Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Less Inspired Than The "Authentic," "Decaffeinated Green Tea" Is Boring Without The Caffeine.

The Good: Good ingredient
The Bad: Doesn't taste like much of anything, Decaffeinated, Dry aftertaste
The Basics: Utterly bland, Celestial Seasonings's Decaffeinated Green Tea is a huge disappointment that no one needs.

Right now, I am stuck with cleaning out the last of the boxes I have here and to that end, I am trapped reviewing green teas for a little while longer. And, sadly, the only thing worse than a bland green tea, is the insipid nature of its decaffeinated counterpart. After sitting through the Authentic Green tea, a culinary waste of time and taste buds, I found myself confronted with Decaffeinated Green Tea and the truth is, for all intents and purposes, this is the same product.


Decaffeinated 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. Decaffeinated 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 Decaffeinated Green Tea comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.

Decaffeinated 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. If one has tried Celestial Seasonings' Authentic Green Tea one has, for all intents and purposes, tried the Decaffeinated Green Tea. Yes, there is fundamentally no difference between the two teas because the "Authentic" suffered in part from not having enough (noticeable) caffeine to wake up an ant, much less a person; the Decaffeinated looks, tastes and has the same lack of energizing effects as the original.

Ease Of Preparation

Decaffeinated 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 Decaffeinated 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.


Decaffeinated Green Tea quite seriously tastes identical to the Authentic Green Tea. As a result, this is like a weakened version of a standard, bland, no-brand-name tea one might find in a hotel. 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. Decaffeinated 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, Decaffeinated 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 Decaffeinated 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, Decaffeinated 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 Decaffeinated Green Tea as the only ingredient is Decaffeinated Green Tea. Decaffeinated Green Tea tea is all natural, gluten free, and does not contain caffeine.

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


Decaffeinated 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, but it couldn't be that dark of a stain, so who cares?! Seriously, standard cleanup for fabrics applies, but this is a tea that would take an obscene amount of soaking time to leave a stain of any significance, and darker colors, you could probably soak in a pot of this stuff and have no effect!

Decaffeinated 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 Decaffeinated 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! And when I am subjected to bland, I appreciate a little caffeine for the trouble; this tea deprives me of even that.

Nobody needs this tea.

For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Honey Lemon Ginseng
Authentic Green
Herb Tea Sampler


For other beverage reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

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

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