The Good: Tastes good with sugar, Smells authentic, Nothing bad in it
The Bad: Not the strongest flavor, Caffeine Free
The Basics: A weak "recommend" for a fairly weak tea, Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride is a fair dessert tea that tastes as bland as sugar cookies.
I am not into gimmicks in general. I suppose even when I experiment with something, I prefer some measure of regularity. This probably comes from a few years ago when Kit Kat bars went wild with a ton of different flavors. I swear, they came up with some of the best flavors ever, like chocolate mint Kit Kat and an Espresso Kit Kat that was to die for. I felt such a feeling of ennui when I could no longer find those. Similarly, with Celestial Seasonings, one of the best flavors I have tasted is the limited edition flavor Candy Cane Lane (reviewed here!). When it's off the shelves after the winter season, I get bummed.
I also am not a big fan of weak teas. I mention this because in terms of taste, my first reaction to Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride was much the same as the one I had when I first tried Celestial Seasonings's Chamomile (reviewed here!). Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride is a remarkably weak tea. Strangely, though, I found I like it, especially with sugar. As a result, this might be the weakest tea on record that I actually recommend!
Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride is an all-natural Holiday Herb Tea from Celestial Seasonings. This Herb tea is 100% natural and as a result is caffeine free - none of the ingredients in it had caffeine to begin with so it did not undergo any chemical process to remove them. Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride is a thistle-based tea, but like the average bland sugar cookie, the result is somewhat understated.
Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride 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 Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags. Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea is available year round at the Celestial Seasonings factory in Boulder, Colorado, but in the general it is available for a limited time, usually from after Halloween until right after Christmas in most markets.
Ease Of Preparation
Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride is a very standard tea; it is your basic herbal tea when it comes to preparation. Like many other Celestial Seasonings teas, there are no tea leaves listed in the ingredients, so this herbal tea is flower-based. A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea and could be reused and make a second, rather weak cup of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea. The second cup often comes out about as far weaker than the first, which is a serious detraction given how weak it is to begin with. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well, though a second pot with the same bags will come out about 1/4 strength. In other words, this is a terrible tea for those who want to attempt to reuse the tea bags!
To prepare Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea, bring a pot of water to a boil and pour it over the tea bags, in a pot or mug. This tea takes four to six minutes to steep according to the directions and even if the water is truly boiling, I've found it takes the full six minutes to brew. This is a tea that I can never make strong enough. After four minutes, the flavor does not concentrate any more. After six minutes, the flavor does not get any stronger so there is no benefit to letting it steep longer than that. Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride never gets "too strong."
Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride smells beautifully of exactly what it claims to be: sugar cookies hot out of the oven. There is a steamy, rice and sugar scent that reminds one of sugar cookies quite accurately. Celestial Seasonings has the scent down absolutely right on this one.
Unfortunately, the taste falls flay. This is hot water with an almost milky taste to it. I was severely disappointed with Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride until I realized that Celestial Seasonings has it almost right: sugar cookies are terribly bland; that's why we frost them! If there could be a liquefied shortbread cookie, that would be the exact taste of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride! It's not a strong flavor, it's not something delicious beyond all compare, but it is all right.
But, adding sugar to Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride makes the tea smell and taste exactly like sugar cookies. It's uncanny. It actually makes for an excellent tea to drink while having a very sweet dessert because it is not quite as sweet or strong.
Cold, the tea is all right, though there is no additional flavor that comes more evident when it is cold. Moreover, there is more of a milky taste to it when cold.
Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride is a pretty indifferent tea in the nutrition department. This tea is comprised mostly of milk thistle, roasted barley and orange peels. The ingredients in Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea is very simple and natural. There is nothing unpronouncable in this tea, though this tea is NOT Gluten Free! It does contain gluten for those for whom that is a concern.
In terms of nutrition, Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride is another tea in a long line of teas that contribute nothing but hydration to the body. There is no nutritional benefit or detriment to this tea. One 8 oz. mug of this tea provides nothing of nutritional value to the drinker. There are no calories (save what one adds from sugar or milk), no fat, sodium, or protein and no caffeine.
Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride 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 a very light tea, so it does not leave enough residue to stain anything above paper!
Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride is a good tea, but it is bland. I ultimately recommended this tea for this simple reason: it is different and it is as good as the flavor it claims to be. I sat and tried to figure how a sugar cookie flavored tea could taste better and I couldn't come up with anything, at least not that would still be defined as sugar cookie flavored!
For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Decaf Green Tea
Honey Lemon Ginseng
For other food or drink reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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