82 Tasting Notes
I gave this one another shot, steeped for about half as long as I steeped it last time. The hibiscus flavour still smashed its way through the orange and bergamot, but it was more balanced this time around. Enjoyable astringency, very little black tea flavour.
I boosted my rating from a 40 to 45. Still wouldn’t recommend — I just don’t pick up on the citrusy blood orange vibe! Maybe I’ll try it iced with some sweetener next.
This tea has been sitting in my cupboard for way too long (the package said it was scooped in 2019) and there was enough for one more big mug left. I like the idea of an “everyday” green — something approachable, easy to drink, and difficult to mess up. I do think that this tea fits that bill — it’s an easy-to-drink Chinese tea with strong vegetal notes — think more edamame than seaweed though. It has an underlying nuttiness that, in my opinion, makes it a likeable “everyday” tea. It’s just interesting enough for beginner loose straight tea drinkers, as it’s definitely a step up from any grocery store green bagged tea. However, this would probably lack the complexity that a seasoned straight tea drinker would like in a green tea. I definitely prefer my Dragonwell, but this is very good too.
Flavors: Green Beans, Nutty, Vegetal
I was so excited to try this! The dry leaf smells like an extra-citrusy Earl Grey, and the idea of an Earl Grey with a blood orange flavour really appealed to me.
HOWEVER. Once this is brewed, this tastes like black tea, a little orange, and a lot of hibiscus. The hibiscus really takes over and dominates any bergamot flavours that this tea might have had. I know I don’t like hibiscus — I should’ve read the ingredients. This one is on me.
Reading the other reviews, it looks like people had more luck with a shorter brewing time. I’ll try that.
Flavors: Astringent, Hibiscus, Orange
My last experience with this tea was very underwhelming, so I decided to brew it up extra strong, for extra long, and top with some hot soy milk. Not a bad tea latte, but the cinnamon hearts flavour really takes over and reminds me of warm Fireball… not good or calming if you’ve ever overindulged like I have. I definitely won’t be repurchasing, and honestly I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone looking for a chai. If you’re looking for a cinnamon-flavoured black tea, maybe.
It’s that time of year again!
I love buying some Santa’s Secret every year as a Christmas tradition. Super mellow blend that’s easy to sip on. I find this tea has very low astringency, so oversteeping isn’t a problem.
A mellow base of black tea is blended with vanilla, sprinkles, and mint leaves, reminding me of the candy cane shortbread cookies my mom used to make over Christmas. I strongly prefer Santa’s Secret to Candy Cane Crush — similar vibes, but in my opinion, Candy Cane Crush almost ceases to be tea with all of the sugar and candies that are in it. I like to have the option of drinking my tea relatively sugar-free, and Candy Cane Crush kind of takes that away.
Flavors: Peppermint, Sugar, Vanilla
This is a solidly decent bagged chai tea for under $5. Nicely balanced spices — you can taste the cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and black pepper in turn. Definitely the winner of my grocery store tea expedition so far.
Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Licorice, Spicy
I wanted to check out some “grocery store” teas to see what I had been missing — was spending all the money on full leaf loose tea worth it?
The answer was a resounding yes. This was a disappointing cup. Pretty watery, not super flavourful, with the predominant note being a strong “cinnamon heart” flavour. I hate cinnamon. I’ll try it 4x as strong as a tea latte next.
Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon
I’ve bought 100 g of Pumpkin Chai every fall for the last six-ish years. It’s never lasted me past November. I love this tea — it doesn’t oversteep too easily, it is sweet without being cloying, and the spiciness is more of a gingerbread cookie spice than a masala chai spice. I’m sure there’s more flavourful and interesting iterations of pumpkin chai tea out there, this one just works for me.
Flavors: Pumpkin Spice, Sugar
My tin of this is super old but I really do love this tea. It’s gently grassy with really beautiful notes of sweet hay and honey. There’s a light astringency that tickles the throat, but it’s a very delicate and inoffensive cup. The perfect morning green tea.
Bought from T&T supermarket, you can get 400 g of this tea for under $10 CAD (if I’m remembering correctly!) This genmaicha is a bit more umami than the Genmaicha and Matcha Genmaicha that I’ve tried from DAVIDsTEA, but it’s really delicious when steeped for 3 minutes in 180ºF water. When following those steeping parameters, the roasted rice notes are definitely prominent, but are perfectly complemented by the rather vegetal green tea. For me, genmaichas are not typically a tea I’d bother shelling out for, as the roasted rice notes tend to mask any of the astringent or vegetal qualities that can come from cheap green tea.
Flavors: Grain, Grass, Rice, Vegetal