Linea Natura

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I got this because I read somewhere that green rooibos “tastes a bit like green tea.” I thought this would possibly be like a green vanilla tea, which would be delicious. It was not at all like that! The vanille tastes kind of weak and the tea doesn’t taste fresh or flavourful. Nothing here really tastes of quality and something in the aftertaste reminds me of that gross taste you get in your mouth if you accidentally eat an ant. Before you get that taste, there’s a nice, woody, kind of vanilla-y taste. If that were the whole tea, this would be delicious. That second taste is inescapable though, and it’s not good at all. This product just kind of tastes cheap and of low quality. I don’t recommend this product or anything from this brand, which I unfortunately bought five products from online.

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drank Vanille Honeybush by Linea Natura
62 tasting notes

This is kind of crap. It’s a bit like a vanilla rooibos gone wrong, with some kind of wood and off fruit notes in it.. I had it with milk and sweetener, and I kept taking sips, thinking that it might be one of those times when you need to keep drinking it to suss the flavour out, but no. Also, I used two tablespoons of the tea for one large cup, and it was still a bit weak (which was perhaps good, since the flavour wasn’t nice.) If you can think of nothing better than to drink something very weakly vanilla, with a lot of wood, and a fruity tang, this is for you. I’d have to question your taste in that case, though. Overall, I think this brand is of pretty poor quality.

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drank Vanilla Lapacho by Linea Natura
62 tasting notes

Unsweetened and without soy milk, this tea tasted bizarre and quite unpleasant. The best way I can describe it is to say that it tasted like what it would be like to drink paper. Really. With sweetener and no soy milk, it was pretty much the same story. I was going to write this off as a complete failure, but thought I’d give it a go with a bit of soy milk (I’d guess about ¼ of the drink was made of up soy milk and ¾ from water.) It changed the tea a lot! It then had a taste (and I know this sounds like not the best thing, but bear with me) that was creamy, woody, milky, and sweet. There’s something just a bit unpleasant in the end of the mouthful, but otherwise it’s pretty comforting, soft, and smooth. If the idea of drinking something that tastes like wood sounds off-putting to you, just think (in this case, at least): the smells of vanilla and wood together are so good. This is that smell in drink form. It makes sense.

After this experience, I would strongly recommend never drinking lapacho tea without milk and sweetener. It’s really gross, to be honest. The milk is essential here. Otherwise, you’re drinking bitter, paper tasting, wood water. Does that sound appetising? What about a milky, light, sweet combination of woodsy tastes with a very subtle hint of cherry and a delicate taste of vanilla? I didn’t know what to expect with this tea, and the smell beforehand told me nothing. If it were nothing else, this would be a unique take on vanilla tea for sure. But it’s also an airy, comforting tea that for some reason reminds me a little bit of drinking warm milk before bed when I was younger.

Update: I drank this again today…it tasted like drinking dirt. I don’t know if the tea went off or something, but I was not at all impressed with what I tasted. There’s “earthy” tastes, and I think they can definitely be appealing, and then there’s things that just taste like licking the ground.Id have to put this in the latter category.

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drank Rooibos Earl Grey by Linea Natura
62 tasting notes

After the fail that was Linea Natura’s Orange Sencha, this has pleasantly surprised me. It’s not a black earl grey, so I feel like it would be lazy of me to criticise it by saying “It’s just not a black!” But that’s the thing—it’s a good approximation of a black earl grey, but it’s really its own thing. I’m trying to find a way to describe it, but basically, it’s a combination of the taste of rooibos and the citrusy taste of earl grey, and that’s kind of all there is to it (I’m not saying that in a negative way.)

The flavour of this tea is actually better than I thought it’d be, but a notable downside to it is that it just isn’t delivering that assertive, deep flavour that black tea can. The upside is that it’s 2am and I know it’s not going to ruin my chance of being able to sleep at some point. The tea actually tastes a tiny bit lemony, particularly in the aftertaste, which makes me think of iced tea (and makes me think this could really make a good one, maybe benefitting from the added lightness of rooibos as opposed to black tea.) Alternatively, it may seem that way to me because the other earl grey I have isn’t quite a straight-up one, containing flowers as well as the bergamot flavouring, so when I think I know the taste of earl grey, my ideas about it might be a little different to other peoples’. Also, the lemony kind of taste could also just be the way the bergamot combines with rooibos. Maybe the lighter flavour of rooibos showcases the flavour of the bergamot in a different way. In any case (taste-wise), I’d describe it as about 70% rooibos, 20% bergamot, 10% lemon. I haven’t really thought about this until now, since the last time I drank rooibos I didn’t have Steepster yet, but it’s a little bit difficult to describe the taste of rooibos. To me, it’s a bit like the second steeping of a black tea, or a watered down black tea, but the aroma and taste has something different that’s hard to really put my finger on.

Also, I think this tea would go really nicely with something peachy, like peach juice or something.

Anyway, this is good tea. It’s certainly not as good as my black earl grey, but it’s good all the same.

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drank Orange Sencha by Linea Natura
62 tasting notes

I feel pretty let down by this tea, and that concerns me, because I got a delivery today of this and four other bags of this brand’s tea. I had been looking forward to it and there’s a whole lot of tea here. This tea probaby would have been a decent quality plain sencha, but instead of setting it apart, the orange flavouring seems to have ruined it. It imparts an orange sherbet candy kind of flavour that has a strong soapy element and it just really doesn’t work. I added sweetener and soy milk because when I first tasted it I was like, “???” and it needed something to change the taste, which was basically gross. This made it drinkable (not enjoyable, but drinkable), though it’s a big disappointment for me overall. Like with other teas that disappoint me, this one could probably be at least in part redeemed by adding some fresh flavourings like orange juice or zest, but the flavouring added to it is quite prominent and it may well keep the tea being a letdown.

I wouldn’t have guessed that being too strongly flavoured would be a problem with organic, fair trade tea. I associate those things with a higher level of quality (perhaps more justifiable with organic than with fair trade, but anyway) and I thought that if anything, the flavour would be a natural, possibly too subdued, zest-tasting orange. It’s not at all. It’s harsh, soapy, chalky. In short, the orange tastes pretty fake. It says the flavour is from natural orange oil, so the problem might be that it’s gone rancid over time or something like that. It was pretty cheap tea (about 5 euros for 100g, though maybe I’m not the best judge of good value, since I think this is the first time I’ve bought loose leaf tea), but as usual, money isn’t the issue—it’s that feeling of being letdown by tea that isn’t what you wanted.

This tea could perhaps be good in cooking, if making something in which a Pez kind of flavour is no problem or is desired. Generally though, if someone asked me “Hey, do you wanna try this tea? It tastes like orange candy!” the answer would probably be “No. No, I don’t.” I don’t know, maybe it’s just the fact that this orange flavour is not only candylike but is also soapy (which probably isn’t a necessary characteristic of a candy-flavoured tea [as you may have realised by now, I’m no expert on the subject.]) Ultimately, this tea is neither what I expected it to be, nor something different that has left me pleasantly surprised.

After the somewhat yucky latte, I tried the leaves re-steeped in a cup of boiling water with the zest of a whole orange. I microwaved it until it was bubbling to really get all the flavours together. I strained it and added sweetener and a bit of cinnamon. It was okay, but by that point it really just tasted like one of those drinks from orange concentrate. Yes, this drink’s healthier than those are, but that’s hardly the point! With a bit less zest and from the second steeping onward (when some of the dreaded flavour may have gone out of the leaves), this could be a passable drink. I don’t think any modifications could make it any more than that. Overall, this is essentially a tea for someone who wants to put in a log of work to get an average drink—i.e. no one.

I don’t have that much experience with sencha, so the bad taste could actually be partly to do with the fact that this sencha is perhaps not as good quality as others have been, though that would explain the soapy taste at most and could do nothing to explain the sherbet-like orange flavour. Then again, the particular type of orange flavour would possibly not have tasted bad or as bad had the soapy element not been there.

I really don’t like throwing tea out, and I’m not going to throw this out immediately (probably because with this very flavourful, strongly zested version of it I’m sipping now, the soapiness is out of my mind), but I think the possibility of ever really liking it is slim. In principle, I’m not opposed to soap. I just don’t want to drink it.

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