Mixologist’s Review: Celestial Seasonings Perfect Iced Tea Southern Sweet Black Tea Brew Over Ice K-Cup

I’ve always been a huge fan of iced tea. With my mom being from Maryland, sun brewed tea was always made daily on the porch and it’s one of those drinks I’ll always associate with summer. But I grew up with unsweetened tea and tend to avoid sweet tea because I don’t like the idea of my skull rotting out of my skull. But after wandering the streets of Boston during the Fourth of July weekend, Green Mountain Coffee provided me with some free samples of their “Brew Over Ice” brand.

Now, I’m guessing that “Brew Over Ice” is the same as the regular coffee, but the concept behind it is genius. K-Cups and Keurig machines are something I still find odd even though I have one at home and at the office. I find them excessively wasteful but given that an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts (when I’m not inflicting bodily harm on myself) is a couple bucks, K-Cups almost seem like a bargain.

With the “Brew Over Ice” line, it’s the standard stuff. You get a little plastic cup; you put it in the machine. But instead of having it go into a mug, it goes into a cup full of ice! And I mean full of ice, if the cup isn’t full, the ratio tastes off and is lukewarm. One major note is you MUST use plastic cups – glass will almost definitely shatter (I photographed it in a class AFTER it cooled because red Solo Cups don’t photograph well). That doesn’t seem like such an unreasonable demand but how many people actually have plastic cups in their homes? I usually don’t – besides red Solo cups. At least those work, and give the impression I’m an alcoholic.

Once brewed, the Southern Sweet Black Tea tastes like it was made by a company from New England. This isn’t some sickeningly sweet iced tea, in fact; it’s not half bad actually. The black tea is unexciting and not too different from Lipton’s. The sweetness isn’t overwhelming and amazingly isn’t corn syrup! It’s a decent not-glass glass of tea, but nothing that’s going to change your world.

Nutrition facts don’t disturb me for once. As an alternative to soda, this isn’t bad with 70 calories in it. Running at 18 grams of sugar, that about four teaspoon or four packets worth. Also known as how much I put into that iced chai I had last week. I’ve got to commend them though for including “Evaporated Cane Juice” instead of corn syrup but this also includes Rebiana made from Stevia leaves. I don’t notice a different in sweetness.

Given that mine were free, I’ve taken it upon myself to find out how much these cost. A 22-pack of Iced Tea K-Cups runs around $16, making these just around 75 cents each. Not the cheapest, but not that expensive since a bottle of iced tea can easily be $2-3.

As a sweetened iced tea, this isn’t bad but doesn’t blow me away. In a pinch, it’s a great way to make iced tea plus you don’t have to deal with making simple syrup for it to properly dissolve! But do a lot of people actually own plastic cups or am I just weird?

Pros

A single serving of iced tea immediately

Not actually as sweet as sweet tea

Made with real evaporated cane juice!

Sugar is completely dissolved

Cons

Amount of sugar probably won’t suit everyone

Who actually owns plastic cups?

Makes me feel like I have the environment