Monday, August 8, 2011

Celestial Seasonings' Tension Tamer Relaxes Me . . . I Suppose.

The Good: Nothing detrimental in the nutrition department, Good aroma
The Bad: Caffeine-free, Fairly weak taste.
The Basics: For my first "medicinal" tea, Celestial Seasonings' Tension Tamer is a little weaker than I would expect, making it hard to judge in some ways.

I have long resisted reviewing the medicinal teas from Celestial Seasonings, for several reasons not the least of which is that I tend to need medicine very infrequently. But as I get down to the final few Celestial Seasonings teas that I have not yet reviewed, I figured it was about time I try some of them. I am fully able to acknowledge that herbs have medicinal properties and that Celestial Seasonings may well harvest them for teas like Tension Tamer, which is my first herbal tea from the adjective teas that seem all about the healthful benefits.

Fortunately, Tension Tamer does not have even a remotely medicinal flavor to it. Instead, this is a very mild tea that reminds me more of Chamomile than anything medicinal. Moreover, when I had a little tension, this did not actually relax my muscles or tension in my neck, making me doubt its restorative or relaxing properties. My wife, who is more susceptible to headaches did not find this helped when she had a headache and tried it.


Tension Tamer is a 100% Natural Herb Tea from Celestial Seasonings. As an Herb tea, the ingredients are naturally caffeine free as they never had caffeine in any of them. This is a plus for those looking out for their health as decaffeinating tea is often a process that is less healthy than using naturally caffeine free ingredients. As one who loves caffeine, though, this is not a selling point for me.

Tension Tamer 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 Tension Tamer herb tea comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.

Ease Of Preparation

Despite being an herb tea, Tension Tamer is prepared pretty much like a standard black tea. A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea, though it cannot be reused well to make a second cup of Tension Tamer, as there is a significant loss of flavor. The second cup often comes out only about 1/2 or 3/8 as strong as the first, provided the first steeping was not over the recommended time. If the first steeping is longer than that, the second attempt to brew gets even weaker. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well.

To prepare Tension Tamer herb tea, bring a pot of water to a boil and pour it over the tea bags. Be sure the tea bags are in a cup, mug, or bowl before dumping the boiling water over them! This tea takes four to six minutes to steep according to the directions and in my experience, it needs the full six minutes to get up to strength. The flavor gets no stronger after seven minutes.


Tension Tamer has an awesome aroma. When hot, it smells like a potpourri, alternating between a chamomile/rice aroma and a light mint scent. The bouquet is so rich that it prepares the consumer for something truly extraordinary.

Unfortunately, on its own, Tension Tamer has an exceptionally weak taste to it. I made ten pots, each with filtered water, a clean teapot and fresh teabags and as I try to describe the taste, I am at a complete loss. The flavor is so watered down that my best description of the taste is like cold, 1/10 strength chamomile tea. "Watery" is, unfortunately, the best description of the flavor of Tension Tamer, so it has a more robust aroma than flavor.

With a single teaspoon of sugar in the mug, this tea is overwhelmed by the sweetener. Similarly, milk dominates this tea if it is added to it. Cold, the tea is only a little more robust, tasting more like 1/10th strength black tea.


The ingredients to this tea are all-natural and there are so many of them that it is almost inconceivable the tea does not have more flavor to it! The dominant ingredients are Eleuthero, peppermint, and cinnamon. There are vitamins and, oddly, catnip, in Tension Tamer as well. There is nothing unpronouncable in this blend.

In terms of nutrition, this tea is devoid of it, save 20% of one's RDA of Vitamins B6 and B12. One 8 oz. mug of this tea provides nothing else of nutritional value to the drinker. There are no calories (save what one adds from sugar, which I recommend), no fat, sodium, or protein and no caffeine. This is not a tea where caffeine in the tea will wake the drinker up, but the mint flavor just might!


Tension Tamer Herb 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 might stain a mug if it is left there for days on end, but otherwise may be cleaned up easily by rinsing out the vessel. This is a very light tea, so it is unlikely to stain fabrics other than the very lightest ones.


Tension Tamer is a tea I wish I could endorse, but it is so mild that it is barely a tea. That makes it very easy to pass by for more robust and effective remedies when one feels tension. At least it doesn't actually taste bad.

For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Powerfully Plum
Gen Mai Cha
Green Tea Sampler


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

© 2008, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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