September 15, 2010

Review: Celestial Seasonings Southern Sweet Perfect Iced Tea K-Cups

Review Single Serve Coffee


Our quest to try every new “Brew Over Ice” K-Cup continues today with our review of Celestial Seasonings Southern Sweet Perfect Iced Tea K-Cups. These K-Cups combine traditional black tea and dump on a generous serving of cane sugar to add a touch of the South to this drink since after all; sweet tea did originate from the Southern states (as is described via this interesting Wikipedia entry). As a matter of fact, the first thing you’ll probably notice is the weight of these K-Cups… they are PACKED with cane sugar and weigh a few grams more than some other flavors in the lineup.

Upon brewing, mild aromas of black tea appear for a few minutes although overall, there’s not much of a scent present in the finished cup once all is said and done. We were expecting a bit more of a traditional orange pekoe scent but it’s always hard to get the same aromas as the hot version when you’re making iced tea. As a result, we’ll score this as average.

We’d already tried McDonald’s sweet tea when it was first introduced and some of our staff couldn’t stomach it, complaining that there was just “way too much sugar” and that the overall taste was “sickeningly sweet”. We were a bit apprehensive of what this K-Cup would be like in regards to that, but thankfully, Celestial Seasonings continued to impress us by balancing the black tea flavor with just enough cane sugar to prevent any “sickening” sensations.


Our staff members who hated McD’s version actually ended up liking this K-Cup considerably more which was a bit of a surprise since the tastes are somewhat similar, just a lot less sweet. Although it’s a bit of a stretch, we were even able to pick up very faint hints of molasses from the cane sugar hiding in the background. It should be noted that sweet tea does NOT usually contain any flavorings, so don’t go thinking that you’ll be tasting lemon or anything like that.


Body was your typical black tea color with medium/dark browns & notes of amber when held to a light source. Acidity was all but nil since the huge amount of cane sugar killed off most tannins remaining in the black tea. We were unable to detect any notable aftertaste either. Mouth feel was light & smooth throughout and remained that way after the ice had melted, although we did notice a dilution of the sugar which resulted in a slightly weaker taste afterwards.

We feel that this is a hit or miss product since some tea drinker will probably enjoy these K-Cups quite a bit and others may still find that they’re “way too sweet” for their liking. The only thing we can suggest is if you like the McDonald’s version or sweet tea you make at home, you’ll likely enjoy this and if you’ve never tried either version, then maybe try McD’s blend and picture a version that has considerably less sugar in it. That should give you an idea of what these K-Cups are like.

  • Aroma – 8 – Average. Notes of black tea quickly fade away once the drink is fully brewed.
  • Acidity – 5 – Virtually none. The copious amounts of cane sugar effectively neutralize any tannins/acidity present in the black tea.
  • Body – 8 – Average medium/dark brown color. Amber notes shine through when held to a light source.
  • Flavor – 10 – Compared to McD’s version, considerably less sweet, but still probably one of the sweetest K-Cups on the market. Faint notes of molasses hiding underneath. Due to the perfect balance of tea/sweetness, we’re giving this category a 10.
  • Mouth Feel – 9 – Light & smooth throughout, feel doesn’t change after ice melts, but the taste is affected somewhat.
  • Coffee Tea Drinker – Suited best for those who either already enjoy McD’s version or are familiar with sweet tea. If you’ve never tried this kind of tea before, be prepared for a punch of sugar and throw all notions of “lightly sweetened” out the door. Don’t expect this to be lemon flavored either.

Overall Rating: 90 - Exceptional

Celestial Seasonings seems to be on a roll lately as their new “Brew over ice” K-Cups have been consistently enjoyable compared to some of the previous flavors they released last year. We can’t wait to try the remaining flavors in the line-up when we get a chance. We enjoyed these K-Cups and if you’re the adventurous type, we suggest you try a box when you get a chance.

The Celestial Seasonings Southern Sweet Perfect Iced Tea K-Cups will work in your Keurig Elite B40 Brewer, Keurig B50, Keurig Special Edition Ultra Elite B60, Keurig Platinum B70 Brewer, Breville BKC600XL/BKC700XL Gourmet Single Cup Brewer, and other Keurig K Cup brewers including the Keurig Mini Plus and Keurig Mini B30.

At Celestial Seasonings Southern Sweet Perfect Iced Tea K-Cups

Note: Thanks to Green Mountain for sending us these K-Cups to review. A special thanks to SH for the review.

Read how we review and rate single-serve coffee and other single-serve coffee beverages here.

Read More in: K Cup Reviews | Keurig & K-Cups | Reviews | Single Serve Tea

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Posted by Jay Brewer at September 15, 2010 7:43 AM
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