Pros: Good ingredients, Excellent aroma
Cons: Does not taste like grapefruit...or anything, Decaffeinated, Environmentally irresponsible bulk.
It might seem odd that my entry into the 2009 Breast Cancer Awareness Write-Off (details at: http://www.epinions.com/content_5352104068 ) is odd in that it is a pretty firm not recommend, but I feel it is equally important that when one tries to support a cause they love like combating the scourge of breast cancer that we not throw our money at products we do not like or find to be less good than others. And the only thing worse than a bad tea, and Tropical Grapefruit is pretty lousy, is a lot of it. Celestial Seasonings Tropical Grapefruit tea is a tea earmarked to raise money for Breast Cancer research and awareness, so stocking up on it helps support the fight against breast cancer.
Unfortunately, it is a pretty terrible way to do so. Seriously, this is a tasteless tea and it is liable to disappoint anyone who likes to do anything other than just smell their tea. There is no reason to get the half case and it would be better to buy Yoplait yogurts than it would be to stock up on this charity tea.
Tropical Grapefruit is a tea from Celestial Seasonings. It is a 100% natural green tea that is lightly caffeinated and trades on being flavored like grapefruit. Tropical Grapefruit 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 Tropical Grapefruit comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.
Tropical Grapefruit is marketed as a grapefruit flavored tea and it certainly smells like grapefruit so strongly that it is almost easy to overlook that it does not taste very much like grapefruit. Instead, one braces for a powerful, sour taste . . . and it never comes.
The box of twenty tea bags is bulked together with another five, connected by an outer cellophane wrapper. In other words, there is no saving the environment by purchasing the six pack in bulk in this way. This is a simple bundle pack, six boxes wrapped together! For those considering trying this, you might want to purchase the single box (reviewed at: http://www.epinions.com/content_446413246084 ) instead and give it a try that way.
Ease of Preparation
Tropical Grapefruit is a green tea, which means preparation is as easy as almost boiling a pot of water! Green teas, as the directions clearly state, require water that is not quite boiling. Boiling water cooks the tea leaves and ruins the flavor, so water used for green teas like this one must be kept below a full boil. 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 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 Tropical Grapefruit, 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 three minutes to steep and after a couple cups and pots, I've found that with almost boiling water, the tea is ready at the three minute mark and letting it steep longer does not truly change the results. Letting the tea steep more than four minutes does not net any additional flavor, nor does it denature the flavor of the tea.
For those purchasing in bulk because they are making this in quantity, I've found that two tea bags per 32 oz. of boiling water is the ideal combination for making it in bulk. Thus, with the one hundred twenty tea bags in this multipack one could either make one hundred twenty cups, sixty pots, or one large 1920 oz. container of Tropical Grapefruit tea.
Tropical Grapefruit, on its own, does not taste like grapefruit. It is not sour, it is not citrus flavored, it is not even mildly shocking. Instead, it tastes like colored, scented water. It is indescribable how much it disappoints me to have to write that this flavor is anything but a flavor. Instead, based on the scent and the concept, I was prepared for flavor and I sit here typing utterly disappointed. Now, though, I am able to notice that the proper name for this tea is "Green Tea Tropical Grapefruit," at least that is the way it is laid out on the box.
Even as a green tea, this is a huge disappointment. Weaker than most green teas, there is something like a negative synergy effect going on; like somehow the grapefruit flavor weakened the green tea (already a dreadfully weak flavoring). It doesn't even have an aftertaste!
With sugar, Tropical Grapefruit becomes sweet without enhancing any sense of a fruit flavor. It is, however, remarkably easy to overwhelm the tea with sugar and I recommend no more than a teaspoon (not a heaping one) be added to dissipate the monotony of this tasteless tea. With sugar, it is sweet green tea, but it lacks more flavor than that and anyone looking for a fruity flavored drink will be disappointed by this on the taste front. Even anyone looking to taste something that is tea flavored will be disappointed by how little flavor this tea has.
Iced, Tropical Grapefruit is an equally unremarkable tea. Cold, it still smells like grapefruit, but tastes like colored water. Sadly, this has less flavoring than Crystal Lite!
It is somewhat surprising that this tea has no real flavor when the primary ingredients are: green tea, natural grapefruit and tropical flavors with other natural flavors and grapefruit peel. At least the grapefruit peel explains the rich scent! Tropical Grapefruit tea is all natural, gluten free, and contains only trace amounts of caffeine.
Were it not for the sugar I add whenever I make pots of Tropical Grapefruit, this tea would be devoid of any nutritional value. It contains no calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates or protein.
Tropical Grapefruit 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. This does not stain fabrics, unless left on them for excessive amounts of time. Anything that is not a bright color will easily hide a stain from this tea. Lighter colored fabrics might need a rinse, but this tea isn't even strong enough to use as a dying tea!
Tropical Grapefruit 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.
Tropical Grapefruit is a sadly lackluster tea and one that no one will want to stock up on, even to help fight breast cancer. This is unfortunate . . . on so many levels.
For other teas, please check out my reviews of:
Saphara Blackcurrant Hibiscus - http://www.epinions.com/content_487659507332
Saphara White Tea With Shizandra - http://www.epinions.com/content_482829241988
Saphara Premiere Estate Assam - http://www.epinions.com/content_482581188228