Popular Teas from Novus TeaSee All 12 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
We live! After two weeks in the States, we are home and happy for it. I am super glad to have all of my tea and tea pots and perfect mugs back in my greedy little hands. I need to rehydrate, STAT. After two weeks of sodas instead of tea and water and deep fried EVERYTHING, I need tea to get my system back into check.
My wonderful Dad got us a hotel room at the halfway point of our 15 hour drive, and let me tell you, it was a lifesaver. It was a Hampton Inn and they put out the most amazing breakfast spread, including a nice selection of teas. I saw this tea and my eyes lit up like a child’s, I was so excited.
I was pleased to see big pieces of a roasted oolong in the sachet, and the taste was heavenly. For a bagged tea, this went above and beyond expectations and it was exactly what I needed to wake me up and get me out the door so we could finally come home. So tasty and just the kind of roasty toasty oolong I like. I’m not well versed enough in oolongs to be able to tell what kind it was, but I liked it and that was all that matters.
So I will definitely be trying more of the Novus brand of teas, and I encourage you not to shy away from it. You might be happily surprised!
Backlog from earlier in the week:
So many things surprised me about this tea. First, I was in a tiny restaurant in a little town and was not expecting to find Dragonwell of all things to drink (let alone with good long leaves in a sachet with plenty of room)! Second, this company is apparently an offshoot of Bigelow. I like Bigelow, but I don’t expect anything very exciting from them—for me they’re a reliable company for bagged black tea that I can count on when I’m traveling. So when the waiter came out with a box of sachets in every flavor we could want I was a little blown away.
This was actually very good, especially considering it was bagged. Lots of sweetness—my favorite thing about Dragonwell—some light vegetal notes and an almost nuttiness. The bag said “chestnut”, and I guess that’s the closest description that fits; more like cooked or preserved chestnuts than raw. It resteeped well and was a delightful surprise on a cold day!
Gah this week is terrible! I was upset yesterday because one of our instruments that is absolutely essential to our lab (our flow cytometer) was down and when I tried to schedule service for it found out that the lab’s administrative assistant had let the service contract lapse in February. This is a machine that costs about $300,000, so yeah we need to handle with extreme care and while this instrument is down pretty much all experiments are suspended. Today, the same administrative assistant sent an email that could be interpreted in a way that made it seem like it was my fault. I was not the contact for the service contract and also, I have no authority to renew it! WHY SO PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE? I hate it. I was thinking about that as I left work and forgot I drove to work today because I had lots of stuff (read: tea making supplies) with me this morning, so I got on the bus and didn’t remember until halfway home. Fun. Now have a headache (wonder why?), so I thought I’d go for a calming mint tea. It’s actually helping, or maybe it was that cathartic rant I just made random strangers read (sorry!). It’s a very nice mint tea, although I secretly wanted Killer’s Vanilla but I also wanted to sleep tonight. I added milk and sweetener because it seemed like the thing to do. It’s working out pretty well and I’m in enjoying this fresh and comforting cup.
Lazy day. I have been parked on the couch watching Netflix all day. I found a BBC series that I am enjoying: The Paradise. I admit that I grabbed a bag so I could get back downstairs and watch the show without having to wait for a loose leaf brew.
Anyway, it’s fine, not an EG that makes me go “nom nom” but a nice cup. I definitely get the bergamot and I can’t tell that the flowers are there. The review where someone said the opposite surprised me.
So I am a tea drinker, TEA TEA more tea, this is as good as any flavor I may have ever had. I stack a few boxes at all times. The only other tea is Tettley’s Elachi Flavor, and Tapal Tea from Pakistan. You need to boil water , and then heat the cup with hot running water before you place the hot water in the cup, then the tea bag must be left for 90 secs . Most american resturants bring cold cups and luke warm water , and no cover on the tea pot to keep it warm. Tea has to be enjoyed a sip at a time , and very very hot.
Picked up a free sample at the Toronto Tea Festival this past Saturday. I’ve always been a little unsure of Bigelow teas – are they high end or low end? – but their Novus brand seems firmly aimed at luxury tea consumers. Their Sapphire Earl Grey is pleasant but not distinctive. The bergamot gets a little lost and the malvus flowers don’t seem to add much. Satisfying, but unremarkable. Still, I feel encouraged to try other Novus bags.
Got individual packets of this tea at a conference at a Hilton hotel. It uses the finer-quality mesh bags (pyramid shape) as The Mighty Leaf brand, and is a full-leaf tea in the sachets. I don’t believe I’ve had Kenilworth Ceylon before, or if I had, I didn’t know it. There were no English Breakfast options, so I went with this, which seemed to be the closest thing. It brewed up a bit mild, even when I let it steep for more than 4 minutes, and had a vaguely smoky flavor similar to a very mild lapsang souchong, and a honey-colored liquor. I tried mine the first couple of times with milk and sugar (and once with milk and a bit of honey) and found that it didn’t stand up to those additions very well compared to other black teas I have had. I suspect it would be much nicer without milk and sugar, or maybe with a bit of lemon and honey instead. It reminds me a little bit of Twinings Lady Grey, but without any of the floral notes or fruitiness… just the relatively mild flavor that you can’t seem to brew any stronger, no matter how long it steeps. I also noticed that as it steeped beyond 5 minutes, it started to have a more tannic feel on the tongue and a more wet-moss smell to it. Not unpleasant in either case, but I think if I drink this again in the near future I will stick to 4-5 minutes with water just off the boil, and maybe avoid milk and sugar. As for the packaging of the tea in the individual foil packets, it’s one of the nicer package designs I have seen, and indicates that the tea is not only gluten-free, but Kosher as well. The package says it is a “full bodied black tea” but I found it not nearly as full bodied as other teas I have had recently.
Not bad as far as herbals go. Had this on a whim in a Mt. Dora tea shop to avoid caffeine. I was worried the hibiscus – the primary ingredient – would be too tart and overpowering. At first, it was, but throwing a packet of raw sugar really helped being out the flavors, such as the berries. I also tried this ice without the sugar, and I think it’s better iced. Overall, not bad, and there’s an impressive list of fruit in these teas.
It is probably not fair for me to review this tea because I have to confess that I just do not like tea that tastes like flowers. Jasmine flavored tea almost makes me gag. However, since I took the time and made the effort to down a whole cup of this tea this morning, I guess I have earned the right to put my two cents in (you can decide if my two cents are worth that much to you).
I tried to clear my mind of all prejudices as I took the first careful sip. I knew immediately that I did not like the taste of the Malva flowers. To me, flowered tea is like drinking perfume. I like flowers in the garden and perfume on my woman, but neither down my throat.
Even more disappointing to me was that I did not taste even a hint of Bergamot. Perhaps the Bergamot presence was so weak that the Malva beat it into submission.
The advertisement on the tea bag wrapper states that the “Bergamot and malva flowers add an innovative twist to traditional Earl Grey.” Personally, I think the Malva flowers twisted the life out of the Bergamot.
I had this tea last night at a fancy restaurant. I was impressed at how delicious it was, so I knew I had to do a tasting note even if my tasting conditions were less than ideal. This is all from memory, and about halfway through my cup a dessert of smoked almond ice cream came and made some sips taste like a lapsang souchong. But still! Very tasty tea.
I’ve never had a tea with malva flowers in it before, but from what I can tell from some online research, they’re more for visual and textural effects than for taste. This tea came in a pyramid sachet, and dried it smelled like bergamot with a distinct sweetness. The aroma of the brewed tea and the taste matched the dried smell pretty perfectly. For a while I was having a time trying to identify what about this tea was making it so delicious; there was no bitterness, the black tea base was very smooth, and there was that sense of sweetness to the tea. The ingredients on the package list only black tea, malva flowers and bergamot, so I was surprised when I finally realized that I was getting fairly strong vanilla cream notes from it, like a really nice Earl Grey cream. I might have to grab a box of this one because I really did enjoy it immensely.
I too, am not a big fan of fruity herbal teas, but this one is probably the best one I’ve had in a long time. I added a little bit of sugar to mine, which brought out the fruit flavor nicely.
On another note, I realize that most tea-bags are designed for environmental and cost factors, but Novus has a decent design to their pyramid bags. I feel like their pyramid tea bags allow for better expansion of the tea leaves than most brands. So, kudos on that one.
So my choir is on tour, currently in Columbia, SC, and yesterday we went out to DiPrato’s and had sandwiches. I saw this tea on their rack (Novus was the brand they carry, apparently… never had heard of it before) and just had to get it. Needless to day, I’ve found a new favorite. It’s delicate, but reasonably strong flavor. I steeped it 4 times before I could part with it! I can’t remember the exact taste (I’m not good at isolating flavors), but all I know is that this one really fits me. I practically swooned at the first sip! Definitely need to try more white varieties, when I can afford them.
Amount: 1 teabag / 2.2 g
Water: 12 ounces boiling filtered
Steep Time: a little over 5 minutes
Liquor: medium brown
Iced is a much nicer, refreshing cup of tea. I think it may need a bit of sweetener when chilled.
Amount: 1 teabag / 2.2 g
Water: 12 ounces boiling filtered
Steep Time: a little over 5 minutes
Flavor: tingly mint
Aftertaste: warm sweet mint
Liquor: medium brown
OMG overwhelming mint, too much mint for me. However we both agree the tea itself is very well done. Not that we’re gonna buy it again. Well maybe it depends how it turns out as iced tea, this could be a wonderful summer iced tea.
Post-Steep Additives: honey, lots of honey, and it was now sickeningly sweet mint
Resteep: 5 min, 16 ounces, yea still one heck of a minty brew, value for your money right here.
My mother received a box of this tea as a gift and she passed it along to me. I love to make chai by hand so I was interested to see how well ‘chai in a bag’ would taste, esp. since I have been generally unimpressed by other companies’ chai tea bags (e.g. Stash). This tea was excellent, imo. Mellow and flavorful and a very good blend of spices in which the cinnamon was not overwhelming and the black tea not too acidic or bitter. I drank this tea with with cream (I generally do not use milk) and splenda, and I nuked the water in the microwave as I often do with bagged teas. I’ve tried a few variations of temperatures and steep times and found the tea to be very forgiving.