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Tchuggin' Okie

Tea Reviewer

Member since Feb. 11th, 2016. Reviewed 125 teas.

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Picture of Honeybush (Bushmen's Brew)

Honeybush (Bushmen's Brew) from Numi Organic Tea

Style: Honeybush – Region: South Africa

84 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 2nd, 2017

Pulling this bag out at random from the continuing multi-chapter saga that is the Numi variety pack, I recognized the name right away from having consumed Trader Joe's rooibos+honeybush tea. The teas I've tried from the variety pack so far have been either disappointingly lame or very good. This falls into the latter...

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Picture of Earl Grey Decaffeinated

Earl Grey Decaffeinated from Twinings

Style: Earl Grey Tea – Region: ?????

37 / 100 Aroma: 2/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 30th, 2017

As of this writing, the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain has started offering this tea as their mainstay Earl Grey for service, without telling the customer up front that it is decaffeinated. My wife ordered hot tea, expecting the usual (if tolerable) Lipton rubbish, and got this rubbish instead.

I need to qualify t...

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Picture of Gunpowder Green Tea - Temple of Heaven

Gunpowder Green Tea - Temple of Heaven from Numi Organic Tea

Style: Gunpowder Green Tea – Region: ?????

66 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 28th, 2017

The "Temple of Heaven" needs a smoke alarm; it may be burning down.

This was my next new-tea attempt from a Numi variety pack, and mostly it's a good, clean, smooth, hearty cup. The tightly rolled nodules unfurl into the biggest leaves I've ever seen inside a tea bag, larger than those of many loose-leaf teas I've ...

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Picture of Original Sweet & Spicy™ Herbal Tea - Caffeine Free

Original Sweet & Spicy™ Herbal Tea - Caffeine Free from Good Earth Teas

Style: Flavored Rooibos – Region: Blend

57 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 25th, 2017

A savory-looking roster of ingredients (rooibos, chicory, "natural flavor", rose hips, cinnamon, lemongrass, peppermint, chamomile, ginger root, anise seed, orange oil, orange peel) persuaded me to buy a box on sale at Wal Mart. Immediately upon extracting the bag from its wrapper, I wondered if someone had left open ...

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Picture of White Rose - Velvet Garden™

White Rose - Velvet Garden™ from Numi Organic Tea

Style: Flavored White Tea – Region: ?????

26 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 2/5
Sep. 25th, 2017

This is a profoundly weird drink, not only because its effluent of rose petals and white tea color-morphs like a chameleon from steel gray to gray-green to brown while steeping.

Velvet Garden or Velvet Elvis? The brew smells faintly like burning incense that used to waft out of a hippie neighbor's 3-room backhous...

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Picture of Green Tea with Peach

Green Tea with Peach from Bigelow Tea

Style: Fruit Green Tea – Region: ?????

70 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 25th, 2017

Bigelow's peach-flavored green tea pleasantly surprised me. I had rated their "Perfect Peach" herbal blend slightly lower, primarily because of the artificial flavoring that partly tastes that way.

The quality of the green tea seems good, and brews up a rich, deep amber in-cup. Some finely powdered sediment even fe...

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Picture of Rooibos Chai (Formerly Ruby Chai)

Rooibos Chai (Formerly Ruby Chai) from Numi Organic Tea

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: Blend

86 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 24th, 2017

For some reason, I've had a hard time assigning high values to teas lately, being on a remarkable run of sampling products hovering within +/- 20 percentage points of mediocrity. Not anymore! This one's a clear winner, folks.

While not the strongest chai I've had, it's more than potent enough to offset straight ...

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Picture of Jasmine Green (Formerly Monkey King)

Jasmine Green (Formerly Monkey King) from Numi Organic Tea

Style: Jasmine Tea – Region: Hunan, China

54 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 2/5
Sep. 24th, 2017

My bag of Numi's Jasmine Green came in an assortment box that was priced unusually high (almost 6 bucks at Wal Mart!). The box only contains 16 bags, which leaves the consumer feeling rather taken advantage of, especially at such a cost. Nevertheless, it's a fair and true counterargument if you holler at me, "Look, b...

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Picture of Organic Merry Mint Green Tea (Teabags)

Organic Merry Mint Green Tea (Teabags) from Stash Tea

Style: Green Tea with Mint – Region: ?????

51 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 22nd, 2017

Mellow and smooth, but too weak for my taste, this tea will appeal much more to those who enjoy straight, unadulterated spearmint as a tea flavoring. If not for the caffeine, this would make a relaxing bedtime blend. Spearmint is the overwhelmingly dominant flavor and smell, with hardly a hint of the green tea whose ...

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Picture of English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Trader Joe's

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

67 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Sep. 17th, 2017

With few exceptions (see my review of Ginger Turmeric herbal...blecch), TJs consistently offers a surprisingly high-quality selection of store-brand teas—better so far in my experience than any other grocery chain, and than a nontrivial number of name-brand bagged teas. This one fits the bill. Of course it's not to...

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Picture of Perfect Peach® Herbal Tea

Perfect Peach® Herbal Tea from Bigelow Tea

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

63 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 14th, 2017

I tried a peach tea that has some artificial flavoring. Here's what happened.

[Sorry, clickbait haters...couldn't resist...first, a backstory...]

For several years, my wife has used this, in combination with at least two other brands of peach tea and some black tea, to make a thoroughly delicious peachy iced tea...

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Picture of English Breakfast (Loose)

English Breakfast (Loose) from Twinings

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

42 / 100 Aroma: 2/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Sep. 8th, 2017

Twinings teas in general consistently fail to impress me, though before this, I mostly had tried a few of their bagged offerings. A box of this was available at an estate sale, really cheap, so I figured to give it a run. While it's better than their bagged teas, and not a bad tea at all, I'm still no fan.

For a...

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Picture of All Natural Tea (Orange Pekoe & Pekoe Tea)

All Natural Tea (Orange Pekoe & Pekoe Tea) from Red Diamond

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

55 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 29th, 2017

Maybe my tea-sniffing nose is busted. Perhaps the neural algorithm that processes tea odor has a few lines of code missing, or the broadband line from nose to brain is a tad noisy and leaky. See, most true teas (camellia) don't smell much like they taste to me, or even much like tea a lot of the time, or they have no...

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Picture of Orange Pekoe & Pekoe Cut Black Tea

Orange Pekoe & Pekoe Cut Black Tea from Rituals

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

56 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 25th, 2017

One of the minor mysterious adventures of getting last-minute, dirt-cheap, cut-rate, online deals on resort hotels (as I did one stormy evening in Sedona, AZ) is to sample new teas otherwise not often consumed. Sedona has decent water, but I also brought a bag home to try (apples-to-apples comparison).

For a food...

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Picture of Black Tea

Black Tea from Farmer Brothers

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

62 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 24th, 2017

I found a bag of this food-service/wholesale product at a motel in southern Utah, and decided to take it home for this review given the poor water quality in that town. I'm glad, because my preconceived notion about the weakness and unoriginality of food-service teas—especially considering the plainness and dated st...

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Picture of Natural Green Tea

Natural Green Tea from Western Family

Style: Green Tea – Region: ?????

53 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Aug. 23rd, 2017

Obtainable mainly in assorted supermarkets across the West, this store-brand green tea tasted about average for a bagged green tea—placing it somewhat above-average for generic/store-brand teas overall. The dry leaves in the bag were quite finely chopped, but still identifiable as leaves! Some stem pieces appeared ...

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Picture of Traditional Navajo Tea

Traditional Navajo Tea from Yanabah Navajo Tea

Style: Herbal Tea – Region: United States of America

73 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Aug. 18th, 2017

Boxes of Yanabah teas, named after a Navajo matriarch beloved by the makers, appeared in the gift shop at Monument Valley for about 6 bucks (a tad on the costly side, but that is a tourist shop). Naturally I had to try something new, and bought the basic flagship variety. Greenthread is a common native forb in the ast...

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Picture of Raspberry Zinger® Herbal Tea

Raspberry Zinger® Herbal Tea from Celestial Seasonings

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

59 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jul. 20th, 2017

Raspberry Zinger and Black Cherry Berry have the same ingredients list, but for the flavoring (obviously), and an absence of hawthorn in this offering. Yet it doesn't taste much like a simple swap of modular components. I could pull raspberry more out of the aroma and aftertaste than the direct flavor itself. Cherry...

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Picture of Special Blend

Special Blend from S&D Coffee & Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

34 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 3/5
Jul. 20th, 2017

Here's another hotel/motel-offered tea that one may be tempted to try for breakfast when staying at lodging, and/or buy online through S&D's rather limited retail section. I've found that the quality of hybrid food-service/limited-retail teas, in general, varies wildly from very good to certifiably wretched. Okay, it...

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Picture of Zen Filterbags

Zen Filterbags from Tazo Tea

Style: Flavored Green Tea – Region: ?????

40 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Jul. 9th, 2017

A couple of bags of this product wandered into my fingers, then into my suitcase (of their own free will—don't you believe me?) from a conference hotel's catered-breakfast table. It would have taken at least two more to yield a robustly flavored cup. The taste was best described as pleasant but distant, akin to the...

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Picture of Organic Tulsi with Ginger

Organic Tulsi with Ginger from Traditional Medicinals

Style: Wellness Tea / Medicinal Tea – Region: ?????

65 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 28th, 2017

Flip this tea's title around and call it "Ginger with Tulsi", and we have an accurate portrayal. I've consumed and reviewed one other Tulsi tea (also containing ginger), and still can't determine what Tulsi is supposed to taste like. Maybe it slathers a mellow veneer over the ginger, because this concoction is fairly...

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Picture of English Tea No. 1

English Tea No. 1 from Ahmad Tea

Style: Earl Grey Tea – Region: Blend

74 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 24th, 2017

This bagged tea didn't earn quite as high of a rating as Ahmad's loose-leaf version of English Afternoon, but it was very good. Oodles of bags of this turned up in my pantry in an unmarked tin (my wife likes it, apparently), so I figured to give it a try.

I could taste the bergamot a bit -- not as much as with th...

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Picture of 100% Natural Tea Bags

100% Natural Tea Bags from Clover Valley

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 23rd, 2017

Perhaps this surprisingly high rating (for a very, very cheap tea) arises from the psychology of low expectations. I had seen a 100-count box of Clover Valley for sale at Dollar General for less than $2.50 (including tax)—slightly more than two cents per bag. Not wanting to buy a hundred bags, in case this tea suck...

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Picture of Peppermint Herbal Tea

Peppermint Herbal Tea from Carrington Tea

Style: Peppermint Tea – Region: ?????

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 21st, 2017

I love peppermint, and this brand doesn't seem to use a detectable level of stems, non-mint material, spearmint, or other needless filler. The aroma and taste accordingly are nearly maxed for the amount of leaves used (which I always wish were more!).

Although the flavor of this tea is standard peppermint -- no ...

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Picture of Ogranic Green Tea Dandelion

Ogranic Green Tea Dandelion from Traditional Medicinals

Style: Wellness Tea / Medicinal Tea – Region: ?????

55 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 14th, 2017

My sister-in-law offered me a bag of this, and immediately I had to ask: "Organic? Who on Earth is purposefully growing inorganic dandelions?" Most folks don't have to walk far to find organic dandelions (at least what would qualify by no-pesticide, no-herbicide, no-artificial-fertilizer standards). Some sprout from...

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