Saturday, November 12, 2016

Battle of the Pumpkin Teas! - 3 Teas Enter, One Tea Leafs!

(Get it? Leafs?) Welp, give me a pity laugh any way because I'm sick. It's just a head cold, but my voice sounds oh'-so sexy, and I'm pretty much bed-bound playing Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon on my 3DS until my thumbs fall off. 
The bright-side to being sick (other than playing video games) is I'm stuck at home, which gives me the time to type up some long over due reviews! I decided to focus on some sick-stomach-friendly items in my stash, and I found three different fall themed teas! So let's have a throat-soothing showdown to see which tea shall reign supreme!
Celestial Seasonings Sweet Harvest Pumpkin: $3.49 - at Wegman's
Black Tea, 20 Tea Bags
Packaging: This one came in a card board box with a waxed-paper pouch inside containing 20 loose paper tea bags with no strings. The illustrations make me think of the kind of Halloween decorations your grandma might put up, and compared to these sleek metal tins with gold accents...this box is looking pretty shabby. (Especially since the Trader Joe's one was only $3.99! So .50 cents more and you get a fancy tin AND strings!) 
Aroma: Very sweet, almost like I added sugar (but I didn't), and almost creamy like a latte. It's got a mildly spiced aroma that's reminiscent of fall, but it's very subtle and not IN YOUR FACE pumpkin spice as other tea's I've had in the past.  
Taste: This is a black tea, which is usually my favorite kind of tea, so I like it a lot! I loved this tea when I first reviewed it years ago, and I've repurchased it several times since. It sweet without adding any sugar, so it lives up to it's name, and it has a mild blend of fall spices. I can taste ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon, and they're really well balanced. No one spice outshines the others. The box isn't super fancy, and it's a little bit of a pain to fish the tea bag out with your spoon, but this is still one of my favorite teas, and it makes a really awesome iced fall latte! 
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Rooibos: $3.99 - at Trader Joe's
Rooibos Tea (Red Bush), 20 Tea Bags
Packaging: Fancy metal tin with little gold accents in the corner and a cute pumpkin tea pot illustration. It's a little shabby-chic looking, but the accents and quality of the printing on the tin are really nice. Of the three, this looks the cutest in my cabinet and on my table when I have company. (But I think both tinned teas might be the same exact thing under different branding...I'm not 100% sure, but we'll see!) Inside are fancy pyramid-shaped tea bags with a nylon-like feel to them and strings with tags. They claim the pyramid shape lets you get the most flavor from your spices. 
Aroma: Really mild, and kind of woodsy? I can't really smell any of the spices unless I get REALLY close to the cup, and then it mostly smells like cinnamon. When I get close the aroma kind of reminds me of Christmas and winter holidays, not so much fall.
Taste: This is a lighter tea than the Celestial one, and it has a woodsy cinnamon flavoring. It's not very sweet, or particularly flavorful, but it's a nice sipping tea on a cold day. It's very mild and weak, even in this tiny concentrated cup, so it isn't very versatile. I could never make an iced tea latte with it. For all the Trader Joe's obsessed hype behind this tea, I expected more. (I mean people sell these tins on eBay for like $10-20 each! That is insane!)
HT Pumpkin Spice: Normally $5.99
(but I got it on clearance for $2.98 at Target)
Rooibos Tea (Red Bush), 20 Tea Bags (Sound familiar?)
Packaging: Another fancy metal tin with little gold accents in the corners. This design is less playful, and more text-heavy. I guess this one might appeal to serious tea drinkers, or people that like no fun, but the tin is nice. It's worth noting, the tins for this and the Trader Joe's tea are the same exact size, have the same pyramid-shaped bags, and are both red-bush (rooibos) teas. I think they're a name brand hiding under a store brand label at Trader Joe's. (At nearly twice the price! Well, normally, unless you shop clearance like I do you'd be paying $5.99 at Target for this tin! No thanks.) 
Aroma: Surprisingly, it does smell different from the Trader Joe's tea. (Maybe they're not the same after all?) This tea smell sweet, similar to the Celestial one, but it does have a cinnamon-heavy spiced aroma like the Trader Joe's one.  
Taste: Welp, it's slightly sweeter, but it tastes exactly the same as the Trader Joe's variety. It's light, cinnamon-heavy, and makes me think of winter holidays. Again, it's nice for sipping, and it comes in a nice tin, but if I had paid the full $5.99, I'd be really pissed off.

If you're looking for something unique to offer guests after your Thanksgiving meal... It may not be fancy looking, or give you hipster-foodie-street-cred (which is totally a real thing), but the shabby cardboard box of Celestial Seasonings Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Tea is the hands-down winner! It tastes great on it's own, although I prefer to drink it with a touch of honey and a splash of milk, it's strong enough to be made into the perfect iced-tea latte for fall, and it's also the most affordable! (Although pricing around the globe varies.) 
© Maria Smith 
 Like Sometimes Foodie's Facebook page to keep up with my foodie adventures! 

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE Celestial Seasonings, but somehow haven't picked this one up. I'll have to give it a shot.