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Difflugia

Tea Reviewer

Member since Mar. 9th, 2017. Reviewed 47 teas.

Reviews of Teas & Herbal Teas

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Picture of Ancient Golden Yunnan

Ancient Golden Yunnan from Rishi Tea

Style: Yunnan Gold – Region: Yunnan, China

80 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 18th, 2017

While somewhat broken, the dry tea is in relatively large pieces and the golden tips that the style is known for are apparent. The aroma is malty with notes of raisins.

While brewing, the tea smells wonderful. The maltiness is pronounced, but tannic, leafy and perhaps mineral elements are also present.

The first ...

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Picture of Spiced Citrus Nana Mint

Spiced Citrus Nana Mint from Wissotzky

Style: Herbal Tea – Region: Blend

50 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 1/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 17th, 2017

The dry tea is pungent, smelling of both spearmint and peppermint with a hint of cinnamon. Adding water intensifies the aroma without really changing the balance. With the first taste, I realized that this tea is all about the mint. It's definitely high quality; while cheaper mint often tastes of stems and hay, there'...

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Picture of Wild Sweet Orange

Wild Sweet Orange from Tazo Tea

Style: Herbal Tea – Region: ?????

90 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 12th, 2017

I'm pretty sure this tea/tisane is almost artificial. While the ingredients aren't artificial, they aren't just plant parts, either. First, I think most of the orange aroma comes from a layer of orange oil ("natural orange essence" in the ingredients) sprayed on the teabag. The teabag itself is actually yellow-orange a...

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Picture of Prince of Wales (Loose)

Prince of Wales (Loose) from Twinings

Style: Black Tea – Region: China

75 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 12th, 2017

The dry tea is quite broken and, though there is quite a bit of dust at the bottom of the tin, most of the pieces are noticeably larger than the tea in the teabags. The aroma is faint, but malty and pleasant.

Adding the water draws out a smoky, earthy aroma that is characteristic of other Chinese black teas. The ini...

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Picture of Prince of Wales

Prince of Wales from Twinings

Style: Black Tea – Region: China

45 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Apr. 11th, 2017

This tea smells great, but the flavor is weak. The aroma is both earthy and sweet. The flavor, though, is a pale shadow of the aroma. The first time I bought a box of this tea, I assumed that it had to be stale because of improper packing or storing. A second box was the same.

The tea isn't bitter or astringent at a...

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Picture of Qimen Black Tea

Qimen Black Tea from Starway

Style: Keemun – Region: Qimen, Anhui, China

95 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 5th, 2017

Like other Starway teas, this tea is very inexpensive ($6.99 for 6 ounces) and is packaged in a red tin of the same style as other Starway teas. The leaves are broken, but in reasonably large pieces.

The dried leaves are quite pungent and smell strongly of raisins. As the tea steeps, the aroma is of earth, oak leave...

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Picture of Green Tea Decaffeinated

Green Tea Decaffeinated from Twinings

Style: Green Tea – Region: ?????

30 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Apr. 4th, 2017

This is one of the weakest decaf greens that I've tried. It brews up with a darker color than even many caffeinated teas, but the flavor and aroma remind me of dry hay. It tastes and smells slightly vegetal, but is nondescript and uninteresting.

I'm actually surprised that this tea is so bad. Twinings isn't exactly ...

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Picture of Organic Dragon Well Tea

Organic Dragon Well Tea from Wei-Chuan

Style: Dragon Well Tea – Region: China

75 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 4th, 2017

The tea in the sachets is a mixture of broken and whole leaves, so the first appearance is of tea that would be mediocre if sold loose. The dry tea is quite fragrant, though, smelling fresh and grassy.

I typically steep green tea at 170° for four minutes. With decent quality tea, this generally gives a comfortable ...

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Picture of Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea

Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea from Stash Tea

Style: Herbal Tea – Region: ?????

70 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 3rd, 2017

The dry teabag smells strongly of ginger with a lemony background. Adding water really brings out the lemongrass. My first thought is that it smells like a kind of Thai soup.

Ginger tends to overpower other flavors, but in this case there's a nice balance between the ginger and lemongrass. I can taste the lemon and ...

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Picture of Green Tea Decaffenated (Classic)

Green Tea Decaffenated (Classic) from Bigelow Tea

Style: Green Tea – Region: ?????

60 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 3rd, 2017

It's apparently easier to decaffeinate green tea and still have some flavor than it is black tea. One thing I've learned about decaf greens, though, is to use hotter water than one would for the caffeinated varieties. Conventional wisdom for green tea is to use cooler water and shorter steeping times to keep from cooki...

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Picture of Gold Blend

Gold Blend from Barry's Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

65 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 1st, 2017

The dry tea is strange-looking. I think it's CTC tea that has been broken up into smaller pieces. Each teabag contains 3g of tea, so expect a strong cup of tea if you're used to American teabags.

Dry, it smells like CTC Assam tea, malty, tannic and slightly smoky. Adding the water opens up the aroma, which is rich a...

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Picture of English Breakfast Decaffeinated

English Breakfast Decaffeinated from Twinings

Style: English Breakfast – Region: ?????

60 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 29th, 2017

While the dry tea is nearly odorless, the brewed tea smells much more like tea than many of its decaf competitors. The aroma is faint, but is of a tannic oakiness and light maltiness rather than just wet leaves.

I'll start by saying that the flavor of this tea is very weak and there's no comparison between this tea ...

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Picture of PG Tips Pyramid bags

PG Tips Pyramid bags from PG Tips

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

55 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 2/5
Mar. 29th, 2017

PG Tips is a blend of CTC teas. Most American grocery store teas are "orthodox" teas, however. That's worth knowing for a few reasons.

First, while orthodox production results in leaf pieces of various sizes (dust, fannings, broken leaf, whole leaf), the CTC machines produce small, uniform pellets. One thing that me...

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Picture of Earl Grey Decaffeinated Black Tea

Earl Grey Decaffeinated Black Tea from Bigelow Tea

Style: Earl Grey Tea – Region: ?????

55 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 28th, 2017

Upon opening the pouch, the teabag smells pungently of bergamot. Unlike Twinings, this tea seems scented with only bergamot and no other citrus. Immediately after brewing, the aroma of bergamot is still strong but, like most decaf black teas, there is little noticeable tea aroma. There's a little mustiness that may rep...

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Picture of Organic Black Tea

Organic Black Tea from Wei-Chuan

Style: Black Tea – Region: China

85 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 28th, 2017

This tea is in large sachets that contain 3g of tea each instead of the usual 2g. The package gives no indication where the tea is sourced other than that it's a product of China. The package is a resealable, heavy mylar pouch, but the sachets inside have no individual wrapping. The dry leaves are surprisingly large fo...

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Picture of Earl Grey Decaffeinated

Earl Grey Decaffeinated from Twinings

Style: Earl Grey Tea – Region: ?????

55 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 27th, 2017

Presumably losing the rest of the tea flavor and aroma to the decaffeination process, this tea retains a tannic hint of dry leaves. The Twinings bergamot flavoring tastes much more like sweet oranges and is less bitter than other Earl Grey teas.

I find that the sweet and bitter of the citrus complements the faint ta...

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Picture of Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast from Twinings

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: ?????

45 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 3/5
Mar. 27th, 2017

Dry, this tea has very little aroma. After adding water, the initial aroma is of oak leaves. It smells nice without being particularly complex.

The tea is very astringent and moderately bitter. It's less malty than I would like, so the tea tastes unbalanced. The maltiness mostly appears in the finish, which lingers ...

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Picture of Organic Golden Monkey Black Tea

Organic Golden Monkey Black Tea from Prince of Peace

Style: Golden Monkey – Region: Yunnan, China

96 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 26th, 2017

This tea is absolutely sublime, but has a price tag to match.

I was wandering around Chicago's Chinatown yesterday looking for interesting tea and saw a display of Prince of Peace's premium "gift box" teas. At $19.99 for 150g, I was worried that the quality wouldn't match the price, but decided to try it anyway. I w...

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Picture of Decaf Breakfast

Decaf Breakfast from Tea Forte

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

35 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Mar. 23rd, 2017

For me, afternoon caffeine inevitably means insomnia, so I've spent some effort trying to find a decent decaf. I've found a few decaf green teas and Earl Greys that are drinkable, but I've yet to find an unflavored black tea that's worth the trouble. Despite being the most expensive decaf I've tried, Tea Forté's Decaf...

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Picture of Ginseng Oolong (King's Tea) Fourth Grade

Ginseng Oolong (King's Tea) Fourth Grade from Ten Ren Tea

Style: Ginseng Oolong Tea – Region: Taiwan / Formosa

90 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Mar. 23rd, 2017

Ten Ren's King's Tea has been my favorite for years. The base tea is high quality to begin with and the ginseng is subtle enough that the flavors blend well. It's difficult for me to tell where the tea flavor ends and the ginseng begins.

On the tongue, the tea is lightly bitter with an initial grassy flavor that giv...

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Picture of China Black Tea

China Black Tea from Foojoy

Style: Black Tea – Region: China

65 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 17th, 2017

As mentioned in a previous review, the 100 tea bags in the box aren't sealed in any way, so the first thing I did upon opening the box was to put the bags into an airtight cannister.

The initial aroma of the tea reminds me of damp oak leaves with a hint of maltiness. The flavor is tannic and astringent, but is so mi...

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Picture of Bilouchun Green Tea

Bilouchun Green Tea from Starway

Style: Bi Luo Chun – Region: Jiangsu, China

75 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Mar. 14th, 2017

This is presumably the same tea that the previous reviewers tasted, but it's packaged in individual 6g pouches (24 packets totalling 150g). At $10, I paid a little more than the previous reviewers did, as well.

That said, this is now one of my favorite green teas. I find it best with a long steep in cooler water (4-...

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