123 Tasting Notes


I usually avoid hibiscus teas like the plague, because the ingredient takes over the drink with a strong sharpness that I find terribly unpleasant. But I’m stuck at the office with not a teabag on me, so I decided to try this Republic of Tea blend someone left behind in the kitchen cupboard. I am pleasantly suprised. This is good.

It’s a lovely, sweet tea that is fabulous over ice. The flavors are fruity and tropical, with the taste of pineapple lingering on the tongue. The hibiscus is moderate, tamed, and actually works with the other ingredients instead of conquering them. I’m impressed.

Flavors: Fruity, Hibiscus, Lychee, Pineapple, Tropical

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drank Tokio by Lupicia
123 tasting notes

Fragrant, summery tea.
Grassy green notes with a perfumey raspberry flavor more sweet than tart.

Lovely hot or cold.

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I was given a sample of the Blackcurrant Raspberry flavor to try:

You know, there aren’t nearly enough blackcurrant flavored things available in America. I guess we Americans like our sweet flavors, and blackcurrants are more tart and less sugary than strawberries or blackberries. But when blended with raspberry flavoring, as it is in Red Rose Tea’s new water enhancer, the blackcurrant has a rich sweetness that is very pleasant. This almost like real tea, but it’s definitely a doctored flavor, like the drinker added several lumps of sugar before passing the cup to you. Well, cane sugar is the second ingredient, so no surprise there. Still, that distinctive black tea flavor is definitely there. It’ll do in a pinch when I want instant ice tea, but brewing proper tea leaves will always taste better with stronger, more naturalistic flavors.

Flavors: Berries

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I brewed the last of my 2 oz. bag this morning, and I was surprised because Anjou Pear-adise hasn’t made much of an impression on me, so I was sure I hadn’t drank it more than once or twice.

It isn’t amazing, but it isn’t terrible. Just a nice, light tea that verges on the generic and unmemorable.

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drank Caramel & Rum by Lupicia
123 tasting notes

I got a sample of this in Lupicia’s latest newsletter.

The scent as I prepared this tea was of a very buttery caramel. It seems very autumnal to me; I can’t help but think of colorful dry leaves (which we don’t really get in California) and smoky fires. It’s not that these are part of the brew, but back when I worked at Bath & Body Works one of the seasonal Halloween fragrances was “Creamy Caramel” – and the association of that smell with fall has become permanently affixed to my memory.

I ramble.

The tea is sweet. The rum note is quite strong, and grows more noticeable as the tea becomes cooler. Although I am not drinking this with milk, I can definitely see how the creaminess would complement this tea.

Very seasonal and appropriate tonight, when the first bit of winter chill has appeared.

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drank Framboise by Lupicia
123 tasting notes

Pleasant, but not a particularly outstanding tea. The raspberry is light and fragrant, more of an afterthought on the tongue than in the liquor itself.

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drank Weight To Go! by Teavana
123 tasting notes

I oversteeped this one this morning – or maybe I just put too much tea in the pot – because it’s a brilliant red instead of the normal pinkish color.

Still tastes great though!

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Interesting; I had no idea that Teavana changed the name of this tea! I finished the last of my stash of it off today, and I must admit that this tea improved over time. I don’t know if I simply got better at figuring out how much tea to use, or if my steeping times were more accurate.

It’s a very sweet, lemony blend, but if you get it just right it tastes like the zippy first breath of spring. Refreshing and relaxing and oh-so-wonderful!

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Raspberry Iced Tea by Arizona
123 tasting notes

Continuing my exploration of grocery store iced teas with another can of Arizona. This time it’s the classic Raspberry flavor.

The second ingredient after ‘black tea’ is high fructose corn syrup. “Raspberry flavor” doesn’t appear until the very end of the list. This must be why the drink feels so heavy and sticky on the tongue. It isn’t so much a refreshing drink as a cloying one. It’s rather concentrated, so I imagine it would taste a lot better with some ice cubes tossed in. But that would require getting ice, and then pouring the drink into a glass, and meh. Too much effort.

At least this tastes like a tea, albeit a not particularly great one. The “Half Iced Tea & Half Mango” drink I tried yesterday barely had any tea flavor at all, although it had plenty of mango juiciness which made it, overall, more pleasant than the Raspberry.

I can’t believe I used to drink these every few days one summer a few years back. How did I not gain twenty pounds from all the sugar?

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Sometimes you just aren’t in a place where you can brew a soothing pot of quality tea – or it’s too freakin’ hot to be bothered with all that work. That’s when you have to turn to prepackaged tea to satisfy your craving for something delicious and refreshing. It’s been several years since I last picked up a can of Arizona’s highly sweetened tea, but I’m sure that the basic formula hasn’t changed: tea, sugar, and more sugar.

Yup, the second ingredient after ‘black tea’ is high fructose corn syrup. And boy, can you taste it. If I wanted to describe the mouthfeel of this drink, I’d definitely go with ‘sticky’. The tea flavor is barely there.

But hey, I can sure taste that mango!

As far as ‘tea’ goes, it’s a stretch to call this a tea. But if you’re just looking for a cold bottled drink under a dollar, it’s not bad at all. Tastier than soda pop, for sure!

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I love books on tea, but not tea on books.





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