515 Tasting Notes

92

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @ 100C, steeped 4 minutes 30 seconds, drunk bare.

I couldn’t get to my strainer right away … the extra 30 seconds makes this tea a little bitter for me. The smoke is starting to dominate, but the smooth malt beneath is still there. Mineral finish, but defintely tending to bitterness.

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92

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @90C, steeped 3:30, drunk bare.

A triumph. Gentle orange notes with toasty oolong and a bit of jasmine. Really good.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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92

1.5 tsp for 250mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

I notice the directions suggest 94C water; I’ll try that next time.

Rich without being heavy. Scents of honey and fruit, as the packet copy promises. Enticing and nuanced. And it seems to pack a nice caffeine hit, too. Very happy with this one.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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50

2 teabags for 300mL water @100C, steeped 8+ minutes, drunk bare.

Even two teabags don’t make this taste any better. I smell more roses. That’s it. This could be so much better. Revising the rating down. Will never buy this again.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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92

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C. Steeped 3 minutes. Drunk bare.

I like this better on the shorter steep. The Assam (if that’s what I’m tasting) gets to show off its creamy heft without the Keemun (?) dominating with its toast and smoke.

This is a very good blend. At my first sip this evening, I just sighed in bliss.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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75

2 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

Can’t. Wake. Up.

Made this a bit stronger, and it’s great. I can taste red velvet cake, and I can taste black tea. Win.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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86

1 bag for 300 mL water @100C. Steeped two minutes. Drunk bare.

I drank this a lot when I was younger, but then I abandoned it for Stash’s Orange Spice. Stash reformulated, and I find their new Orange Spice way too sharp and strong. In the supermarket before work this morning, buying something for lunch, I saw the Bigelow teas were on sale, and I thought I’d pick up some CC.

I used to steep this to death, leaving the bag in the cup. I’d get a caffeine charge, but the tea could get bitter. I never, ever read the box, never saw the ‘steep 1 to 2 minutes’ recommendation.

Guess what? Steeped for just 2 minutes, this is quite lovely.

It’s not a brilliant black tea base, but the whole effect is one of balance. It’s smooth; it tastes of real oranges and cinnamon and probably cloves; it still tastes of black tea.

It’s easy to turn up your nose at bagged tea like this, but sometimes there are treasures out there. Constant Comment’s been around for decades, so clearly Bigelow is onto something with this blend.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Agreed! I have some of this in my cupboard, and I sent some to my future son-in-law in Ireland. It is a very good bagged tea and really can be a comfort tea.

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100

9 tears for 235mL water @82C, first infusion at 3 minutes. Drunk bare.

So clean. The liquor is almost that of a white tea. Jasmine, jasmine, jasmine. No bitterness, no perfume, no soap. Just jasmine tea perfection.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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50

1 bag for 250mL water @100C, steeped til I finish drinking it, drunk bare.

First, I gotta complain: that’s one stingy pinch of leaves in the teabag.

The formulation of Get Relaxed I’ve got contains no kava. Ingredients: organic rooibos (leaf); linden (flowers); passionflower (aerial parts); chamomile (flower); English Lavender (flower); Damask Rose (petals). Chamomile, lavender and passionflower each can help me sleep; together they’re a potent team. Scented with rose, they’re nigh-on irresistible. Sometimes I think of old-lady perfume when I smell this tisane, and that’s fine. It is floral. And it tastes like a blend of rooibos, lavender and rose. But the leaves in the bag are quite stale, and the portion is small. It takes at least eight minutes to steep anything worth tasting. I could do much better making my own blend, but I bought this silly stuff and spent quite a bit of money on it, so now I need to drink it.

It works, it tastes mostly as you’d expect, but it could be fresher. Especially for the price: $14.00 for 36 teabags.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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96

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.

I love this tea.

Light body, mineral and crisp, good hit of Caravan smoke, an elusive sweet note, smokey finish but not heavily so. I would guess this blend had some Keemun in it. Solid performance tonight. (Ahem. From the tea.)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Writer and tea fiend. Author of DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE.

I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Oolongs and blacks are my favourites.

Location

St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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