The Good: Tastes good, Great aroma
The Bad: Caffeine free, Smaller package
The Basics: Good and mild, this internationally-available Linden Mint Tea by Celestial Seasonings is good, but not exceptional.
It is no surprise to anyone who knows me or reads my reviews that I absolutely love mint. I could live on chocolate mint and mint teas tend to be my favorite drinks both hot and cold. So, I was a bit surprised when my wife moved in that with her came a box of Linden Mint tea and she was shocked to learn I had never tried it. For my part, on my yearly sojourn to the Celestial Seasonings tea factory, I have seen the Linden Mint tea, but never known what kind of mint "linden" was. Foolish me, I did not realize that linden was the herb base for this tea and that because Linden Mint tea is almost exclusively packaged for the international market (hence its smaller box size and English and Spanish text) the name is grammatically less accurate than "Mint Linden Tea." That said, Linden Mint tea makes for a fine, if mild addition to Celestial Seasonings' line-up.
Linden Mint is a more spearmint tea than Celestial Seasonings' other mint teas, though it does have peppermint in it as well. It is a drier tea, but it is still delicious and it makes for an excellent mint iced tea. Because it is designed for the international market, it comes in little boxes of ten tea bags, which is not the standard in the United States, but is the standard in England, Spain and France, apparently because of the need to conserve space in apartments there (this comes from the factory tour where they described such things). Still, the ten tea bag pack is worth hunting down and can be found in the U.S. in discount stores, like Dollar General or Big Lots from time to time.
Linden Mint is a 100% Natural Herb Tea from Celestial Seasonings. As an Herb tea, the ingredients are naturally caffeine free as they never had caffeine in any of them. This is a plus for those looking out for their health as decaffeinating tea is often a process that is less healthy than using naturally caffeine free ingredients. I am still hunting down a mint tea that has caffeine but for the life of me, I can't seem find one, at least from Celestial Seasonings.
Linden Mint comes in Celestial Seasoning's standard stringless tea bags and in this package they actually come as individual bags, not the usual pairs with the perforation between them. When I make pots of tea, I tend to use two bags. A box of Linden Mint herb tea comes with only five such pairs (ten individual) of tea bags.
Ease Of Preparation
Despite being an herb tea, Linden Mint is prepared pretty much like a standard black tea. A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea, though it cannot be reused well to make a second cup of Linden Mint, as there is a significant loss of flavor. The second cup often comes out only about 1/2 or 3/8 as strong as the first, provided the first steeping was not over the recommended time. If the first steeping is longer than that, the second attempt to brew gets even weaker. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well.
To prepare Linden Mint herb tea, bring a pot of water to a boil and pour it over the tea bags, assuming the bags are in an appropriate vessel (steeping pot, tea mug, etc. by that time). This tea takes four to six minutes to steep according to the directions and in my experience, it needs the full six minutes to get up to strength. The mint flavor gets no stronger after seven minutes.
First, Linden Mint has a good aroma. The steam coming off whatever one is preparing this in is a strong blend of spearmint and another herb. The herbal smell is like a weakened lavender scent and I presume this is the scent of linden. The dominant scent is spearmint, though.
Without anything added to it, Linden Mint is the most recognizable spearmint tea Celestial Seasonings makes. While there is a peppermint aftertaste, the primary taste is the drier, more sharp taste of spearmint and it is at least as strong as the aroma insinuates it will be. This tea perfectly captures the flavor of spearmint and cup after cup it is delicious. The menthol aftertaste is cut by an herbal flavor from the linden and the tea is a nice blend of tea flavor and mint.
With a single teaspoon of sugar in the mug, this tea tastes strangely muted in the mint flavor. One might think sugar would make it taste like a spearmint bubblegum, but instead, Linden Mint tea tastes more forcefully of herbal tea with the sugar added. The spearmint flavor actually becomes sublimated to the fruity/herbal taste of linden and the brew takes on a more mellow flavor.
Cold, the tea is good, though the flavor is more sharply minty. Indeed, without a temperature, Linden Mint has an increased menthol minty flavor that is good. It tends to benefit from sugar when cold to cut the almost bitter mint quality it has otherwise.
The ingredients to this tea, rather refreshingly, include linden, spearmint and peppermint, which is doubtless why linden and spearmint are the dominant flavors of the tea. There are a few other ingredients, which fill out the tea flavor subtly, but for the most part, it's the spearmint that makes this tea what it is!
In terms of nutrition, this tea is devoid of it. 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, which I recommend), no fat, sodium, or protein and no caffeine. This is not a tea where caffeine in the tea will wake the drinker up, but the mint flavor just might!
Linden Mint Herb 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 might stain a mug if it is left there for days on end, but otherwise may be cleaned up easily by rinsing out the vessel. Of note is that this tea, like most mint teas, will leave an aftertaste in the mouth or in a cup, so if you clean out a mug by simply swishing water through it, odds are your next cup of whatever will have a hint of mint to it.
Linden Mint is a good mint tea, but not the best from Celestial Seasonings. The lack of caffeine, combined with the smaller package make it a slightly tougher sell for me, but it is still a wonderful taste for a tea.
For other teas by Celestial Seasonings, please check out my reviews of:
India Spice Chai Decaf
Chocolate Raspberry Bliss
For other food or drink reviews, please visit my index page!
© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.