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Popular Teas from Equal ExchangeSee All 14
My default black tea at work. Has a nice robust flavor and is forgiving of being left to steep forever. Nothing fancy, just straight black tea. I like that it’s fair trade.
A good, calming, afternoon-in-the-office kind of tea. Not hugely remarkable, but solid.
probably some of my favourite tea.
Someone recently suggested that rooibos and Irish cream go well together, so I added 1 Tbsp Bailey’s to a small, strong mug of this. I must say, I agree!
This is a solid breakfast tea. Fairly smooth, though a little bland. Very good with a touch of honey.
Drinking it plain this morning, alongside Pumpkin Spice bars with brown butter frosting. I’m not sure that the vanilla is as strong as in the Celestial Seasonings Madagascar blend after all. It definitely seems to pop with some dairy/substitute, but without it I get just a smooth even blend of rooibos and vanilla — not that that’s a bad thing! The vanilla is just not as in-your-face as it may be in other blends.
Smooth, rich, and robust. I added one ounce of Silk coconut milk and now it’s just as good as a fancy coffeeshop drink in my opinion. Something about a good vanilla rooibos is so soothing to me. This seems to be good quality. I already like it better than the CS Madagascar Vanilla Rooibos (my previous fave bagged vanilla roobios), and even better, these bags are individually sealed, which should keep it fresher!
Um, no. How does something Organic taste so artificial?
I tried this tea again with a longer steep time (~ 1 minute) and less milk (75% water, 25% milk). I’m still getting tree bark, but I think the candy taste is more throat lozenge. …It’s like menthol without the cold effect. I think this might be the note that throws people off, but I’m starting to appreciate it now that I’m able to pick apart the complexity.
…Considering how much I’m enjoying the tree bark taste, I think I may want to research whether poplar and aspen can be used as tea…
Edit: Aspen bark and leaves can be used as a tisane to treat urinary tract infection, and poplar inner bark tea can be used as a sedative/inflammation reducer. It looks like salicin plays a part in these effects.
I’ve only tried a few rooibos teas, and none have really been my fancy. I got this alongside a host of other Equal Exchange teas at my local co-op (they had a Fair Trade Month sale, so they had tons of EE in store. Score!). I figure that I need to expand my tea tastes if I’m ever to become a tea snob (with my degrees, I’m not going to have the money for that, but I can dream, right?).
Since I had such bad experiences with rooibos blends in the past, I figured this rooibos would be a good place to start. Pure, simple, organic rooibos is the only ingredient here. I steeped for about 30 seconds, half a cup of tea to half a cup of milk. Yeah, I’m a wimp, I know, but I figure I can work up to a properly steeped cup.
I actually like this. I think I’m going to have to give the taste a bit of time to grow on me, but I can do it. I can’t exactly put my finger on what the taste reminds me of; it’s something like a candy, a yeast (Kluveromyces?), and bark from a poplar tree (perhaps Populus tremuloides?) put together.
Please don’t ask about why I know what tree bark tastes like. I lived in Idaho, it was rough there.
I love Equal Exchange teas. Sure, they’re bagged, but the taste is so well-balanced and natural. I first tried the Darjeeling and chai pyramid bags around 2009. Excuse the non-tea review, but the box is adorable. It’s the kind of box that you’d want to reuse as a box for paperclips/hairpins/cotton balls/sewing scraps/anything else that can fit in there. I used my boxes until they kind of died (and then recycled them).
Anyway, EE does Darjeeling well. The leaves they use really live up to the “champagne of tea” moniker. Sourced from small tea gardens in Northeast India, they work off of a sustainable fair trade business model which makes this tea that much nicer. I admit that I’ve only had a few other darjeelings, but there definitely is a difference for me. This tea has a warm taste that’s not bitter, even if I oversteep. However, the taste is also delicate and smooth. It’s really good with milk, but I prefer no sweetener.
Honestly, this is my Darjeeling. I’m not going to accept any other substitutes, even if it’s the most heralded Darjeeling, picked by magical winged kittens on the most auspicious day of the year in the most sacred of mountain promontories. It’s that good.
(PS~ I’m not sure if this allowed on Steepster, but the tea.coop site has a great video of Darjeeling being made by the Potong tea garden. EE will donate 1 tea bush to Potong for every view in October. More tea bushes = more nom!)