I approach decaf teas warily, after reading so many less than stellar reviews here of both black and green decafs. Sometimes I don’t want the caffeine though, so besides having a stash of rooibos on the side for such occasions, I’m also on the lookout for a green or black decaf that can win me over. I picked up this bag as a sample recently, so it’s time to give it a try.

The scent from this bag is moderately strong, and features a little bit more lemon than ginger. As it steeps I can see the quite small chunks of ginger floating around with the other ingredients in the bag, but am still getting only a light scent from the cup. In three minutes I’ve got a medium-hued yellow-green liquor. One sip tells me to put the bag back in for another minute, as there’s not a whole lot of flavor there yet.

I’m taking it out after four minutes to avoid bitterness from the green tea. I can’t call this one a super successful blend for my taste – I can get the lemongrass and a light background wash of ginger, along with just a bit of astringency from the green tea, but it’s not really working well together for me. It’s just a tad too medicinal tasting and does not offer the kind of rich flavor I’m looking for.

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Grandma introduced me to tea as a kid (lipton with milk and sugar; a bit poured into the saucer to cool it down and then sipped from there), and I’ve never looked back. Still have a slight preference for teas that go well with milk (or even better, cream) and sugar, but since Grandma’s day I’ve branched out to appreciate green and white teas, rooibos and pu erh. Absolutely love Mariage Freres!


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