The Good: Tastes all right, especially with sugar, Generally decent ingredients.
The Bad: Does not taste like mint, Sour aftertaste, Caffeine free.
The Basics: Not tasting like mint at all - save when cold - Sweet Dreams is more sour than the name suggests, making it easy to not try.
It surprised me when I received my package of Sweet Dreams tea from Bigelow for me to realize that I had never had this tea before. This actually surprises me because I have a love of mint teas and I was shocked that there was a mint tea on the market I had not tried. So, when I had the chance to try Sweet Dreams, a tea claiming to be a relaxing blend of chamomile and mint, I was psyched.
I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up. Sweet Dreams is not an awful tea, but it is not very good and ultimately, I opted to not recommend it because it did not taste like mint!
Sweet Dreams is an herbal tea from Bigelow that is caffeine-free and is all natural. Sweet Dreams comes in Bigelow's standard individually-wrapped tea bags, means that each tea bag has a wax papery envelope it is sealed in for freshness. Each tea bag has a five-inch string with a little paper tab at the end, which is quite a bit more waste than I like from a tea bag. When I make pots of tea, I tend to use two bags and making a steeping pot of Sweet Dreams reminds me of why I like the easy environmentalism of Celestial Seasonings' stringless bags. A box of Sweet Dreams comes with 20 individually-wrapped tea bags.
Sweet Dreams is marketed as a relaxing dessert or after dinner tea which is intended to be mild, soothing and inoffensive. It is mild, but the sour taste it has for its main flavor is hardly soothing or inoffensive.
Ease Of Preparation
Sweet Dreams 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 is not ideal with this tea. These tea bags can be reused the result is still a fairly strong pot of tea. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well, even for a second pot. Sweet Dreams makes for a poor tea in the reusing department as the second pot comes out 1/2 of the original strength at best. More often than not, I found I could not reuse the teabags without getting a beverage which was little more than broth.
To prepare Sweet Dreams, simply boil some water, and pour it over the tea bags in a cup, mug or steeping pot. This tea is recommended to take three to five minutes to steep and after a couple cups and pots, I've found that with truly boiling water, the tea needs the full five minutes to brew properly. However, letting the tea steep more than six minutes does not net any additional flavor, nor does it denature the flavor of the tea.
Sweet Dreams smells good, but it has a fruity aroma which immediately warned me that this was not going to be the most chamomile or mint-flavored tea I had ever had. Indeed, the aroma is gently, vaguely fruity and prepares the consumer adequately for the beverage inside.
Sweet Dreams is a light tea and it tastes more like lemon than anything else. If my fear for the tea had been that it might taste like weak ricewater, that fear was quickly dispelled. Instead of ricewater, this tea tasted of lemon and a light lemon taste at that. That is, until the aftertaste set in. The aftertaste is very sour, just like lemon and the aftertaste becomes stronger the cooler the tea becomes.
With a teaspoon of sugar, the mild lemon taste erupts from the tea and the sour aftertaste is dissipated. Instead of sour, the aftertaste takes on a drier quality and it is thoroughly underwhelming. Milk has a tendency to overwhelm the flavor of this tea.
At no point while I tried this tea hot did it actually taste like mint. However, cold or iced, the tea takes on a cool, clearly minty aftertaste, though it is overwhelmed until then by the fruit flavor of the basic tea. Despite being a chamomile tea, this tea neither tastes nor smells like the usual ricey chamomile flavor.
It is surprising that the dominant flavor of Sweet Dreams is lemon, considering that there is nothing resembling lemon in the ingredients list. That it tastes like lemon when the primary ingredients are: chamomile, hibiscus, and peppermint leaves is somewhat surprising. There is nothing unpronouncable or even unpleasant in the ingredient list and the fact that it is all natural is definitely a point in its favor.
Outside the sugar I occasionally add to mugs of Sweet Dreams, this tea is devoid of any nutritional value. It contains no calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates, caffeine or protein. For those with special dietary concerns, this tea does not have any notations claiming it is either Gluten Free or Kosher. Those with such dietary constraints ought to check the Bigelow website to see it that is more up-to-date than their website.
Sweet Dreams 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. If composting, though, one needs to remove the string and staple in order to insure that everything being put in your garden is actually biodegradable. This tea is fairly light, even at full strength and it will stain only light fabrics. However, 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 Sweet Dreams tea.
A bland to sour tea, Sweet Dreams was a culinary experience that was anything but dreamy for me. A disappointing tea, though not the worst I have had.
For other tea reviews of mine, please check out:
Yogi Ginger Organic tea
Dilmah Ceylon Green tea
Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane tea
For other drink reviews, click here for my index page!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be be reprinted without permission.