Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chamomile Herb Tea: Translation: Celestial Seasonings Makes Rice Water!

The Good: Intriguing aroma, taste is all right (hot or cold), Nothing bad in it.
The Bad: Caffeine Free, Weak, Eh.
The Basics: A popular staple tea, Chamomile appeals to those who like their tea weak, yet flavorful, a tough tea to get excited about.

For those who do not read my reviews, I am a huge fan of the teas of Celestial Seasonings. I have visited their plant out in Boulder, Colorado and I have enjoyed their teas for years. I've eagerly reviewed over fifty Celestial Seasonings teas. Now comes the review I have been somewhat dreading since I began the reviews of Celestial Seasonings teas: Chamomile.

Chamomile is one of the staple teas made by Celestial Seasonings and they promote it as one of their flagship flavors. Truth be told, I've not seen any other tea companies give such priority to their chamomile tea, so it's quite possible Celestial Seasonings is the acknowledged champion of chamomile herb teas.

The thing about Chamomile tea is that it is weak. It is a decent tasting (sort of) tea, but it is weak and I like my teas flavorful.


Chamomile is an all-natural Herb Tea from Celestial Seasonings. This Herb tea is 100% natural and as a result is caffeine free - none of the ingredients in it had caffeine to begin with so it did not undergo any chemical process to remove them. Chamomile is a wildflower and its use as a tea is interesting, but yields a tea reminiscent of dandelion juice.

Chamomile 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 Chamomile tea comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.

Ease Of Preparation

Chamomile is a very standard tea; it is your basic herbal tea when it comes to preparation. Like many other Celestial Seasonings teas, there are no tea leaves listed in the ingredients, so this herbal tea flower-based. A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea and could be reused and make a second, rather weak cup of Chamomile tea. The second cup often comes out about as far weaker than the first, which is a serious detraction given how weak it is to begin with. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well, though a second pot with the same bags will come out about 3/8 strength. In other words, this is a terrible tea for the teabag miser!

To prepare Chamomile tea, bring a pot of water to a boil and pour it over the tea bags, in a pot or mug. This tea takes four to six minutes to steep according to the directions and if the water is truly boiling, I've found it comes out quite ready after the four minutes. Actually, this is a tea that I can never make strong enough. After four minutes, the flavor does not concentrate any more. After six minutes, the flavor does not get any stronger so there is no benefit to letting it steep longer than that. Chamomile never gets "too strong."


This is Celestial Seasonings flagship tea and it is hard to see why. The best way to describe Chamomile Tea is this; it smells like ricewater and it tastes like it, too. From the moment one pours boiling water on the tea bags, the scent of rice will diffuse through the kitchen/dining space. The Chamomile tea has a surprisingly strong aroma given how weak the tea is.

And the tea tastes like rice, too. This is liquid rice. There's no better way to describe it. If you like rice and like tea, Chamomile is for you! It's not a strong flavor, it's not something delicious beyond all compare, but it is all right.

To give one an idea on the lack of flavor, adding anything to Chamomile tea overwhelms it. Sugar, you've got sugar water. Honey, you've honey in hot water. Milk? Well, it's just a double-bland there! This is a very subtle flavor of tea and not likely to wow those who enjoy lots of flavorful teas.

Cold, the tea is just as good, though there is no additional flavor that comes more evident when it is cold. It's still bland, even with sugar.


Like what one might expect from a tea that smells and tastes like rice water, this tea is pretty low on the scale of nutritional value. That's not to say it is bad for the drinker, it just does not have much to recommend it. This tea has one ingredient: Chamomile flowers. Nothing more, nothing less. Thus, the ingredient in Chamomile tea is very simple and natural. There is nothing unpronouncable in this tea and it is noted as being gluten free (for whom that matters).

In terms of nutrition, Chamomile is another tea in a long line of teas that contribute nothing but hydration to the body. There is no nutritional benefit or detriment to this tea. 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 or milk), no fat, sodium, or protein and no caffeine. This is more a flavored water than a tea!


Chamomile 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 very light tea, so it does not leave enough residue to stain anything above paper!


Bland. Chamomile is a good tea, but it is bland. I ultimately recommended this tea for this simple reason: tea connoisseurs will want a staple box and this is still better than, say Lipton, tea. Keep a box on hand and it's worthwhile every now and then. But one box will likely last the drinker quite a long time. I know mine did.

For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please check out:
Black Cherry Berry
Lemon Zinger
Candy Cane Lane


For other tea and beverage reviews, please check out my index page for an organized listing!

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

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