Saturday, December 4, 2010

Going The Extra Mile To Fight Breast Cancer; No There Are Better Ways Than "Cranberry Pomegranate!"

The Good: Purchasing raises money to fight breast cancer, No bad ingredients, Caffeinated
The Bad: Lousy taste, Weak, No aroma, Environmentally irresponsible bulk.
The Basics: Utterly unsatisfying, Cranberry Pomegranate Green Tea might help fight breast cancer, but it will not satisfy tea drinkers!

Sometimes, I suspect that companies I love do things to nab one market even as they mortgage another. So, for example, when I visited the Celestial Seasonings plant in Boulder, Colorado this summer and discovered some brand new tea flavors, I was excited to pick up two green tea flavors that were being used to raise money to fight against breast cancer: Tropical Grapefruit and Cranberry Pomegranate. And while I have a love of Celestial Seasonings teas and I support the fight against breast cancer, these two flavors are just awful. One suspects that Celestial Seasonings, discovering they had made a batch of green tea that was just horrible, opted to market the flavors as limited edition and get the bucks from people who were feeling charitable instead of actually scrapping two bad loads of tea.

Cranberry Pomegranate is worse than the Tropical Grapefruit; at least that tea had an aroma. This one, alas, does not have a strong bouquet of cranberries or pomegranate or (oddly enough) even green tea. This is a thorough disappointment and the only thing that ultimately saved it from an "avoid it" was the caffeine and the flip of a coin.


Cranberry Pomegranate is a tea from Celestial Seasonings. It is a 100% natural green tea that is caffeinated and trades on being flavored like cranberries and pomegranates. Pomegranate appears to be en vogue this year with Celestial Seasonings capitalizing on the trend with this tea, as well as their Moroccan Pomegranate Red and Goji Berry Pomegranate. Cranberry Pomegranate 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 Cranberry Pomegranate comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.

The box of twenty tea bags is bulked together with another five, connected by an outer cellophane wrapper. In other words, there is no saving the environment by purchasing the six pack in bulk in this way. This is a simple bundle pack, six boxes wrapped together! For those considering trying this, you might want to purchase the single box instead and give it a try that way.

Cranberry Pomegranate is marketed as a cranberry and pomegranate flavored tea and it makes the consumer wary when there is no strong aroma from this tea. Instead, it sits, demure, steaming slightly and making the consumer wonder how it could taste like any of the three named ingredients without emitting much of a scent at all.

Ease Of Preparation

Cranberry Pomegranate is a green tea, which means preparation is as easy as almost boiling a pot of water! Green teas, as the directions clearly state, require water that is not quite boiling. Boiling water cooks the tea leaves and ruins the flavor, so water used for green teas like this one must be kept below a full boil. 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." Indeed, the second pots I've tried were incredibly weak, tasting only like the remnants of green tea. These bags are one-use only. 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.

To prepare Cranberry Pomegranate, simply heat up some water, and pour it over the tea bags in a cup, mug or steeping pot. This tea is recommended to take three minutes to steep and after a couple cups and pots, I've found that with almost boiling water, the tea is ready at the three minute mark and letting it steep longer does not truly change the results. Letting the tea steep more than four minutes does not net any additional flavor, nor does it denature the flavor of the tea.

For those purchasing in bulk because they are making this in quantity, I've found that two tea bags per 32 oz. of boiling water is the ideal combination for making it in bulk. Thus, with the one hundred twenty tea bags in this multipack one could either make one hundred twenty cups, sixty pots, or one huge 1920 oz. container of Cranberry Pomegranate Green Tea.


Cranberry Pomegranate, on its own, does not taste like cranberries or pomegranates. It is not sour, which is a shock considering that traditionally, pomegranates and cranberries are. Instead, it tastes like colored water with a mild flavor of something vaguely fruity. On its own, it is hard to define the flavor as "fruity" even; it is bland and not even a strong green tea flavor. In fact, the best way to describe the flavor of this is as what one might get when they have diluted the Moroccan Pomegranate Red to about half strength on reused tea bags, filled a mug half full with that and then half full with a plain green tea. So, at best, the flavor of this tea is the memory of anything fruity.

Even as a green tea, this is a huge disappointment. Weaker than most green teas, there is something like a negative synergy effect going on; like somehow the cranberries or pomegranates weakened the green tea. It is like the three flavors ganged up for dominance and all taste was killed. It doesn't even have an aftertaste! And there is something deeply unsettling about the tea not being remotely sour.

With sugar, Cranberry Pomegranate becomes sweet without enhancing any sense of a fruit flavor. It is remarkably easy to overwhelm the tea with sugar and I recommend no more than a teaspoon (not a heaping one) be added to dissipate the monotony of this tasteless tea. With sugar, it is sweet green tea, but it lacks more flavor than that and anyone looking for a fruity flavored drink will be disappointed by this on the taste front. Even anyone looking to taste something that is tea flavored will be disappointed by how little flavor this tea has.

Iced, Cranberry Pomegranate is an equally unremarkable tea. Cold, it still lacks aroma, but tastes like colored water.


It is somewhat surprising that this tea has no real flavor when the primary ingredients are: green tea, natural cranberry and pomegranate flavors with other natural flavors and cranberries. It stymies one to realize there are actual cranberries and pomegranates in this tea when neither fruit brings with it any flavor! Cranberry Pomegranate tea is all natural, gluten free, and contains only trace amounts of caffeine.

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


Cranberry Pomegranate is a green tea, so it comes out much lighter than other teas. As a result, cleanup is rather simple. The mugs and steeping pot easily rinse out. This does not stain fabrics, unless left on them for excessive amounts of time. Anything that is not a bright color will easily hide a stain from this tea. Lighter colored fabrics might need a rinse, but this tea isn't even strong enough to use as a dying tea!

Cranberry Pomegranate 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. One of the nice things about this tea - like most - is that so long as it is kept cool and dry, it can last for a long time and it is easy to clean up.


Cranberry Pomegranate is a disappointing tea that leaves the drinker unsatisfied, especially one who just wants a fruit-flavored tea. Heck, I would even drink a trendy fruit tea, but this doesn't have any real flavor! I support the National Breast Cancer Foundation, but there is no way I would ever stock up on this tea. I'd rather buy the right yogurts or send them a check; Cranberry Pomegranate (especially in bulk) is a terrible way to go about supporting the fight against breast cancer.

For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please check out:
Mint Magic
Nutcracker Sweet
Golden Honey Darjeeling


For other food and drink reviews, please visit my index page!

© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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