Oh là là! This is a very nice oolong tea. Upon opening the pouch, the nose is presented with the scent of freshly mown grass, with a hint of spice. The tea liquors to a cloudless and radiant amber colour that is appealing to behold. The flavour is light, but in no manner weak, of delicate fruit and flowers. There is no hint of grassiness, which often mars lesser green oolongs, nor of astringency. This tea is refreshing and delightful: it could easily become a favourite.
29 Tasting Notes
This is a pleasant, slightly minty, herbal tea. The mint really is light, so as not to overpower the fragrant chamomile. I find that a half teaspoonful of honey brings out the flavour.
I generally turn up my nose at the bitter and nondescript jasmine tea served at Chinese restaurants, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this tea. I opened the pouch and was immediately greeted by the potent perfume of sweet jasmine blossoms. The floral scent is no less striking when steeping and drinking the tea. The jasmine flavour does not overwhelm the palate, not even after a few cups. The tea is neither bitter nor astringent, but sweetly perfumed. It is truly a bouquet in a cup. The second steeping is lighter, but still decidedly jasmine. This is the finest jasmine tea I have ever tried.
This tea has a slight tartness that is not overpowering; otherwise, it is decidedly lacking in flavour and body and excessive in caffeine. I can drink it, but won’t be getting it again.
When steeping for 60 seconds, I get about four steepings in small cups and am able to minimize the unpleasant tannins. Still, it retains a hint of astringency, which makes me wary of increasing the steeping time. Nevertheless, I do also steep this tea for 2 minutes for a full mug without it becoming bitter and astringent. The flavour and colour are light, similar to green tea, but without grassiness and with characteristic Darjeeling tartness.
Steeping this tea for about 45 seconds, I discerned a honey-like aroma with a similarly sweet, but weak, taste. I steeped for 60 seconds each for two subsequent steepings and it became astringent and bitter. On the fourth steeping, again at 60 seconds, it was nearly flavourless. I have tried it a number of times and have always been dissatisfied, finding it either bitter or watery, with no discoverable sweet spot.
Drunk plain, this tea has a tartness that is not wholly unpleasant, but it is somewhat short on flavour and long on caffeine. I have tried two 2-minute steepings, but the second one is disappointingly watery, so I have settled on one 3-minute steeping to be drunk with milk.
Taking a whiff of the dry tea, I discerned a smokiness, much like smoked salami. Oddly, there is no smokiness to the taste, but there is a pronounced metallic aftertaste. This tea does not respond well to Western steeping: it is always bitter. Gongfu steeping improves it to almost the level of palatability. The taste is still acerbic, repelling the tongue and mouth, no longer with a shove, but still with a push. It’s astringency hits the stomach like a heavy weight, producing a lingering malaise.
From the moment I cut open the bag and caught a whiff of the strikingly golden brown tea leaves, I knew this one would be special… and it did not disappoint! I used numerous 30 second Gongfu style steepings. The first steeping was mild in flavour, but not without aroma. Perhaps I didn’t wait quite a full 30 seconds, as an immediate pronounced rich colour developed. The second steeping was much more pronounced in flavour, aroma and colour, yet it still defied description. My nose perceived a floral, perfumey sweetness; my tongue perceived a malty tartness. Even at the fifth steeping — or was it the sixth, it was no longer possible to keep track — the liquor remained a deep golden brown. I will make it somewhat stronger next time to see if I can more precisely define the tastes.
I was expecting strictly lemon, tart and citrus, but this surprises with the fruitiness of hibiscus blossoms and rose hips. It is not overly acidic, nor is the added flavour overpowering. I like it.
A pleasant herbal blend with a chocolatey taste and creamy richness. I like to leave the bag in the cup to extract all of the flavour; however, it tends to develop a viscosity toward the end that is a bit too much.
This is more an herbal tea blend than a maté, the pleasant lemon flavour being derived from lemongrass and lemon myrtle leaves. While pleasant, lemon overpowers the maté to the point that it is not possible to distinguish its true flavour.
I was surprised. After trying about a dozen bagged chais, mostly expensive natural brands, and finding them all to taste fake, this one is quite acceptable. It’s inexpensive and available at the supermarket. It has a nice spice flavour: not overpowering, yet not so weak that it can’t be drunk with milk. This is a good standby for on the go.
The heavy, almost milky vanilla flavour is overpowering and tastes fake, bearing no resemblance to real vanilla. It blankets the palate and is soon nauseating.
This good, economical bagged black tea was in every household when I was growing up. It still tastes good.
We used to drink it as they do in parts of Germany, with freshly squeezed lemon juice. As a boy, sitting at the table under the sparkling light from the chandelier, I enjoyed watching the red-brown colour change to a sunny gold as I stirred the juice into the porcelain teacup. The flavour became somewhat tart, complementing the fine, whipped cream covered, fresh fruit tortes my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother used to bake.
For breakfast, I douse it with a lot of milk and leave the bag in my mug to get every last molecule of flavour. Put some Suraj tea masala (ground spice mixture from Superstore’s Indian aisle) into the water as it is heating to make your own authentic chai. Add further ground spices to adjust the flavour to your taste. Serve with hot milk. The robust tea flavour shines through admirably.
Unappealing. After the decaffeination process, there is little flavour left. It is muddy and brownish with a dull, nondescript taste. With milk, it is thin, watery and greyish. Chemical residues are not appealing, either. I have given up on decaffeinated teas and coffees. There are many naturally caffeine-free beverages to enjoy.
I prepare this tea Gongfu style. It has a rich aroma, a deep golden colour, an earthy flavour and a pleasant tartness that pervade right through to about the fifth 30-second steeping, after which the flavour appears to be completely spent, despite still producing strong colour.
I got this tea at a grocery store in Chinatown for only a few dollars. I was told that elderly people like it, but I had no idea that it was pu-erh. It was hard as rock and sat forever in my cupboard, having eluded all my efforts to break it apart. One day, I decided to deal with it once and for all. I took it into the basement and struck it variously with a hammer and an axe. Chunks bounced off the walls. I reduced it to manageable pieces that I collected in a jar without losing too much. I began to drink it assiduously. It turned out to have a rich body and a good flavour, rather earthy in character, but in no manner musty. It suffers only in its impossible packaging, for which I docked 5 points.
Horrid and stomach-turning. There is so much spice oil in this tea that it bears no resemblance to the taste of real spice. It tastes soapy. Use it to strip wax off floors. This is a casualty of added flavour.
This tea is very inexpensive. As it is a blend of approximately 50% tea and 50% toasted rice, it is low in caffeine and may be enjoyed anytime. The comforting and familiar taste of toasted grain mellows the grassy taste of the green tea leaves. This is tea for the common man. I have been hooked from the first sip.
You can choke it down. It tastes more bitter than spicy. This is a victim of natural flavour, which is not the same as real natural ingredients. Don’t expect to get a full mug out of one bag.
There is so much oil of spice added to this tea that the bags are oily and stained a curious greenish-yellow. The flavour comes across as fake and can easily turn a stomach. This tea is undrinkable.
I have tried at least a dozen different bagged chai blends and this is only one that I can praise. It is entirely herbal and uses no oils of spices to enhance the flavour, but does use oils of orange and tangerine. It has a natural spicy flavour without the typical artificial taste of other chais. It is slightly sweet, with a sharp bite that is simply delicious.
My expectations for this tea were high, based on the stature of the brand in natural food circles. It turns out that the spice is enhanced with oils of spices, resulting in a spicy flavour so overpowering and artificial that I had to force myself to drink the noxious brew. After a few trials, I disposed of the remainder of the package. I am not impressed.