1983 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.
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.
This is fast turning into a favorite. Quick and easy decaf that doesn’t taste watery or chemically, and a kitten-teeth size bite that makes it clear you’re still drinking tea.
Rabbit chasing: was watching a Call the Midwife rerun yesterday—I just love Sister Monica Joan and her rabid, unfulfilled sweet tooth. As she welcomed a new nurse, she said resignedly, “Were it up to me, I would offer you China or India tea—alas, we have nothing but Ty-phoo.” (This may be a fans-only chuckle, but I sure did.)
(ashmanra, let me know if I’ve got the company info wrong :)
The downside for those of us who love heavy builders’ teas in the morning is that sometimes your mouth feels like it’s lined with Kleenex after you drink them. First thing I said to myself upon sampling this one was, “Hey, this makes me not thirsty!” The juiciness makes me wonder if there’s a good bit of Darjeeling in the mix. Tea description on the Joffrey’s website doesn’t give much away.
Flavor-wise, it’s smooth, sweet and toasty and yeah, I’m getting the “hints of caramel” mentioned in the product info as well. Nice.
My memory of this type of cookie goes back before GS adopted them: at the time, they were Sunshine Yum Yums, they were rectangular without a hole, and I would scarf a box at a time while recovering from various angsty junior-high romantic breakups and listening to Dan Fogelberg. Hey, don’t laugh. You were fifteen once.
So…this gets a plus simply for nostalgia. As far as flavor goes, I’m still thinking about it. The presence of coconut and caramel is definitely there, but there was a hint of something a little chemically-tasting as well. Of course, I’d just brushed my teeth…this may not be one to imbibe first thing in the a.m.
We’ll give it another whirl with some milk and see what happens. I want it to be really, really good :)
Clever, clever marketing: Bigelow has (as best I can tell) repackaged their Peppermint Bark herbal tea—which is mildly chocolate, briskly mint, and generally pleasant—with a Girl Scout cookie wrapper and set it back on the shelves for another season. Hey, it worked—box caught my eye and was in my hand until I read the ingredient list and realized I had plenty of the same stuff at home.
Another review of this calls it “The king of bagged decaf black tea." Not sure about king, but I’d certainly dub it an Earl. Maybe a Viscount. (Isn’t that what Edith’s Downton Abbey sweetie is?) After a five minute steep, it was dark like a good morning builders’ tea…with a recognizable bit of sharp builders’ tea flavor. Well done, Ty-phoo!