Pros: cheap, taste, health benefits of black tea
Cons: wasteful packaging, ground instead of whole leaf
In the realm of bagged, black, non-whole leaf, non-organic, cheap tea, Constant Comment from Bigelow Teas is definitely my favorite. While that veritable string of qualifiers may make it sound like this tea isn't very good at all, don't let that defer you from giving it a try--Constant Comment is a deliciously citrusy black tea, perfect with breakfast or at any time during the day.
Created by Ruth Bigelow in her kitchen over 60 years ago "Constant Comment"A? is today America's most popular specialty tea. This original blend of the finest mountain-grown tea is deliciously flavored with rind of oranges and sweet spice. There's no other tea in the world quite like it.
Ingredients: black tea, rind of oranges, sweet spice, natural flavor.
Constant Comment is also gluten-free, for those with gluten allergies or sensitivities. Each box contains 20 separately wrapped bags--I wish Bigelow would find a less wasteful way to package their product, as the separate packages can't be the only way to keep it fresh. The estimated caffeine content for black tea is about 40 mg per cup, approximately 1/2 to 1/3rd less than an average cup of black coffee. Constant Comment is also available in decaf.
Preparation and Taste
Since Constant Comment is a hardier black tea, I submerge the tea bag in boiling or just-below water, and let it steep for about a minute. The tea steeps quickly, so it's easy to attain your desired level of intensity.
To put it plainly, I love the taste of this tea. I don't like overly spicy teas (where "spicy" usually means lots of cinnamon) and so I'm pleased that you can hardly taste the spice here--it mostly seems to add a backdrop of complexity and mellowness to the black tea and orange flavors. The orange is definitely present as a tempering force for the strong tea, and the citrus mixes surprisingly well. This is a bold but relaxing tea, perfect for either the morning or evening--my mom always serves a pot of this after dessert on Christmas and Thanksgiving, and it never seems to impede those post-food naps, despite the caffeine content. Plus, at about $2.50 to $3.00 a box (20 bags in a box), it doesn't break the bank, and many grocery stores run specials on Bigelow boxed tea that may allow you to pick up a couple boxes for even less. For such an economical, tasty tea, it just may be a daily favorite.