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Recent Tasting Notes
I swear I threw a bag of Whittard’s Chelsea Garden in my purse last night before leaving for church, but it was no where to be found once I got there. I had resigned myself to drinking something awful from the church cabinet (I really need to mercy stock that thing) when the Bible study teacher pulled out a tea wallet and said, “Here! Choose from one of these!”
She loves black tea and was listing the contents (PG Tips, English Breakfasst, etc.) when she said, “Vanilla Caramel Chai? Where did that come from? I don’t even like chai, at all!” So I told her I would take that one to get it out of her wallet and to keep from depriving her of a tea she loves!
It wasn’t bad! The tea aspect was pretty weak but the flavors were pretty good. We had tiramisu as our snack and it went well enough with that. By the end of the mug, the licorice root was really noticeable, but I don’t mind licorice root in the right places and it didn’t bother me. I include that info for those who hate the stuff, because I know a lot of people do.
Thanks so much for this freebie, AJRimmer! I can’t say I’m a fan though. The combination of the chicory root, sarsparilla, licorice somehow really just makes it taste like…. dirt. I hate to say it, but dirt. And I notice ‘dirt’ is in the flavor notes for this tea from someone else, so I’m not the only one mentioning it. It also tastes like splenda to me, which again, could just be a combination of the other ingredients. Possibly there isn’t even splenda in the blend. But I do get hints of that lovely sugary cinnamon. It’s just very hidden under this trifecta of odd ingredients, it’s like an overwhelming flavor storm.
Yesterday I was trying to sip down one of the coconut Earl Greys I had in my collection that I had grabbed looking for a “dup” for my beloved “Foggy Coconut” by 52Teas, since I can’t just reorder that whenever I need a restock. My Hawaiian Earl Grey from Tealyra had already gone the way of bad coconut, and then I discovered that my Earl Grey Bella Luna from Adagio had also gone bad. I had a harder time telling with that one because the bergamot was so strong in it, but it had a sour note that kept making me suspicious, so I carefully pulled several slivers out, ate them separately, and… yup. As soon as I realized I removed my review yesterday and trashed the bag. I would never judge a tea based on a soured ingredient. And then I hastily made a cup of this to take to work at the last second after dumping the other cup.
I remember I bought this because my local grocery had it and Roswell liked it so much; they’ve stopped carrying it since and now they only carry Lemon Loaf (and I’m okay with that, since Lemon Loaf is my favorite, I’m sure it was selling way more than the others and they made a decision based on shelf space). This certainly isn’t a bad black tea, it just doesn’t taste particularly strong in butterscotch notes to me; I get a bit of a vanilla note, and a hint of caramel, but it doesn’t read as butterscotch per say, and I think that’s because the strongest flavor is a warm, roasty chicory, with a touch of a cinnamon undertone; it’s pleasant, but rounds it out in a way that doesn’t exactly make me think of a Blondie dessert in any sort of way. So it’s a pleasant bagged black tea, and I like the flavor I’m getting from it, I just don’t particularly think it is emulating what is listed on the box, at least not to my palate.
I only have a few teabags left and am going to finish this one off soon, and admit I’m going to miss this one. I don’t have many bagged black teas I can just pick up at the store that I really enjoy, at least not as much as this one.
Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Nutty, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla
I steeped this tea for 3 minutes with boiling water and the end result was a rather bland tea (as expected), but a little bit of sugar made it an acceptable tea for in the evening whenever other options are not available and you want to stick with a decaf option. Do not over steep this tea as with most green teas I’ve experienced, it tends to go from flavorless to bitter pretty fast.
I’m going to make a second cup using the same bag but at a lower temperature and see if it brings out more flavor, though I do not expect it to…
Okay, so I made a second cup of tea, this time at 185 degrees for 3 minutes. It was very weak, but given it is green tea and on the second steep I just steeped it for 30 seconds more. It was just enough and did not get bitter. A bit more sugar and it, I think, is even better than the first steep. This is definitely a tea to pay attention to the temperature suggestions and steep times.
Flavors: Flowers, Grass, Herbs, Jasmine
Tazo has become my go-to brand for bagged tea and this one didn’t let me down! I don’t usually like herbal blends that contain chamomile, but I don’t taste it all in this blend. Instead, it has a delightfully natural-tasting lemon flavor with hints of vanilla. A lovely bedtime treat!
Flavors: Lemon, Vanilla
Tazo is pretty much the only bagged tea I buy anymore. I only drink loose leaf at home, but it’s nice to have a few tea bags in my purse in case I find myself someplace that has hot water but no good tea options available. This is the best bagged green tea I’ve tried! Very fresh, grassy flavor with no astringency or bitterness (as long as I don’t oversteep it, anyway). If anyone else is looking for a cheap bagged green tea that doesn’t taste like a cheap bagged green tea, check this one out!
Flavors: Grass, Smooth
I’m almost finished with all the teabags in my stash! The boxes take up a lot of space, so it feels good to get them out. Anyway, this tea is more pleasant than its rating would lead you to believe. It’s essentially what you’d think of when you think English breakfast tea. It’s malty and lighter than some (though I also brewed it at a low temperature for a short amount of time). I wouldn’t seek this out, but it’s not a bad time.
This is my Favorite chocolate mint tea. I was so sad when it was discontinued. Fortunately, the Ikea chocolate mint tea hits the flavor notes, but does not have mate. Rose Mountain Herbals has a chocolate mint mate that is bland, but hits the mate energy needs. So I blend a little of each for a lovely dupe!
I really like this one.
It reminds me of Sleepytime tea.
The sarsaparilla and spearmint take some of the dullness out of plain chamomile, and I get notes of vanilla bean, too.
I know it’s got a bedtime tea reputation, but I drink chamomile throughout the day sometimes, just because I like it.
Flavors: Floral, Sarsaparilla, Spearmint, Vanilla
This herbal tea is pretty great. The vanilla really sells the cakey lemon loaf flavour. I can taste a lot of fresh lemon but it isn’t overly acidic or sour (and none of that bitter dried lemon rind nonsense). This makes a great hot tea with milk but I’ve just finished a coldbrewed cup and I enjoy it iced/cold as well.
I nipped this from the hotel room I stayed in last weekend, since I actually haven’t tried this one before (and left the chamomile for Todd, since I knew I wouldn’t like that, heh… he at least appreciates chamomile!) I’m not sure how long I steeped this since I just let my teabag steep while I was making some PB & honey toast for breakfast… I normally let CTC black teas go about two minutes but this may have gone a little longer and thus be a little stronger than my preferences. We’ll see.
The cup is dark with a malty aroma, with a slight burnt sugar aroma. The flavor is definitely on the stronger side of English Breakfast blends I’ve tried, and again, I’m not sure if that’s due to a longer steep or the particular blend of mystery “black teas” they are using. There is at least some medium astringency after the sip, but it isn’t too biting… or maybe my palate is just starting to adapt to these sorts of black blends more. I get a strong malty note, with a more subtle presense of leather, autumn leaves, and just a hint of citrus left on the back of my tongue in the aftertaste.
It’s not a bad EB, but not one of the favorites I’ve tried; if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say there is either no Chinese blacks in this blend, or a very low ratio, and most of the ones that end up being my preference have a good showing of Chinese black tea leaf in the blend. They just appeal to my palate more. This is just a bit more sharp/astringent than is my typical preference. But I am drinking it with some sickeningly-sweet peanut butter-honey toast, so it at least accompanies my breakfast choice well.
Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Citrus, Leather, Malt, Tannic
Found a box of this at the store for $1.50, so I decided to buy some. It’s fairly similar to the other licorice spice teas I have. The main flavor is sweet licorice, and there’s a hint of some spices. I like teas like this, but they’re nothing special. They don’t require extra sweetener, and they’re reliable.
I started drinking this to curb the sadness wrought by cutting coffee out of my life several years ago, and while it may not be genius by some standards, it holds a special place in my heart as being a gateway tea to the broader landscape.
It’s bright, creamy, and lush. It smells sweet, like a warm pan of—you guessed it—glazed lemon loaf. It mimics the real thing pretty impressively close, and I suspect this would only increase with the addition of milk and sugar. It’s smooth inoffensive, and an easy drink; not overly acidic or sharp. I try to be economical, but double up tea bags on this because I honestly love it that much.
I’ve demolished many boxes of this stuff, and while it’s not always in my stash, it is my go-to when I’m sick or want something warm and sunny, but caffeine-free.
Flavors: Floral, Lemon, Sugar, Vanilla
I won’t rate this one since it appears to be quite old. I got it from either a swap or the tea box, so thanks to the person who included it! Hmm yeah this tastes like a very old green tea. The ginger comes in faintly at the end of the sip. Before that, it just tastes like strong, old tea. Honestly, I could probably drink this whole cup, but it’s not worth the caffeine. I’m sure when it was fresh, it was better (but it gets pretty terrible reviews, so maybe not too much better). I prefer a strong ginger, so it doesn’t sound like it would be my thing anyway. Oh well, I’ll make myself a cup of something else.
I didn’t love this one the first time I tried it, but this time I find it much more pleasant. The main flavors are a light butterscotch and some sweetness. It’s a bit weak compared to what I expected, but I find it pleasant. Out of the Tazo dessert flavors, I definitely prefer the lemon flavor, and the other two I find decent, but I wouldn’t seek them out again.
I did pretty bad work yesterday; so something to calm my nerves a bit I guess. More over I am so sleepy that I don´t know if I can finish this mug.
Anyway, apparently another chamomile blend. Maybe in the end I will like it. Spearmint, blackberrry leaves, peppermint. That sounds good. Had to google what is safflower. Probably something for colour. Lemon balm – nice!
The brew is orange-brown. Kinda clear with bit of dust on bottom. In aroma it is herbs (no surprise)
In taste, it is quite good, I can think about anything distinctive though. Quite sweet. It is not bad, but makes me sleepy. It is probably quite working.