Mighty Leaf Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
In tonight’s steep-off chez sherapop, two decaffeinated Earl Greys are going sniff-to-sniff, sip-to-sip, glass-to-glass, brewed under exactingly controlled conditions to eliminate irrelevant variables such as sherapop’s mood, the humidity, the time of day, and ambient planetary motions. The contenders are Numi Decaf Earl Grey and Mighty Leaf Earl Grey Decaf. (Go ahead: try to say that three times fast!) First up: Mighty Leaf.
Judging by the scent of the dried tea, Mighty Leaf would seem to be much, much better. It is highly perfumed, and the large leaves are easily seen through the diaphanous sachet. In contrast, the Numi has nearly no scent and smells basically like black tea fannings in a filter bag. I struggle even to detect the bergamot.
The second external, the sheer amount of tea in the sachet, would suggest that the MIghty Leaf is going to be vastly superior. There appears to be easily double the volume of tea in the infused sachet. That could be, however, because the larger leaves are sopping up water like sponges, which the finer particles in the Numi filter bag are not.
The only thing that really matters is the taste. The good news is that Mighty Leaf Earl Grey Decaf does not taste weak and insipid, low on the “tea” factor at all. I would not have guessed, in a blind trial, that this was a decaffeinated tea. I would have guessed, instead, that this was an Extra Earl Grey or Earl Grey Extra or Double Earl Grey or something along those lines, because the strong perfume of the dried tea survives to impart a very strong bergamot flavor to the brewed liquor, which is reddish amber, by the way.
The teas in this blend are apparently from Ceylon and China. It’s definitely decent tea. I do hope that it is decaffeinated, else I’ll be in trouble around bedtime…
I’ve been looking forward to trying these loose-leaf herbal blends from Mighty Leaf ever since I received my sampler box. Let’s see when was that? My tea life has become a blur of box deliveries… Anyway, the reason why it has taken a while is that late at night when I seriously entertain herbalia, I am deterred by the possibly stimulating effect of the pink peppercorn in this blend.
The night is young, however, only 9 pm, so I still have half my day to go! I brewed this colorful mélange rather strong, because I wanted to give it a fighting chance. To be honest, I’m not the number-one fan of rooibos blends, to put it mildly. I do love chai, and I have tried some herbal chais before, including a couple of rooibos chais. But I was not all that optimistic in this case, given past experience.
I am happy to be able to report that my low expectations have been exceeded. I credit the ample provision of coconut and ginger in the blend to its relative degree of success. The coconut imparts a rich feeling, what is so often lacking from herbal chais. With a mediocre black-tea blend, there’s always cream to save the day. But I cannot really fathom adding cream to a rooibos blend. Shredded (unsweetened) coconut does the trick here. And the blend is spicy, with a big hit of ginger, along with the pink peppercorn (which from what I understand is not really pepper—a similar case to wild rice, which is not really rice, but that’s another story…). Happily the cinnamon and cardamom are balanced and do not overwhelm, as so often happens in these sorts of infusions.
All in all, I am pleasantly surprised. I do recommend brewing this blend very strong so as to avoid the dreaded “Vitamin Water” effect.
Flavors: Coconut, Ginger
I’ve been drinking a lot of light, refreshing teas over the last few days, largely because it’s been so hot. In an office with over 60 people and computers, it’s pretty unbearable at times. That’s one reason why I picked this one out to try — we’ve also been crazy busy, and a teabag is faster and more convenient when I’m desperate for a drink but also in a hurry to get back to my desk.
I allowed the water to cool to around 180 before adding the bag. Dry, there isn’t a great deal of scent. I gave it 2 minutes 30, which is my fallback standard for white teas. Brewed, this is a mild and delicate tea. I can definitely detect notes of ginger, but there’s also the tiniest hint of lemon lurking in the background. The white tea adds a slightly floral edge. It’s an overwhelmingly clean taste, and very, very refreshing. Easy to drink quickly! I imagine it would be good cold, although I don’t have enough left to try that, sadly. This is one of the few mighty leaf blends I would consider repurchasing, particularly for the summer months.
rating not based on what i believe to be the quality of this mint tisane as actually it’s quite a smooth albeit lightly perfumey taste following the strong aroma of pure mint in the sachet. mint gum is what comes to mind, menthol and all. it’s nice i guess. to put things in perspective, i’d take this over Tazo’s Refresh or Harney and Son’s Mint Verbena if given a choice. probably because i find the quality/flavor of the mint here a bit sweeter/more appealing.
have a 2nd sample of this that i plan to enjoy after a meal. wanted to try this out. also- why is it called melange? it’s not a mixture of anything. i was hoping for some other herb, perhaps fruit or even green tea base. that would have made this more exciting (?).
straight mint is certainly not my thing but i can appreciate it at appropriate times.
I have drunk this tea many times, and I have to say it is probably my favorite. I kind of get a little high from drinking it, but I hear that most people get that from drinking a whole pot of green tea in one sitting. I haven’t tried other Jasmine Pearls, but this one is lovely, and I think I will keep buying it from the same place.
I thought the price was a bit much at first, especially for only three ounces, but now I’m more than happy to pay that price. I haven’t gone through the bag yet, but I have made it 6 or so times, and it re-steeps well. My first time brewing I thought I needed to use two tablespoons – big mistake. Most people would probably know that the ball is composed of several leaves, but I was trying to obey the instructions on the bag, but clearly they are misleading. I don’t know the exact number, but you can get away with brewing less than a tablespoon, I think. Maybe ten individual pearls, but you could go with less, I’m sure. Otherwise it will look like you’ve grown a rainforest in your pot after the leaves unfurl.
The smell is rather heady. The moment you open the bag you are assaulted by the scent of jasmine. I can’t tell you how strong the taste is, because I haven’t yet tasted jasmine by itself, but brewed it still has a lovely scent. The green tea is mellow and yet well-balanced. I couldn’t really describe it, but it doesn’t have that concentrated taste of sencha or kukicha. The flavor remains mostly in tact after the second brew with the jasmine fading the second time. It’s not noticeable after the third, but if you used enough tea – generally read as too much tea, you can steep it longer for a third time and still have a fairly mellow green tea flavor.
This tea is worth drinking even for those who don’t like the astringent taste of some green teas. I would buy this tea as a gift for a friend and I think it’s nice enough to give as part of a wedding gift if you pair it with a nice kettle and tea pot.
Mighty Leaf appears to have changed the recipe of its Bleu Peacock oolong blend, as my cylindrical can clearly states that the base tea is Fancy Formosa Oolong from Taiwan (redundant, I know, but they are obviously underscoring its origin), not China. That would make this the bug-bitten Bai Hao, according to Michael Harney in The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea. As someone with a severe aversion to insects, I could have continued on happily in ignorance of that fact, and I imagine that the folks at Mighty Leaf don’t go out of their way to mention it for that reason as well, knowing that many gringos would recoil at the news.
The scent of the dried tea—which appears to be more black than green on the oxidation continuum—is fantastically enticing. It’s another case (like the Republic of Tea Milk Oolong), where I can pop the top off and take a deep sniff and be immediately elevated. Seriously, it’s that appealing!
The problem with such richly scented teas is that they seldom deliver the same level of experience when it comes time to imbibe. This is a good tea though, better than I was expecting. As usual with flavoring-added teas, the second infusion was more about the base tea than the extras. But the base tea is pretty good, so I’ll be doing a third infusion in a bit.
I have been gravitating toward pure teas, but I have to admit that this is pretty nice for a flavored tea! This blend contains vanilla, caramel, and lavender, in addition to jasmine and green tea. So a lot going on. To me it smells rather like chocolate! The flavor seems quite familiar, but I would not identify as vanilla, caramel, lavender, jasmine, or green tea! I’m not really sure what it tastes like.
Aha! I just read on the can that Bleu Peacock is supposed to be reminiscent of chocolate. Mission accomplished!
I’m trying to make more of an effort to drink my greens, so I picked this out to try this afternoon. I’ve tried a few tropical greens, and this is admittedly one of the nicer ones despite being bagged. I was surprised to see strawberry in the ingredients list, as I don’t tend to think of strawberry as a “tropical” fruit. I couldn’t taste is at all, either, although I wasn’t concentrating too hard due to being at work. So distracting! I did get pineapple and guava, though, both very easily identifiable and beautifully juicy. The temperature has been approaching 30 again today, so this was a pleasantly refreshing afternoon cup. No bitterness or astringency from the green tea base, either.
The back of the sachet claims that I’ll be “whisked off into the ease of life sans care” while drinking this tea. I won’t go so far as to say that I was without care (work, ugh!), but it certainly cheered up what might have been a miserable afternoon at work (on my own, having to deal with everyone’s phone and emails as well as my own workload, on a hot day, with plenty of complaining going on). A little tropical brightness really was just the thing!
I gave this another go yesterday evening with a longer brew time, and added some milk. The milk really helps this one, and brings out the vanilla much more than when I tried it without additions. I can also taste a little more fruit — I wouldn’t identify it as mango outright, but definitely orange tropical. It’s just a little mild and generic tasting to really shine. The main flavour is still rooibos, so I have to confess that I’m a little disappointed with this one.
To add my thoughts to previous reviews, I had no idea there was hibiscus in this one either. I’ll have to look out for that in my next cup. This is the ML Collection version of Organic African Nectar, and like others that are based on the Mighty Leaf range, it does have some subtle differences. It’s less fruity, for a start. I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing, as it was the juicy flavour of tropical fruit that really made Organic African Nectar appeal to me. African Amber Organic is primarily a plain rooibos, as far as I can taste, with light spicing and a hint of vanilla. The description says mango and hibiscus, but I can’t say I got either of those. I did pick up on a slightly jarring bitterness, so maybe that was caused by one of those? Back to the drawing board with this one, I think! I have a few more bags to experiment with before I make my final judgement :)
It’s interesting to me that this has hibiscus, because I honestly had no idea until I read it in the description. That’s rare in a hibiscus tea. I’m not sure if this tastes like mango, exactly, but I definitely get the vanilla and florals. I had this with lunch, and while it wasn’t life-changing or anything it was solidly pretty good—another reason why I was very surprised to find out about the hibiscus. I think I would drink it again.
just finished my 4th and last pillow-sized sachet of this lovely Nilgiri tea. sad to see it go! it is a delicious and refreshing iced tea. i add the juice of 2 & 1/2 lemons (then throw the lemons in) & a generous amount of honey though nothing that makes this too sweet. i fill the pitcher half-way with ice then add some cold spring water as well & keep this in the fridge until i’ve lost control of my willpower.
i’ve tried a lot of black teas & i must say i’m impressed with Mighty Leaf’s Nilgiri. they also claim it’s organic. might that explain why this has such a clean, smooth & bright aroma as well as taste? the leaves almost have a ‘lemony fresh’ quality & when infused in water the tea smells like it would taste delicious hot or plain. but i’ve enjoyed it so much iced.
makes sense that i no longer see this in supermarkets (was it a trial run?) & if there are any Mighty Leaf iced teas left on shelves, it’s only the Calypso Mango or Ginger Peach-flavored blacks (which are slightly artificial and clearly not as desirable as the organic Nilgiri).
off to the online stores i go!
(in the interim i will use Harney & Sons blackcurrant from filter bags to make iced tea….the last time was quite a success!)
It must be the luck of the draw, but here is another case of an oolong with an irresistibly scrumptious scent in the dried form. Seriously, it smells so rich and luxurious—a bit chocolatey, in fact. I just realize what these dried leaves smell like: dark chocolate with unsweetened coconut bits!
The liquor is on the dark side, but I did use a good portion so that may have something to do with the brownish amber tint of the brew. I’m not quite ready to do the gaiwan thing, but I figured that I’d ease into it by starting to use more tea in my infusions and keep to shorter steeps. The scent is rather different from the dried leaves. I’m not sure how to describe it. I still like the aroma, but it no longer conjures images of delicious chocolate-coconut confections in my mind.
The taste is very good. To me it seems more sweet floral than specifically coconut, but whatever the “natural flavors” are, I’m happy with this blend and look forward to the second infusion of the large yet-to-be-fully unfurled leaves!
second infusion: this was not as good, making me think that the charms of this tea were somewhat superficial, inhering primarily in the added flavors, not the underlying tea, which felt a bit scratchy and tasted less enticing once stripped of the flavor trappings.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate
Not being that fond of the Mighty Leaf sachets, I nonetheless wanted to check out their loose leaf offerings. First up: Jasmine Downy Pearls.
I have enjoyed some pretty tasty jasmine pearls recently, which makes it difficult for the competition. These pearls strike me not quite as fragrant as some, and I also noticed that they are matte on the surface, rather than having shimmery silver striations. There seems to be a fair amount of powder on the inside of the container, suggesting that some serious jostling has gone on.
The flavor is pretty good. I enjoyed the second glass more than the first, which is often the case for some reason. Anyway, I’m not sure yet how to rate this tea, but I’ll certainly know by the time I make it to the bottom of this generous-sized cylindrical can, which boasts a whopping 128 grams! 6 down, 122 to go…
I got this tea yesterday from the coffee stand in the building next to where I work. Normally, that coffee place is pretty good and I like the way they make vanilla bean tea lattes mmmm…. But as it’s summer and my stomach was not in top form, I decided to go with this mint tea and ask for it iced. The barista informed me that I could not have it iced because it was a hot tea. I informed her that if she brewed it hot with less water than usual and then poured it over ice, it would become an iced tea. She told me I would have to wait for it to brew. I was unsurprised by this news and assured her I was fine with that. She very doubtfully followed my instructions, but did not brew it nearly long enough, I think. All I got from this tea was spearmint. I really couldn’t detect the green base at all, which is a shame because this is my favorite way to have green tea. So, I won’t rate this because of the dubious preparation.