The Good: Decent ingredients
The Bad: Weak taste, Light aroma, Caffeine free, Additional tea bag garbage
The Basics: Bland, even for chamomile tea, Cozy Chamomile leaves me unimpressed with the taste, such that I cannot excuse the extra tea garbage associated with it.
As I sit down to review today's new (to me!) tea, I want to be sure my regular readers know that I have not jumped ship from my wonderful, regular tea brand, Celestial Seasonings. No, my recent foray into Bigelow comes more from my recent stay at the Quality Inn By The Bay where there was a twenty-four hour tea service and a number of Bigelow tea bags simply leapt from the cart into my jacket (it's a mystery!). One of those many teas was several bags of Bigelow's Cozy Chamomile tea.
I will be the first to admit, Chamomile teas have not - traditionally - impressed me. Celestial Seasonings seems to glorify Chamomile with their trademark Sleepytime and obsessions with standard Chamomile tea (reviewed here!). So, I had pretty low - but fair - expectations when sitting down to my pots of Cozy Chamomile. Unfortunately, even those were disappointed.
Cozy Chamomile is an herbal tea from Bigelow. It is a tea that is naturally caffeine free and it is one of the stronger herbal teas Bigelow makes, that I have tried. Cozy Chamomile comes in Bigelow's standard individually-wrapped tea bags, means that each tea bag has a wax papery envelope it is sealed in for freshness. Each tea bag has a five-inch string with a little paper tab at the end, which is quite a bit more waste than I like from a tea bag. When I make pots of tea, I tend to use two bags and making a steeping pot of Cozy Chamomile reminds me of why I like the easy environmentalism of Celestial Seasonings' stringless bags. A box of Cozy Chamomile comes with 20 individually-wrapped tea bags.
Cozy Chamomile is marketed as a chamomile-flavored tea and in that regard it is a mixed bag. It has the faint aroma of chamomile (which usually smells like ricewater) but the taste is not as strong as it could be. In fact, somehow Bigelow managed to make a chamomile tea that tasted more like tea than chamomile!
Ease Of Preparation
Cozy Chamomile is an herbal tea, which means preparation is as easy as boiling a pot of water! A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea, though reusing the tea bags yields a barely tea-flavored beverage. These tea bags cannot be reused well as the resulting beverage is about 1/2 strength than the original brewing. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well.
To prepare Cozy Chamomile, simply boil 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 boiling water, the tea is ready at the three minute mark and letting it steep longer does not truly change the results. Letting the tea steep more than five minutes does not net any additional flavor, nor does it denature the flavor of the tea.
Cozy Chamomile is bland representation of Chamomile. The aroma is not nearly as strong as any other chamomile tea I have drunk and despite only having chamomile flowers in it, it smells more like a blend of chamomile and black tea, which is odd.
As for the taste, this tea is little more than flavored hot water. Bland and more tea-flavored than chamomile, the ricey chamomile flavor only truly comes out in the natural tea as an aftertaste. It is bland, hot water with a primary taste like a standard black tea after the bags have been used about four times.
With a teaspoon of sugar, Cozy Chamomile is sweetened and tastes more like the traditional ricewater taste that defines chamomile teas. Still, it is stiflingly boring and even milk overwhelms the tea. Cold, Cozy Chamomile actually tastes even more like weak, cold black tea than the herbal tea that it actually is.
It is surprising that the flavor of Cozy Chamomile is not nearly as strong as most other chamomile teas as the only ingredient in this tea is chamomile flowers. Celestial Seasonings must do something to bring out the aroma and taste of chamomile that Bigelow does not (or perhaps the Bigelow workers just get to the flower patch late!). Cozy Chamomile tea is all natural, kosher and does not contain caffeine. This is a boring, drowsy tea likely to let one fall asleep without leaving even an impression upon their mind or body.
Were it not for the sugar I add whenever I make pots of Cozy Chamomile, this tea would be devoid of any nutritional value. It contains no calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates or protein.
Cozy Chamomile is a fairly light tea. As a result, cleanup is rather simple, even on fabrics. The mugs and steeping pot easily rinse out. 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!
Cozy Chamomile 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. However, like all Bigelow teas, there is extra waste from the strings, paper tabs and individual wrappings around each bag.
Cozy Chamomile is a pretty lousy tea between the taste and waste and given the chance to partake - even steal - more bags of Cozy Chamomile, I shall pass.
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© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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