Monday, September 5, 2011

Short Lived Excitement: Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine Tea Smells Great But Underwhelms.

The Good: Good ingredients, Great aroma, Antioxidant properties
The Bad: Decaffeinated, Lack of flavor
The Basics: Celestial Seasonings' Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine has such a bold scent it is almost surprising how little flavor the tea has.

This year is the first year in the past six that I could not afford to go out to Las Vegas, Nevada for my annual summer vacation and business trip. I have gone out there for the past few years for an annual Star Trek convention and each year on my way home, I have made a stop in Boulder, Colorado for my reviewing trip to the Celestial Seasonings plant. There, I discover new flavors of teas that will not (usually) hit the shelves in my area for months (if ever) and I buy all of the new teas for enjoyment and review. Bummed as I was about not being able to go out there this August, I set to cleaning my house. So, you can imagine my pleasant surprise when I discovered one of the boxes from last year's trip had fallen behind some boxes in the cupboard! Unearthed just two days ago, I am pleased to now have Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine tea to review. This was a new tea last year, but I have honestly not seen it since.

Sadly, after all of my enthusiasm for the discovery, after six pots of the tea - including two where I brewed using twice as many tea bags - I am discovering that this antioxidant-rich tea suffers, as so many green teas do, from being weak and hardly holding a flavor.


Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine is a tea from Celestial Seasonings. It is a 100% natural green tea that is decaffeinated and made of green tea with calming herbs, namely chamomile. As a green tea, the leaves are plucked at the peak of growth, not dried excessively like a black tea. Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine 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 Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.

Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine is marketed as a rare flavored green tea, intended to be part of the flagship Sleepytime line and it certainly has the spiced bouquet to hold its own with others in the line.

Ease Of Preparation

Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine is a green tea, which means preparation is as easy as boiling a pot of water! This green tea, probably because it is actually dominated by chamomile, requires boiling water. 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 two to four tea bags in 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 Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine, 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 four to six minutes to steep and after a couple cups and pots, I've found that with boiling water, the tea is ready at the five minute mark and letting it steep longer does not truly change the results.


Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine is easily one of the best smelling teas - from any brand - that I have ever encountered. It smells like a lemon spice candle that is sitting in the same kitchen as one making jasmine rice. This scent is very inviting and it prepares the consumer for a bold, flavorful tea.

Unfortunately, Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine suffers, like many green teas, of being exceptionally weak. Ironically, this green tea is not overwhelmed by the weak green tea flavor, but the smell of the lemon does not cut through the chamomile flavor that dominates this tea. Living up to its Sleepytime roots, this is a chamomile tea that is flavored very much like a chamomile tea, so it has a spiced rice flavor. There is a hint of lemon, which comes out more in the aftertaste and as the tea cools.

Milk does nothing good for this tea; even skim milk overwhelms the flavor of the tea and most of the chamomile spicing. Sugar, on the other hand, does make the Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine more flavorful and rich. In addition to bringing out the lemon flavor, adding just a teaspoon of sugar to a mug of this tea inexplicably adds a hint of cinnamon to the flavor (there is no cinnamon at all in this beverage). And yet, there it is.

This tea is not much of a thirst quencher, either, as it has a slightly dry aftertaste.


It is utterly unsurprising that the chamomile and spice flavors dominates Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine, because the first few ingredients are powerful herbs. In addition to chamomile, decaffeinated green tea and spearmint dominate the ingredients. Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine tea is all natural, gluten free, Kosher, and does contain not caffeine. I'm not sure how, but this is "naturally" decaffeinated.

Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine contains no calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates or protein. Unless one adds sugar, there is nothing of nutritional value or detraction in it.


Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine 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!

Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine 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. Because the boxes of Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine come wrapped in plastic, they will last well over a year. My box, bought in August of 2010 has a July 2012 expiration date.


Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine from Celestial Seasonings smells amazing, but is way too light on taste to enthusiastically recommend. For those who drink tea for the health benefits, this tea might live up. But for those of us who want taste - and good flavors - in our lives, this is terribly disappointing.

For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Tension Tamer
Powerfully Plum
Gen Mai Cha


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

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

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