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Recent Tasting Notes
This is another bagged tea that I felt like revisiting recently. It of course can’t hold a candle to the whole loose leaf Green Pomegranate from Art of Tea that I really enjoy, but before I had that tea, I remember I drank this tea quite a bit. Going back to it now (steeped sans bag, for two minutes in 175 degree F water) I find it drinkable, but pretty underwhelming. I like fruity green teas, but I like the fruit flavors more subtle and delicate so I can enjoy the notes of the green tea base, and it is impossible to taste any green tea in the base in this blend… I feel like I’m just drinking a fruity herbal. The base of the tea just tastes of hibiscus, though it isn’t quite as tart as most hibiscus teas I’m used to, sweetened up with a lot of artificial raspberry and pomegranate flavors. It has a decent enough fruity flavor, but I wish it had more of a green tea base.
Flavors: Artificial, Fruity, Hibiscus, Raspberry, Sweet, Tart
Whoop! I snagged the last two boxes of black tea in 50 miles of me! I may not be kidding. The local stores here, in my neck of Mexico, generally stock green tea or various herbal tinctures (in tea bags only). What little black tea makes it south of the border is not enough for the tourist gringo demand. In fact, this is the first black tea I have seen in a couple of months and both boxes are Stash.
One is Earl Grey and the other is English Breakfast. As my boyfriend says, warm and wet, with a tag to remind you are drinking “tea”. I hesitate to say this is “bad” tea. It isn’t. In fact, the tea is quite a good base. It is sweet and not bitter with a pleasing saltiness and a hint of bergamot and a gentle lemony nose.
But that gentleness is really the problem here. The tea is weak and lacks body and the bergamot flavor compliments the tea strength perfectly.
I made this first cup with 8 oz boiling water and steeped for 4 minutes. To get more flavor I will try using two tea bags and 5 minutes steep next. If it takes two tea bags to get enough flavor for one cup of tea then this is expensive tea to drink. Still, with nothing else in my cupboard, this is Mexico so I am happy to have it. Recommended with reservations.
Before I made the switch to loose leaf, this was one of my favorite bagged teas. I’ve been curious how many of these teas still hold up now that my palate has changed so much. I can’t stand the taste of teabags anymore, so I’ve been opening up the bags and dumping the (very low-quality) tea into my gravity-well infuser for steeping.
Surprisingly, I still really enjoy this tea! It actually tastes just like the Spice and Tea Exchange Cinnamon Plum loose leaf tea I have, only the plum flavor is replaced with apple. It has a warm, slightly tart hibiscus base, with some fruity sweet apple notes, and a warmth of cinnamon spice that lingers in every sip. The tea feels very much like a thick fruit cider. It doesn’t remind me much of apple cider, as hibiscus is the dominant flavor, but I enjoy it as a fruity, spicy winter drink. This tea still holds up.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Hibiscus, Sweet, Tart
I was expecting this tea to be very strong and robust, and while the bergamot oil is certainly very present, the overall flavor of the tea was overpowered by it. I think if the bergamot had a stronger base to work with then this would have been a hit, but it just didn’t meet my expectations.
As a general rule I avoid teas that end up red or purple in color. I’ve tried a few and never had one I really like. Although I should know better I got another one and to my surprise it was pretty decent. Sweetish and fruity but not cloyingly so. I probably won’t get it again but I’m willing to finish what I’ve got.
Gentle but flavorful. The chai aromas and spices are out front and center, but not overpowering to the degree that they’re crying out for milk. The spice mix seems to lean heavily on cinnamon, which is probably my least favorite component of chai (reminds me too much of Big Red gum) – I could have much preferred a stronger cardamom, clove, or even almond presence.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon
Took a bag of this home from my museum shift. I wasn’t expecting much to begin with but it’s really not too bad. Prominent rooibos base but it isn’t actually all too woodsy and medicinal. I’d say it’s my favourite part about this. Red Velvet? Nah, it smells like raspberry caramel but tastes like raspberry cream, and smells quite a bit sweeter than it actually tastes.
Seriously not that bad, but I’d never buy it. I think I should take advantage of the beverage stash the museum provides for volunteers, especially now that it’s colder outside, and try all the teas they have to offer. I mean, why not?
Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #24
First, someone included a tea this round that expired in 2014. Hmm. No wonder no one wants to join the teabox (that I decided will take a break for now and possibly start again in the future when there is more interest…. my teabox fun certainly hasn’t waned!) Otherwise, the black tea here, though decaf, was super pale and tasteless. Which was probably the case when fresh too. I think a chai should either be strong with black tea OR just be a herbal chai with no black tea at all and only spices. Can’t judge this one fairly though, as the bag says it is quite old. Sure, I drink old teas, but I wouldn’t pass them on to other people.
This is very chocolatey – in fact it tastes more like chocolate than orange. Even the smell is overwhelmingly chocolate. And its more like a dark chocolate taste. I can barely taste the orange at all. Not that it’s a bad tea, I’d just like more orange.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate
While I am not traditionally a fan of ginger teas, I am a big fan of orange flavor and having never tried an orange tea before decided to give it a go anyway.
Hot Tea Review:
Initially steeped the bag for 3 1/2 minutes at 190 degrees and then 5 minutes, but felt both times produced a weak flavored tea so I put the bag back in the water for another 5 minutes. The final tea was steeped for 10 minutes at 190 degrees.
As it steeped the tea produced a nice orange and ginger aroma. I found myself catching whiffs of the orange as the tea sat next to me, but, sadly, that aroma doesn’t carry through in flavor unless you add sweeteners. The sweetener helped considerably to draw out the orange flavor. I’m not a fan of ginger so I was thankful that it was not overpowering the tea.
I found this tea to produce a weak flavor as a hot brew, but I bought this primarily to try as a cold brew, so I’m not terribly disappointed by this.
Cold Tea Review:
sigh Well, I had really hoped that this tea would shine as a cold brew. While I am not a fan of ginger teas, as a hot tea the ginger didn’t overpower the tea so I was hopeful that this would translate in the same manner as a cold brew. Sadly, it did not.
The ginger was just too much and the orange just not enough. All-in-all this tea was a bust for me and one I’m unlikely to buy again.
Flavors: Ginger, Orange, Tart
Mint is not one of my favorite flavors of tea, but this one isn’t too bad. The tea bag gave off a nice strong spearmint aroma, but the tea’s flavor ended up being a subtle mint.
Unfortunately mint teas are either too strong or too subtle for my palate rarely leaving a middle ground for me to enjoy.
I’ve been steeping this tea with a chocolate tea that I wasn’t a big fan of, either, creating a sort of chocolate mint. With a splash of milk and sugar the combination provides a nice sort of dessert-like tea.
If one is craving a strong mint tea this one may mislead you in what to expect for flavor, but I do prefer the (spearmint) flavor of this tea compared to Celestial Seasonings peppermint tea.
If I based my review solely on using this tea as part of a combination brew (like my chocolate mint) I would rate it a 50.
Flavors: Mint, Spearmint
Not a tea I’d ever try as a cold brew (even the thought as one seems off-putting). However, as a hot tea, this is, hands down, one of my favorites, and, as a bonus, the cost is low so it makes buying it a guilt free pleasure. This is a tea you will always find on-hand at my house.
The tea has a strong black licorice aroma that, usually, carries through in flavor. I say usually because every now and then I get a bag where the flavor doesn’t match the aroma. It’s the only flaw I have found, thus far, with this tea.
I rarely find the need to enhance the tea’s flavor with sugar or milk. Once I added milk to see how it affected the tea and disliked it so much that I have never added it since. Whenever I happen across a weak bag I will add a bit of sugar or a piece of licorice root to draw out the flavor.
This is a tea I recommend to anyone that likes black licorice.