Having been forced to significantly reduce my caffeine intake, I am just dipping my toes into the world of decaf teas. This is my first loose-leaf decaf, and I find it promising. It tastes much more like tea than the bagged decaf teas I’ve tried.
I don’t detect the spice at all. There’s a mild citrus tang, but that might just be the tea – I’m assuming it’s made with ceylon, since that seems to be what all Adagio’s black decaf blends use. This takes a long steep time to develop character, and then the flavor continues to develop after the steeped tea has sat cooling for a few minutes (after removing the infuser). I’ve never had this happen with a caffeinated black tea.
This is a tea with low to medium body and very little bitterness. It has the tangy notes you would expect from a ceylon, but is otherwise fairly nondescript to my mind. I’m not a big ceylon drinker, though.
I don’t detect any unpleasant off notes, nor does it seem to be missing any essential “tea-ness” despite requiring a ridiculously long steep time. What it’s missing is something unique to recommend it – although, frankly, I’m just happy that it tastes like tea. I would recommend this to people who miss the flavor of black tea after quitting caffeine, but will continue to search for a tastier alternative with more character.
I would rate this higher, however, if I could actually taste spices, since this is supposed to be a spice tea.
I felt extremely euphoric (but not hyper) after drinking this (and I don’t after drinking decaf coffee) so either it contains a bit more caffeine than a decaf normally should, or I’m reacting to the theanine (or some other ingredient). Or I have just missed tea that much, I suppose.