Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas

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Difflugia

(130 reviews)
Picture of English Afternoon

English Afternoon from Twinings

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

55 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jul. 15th, 2019

The box says that it's a blend of Keemun and Ceylon teas. There are notes of cocoa and dark bread crust and the flavor's quite complex for grocery store tea, but it's too bitter and astringent.

The tea gets better and mellows a bit as it cools. The cocoa becomes more pronounced and I can taste the sweetness from the...

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Picture of Xiaguan Te Ji Raw Pu-Erh Tuo

Xiaguan Te Ji Raw Pu-Erh Tuo from Xiaguan Tea Factory

Style: Raw (Sheng) Pu-erh – Region: Yunnan, China

75 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 14th, 2019

This is definitely a young sheng (raw) pu-erh and that's really about all I know about this tea. I'd yet to try sheng pu-erh (young or old), so when I saw it in an Asian, mom-and-pop grocery for $4, I had to try it. There's no date anywhere on the package, so I've no idea what year it's from, but it can't be very old b...

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Tchuggin' Okie

(219 reviews)
Picture of Peach & Passion Fruit

Peach & Passion Fruit from TEViVE

Style: Flavored Black Tea – Region: Sri Lanka / Ceylon

79 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jul. 2nd, 2019

Tropical fruits, peaches, and flavored black teas all tickle my fancy, so this offering from a Dollar Tree store promised to be worthwhile, as long as they used natural flavors (check), and didn't skimp on the flavoring itself (check). [TEViVE could use more tea, however...more on that below.]

As with their other...

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Picture of Cranberry Apple Herbal Tea

Cranberry Apple Herbal Tea from Bigelow Tea

Style: Herbal Tea – Region: Blend

63 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 27th, 2019

Most Bigelow teas I've tried, I've never bought, thanks to hotels, restaurants and conferences. This one was no exception. I don't care for cranberry as a flavor, so you wouldn't catch me plunking down even a couple bucks at the Wal-Mart clearance bin for any herbal tea named after cranberries. Fortunately there is ...

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Alex Zorach

(1402 reviews)
Picture of China Black Special

China Black Special from TeaSource

Style: Black Tea – Region: Guangxi, China

93 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 21st, 2019

TeaSource describes this tea as unusual, and I agree, and not just how it looks, and its origin (only my second tea I've ever tried from Guangxi) but also its flavor and aroma! I really loved this one and I found it easy to drink and enjoy.

The leaf is only lightly aromatic but the smell is very pleasant.

Upon st...

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Picture of Yunnan FOP

Yunnan FOP from TeaSource

Style: Yunnan Red – Region: Yunnan, China

81 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 19th, 2019

One of the most interesting teas I've tried in a while!

The dry leaf, which is quite aesthetic looking, smells very unusual and different. The aroma is strong, quite smoky and also herbaceous, with hints of malt and cocoa. It also reminds me a little bit of the smell of an ashtray though, and also of the "new car" s...

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Picture of Ceylon, Lumbini Estate, FBOP

Ceylon, Lumbini Estate, FBOP from TeaSource

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Matara, Sri Lanka

91 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 18th, 2019

This was an exceptional tea and without a doubt one of the best Ceylons I've sampled ever. I like Ceylons, but outside of the ones from teakruthi, it's rare I find ones that stand out. This is one of them!

The leaf looks very straightforward, made of large broken pieces of wiry leaf, uniform in texture and dark gray...

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Brytta Sóþword

(315 reviews)

Matcha Green Tea Powder from Trader Joe's

Style: Matcha – Region: Japan

78 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 18th, 2019

This is pretty good matcha. Though I don’t normally like extra packing, the single serving sizes kept me from using excessive tea powder. The tea didn’t taste weak.

I am not particularly skilled at making matcha. I liked this one best with a little preheated milk and a little honey.

On the plus side, my two y...

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Alex Zorach

(1402 reviews)
Picture of Kenya Michimikuru Estate FBOPF

Kenya Michimikuru Estate FBOPF from TeaSource

Style: Black Tea – Region: Kenya

94 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 18th, 2019

I love teas from Kenya, and I've been loving the teas I ordered from TeaSource, so it makes sense I would love this one! I think it is my favorite tea of the whole batch.

The dry leaf smells amazing: there is a sweet, bready quality, and a hint of the juniper smell that is mention in the commercial description.

B...

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Picture of Hu Hong Mao Feng

Hu Hong Mao Feng from TeaSource

Style: Black Tea – Region: Hunan, China

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 17th, 2019

I ordered this exquisite tea from TeaSource with my first order, and it was both interesting and impressive.

The dry leaf is beautiful, curly and somewhat wiry. It is intensely aromatic and the aroma is beautiful: strongly malty, more like rye than other grains, with a nutty quality a little like peanut butter, but ...

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Picture of Dinjoye TGBOP

Dinjoye TGBOP from TeaSource

Style: Assam – Region: Dibrugarh, Assam, India

88 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 17th, 2019

I was excited and curious to order from TeaSource, and this was one of the first teas I tried. I have been impressed with all of the teas I've tried, including this one.

The leaf is strongly aromatic and pleasant, mostly a malty smell, and it also gives off the sense that this tea packs a punch.

The brewed cup is...

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Tchuggin' Okie

(219 reviews)
Picture of Chai Love

Chai Love from Tiesta Tea

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: Blend

74 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 13th, 2019

I love chai, so I tried Chai Love. It was one of the least chai-like of chais I've had, but yet, still strangely satisfying and tasty. It also had perhaps the greatest aromatic discrepancy I've encountered between dry-leaf, in-cup and wet-leaf scents.

The dry leaf is the most truly chai-like sensation (smell or t...

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Picture of I Love Lemon® & C Herbal Tea

I Love Lemon® & C Herbal Tea from Bigelow Tea

Style: Fruit (Herbal) Tea – Region: ?????

71 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 12th, 2019

I don't love lemon. Regardless, if you do, this seems to be as reasonable of a presentation of the natural flavor as you'll find in a hot beverage, short of cooking lemonade. Perusing the ingredients, this should be expected with three different plant sources of the lemon ester: lemongrass, lemon verbena and lemon (...

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Brytta Sóþword

(315 reviews)
Picture of Spiced Chai

Spiced Chai from Trader Joe's

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: ?????

82 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 12th, 2019

This tea is pleasant, especially with a little milk added. (Note: I recommend warming the milk in the microwave briefly and pouring the hot water into it when making tea.) There’s a distinct but not entirely unpleasant sharpness to this tea that is improved with the milk, though it can still be enjoyed plain. The spi...

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Organic Sencha Tea from Trader Joe's

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 11th, 2019

This tea is not bad but it isn’t overwhelming. I generally prefer loose leaf anyway, as a cup of bagged tea often isn’t as strong as I like. It’s fairly easy to avoid bitterness in this tea, but it’s still good not to brew the tea too hot or too long — as is generally true for green teas. Not bad as a potenti...

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Tchuggin' Okie

(219 reviews)
Picture of Earl Grey

Earl Grey from Twinings

Style: Earl Grey Tea – Region: ?????

64 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 6th, 2019

I got this from a restaurant hot-tea selection box and took home an extra bag to taste-test on good well water. The bergamot was somewhat feeble throughout the consumption experience. Still, it's among the better Twinings teas I've had (yes, I realize that's not saying much).

Sweetened, as I always do, this prod...

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Difflugia

(130 reviews)
Picture of Peppermint

Peppermint from TEViVE

Style: Peppermint Tea – Region: ?????

78 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 5th, 2019

The weird thing about TEViVE teas is that the teabags contain half of the tea or herb or whatever of other brands. The flavored black teas each contain one gram of tea instead of two. The peppermint teabags contain .6 gram while my box of Stash teabags have a full gram. Whenever I make this, I use twice as many teabags...

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Picture of Hibiscus Tea / Sorrel (Té de Flor de Jamaica)

Hibiscus Tea / Sorrel (Té de Flor de Jamaica) from Badia

Style: Hibiscus Tea – Region: ?????

75 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 4th, 2019

Good quality, straightforward hibiscus flower tea. Bulk hibiscus flowers are cheap, but quality can be hit or miss. Though many (or even most) blended herbal teas contain hibiscus, few brands offer unblended hibiscus teabags and the ones that do tend to be overpriced.

Hibiscus is tart and fruity, almost like unsweet...

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Tchuggin' Okie

(219 reviews)
Picture of Japanese Matcha + Green Tea

Japanese Matcha + Green Tea from Matcha Love

Style: Green Tea – Region: Japan

76 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 3rd, 2019

The bold print on the box says "matcha + green tea". The smaller print—green tea blend with matcha—is more correct. Each of the triangular clear sachets (not "tea bags" as we know them in paper form) contains a reasonable amount of finely chopped green tea leaves and just a pinch of matcha powder. Don't forget t...

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Picture of Decaffeinated

Decaffeinated from Royal Cup

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

57 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 1st, 2019

Since finding their regular bagged tea a couple years ago, I was hoping to run across the decaf version for a taste test too, and also, for a pre-bedtime black-tea chug after another day spent roaming the highways and byways of this land. For some reason, outside of the occasional Bigelow bag, it's hard to find decaf ...

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Difflugia

(130 reviews)
Picture of Bold Breakfast

Bold Breakfast from Dunkin Donuts

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

63 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
May. 31st, 2019

I bought a cup of this from a Dunkin Donuts and liked it, so I bought a box to brew at home. The sachets are large and each contains 3g of finely-chopped tea. The box doesn't say which teas are in the blend (other than "from around the World"), but the tea looks orthodox rather than CTC.

The brewing tea has a strong...

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JGS1122

(66 reviews)
Picture of Java Malabar Plantation Black Tea

Java Malabar Plantation Black Tea from Simpson & Vail

Style: Black Tea – Region: West Java, Indonesia

75 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 25th, 2019

Appearance and aroma bring a Keemun to mind. Woodsy liquor with a solid taste, and nice rich amber color. Malty with a pleasant after taste. I think this will be easy to enjoy anytime of day. I was hesitant to buy this because some of the teas I have tried that are grown outside the 'traditional' regions, can have an a...

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Tchuggin' Okie

(219 reviews)
Picture of Blueberry & Honey

Blueberry & Honey from TEViVE

Style: Flavored Black Tea – Region: Sri Lanka / Ceylon

74 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 20th, 2019

Curiously, this line of tea isn't found on the TEAViVE website as of this writing, but I have no problem finding it in a local Dollar Tree, where I first saw it. On the bottom of the boxes, TEAViVE provides a batch number and "best before" date, as well as lists the blueberry and honey flavorings as being natural. Th...

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Picture of Darjeeling Black Tea

Darjeeling Black Tea from Bigelow Tea

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

71 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 18th, 2019

We first found this in an estate-sale pantry. Then my wife bought another box, because she enjoyed it as a morning and midday tea, when she didn't want something quite as potent as her favorite Assam or Irish breakfast blends. Loath to pilfer her teas and disharmonize domestic tranquility, I've just had a couple bags...

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Picture of Ultra Select Green Tea

Ultra Select Green Tea from Cain's

Style: Green Tea – Region: ?????

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 15th, 2019

First off, thanks for the props on the backstory of this tea, Alex. It's a fascinating look into how brands bounce hither and yon. Somehow, someone under the Farmer Brothers umbrella still is making Cain's teas, and the ones I've had aren't duplicates of the corresponding Farmer Brothers products so far.

One suc...

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