Thursday, May 5, 2011

Celestial Seasonings' Raspberry Zinger Herb Tea: Little Raspberry, Lots Of Zing!

The Good: Tastes subtly like raspberries, With sugar, it tastes quite good
The Bad: Caffeine Free, Weak aroma
The Basics: Raspberry Zinger tastes like the strong, the sour and the sweet that is raspberries, even though it is at its best with sugar.

I love raspberries. Truth be told, I only like raspberries quite a bit, but I could just never commit to them as my absolute all-time favorite fruit. We still see one another on occasional weekends and I do enjoy raspberries. As a result, I frequently look around for things that have a raspberry taste to them and I can easily distinguish between the taste of actual raspberries and the flavor known as raspberry. There is a difference, just like there is with strawberries and blueberries; there is the taste of fresh-grown fruit and the taste we are meant to believe is the fruit. "Raspberry Zinger," one of Celestial Seasonings' 100% natural herb teas is the real thing.

As raspberries often have a tangy quality to them, the authenticity of the flavor means the tea is not always delicious, though it is always authentic!


Raspberry Zinger is a tea from Celestial Seasonings. It is a 100% natural herb tea that has no caffeine because all of the all natural herbs in it are naturally devoid of caffeine. Raspberry Zinger 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 Raspberry Zinger comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.

Raspberry Zinger is marketed as a raspberry flavored tea and it truthfully is the taste of raspberries when drinking it. Straight the 100% natural tea hits the consumer with a blast of sour taste before melting into a fruity flavor that is distinctly raspberry.

Ease Of Preparation

Raspberry Zinger 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 yields little more than hot water. These tea bags cannot be reused and even credibly call the result "tea." 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 Raspberry Zinger, simply boil some water, and pour it over the tea bags in a cup, mug or steeping pot. This tea is recommended to take four to six minutes to steep and after a couple cups and pots, I've found that with truly boiling water, the tea is ready at the four minute mark and letting it steep longer strangely does not change the results. Letting the tea steep more than six minutes does not net any additional flavor, nor does it denature the flavor of the tea.

When visiting the Celestial Seasonings plant in Boulder, Colorado and taking the free tour there, I remember distinctly the tour guide warning us all that with the Zinger teas milk cannot be added. If you add milk to a Zinger tea, the tea curdles the milk, I'm fairly sure it was because of the citric acid in the tea. The problem is, I'm not positive that's the reason (I am sure of the warning and the result of adding milk to Zinger teas), but I seem to recall that citric acid was to blame. As a result of a good faith belief that the people who produce this product know what they are talking about, none of my sampling of Raspberry Zinger involved adding milk to it.


Raspberry Zinger impressed me with the first sip. While the aroma is faintly fruity, it does not adequately prepare the tea drinker for the raspberry flavor. What aroma there was was vaguely fruity, not even smelling much like tea. I was concerned that this meant it would taste weak, but with my first sip, I was pleasantly surprised.

Raspberry Zinger tastes like sun-ripened raspberries and the flavor is sour and distinct and undeniably raspberry in flavor. The precise flavor of Raspberry Zinger is that of a raspberry bursting with flavor in the early August sunlight. If you've never had that experience, now you have something to look forward to August for. Or better yet, just pick up a box of Raspberry Zinger!

With a teaspoon of sugar, this tea tastes sweet in the way that raspberries flavoring tastes. The simulated flavor of raspberries that most Americans are conditioned to believe is what raspberries taste like is exactly what the Raspberry Zinger tea tastes like with sugar added. It is a delightful taste and the sugar effectively cuts the sour right out. As well, for some inexplicable reason, adding sugar makes the aroma of raspberries more pronounced than when the Raspberry Zinger is ungarnished

Raspberry Zinger is sour and unpleasant cold. Iced, without sugar, this tea is miserable in a way that few foods could manage to be. Iced, with sugar (using a bit!) it tastes like an alternative to a raspberry fruit juice drink!


It's surprising that the dominant flavor of Raspberry Zinger is raspberries, considering that the primary ingredients are: hibiscus, rosehips and chicory. Actual raspberries score near the bottom of the ingredient list, yet the flavor works so it is very hard to complain! Raspberry Zinger tea is 100% natural and it is caffeine-free.

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


Raspberry Zinger 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. The tea is fairly light, even at full strength, but it would probably stain, if one left it on fabric for a long time, but 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 Raspberry Zinger tea.


Raspberry Zinger is quite good, but it is sour and I find I have to be in the mood for it. Iced, I enjoyed it so long as it had a lot of sugar. Either way, the taste is more or less raspberry and always flavorful in a way that will jump start the taste buds. Anyone who wants that from their tea would do well to pick up a box of Raspberry Zinger!

For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please check out:
Peach Apricot Honeybush
Sweet Apple Chamomile
Tropical Grapefruit


For other food or drink reviews, please be sure to visit the appropriate index page by clicking here!

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

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