30 Tasting Notes
Another favorite grocery store brand of mine in the UK is Pukka. I grabbed this one on our latest trip while we were at Tesco because I needed a warm minty beverage while I froze in the damp of Ireland. I like Ireland, but it is cold and damp and you need lots of blankets and socks and hot beverages.
This is peppermint, spearmint and fieldmint. I feel like we don’t really use fieldmint in the US? But it wasn’t anything much out of the ordinary. This is a nice sweet minty tea. I drank a box and a half in 2 weeks and brought a box back with me too.
I was just making myself a pot of this and as I was digging around in the bag with my teaspoon I uncovered an enormous vanilla bean pod. Must be why I missed the flavor the first time! I left the pod in the bag but even so this pot is veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery vanilla-y!
So I ran out of my Stash White Christmas and then I also ran out of my Red Leaf White Matcha so when I was at Target today I grabbed a box of this.
It’s pretty good in a pinch, not a lot to it since white tea doesn’t have a lot going on. It’s maybe a little bit floral. There’s no astringency or tartness. I steeped at 176F and I’m too lazy to remove the bag.
I think I’m going to steep it in with one of my Clipper After Dinner Mints next time so it’ll be minty.
UPDATE: I am obsessed with this tea. After the first box I learned to ignore the fennel and actually it’s a nice and fresh mint balance now. I noticed after my last review there’s gingerroot listed on the ingredients too. It’s really nice after dinner, especially if you overate.
Sorry for doubting you, Clipper. I now have to go to Target on my way home from work because I just finished my second box.
I have a little nostalgic love for Clipper since I first got it in the UK while I was visiting my now-husband for the first or second time. I had just started drinking green tea and Clipper made the first bagged green that wasn’t astringent. It was bright and green and I drank tons of it. So when a whole line of Clipper showed up at my Target I basically raked my arm across the shelf and brought all the boxes home.
It’s called After Dinner Mints! I like mint tea, I like After Eights, I like York Peppermint Patties, I like Junior Mints. This is peppermint, spearmint, and interestingly, fennel.
This of course makes sense because fennel is good for digestion so that makes this review sort of split.
As a mint tea, its not my favorite. Fennel adds this herb-y sad savory flavor to my beautiful sweet minty candy tea. It’s like licorice or something. Sad face. Vegetables.
But as an after dinner tea as it’s marketed, great! Spearmint, peppermint, and fennel are a great way to settle your stomach after dinner. It’s an excellent choice. Also fennel is supposed to be good for PMS symptoms so another great reason to get it.
Overall good but not for the reasons I bought it for. Pleased with it though! Clipper always does me right.
Flavors: Fennel, Peppermint, Spearmint
Several months ago my husband and I rented a garage downstairs from our apartment for the extra space. “Think of all the room we’ll have!” we kept saying. For months all that was in this garage was…….a bike. The garage had been empty for a while and badly needed de-spidering. My husband and I are both not fans of spiders. Why we chose to do it on a hot sunny day I can’t imagine. It was disgusting and dusty and spidery but its done now and we sprayed the corners with spider spray and then I sprayed everything generously with peppermint oil and water just to make sure the spiders get the hint. Now everything that is down there is staying forever because we can’t trust it not to have spiders on it. It’s the Goodwill waiting room.
Point is, it was hot and hot weather calls for BEVERAGES. I love BEVERAGES. I’m a huge fan of BEVERAGES. I like water, I like tea, I like coffee, I like hot chocolate, I like iced ones of those things, lemonades, limades, I try to stay away from soda unless there’s rum in it but you get the point, I’m well hydrated.
I love hibiscus tea. I’ve been drinking it for a long time and I’ve been drinking Passion tea for a long time. At Starbucks you could get it mixed it with lemonade, and eventually I started drinking it without lemonade, and then eventually I was drinking “real” tea and I didn’t have it much anymore.
Then we went to Mexico and the ubiquitous iced beverage of choice was Te Jamaica (“ha-MY-cah”), which is just hibiscus tea. At ElNicho restaurant in Puerto Morelos it was served with a mound of hibiscus and sliced cranberries in the bottom which was extra tasty and tasted just like Cranapple juice to me. So I kind of got a taste for it and I wanted some more.
I started a bad habit. A Starbucks opened near my house and it’s pretty quiet at about the time I leave for work in the mornings. My husband makes me drip coffee that I drink in the car in my Las Vegas tumbler, but I’ve started starting also stopping for a venti iced half-sweet Passion tea that I drink when I get to work.
Let’s be straight about hibiscus tea for a second. It’s pretty much Kool-Aid. If you throw a little sweetener in it and give it to a kid who is familiar with Kool-Aid, they will confirm for you that it is tasty Kool-Aid.
This Tazo stuff is also tasty Kool-Aid but it’s got a couple frills that make it taste a little bit sophisticated. The rose hips are tart and put a kibosh on the cranberry sweetness hibiscus has. The orange brightens it up. There’s a teensy bit of cinnamon that gives it a little depth and spice. It’s still Kool-Aid but it’s grown-up Kool-Aid.
My husband and I have been keeping a pitcher of it in the fridge since we got back from Mexico. I don’t make it very sweet, I boil up a cup of water and pour it over two bags with a little sugar and then leave it in there until its good and dark and then I pour it into the pitcher and fill it up. The pitcher has an infuser so I leave the bags in there overnight for some extra flavor. If you leave it unsweet it will be a little tart and dry but still good. A little sugar, refreshing with a little zing. Lots of sugar, grown-up Kool-Aid.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Hibiscus, Licorice, Orange Zest, Rosehips
The way I see it, there are three reasons to drink this tea:
1) You’ve got a serious cold and you’ve reached that point where you’re drinking directly out of the Nyquil bottle at noon,
2) You’re about to have some kind of Gilmore-level authentic Chinese food extravaganza,
3) You are some kind of ginger fetishist.
All valid reasons in their own way, of course.
Basically, this is crazy ginger and the lemon, while there, just makes the ginger poppier. It’s not bad but you’ve really really really got to like ginger. I like ginger a liiiitttle bit so this was too much for me but I’m keeping it for reason (1) which I’m sure will come around at some point and then I’ll be glad I have it. It’s yellow so I recommend treating it like green and being careful with the temperature and steep time.
Flavors: Ginger, Lemon, Lemongrass
Got home from work and my Universal Yums box had arrived! My husband got me a subscription as a surprise a few months ago. It’s basically my favorite thing ever. I love snacking and traveling and trying new foods. The box is snack foods from a different country every month. It’s usually a 2 or 3 bags of snack size chips or whatnot salty snack, and then a variety of sweets and baked goods that are traditional or popular in the country. It’s curated for the Western palate so everything is different and fun but not extreme. So for example in my Philippines box I got a bag of Sweet Corn Poofs. Like Cheetos, but Sweet Corn instead of cheese. They smelled just like corn on the cob with butter. The first one made me kind of grossed out but they were addictive and ultimately delicious. I have fond memories. My first box was France, the best box so far was Philippines, and this month is Greece, with Oregano potato chips and hazelnut chocolates and rose candies. This tea was a bonus item in the box and obviously I had to get right on it.
I couldn’t find any brewing instructions on the packaging or online so I guesstimated at 203F for 3 minutes in 8oz. That seemed okay.
It reminds me of Valerian tea in the smell and a bit in the taste, it could just be a sort of musty herbal quality. It’s kind of savory? If you put some oregano and noodles in it I would totally buy it as a soup (okay maybe a disappointing vegetable soup), but after all it does have saffron and sage and those are both great in soup. It’s certainly not sweet or floral. It’s very rustic. It leaves a brothy aftertaste. I’m not getting any of the Lemon Verbena.
Trying to expand my repertoire. I picked this one because it has chamomile and I could definitely de-stress but also because I haven’t really developed the taste for chamomile. I was hoping the silver needle and rose would save me. I really need to include more types and ingredients with my general tea consumption but overall I stick with whites because let’s not forget why I got into this business.
In preparation, I was already using a chamomile hair mask from Lush (the “Marilyn” for us blonde types), and a Klorane eye mask with cornflower, so it was a theme. There was also pound cake and a Netflix marathon of The Vicar of Dibley which wasn’t on theme I think but there’s your stage set anyway. FUN STORY Peter Capaldi just showed up in the second episode and he looks like he could play young Tom Baker. The episode is from 1994.
This pot (30oz) was made from both a sample and a regular bag. Interestingly, the sample was all fuzzy silver needle with what I think was a fragment of a chamomile whereas the bag was a good mix with a lot of large buds.
I used about 1.5 teaspoons per 8 oz, the bag says 1-2 so I tried to be midrange. 194F, 2 minutes.
It’s a light color and smells strongly of honeysuckle. In taste, a delicate white with lots of sweet rose. I like rose so I like this a lot. There’s a slight, very slightly tart or sour aftertaste that I bet is the chamomile.
I know tiny cute teacup is the standard for the fancy loose leaf but I used a big Pinocchio mug. The flavor stays standard even as it cools, which I like. It’s very sweet and floral. I do feel less stressed but it is a holiday weekend, after all. Perhaps I should install this as my official post-work tea.