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Recent Tasting Notes
I tried the loose leaf version of Twinings’ Earl Grey, and I can assert it is perfect for a morning tea.
The bergamot is a little too subtle for my taste but the tea is very fragrant nonetheless.
The leafs are small and not very high quality, but for the price, I would recommend!
Flavors: Bergamot, Earl Grey
I came here to kick butt and review tea, and I AM ALL OUT OF BUTT TO KICK.
After a spectacularly productive morning of cat-sitting, dog-walking, and plant-watering, I was ready for a little bit of time with tea and a book.
Am I stereotypical and pretentious? Yes. Yes, I am.
This tea, Lady Grey, is the tea that first made me think “hey, this could be a thing I do. I could become a tea person.”
Now that I’ve become a “tea person,” I return to the original.
I find this to be a bit astringent (bitter, mouth-drying) and over-flavored with bergamot and orange. I’ve discovered other things that I like more.
However, this is still a solid basic choice. I’d never turn it down. A part of me will always love it.
Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot, Drying, Lemon Zest, Orange
I was skeptical about this one—it’s not the flavor profile I usually go for, and I only threw a bag of it into my purchase at the Twinings shop last month to make it to the required minimum of 15 miscellaneous teabags. But I’m actually enjoying it quite a bit. It tastes quite strongly of lime, which is a bit off the beaten track in the herbal tea world. It’s pleasantly tart, but it doesn’t taste especially strongly of hibiscus. I can’t say I can really pick out the blood orange or pineapple, but it does taste pleasingly of tropical fruits in an abstract sense. I might pick up a box of this one sometime to mix up my usual berry-based lineup.
It’s time for “impulse buys at Netcost” again! I was there to stock up on Ahmad’s Apple Refresh tea, since it’s so hard to find just plain apple-flavored teas lately and no other store around here has it, when I spotted this on the shelf. I figured hey, why not try it? If I like lavender Earl and rose Earl, another floral Earl can’t steer me wrong.
It doesn’t really smell or taste that different from Twinings’ regular Earl Grey. Maybe a little lighter due to the inclusion of the jasmine green. There’s a little bit of floral aftertaste to it, but maybe I’m just imagining things.
It’s a nice lighter alternative to their regular Earl. Just don’t go into it expecting much in the way of jasmine flavor.
This is a decent blend for what it is. The green base is pretty meh, but there’s a strong note of sweet, syrupy lychee to make up for it. It’s got nothing on the greats of the lychee world, like Butiki’s magnificent and much mourned Lychee Oolong. It’s not a particularly complex blend, or an outstanding one, and I don’t think it’ll be a restock. Still, not bad for less than £2 on special.
This one is nice and gingery, and while it’s more spice than fruit the rhubarb comes through decently. I could’ve done without the liquorice root, though—this is sweeter than any rhubarb tisane has a right to be, and I suspect I would’ve liked it better without this stealth addition. It’s not bad, and I won’t rule out restocking it given the price, but I think I prefer Teapigs’ take on this flavor combo.
This one just tastes generically sweet and creamy to me, not like fudge or chocolate. Which may be for the best; green tea and chocolate don’t strike me as a wonderful flavor combination. In fact, this blend has got a lot in common with Twinings’ Salted Caramel. And it really is quite sweet, bordering on excessively so. It’s okay, but definitely not something I’ll go out of my way to drink again.
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