The Good: Tastes good, With sugar has a delightful honey undertone, Aroma
The Bad: Does not taste like peach or apricot, Minor aftertaste, Decaffeinated
The Basics: In a very close call, based on it tasting neither like peach nor apricot, Celestial Seasonings gets a VERY weak recommendation with its strong but decaffeinated Peach Apricot Honeybush.
Every now and then I find myself wishing I did not have standards. Having standards means it ought to be a big deal when one changes or circumvents their standards. In the case of the teas I review, my standards tend to be very direct and reasonable, when tasting, I ask myself: Does it taste good? Does it taste like it claims to be? If the answer to either of those questions is "no," no matter how high I rate it, I cannot in good faith and with any sense of discrimination recommend it.
When I was at the Celestial Seasonings factory in Boulder, Colorado last summer picking up teas, I was intrigued to find a Honeybush tea. I assume - and am supported by the side of the box - that honeybush is supposed to taste like honey. As a result, because the Peach Apricot Honeybush tea tastes like honey when even a minute amount of sugar is added to it, I feel I can recommend the tea that I've been enjoying, despite the fact that it does not taste even remotely like peach or apricot.
Peach Apricot Honeybush is a 100% Natural Honeybush Tea from Celestial Seasonings. This honeybush tea is 100% natural and it is naturally caffeine free (which makes sense because none of the component ingredients contain caffeine). I had never heard of honeybush teas before so I am unsure if this is a current fad or an individual tea endeavor designed to see if it could be a keeper.
Peach Apricot Honeybush comes in Celestial Seasonings'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 Peach Apricot Honeybush comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.
Ease Of Preparation
Peach Apricot Honeybush is your tea as far as the preparation goes; it is prepared like a black tea using boiling water and steeping. A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea. The tea bag could be reused and make a second cup of Peach Apricot Honeybush with no significant change loss in flavor. It certainly does not taste either more like peach or apricot with the second brewing, but it doesn't taste less like those things, either. The second cup, naturally, does not come out as strong as the first, but provided the first steeping was not more than the recommended upper recommended steeping time of six minutes, a second use can come out with about 5/8 - 1/2 strength. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well for both a first and second steeping.
To prepare Peach Apricot Honeybush tea, bring a pot of water to a boil and pour it over the tea bags. This tea takes four to six minutes to steep and when the water is actually boiling, it comes out strong at the four minute point without needing any additional time. After six minutes, though, the flavor does not concentrate any more so there is no benefit to letting it steep longer than that.
I sat down ready to love Peach Apricot Honeybush tea. I had no expectations going in, but I knew that I wanted it to taste like the peaches and apricots it promises to. It does not. It does taste like honey with the addition of any sugar at all. And with milk, it tastes like a delightful sweet tea that most people would pay good money for in a tea house, if only it tasted like what it claims to be.
Peach Apricot Honeybush is a straightforward honeybush tea with a fine aroma that smells vaguely like ginger, which is odd considering there is no ginger in it. This could be the result of peach and vanilla mixing to form a scent most analogous to ginger, but regardless the aroma is very inviting, though not at all indicative of the flavor of the tea. It does not smell like peach or apricot.
As for the taste, this has a taste quite like that of a black tea, which makes me wonder what the point of a honeybush tea is. It is not bitter, but this is a stronger flavor. People enamored only with white teas will probably find this far too strong. It has a slightly woody taste to it and the flavor is fine, it just does not convincingly portray fruit.
As for the honey, Peach Apricot Honeybush has that flavor! Adding sugar in any quantity makes the tea burst out with the flavor of honey. It becomes the dominant flavor, in fact. This is a delightful honey tea and the reason to drink this tea is to have it piping hot with a teaspoon of sugar. In that fashion it is quite yummy. Milk makes for a more subtle flavor, but it is still wonderful and sweet and adding the creamy taste to it helps to make it even more unique.
The closest the Peach Apricot Honeybush comes to tasting like either peach or apricot is when the tea is cold. Then the flavor becomes vaguely citrus and while the honey gets dominated by the tea flavor, the vaguely fruity taste manages to present itself, even if it is the back row of the taste chorus.
The Peach Apricot Honeybush tea is a very simple, natural Celestial Seasonings's tea. The top three ingredients are honeybush, natural peach and apricot flavors with other natural flavors and dried honey. It surprises me - based on the taste - that dried honey does not come on the ingredients before the fruit flavors, but there you have it. There is nothing unpronouncable in this tea and it is 100% natural. It is noted that this tea is gluten free and because it is all natural, it does not have any caffeine.
In terms of nutrition, like most teas, Peach Apricot Honeybush has none. An 8 oz. mug of this tea provides nothing of nutritional value to the drinker; there are no calories (which surprises me because I would have figured that honey had calories . . .), no fat, sodium, protein and no caffeine.
Peach Apricot Honeybush tea is very easy to clean up after - the tea bags may be disposed of in the garbage, or composted if you have a good garden and/or compost pile. The tea itself is a very dark tea and will stain, so if it is spilled, it ought to be cleaned up quickly.
This tea tastes good, just not fruity, which is what I would have expected from a tea whose first two words are both names of fruits. The fact that it tastes so strikingly like honey and has a mild aftertaste that is not offensive, makes this a razor decision tea that I'm pushing over and saying that anyone who wants to try something new ought to give this one a try.
For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please check out:
Sweet Apple Chamomile
For other food and drink reviews, please visit my index page for a thorough listing!
© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.