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Recent Tasting Notes
Not my favorite caffeine-free chai. The cinnamon is very strong, almost Red Hots-style. I can taste some ginger and (less) clove, but there’s something excessively sweet and slightly artificial going on. There’s not much to say about the tea base—it doesn’t stand up to the spice flavors at all, but I realize you can’t expect too much from decaffeinated tea so I’m trying not to judge too harshly on that point. It’s better with some (soy)milk, but then most chais are. I much prefer Celestial Seasonings’ decaf chai, as far as accessible teabag options go—or, even better, Organic India’s Red Chai Masala for something a little bit different.
Pull quote: If you don’t have time for loose-leaf tea, this inexpensive black blend teabag, which does not live up to its marketing description, might at least prevent a caffeine-withdraw headache.
Per Twinings:“A rich & satisfying robust tea, traditionally blended with Kenyan & Assam black teas.”
This morning, I brewed Twinings English Breakfast Western style without the teabag in a Finum brewing basket: 8 oz. / 1 teabag (2.1g) / 212*F / 5 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.
Leaf: Chocolate brown fannings (dust, “floor sweepings”)
Fragrance: Hay / straw
Liquor: Clear dark amber-brown
Aroma: Aroma? (Perhaps a Bloodhound might smell something.)
5-min.: A smooth, light to medium-bodied malty tea. There was no obvious bitterness or astringency. This tea is not rich, satisfying, or robust even without the teabag!
Impression: If you don’t have time for loose-leaf tea, this inexpensive black blend teabag, which does not live up to its marketing description, might at least prevent a caffeine-withdraw headache.
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
Not bad, tastes like a winter holiday dream. Perfect for a chilly December day by the fireplace. Unfortunately, I’m drinking it on a fairly warm, though semi-overcast day in April. Strong, slightly artificial, nutty hazelnut taste. Strong spice flavor, mainly clove and cardamom, with some cinnamon taste. I added plenty of nonfat milk, a splash of half & half, and a generous helping of organic brown sugar. The longer it’s steeped, the richer and more satisfying the taste.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves
Today was weird. I had a strange second interview with the job that I thought I wanted, but after today, I’m not so sure.
I drank this to wake up this morning. It was okay. It was about what I expected- simple black tea. Typically smooth and creamy mouth feel, characteristic of Twinings blends. I’m not about to rush out and buy a box of it though, because I like their Darjeeling and other blends better.
I have had the caffeinated version of this tea several times and liked it quite a bit. I am a big Twinings fan so I had high expectations when I bought the decaf version of their English Breakfast. I wanted black tea I could drink in the evening while studying. However, I found the tea tasted more like the paper that made up the bag than the tea. I was really disappointed. I might give it another try but right now I don’t feel inclined to buy this tea again.
I’d had pumpkin chai in my cupboard for a couple of years and never had another chai mash-up before until now. This is really quite devine. The vanilla is nice and light and really compliments the chai in a very delicious way. Another one of those teas that I’d prefer to drink in cold weather that Florida does not permit me to experience.
This smells exactly like burning eucalyptus on a guides campfire as a child, a warm, smokey scent mingled with slightly burnt food and memories. It makes me happy, and nostalgic, despite never having smelt it before.
The first sip; a hint of smoke, enough to tickle at the very backs of my nostrils and fill my mouth with faint tastes of something very slightly floral. This is a tea I could happily drink for the rest of my life.
I keep breathing it in, filling my tiny dorm room with smells and memories of being outside. Russian Caravan reduces me to a seven year old, wrapped in my sleeping bag, fishing burnt marshmallows from the embers. It tastes like a part of my childhood I had forgotten.
The second sip is less perfect, the taste of smoke I expected to grow is lessened by my expectation. I take a third, trying not to expect smoke, and a whole new world lights up for me. Yes, there is still the smoke, wrapping the furthest corners of my mind, but now the woody undertones are more present, I feel like I’ve been transported into the middle of a forest, sitting by a campfire sharing old stories and wrapped in a patchwork quilt.
This is my comfort tea, my escape from the world. Each taste welcomes something new, but it is always something I want to sip again.
If this is what bagged tea can be, then I can only wonder what true tea could taste like.
Colour: Reddish Brown
Drunk black, no additives
Flavors: Tobacco, Wood