Pique Tea

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57
drank Mint Sencha by Pique Tea
3729 tasting notes

“Mint. Sencha. Green Tea. All of these things are green and so all of these things would indicate GREEN powder was hidden inside the little brown tea packet. There is even a green stripe on the package to drive the point home. So I was certainly surprised when I dumped the powder out of the package only to find a substance that resembled golden turmeric in my teacup.” Confusing and honestly, not that great. It’s buttery and vegetal and also fresh but at the same time the flavor is bitter and harsh. Fun to try though!

Check out the full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/09/24/mint-sencha-green-tea-from-pique-tea/

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77

I was quite surprised with this product and will be mentioning it to MANY. I was able to sneak one of their other flavors and will be doing a review of that in the neat future, too, and let me tell you that was impressive as well! Pique Tea is a game changer! There…I said it!

Full review and it’s a lengthy one!
http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/07/24/earl-grey-organic-black-tea-crystals-pique/

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40
drank Mint Sencha by Pique Tea
1260 tasting notes

I did not like this one. It had the qualities of their sencha tea crystal (which was vegetal and buttery) but with an oversteeped swampy spearmint flavor. I think what was more disappointing in this mint flavor had potential to brighten the instant tea, adding freshness that it lacks, but the mint was just overstewed tasting to fix anything.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/pique-tea-crystals/

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60
drank Sencha by Pique Tea
1260 tasting notes

I wasn’t a fan of this one. It was mellow, marine, vegetal and buttery, but it lacked that fresh grassy taste that I associate with senchas. This product is instant (just add water) so you are getting something easy to make and you don’t have to worry about water temperature, however you lose fresh and complexity vs loose leaf.

This one is much better iced, likely the best use of this tea crystal.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/pique-tea-crystals/

Kristal

I suppose one has to trade something for convenience :(

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70
drank Jasmine by Pique Tea
1260 tasting notes

One of the best (maybe 2nd best) of the Pique tea crystals I tried out of 4. The base is green tea, the jasmine is light, with a peachy floral vibe and a bit of dryness. It is way light for a jasmine tea though, it is certainly for someone who wants a green with a hint of jasmine.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/pique-tea-crystals/

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75
drank Earl Grey by Pique Tea
1260 tasting notes

Best of the 4 Pique tea crystals I’ve tried. The bergamot level is on the light side, but the black is a noncomplex classic ceylon tasting base. A little bitterness and brisk.

Cool, it is more sweet and bergamot. Also makes a nice latte, but be sure to dissolve the crystals in hot water first if you are doing an iced latte.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/pique-tea-crystals/

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drank Earl Grey by Pique Tea
659 tasting notes

I’m planning to do a fuller review of Pique tea, conceptually, when I review the sencha. However, I only had two packets of the Earl Grey and have now used them up, so I wanted to write this tasting note while my memory is fresh.

I don’t drink black tea much. I actually used this to make iced tea for my partner. Same recipe both times: honey in the bottom of a glass, add hot water and mix, add the powdered tea, add cold water, mix. It was quick, easy, and tasty. The bergamot is very notable. It’s not overwhelming or too tart, but it is about half the flavor. The other half is a smooth black base that isn’t particularly complex but makes for a solid iced tea. My partner was pretty pleased with it too.

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drank Earl Grey by Pique Tea
921 tasting notes

But, there is one more tea to cover and for that I need the help of my Earl Grey obsessed fiance:

I will admit, I approached this review with some trepidation.

For one, there’s almost eleven months to go until my “traditional” feature on this blog. Amanda wants me to feature more, but I’ll level with you – I’m not sure what I can offer to you guys here. I can enjoy a good cup of tea, and I can REALLY enjoy a low-quality cup of tea, but I don’t have her poetic sense of taste, or her mental library of every sensory experience she’s ever had.

For another, tea crystals. I mean, what? It’s a really strange way of preparing the stuff, and whilst I can see the advantages in some abstract sense (less clean-up than leaves without the problems of bags), I wouldn’t want to sacrifice taste to avoid a little cleanup. Even more concerning – tea crystals have very little smell when unsteeped, so it was impossible for this tea to pass my basic Early Grey test of making people cough.

But never let it be said that I’m not a game sort of Tea Barbarian – I tried a cup. With some measure of trepidation, mind: even fully steeped, at had a very faint aroma, and I was expecting a few bland sips, followed by a heated internal debate about whether to finish the mug or pour it out.

Boy, was I in for a surprise.

The tea has a shockingly rich and balanced taste. The deepness of tea leaves, set off with the sharpness of citrus, without either one getting overpowering or making the other taste bitter. There wasn’t a lot of nuance to its taste, but nuance is largely wasted on me, anyway – I like a rich flavor which is fulfilling in itself and pairs well with any meal I might be having, and this delivered. In short, somehow these crystals managed to be a perfect Earl Grey – in fact, I would happily rank it among my four or five favorites I’ve ever tried! Crystals or no, coughing or no, it’s an excellent tea in a surprising yet convenient package. I can recommend it wholeheartedly.

(I also tried the other two of these teas. It seems like that “lack of nuance” preference of mine may be important here – both were fine, and I didn’t actively dislike them, but they didn’t make the same strong impression that the Earl did, even accounting for my own Earl-oriented preferences.)

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/pique-tea-mint-sencha-jasmine-and-earl.html

TeaExplorer

Great guest review from Ben :)

TeaNecromancer

I am glad I am able to talk him into more guest posts, I mean he drinks enough tea ;)

K S

Go Ben! You nailed it. Being an Earl Barbarian myself I fully agree with pretty much everything you’ve written.

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drank Jasmine by Pique Tea
921 tasting notes

Today I am looking at three different teas of a completely different sort than I usually examine, with some help from the Tea Barbarian (aka Ben) since he is my in house expert in all things Earl. I was contacted through Instagram by Pique Tea to try their tea crystals, and I admit I am enough of a tea snob at this point that when I first saw it I was tempted to go a big nope, but I was curious so I investigated further. Unlike the ungodly gross instant tea I occasionally drank in moments of desperation when I was a youngin’ this is organic whole leafed tea, sourced by Roy Fong (of Imperial Tea Court fame) and then crystallized. No sugars or grossness, in theory this is just dehydrated brewed tea waiting to be rehydrated. Kinda sci-fi and I like that, but at the same time and with this introductory caveat I am not sure this is the tea for me, regardless if it is the best thing I have ever had or any spectrum in between. A huge part of the enjoyment of tea for me is the sensory bliss of examining the leaves, the process of brewing (one of the reasons I favor Gongfucha so much) and while I would not go as far as to say that tea is spiritual for me, I wouldn’t say it isn’t either. And while the tea crystals are incredibly easy to brew, they do take what I consider the most fun part out of the equation. But, enough of that, time to find out if they are any good or not!

I tried the Jasmine first, a green tea that has been scented with jasmine, so yay for not blending jasmine oils in with the tea. The crystals themselves have a fairly faint aroma, granted I didn’t want to accidentally inhale them so there was not the full on piggie searching for truffle snuffling that usually happens with leaves. Once I poured the hot water onto the crystals the aroma became very strong of jasmine, its heady scent wafted out of the cup and around my tea-desk like a flowery fog.

The taste was decent, I was not hugely wowed, but in this tea’s favor I have not been wowed by a jasmine in a long while, part of me thinks I have just gotten over jasmine in favor of osmanthus, rose, and tangerine blossom. The jasmine was quite strong and it didn’t taste like perfume, it tasted like flowers with a light green tea base, nothing really stood out as spectacular or awe inspiring. It was very convenient for a quick brew before dashing out the door to run errands, and chilled it becomes a bit sweeter.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/pique-tea-mint-sencha-jasmine-and-earl.html

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drank Mint Sencha by Pique Tea
921 tasting notes

Next up was the Mint Sencha, I like mint and I like Sencha, so this seems promising. Like the Jasmine it lacked much in the aroma department, but once I added water to the crystals the mint and slightly vegetal tone of the Sencha made itself well known.

The taste of this one was mild and surprisingly umami, savory notes of spinach and kelp blend with cooling mint and a back taste of kale. It was not bad, it lacked depth but its taste was enjoyable if not a little mild. I think my only real complaint with this tea is its price, and since I know cost value is different for everyone this is not something I bring up often on the blog. See, I am not a person with income so I am always looking for tea that is a bargain while not skimping on taste and quality, take for instance a favorite tea of my, Ailaoshan Black is $6 for 50 grams of tea, if I use roughly 2 grams per 100ml gaiwan that is 25 sessions of tea, and since that tea gets me 3+ steepings each session, well you can see it does not even compare to something that costs almost $10 for 14 cups of tea. To me it is not worth it, but like I said earlier, I am not sure I am this tea’s target audience. But to be fair, let’s look at who this tea’s target audience really is, the bagged tea drinkers, if we are to look at higher end teabags (let’s just say Adagio’s Sencha which is $19 for 15 teabags) things make a bit more sense. Taste wise these teas blow most teabags out of the water, so that is a solid win there, thus ending my tiny foray into economics.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/pique-tea-mint-sencha-jasmine-and-earl.html

K S

I agree with what you have written. I justify this on the math side by seeing it as for people on the go. This is much less expensive than stopping by the local Teavana/Starbucks on the way to work.

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drank Sencha by Pique Tea
2009 tasting notes

Dump. Stir. Plausible! Awesome for work.

Xxxxx

LOL! Very compelling!

gmathis

Less is more :)

Xxxxx

You made a believer of me.

K S

Tasted more like a Chinese green than Sencha to me. More spinach than grass, which is fine by me.

Kristal

Interesting!

gmathis

I’m not enough of a green-oisseur to catch subtle differences. Unless it’s flavored, it’s either strong green or mild green ;)
(Comes from too many years of burning out tastebuds with Assam and my beloved British builders’ bagged teas.)

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drank Mint Sencha by Pique Tea
2009 tasting notes

Life has put me on the easy-to-steep, bagged-when-possible, oh-my-ears-and-whiskers-I’m-late track, so K S’s reviews, and kindly supplied samples, of these little crystals intrigued me. Heat water. Stir. Done. No wait.

The English Breakfast was so strong, I just started with a larger mug this time. Result: a light, lovely, surprisingly fresh cup. Nice balance between the sencha and the hint of mint. Neither overpowers.

K S

Yeah for no wait! And yeah for tea that surprises. I expected to not like these teas, instead I very much enjoyed them.

Kristal

I’ve been quite busy as well so what I’ve been doing is “bagging up” my loose leaf tea. I grab a tea I need to use up, grab DAVID’s drawstring paper filters (they stay closed which is why I LOVE using them)and I fill up a Ziploc baggie with the tea bags and that’s what I use when I’m at work. It’s really been helping me use up teas I want to get rid of + tea bags are just easier on the go.

gmathis

I haven’t seen the drawstring kind—nifty!

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drank English Breakfast by Pique Tea
2009 tasting notes

One of my first (4-year-old?) kitchen responsibilities was to make the Nestea. Mom would tell me how many spoonfuls to put in the pitcher, and then I got to stir it! (My cooking skills haven’t improved much since then.)

Pique’s crystals allow you to experience the sophisticated version of the same process, and it works admirably for convenience, ease of prep, and dissolving nicely without getting gritty. The little sleeve K S sent my way recommended 8 ounces of water, so I stuck with that (roughly), even though I drink out of significantly larger mugs and tumblers most of the time.

At that powder-to-water ratio, the English Breakfast is very strong. Builders’ tea strength. I was surprised! Good stuff, just proceed knowledgeably if you prefer a less stout wakey-uppy.

K S

I’m a weenie. I used a 10 oz mug. I used around 12 iced and strangely I found it stronger cold. Glad you found it worthy.

gmathis

I ended up putting half the mug over ice with a little extra water, and it was great. Would be excellent summer lawn-mowing tea.

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drank English Breakfast by Pique Tea
1719 tasting notes

This was yesterday’s tea. I’ve enjoyed these crystallized packets. Not just because they are convenient to the extreme. They also taste pretty good. They don’t have all the nuances of brewing some fine leaves yourself, but are better than bagged or any RTD that I have tried.

This one surprised me. All of the others have had a fairly sharp edge – almost tart. I like that but not everyone does. This blend is Assam and Ceylon. I expect a brisk bite. Instead this is smooth malt. They call it earthy. My mind interpreted it as woods and leafy. Fruity. Maybe a little floral. The color was dark orange leaning heavily towards ruby. At the end just before the aftertaste it develops a nice edge that breaks the smooth mold.

I next tried it cold by adding a packet to a 12 oz bottle of icy water. What is interesting to me is it had more edge iced. This works perfect for me. I like my hot breakfast tea to bring me evenly into the day rather than with a jolt. I want my iced tea to be more grrrr. This does both and pretty well.

These Pique teas are not pre-sweetened. They don’t need sweetened, but they take it well if you so desire.

gmathis

I’m intrigued by these.

K S

I have 3 left – they’re yours.

Xxxxx

I’ve been following all your Pique tea reviews and think these might be excellent for the hot, humid weather here this spring and summer. While I often have the best intentions to do a cold brew at night, often by the time my work day ends (anywhere between 9 and 11 at night), I just want to relax, goof off and not be anywhere near the kitchen, stove or refrigerator.

gmathis

:) Well, that just makes my day!

(Whiteantlers…I’m with you: my brain deteriorates to nothing but flatline after work these days!)

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drank Sencha by Pique Tea
1719 tasting notes

Life is hectic. I could go into details but we all have a lot going on in real life. In the rush, making time for proper tea has been near impossible most days of late. I am so glad I have had these crystallized teas to get me through.

I was highly skeptical at first. Yes they are convenient to the extreme. Pour into the cup, add hot water, drink. Don’t have hot water? Pour into an icy water bottle and shake. Nothing is simpler except over sweet bottled tea. The best part is they taste and smell way better than probably necessary. Are they going to replace your loose leaf stash? No, but if you don’t have time, what’s it matter?

This one smells intensely of green vegetation. I immediately picture tiny spring green leaves from China when the aroma hit me. Turns out this ‘sencha’ is grown in China and shaded the last week or so before picking.

The cup is light honey yellow. The taste is vegetive. There is a sharp clean citrus bite. The aftertaste is green, slightly sweet, and lingering.

I’m about to grab another packet and a water bottle before facing RL head on once again.

gmathis

So glad for a collection of decent bagged options right now :)

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drank Mint Sencha by Pique Tea
1719 tasting notes

I used my last packet of crystals in a bottle of cold water. Nice refreshing and minty green tea without all the sugar RTD generally contains.

These packets were originally only available through a subscription plan. Now you can also buy individual boxes without the plan. For those who might be interested, Pique Tea made a promo code to save 15% off your first order, especially for my blog.

Pique Tea Promo Code
http://theeverdayteablog.blogspot.com/2016/03/pique-tea-promo-code.html

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drank Mint Sencha by Pique Tea
1719 tasting notes

We have a major lake in the back yard from heavy rain. Thankful. In northern Indiana they are getting heavy snow. I hate snow. I hate winter. I thought I hated spearmint.

This is a spearmint and sencha green tea in crystallized form. While my brain keeps telling me this is instant tea, my taste buds remain unconvinced. Super easy to make. Pour the packet powder into the mug add some water at 175F. Drink. I don’t even need to stir.

Instead of tasting like toothpaste which I never ever buy spearmint toothpaste – ever, this is just different. I am thinking it is like jasmine, which I thought I didn’t like until I had a better one. This is obviously spearmint and intense, but not icky intense.

It is accompanied by an equally intense amount of grassy bite. It reminds me of the level of bite often found in Ceylon tea. I rather like that.

I’m pretty sure if someone handed me a cup of Pique tea and didn’t tell me, I would not know it wasn’t home brewed loose leaf. It is an interesting idea, done well.

ashmanra I prefer spearmint to peppermint in tea!

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drank Jasmine by Pique Tea
1719 tasting notes

I feel like I have too many things going at once and I am not doing any of them justice. I’d give you a list but I’m sure you have your own. Tea is on the list. I don’t seem to have time to drink just for the enjoyment much less serious meditation on the cup for reviews. With that in mind, I have been enjoying the alternative brewing methods that have come my way lately. Of these Pique tea is the simplest and most convenient. Cut the individual serving packet open. Pour the crystals in the mug. Add hot water (or add to cold bottled water). Drink. Except for RTD there is not a simpler method out there. Unlike almost all bottled RTD there are no piles of sugar added. Pique says they use only organic whole leaf to brew their tea before crystallizing it. While it is essentially instant tea, it is unlike anything remotely instant I’ve had before.

This is a scented green made with jasmine blossoms (not flavored). It has a very natural jasmine fragrance. The brew is golden in color. The taste is sweet, floral, jasmine. It is not overly intense but definitely not a wall flower. If you want a mellower cup add more water. The green tea jumps forth halfway in the sip and finishes with a clean bite. The aftertaste is sweet, grassy, and lingering.

This is really pretty good. Better than any bagged jasmine I’ve had. As good as many loose jasmines I’ve tried. The however here is if you are accustomed to the higher quality loose leaf, the crystallization process does seem to scoop some of the nuances out of the middle of the sip. If you need something for everyday on the go drinking, or a convenient fast way to have tea in the office, in my opinion this would be a solid one to try.

Sil

i hope things settle down for you, i am with you in that boat!

mrmopar

The simplest sip is sometimes the best.

K S

Sil my days busyness pales in comparison to your’s. Somehow being retired I had the impression I would be staring out the window all day. Sometimes I wish – not really.

mrmopar, agreed.

Sil

hey you’ve earned slightly less busy days than me! :)

ashmanra

Tea crystals! Neat!

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drank Earl Grey by Pique Tea
1719 tasting notes

Pique Tea Earl Grey comes in individual serving packets. There website says they use organic whole leaf teas to brew the tea, then they turn it into crystals. I’m open to trying about anything tea related. My fear was this would be similar to the Nestea I drank in my misspent youth. I promise you, this tastes nothing like that stuff.

I used 8 oz of 205F water. The crystals dissolved immediately without the need for a spoon. The color was a beautiful Burgundy. Just a light bergamot fragrance. The taste was far more citrusy than I expected. What impressed me most was I could tell they used a Ceylon base. It has that brisk bite of clean almost tart astringency that I crave in my Earl. How they managed this I have no idea.

While sipping the cup I hit upon an idea to test the limits of the crystals. I grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge and added the contents of a packet. Replaced the lid and shook the bottle. After a few moments I had an icy cold bottle of Earl Grey. It was a 12oz bottle but really didn’t seem weak.

I look forward to trying their unflavored teas to see if they capture the taste correctly. For now, I’ll say this Earl Grey was extremely convenient especially for on the go drinking and I thought it tasty both hot and cold.

Daylon R Thomas

Those were advertised like hell on my facebook.

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