I hate to admit it but I’ve become a tea snob. I tend to look down my nose at bagged teas now as I don’t feel that they have the same complexity, freshness, and full flavors possessed by loose leaf teas. To me, bagged teas are like the McDonald’s of the tea world. I enjoy a fast food burger from time to time. But, if I have a choice, I’m going for a thick, medium-rare, juicy, steak burger at a fine restaurant.
My sister-in-law was nice enough to buy this Vail Breakfast Tea for me. So, the least I can do is try it and write a tasting note about it.
The white tea bag appeared to be smaller than the average bag. This isn’t a complaint, just an observation (I’m not THAT much of a snob). The amount of crushed leaves packed into the bag did seem to be normal for a cup of tea.
I microwaved a cup of cold filtered water for six minutes on high. The cup looked like a bubbling cauldron after that much time. I immediately dropped the tea bag into the boiling water and let it steep for five minutes.
The brewed color was a deep reddish gold. No discernible aroma emerged from the cup.
My first sip produced a complete and pretty standard Ceylon tea taste. The flavor was pleasant and full. My taste buds didn’t detect any astringency, which I felt was better than average for bagged Ceylon teas. The aftertaste was also benign without bitterness. Subsequent sips throughout the cup remained consistent without offensive or unidentified artifacts in the flavor.
I can’t say that the tea “wowed” me, but I did not find anything to criticize either. I can report that I found it to be an amiable experience. I would have no problem drinking this tea again when I’m in the office with no access to loose leaf and infusers.
Although I do not prefer bagged teas (for my reasons stated above), I want to prove that I can be objective and unbiased against them. I’ve therefore rated this tea NOT as a bagged tea, but by following the same criteria that I use for all teas (loose leaf, bagged, black, green, oolong, etc.). My rating is nothing more (or less) than an analysis of its flavor, consistency, complexity, bitterness/astringency, and aftertaste.
To summarize my evaluation of this tea:
o This is a better than average bagged tea.
o The flavor is full and consistent without bitterness.
o You may not be “wowed” by the flavor but you won’t be disappointed either.