Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Authentic" Or Not, Celestial Seasonings Green Tea Is Great . . . For Those Who Don't Like Flavor!

The Good: Caffeinated, Good ingredient
The Bad: Doesn't taste like much of anything..., Dry aftertaste
The Basics: Dull and tasting like the memory of regular tea, "Authentic Green Tea" is so bland that sugar or milk easily overwhelm it.

I like tea. I like all sorts of flavors of tea, but at the end of the day, given the option of tea and, say, milk, I'll usually choose tea. I enjoy a good cup of tea at virtually any time of the day, but I think my palate has been spoiled by Celestial Seasonings. Celestial Seasonings makes wonderfully flavorful teas that usually delight my mouth and energize or soothe me, as appropriate.

Sadly, "Authentic Green Tea," Celestial Seasonings' standard, basic green tea flavor, is not one of those teas. No, this is pretty much the peak of mediocrity in the Green Tea line, the closest Celestial Seasonings ever gets to Lipton's bland "Tea." After all, it doesn't take much to make tea-flavored tea; it does take some fortitude to get excited enough about it to write about it. Or drink it.


Authentic Green Tea is a tea from Celestial Seasonings. It is a 100% natural green tea that is caffeinated and made solely of green tea leaves. This means that instead of letting the leaves dry or harvesting them after their prime, the leaves are plucked at the peak of growth. Authentic Green Tea 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 Authentic Green Tea comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.

Authentic Green Tea is marketed as a tea-flavored tea and it is adequate in that regard. If one wants something that is flavored like tea leaves - and understated ones at that - this will fit the bill. It does not do much more than that and I liken this to the blandness of Celestial Seasonings' pride and joy, Chamomile (reviewed here!) which is little more than rice water. If Chamomile is rice water, Green Tea might well be likened to black tea that has been used two or three times prior.

Ease Of Preparation

Authentic Green Tea 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 Authentic Green Tea, 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 to five minutes to steep and after a couple cups and pots, I've found that with almost boiling water, the tea is ready at the five minute mark and letting it steep longer does not truly 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.


Authentic Green Tea might well be one of the teas that is best to talk about in terms of coffee. If one makes a pot of coffee and reuses the grounds, one ends up with a remarkably diluted second pot of coffee that tastes only like the aftertaste of the original beans' flavor. Green tea is like that for tea, but that is how it starts out. If one were to take a standard black tea, brew a pot or even two with the leaves and then brew another pot, you would have a tea that is about as intense and dark and flavorful as green tea.

The only taste note of note is the aftertaste. Green teas are notorious for a dry aftertaste. Authentic Green Tea is no exception in this regard; the tea leaves the mouth feeling and tasting dry. It is not distinct or carrying any other flavor, it is simply the essence and taste of dry. It is a pretty worthless drink that leaves the consumer feeling thirsty after drinking it.

With sugar, Authentic Green Tea becomes sweet without enhancing any sense of its flavor. Sugar cuts the aftertaste, but does not make it anything other than blandly sweet and sugary. Milk, even, overwhelms the tea flavor of the Authentic Green Tea. It's sadly bland when a tea will be overwhelmed by the flavor of milk, rather than having any other flavor within the tea brought out by the addition of that.

Iced, Authentic Green Tea is an equally unremarkable tea. The green tea flavor dominates and when sugar is added to the tea cold, it only accents the green tea nature more. It is good, but cold, it still does not evoke any real flavor other than the memory of tea.


It is utterly unsurprising that the green tea flavor dominates Authentic Green Tea as the only ingredient is Green Tea. Authentic Green Tea tea is all natural, gluten free, and does contain caffeine. The brand new packaging does not include a caffeine meter to define clearly how much caffeine is in this, but it does not seem like it is sufficient to keep one awake, especially when driving at night. Indeed, I would suggest that the negligible amount of caffeine in this beverage is not going to keep anyone awake.

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


Authentic Green Tea 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. One supposes this tea will stain if it is left on fabrics, so simply do not let the tea cups or mugs linger on light colored materials that might stain!

Authentic Green Tea 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.


It's difficult to write much about a tea that tastes like weak, unflavored tea, but this is exactly the case with Authentic Green Tea. Whomever the intended market for this bland tea is, it is not me and it is impossible to recommend to anyone who likes beverages with actual flavor or taste to them!

For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Herb Tea Sampler
Raspberry Gardens
Fruit Sampler


For other drink reviews, be sure to click here to visit my index page with a complete listing of those reviews!

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