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Recent Tasting Notes
First cup of tea this morning, enjoyed on my way to work out of a classic red white and blue enamel mug.
This a medium-bodied, straightforward tea. It’s rare that I would add sweetener to a tea but this one begs for it, being named after a baked dessert treat. Looking forward to trying it with a kiss of sugar as I work my way through the box.
Notes are light fruit on the nose, a pleasant sweetness, and if you think hard about it a little bit of shortening which seems like pie crust. The body is pure black tea, as expected. There is some tannin on the finish which lingers, alongside the persistent fruit.
It’s a pleasant tea, not overdone. I would drink it again (and will since I got a box for free!)
Flavors: Cinnamon, Fruity, Pastries, Peach, Tannin
Tazo! What the devil! If they ever reformulate this to omit or substantially reduce the citric acid, we’ll talk again, but for now I’ve got to condemn this. What a baffling choice to include that stuff. There’s hints of genuine sweet and bitter citrus notes, and this smells like orange zest, but it tastes like someone found a way to re-purpose the sour ‘sand’ that inevitably falls off of sour fruit gummies and collects in the corners of the bags.
Flavors: Bitter, Orange Zest, Sour
This was my morning cup and it was a nice one. I am partial to green tea and I like that this one is light and not bitter. I HATE bitterness in tea and in some teas you just can’t get away from it so it’s a relief when I don’t have to deal with that kind of drama. Haha
The ginger is balanced with the green tea and it has a little hit of pear in the mix which I was nervous about but I actually enjoy it. All in all, a good, balanced, refreshing cup of tea to start my day off right!
Flavors: Ginger, Green, Pear
This is really good!
I first tried 1 bag in 6oz, steeped for about 5 minutes.
It smelled EXACTLY like lemon cake-and tasted good, but not really cake like. Just smelling the nearby teabag made me SO HUNGRY though…and a rumbly belly isn’t the best when it’s bedtime. It was also good with a little honey, but again not quite cake.
Tonight I tried two bags in 8oz, also steeped for 5 minutes. Same yummy smell-added 1/2 tsp of sugar and was honestly surprised by how cake like it suddenly tasted! Like, exactly like lemon cake! I then added a tiny bit of milk, but I’d skip it next time since it took a bit of the flavor down. Some benefiber, however, seemed to help it feel more satisfying, adding to the “cake” effect (without changing the flavor or texture) so I was left actually relaxed & not hungry like last time.
And now I’m super sleepy. Long day, nummy drink. I think I’m gonna go to bed early.
Flavors: Butter, Cake, Citrusy, Creamy, Lemon, Pastries, Sugar, Sweet, Tangy
Apparently I have a full box of this and not just a sample? I really need to make a spreadsheet!
Anyway, this is a green tea with lemon verbena that leans far more lemon than green. It isn’t a tart lemon, mind you. It’s a nice, pleasant lemongrass flavor. You can taste a little bit of the green; there’s a note of warm hay there that I like. I feel like a broken record here by saying it’s good for bagged, but that’s what I keep having to say. There are far nicer green teas out there with much more complex profiles. But if you are first waking up and need a quick pick-me-up, this works.
Flavors: Hay, Lemongrass
Well, My order from staples arrived today. If you are wondering why I ordered from Staples of all places, it’s because I wanted to place a tea order to try some new Earl Greys, however, my cash wallet was empty for the month. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out how this got paid for.
Anway, box arrived while I was sleeping, and when I woke up, it was waiting for me on my kitchen chair. I love my mom. However, being that I just woke up, and would like to get some stuff done, it was time to try the “Awake English Breakfast” from the Tazo variety pack
Enough about me, ON TO THE TEA.
Now, I should probably begin by saying that I tried to be as scientific about this as possible, regarding the brewing instructions on the package. I wanted to try it their way first. So water was from Keurig (somewhere around 210F), 5min/8oz/one bag.
I want to begin, while it’s cooling, to say that it was very odd that this didn’t seem to want to steep right? I stuck the bag in the tea… and nothing happened. Nothing happened for three minutes; the water remained clear. I then dunked the teabag a bit, and POOF the tea appeared. Not sure if this is a common trait among this type of tea or this brand of tea, but I wanted to include it here.
The flavor is… not bad. Actually, not bad at all. Not good mind you, this will never beat anything loose-leaf, and especially not my tippy Yunnans. But for a CTC black, it’s decent. I’ve had worse. I’m getting strong tannins, and a large hit of astringency. There are also notes of wet leaves, leather, and possibly raisin? It’s that same bitey/sharp note I always have trouble identifying in tea. It is a little bitter, but as an English breakfast, I think that’s to be expected. However, you guys all know my sweet-tooth, and I didn’t require sweetener.
All and all, what do I think? Well, as I said. It ain’t great. But it’s decent. Actually, I’d put this slightly above average, when in comparison to other bagged English Breakfast teas. Not that I’ve had a bunch, but it’s better than the others I’ve tried. Never gonna beat a loose-leaf, but if you need something quick and easy, give it a shot.
C- overall, B for it’s kind.
Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bitter, Leather, Raisins, Tannin
I swear I threw a bag of Whittard’s Chelsea Garden in my purse last night before leaving for church, but it was no where to be found once I got there. I had resigned myself to drinking something awful from the church cabinet (I really need to mercy stock that thing) when the Bible study teacher pulled out a tea wallet and said, “Here! Choose from one of these!”
She loves black tea and was listing the contents (PG Tips, English Breakfasst, etc.) when she said, “Vanilla Caramel Chai? Where did that come from? I don’t even like chai, at all!” So I told her I would take that one to get it out of her wallet and to keep from depriving her of a tea she loves!
It wasn’t bad! The tea aspect was pretty weak but the flavors were pretty good. We had tiramisu as our snack and it went well enough with that. By the end of the mug, the licorice root was really noticeable, but I don’t mind licorice root in the right places and it didn’t bother me. I include that info for those who hate the stuff, because I know a lot of people do.
Thanks so much for this freebie, AJRimmer! I can’t say I’m a fan though. The combination of the chicory root, sarsparilla, licorice somehow really just makes it taste like…. dirt. I hate to say it, but dirt. And I notice ‘dirt’ is in the flavor notes for this tea from someone else, so I’m not the only one mentioning it. It also tastes like splenda to me, which again, could just be a combination of the other ingredients. Possibly there isn’t even splenda in the blend. But I do get hints of that lovely sugary cinnamon. It’s just very hidden under this trifecta of odd ingredients, it’s like an overwhelming flavor storm.
Yesterday I was trying to sip down one of the coconut Earl Greys I had in my collection that I had grabbed looking for a “dup” for my beloved “Foggy Coconut” by 52Teas, since I can’t just reorder that whenever I need a restock. My Hawaiian Earl Grey from Tealyra had already gone the way of bad coconut, and then I discovered that my Earl Grey Bella Luna from Adagio had also gone bad. I had a harder time telling with that one because the bergamot was so strong in it, but it had a sour note that kept making me suspicious, so I carefully pulled several slivers out, ate them separately, and… yup. As soon as I realized I removed my review yesterday and trashed the bag. I would never judge a tea based on a soured ingredient. And then I hastily made a cup of this to take to work at the last second after dumping the other cup.
I remember I bought this because my local grocery had it and Roswell liked it so much; they’ve stopped carrying it since and now they only carry Lemon Loaf (and I’m okay with that, since Lemon Loaf is my favorite, I’m sure it was selling way more than the others and they made a decision based on shelf space). This certainly isn’t a bad black tea, it just doesn’t taste particularly strong in butterscotch notes to me; I get a bit of a vanilla note, and a hint of caramel, but it doesn’t read as butterscotch per say, and I think that’s because the strongest flavor is a warm, roasty chicory, with a touch of a cinnamon undertone; it’s pleasant, but rounds it out in a way that doesn’t exactly make me think of a Blondie dessert in any sort of way. So it’s a pleasant bagged black tea, and I like the flavor I’m getting from it, I just don’t particularly think it is emulating what is listed on the box, at least not to my palate.
I only have a few teabags left and am going to finish this one off soon, and admit I’m going to miss this one. I don’t have many bagged black teas I can just pick up at the store that I really enjoy, at least not as much as this one.
Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Nutty, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla
I steeped this tea for 3 minutes with boiling water and the end result was a rather bland tea (as expected), but a little bit of sugar made it an acceptable tea for in the evening whenever other options are not available and you want to stick with a decaf option. Do not over steep this tea as with most green teas I’ve experienced, it tends to go from flavorless to bitter pretty fast.
I’m going to make a second cup using the same bag but at a lower temperature and see if it brings out more flavor, though I do not expect it to…
Okay, so I made a second cup of tea, this time at 185 degrees for 3 minutes. It was very weak, but given it is green tea and on the second steep I just steeped it for 30 seconds more. It was just enough and did not get bitter. A bit more sugar and it, I think, is even better than the first steep. This is definitely a tea to pay attention to the temperature suggestions and steep times.
Flavors: Flowers, Grass, Herbs, Jasmine
Tazo has become my go-to brand for bagged tea and this one didn’t let me down! I don’t usually like herbal blends that contain chamomile, but I don’t taste it all in this blend. Instead, it has a delightfully natural-tasting lemon flavor with hints of vanilla. A lovely bedtime treat!
Flavors: Lemon, Vanilla
Tazo is pretty much the only bagged tea I buy anymore. I only drink loose leaf at home, but it’s nice to have a few tea bags in my purse in case I find myself someplace that has hot water but no good tea options available. This is the best bagged green tea I’ve tried! Very fresh, grassy flavor with no astringency or bitterness (as long as I don’t oversteep it, anyway). If anyone else is looking for a cheap bagged green tea that doesn’t taste like a cheap bagged green tea, check this one out!
Flavors: Grass, Smooth
I’m almost finished with all the teabags in my stash! The boxes take up a lot of space, so it feels good to get them out. Anyway, this tea is more pleasant than its rating would lead you to believe. It’s essentially what you’d think of when you think English breakfast tea. It’s malty and lighter than some (though I also brewed it at a low temperature for a short amount of time). I wouldn’t seek this out, but it’s not a bad time.
This is my Favorite chocolate mint tea. I was so sad when it was discontinued. Fortunately, the Ikea chocolate mint tea hits the flavor notes, but does not have mate. Rose Mountain Herbals has a chocolate mint mate that is bland, but hits the mate energy needs. So I blend a little of each for a lovely dupe!
I really like this one.
It reminds me of Sleepytime tea.
The sarsaparilla and spearmint take some of the dullness out of plain chamomile, and I get notes of vanilla bean, too.
I know it’s got a bedtime tea reputation, but I drink chamomile throughout the day sometimes, just because I like it.
Flavors: Floral, Sarsaparilla, Spearmint, Vanilla
This herbal tea is pretty great. The vanilla really sells the cakey lemon loaf flavour. I can taste a lot of fresh lemon but it isn’t overly acidic or sour (and none of that bitter dried lemon rind nonsense). This makes a great hot tea with milk but I’ve just finished a coldbrewed cup and I enjoy it iced/cold as well.