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Recent Tasting Notes
This was the hotel tea when I was traveling a few days ago. It tastes just like fresh snow peas. Sweet, with a little crispness in it, and not too light.
I have lots of Chinese green tea in the house, and my family is from a green-tea-loving region, so I’m sometimes a little skeptical of Chinese green teas that are mass produced and easily found in a US grocery store. That said, this is pretty good, nicely refreshing, and not finicky to brew either.
Been a few Christmases since I’ve had this. Its description now reads:
A jubilant blend of black tea, oolong, jasmine green tea & hints of peach.
Memory may be failing (my family would instantly confirm that), but when this was first released, I recall it being primarily green/black without the more delicate peachy, oolong-y highlights. Still a good sip, just a different one.
Next in line from mom’s tea cabinet. I’ve had this one before, it’s a decent, solid green tea blend. I’m normally not a huge fan of blends, but this one is OK. Hints of grass and wet straw almost overwhelm the green tea flavor, but it’s still a good mix. Nice and tasty.
And, as the name intends, it is certainly quite soothing. Zen indeed.
This is my option for bagged chai at work.
My favorite element of chai is cardamom, but this tea is heavy on anise instead. These spices, for me, are best in a coffee or milk blended chai and not in a standalone tea. Still, it beats Stash and other bagged chais I have had.
Flavors: Anise, Ginger, Licorice
Last Saturday, my MiL asked me to help clean out her tea shelf and take anything I wanted. One of the items in there was this tea. Now I know for a fact that this container is at least 5 years old, maybe even older. Actually I believe I’m the one who initially opened it.
Given its age, I have not has very high expectations. And brewing up a cup, the tea is pretty much dead. There is no flavor there, though the spices are still strong. And, nice bit here, no clove that I can detect, though it is on the ingredient list.
I’m going to try mixing this a nothing special black and see if it helps.
Not rating as its not right to do so with tea this old.
Not a fan. :/
Smells like a fruity oatmeal, which is lovely, but tastes like a watered down apple cider. However, you can definitely taste the cloves afterwards, which is nice.
If you’re looking for something with a strong kick of cinnamon, you will want to keep looking.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Cloves, Fruity, Oats
I drink a lot of green tea, and a lot of ginger tea, but this combo didn’t do it for me — I think because of the “hint of pear.” I don’t really like pear, and somehow despite having mostly “bitter” ingredients, this came out tasting too sweet for me. It wasn’t horrible, but not something I’d be interested in drinking again.
This tea tastes like a peach cobbler, except with a lot of cinnamon. Basically drowning in cinnamon. If you’re the sort of person who loves oodles of chai flavoring, with maybe some fruity peach/apple thrown in, this is for you.
If you’re the sort of person who wants a straight fruity tea without spices, here’s what I want you to do:
1. Procure a Zamboni.
2. Hitch a gazebo to the back of the Zamboni.
3. Hire a driver named Jeeves.
4. Find a road where there is no police presence.
5. Have Jeeves start up the Zamboni while you lie in repose in the gazebo.
6. Ride off into the sunset, far far away from this tea.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Peach
Given the choice between a cup of coffee and a cup of Tazo Earl GrEy, I would choose the Tazo any day. Our local Target store had a killer sale on Tazo teas recently, and the penny pincher in my promptly loaded the cart with 4 boxes of Tazo Earl Grey. My husband drinks Earl Grey all day long, like I do, and we go through a LOT of tea! He prefers tea bags to loose, as well, and he seems to think it all tastes good. Tazo’s version is good. Not great, but good. Upon opening the sleeve of tea, you are met with a poof of lovely bergamot scent. A nice “lift” to awaken the senses. Brewing time must be carefully monitored, as I have found that it can get bitter if over-steeped. Four minutes is my max, but I prefer about 3 minutes 30 seconds. I’ve found the bergamot flavor to be a bit artificial, but not nearly as much as the Teavana’s shameful Earl Grey loose tea! All in all, I’d happily choose a Tazo Earl when out and about, in the absence of other options when I’m at home with my precious tea cupboard. They do a nice job for a mass-produced Earl.
Flavors: Artificial, Bergamot
Having no strainer around, I decided to go for the bagged stuff and drank this “Zen” blend.
Unsurprisingly this is a sad, bland cuppa. It is indeed “zen” as one will not experience any strong reaction to this tea but rather be soothed by the taste of verbena.
People in other houses always have what I feel to be weird tea selections, and then seem confused by them.
I asked my aunt what non-caffeinated tea she had, and she dug out this and some lemon zinger, shrugging at me. “I guess this is it,” she said.
It’s… your… house? Don’t you have your tea cupboard of three teas memorized?
It’s possible she just keeps it on hand for guests. This is how I am about coffee (I keep some Folgers and a cheap-ass coffee pot on hand), so I get it. Maybe she’s not a tea person.
Anyway, this was a really nice tea. It tasted a lot like Sleepytime Tea. Chamomile was the leader of the party, with some nice flowers, too.
It might have helped me fall asleep, except the house had no air conditioning and my dog was allowed to share a bed with me. He kept huffing around, wiggling, and shuffling. Oh, and he hogged the bottom of the bed. Somehow. He’s 30 pounds. Between his relentless, shifty bed-hoggery and sweat oozing from my skin, I got maybe four hours of sleep.
BUT SO CUTE:
I’m willing to forgive.
So here’s a crazy thing I could not have made up: the writing on the outside of this tea’s box.
And I make up a lot of crazy things.
The box reads:
“Cinnamon sticks gather on a lush black-tea lawn for a leisurely afternoon of croquet and conversation. Ginger offers to keep score from the sidelines while handing out elegantly wrapped vanilla caramels.”
Oh yes. That paragraph genuinely happened.
I kind of want it framed.
It’s the most genteel, poncey, colonialist thing I’ve read in ages. I don’t know if it knowingly touches England and India’s fraught history. But here we sit.
Drinking what is honestly a pretty tasty chai, especially considering this is was cheaply purchased from a local grocery store. It’s very sweet and rich. The only downside is that it’s really heavy on the cinnamon. So much so that my husband could, for example, smell it from the other room. It’s… a… lot.
But overall, yep, this comes recommended if you want an inexpensive, sweet chai.
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
So for this tasting note I am doing a 1 to 5 scale. 1 being horrible and 5 being amazing! I will analyze before and after cupping.
Appearance: No comment – 0
Aroma: Dark Chocolate, Black Teas, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon – 5
Body: No comment – 0
Taste: No comment – 0
Finish: No comment – 0
Overall, before cupping, the tea smells amazing and makes my mouth water. Wonderful aroma of dark chocolate and chi tea.
Appearance: Define line, not mixing or blending properly with Belgian Rock Sugar, cloudy, caramel brown in color (expected for chi tea) – 4
Aroma: PERFECT! Smells just like before cupping! Yummy! – 5
Body: Smooth, silky, not a good balance though! Really only activated my sweet taste buds. Not really spicy or smokey, like many chi teas are. – 3
Taste: It’s alright. Chi is over powered by the chocolate. Sweet. Yummy dark chocolate after taste. Can’t taste the pepper, cinnamon, or cardamom unfortunately. – 4
Finish: TASTE LINGERS! THANK YOU JESUS! Nice and smooth and leaves me wanting to drink more! – 5
Overall score: 21/25 84% B
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Tea