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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanksgiving at mom’s continues. Day 2, tea 2, Tetley’s English Blend.
Not really sure what English Blend means. Blend is easy, it’s a blend of teas from different places. Now for the English? Is it an English Breakfast? Just an English? What exactly is an “English” tea? Hmm..
Well, for starters, this is much better than I thought it was going to be. I love the simplicity. Much like the Bigelow teas, this is a solid, simple, straight up tea with no gimicks, no extra flavors, it’ not trying to be something it doesn’t need to be. Unlike the Stash and Tazo teas I’ve had the last couple of days that take the idea of a certain type of tea and then add all kinds of crap and flavor to make it “better”, only in the end they ruin the base of the tea itself.
I really like this Tetley stuff. Simple, old school, no gimicks, just straight up really good English Tea. I would buy this 100 times before teas like Stash and Tazo and any other modern, hip, “new” tea blends.
I received two tea bags of this new tea as a free sample. I wasn’t expecting much as I’m not usually a huge fan of regular grocery store teas. Really, it’s just a tea with a fancy name but doesn’t taste all that fancy. Oh, it’s fine and all, just nothing special. I can taste mostly cinnamon and fennel. Even though I have a coupon that came with the sample, I won’t be buying a full box.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Fennel
On the one hand, this smells like chamomile (I guess).
On the other, it is so good swishing this around my mouth. There is just something really pleasing about the flavour balance. The lemon really isn’t that strong. It doesn’t overpower. I bet this would made a good iced drink. I am doing tea shots.
This tastes kind of like blueberry, something acidic (rose hips and hibiscus, probably), grape?, and pastries. It is quite dessert-y if not brewed too long. I enjoy it cold over ice.
Flavors: Berries, Blackberry, Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Cranberry, Fruity, Graham Cracker, Grapes, Pastries, Peach, Pleasantly Sour
There’s something weird in here that’s detracting from the peach/orange. I think it’s maybe hibiscus or beetroot or licorice? I have no idea. It’s, like, pulling me away from being able to concentrate. I keep swishing this around in my mouth like “hmmmm.” It’s okay to make iced tea with, but I wouldn’t buy it again.
Flavors: Artificial, Flowers, Fruity, Hibiscus, Orange, Peach
Tried this 2 ways so far:
Way one: 5 tea bags in 2L of water, cold brewed 12h
Way 2: 1 tea bag steeped 2min in 200F water, put in freezer to cool down quickly.
The first way was the best way. With the first way I can taste a lot of coconut flavoring with a bit of the tartness from the apple. Delicate, light flavor. The second way I found it was a lot of tart apple with very little coconut taste. Altogether a decent brew. It doesn’t wow me incredibly, but I do appreciate the lack of hibiscus sourness. I should have no prob using this tin up; we’ll see if it’s a repurchase.
Flavors: Apple, Coconut
Grabbed this a few weeks ago and promptly forgot about it.
This morning, I realized I was going to be out all day, so I threw together some iced tea using this and a bag of Lady Grey.
Wow. GREAT combination. This is EXACTLY what I want my iced teas to taste like. Super rich berry flavor. Boom. Plus a tiny bit of orange peel to balance it out.
When I was hiking over the weekend, I plucked and ate tons of blackberries. This tea brought me right back there.
I only steeped this about 2 minutes. I imagine it would have been even tastier if I’d left it a bit longer, but I was trying to get the dog to cooperate so I could get out the door.
Flavors: Berries, Blackberry, Orange Zest, Raspberry
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Flavors: Fruity, Nectar, Pear, Rooibos, Sweet, Tree Fruit, Vanilla
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Flavors: Dry Grass, Fruity, Oak wood, Pear, Rooibos, Sweet, Tree Fruit, Vanilla
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Flavors: Fruity, Pear, Rooibos, Sweet, Vanilla, Whiskey
I was surpised at how good the rooibos base was, I expected a cheap/low quality rooibos, but I actually loved this one. The vanilla is nice too. It steeps a nice deep orangy red and can be resteeped but loses some vanilla flavour.
Flavors: Fruity, Rooibos, Sweet, Tree Fruit, Vanilla
I remembered to use the last of these bags for my first proper cold brew of the year! I was pretty convinced I’d forget, but for once I’ve been true to my plans. I used three bags in just over 1 litre of cold water, and left them in the fridge for around 12 hours overnight. The result is pretty delicious. The initial sip is very heavy on the peach, and quite sweet. Then the orange comes out in the mid-sip and adds a mild sharpness that complements the peach really well. The ginger emerges towards the end of the sip, and lingers as a warming spiciness in the aftertaste. It makes for a really refreshing drink, with peach the main star and reassuringly natural in terms of taste. I’m actually quite sad that I’ve finished this one – I’ll certainly look out for it this summer in case it makes a return!
A sample from Miss B. I made up a cup of this hot today, because I’m odd like that. It struck me as a bit perverse at the time, but I really wanted something summery and peachy, and it’s warm out, so I decided to go for it. I’ll really have to start bringing cold brewed tea to work again now it seems like summer is finally here, and potentially to stay. This is a strong candidate for one of my first cold brews – I have three teabags left, so I’m going to save those for that. I can see it working well!
This is just fine hot, though. The initial sip has a strong, sweet, fuzzy peach flavour. It’s a touch artificial, but not outrageously so. The mid sip is mostly orange (I’d say blood orange, if I had to pin it down). Again, it’s not entirely natural-tasting – more like sour orange candy. There’s a tartness at the end of the sip that makes me suspect there might be a touch of hibiscus at work, but it’s pretty subtle so I’ve no real complaints about that.
The colour of this one is the most surprising thing, to me. It’s bright orange! Usually, fruit teas with hibiscus are either a tell-tale pinky colour, or outright deep red. This is neither, which is novel if nothing else. Artificial colouring, though? How else would it be so orange?
I know this is Tetley, and bagged, but I actually like it a lot more than I expected to. It does taste like a Bellini, without the alcohol or grenadine, and although it’s a little on the artificial side it tastes pretty good. I’m looking forward to trying this one iced in the days ahead.
ETA: GINGER! I knew I could taste something in the background, and then it occurred to me in a fairly blinding glimpse of the obvious. It works pretty well with the orange, so I’m happy. Even though ginger isn’t one of my favourite things, it didn’t stop me enjoying this one!
Even though the flavors are really basic, I really like this combination. Chamomile and lemon work so well together, and I like that the lemon is not overly acidic. It makes a really good iced tea. I steeped the tea bag several times for about 45 seconds each time.
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Lemon, Sweet