Decent Decaf - again
I was just at DAVIDsTEA and they have a new decaf Earl Grey, although I haven’t tried it myself. They also have a new genmaicha houjicha, which might cut the amount of caffeine.
We just opened the bags on a new decaf Earl Grey at DAVIDs today, I haven’t tried it yet but I can make a point to taste it at work tomorrow and report back if you’d like?
The two tins of decaf I ordered from Harneys arrived and I think I have finally found a decaf that tastes and satisfies like real tea. Something I can drink even at night which will satisfy that craving I get for a cup of real – unflavored – tea.
I ordered 4 oz tins of the decaf Assam and the decaf Ceylon. Of the two the Ceylon is the more successful.
On opening the tins, the Ceylon looked like real tea. Long decently well shaped leaves of dark brown and tan. It even smelled like tea. After brewing it became apparent that there were more stems than it appeared at first, but still with decent sized pieces of leaf attached.The Assam leaves were darker and smaller, broken and almost granular, similar to the type of Assam you might see in a Masala Chai. I couldn’t detect much Assam scent from the tin. After brewing the leaves still looked broken and granular, nothing like the open pieces of leaf you’d find in a pot of quality loose leaf Assam.
I’ve brewed two pots of each. Both brew up a nice looking characteristic Ceylon or Assam colored liquor. The Assam has a tea scent and taste but not really of Assam and it has a somewhat bitter bottom taste.
The Ceylon though is quite nice (considering it’s a decaf of course) and is actually quite satisfying. I might even bring some to the office to drink during the afternoon when I want a cup but not the jangle. Some prior posters have very favorably mentioned Harneys Vanilla Comoro, but I don’t usually care too much for flavored teas, except for an occasional Masala Chai. If you too are looking for an unflavored but decaf tea, definitely give Harney’ Decaf Ceylon a try.
Update: after a few more brewings, a bit less tea and time, the Assam yielded a bit of Assam flavor. It still lacks the malty bottom, but it’s better than I originally thought. I still think the Ceylon is the better of the two though.
So far the only decaf teas I can tolerate are flavored ones.
Normally it would be against all my principals to use tea bags, but this past weekend at a party, someone gave me a cup of decaf called, I think, Punjana from Thompson’s Tea, a commercial tea company in Northern Ireland. I’ve never seen that brand in the US before, but it was surprisingly good.