Sunday, October 28, 2007

Review: Celestial Seasonings' True Blueberry

The blueberry is an enigmatic fruit. Stuffed with anti-oxidants, curiously round, and made famous by Roald Dahl's nasty character Violet Beauregarde, the blueberry has enjoyed a fruitful career as a healthy berry, but it lacks the fame and appeal of its many cousins, such as the strawberry, blackberry and even the boysenberry. Its appearances in desserts is relatively rare, and any manifestation of blueberry in candies or sweets is more a product of artifice and Frankensteinian science than a respectful reference to a toothsome fruit. That is why Celestial Seasonings' True Blueberry is a welcome treat. Though it is an herbal, it is still a hot beverage, and in my mind occupies the same place as a hot tea would in purpose and appreciation. And though it is found in and amongst the riff-raff at grocery stores, passed around like a common drink, the True Blueberry makes for a verisimilar drink of blueberry flavor.

Marketing speak?

"If you are a real blueberry lover, then True Blueberry Herb Tea is for you! This luscious treat bursts with a sun-warmed fruity scent and the mouth-watering flavor of fresh blueberries. An anti-oxidant rich combination of wild blueberries, blueberry flavor and other herbs creates the full-bodied taste. Naturally caffeine-free, True Blueberry is delicious any time, hot or iced. So, savor pure blueberry bliss with a steamy cup. Or try it chilled for a thrill of genuine berry refreshment!"


"Hibiscus, rosehips, orange peel, natural blueberry flavor with other natural flavors, blackberry leaves, blueberries and blueberry leaves."

Alright, let's roll.

Appearance & Liquor: Once brewed, the herbal tea takes on a passionate purple-red, mixing the sanguine hues of pomegranate seeds with a deep lavender to produce a stunning pool of eye candy. In bright sunlight, however, the liquor is much more of a firetruck red, refulgent and beaming. Really a lovely color for anybody looking to make a palate of tea chromatics.

Raw Aroma: Tangy, sour, and not entirely unlike blueberry sweet-tart candy. This herbal is thirsty!

Steeped Aroma: True Blueberry's aroma is powerful, wafting into the nose with a pleasant swiftness and coaxing the olfactory with the fragrance of sweetened blueberries (a la Pop-Tarts), bubble gum, cotton candy, a hint of graham cracker and a nice, sour pungency of concentrated pomegranate juice. The sugary sweet blueberry note is a little disappointing in the hope for a scent more loyal to the aroma of raw blueberries, but it's considerably milder than it could have been. It is not at all candy like, nor is it cloying. It simply leans towards the artificial blueberry flavoring. This deficiency is corrected in the...

Flavor & Palate: Once the True Blueberry hits your tongue, you realize why it's so true to real, fresh blueberry flavor. Unsweetened, it portrays nothing but the semi-sweet and slightly sour twang of a real blueberry in a satisfying, drinkable form. This is the singular flavor of the tea, but it's a very good one, and for monomaniac blueberry yearnings and a simple need for a simple drink, the flavor is more than adequate. Sweetened with a little sugar, it takes on an entirely different character. Suddenly the True Blueberry adopts a dessert like quality, with all the luxury of a fancy berry and cream treat. About a teaspoon of sugar per cup is perfect.

If bagged tea is your thing, and the commercial black and green tea offerings are lacking the nuances that a black and green tea should have, it's only natural to go with an herbal choice, and you can't go wrong with True Blueberry. The flavors are discernible and noticeable, as well as balanced and representative of good blueberry flavor.


Mary R said...

Omigosh! It was like déjà vu reading your review. I keep this bagged tea around for my brothers because sometimes we do all gather round for tea (and usually a board game) and they're really not big on my 'plain' loose leaf.

What do the brothers call it? Bubble gum tea. 2.0 also says it reminds him of pomegranate juice, which he could drink by the gallon if we let him. Good review!

Garrett said...

Bubble gum! Ha! I knew I wasn't crazy. Or at least there's someone else as crazy out there.