39 Tasting Notes


My confidence in Guayaki to put together tasty mate blends continues to grow. This isn’t all that strong, either in terms of the chai spices or the mate, but it is very tasty. When I search for the mate flavor I’m dissapointed, although the mouth feel and body is there. When I concentrate on the cinnamon, licorice, ginger, nutmeg, and clove, I wonder if perhaps I should have steeped this a bit hotter. But that doesn’t matter. These things do come together and the result is very tasty. Sometimes blends should be judged by one thing, does it work? This works, especially with some sweetener and a dash of milk.

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This is a fruity chamomile with a strong lemon flavor. The herbs themselves are quite pretty in the bag, and I see a good mix of chamomile flower heads and petal dust. I’m a fan of chamomile, and I do enjoy this, but there’s too much citrus and not enough chamomile for my tastes. There’s also the rosehip factor. I’m really not a fan of those in any blend, but that’s just me. That said, it’s a quality tisane, and I’d recommend it.

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drank Awake by Tazo Tea
39 tasting notes

I’m always brewing this too long: 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1.5 minutes. It’s all too long. Five minutes (as suggested) is ridiculous. My point here is, whatever I do this tastes oversteeped, full of astringency as if I’m sucking on a cold, used teabag. If brewing this for color, one would dunk it and be done. Perhaps this tea is designed to be steeped in a large mug (I use a 6 ounce teacup) with plenty of sweetener and cream. I’ll admit, it’s a different experience when handled like that, but you can make nearly any black tea work with enough milk and sugar.

I like strong teas, like Irish breakfast, but when tannins overpower I find it very difficult to pull out the complexity of flavor. And, with this tea, there is more complexity than one might expect from a bagged tea available in most grocery stores. There’s a slightly sour, almost citrus favor, some maltiness, and a pleasantly earthy base.

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This was a nice and flavorful, even strong, rooibos. The scent was pleasantly herbal but also sharp and slightly tart. As with other teabags from The Republic of Tea, they cut portion size down to the bare minimum for a single steep, but it’s a good steep for an inexpensive rooibos, and I’d recommend this. My only reservations are that this is a bit too average, too one-note, and if I’m going to drink a rooibos, i’d rather taste some earthy, caramel undercurrents. However, that’s just personal preference.

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This is a tasty rooibos with a tropical, woody scent. I would caution, however, that one really needs to steep this longer in order to balance out the flavors. With a short steep I found this to be too floral and sour.

For me the color and aroma really shine, helping to make this a more pleasant experience, even if I get a bit tired of the tea by the time I finish the cup—there’s something cumulative about the astringency here, and by the end it’s detectably metallic.

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As with others from Republic of Tea, this comes as a Pringles-like stack of small, round pouches. There’s just enough dusty fannings in there to make it through one steep, but I suppose that’s the idea.

I was altogether unimpressed. There’s little aroma and the flavor is extremely flat, just a vaguely green tea taste with a hint of umami. I got this as part of a 3 tea sampler and don’t plan to purchase any more.

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This is a sweet and full-bodied tea that needs a bit of time to steep, about the four minutes noted on the tag. When brewed for color this is a bit too mellow, as it develops a rich red color pretty quickly. There’s a hint of a lemony scent after brewing that sets this apart from some other English Breakfasts.

The tea has a bit of a tannin bite, but there’s enough complexity there to pull it off. I’m a fan of balance in nearly all teas, and this is exactly that. You can also manage a strong second steep, although it falls apart on the third. All in all, a tasty tea that responds well to cream and sweetener but doesn’t need it.

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I opened the box and found a bag. Ugh. I did it again, I bought a bagged tea that comes in a non-resealable bag. I’m fine with loose tea that needs its own container, but I use tea bags differently, and it’s no fun having to keep them in an airtight container. I want tea bags to be portable and something I can store in a drawer in my office so that I have a wide selection available at any time without much fuss. Also, while satchets are satchets, they’re small and extremely restrictive.

The scent of this strikingly red, black tea is sharp and woody. It smelled like there would be a lot of tannins leaving me with a less smooth aftertaste and a lip-smack, but the tea was surprisingly drinkable. I’m not really certain what the safflower brings to the table aside from color, although I worried it might upset my ragweed allergy (it didn’t).

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A friend dropped a bag of this tea off on my desk, and I’m glad he did. I don’t usually associate Bigelow with anything more than intentionally affordable, lower quality tea. This is not that. They’re really trying to put out a quality product, from the individually wrapped satchet to the tea itself, which was strong but not too astringent. I’d consider this a very drinkable, middle of the road English Breakfast worth purchasing.

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I’ve no idea why others are rating this so low. Have they smelled it? The aroma is incredible. This creamy tea reminds me a bit of pipe tobacco, but I mean that in the very best sort of way. It’s complex and just stand-offish enough to keep me intrigued.

The vanilla is fairly strong, but it’s not at all sweet. It’s a deep vanilla that might not play nice with everyone’s palette, but that’s what I like about it. The tea itself could be a bit stronger, so this fails when it comes to balance, but like I said, have they smelled this?

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Craig Houghton studied creative writing at Southern Connecticut State University. He enjoys painting, drawing, old cameras, and gardening. He lives in Connecticut with his adoring wife and their heterochromic dog.





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