The Good: Tastes some like orange, With sugar, it tastes quite good, Strong aroma
The Bad: Caffeine Free, Not as strongly orange as I would like.
The Basics: Mandarin Orange Spice may be one of Celestial Seasonings' staple teas, but it is not the most fruity one.
With all of the Celestial Seasonings tea reviews I have done, it is almost inconceivable that there are flavors I have not yet tried and reviewed. In the case of Mandarin Orange Spice, it is even more surprising. This is one of the staple teas from Celestial Seasonings and has been on the market since I was a kid. In fact, this was one of the few teas outside Lipton I remember from my childhood! So, as I went through the list of teas I had reviewed the last time I was at Celestial Seasonings, it surprised me that I had not reviewed it yet.
But no longer!
Several pots down, I am ready to put my pen to thoughts on Mandarin Orange Spice! This tea is problematic only in that it is not the strongest orange flavor for a tea, especially for a Celestial Seasonings tea. Celestial Seasonings has some truly great fruit-flavored teas and while this tea tastes good, it is not the most orange-flavored tea Celestial Seasonings makes.
Mandarin Orange Spice is a tea from Celestial Seasonings. It is a natural herb tea that has no caffeine because all of the all natural herbs in it are naturally devoid of caffeine. Mandarin Orange Spice 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 Mandarin Orange Spice comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.
Mandarin Orange Spice is marketed as an orange-flavored tea and it mostly lives up to that.
Ease Of Preparation
Mandarin Orange Spice is a 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 tea about 5/8 as strong as the original. These tea bags cannot be reused well, though it is not the weakest second pot I've yet had. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well, though it is hard to get a decent second pot out of the bags.
To prepare Mandarin Orange Spice, simply boil 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 truly boiling water, the tea is ready at the four minute mark and letting it steep longer strangely does not 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.
Mandarin Orange Spice smells richly of orange and subtly like cloves, so it prepares the consumer for a strongly citrus beverage. The tea is aromatic and anyone who likes orange or cloves is likely to find themselves salivating from the smell of this. This tea is aromatic and smells like an air freshener the way it spreads out from the teapot.
On the tongue, the Mandarin Orange Spice tea is more vaguely sweet and tangy than it is distinctly orange flavored. The tea has a slight dry flavor to it that is almost immediately cut by the fruity taste of the oranges. The tea finishes with a dry, cinnamon type flavor that makes this taste more like a cider than a tea.
Adding sugar makes the orange flavor come out quite a bit. It helps to eliminate the dry aftertaste and, oddly, replace the aftertaste with one that is more of that of a common chicory tea. Despite not tasting much like orange without sugar, this tea is flavorful and good.
It's unsurprising that the dominant flavor of Mandarin Orange Spice is orange, at least with sugar, considering that the primary ingredients are: orange peel, hibiscus and roasted chicory. Actual oranges are represented by orange peel and natural mandarin orange flavors! Mandarin Orange Spice tea is all natural and it is caffeine-free.
Were it not for the sugar I add whenever I make pots of Mandarin Orange Spice, this tea would be devoid of any nutritional value. It contains no calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates or protein.
Mandarin Orange Spice 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. The tea is fairly light, even at full strength, but it would probably stain, if one left it on fabric for a long time, but mugs that hold the tea rinse clean. Spills ought to be cleaned up quickly to prevent this tea from staining fabrics, though that's a pretty good general rule not just limited to the Mandarin Orange Spice tea.
Spicy and aromatic, Mandarin Orange Spice tea from Celestial Seasonings is actually quite delightful and worth the buy!
For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine
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© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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