Dude, this is one weird tea. I didn’t go into it expecting coffee. which is good, since I don’t think it tastes anything like coffee (unless you only drink chicory coffee.) I think that I like barley tea, which is itself a bit of an acquired taste, and I remember my Mom drinking this once upon a time.
I got worried when I opened the box and took a sniff. It smells of barley and chicory, which I expected, but I also sensed my one spice nemesis in there – star anise! I don’t know why I dislike it so much, but I do. Still, it was much in the background, and I tolerate some anise heavy teas, so I brewed up a cup. The smell of the tea was, I’m not going to lie, a little off-putting. I can’t explain it, it’s just funky. I like carob, barley, and even chicory well enough on their own, but mixed together with spice it’s all a bit much.
I took a sip. Then I added milk and sugar and took another. It was better, but it was still strange. The problem, I think, is that while the taste isn’t awful, the smell is bad to me, and I can’t avoid it if I’m drinking tea! I think that if it were just the grains it would be fine, but the spices shouldn’t be lurking. The anise came out as it cooled, and the tea gave a coated feeling to my mouth and throat. I tried to finish the cup, but I ended up leaving the dregs. My cat was begging for a smell (he always wants to sniff at what I’m eating or drinking, and I let him after I’m done, as he doesn’t want to eat people food, he just loves smells.) He bristled his tail and ran away. Smart cat. The smell of the teabag was threatening to make me feel ill so I threw it away. And then ate chocolate to get the taste out of my mouth. You see what you are doing to me, Celestial Seasonings? It looked all innocent in the box, and led to chocolate (wait, that part’s not so bad!) But I think I’ll skip the funky tea and go straight to the dark chocolate next time.