The Good: Caffeinated, Convenient
The Bad: Environmentally terrible, Tastes awful
The Basics: Environmentally and culinarily a failure, Celestial Seasonings Zingers To Go Blueberry Splash Green Tea mix flops in the niche market dominated by Crystal Lite.
Last year, on my way back from Las Vegas, I made my annual stop at the Celestial Seasonings factory in Boulder, Colorado. One of the consequences of getting teas from the factory is getting products early to review. I reviewed the Zingers-To-Go Peach Delight (click here for review) and Wild Berry Chill (click here for that review). But my first experience with the Zingers-To-Go was with Blueberry Splash.
I picked these up for three reasons: 1. I had never tried them, 2. My wife is currently being enticed to drink more water by drinking drink mixes like Crystal Lite and Snapple this summer, and 3. They were in the clearance box at Celestial Seasonings. Note to self: if it is being clearanced at the factory, it might not be the best product. Sadly, this is exactly the case with Celestial Seasonings Zingers To Go Blueberry Splash Green Tea mix.
Unlike most Celestial Seasonings teas, Celestial Seasonings Zingers To Go Green Tea mix is a collection of ten single serving packets of powdered drink mix. The plastic packets house a fine powder, much like Kool-Aid or Crystal Lite. The .07 oz. packets are made of a stiff plastic designed to keep the contents fresh and they have a perforation that makes them easy to get into. The Blueberry Splash Zingers To Go comes in a small box of ten .07 oz. packets, which pretty much undermines Celestial Seasonings' otherwise wonderful environmental track record. This is designed to be a cool (iced, but not as cold) tea drink for those on the go who have the desire to drink cold tea, but lack the time to properly brew it.
Ease Of Preparation
Here, Celestial Seasonings clearly attempts to capitalize on the market that has been untapped of people who have been drinking bottled water instead of their tea. Preparing the Blueberry Splash Zinger On The Go is easy. Simply tear open the plastic envelope with the powdered mix, an easy feat considering that there is a perforation in the package, and dump the powder into a 16.9 fl. oz. bottle and shake. Yes, Celestial Seasonings calibrated the packaging of the mix to fit ideally into the standard size water bottle (at least, it is the standard for the Aquafina bottles I found en route home!). Celestial Seasonings is hoping when one refills their water bottles, they will add the Zingers To Go.
It is seriously that easy; add the powder to water, seal the bottle up and shake it. A few good shakes and the powder will dissolve and one has the Blueberry Splash green tea they wanted. Preparation is easy and once the envelope is emptied it may be disposed of properly.
Here is where fans of Celestial Seasonings and their products are bound to make this a nationwide clearance rack product. I lucked out; at the factory, the box of ten packets was only fifty cents. Around the country, they average $2.29/box. That might seem like a value until one tastes this. Even the bouquet is sour. Opening up the bottle - cleaned thoroughly before I began making this product in it - reveals a scent that smells sour in a metallic way. This is not ideal for a product intended to taste like grapes. No, the scent does not invite the consumer in at all.
It does, however, accurately predict the taste of the beverage in the bottle. Blueberry Splash Green Tea tastes incredibly sour and not terribly like blueberries. I'll amend that; this tastes like blueberries that are hot in the sun and are about three weeks past their prime. The dominant taste is a sourness, supported by a watery base that barely resembles green tea. The denatured fruit flavor overwhelms the tongue, but when that taste fades, all one is left with is a watery aftertaste, which is much like what one gets from green tea.
Adding sugar ought to help this product, but while it cuts the sourness, it does not accent the fruit flavor in any noticeable way. This is only vaguely blueberry in the way it tastes. Those who love fruit will be disappointed and anyone looking for a refreshing beverage will have to keep looking after this.
To its credit, Celestial Seasonings attempts to make its Zingers To Go product with natural elements, which might be why the one we bought in August expired in October of 2009. There are recognizable ingredients like hibiscus, orange peel and rosehips. Unfortunately, unlike most Celestial Seasonings products, the ingredient list degenerates into preservatives and sugars that are usually absent from their products.
Nutritionally, this product is devoid of it just like most teas are. It is carbohydrate free and has no calories. This drink does have antioxidants and an apparently negligible amount of caffeine. It is not enough to keep one up from the caffeine (the taste, on the other hand . . .). There is nothing bad in this and it can encourage people not inclined to drink water to do that. Or, it could if it were better.
The individual packs remain fresh so long as they are unruptured and the individual serving size for each powder packet insures the rest of the mix will not get stale. Humidity seems to be the greatest enemy of the Zingers To Go, but the packets keep it from getting moist.
Cleaning up this product is easy when it is in powder form. Should you spill it, simply sweep it up or wipe it up with a damp cloth. If it is in liquid form, it is a bright purple liquid that will stain light colored fabrics. Consult a fabric guide on how to get tea out for cleaning up after spills from this tea drink. Generally, though, it cleans out of mugs and cups easily.
Celestial Seasonings is usually an environmentally responsible company making great products that taste good and are worth the money. Unfortunately, Blueberry Splash Green Tea mix from the Zingers To Go line is a huge disappointment. While I got it on clearance, it is often more expensive and tastes sour. Not at all a thirst quencher, this powdered drink mix is easy to pass by, even though it has caffeine.
For other Celestial Seasonings teas, please check out my reviews of:
Vanilla Ginger Green Chai
Saphara Tropical Rooibos
For other beverage reviews, please click here to visit my index page!
© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.