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Recent Tasting Notes
I figured that I haven’t revisited one of my old bagged teas in a while, and I used to drink Mint Medley for migraine nausea before I switched to loose leaf and got a nausea blend with whole leaf peppermint, ginger, orange peel, and cinnamon in it. I always remember it worked well and I liked the taste well enough. I decided to make a batch of it iced for this revisit, by doing a warm steep and then chilling in the fridge overnight.
Now, I certainly don’t remember this tea being red before… and all the mint loose leaf teas I drink now are always caramelly color, which immediately turned me off from the tea. It smells like mint, but… red? Really? Then I saw the ingredients… rosehips and hibiscus in mint tea? Now, I am a big fan of rosehips and hibiscus (from reading the reviews on this site, I may just be the only one!), and I’ve certainly seen some very effective mint/hibiscus blends. But those are usually advertised as such. When a tea is called “Mint Medley,” I kind of expect to be getting a mint tea, not a mint tea with a bunch of odd additives. Why would I want my mint tea to be red?
The tea does have a very minty flavor, but it just has this sort of off-putting aftertaste. It’s a little hard to describe. It starts off with a very brisk, minty flavor, but then sort of ends with this odd, flat, kind of metallic stale taste that lingers on my tongue (and I checked my box; this tea should be fine until May 2019 according to the packaging, so it certainly shouldn’t be stale). Is it the extras in the blend? I don’t know, because it doesn’t even have the tart/tangy sort of flavor that rosehips/hibiscus/lemon peel should leave behind (if it was a tart finish, I’d actually find that quite pleasant, as that is a flavor profile I personally quite enjoy). It’s just this weird sort of taste that I don’t get when I drink mint in loose leaf blends. If I get my hands on any other bagged mint teas I’ll have to compare to see if I get that same weird taste to see if it is indeed from the rosehips, hibiscus, and lemon peel added to this particular tea, or if I’ve just lost my taste for bagged mint tea in general now.
Flavors: Herbaceous, Metallic, Mint
This tea has a surprisingly good caramel flavor for a grocery store brand and has become a mainstay in my household, at least until/unless it goes away when out of season. It’s not cloying or obviously fake-tasting. (I mean, clearly it hasn’t got real caramel in it, but I don’t sip it and go “wow, this sure is some Artificial Caramel Flavor” like I do with Bigelow’s vanilla tea.) With a little milk it’s a nice, creamy, sweet-but-not-overpoweringly-so black tea. It really isn’t salty at all, though; calling it “salted caramel” is clearly a trend-hopping marketing tactic more than an accurate description. But it’s still good!
If I’m brutally honest…I find this tea to be harsh and coarse. There is nothing subtle about it; no nuances to its flavor other than a slight metallic tang that might signal some Ceylon tea in there, somewhere. Looking at the tea in the teabag, this one is designed to infuse hard and fast…the “leaves” are more a dust than broken leaf bits; and the ingredient list? “black tea, black tea extract”. I think the latter is code for the caffeine in the “50% more caffeine” claim. From a tea lover’s point of view, I can’t recommend this one. However! if you’re looking for a way to get your caffeine fix in the morning and coffee isn’t your choice, this will do the trick.
M Mack sent a bag of this along with some teas I bought. Thanks so much! It was a delight to find as I didn’t know it existed! I wasn’t expecting much though, as the ingredients list some odd things that I wouldn’t think would add up to a Thin Mint (licorice, chicory, rose hips?!?!) but the result is actually quite delicious. I’d say it is pretty spot on to those delicious cookies. I’m very happy none of those previous mentioned ingredients seemed to be present. ick. Somehow the brew is even the color of a Thin Mint despite being a caffeine free tea and not a black tea. I would say there is more mint flavor than chocolate flavor but it’s shocking how close the flavor is to the cookie here. I’d buy this one.
Steep #1 // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 minute steep
This tea smells fantastic while brewing – sweet, milky, with some indiscernible spices. As far as taste, I have to disagree with all of the hate this tea has gotten so far. It is by no means the most delicious or enjoyable tea I’ve ever had but it is far from the worst. I drank it without adding anything and I don’t think it’s missing any sweetness at all. I do wish the spices came through more amidst all of the sweet flavors. Overall, it’s simply okay.
Flavors: Chocolate, Milk, Spices, Sugar
Honestly I drank this twice because I felt I must be missing something. The first aroma is odd and after that it’s a very average herbal. The lemon is overpowering and I can barely tell there’s ginger in it. The label says there’s also cinnamon and licorice but I can’t really detect those either. I might choose to drink this while sick – many seem to – but i can’t imagine choosing this otherwise.