting it steep longer strangely does not 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.

When visiting the Celestial Seasonings plant in Boulder, Colorado and taking the free tour there, I remember distinctly the tour guide warning us all that with the Zinger teas milk cannot be added. If you add milk to a Zinger tea, the tea curdles the milk, I'm fairly sure it was because of the citric acid in the tea. The problem is, I'm not positive that's the reason (I am sure of the warning and the result of adding milk to Zinger teas), but I seem to recall that citric acid was to blame. As a result of a good faith belief that the people who produce this product know what they are talking about, none of my sampling of Lemon Zinger involved adding milk to it.


Lemon Zinger impressed me with the first sip. While the aroma is faintly citrusy, it does not adequately prepare the tea drinker for the lemon flavor. What aroma there was was vaguely fruity, not even smelling much like tea. I was concerned that this meant it would taste weak, but with my first sip, I was pleasantly surprised.

Lemon Zinger tastes like lemons warmed in the sun with a little sprinkle of sugar on them. Even without sugar, the Lemon Zinger is tangy, but not so tart as to be unpleasant. Instead, the dominant flavor truly is that of lemons, without the sour and nastiness usually associated with lemons.

Actually, the precise flavor of Lemon Zinger is that of a Lemonhead candies after the initial sour has dissipated. It is exactly that precise, almost manufactured lemon flavor that one might expect from a product as opposed to an actual lemon. If you know that flavor, it might be incentive to get a box of this tea! And if you don't know the sweet nature of lemonheads, well, this might be a better way to taste it!

With a teaspoon of sugar, this tea tastes sweet in the way that lemon candies tastes. It is a delightful taste and the sugar effectively cuts any lingering hint of sour right out. Lemon Zinger is sour and unpleasant cold. Iced, without sugar, this tea is miserable in a way that few foods could manage to be. Iced, with sugar (using a bit!) it tastes like an alternative to a lemon fruit juice drink!


It's surprising that the dominant flavor of Lemon Zinger is lemon, considering that the primary ingredients are: hibiscus, rosehips and roasted chicory. Actual lemons score near the bottom of the ingredient list, yet the flavor works so it is very hard to complain! Lemon Zinger tea is 100% natural and it is caffeine-free.

Were it not for the sugar I add whenever I make pots of Lemon Zinger, this tea would be devoid of any nutritional value. It contains no calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates or protein.


Lemon Zinger 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. The tea is fairly light, even at full strength, but it would probably stain, if one left it on fabric for a long time, but mugs that hold the tea rinse clean. Spills ought to be cleaned up quickly to prevent this tea from staining fabrics, though that's a pretty good general rule not just limited to the Lemon Zinger tea.


Lemon Zinger is quite good, and anyone who likes tea that is strong in a sweet lemon flavor will likely enjoy Lemon Zinger. Even without caffeine or sugar, this tea manages to have an energizing effect and it's surprising how it wakes one up just from the taste alone! This is a worthwhile tea bound to be enjoyed by anyone who likes fruit teas.

For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please check out my takes on:
Candy Cane Lane
Tropic Of Strawberry
Wild Berry Chill Zingers To Go


For other tea reviews, please visit my index page for an organized listing!

© 2010, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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