This post is due in part by a suggestion from a dear friend. They had mentioned I should compare the Candy Cane Green Tea from Trader Joe’s versus the Candy Cane Lane I reviewed nearly one year ago from Celestial Seasonings. That review can be found here.
It felt like weeks, not years ago where I was celebrating holiday themed teas throughout December. Time flies when you’re having tea I guess. And this week it’ll be of the decaffeinated variety.
I’ve mentioned it numerous times before. I don’t believe in coincidences. I felt like it was meant to write about this and write about this today. I’m a lover of the holidays and welcome this time of year. I love that it spring up on us so quickly, but would also like time to slow down so I can enjoy every moment of it.
Trader Joe’s and the holidays have always gone hand-in-hand for me. Each time I walk into one of their stores I love seeing the flyer items on display, which always coincide with the time of year. I did grab some sweet treats for display. I’ll get to that in a bit.
I made it to the tea section and to my pleasant surprise, I found one of the last boxes. The way the season is going, a lot of items I’ve been looking for are not always available when I want them. Of course, more tea would resurface with each new shipment, but I, along with so many others adore our holiday themed anything.
My intent was to find a fresh package of Candy Cane Lane so the comparison would be fair and untarnished. The dilemma was that I actually never bought this tea from the get go. This was a gift from Celestial Seasoning’s as part of an amazing care package after I reviewed another one of their teas, and they sent me a variety of their holiday-themed teas to try and review. I look back fondly at those times. And after a search of a few local grocers and shops, I couldn’t find the Candy Cane Lane anywhere.
It didn’t matter because even a year later, the Candy Cane Lane has aged well. Can a tea age well? I think so. And when the best by date isn’t till late Summer 2017, I think this is a safe comparison.
Where as the Celestial Seasoning’s version is still a pleaser, the Trader Joe’s version tastes just a tad sweeter. I told my friend that it was like drinking hot liquid peppermint bark. And that’s not an insult. It tastes like this time of year. I cherish this time of year.
I literally took photos side-by-side of the two teas from open to final brew. And if you look closely, the same exact ingredients are in both. Yet, the Celestial Seasoning’s version seems like it was prepared with just a little more soul and feeling. Maybe that’s all in my head.
And that’s not to say that TJ’s version is bad. I actually like it a lot, but it didn’t blow me away like previous Trader Joe’s holiday selections I’ve tried. But I’m glad it’s part of my tea collection and I’m grateful that Trader Joe’s continues to come up with new teas for me to try. That’s all I can ask for.
The Celestial Seasoning’s candy cane tea also seems more balanced. All the flavors mesh well together and nothing overpowers one where another ingredients gets lost in the shuffle. That’s where my peppermint comment on the Trader Joe’s version applies. I feel that sticks out and not much else shines through. I do taste some cinnamon but not much else. But that’s being a bit more picky than necessary. I did both but I’d give the edge to Celestial.
I incorporated some of the sweet treats I purchased from Trader Joe’s to pair with both. I have to laugh because in my post from last year you can see one of those same treats. This may not be the biggest source of serendipity or clairvoyance. But the holiday spirits and connections are not an accident. So that makes me feel good.
If you tries these teas, I hope they make you feel good too. They’re perfect representatives of what this season is all about.
The packaging on both are hits on all fronts. The comforting images of animals will always draw people in.
We got loads of time so I hope more inspirational and spiritual selections will be presented to you, starting next week.
This is my history with Celestial Seasoning’s and Trader Joe’s. A lot of good stuff for the season can be found there, and is still relevant today. I get goose bumps looking back on it. Ah the holidays can strike a chord with us in so many ways.
Here’s hoping you’ve been having a happy and blessed holiday season,