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Tchuggin' Okie

Tea Reviewer

Member since Feb. 11th, 2016. Reviewed 236 teas.

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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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Picture of Earl Grey Crème Black Tea

Earl Grey Crème Black Tea from Teavana

Style: Earl Grey Cream – Region: Blend

87 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
May. 11th, 2019

This is my favorite Earl Grey Cream tea yet, and that's not a knock on Murchie's excellent rendition, which is a better value but just a notch below Teavana in richness.

Teavana has undergone a remaking of its marketing and strategy under the Starbucks banner: no more stand-alone tea shops, just 15-sachet plastic t...

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Picture of Pure Peppermint

Pure Peppermint from Twinings

Style: Peppermint Tea – Region: ?????

48 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 21st, 2019

Once again, I drank a Twinings product, wondering how this brand gained enough of a reputation or loyalty to have lasted so long. The peppermint in these bags wasn't bad, but wasn't great either. Lots of stems too! It reminded me a lot of cheap/knock-off store brands or some of the lower-quality food-service pepperm...

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Picture of Bangkok

Bangkok from Harney and Sons

Style: Flavored Green Tea – Region: Blend

86 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 19th, 2019

Mmmmmmm...delicious from the first dry-bag sniff through the cup and even in the aftertaste! Finally again, for only the second time in my experience: a coconut-flavored green tea that really is coconut-dominant, and since I enjoy coconut a lot, that's a good thing.

The best part is that the coconut flavor asser...

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Picture of Sleepytime Extra®

Sleepytime Extra® from Celestial Seasonings

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

70 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 17th, 2019

The only difference I've detected between this product and regular Sleepytime is the addition of valerian root to the ingredients list, and a caution on the side of the box about not driving or operating machinery after using, as if this is some herbal-tea version of Ambien or Sominex. Of course, it's not. I'm writin...

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Picture of African Red Bush

African Red Bush from Tazo Tea

Style: Flavored Rooibos – Region: Blend

63 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 14th, 2019

Too bad this tea has been discontinued, because it's an acceptable (not great to the point of blowing one's mind, but pretty decent) take on rooibos/herbal blending. As with other rooibos teas I've tried, the first impression wasn't anything to brag about, but it grew on me after a few bags, and I came to appreciate i...

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Picture of Decaf White Tea

Decaf White Tea from Celestial Seasonings

Style: White Tea – Region: ?????

46 / 100 Aroma: 3/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 14th, 2019

Estate sales can be an unconventional way to try new teas upon which one normally wouldn't gamble the full cost of purchase. In this case, the tea apparently has been retired, and can't be bought anymore, but was shrink-wrapped in the box (never opened) and still in fresh condition. [I got it as part of a larger grab...

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Picture of Chai Vanilla Caramel

Chai Vanilla Caramel from Tazo Tea

Style: Chai / Spiced Tea – Region: Blend

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 28th, 2019

Being a sucker for all kinds of strong and/or spicy food and drink, I've grown quite fond of good chais, in all their wonderful variety of formulations. As such, my default will be to rate them fairly well unless they prove unfit for human consumption. This rates well. It's not up to par with most loose chais I've h...

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Picture of Organic Green Tea

Organic Green Tea from Uncle Lee's Tea

Style: Green Tea – Region: Fujian, China

62 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 13th, 2019

This is a very slightly above-average, but not outstanding, bagged green tea available at a price that's hard to top for a non-store brand (about $8 for a 100-count box online, or at stores such as Wal-Mart). Fortunately, I procured a fairly new, sealed 100-ct box at an estate sale for a buck, so *my* value was unrepr...

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Picture of Assam Shankar:  Finest Second Flush

Assam Shankar: Finest Second Flush from Fortnum & Mason

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

58 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 24th, 2019

My wife's acquaintance's mom, who had passed away recently, bought this tea in London but never opened it. Since we like tea, we ended up with it from her estate sale. It's odd how, since I've started reviewing here, teas seem to fall out of the sky and into my hands through a variety of fortuitous circumstances, in ...

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Picture of Calm Chamomile Filterbags

Calm Chamomile Filterbags from Tazo Tea

Style: Chamomile Blend – Region: Blend

69 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 23rd, 2019

This tea gave me some peculiar impressions before ever pouring a drop down my throat. The dry-bag smell brought back vague yet unwelcome childhood memories of illness, and it took me a minute to figure out why. The dry aroma reminded me much of the 1970s formulation of Kaopectate diarrhea medicine—then a dense, sli...

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Picture of French Vanilla Decaffeinated Black Tea

French Vanilla Decaffeinated Black Tea from Bigelow Tea

Style: Vanilla Black Tea – Region: ?????

61 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 19th, 2019

I don't see a point in proactively obtaining this tea, especially for money. Here's another offering I got at no cost (the best way), thanks to its being available in a tea box at a meeting, at a Holiday Inn Express. I'll rate "value" based on the prices I usually see for Bigelow teas in-store.

The best part of ...

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Picture of Citrus Sunrise

Citrus Sunrise from Celestial Seasonings

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

85 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 18th, 2019

Citrus Sunrise easily can be called Orange Tangerine Zinger, if it weren't for a similarly named blend they already have. That's because it starts out with the same common-denominator ingredients as the CS Zinger line (rose hips, orange peel, hibiscus, hawthorn, blackberry leaves), and just boosts the orange part with...

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Picture of Chamomile Herbal Tea

Chamomile Herbal Tea from Chado High Tea

Style: Pure Chamomile Tea – Region: ?????

69 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 11th, 2019

Here's another food-service tea obtained somewhere (can't recall which) in a string of hotels and diners up and down the High Plains.

Mostly I expect chamomile to be the same basic flavor; differences in my evaluations of it on this site mostly relate to intensity of that. Yet for any chamomile tea, but especiall...

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Picture of Awake English Breakfast Filterbag

Awake English Breakfast Filterbag from Tazo Tea

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

68 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 10th, 2019

After bringing this breakfast tea home from a conference, I tried it at dinnertime while eating a tub of cottage cheese. The tea brewed up very dark, quickly, such that a spoon disappeared from view below about the top two inches of liquid. This wasn't too surprising, considering how finely chopped the dry-bag leaves...

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Picture of True Blueberry® Herbal Tea

True Blueberry® Herbal Tea from Celestial Seasonings

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

69 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 6th, 2019

After running out of my favorite blueberry-flavored tea faster than expected, I got this in a moment of desperation, made easier to rationalize by a temporarily low sale price at Sprouts.

True Blueberry is one of the few herbal teas I've tried whose primary advertised flavor smells substantially stronger in the dry ...

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Picture of Premium Green Tea

Premium Green Tea from Bigelow Tea

Style: Green Tea – Region: ?????

61 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 1st, 2019

This tea somewhat flummoxed me from before I poured the first drop down my esophagus, to the last aftertaste. For starters, what is it? There's no "Premium Green Tea" available on Bigelow's main website, just something called "Green Tea (Certified Organic)". Then on RateTea, there already was an "Organic Pure Green ...

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Picture of Japanese Sencha (Sachets)

Japanese Sencha (Sachets) from Harney and Sons

Style: Sencha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan

80 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 28th, 2019

A colleague left this on the "freebie" table at work, so naturally I indulged some. One of the best green teas I've had so far, this offering competes well with a couple of bagged generic (unbranded) green-tea specimens containing a little matcha powder that my daughter brought back from her honeymoon in Japan.

D...

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Picture of Mint Medley® Herbal Tea

Mint Medley® Herbal Tea from Bigelow Tea

Style: Mint Tea – Region: ?????

59 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Jan. 24th, 2019

I've been more impressed with most other mint teas I've chugged so far, including a couple of store brands. Still, Mint Medley is mediocre, not bad. Like most live-performance musical medleys, the sum is worse in quality than the individual parts.

The dry-bag and in-cup aromas were hardly there, while the wet bag...

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Picture of Devonshire English Breakfast Black Tea

Devonshire English Breakfast Black Tea from Celestial Seasonings

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

76 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 20th, 2019

"Devonshire" has one of the most full-bodied dry-bag aromas I've gotten from a breakfast tea, and unusually, it nearly matches the flavor for intensity. I detected virtually no difference between dry-bag scent, in-cup scent, and taste, the latter likewise being straightforwardly well-constructed within a nice, dark br...

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Picture of English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea Co

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Nilgiri, India

64 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 15th, 2019

For a simple tea, this has to have the most convoluted backstory for any I've tried. First, the tea itself: it had remarkably weak dry-bag and wet-bag aromas for what seemed to be a high-quality, single-estate tea, though in-cup, the smell was richer and fairly basic. The flavor wasn't particularly strong or bold, bu...

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Picture of Peaceful Slumber

Peaceful Slumber from Allegro

Style: Chamomile Blend – Region: Blend

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jan. 9th, 2019

Uncommonly in my admittedly limited tea-drinking experience, this was the second different bagged chamomile blend (as opposed to pure chamomile) from the same company—the first being "Relaxing Chamomile". This tea is decidedly chamomile-dominant in dry-bag, in-cup and wet-bag aromas, and despite not having the word...

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Picture of Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure from Triple Leaf Tea

Style: Wellness Tea / Medicinal Tea – Region: China

37 / 100 Aroma: 2/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 1st, 2019

Seeing the questionable claims made by some wellness-tea makers, including this one on its site, raises my blood pressure. That rather opposes the stated intent of this tea! Fortunately that effect is temporary. It's wise to heed the last part of RateTea's description of Triple Leaf: "Some of this company's product...

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Picture of Winter Wake Up Tea

Winter Wake Up Tea from Trader Joe's

Style: Flavored Black Tea – Region: Blend

88 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Dec. 28th, 2018

For a store-brand bagged tea, this seasonal offering was excellent! My immediate impression sniffing the dry bag was a striking resemblance to the flavor (not smell) of Good Earth's "Sweet and Spicy": very intense on cinnamon, with orange quite noticeable. However, unlike the Good Earth tea, this one has black tea (...

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