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Recent Tasting Notes
It was another wonderful Christmas at my house, the day when we Christians celebrate the most precious gift of the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior. In addition to this miraculous gift, I also received some other cool presents this year. One of the great ones was a box of Tazo Joy tea from a dear friend of ours.
I don’t drink a lot of bagged tea anymore as I prefer the bolder and more complex flavors that more consistently occur in loose leaf tea. However, there are some bagged teas that are exceptional. I believe Tazo often falls into that category.
First of all, you know Tazo makes “classy” products because their teas are enclosed in “sachets” rather than “bags.” All kidding aside, they do use a silky woven material for their bags…uh…harrumph…sachets, instead of paper. One of my complaints with bagged tea is that you can occasionally taste the paper bag. The Tazo sachet material seems to be tasteless and odorless which allows the tea to sink or swim on its own merit (or lack thereof).
One interesting NOTE: When I was researching this tea on the Internet, I found what must have been an image of older packaging for this tea. At that time, the box said the tea was contained in “filterbags.” I guess “sachets” does sound more sophisticated. :-)
The Tazo Joy sachet contained long black full leaves, as advertised. Other tea bags that I’ve tried contained leaves/by-products that were pulverized to a dry powder. I haven’t found that method optimal for producing superior flavor. The Tazo sachet also had an enticing fruity aroma.
I steeped the sachet for five minutes in eight ounces of boiling water as recommended on the box. The resultant color was a goldish orange. The brewed smell was slightly sweet and fruity.
The taste of this tea was quite decent. The flavor was fruity, mildly sweet, smooth, and lower-end-of-medium-strength. There was absolutely no astringency. There really was no aftertaste either.
The package revealed that the fruity flavor came from peaches. My palate wasn’t sensitive enough to discern the specific fruit’s classification but I was able to identify the flavor as a resident in that family.
All in all, this is a nice tea that I will be happy to drink on those days when, for whatever reason, I don’t have time (or the inclination) to set up the Breville tea maker for a pot of loose leaf tea. Also, I would definitely choose this blend over some of the nasty tea-like substances produced by certain office tea pod machines.
Found this at TJ Maxx. I used to work at Starbucks and thought I knew all of the Tazo teas, but apparently not! I’d never heard of this one before. It’s kind of weird, but it’s a weird that I like. It’s green tea with rose and cherry flavors. (Ingredients: green tea, rose petals, rose hips, natural flavor, blackberry leaves) The rose is much more pronounced than the cherry, for sure. I don’t see myself finishing this tin, so if anyone wants a couple sachets, let me know!
Flavors: Cherry, Floral, Green, Rose
Second of the two earl greys I’m comparing today. This one I’m sure I’ve had before in my Starbucks days, I just hadn’t drank it since I joined Steepster I suppose. It’s very similar to Teavana’s earl grey tea, which replaced the Tazo version once SBUX bought Teavana and merged their product.
It’s too astrignent for me. I only steeped it for about a minute and already it’s rather bitter and drying, with a heavy hand of bergamont. It came in a teabag of a pale green colour – wasn’t sure what to make of this. Recycled paper? Old? Expiry date said July 2017 so it must have been just the type of paper they used.
Overall, I much preferred the Twinings Earl Grey I had this morning. It was definitely a lot smoother, not bitter or astringent, and had a more varied flavour profile with the citrus, lemon, and bergamont notes.
This was the hotel tea when I was traveling a few days ago. It tastes just like fresh snow peas. Sweet, with a little crispness in it, and not too light.
I have lots of Chinese green tea in the house, and my family is from a green-tea-loving region, so I’m sometimes a little skeptical of Chinese green teas that are mass produced and easily found in a US grocery store. That said, this is pretty good, nicely refreshing, and not finicky to brew either.
Been a few Christmases since I’ve had this. Its description now reads:
A jubilant blend of black tea, oolong, jasmine green tea & hints of peach.
Memory may be failing (my family would instantly confirm that), but when this was first released, I recall it being primarily green/black without the more delicate peachy, oolong-y highlights. Still a good sip, just a different one.
Next in line from mom’s tea cabinet. I’ve had this one before, it’s a decent, solid green tea blend. I’m normally not a huge fan of blends, but this one is OK. Hints of grass and wet straw almost overwhelm the green tea flavor, but it’s still a good mix. Nice and tasty.
And, as the name intends, it is certainly quite soothing. Zen indeed.
This is my option for bagged chai at work.
My favorite element of chai is cardamom, but this tea is heavy on anise instead. These spices, for me, are best in a coffee or milk blended chai and not in a standalone tea. Still, it beats Stash and other bagged chais I have had.
Flavors: Anise, Ginger, Licorice
Last Saturday, my MiL asked me to help clean out her tea shelf and take anything I wanted. One of the items in there was this tea. Now I know for a fact that this container is at least 5 years old, maybe even older. Actually I believe I’m the one who initially opened it.
Given its age, I have not has very high expectations. And brewing up a cup, the tea is pretty much dead. There is no flavor there, though the spices are still strong. And, nice bit here, no clove that I can detect, though it is on the ingredient list.
I’m going to try mixing this a nothing special black and see if it helps.
Not rating as its not right to do so with tea this old.
Not a fan. :/
Smells like a fruity oatmeal, which is lovely, but tastes like a watered down apple cider. However, you can definitely taste the cloves afterwards, which is nice.
If you’re looking for something with a strong kick of cinnamon, you will want to keep looking.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Cloves, Fruity, Oats
I drink a lot of green tea, and a lot of ginger tea, but this combo didn’t do it for me — I think because of the “hint of pear.” I don’t really like pear, and somehow despite having mostly “bitter” ingredients, this came out tasting too sweet for me. It wasn’t horrible, but not something I’d be interested in drinking again.
This tea tastes like a peach cobbler, except with a lot of cinnamon. Basically drowning in cinnamon. If you’re the sort of person who loves oodles of chai flavoring, with maybe some fruity peach/apple thrown in, this is for you.
If you’re the sort of person who wants a straight fruity tea without spices, here’s what I want you to do:
1. Procure a Zamboni.
2. Hitch a gazebo to the back of the Zamboni.
3. Hire a driver named Jeeves.
4. Find a road where there is no police presence.
5. Have Jeeves start up the Zamboni while you lie in repose in the gazebo.
6. Ride off into the sunset, far far away from this tea.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Peach
Given the choice between a cup of coffee and a cup of Tazo Earl GrEy, I would choose the Tazo any day. Our local Target store had a killer sale on Tazo teas recently, and the penny pincher in my promptly loaded the cart with 4 boxes of Tazo Earl Grey. My husband drinks Earl Grey all day long, like I do, and we go through a LOT of tea! He prefers tea bags to loose, as well, and he seems to think it all tastes good. Tazo’s version is good. Not great, but good. Upon opening the sleeve of tea, you are met with a poof of lovely bergamot scent. A nice “lift” to awaken the senses. Brewing time must be carefully monitored, as I have found that it can get bitter if over-steeped. Four minutes is my max, but I prefer about 3 minutes 30 seconds. I’ve found the bergamot flavor to be a bit artificial, but not nearly as much as the Teavana’s shameful Earl Grey loose tea! All in all, I’d happily choose a Tazo Earl when out and about, in the absence of other options when I’m at home with my precious tea cupboard. They do a nice job for a mass-produced Earl.
Flavors: Artificial, Bergamot
Having no strainer around, I decided to go for the bagged stuff and drank this “Zen” blend.
Unsurprisingly this is a sad, bland cuppa. It is indeed “zen” as one will not experience any strong reaction to this tea but rather be soothed by the taste of verbena.
People in other houses always have what I feel to be weird tea selections, and then seem confused by them.
I asked my aunt what non-caffeinated tea she had, and she dug out this and some lemon zinger, shrugging at me. “I guess this is it,” she said.
It’s… your… house? Don’t you have your tea cupboard of three teas memorized?
It’s possible she just keeps it on hand for guests. This is how I am about coffee (I keep some Folgers and a cheap-ass coffee pot on hand), so I get it. Maybe she’s not a tea person.
Anyway, this was a really nice tea. It tasted a lot like Sleepytime Tea. Chamomile was the leader of the party, with some nice flowers, too.
It might have helped me fall asleep, except the house had no air conditioning and my dog was allowed to share a bed with me. He kept huffing around, wiggling, and shuffling. Oh, and he hogged the bottom of the bed. Somehow. He’s 30 pounds. Between his relentless, shifty bed-hoggery and sweat oozing from my skin, I got maybe four hours of sleep.
BUT SO CUTE:
I’m willing to forgive.