The Good: Good ingredients
The Bad: Not terribly minty, Decaffeined!, Has a slight green tea aftertaste
The Basics: Decaf Mint Green Tea is a poor excuse for a mint tea and even green tea lovers will be underwhelmed by this flavor.
For those who do not follow my tea reviews regularly, I have for quite some time been on a hunt for the ultimate mint tea. So far, the closest I have come with my beloved Celestial Seasonings might well be Mint Magic (reviewed here!), though I have also enjoyed Candy Cane Lane (reviewed here!) and accepted their Linden Mint (reviewed here!). But while restocking recently, I came across Celestial Seasonings's Decaf Mint Green Tea.
As I try to be more health conscious - though it freaks me out that Celestial Seasonings now boldly claims "Now with even more antioxidants!" on the front of the box (what are they doing to get more in there?!) - I decided I might as well give this flavor a go. After all, if they make a mint green tea with lots of antioxidants and that turned out to be the ultimate mint tea and I didn't try it, I'd feel pretty stupid when the green tea fad ends and I missed the opportunity. As it is, I missed nothing by trying this, save the money I spent on the tea.
Decaf Mint Green is a green tea from Celestial Seasonings. It is a 100% natural green tea that is decaffeinated and this is somewhat problematic in its suggestion. Usually, the processes by which tea leaves are decaffeinated - even green tea leaves - is a chemical process which is by its nature not a natural one. It also usually strips off some of the nutrients, yet this tea is both listed as Decaffeinated - NOT Caffeine Free - and 100% natural. As a green tea, the tea includes leaves that are plucked at the peak of growth, not dried. Mint Green 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 Mint Green comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.
Mint Green is marketed as a lightly flavored green tea and it is all right, though it does fall down hard on the mint taste in its unadulterated form. Those accustomed to Celestial Seasonings' richness of flavor in their other mint teas are likely to be quite let down by how weak the mint flavor is in this particular tea. Because it is a green tea, Celestial Seasonings seems quite concerned with keeping the flavor subtle, so it is less bold than some of the other teas that trade on being flavored with more than one flavor.
Ease Of Preparation
Mint Green is a green tea, which means preparation is ridiculously easy! One need not even be able to boil water to make this tea. 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 like colored water as opposed to 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 Mint Green, 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 based on my experiences with this tea, I've found that with almost boiling water, the tea is ready more at the five minute mark, but letting it steep longer beyond that does not truly change the results. Letting the tea steep more than five minutes does not net any additional flavor, nor does it denature the flavor of the tea.
Mint Green is unsurprisingly weak considering that its aroma is pretty weak to begin with. Mint teas tend to be some of the most aromatically robust, but this flavor sure falls down on that! Instead, this tea smells faintly minty, about the same level of aroma one might get by making a second pot using the same Peppermint tea bags. So, the scent is hardly in-your-face or exciting and the consumer is set up for a weak tea experience.
With that expectation, Celestial Seasonings does not let the consumer down. Instead, this truly is a bland tea as the consumer might expect from the lame and weak scent. The mint barely holds its own against the green tea flavor and this is pathetic considering that green tea is a rather mild tea flavor. Instead, the dominant flavor in the tea is the green tea and the mint flavor has a blended spearmint and peppermint aftertaste. The taste is not nearly as menthol as either of those flavors would be on their own and it is disheartening to consider how muted the flavor it. The analogy for the resused Peppermint tea bags holds; this tastes like Peppermint tea bags used once, then added into a new steeping of a green tea bag.
With sugar, the balance of power changes. With only a teaspoon of sugar, the peppermint and spearmint blend comes to the forefront, but it is not a strong flavor. The sugar seems to subdue the green tea flavor and as a result, the aftertaste becomes the stronger taste and the tea is fair. Still, it is not powerfully peppermint or soothingly spearmint, it is merely adequate mint. That's no way for mint leaves to die!
Cold or lukewarm, Decaf Mint Green tea loses everything but only the most subtle minty aftertaste. This is not an ideal iced tea as it tastes stronger of the generic green tea flavor than the mint.
It is surprising that the mint flavor is submissive in Mint Green, because green tea is not the most powerful flavor to begin with! Based on the ingredients, the mints ought to be kicking the green tea back to Boulder! The primary ingredients are Decaffeinated Green Tea, Spearmint and Peppermint. Having visited the Boulder plant, given the strength of the Mint Room, it is astonishing that the Green tea is so dominates the mint flavor. Astonishing, in this case, is another word for "disappointing."
Mint Green tea is supposedly all natural, gluten free, and does not contain caffeine. Were it not for the sugar I add whenever I make pots of Mint Green, this tea would be devoid of any nutritional value. It contains no calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates or protein. It is a subtle tea that is not a pick-me-up.
Mint Green 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 tea will stain fabrics if left on them, like most teas, but it is hardly the most extreme in this regard. This cleans up easily and lighter fabrics stained with Mint Green ought to rinse out well.
Mint Green 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.
Mint Green is not the ultimate mint tea I - or anyone else - has been searching for. This is rather unfortunate, though honestly unsurprising. What is surprising is that Celestial Seasonings admits this weak green tea is theirs. There are better options for those who want a minty green tea.
For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please check out:
Acai Mango Zinger
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© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.