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Recent Tasting Notes
Got to say that I am a Islay Whisky fan and I love my smoked Bamberg beers. So I was expecting to like this. In fact this little box of tea on my local Tesco supermarket shelf has got be interested in tea other than Yorkshire Tea. So begins my newbie trip after rating a few random boxes in my cupboard that have built up over the past few months with no consideration.
On opening the box I got the aroma of Laphroiag or Highland Park, just a hint of it and no where near a Lagavulin. After brewing it, the aroma wilted a little to a moderate smokiness. The tea is Amber in colour. The taste is cigar, leather jockstrap and some wood and earth. Good stuff. Certainly an experience for someone like me.
I bought a bag of these on the strength of all the good reviews I read about them at least a year ago, and then never got around to drinking them. At least that’s been remedied now – I’ve been drinking this one pretty steadily since November, mostly in my Timolino at events. Hence, I’ve never logged it either. I’m in the office today, though, and drinking this one. It’s really good. Hazelnut is the main initial flavour, followed by a dark-ish chocolate. It reminds me a lot of nutella, which is probably the intention. There’s not a whole lot else going on with this one, except a light maltiness from the base tea. It stands up to milk well, if you give it a decent brew time (I went for 4 minutes), but it’s best to drink it hot because it seems to get bitter as it cools…
I like this one. It’s probably my favourite Twinings tea.
As I am an addicted tea lover of very different kinds, brands and blends, I must admit that my preference goes to the smoky tasting teas of Twinings which appear suddenly…and if you like it or not the best ones dissappear immediately as they appeared…unannounced!!
Such as the predessesor of this one here which was a top rating one , namely Rose Pouchong (tea bags of Twinings)
I hate such a policy of one of the oldest Tea producers of the world (if not the oldest?)
Very solid Earl Grey, especially considering it is a grocery store bagged tea, and decafs are thought to be weaker/disflavoured by some.
Although I prefer my plain Earl Grey as a latte and a lump of sugar, this is decent on its own. Strong bergamot, very full bodied black base. Not a black tea I like, but pretty standard for an Earl Grey; I knew what I was getting into. I do find the base a bit tannic and on the bitter side, but I also steeped in near boiling water (rather than my standard 86 degrees C). The bergamot comes on too strongly for me taste, which makes it taste a bit medicinal, sort of like that lemon cough drop taste.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Citrusy, Fruity, Lemon, Medicinal, Tannic, Tannin, Tea
From the variety pack.
I had weight loss surgery a couple of months ago, which made me appreciate tea so much more since drinking cold beverages is painful now. I had this during Christmas Eve dinner with my family and it was just really nice. I don’t usually like Earl Grey, so I didn’t expect to enjoy this one. I had it with a little sugar and cream and was sad when it was all gone. I didn’t miss the lasagna/fresh bread feast at all (or so I keep telling myself)! Definitely one I’m going to be buying more of!
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Spices
I got a big tea sampler for Christmas a few days ago and thought now, two hours before Christmas is actually over, would be a good time to try this one. I was kind of afraid it would be a little on the Constant Comment-y side, but it’s really good! The spice is mellow and not overpowering, and I added a tiny bit of cream, which really helped round out the black tea end. I probably wouldn’t buy a whole box of this, but it was enjoyable.
One of the teas from the variety pack.
When it comes to lemon and ginger teas I prefer lemongrass + ginger. This tea however has citric acid in it instead. It gives the taste of real lemon+ a balanced amount of ginger, but unfortunately the acidity gives me heartburn. Nice taste but the remaining bags are going to the husband.
Flavors: Ginger, Lemon
My fiance has discovered that the quickest way to turn my bad mood into a good mood in the fall and winter is to put a steaming cup of Chai into my hands (and to be honest, he is right). So, when I got curious over this tea in the store he picked it up with this rationale: it is Chai, you are almost out, and even if you don’t love it you will drink it or give it to your mother.
Once again, he isn’t wrong. Luckily, the spices in this one are strong enough that I don’t have to double bag the tea with half a cup of hot water before adding milk. One bag is normally enough to do the trick.
This morning, I goofed a little on the amount of milk. Let’s be honest, I goofed a lot. The cup was more milk than tea, but it was the best cup of Pumpkin Chai I’ve had with this so far! The extra milk brought out the sweetness and creaminess of the pumpkin while having a nice rounded spice finishing aftertaste. It was delicious and complimented my sausage, egg, and spinach breakfast really nicely.
This does make me wonder if I’ve been making this tea all wrong in the first place though. If that much extra milk brought out extra sweetness and creaminess, then I should just pick up a little bit of cream to see if using less of cream instead of milk will bring about the same sort of deal without cooling down the cup to iced tea levels. Luckily I still have about four bags of this left, so I have time to expirament a little and see.
Flavors: Cream, Pumpkin, Spices
This is the second of the Twinings chai latte blends I’ve tried this week, and the second that contains only black tea and “flavourings” – this time vanilla spice and syrup flavourings. And that’s my problem with these blends – chai is surely easy enough to put together from actual spices, and there are clearly none in these bags. Why resort to chemicals? There’s no need.
I used 1 bag for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in 1/2 cup of boiling water, topped up with hot milk. I like this one better than the Bollywood Chai, for some reason, but it’s a close thing. Both have a weird, artificial quality that’s just plain odd, but the vanilla in this one pips it for me. At least I can taste vanilla and identify it as such, even if it is a bit on the fake side. It reminds me of coffee syrup vanilla, rather than vanilla pods, but it’s sweet and warming, and it’s cold out, so I’m not particularly hard to please this morning.
I wouldn’t buy these again, though. Any of them. There are far, far better chai blends out there. Ones that are actually properly blended from spices and accordingly taste that much nicer. This just seems kinda lazy to me, and I expected better.
Another free work thing. Clearly there’s some Christmas spirit in the office, if people are giving away tea. I suspect desk cleaning is more likely, though, but never mind. Free tea is free tea. I’m SURE I’ve tried this one before, and logged it. This isn’t exactly a new tea to me, being readily available in the UK and whatever…Hmm.
Anyway. I prepared it as a latte, using two bags in 1/2 cup of boiling water, because memory tells me that they’re not particularly strong. I topped it up with hot milk. The plan is to see if we can improve on this morning’s lacklustre Bollywood Chai.
Apparently, we maybe can’t. I’m not quite sure how I feel about this one. It’s less artificial in flavour terms that the Bollywood Chai, but it’s also not particularly strong or flavourful even with two bags. There is a warming spiciness at the back of my throat, but I’m struggling to identify individual ingredients. It’s kinda generic and one-note, maybe a little flat tasting? That could be an age-related issue, I suppose. The black base is strong and fairly malty, and holds up to the milk well. I just expected a little bit more, I think, and I’m not quite getting what I thought I would. Another chai that’s not quite met my expectations this morning! Perhaps those expectations are too high?
Finally remembered to buy some milk, so this one finally got a turn this morning. It’s promoted as a latte, so that’s how I made it up – 1 tea bag in 1/2 a cup of boiling water, topped up with hot milk. It certainly smells nice, although the ingredients list is a touch dubious – “almond, spice, and honey flavourings”, anyone? Why not just the actual things? The bag contains little white specks in addition to the black tea leaves, so I guess that’s something to do with it.
In terms of taste, it’s okay. It’s a fairly mild chai, but it does have quite strong almond notes which makes it a little bit unique. I might add less milk next time – maybe a slightly more western-style preparation – in the hope that the spices will shine a little bit more. It’s warming and comforting, if a little lacklustre. I think maybe I’ve just tried a lot of other chai blends which wowed me more, and so this one’s not quite living up to my expectations. Still, you’ve got to try these things!
I like this tea. I can get three steepings of 3 minutes, for a total of 9 minutes out of it.
The tea brews up yellow and has a warm, strong taste that isn’t too grassy.
In dry form, the tea looks green and is a combination of gunpowder pellets and smaller material. I use a finer sieve when brewing.
3 teaapoons to 250 ml of water.
I didn’t realise this one had such bad ratings until today, which strikes me as odd because while it’s brewing it smells really nice. Fruity, sweet, plummy. I used 1 bag for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water, no additions.
To taste, it’s pretty okay. The plum is very apparent, but it’s not artificial tasting in the way I expected it to be. It’s actually quite juicy and natural, as if actual plum juice had been squeezed into a cup of earl grey. The bergamot isn’t too strong, which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. It’s a floral/citrus tang in the background, and there it stays. The black tea base is smooth, with no bitterness or astringency. On the whole, I’d say it’s a successful cup.
I’m not the greatest fan of Twinings, or of bagged tea generally, but this one is better than average. It lives up to its name, and the flavouring is pretty true-to-life. I’d happily drink this one again, which is good because I have another 11…