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Recent Tasting Notes
So this one is something that I normally wouldn’t drink really but it was a gift from a coworker at DAVIDsTEA who had tried it at a hotel on vacation and really like it, so she brought a whole bunch home with her for the staff to try.
And on the note of it being something I wouldn’t normally drink…
So my coworker, Leah, was aware of the fact I don’t generally drink bagged tea anymore and she was actually super nervous about sharing a bagged tea with me. It just made me feel really reflective/introspective and put some things in a bit of a new light for me. I don’t even want to be the kind of tea drinker or perceived as the kind of tea drinker that is “too good for something”. That kind of superiority is exactly why people are intimidated by loose leaf tea, and sometimes even the tea community as a whole. I know that my personal experience has always been a positive one, but I understand why people are sometimes scared to take those baby steps into some of the more ‘hardcore’ facets of tea.
The fact of the matter is, you can be surprised by any tea and taste is totally subjective! So, while I fall into this trap myself a lot, a bagged tea can be as good or better as a loose leaf one and it’s worth the occasional “step backwards” to give one a try. And bottom line, friend/coworker took the time to share something with me because it made them think of me, and I am appreciative of that. I don’t ever want someone to be scared to share a tea with me because I’m “too good for it”.
And you know what? When I drank this one on the bus ride to work today it was damn good. Very creamy and rich, with soft vanilla notes and delectable caramel goodness. I was reeled in from my first sip, and you damn well bet I got every last drop out of that travel mug.
So thank you, Leah!
I am a huge fan of mint teas and when I found this in our work stash I was quick to try it. Like others mentioned, the smell upon opening the package is fantastic. So minty!
I always over-steep my tea bags, usually leaving them in the cup until the tea is gone and I think that only made this better. I didn’t get much of a black tea taste (although I am happy for the extra caffeine kick), but the mint wasn’t overpowering either.
I’ll be keeping my eye out for some of this in stores.
Ordered a black tea at Dean’s Cafe in Pleasanton, CA, and this is what I was offered.
Pretty good black tea. A little bit smoother and more subtle than Bigelow’s English Breakfast, but in the same realm taste wise.
I’m not sure how I have gone this long without ever trying this standard, but I do like it. Might be a good basic old school staple to keep around.
This my favorite tea. I was first introduced to it as a child when my mother would give me this tea before school on cold mornings, and maybe with some lemon and honey if I had a cold. Tastes and smells perfect. I take it with me when on long hiking trips as an alternative to coffee.
Flavors: Orange, Spices
Thanksgiving at mom’s Day 3, Tea 2. 13th overall. Might have time for one more after this, might just get ready to head to the Sierra Nevada Brewery. Priorities.
Anyway, this one.
I’ve always seen this one around. I’ve seen it in stores, online, heard people talk about it, it’s just a pretty famous old school tea. For some reason I’ve never tried it, until now.
Here we go.
The aroma is a combo of a underwhelming chai and a relaxed spiced tea. Sort of bland and spicy at the same time. Odd balance. Hopefully that will change in the mouth.
Sort of. It’s an odd flavor. There is a hint of orange in there, along with all the spice, and at the very bottom just a hint of the black tea base. Very British.
Now, I’m not a fan of spiced tea in general, so on that list, this would sit at the very top. Sort of an eased off, relaxed spiced tea, not so in your face. The hint of orange helps that a whole bunch. Overall, it really does have a very nice balance.
In the end, if I was looking for a spiced tea that I actually liked, this would be near the top. But near the top of a group of teas I’m not a huge fan of….
Thanksgiving vacation at mom’s, Day 3, Tea 1.
Found this gem in the back of mom’s tea cabinet. I could have brought it here many years ago, as this was one of my favorites for a long time before discovering the wonders of high quality loose leaf tea. This, the Twinnings Black Tea Variety Pack, and a couple of mint teas where what got me into tea in the first place.
I’m surprised I have never rated it on here yet. Oh well, here we go!
It. Is. So. Good.
Crisp and clean, well balanced, not to much spice like many boxed Chai teas can get. Leave it to Bigelow to make a simple, solid, tasty tea once again. Nothing special, it’s not trying to be anything it doesn’t need to be.
The chai spice is not overwhelming, allowing the black tea base to shine through. But it is still prominent, I’m not loosing what I think of as a good chai for the sake of balance. Everything is there and present, in the right place. From aroma to first sip to mouthfeel to aftertaste.
Thanksgiving at mom’s, Day 2, Tea 5.
Darjeeling is one of my favorite styles of black tea, but it’s sometimes hard to find a good one. Lots of it is pretty bland and boring, and then there’s the designer brands’ version that is more experimental blend than anything I am looking for.
Here we go Bigelow. A company known for no nonsense, basic, straight forward teas.
This does not disappoint. Basic, straight forward, nothing extra or out of the ordinary. It’s not trying to be anything it isn’t, it’s just a simple Darjeeling. And a good one at that.
I’ve had good Darjeelings, freaking amazing Darjeelings, weak Darjeelings, and designer Darjeelings.
Where does this one fit in? This is the solid, consistent, well balanced and great tasting boxed Darjeeling. Sure there’s better out there, but I would call this the benchmark for the rest.
Well done, Bigelow.
Vacation continues. Day 2, Tea 4. And old school favorite, one of the first mint teas I ever had back in the day.
It’s been a while, but it’s nice to return to the roots, to bring back the simplicity of an old stand by. Nothing special, no hidden special ingredients, no nonsense, just straight up good mint flavor over a solid and simple tea base.
In a world were everyone seems to be trying to make something out of the ordinary, something that stands apart, something that is different from the rest, it’s nice to find that old school simplicity in the back of the tea cabinet.
Like running into an old friend that reminds you of your roots.
Good stuff. This isn’t necessarily an amazing mint tea. It’s not all that well balanced, and the mint flavor is not all that fresh tasting, it’s a bit bland in general. But I really appreciate the simplicity and the minimalist honesty in this cup.
Wait, I’ve had this before? Yes, it looks as if I must have!
I was sent a teabag of this by, of all things, a perfume vendor, who adds little surprises to her packages. It was a nice touch, though I like the perfume better than this tea.
This is not the Christmas in a cup that I was expecting with a name like orange and spice. I don’t get either orange or spice, actually. I get hibiscus and maybe the tinest hint of orange?
In any case, it was hot and soothing on the throat today.
Flavor-wise, this is one of the best teas I’ve ever had, and I love that it also has health benefits (immunity, skin, and more). It’s sweet with an underlying tartness, which I appreciate as I don’t like teas that are too fruity/sweet without any kind of “sour” undertone to balance it out. I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes the taste of blueberries!