339 Tasting Notes
I was in Indiana this past weekend visiting some friends and I knew I wasn’t in DC anymore, Toto, when I walked into the supermarket and asked a clerk where the tea was.
He looked at me. “What kind of tea?”
I’m sure I gave him a “are you stupid or just sh*tting me” look in return.
“Do you mean the kind in bags that goes in hot water?” he clarified, complete with hand motions miming lifting a tea bag in and out of a mug of water.
After he directed me to the tea aisle, I realized he was differentiating between tea and iced tea – the kind you make with a powder and was nowhere to be found near the bagged teas.
My mind. It is boggled.
Anyway, among the boxes of bagged tea, there were a few lone tins of loose tea by Twinings. I was thrilled to find them, even though quality-wise, I knew they weren’t that great. I needed caffeine. So I snagged a tin of the Ceylon Orange Pekoe, which was what got me through several semesters of 8 AM classes in college, albeit in bagged form.
Ceylon Orange Pekoe is nothing special. It’s just a plain black tea. There is no subtlety to the flavor, and no fruit taste I can discern. But it was tea. And it was caffeinated. And it helped me get through the hours in Indiana with my friend’s crazy family until it was socially acceptable to move to alcohol.
So this tea really confused me, and I almost think it was mispackaged. I was at a friend’s house and he offered me tea, and I chose this because Earl Grey is that inoffensive tea that even if awful is still drinkable.
Only, when steeped… there was no bergamot flavor. At all.
And the tea quality is pretty damn awful in these filter bags so there I was drinking bad black tea that didn’t have bergamot to cover up how bad it actually was.
At least I squashed Steven at Boggle.
A friend gave me this tea and I’ve been working my way through it. It’s not as subtle as I normally like my tea – it really only has one level of flavor, which is strong and dark. The chocolate is there but it mixes with the black tea. It’s an okay tea but not one I will be in a hurry to buy after I finish my supply. It is caffeinated though, which is all I really need in the mornings some days.
This may be better as a latte with milk and whipped cream on top.
So it’s summer in the DC region and the humidity outside is around 70%, causing it to feel infinitely hotter than it actually says on the thermometer. Also, you feel like you’re melting.
Enter iced tea. I ordered a sample pack of this sometime last year and had never opened it. But it’s been hot. Hotter than hot. Not quite Qatar-hot, but then Qatar isn’t known for feeling like a sponge… Anyway, it’s been hot, and I have been living off iced tea. And I had just finished my last jug and was looking for something else to brew. This caught my eye and I tore open the pack.
About a 2:1 ratio of tea to sugar. Hot brewed and then stuck in the fridge once it had cooled. It’s absolutely delicious. I will have to buy more of this. Definitely. I love it. The blueberry flavor is definitely there, though it tastes more like flavor than actual blueberries (this is a common complaint on fruit teas). Light, refreshing. YUM.
A friend of mine had to unexpectedly fly into DC in order to renew her passport, and I let her crash on my couch. In thanks, she brought me yummy things from Seattle, including a tiny packet of this. They were in filter bags, and not loose like I normally like my tea, but I don’t look gift tea in the mouth (unless it’s Bigelow in which case I will judge you so hard with all the tea snobbery I can bring to bear).
I made a cup of this today. I needed a pick-me-up since I was up until 2 working on a job application that I started around 10. (As an aside, why in the world does a job application need to be 30 pages, PLUS another page of logic questions, PLUS another 20ish pages of personality questions???)
I really liked this tea. It tastes nicely fruity but not overbearingly so. No sugar needed, either, to bring out the flavor like with some other teas. I was a tad worried since “artificial flavoring” is right there on the ingredient list and if it tastes too artificial, I won’t like it. Thankfully, it didn’t. It’s a nice tea. Sweet and fruity. On the light side of black teas. I think this would make an awesome iced tea.
This tea smells really, really strong. I drove home after buying some of this, and I swore there was fruit gum sitting on the heater vent. It was REALLY strong.
But like most fruit black teas, the flavor is not as strong as the smell. I can definitely taste the acai berry, and it’s a pleasant fruit tea. I really like the taste, but I find the smell overwhelming and almost nauseating.
I will definitely need to repackage the 2 oz I bought into something a bit more airtight than the ziploc baggie the store used.
I found this at Safeway, and picked it up. I hadn’t seen a lavender earl grey before – two of my favorite things! And the price was pretty good for organic loose tea – it was under $8 for the 3.5 oz tin.
I brewed a mug tonight. The bergamot flavor was not as strong as I’d like, but I definitely tasted lavender. Maybe they had to tone down the earl grey in order for the lavender to come through. I think this would have been better if there was some vanilla or cream flavor too. That would be delicious. I may have to experiment later with some earl grey cream I have sitting in the cupboard.
I’m not sure I’ll buy thing again, but I’ll happily try some of the other flavors the company has for sale. It’s pretty decent quality loose tea for a very decent price. And at the supermarket!
I was expecting this tea to taste more like lychee, given how strong the lychee teas I have are. This tea tastes like a jasmine tea with a very subtle undertone of lychee. It’s very nice, but I’m not sure I’ll buy this again. It didn’t wow me, and the jasmine has a perfumy taste I’m not too keen on.