Lipton Soothe Smooth Green Tea K-Cups Review
In what seems to be a never-ending quest for Keurig to secure just about every major coffee & tea brand on the market, they’ve managed to secure yet another one this year and it’s a big one. We’re talking about the partnership between Keurig and Lipton Teas to produce Liption Tea K-Cups. We heard news that Tetley would release K-Cups around the same time as their T-Disc releases, but that never materialized, so on a rare trip to a local Wal-Mart (we can already hear some Tar-jay fans getting nauseated at the thought) we couldn’t resist to pick-up a box of the only Lipton flavor they had available… Lipton Soothe Smooth Green Tea K-Cups.
Brewing these K-Cups resulted in a variety of different strong aromas which caught us a bit off-guard as we were expecting just straight-up standard green tea, but a closer look at the packaging revealed that we were getting green tea blended with herbs & other natural flavors instead. Hmm… we guess that explains the hearty aromas of mint, lemon and hints of spices & orange hiding underneath. We were intrigued to see just what was present here, so we checked the ingredients list: Green tea, chamomile flowers (ah, that explains the soothe namesake), lemon verbena (wow, really?), spearmint & peppermint leaves, rosehips, orange peel, hibiscus flowers, lemon grass, spices (we guess by this point they ran out of print space on the box to list them all), orange juice concentrate, orange pulp, natural flavor (which one?!?), chicory root, sunflower lecithin and soy lecithin. Holy hole in a donut Batman! Talk about an insane mish-mash of ingredients all in one K-Cup! They should have dubbed this the Lipton Herb Garden with Green Tea K-Cup. Totally INSANE.
Flavor was just as amusingly complex as the aroma with a virtual cacophony of tastes blaring out all at once. We could clearly detect the spearmint, peppermint and lemon notes up front while the orange, hibiscus & chicory notes weren’t really noticeable. We’ll admit we got a very slight hint of orange lurking in the background, but it was barely detectable and left us wishing for more (especially since there were so many orange-based ingredients listed). It was only near the end of each sip that we got the main astringent green tea notes. With the insanely long list of ingredients, it’s a wonder we could even detect it at all. Nonetheless, we still enjoyed this unexpected taste combination and thought it made for an intriguing yet relaxing cup of tea which could be enjoyed late morning or mid-afternoon.
Acidity was a tad on the mild side and didn’t really come into play until the citrus notes faded and gave way to the typical astringency of the main green tea flavors. Any stronger and we’re guessing the torrent of various flavors would have been lost into an overly strong minty lemon flavor, but we were still hoping a bit more oomph would have been present. Body was a crystal-clear vibrant yellow just as pictured on the packaging which yielded bright, lively shades of greenish-yellow when held in front of a light source and it reminded us once again of the color patterns used on the box. Mouth feel was quite light and somewhat on the watery side, but this is typical for most teas and is not out of the norm. We did find it kind of odd that the long ingredients list didn’t help add some substance to the overall feel and would have liked it if things were a smidge less watery. Finish was typically astringent with more mint & lemon notes lingering around in the aftertaste.
- Aroma – 10 – We went into this thinking we’d get standard green tea, we came out thinking we’d fallen face-first into an herb garden. A surprisingly complex symphony of scents including strong mint & lemon notes followed by hints of spices & orange hiding underneath.
- Acidity – 7 – A bit on the mild side and left us wanting a bit more pop overall. We didn’t notice the acidity level until we detected the green tea notes.
- Body – 10 – A nice crystal-clear shade of golden yellow just like on the packaging which yielded bright, vibrant shades of greenish-yellow when held in front of a light source. It reminded us once again of the color scheme on the box.
- Flavor – 10 – Despite all the chaos going on all at once, we liked the taste and though it made for an intriguingly relaxing drink where the green tea notes were detectable near the end of each sip. We noticed the spearmint, peppermint & lemon notes up front which were unmistakable, but the hibiscus, chicory & orange notes were barely noticeable. After closer inspection, we did notice some faint orange notes in the background, but they just weren’t as strong as we were hoping for. Still, given the fact that we thought we’d be getting unflavored green tea, this flavor combo worked surprisingly well.
- Mouth Feel – 7 – Quite light overall and more on the watery side. While teas are normally lighter in feel than coffees, teas with this many ingredients should be a bit more substantial than what we have here. Other than that, finish was typically astringent with more mint & lemon notes lingering in the aftertaste.
Coffee Drinker – While this is definitely NOT a coffee, we think those who like herbed/flavored green teas or perhaps even Moroccan-style teas might enjoy this K-Cup. Just don’t go into it thinking you’re getting an average cup of unflavored green tea. Suited best for those who like strong mint & lemon notes in their teas.
Overall Rating: 94 – Exceptional
While Lipton’s slogan is Drink Positive, one thing we’re definitely positive about is that we’ve never seen so many different herbs & spices used on anything other than KFC chicken. The sheer amount of ingredients is incredible considering that most tea K-Cups have perhaps 3 or 4 ingredients total… this one has over 16! We’ve got to at least hand it to Lipton… when they set out to make a tea K-Cup, they sure as heck weren’t messing around. You’d think such a strange assortment of ingredients might make this tea taste off-putting or like lemon-scented dish soap, but rest assured that’s not the case. The presence of chamomile, lemon grass, lemon verbena combined with 2 different mints (spearmint & peppermint) really does make for a relaxing blend which allows you to calm down somewhat when things get busy. The added benefits of drinking green tea (they’re high in anti-oxidants, polyphenols, etc.) also don’t hurt and these K-Cups are even Rainforest Alliance Certified, so you know the environmental impact is being taken into consideration as well.
While it may be a weird mix, we can vouch that it does at least seem to work and helped soothe our minds after a long day of work. Just the variety of ingredients alone should be enough of a curiosity factor alone which is worth a try if you’re so inclined. With Tetley K-Cups nowhere in sight, Lipton seems more than capable of filling the void in the meantime.
UPDATE: When we first started writing this review, these K-Cups weren’t available in Canada, but they’ve since started appearing just this past week (late August) at various grocery stores. One odd thing is that while Lipton kept the same name for their black tea K-Cups (Indulge), they changed the name for these green tea K-Cups from Soothe to Enlightened. Wait… what? We’re still trying to figure out the reasoning behind this ourselves… bilingual packaging regulations perhaps? Ah well, at least the ingredients are unchanged.
Lipton Soothe Smooth Green Tea K-Cups work in all Keurig K-Cup Brewers and are available at most Wal-Mart locations in USA in 18-packs for $10.99 USD or online at Amazon.com. These K-Cups are also available in Canada in 12-packs for $11.99 CAD at various Canadian grocery stores but are named Enlightened instead of Soothe (Pricing/size may vary by store). Please also note that K-Cups will NOT work with Keurig Vue brewers.
A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to note that we purchased a box of these K-Cups on our own for the purpose of this review.
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Posted by Jay Brewer at March 4, 2014 7:33 AM