62 Tasting Notes


The aroma of this tea is nice but the flavor of the tea is weak at a 5 minute steep so I opted to steep it for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, and after squeezing the tea bag to extract even more flavor, the flavor was still watery and weak. I opted to add another tea bag to 8 ounces of water just to extract some more flavor out of this tea. The only flavor I picked up on was the tea flavor and some aftertaste of ginger. Not one flavor came through strong enough to be appealing to recommend or buy again. It was a bad enough brew that I opted to dump it and make myself another flavor of tea.

I love lots of Trader Joe’s products, but it seems their teas are not up to par in quality in what I’ve come to expect out of them. Fortunately their return policy is quite generous so there’s no risk to give a tea flavor that appears tempting a try. Unfortunately, its usually a return.

Flavors: Ginger, Herbs, Pear

190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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If you aren’t careful this pleasantly tasting tea can turn bitter and undrinkable.

I was able to make 2 cups of tea for each tea bag. If you don’t steep it too much, I stuck closer to 3 minutes with boiling water, you’ll avoid the bitter aftertaste, but just a little over and you’ll end up with an almost undrinkable tea.

It’s an okay budget tea less the occasions I over steeped it, but I have to agree with a previous reviewer who said they’re just going to avoid Trader Joe’s teas. It’s not one of their better offerings regardless of flavor.

Flavors: Bitter, Herbs, Spices

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I’m not sure who this tea would appeal to as I didn’t make it past a couple sips before dumping it.

Where do I even start?

I’m overwhelmed by the ginger and while I taste the maple it doesn’t balance the ginger out. There’s supposed to be a balance of spicy and sweet and all I got was no and no.

The flavors don’t taste as I want or expect. Yes, I taste ginger. Yes, I taste maple. Yes, they taste the way they should but, yet, they don’t if that makes sense? There’s something off, though I can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps it’s an imitation flavoring that is doing me in with this, but whatever it is it was enough of an off-putting taste that I opted to dump the remainder to tea. That is something I’ve only done once before out of thousands of cups of tea (with gunpowder tea).

This tea is leaving my house ASAP via the garbage.

Flavors: Ginger, Maple Syrup

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Initially this was not a favorite tea for me. It came through with very weak tasting notes and, accidentally, out of boredom I began to dunk the tea bag which infused a lot more of the flavor into the tea.

I pick up on the cinnamon and black tea as it steeps. Flavor wise the cinnamon rules the show. The ginger is barely noticeable, a good thing for me, as I’m not a fan of ginger.

Trader Joe’s tends to be hit/miss tea for me with their tea offerings. Yes, I prefer loose leaf tea, but some nights (or mornings) I’m lazy and don’t want to put forth more effort than warming my kettle and using a tea bag.

I brought my water to a rolling boil and did not bother to remove the tea bag as the flavor never got bitter or strong enough to call for it. In fact, I was up to 3 tea bags (from prior steeps) before I emptied my cup and started over (on my 4th steep now).

I haven’t found it necessary to add any sugar or milk, but I did add some milk on this most recent brew just to see what I thought and I found it to be decent but unnecessary.

If I didn’t accidentally dunk the tea bag this tea would have gotten a much lower rating. Mixing the tea around saved it and it will, likely, make its way into my tea rotations this holiday season.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Spices, Tea

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Hot Tea Review:

The aroma I pick up is a nice divide between the tea and mango. I allowed the tea to steep for 5 minutes at 200 degrees. The tea smells lovely and I hope the flavor carries through as I await the steep to complete.

The fruit flavor is lost under the black tea. The black tea tastes strong enough that it’s got a bit of a bitter aftertaste after a 5 minute steep. I’d probably do a 4 minute steep in the future. In order to draw out the mango flavor, I needed to added some sweeteners, which I prefer to not have to do.

Not an undrinkable tea, but not one I’m not finding a desire to drink again.

I have a cold brew steeping currently and will update my review tomorrow.

Update: Cold brew was uninspiring thus not giving any boost to this rating. If anything I’d consider lowering the rating a bit.

Flavors: Fruity, Mango, Sweet, Tea

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Hibiscus Berry by Runa
62 tasting notes

I don’t know why I went through almost the entire canister of this tea without it really standing out to me. Aroma-wise, I find it to have a nice floral aroma with a fruity undertone. Definitely starting off like my style of tea.

As I’m down to the last four infusers (sachets) of it, I decided to use two to make a single serving cold brew and two to make two cups of warm tea.

Hot Tea Review:

I steeped this tea for 7 minutes at 190 degrees and I really enjoyed the flavor. The taste was tart and sweet, leaning more towards the tart side.

One of the things I really liked about the hot steep of this tea is how there was a duality of flavor. It was tart then sweet and fruity then floral (which was reversed from the aroma I picked up on). That was the most enjoyable part of this brew, for me.

Cold Tea Review:

I used two sachets for the cup and was disappointed by the flavor. It did not live up to its hot tea brew. I didn’t catch the variety of flavors. Instead, it fell sort of flat. It wasn’t horrible, but it was very plain. I ended up adding some sweetener and lemon to add a bit of sweetness to it.

Either way, I’m happy to have re-happened across this little gem in my cupboard while working my way through my stockpile. While I have some teas of this variety that I like more, it’s always nice to have a back-up or alternative whenever the others are unavailable or become mundane. If I do buy it again I’ll stick to serving it warm.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity

190 °F / 87 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I often say that Celestial Seasonings rarely surprises me. This is one time they have! I love their Sugar Plum Spice Tea!

I’ve tried this tea both as a hot brew and cold brew and can say that I prefer this tea warmed. It draws out the flavors in a more complimentary way whereas a cold brew makes it sweet, but in an unpleasant way. It’s like sipping on cold sweetened cinnamon water. Not festive or refreshing!

As a hot brew, though, I thoroughly enjoy this tea! I tend to steep this tea at 190 degrees for 5 minutes but am, often, lazy about removing the bag from the cup as I like the continued flavorings the tea imparts so some steeps have gone on for 15-20 minutes. Sometimes it will develop a bit of a tart aftertaste, which I enjoy, but it never makes for an undrinkable cup. I’ve been known to make a new brew with a new bag without removing the prior bag. Sometimes my brew can have upwards of three tea bags in a cup from me not removing the prior brew’s bag. When I notice the brew getting too tart I discard the bags and start the process again. If not obvious, I tend to drink several cups of this tea when I do make it.

Another quality about this tea I enjoy is that it is sweet enough that it doesn’t require me to add sweeteners or milk. On a few occasions I’ll add a bit of sweetener whenever my piled up tea bags create a more tart than sweet taste. Fortunately, this tea is very forgiving so removing the tea bags and adding a little sweetener easily remedies the tart flavor.

Finally, I really enjoy the scents of the tea, too. The fruit scent with hints of cinnamon and hibiscus I pick up on, but, thankfully, the ginger is not. I think the cinnamon could be masking the smell for me, which is good as I tend to not like teas with a ginger flavor or aroma.

Again, this is by far one of my favorite Celestial Seasoning offerings and one that will be a frequent visitor in my tea cupboard.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Fruity, Plums, Sugar, Sweet, Tart

190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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While I am not traditionally a fan of ginger teas, I am a big fan of orange flavor and having never tried an orange tea before decided to give it a go anyway.

Hot Tea Review:

Initially steeped the bag for 3 1/2 minutes at 190 degrees and then 5 minutes, but felt both times produced a weak flavored tea so I put the bag back in the water for another 5 minutes. The final tea was steeped for 10 minutes at 190 degrees.

As it steeped the tea produced a nice orange and ginger aroma. I found myself catching whiffs of the orange as the tea sat next to me, but, sadly, that aroma doesn’t carry through in flavor unless you add sweeteners. The sweetener helped considerably to draw out the orange flavor. I’m not a fan of ginger so I was thankful that it was not overpowering the tea.

I found this tea to produce a weak flavor as a hot brew, but I bought this primarily to try as a cold brew, so I’m not terribly disappointed by this.

Cold Tea Review:

sigh Well, I had really hoped that this tea would shine as a cold brew. While I am not a fan of ginger teas, as a hot tea the ginger didn’t overpower the tea so I was hopeful that this would translate in the same manner as a cold brew. Sadly, it did not.

The ginger was just too much and the orange just not enough. All-in-all this tea was a bust for me and one I’m unlikely to buy again.

Flavors: Ginger, Orange, Tart

190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Mint is not one of my favorite flavors of tea, but this one isn’t too bad. The tea bag gave off a nice strong spearmint aroma, but the tea’s flavor ended up being a subtle mint.

Unfortunately mint teas are either too strong or too subtle for my palate rarely leaving a middle ground for me to enjoy.

I’ve been steeping this tea with a chocolate tea that I wasn’t a big fan of, either, creating a sort of chocolate mint. With a splash of milk and sugar the combination provides a nice sort of dessert-like tea.

If one is craving a strong mint tea this one may mislead you in what to expect for flavor, but I do prefer the (spearmint) flavor of this tea compared to Celestial Seasonings peppermint tea.

If I based my review solely on using this tea as part of a combination brew (like my chocolate mint) I would rate it a 50.

Flavors: Mint, Spearmint

190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Not a tea I’d ever try as a cold brew (even the thought as one seems off-putting). However, as a hot tea, this is, hands down, one of my favorites, and, as a bonus, the cost is low so it makes buying it a guilt free pleasure. This is a tea you will always find on-hand at my house.

The tea has a strong black licorice aroma that, usually, carries through in flavor. I say usually because every now and then I get a bag where the flavor doesn’t match the aroma. It’s the only flaw I have found, thus far, with this tea.

I rarely find the need to enhance the tea’s flavor with sugar or milk. Once I added milk to see how it affected the tea and disliked it so much that I have never added it since. Whenever I happen across a weak bag I will add a bit of sugar or a piece of licorice root to draw out the flavor.

This is a tea I recommend to anyone that likes black licorice.

Flavors: Licorice

190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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