Friday, February 25, 2011

"Imperial White Peach" White Tea By Celestial Seasonings Begs The Question: "What's The Point?!"

The Good: Contains caffeine! Aroma
The Bad: Wow, well, first, it doesn't taste like peach, Lack of flavor, Weak, Dull
The Basics: Wow! Imperial White Peach White Tea from Celestial Seasonings is an incredible disappointment that will make peaches feel ashamed to be associated with it!

Once upon a time, I found myself psyched to review Celestial Seasonings Imperial White Peach White Tea, which I was drinking most of that morning. But, it meant I would skip over the story of white tea and how I come to know about it (how's that for a hook to get you to keep checking back for other reviews?!) and leap right in with a review of the white tea I was drinking.

For the life of me, outside the fact that I already own the box of tea bags, I do not know why I have this tea. The only tea I ever drink that is not Celestial Seasonings - these days - is from a wonderful little shop in Salem, Massachusetts and the flavor I usually buy in bulk - they are free-floating tea leaves there for a strainer-type brewing pot - is Ginger Peach. The Ginger Peach is a heady black tea that has a bold flavor a strong ginger aroma and tastes like peaches baked in a pie. Celestial Seasonings Imperial White Peach is, at best, what the Ginger Peach tastes like when I've used the same basket of tea to make five pots of tea.


Imperial White Peach is a white tea from Celestial Seasonings. It is a 100% natural white tea and it has a hefty amount of caffeine (see "Nutrition" below!). It 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 Imperial White Peach comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.

As one might surmise, this tea is intended to be peach flavored. It tastes more like the "white" or the end of an empire (lots of wind blowing through those ruins!) so I suppose that might be how they get by the Truth In Advertising laws with this product. The "peach" is tacked on at the end, so it clearly illustrates it's less peach, more white.

The Imperial White Peach is a white tea. White tea is made from virgin tea blooms, which makes white tea very uncommon and supposedly that much harder to produce. Because of the limited window of time to harvest the buds and first-growth tea leaves, white tea is very difficult to process, yet buyers still get a box with twenty teabags, just like virtually any other Celestial Seasoning tea!

Ease Of Preparation

As a white tea, Imperial White Peach requires a little more care to prepare than most teas. A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea and could be reused and make a second cup of Imperial White Peach, supposing one likes the taste of steaming water. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well or at least as well as can be made with this tea.

To prepare Imperial White Peach tea, bring a pot of water to a near-boil and pour it over the tea bags. The water should not be boiling, but rather a few degrees below boiling when you pour the water over the tea bag(s) in your cup, mug or pot. Imperial White Peach takes only one to three minutes to steep according to the directions. In my experience, it needs the full three minutes, though letting it steep longer than that does not make the flavor any more full. Put another way: if I leave a pot of "Candy Cane Lane" tea (reviewed here!) in my pot overnight, the next morning the pot will be "seasoned" with the mint flavor. It will take a good scrub using soap and much boiling water to get the taste out of the pot; every tea I make in the pot for several days will have a mint aftertaste, that's how strong the taste is. I suspect I could leave a fully loaded pot of Imperial White Peach tea brewing in the pot for a week and still not get taste out of it, much less an aftertaste that contaminated future pots!


Ever want to write a food review where when it comes to the "taste section," you simply write "What taste?!" You've no idea how tempted I am to let that stand as my commentary on the taste of Imperial White Peach! You've no idea. . .

Imperial White Peach does not taste like peach. Just for this review, I broke open a tea bag and chewed on the tea; that did not taste even vaguely like peach! This has a vague fruit flavor that is more analogous to the memory of oranges and lemons than peaches. This tea is not peachy, it's barely fruity. It's more just steamy and watery. Bland! Bland as Steven Wright's deliveries, that's how bland!

All this tea has going for it in this department is the aroma. Sure, it smells like peaches. Tease! This tea will get your hopes up and then dash them like being stood up for prom; you show up for the dance, but there's no peaches to be found! In its hot form, this tea is simply bland with a nice aroma. It has a vaguely sweet insinuation under the water taste. This tea results in more temperature and aroma than actual taste.

Adding sugar to this tea does highlight the sweetness of it, but does not make it taste more like peaches. Instead, it becomes a peach-scented hot sugarwater, which is good enough, but still nothing to write home about.

Cold, the tea is even more like water. If the Imperial White Peach tastes like hot water with a strong peach scent, then it tastes like cold water when it's cold; the tea needs the vapors to carry the scent, I suppose. I added milk to two cups (one hot, one iced) and the milk flavor overpowered even the hint of fruit. Skim milk has a stronger taste than this tea! Milk may be added to this tea with no adverse effect in terms of chemical composition.


Imperial White Peach prides itself on being an all natural white tea and the ingredients are simple and non-threatening. There is nothing terribly mysterious in this tea made of white tea, orange peel, natural white peach flavor with other natural flavors and peaches. The box notes that it contains soy lecithin and this tea is gluten free. The box will not tell you that it is generally taste free as well.

Because it is all natural, the white tea leaves are not treated with anything and the tea contains caffeine. This rates a 50 on the caffeine meter (based on milligrams of caffeine in an 8 oz. serving), which puts it just above Cola and a little over half of what one would expect from a cup of regular coffee. From experience, though, this is not a tea that will wake one up unless they pour it on themselves to burn themselves awake (don't do that, it's just stupid!). In other words, this is such a weak tea that even the caffeine that is in it is not useful at all.

Outside that, this is just another tea. That means that unless one adds sugar, milk, lemon, a Nutrigrain bar, poison or a vitamin supplement, all you're getting out of it is the (snicker) flavor. This tea does not provide any calories, fat, sodium, or protein to the person who drinks it. And chewing on the tea is not recommended, either.


Imperial White Peach 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 so weak I doubt it could stain anything if one were trying! As a result, mugs that hold the tea ought to clean up with a rinse without any problems.


How many ways may I call this tea bland?! Sure, it has the aroma and caffeine, but there are about a hundred other beverages out there that can make that same claim (probably even a hundred peach-flavored beverages that can make that claim! This is not worth your time, attention or taste buds. Celestial Seasonings can - and does! - do better and I shall not be surprised when this tea fades from the shelf, like it will fade from my memory. I was going to close with the witty line "like it fades from the taste buds," but that would imply it had a taste that was strong enough to linger and then fade. This is pre-faded tea and it's unworthy.

For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please check out:
Wild Berry Zinger
Cinnamon Apple Spice
Sweet Coconut Thai Chai


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

© 2011, 2008, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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