1737 Tasting Notes
I wore a perfume featuring licorice root today (Lolita Lempicka au Masculin Eau de Minuit), so it seems only fitting that I should brew up a lovely after-dinner cup of Stash Licorice Spice “tea”, of which I have consumed untold hundreds over the years.
The filter bags work just find for this herbal blend—there is no virtue is “loose leaf” when there are no leaves! Licorice Spice lists a variety of ingredients beyond the dominant licorice root:
cinnamon, orange peel, Chinese star anise, vanilla flavor, sarsaparilla, orange oil, cinnamon flavor, clove bud oil, and cardamom oil
All of this just adds up to dessert in a cup par excellence. What a great choice for dieters this would be—provided that they like the taste of black licorice. It is said (by Stash and others) that licorice root is fifty times sweeter than sugar, and I do believe that it’s true! Apparently Cleopatra availed herself of licorice as a beauty aid. So drink up!!!!!
I give this herbal blend a high rating because I do not really know how it could be much better. This is an excellent licorice root infusion, so I am comparing it to the Platonic Form of licorice root infusion, not the Platonic Form of tea…
And I thought that I didn’t really like oolong teas! Well, Adagio Leo has been seriously dressed up in orange, safflower, and especially chamomile, along with just a soupçon of vanilla. This is a very likeable flavored tea, with the oolong serving more as a base than anything—along with the rooibos. I would not call this a roobois tea because the other flavors are far more dominant.
The green leaves expand hugely, so I may have ignorantly put too much tea into my Bodum, but the final brew tastes good. I’m going to try a second infusion, though I know not whether oolong is supposed to be multiply infusable…
I am enjoying this tea after dinner, and I must say that it find it very thirst-quenching—even though it’s hot!
This flavored blend was not at all what I was expecting—Earl Grey Blanc is not a white tea at all! I purchased a 2 ounce envelope of this Tazo whole leaf loose tea under the assumption that it would be a bergamot-flavored white tea. (Why else would it be called “blanc”?).
Fortunately, although it is not what I thought that I bought, it tastes very nice. The tea is black, but the Earl Grey flavoring has been embellished with a very nice touch of vanilla. Initially, the brewed tea tastes and smells more like vanilla than bergamot, but shortly thereafter the bergamot asserts itself and ends up much stronger than the opening vanilla.
I drank this tea this afternoon with light cream, and found it quite enjoyable. The flavor is smooth and silken and was enhanced by the cream.
I recently ordered the Harney & Sons Paris tea, which seems also to feature bergamot and vanilla on a black blend. It will be interesting to compare the two…
I am a bit disappointed by this formulation of Tazo Calm. They have changed the recipe several times, it seems, and this one, “Calm Chamomile”, in the light-colored envelope (not the darker yellow ones from the pre-Starbucks days) is weaker and less flavorful than before. I bought some boxes of this new version having been very happy with a cup of Calm brewed from the advanced mesh bags at a store. Unfortunately, this appears to be a different recipe.
Another taster (see below) suggested letting the bag steep for twice as long. I’ll give that a try. In the past, Tazo filter bags were always generously sized, but this one seems less full of sumptuousness and flavor. It just lacks that je ne sais quoi which I have found in excellent chamomile blends in the past (including previous versions of Calm).
This filter bag blend by Tazo includes a stout Assam-like black along with both oolong and green tea. As a result, it is somewhat challenging to get the right brew. Sometimes it seems closer to darjeeling; other times it may as well be a brisk breakfast blend. When I oversteep it (as I did today), it ends up looking rather close to Tazo Awake, and I add cream before drinking, but then it is not quite as satisfying as full-on rich and malty black tea taken that way.
A few years ago, this was a really excellent tea with nothing added. More recently, changes appear to have been made to the formula, with the result that it is no longer “foolproof” as it was before. In fact, it’s now easier to miss than to hit.
I’ll try the whole leaf version soon and report back…
I go through Earl Grey phases now and then. What usually happens is that I drink a lot of it for a while and then eventually I overdose on bergamot. This particular filter bag, Tazo Earl Grey, is very strongly scented—so much so that it could almost be a perfume! The scent is literally purple—veering even toward lavender.
After quite a break from all Earl Grey, I took up this version again today, adulterating it with light cream, as I often do with strongly scented black teas. I generally prefer my black teas on the stout side, so the Tazo tea bag works well. This was a tasty cup and perfect for such a frosty cold day.
This tea is much better cold than hot. I’ll be drinking the rest of my bag once the warm weather returns. (I had brewed a pot a couple of days ago and put some of it in the refrigerator.) The style is similar to Tazo Refresh only with citrus in place of the tarragon. Both are good iced, as the cool temperature enhances the minty flavor.