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Recent Tasting Notes
Why are Twinings’ UK teas and tisanes so much better than their US counterparts? From the infinitely stronger and more flavorful breakfast blends to the exciting herbals they don’t carry back in the States, it’s almost as if they were two separate entities. Anyway, on to the tisane, another of the teabags I picked up at the Twinings shop a few days ago. It’s mostly blackcurrant, with some hibiscus undertones. The blackcurrant flavor is very pleasant; I only wish the rhubarb came through. I suppose the hint of sourness from the hibiscus hints at it, but that’s all. This blend seems very similar to Twinings Blackcurrant and Blueberry, and I think I like them both about equally. I’ll definitely purchase one or the other again.
On Thursday I made my way to London’s Twinings shop, where you can buy individual teabags of a bunch of their blends. Though they don’t have quite as much variety as I might’ve liked, it’s nonetheless a great opportunity to try new varieties—especially those you might be on the fence about, like I was about this one.
This tea sounded so weird, but I know it and some of the other Indulgence blends have gotten rave reviews so I thought I might as well sample them all. And it is weird, a little, but it’s good. The caramel flavor is pretty true to life, and it gives the tea a rich, buttery mouthfeel. It makes for an unusual flavor combination with the green base, but not a bad one. It’s a very enjoyable blend, on the whole. I’m not sure it’s a restock for me, but I certainly wouldn’t object to drinking it again.
This is the last of the Twinings Indulgence blends I picked up pretty much on a whim. I’d pretty much ruled out Twinings green blends a long time back, but the idea behind these, and favourable things friends had said about them, made me reconsider. I’m glad I did, because these are pretty amazing. I gave this bag 2 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees.
Straight off, Salted Caramel reminds me a lot of the Fudge Melts blend I tried last week (I think…), only with less vanilla. I wasn’t all that keen on Fudge Melts – it sounded great, but it was kind of cloying and over-sweet in a sickly sort of way. Salted Caramel, fortunately, isn’t like that. The initial taste is sweet, rich, soft caramel, but there’s a distinctive saltiness that keeps the sweetness at a manageable level. My head tells me I’d prefer this as a black tea, but I can’t actually taste the green tea at all so I think that’s just my own bias towards black tea rather than a substantial observation.
On the whole, I’ve been pretty impressed with how flavour accurate these blends are, and there are a few that I’d happily drink again (and maybe actively seek out once my cupboard is under control again). Salted Caramel is no exception, so if you’re looking for an accessible, strongly-flavoured caramel dessert tea this would be a good place to start. Yum!
I’d pretty much ruled out Twinings once I started drinking loose leaf tea, but I’d heard people say good things about this one (and the Indulgence range in general) so I finally caved in and bought a few to try. I wasn’t expecting a lot, so it was a complete surprise to find that these are actually…really good.
Caramelised Apple is the fourth I’ve tried from the range, and it’s probably my favourite so far. The initial flavour is very much caramel, but it tastes to me like the hard, transparent caramel you’d find on a fairground candy apple, rather than the softer opaque stuff. That probably only makes sense to me, but I know what I mean. The apple comes out mostly towards the end of the sip, and quite well in the aftertaste. It’s a slightly sharp, green apple flavour, and pretty true to life. The clean sharpness cuts through some of the caramel flavour, and it’s a brilliant combination just as it is in reality. It’s not artificial at all, to my tastes, and neither is it overdone or overpowering in terms of sweetness. I like this one a lot, and I don’t often say that about bagged tea.
Having this tea at my parents place, since I have to stay over a couple nights to babysit my brother while they party in Vegas (not really, just get drunk and eat a lot of Bubba Gump shrimp. And while we’re on the topic, why don’t they have that in Canada, namely in Vancouver? If they had a location here, I’m 100% sure it would be insanely popular. Plus then it would mean I wouldn’t have to go on vacation to eat Bubba Gump ;_; )
I noticed this in the cupboard and decided I wanted to try it first, since we have the decaf version at home. Since my boyfriend and I found the decaf to be surprisingly heavy on the lemon/citrus, I wanted to compare with the regular version. Immediately after opening the packet I knew it was not the same. I mean, the lemon is still in there, but way more in the background, while the bergamot and the base black tea mix in more strongly. Quite nice tea, reminds me of a less citrusy Lady Grey. It’s smooth with bright flavours, and easy to drink.
I suppose the decaf versions might be really lemon flavoured because perhaps the decaffeination process causes the tea to lose a lot of flavour, and they add in more lemon it make up for it? Not sure why they wouldn’t opt for more bergamot too, considering it’s supposed to be an earl grey tea. I don’t know, but it’s quite interesting to note the large taste difference between the two versions of the same tea.
Actually, as I drink this one, it reminds me more and more of Lady Grey, albeit stronger In flavour but very similar. My lady grey obsession had recently died down somewhat, so I’m not going crazy over the similarities, but it still it an enjoyable, light and citrusy earl grey.
In other news, I got another Tea Sparrow box today! I’ve been on hold while I finish some of my stash so that it doesn’t get too out of hand, but yesterday I got it in the mail! I don’t know what it is about receiving mail, especially tea in the mail, but there is something profoundly exciting about it. I was delighted to see that I once again received Strawberry Mint from Herbal Republic, one I’ve been wanting to order but couldn’t justify the shipping price for one tea. I brought them all with to my parents’ place so that I can try them while I am here.
This was my first time trying any kind of Irish Breakfast. The liqueur was a very rich, deep red… about 5 seconds into the steep. I pulled out the teabag well in advance of its recommended steeping time. It has an earthy, malty flavor that I suppose must be characteristic of Irish Breakfast. I guess that I just don’t like that.
Flavors: Earth, Malt
Well, I’m 2/2 for the Twinings teas from Scheherazade!
I was surprised how much I liked this one given my typical aversion to both ginger and green tea, but this was light on the actual ginger flavour and instead had really nice, rich molasses, brown sugar and cookie notes with a ginger flavour lightly peppered in, just like I find actual gingerbread to taste like. Even the green tea was pretty light overall. So basically, this was just good, solid authentic gingerbread tea. Now, it is summer so it’s not the right season but it was still really damn delicious.
…And I thought I wasn’t a fan of Twinings. Do I need to reevaluate a little bit?
Got this one for my boyfriend, who likes earl grey tea (only) but likes to drink it at night, when the caffeine is not helpful. I figured that since Twinings is a decent grocery tea, I would give the decaf earl grey a try. I had a cup with my boyfriend while we were watching out nightly tv show. I have to say, it’s nice to finally share a tea with him. He won’t drink it otherwise!
Even as I opened the box, I was surprised at how lemony the tea smells. I was expecting the bergamot aroma to be strong, since it’s just regular earl grey. But actually the lemon is very strong both in the aroma and the flavour. It’s not necessarily bad, but both me and my boyfriend were a little surprised. Thankfully, he still likes the taste of it, and likes it better than the generic brand I started him on. I enjoyed my cup as well, I guess it just wasn’t what I was expecting.
That being said, this would make a great iced tea.
This one sounds amazing, and I really, really hoped that it would taste equally wonderful. It…kind of does, and kind of doesn’t. I think green tea is an odd choice for the base here. It’s faintly grassy and vegetal, and it just doesn’t work all that well with fudge as a flavour. A black base would have been eminently more sensible, surely? Then there’s the fudge. This one smells a little artificial when it’s brewing, but it tastes better than that would suggest. It’s very heavy on the vanilla, which is all I can taste to begin with, and then there’s an almost thick-tasting butteriness that is kind of reminiscent of fudge (particularly with the vanilla…) It’s all just a little sweet and sickly, a bit overpowering, and sadly not really my thing. I’d so hoped it would be, but it’s just not quite right.
I always thought I did not like green tea because of teas like this one. As it turns out, I do not enjoy many bagged plain green teas. There are many delicious green teas out there, however I would not say this is one of them. I had it again today because I grabbed it from a hotel I stayed at however this is not something I would buy.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Grass, Green, Sour
I am on a personal mission to find the best Earl Grey, my favorite tea. This brand is one of the cheapest and available in most store as loose-leaf, but the bergamot and other flavors are too weak for it to truly stand on its own. This is a tea that I drink with a heavy meal; its flavors can accentuate other delicacies, but are not unique enough to worry about being overpowered. I recommend it as a back-up or mealtime tea, particularly if no day is complete without a cup of Earl Grey.
Liquid gingerbread man! I’m actually quite surprised by how enjoyable these Twinings “Indulgence” blends are. I’m not usually a fan of their bagged green tea, but it seems sweet and buttery here, and the flavouring is impeccable. This isn’t the spiciest gingerbread tea I’ve ever tried, but it does have a very prominent biscuit-like flavour, with the ginger second and a touch of vanilla in the background. Pretty delicious, for a fuss-free cup!
1 bag, 175 degrees, 2 minutes. No additions.
Finally got around to trying this one at work today. I let the water cool to around 175 degrees before I added the bag, because it’s a green tea and Twinings’ bagged greens in particular seem very prone to scorching. I gave it approximately 2 minutes, after which the liquor is a medium green-brown.
I expected a degree of bitterness, and so I was pleasantly surprised to find none. There’s a sweet candy cherry flavour that’s maybe a touch reminiscent of cough medicine, rescued by a background note of almond/frangipane that makes this much more reminiscent of a dessert. There’s even a butteriness to the green tea that suggests pastry. The best thing by far, though, is the distinctive flavour of glace icing. Combined with the cherry, almond and pastry notes, it makes for a pretty delicious cup! I rarely commend bagged teas, but this one’s worth the hype. I’d repurchase this for fuss-free spring/summer drinking. It’s a sweet, desserty treat.
Got myself the Brazilian version of this one.
This tea had basically everything to woo me and make me fall head over heels for it. Turns out, black tea and four red fruits don’t really cut it for me. It smells delicious and the color is amazing (artificial, I imagine, which I don’t really like). I only tasted this one twice. So many people like this one! I want to like it too. Maybe I’ll try it again later this week.
Pretty common, off-the-market-shelf tea. Lovely scented, cute packaging. Tastes quite a bit like actual ginger tea, but the lemon is a bit too bitter depending on the steeping time. If you’ve got a sore throat, mix this baby up with honey and you’re well on your way to getting your voice back.
Flavors: Ginger, Lemon Zest
Such a nice mother’s day tea! I brewed a pot of this with 650 ml boiling water and two teabags for 6 minutes. I shared it with my grandmother and mother over sandwiches and fruit. I added 1 tsp creamed honey to sweeten the tea slightly, and I think that was the perfect amount for me, but some may prefer 2 tsp.
It was such a warm beautiful day today and all the flowers were blooming, this spicy citrus tea went perfectly. I could see this going really well over ice as well.
Nothing really stands out for me in this tisane, it is a standard lemon ginger, but I thought the flavour was pleasant and fresh.
Flavors: Citrus, Citrus Fruits, Ginger, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Spicy