I am not normally a tea drinker. I am a caffeine addict, and more than want, I NEED at least a hundred or so milligrams just to get going in the morning. Normally, that means a cup of coffee or two is all I am craving to get my brain in gear, but I need that or else… Unfortunately, the amount of caffeine found in a cup of tea means I gotta drink a whole hell of a lot of it to get the same buzz as a shot of some energy elixir or espresso, as there usually is about half the amount of caffeine in coffee as in tea. This all changed when I saw the Celestial Seasonings Fast Lane Black Tea. My tea drinking friends assured me this is supposed to give me the zing I desire, but be able to drink it in a pleasing and unique tea form instead.
I called Celestial Seasonings for a sample, but unfortunately they politely turned me down. The HR person informed me they dont give out samples, but they would be happy to direct me to a store to get some. Although, they would not be able to help me with this particular flavor as it had been discontinued. Bummer.
However, it was with great happiness I found new boxes on sale at my local supermarket, and bought myself a half dozen boxes to try out. I am really not a tea drinker, so I am not really one to go to great lengths about the flavor of coffee like I can with coffee flavors. To me, tea is usually what you drink when you have a cold or need a nap, not a drink to get you into gear in the morning. I know many people who enjoy a couple cups of tea first thing in the morning, and in fact people have been clamoring for this particular blend. I guess it used to be out, but then was discontinued. Thanks to people’s outcry (there were even online petitions like the Bring Back Fast Lane Tea Petition), Celestial Seasonings brought brought it back into the marketplace.
Seeing as there was such a hubub made over extra caffeinated tea, I would be remiss to not give it a serious try. Rather than go for my morning coffee, I started decided to start every morning for two weeks with a big cup of their spicy black tea instead.
I have just entered the corporate worksphere – enough that I can really relate to the artwork on this cover now. There is a Superhero – my guess from the emblem on his chest he is Captain Steep, the Tea Savior (or maybe that just stands for celestial seasonings). His superpower seems to be flying, and getting others to fly too as there is a man and woman in boring business attire blasting off. That does sum up my life at the moment – a whole lot of boring outfits and needing blastoff.
There are ll the other things about Celestial Seasonings that make it a tea you like buying. They have lots of info how they are saving the environment by not using tea strings or staples, how the box can save the trees and how just looking at the box in the right light will make you feel like taking up yoga and going vegan. But there is one even cooler thing they do that makes more impressed – they list their caffeine.
For a coffee drink to list caffeine is rare, but for a tea drink this is almost unheard of – especially in loose form! Truthfully, I loved learning I was going to get a bigger buzz from this than my office floor’s nasty coffee. It was a breath of fresh air to know what I was putting into my body – even though the full recipe to making this tea is hidden.
It is a good thing that they listed the major spices they used in Fast Lane Tea. My taste buds are usually good enough to pick out a number of flavors, this blend of black tea from Indonesia is mixed with more flavors than a cup of chai. I definitely tasted the cinnamon, ginseng, licorice, and nutmeg (those were also the flavors listed in their ingredients), but then after that I have no idea. I just do not have enough of a sophisticated tea palate to pick out all the other flavors.
I can tell you it is delicious! Truth be told, one bag is nowhere near flavorful enough in my 16oz mug. No matter how much I let it steep, I need to use at least two bags to really be able to taste it. Also, I am a tea n00b, and can not drink it without loading it with sugar. If I was drinking coffee I would sneer at myself, only I don’t know if tea people are just as much purists as coffee drinkers. What makes things even worse is my favorite thing to add into tea is Sweet and Low, the old time slightly sour sugar substitute that might or might not give you cancer, depending on whether or not you live in california.
All this strong spicy sweetness makes for a happy morning. It is a lot harder getting bummed out when you have such flavors around you – it is like being sad in a bakery during Christmas.
I do not know of any other bagged tea there is that adds caffeine in it – let alone lists the caffeine content for you. I for one, really appreciate the buzz it gives me – and consistently gave me a bigger-that-coffee sized dose of energy when I was needing it most, like during the third consecutive droning meeting or when trying to finish my spreadsheets and paperworks… just writing that makes me sleepy.
There are some other yummy things in here, like ginseng of course the tea flavor ingredients, but the main star here is the 130mg of caffeine per cup. No worries – there is energy aplenty to be found in Fast Lane, and it tastes so much better than slamming down the work sludge over and over throughout the day. I am not sure if I would be picking this up over a cup of decent and real coffee, but I am definitely going to enjoy the rest of my supply.