Eh… I really have to stop trying these lighter Earl Greys. I love bergmot, so I’m nearly always disappointed in them. This one smelled sharp, which was promising, but it was ultimately indistinguishable to me from all the other baby Earls I’ve tried. It has a slightly bitter taste to the black tea – perhaps I oversteeped it slightly, trying to get it a little stronger. At any rate, it tastes like a weak cup of Earl Grey. No other citrus that I can detect, and it’s a bit harsh somehow. But do keep in mind, that’s just my personal taste – for someone who wants lighter bergmot this might be great!
92 Tasting Notes
Celestial Seasonings suggested this to me as a replacement for my beloved Cinnamon Rose tea. I looked at the box and thought “What the hey, Tiger” and then “Nope, looks like a chai.” However, I was at the grocery store with a coupon and celestial seasonings on sale, so I thought “why not? I like chai and this tea gets pretty good ratings.” Well, I tried it, and this is no not a chai. Maybe a cinnamon chai, but the cloves are playing a supporting role, and the cardamon has run off to hide from the wrath of all that cinnamon!
The tea is a typical celestial seasonings package – I like their dedication to minimal packaging. And I will say, they don’t skimp on the leaves. I was able to use only one bag in my large (14 oz) mug and it was plenty strong. The leaves smell dusty and strongly of cloves, which worried me – there are whole cloves in the bag that you can see when you take it out. I had a bad experience with Tazo Sweet Cinnamon Infusion, which was all cloves and licorice, so I am wary of spicy teas! I steeped it for 7 minutes in boiling water.
I took a sip of the unadulterated tea and immediately thought “Hot Cinnamon Spice.” The flavor is really similar to the Harney and Sons tea – it’s all cinnamon, so spicy that it has a little burn, with a great natural sweetness. It doesn’t have black tea, of course, which for me is an advantage, as I want spicy teas at night. I haven’t tried the herbal HCS, so I can’t say if this is similar, but I’d imagine it is after having both the black and green. There is more clove in Bengal Spice, but it’s nice – gives you a break from the cinnamon!
In the interest of comparison, I added 1/4 cup steamed milk and 2 packets of sweet and low. Here is where I was surprised – where HCS doesn’t take milk well (it kills the spiciness for me) this is great – it’s still spicy! My husband went out for Indian today, and came back asking me to make stovetop chai – I think he would like this one!
I’m really pleased to have made this supermarket discovery. This is the second Celestial Seasonings tea I’ve liked lately (I’m also loving Morning Thunder.) My Mom always had red zinger and Sleepytime in our cupboards, so I feel nostalgic when I see those cardboard boxes stacked up.
Oh, this is lovely! I was not expecting to love it so much. I picked it up at whole foods today (can’t leave without tea, you know?) and decided to have it after dinner (which was curry, so I thought the coconut would go well.) The leaves smell like barley – not much cocoa, and no real coconut. I opened up two tea bags, put them in my infuser basket, and brewed 14 oz of tea.
I let it steep for 10 minutes, based on the reviews on Steepster that it needed extra time. The initial aroma was still of barley, but then I smelled some cocoa coming through. I took a sip – surprisingly, this is all about the dark, unsweetened cocoa. I can’t detect much coconut. I added a splash of milk and a dash of sugar, as I do to all dessert teas. This brought out the coconut slightly, but it is still in the background. The cocoa, once sweetened lightly, blends with the barley to make a taste that is really different. I love it – it’s not too sweet or heavy, and it’s a bit exotic. I think it would work iced as well. Republic of teas is a bit pricey, but I do love these “cuppa chocolate” teas!
Chocolate mint is one of my favorite combinations. I love mint tea, but I have to say that chocolate teas have yet to impress me. I wasn’t expecting much from this tea, but I had to try it after reading the mixed reviews.
The leaves smell awesome – just like chocolate mint candies! I have enough experience now with chocolate teas to not expect them to be really strong, so I expected the mint to dominate the finished brew (mint is like that… I once had a friend give me a selection of mint liqueurs, and it ages to use them up, as everything I put them in turned to MINT in big capital letters.
I steeped in boiling water for 5 minutes (2.5 tsp of tea for 14 oz of water… I thought it would need extra due to the mint. I was right I think.) The initial taste had a strong blast of mint (as expected.) I smelled the tea, and I could smell the chocolate in the background. I added milk, having read reviews here that said that brought out the chocolate. I’m happy to say that it did! The addition of a little sugar helped to tame the mint as well. The result was really lovely – sweet and lightly minty with chocolate and caramel notes. This is a nice dessert tea, though I confess that a little more chocolate might be better. I’m not sure it rates buying more after my sample runs out, but I did enjoy this cup!
Bumping my rating for one simple reason – it resteeps really, really well. In fact, I think the second cup is usually better than the first! I frequently want more than one cup of chai, and since this is decaf I can drink it at night. The second time I frothed the milk to make it like a chai latte (well, one that’s rather light on milk!) Once again, the spices were stronger on the second cup than the first. So if you were disappointed in the spice level on the first cup (as I was) give it another try! The second steep can be a long one (I do about 8 minutes.)
Maybe I expected too much, as I love some of Upton’s other breakfast teas, but this left me a trifle disappointed. It’s smooth and easy to drink, but doesn’t stand up well to milk (I must have milk with my morning tea… I think it’s left over from being a coffee drinker!) It’s not a bad tea, not at all, it’s just not for me (for reference, I love the Scottish and River Shannon teas from Upton.)
I didn’t think this tea tasted like much – hot water with a faint herbal tinge. But I’m not a huge white tea fan (I keep trying!) I don’t think it was much of an Earl, but it might appeal to those who don’t want to be punched by the bergmot (I do, so this is not for me!)
Tastes mostly of lemongrass with a slight backdrop of jasmine. This is not the sort of tea I would ordinarily try, but I had a coupon that made the tea (on sale) pretty much free! The lemon is this is strong. At first I thought it tasted of cleaner (or what I imagine cleaner would taste like!) After I finished the cup, though, I found myself wanting more! There is little tea taste, and I also can’t detect the mint very strongly. This is a great bedtime tea. I’m actually pretty happy with all of the newer CS green teas. They aren’t super complex, but they are all good and flavorful!
I ordered this tea because I have been to tea at the Sacher hotel in Vienna. While that was a wonderful trip, I don’t have any particular memories of what the tea itself was like. This is perhaps a bad sign, no? The description mentioned bergmot, and I love Earl Grey, so I went for it!
This is a delicate tea. The bergmot whispers rather than shouts, and I could not detect the vanilla in any form. As it turns out, I would prefer the bergmot to shout at me, so I found this blend rather bland. I brewed at just under boiling for 4 minutes. Halfway through my cup I got bored and added some milk. I would not recommend doing that, because what was an insignificant taste before totally bows down to the milk, and you end up with a cup of lightly scented milk!
I didn’t finish my cup, and I doubt I will finish the sample either. It’s not a bad tea, just not to my personal taste. If you don’t think of it as Earl grey you may have better luck than I did!
I didn’t have to rush out the door this morning, so I brewed up some of my River Shannon sample. I used 2.5 tsp of tea in 16 oz of water, and I brewed for almost 4 minutes.
Smell: dark and roasted
Taste (no additives): Whoa, nelly! This stuff is not playing games. Strong and malty with a slightly bitter finish. Needs milk and sugar for my personal taste, as it is really assertive. But then, I can’t drink black coffee in the morning either.
Taste (milk and sweetener): Perfection. The tea retains its strength and flavor, but to my surprise the bitter finish is totally smoothed out by the milk (I used 1%, and not very much of that was needed.)
I’ve been trying all of Upton’s breakfast teas. So far, this and the Scottish are tied. River shannon may have the edge, because I find the Scottish to be a little picky in terms of brewing times. But who am I kidding? I’ll probably order both!
No notes yet.
I have several British friends, all of whom insist that American teas are appallingly weak. Since I’m searching for a good coffee replacement, I decided to take them at their word and bought a carton of loose PG Tips at the supermarket (my local market has a whole section of British teas – perhaps I should try Barry’s next?)
This was not the best morning. I woke up 30 minutes before I had to leave the house, it was raining in a very ominous way, and I couldn’t find where my husband had parked the car (several blocks away, it turns out.) I quickly brewed this tea. Luckily, I got a new electric kettle to replace my old one last night, so I didn’t have to wait ages. I steeped for 2 and half minutes in boiling water, then dumped in my usual amount of milk and splenda before running off to class. I didn’t actually get to try this until I was actually in my British literature class, discussing our term paper (so, an appropriate tea choice for the day!)
My verdict? I see what my friends meant. This tea is strong and dark, but by no means bitter. It held up to milk and sugar, and had a nice dose of caffeine. It’s very drinkable. I may have to make it my standard tea to go – I find that I don’t enjoy more subtle teas in a travel mug, as I can always taste the plastic. Not in this tea! On another note, I love the commercials with the monkey (just saw a few on Youtube!)
Years ago I was addicted to a tea from Celestial Seasonings called “Cinnamon Rose.” It had a great intense cinnamon flavor, and I drank it daily. When it was discontinued I was really upset, and I bought tons of cinnamon teas trying to replace it. Bigelow cinnamon was disappointing, and while I love chai I sometimes want cinnamon by itself. They were all unsatisfactory until today! The scent in the package is intense, so I was excited! I brewed 2 tsp in a big (16 oz) mug using my infuser for 5 minutes. I tasted cautiously, and was rewarded with tons of cinnamon flavor! The tea is naturally sweet, and that is coming from someone who sweetens everything. It’s as though the cinnamon is tricking your tastebuds into tasting sweetness – at first sip it is not sweet, but leave it in your mouth for a second and the sweetness comes out. I can’t taste orange/cloves/whatever else is supposed to be here, but who cares? Cinnamon is my favorite spice, and I will be ordering this tea!
After half a cup plain I decided to see what it would be like with a touch of milk (I use 1%.) The milk actually tones down both the spice and sweetness a bit. The tea is best plain, but I think that with the addition of milk and a touch of honey this could be a fabulous desert tea (at least if you love cinnamon like I do!) I also have the green version to try, and I will have to sample the herbal. I’m so glad I put this in my first Harney and Sons order!
This tea doesn’t have a really distinctive taste to me. I can taste the vanilla around the edges, smoothing out what seems to be a pretty assertive black. I was worried it would be too sweet for mornings, but it isn’t at all. I added milk and sugar. It’s not my first choice, but I like it well enough to finish my sample!
No notes yet.
Cup #2. Meh. This time I was extra generous with the tea, and brewed it for a full 5 minutes. A little more body, perhaps, but overall the taste is faint – more the suggestion of the spices than the full force. I’m getting a lot of vanilla this time. I think this is just not my tea, but I do think it’s a nice delicate blend.
Red velvet cake is my favorite dessert, so when I saw this today at Whole Foods I had to buy the tin! I was a little hesitant because I haven’t always loved rooibos in the past, but – red velvet! in tea form! I am usually pleased with Republic of Teas, and they did not let me down.
I don’t think the tea smells overwhelmingly like cake, but the taste comes out after brewing. I cut open the teabags and used my infuser. I like large cups, and find I need 2 teabags from most of their teas. I steeped for 5 minutes, and I think it could even have gone a little longer.
The color is beautiful. After adding a splash of milk (1%) it did turn a slightly odd looking pink color. The taste is very smooth. I can taste vanilla, with a slight tang like cream cheese frosting. The chocolate taste is light (but that’s ok, because I find it light in the cake too!) There is a slight citrus flavor in the background. I finished my cup and had to hold myself back from immediately making more!
I think I’m going to have to give Rooibos teas another try. I always thought I disliked them, but I’ve recently realized that I actually dislike the hibiscus that was in the rooibos I had before!
I love chai tea, but find that I am picky about them. I want them to be strong – if they don’t have that peppery, back of your throat bite then I’m not interested. This is a good chai. It tasted heavy on the cardamom to me, and it did have some pepper. The first steep, following Upton’s directions, was a little weak. I resteeped the same leaves, not expecting much. I steeped 4 minutes the first time, and 7 on the rebrew. The second was better – I got more spice. I think in the future I will give this tea more time. I take my chai with a little milk and stevia. I’m not sure that this is my ultimate chai (needs more cinnamon for that) but it’s up there!
It could be said that I have a coffee problem. Maybe. I find I cannot get going in the morning without it! I’ve found most breakfast teas to be too weak for me (though I do love English breakfast.) Still, I wanted to try to cut back on my coffee, so I ordered some breakfast blends from Upton to try out (most of my breakfast tea experience comes from bagged teas.) Yesterday was Bond Street, and today is the Scottish. Brewed for 4 minutes in boiling water. 2 tsp of tea in 16 oz of water. I have to tell you that this blend is a great coffee substitute – it’s rich and dark, with no real bitterness. It stands up to the cream and sugar that I prefer in the morning without losing any of its flavor. In fact, I think it needs cream and sugar – it was pretty intense when I tried just the tea! This is the first time I’ve had Scottish breakfast, and I think it’s my favorite so far!
I’m a spice fiend, so I was intrigued by the description of this tea. “Fine India tea is blended with cocoa, cardamom, and a hint of cinnamon to produce a balanced and warming cup?” It sounded right up my alley! The loose tea smelled lovely – mostly of cardamom with a cocoa backdrop. I steeped it for three and a half minutes. The resulting tea was, sadly, not as wonderful as the smell. I found it rather weak on the spice (but keep in mind, I love peppery spices!) It was also rather astringent, so I added milk and a bit of stevia. It was much improved with the addition of milk (the sweetener I could take or leave) which brought out the cocoa taste. It was pleasant, but I wanted more cardamom. I couldn’t really detect cinnamon at all. I’m going to try a longer steep next time, and I may try treating it as a chai (this is not a chai to me – not nearly enough cinnamon!)