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Tchuggin' Okie

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Member since Feb. 11th, 2016. Reviewed 386 teas.

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Picture of Original (Black Tea)

Original (Black Tea) from Red Rose Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

59 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 27th, 2024

Seldom have I sampled a tea with such a gap between aroma (or lack thereof) and taste. It's a vast chasm, really. The Grand Canyon might be a good analog with another several million years of erosion, widening and deepening.

This was a motel pickup somewhere out on the Great Plains. I don't recall where. I had a...

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Picture of Darjeeling Black Tea

Darjeeling Black Tea from Rituals

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

79 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 23rd, 2024

Here's another new Rituals tea for me (and this website), also first sampled at the Days Inn in Hays, KS. As usual, and even though Hays water isn't bad, I also hauled a bag home to try on my well water for fair comparison with other ratings.

Upon ripping open the foil-lined package, the smell that greeted my nos...

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Picture of Organic Irish Breakfast Tea

Organic Irish Breakfast Tea from Equal Exchange

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: India

61 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
May. 28th, 2024

My review here is decidedly mixed. Since this isn't a bad tea, folks who are interested in the fair-trade/organic aspects may find this a good alternative to the relative dearth of such certifications among Irish Breakfast bagged teas. Being less refined, more of a troglodyte, I just want tea to taste good regardless...

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Picture of Festive Breakfast (Teabags)

Festive Breakfast (Teabags) from Whittard of Chelsea

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

74 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 4th, 2024

Whittard has a single-sourced English Breakfast by name (from West Java), and an entirely different tea more of the traditional EB style—this one—composed of Ceylon and Kenya teas. Unlike the named EB, I couldn't find Festive Breakfast on Whittard's website, but instead, got it as part of a gift assortment.

Fo...

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English Breakfast (Teabags) from Whittard of Chelsea

Style: English Breakfast – Region: West Java, Indonesia

77 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 24th, 2023

Given how unimpressed I've been with most of Whittard's offerings so far, this was a pleasant surprise. English Breakfast is their advertised "No. 01" mainstay tea since the Victorian era, at least in loose-leaf form, so presumably the bagged version shouldn't be terribly different.

Though not very strong, the dry...

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Picture of Darjeeling (Teabags)

Darjeeling (Teabags) from Whittard of Chelsea

Style: Darjeeling Black Tea – Region: Darjeeling, India

69 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Dec. 3rd, 2023

The photo is from Whittard's website where (as of this writing) 50 round, stringless bags sell for USD $9.50, not too bad for what I presume to be a decent-quality Darjeeling. [They also sell loose-leaf Darjeeling.] Mine came from a 5-bag sampler pack, each bag being of the fold-over type stapled to a string and tag....

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Picture of Organic Nilgiri Black Tea

Organic Nilgiri Black Tea from Trader Joe's

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nilgiri, India

65 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Oct. 26th, 2023

This was a strange black tea, in that the in-cup and dry-bag aroma differed more from the flavor than the great majority of black teas I've had. As it turns out, that's a good thing, because the aroma wasn't bad—just weak and weird. The smells were reminiscent of something I don't often associate with tea: mild ch...

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Picture of Royal English Breakfast

Royal English Breakfast from Harney and Sons

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

67 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 2/5
Jan. 1st, 2023

As with their "Green Tea with Coconut & Ginger", I got this at a last-day estate sale for a quarter (proportionate fraction of a bulk pantry buy). Not per bag, but for the entire tin! That's the best value I've had for a good tea. However, you probably can't match that. So how costly is it, for real? A peek at the...

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Picture of Platinum Jubilee Tea Bags

Platinum Jubilee Tea Bags from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

71 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 13th, 2022

While still good, this was the least desirable of the Murchie's "Jubilee" line I've tried so far. Blended this year (2022) in honor of the late Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, it contains a mix of Darjeeling, Assam, Yunnan and Keemun. Given the strong history this company has with teas of those origins individual...

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Picture of English Breakfast Black Tea

English Breakfast Black Tea from Rituals

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

63 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Oct. 17th, 2022

Not great, but decent and tolerable: that's how I'll characterize this blend. In my relatively limited experience, many food-service black teas (including English Breakfasts) taste rather flat, hollow, sometimes excessively bitter, or often weak, as if they've either been allowed to sit out in the open for 20 years, ...

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Picture of Irish Breakfast (Loose)

Irish Breakfast (Loose) from Twinings

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: Blend

59 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 3/5
Apr. 27th, 2022

The version I'm rating is from the "American" tin (packed in Greensboro, NC, but presumably shipped over in bulk to parse out for that purpose). It doesn't look appreciably different from the photo I uploaded off Twinings' website.

Dry aroma was surprisingly weak for an Irish Breakfast blend, but pleasant to the e...

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Picture of Balmoral Blend Tea Bags

Balmoral Blend Tea Bags from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

84 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Apr. 7th, 2022

This Ceylon/Assam blend is yet another in a long line of Murchie's teas paying tribute to British royalty in some way. According to the website: "Murchie's Balmoral Blend Tea was originally blended for York House School—a private school for girls which has been an institution in Vancouver for over 75 years. This b...

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Picture of Decaf

Decaf from Barry's Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

65 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Feb. 17th, 2022

My samples of Barry's Decaf came from a motel where the "regular" tea was Lipton. As such, I haven't tried the normal, caffeinated breed of this tea yet for comparison's sake. Both there and at home, I tried it before bedtime, as the website advocated (but without knowing of said suggestion yet).

Dry-bag aroma wa...

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Picture of Decaffeinated Black Tea

Decaffeinated Black Tea from Great Value

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????

18 / 100 Aroma: 2/10 Flavor: 2/5 Value: 1/5
Jan. 1st, 2022

Brought home from a low-grade motel somewhere in southwestern New Mexico, this tea wasn't high on my priority list to try. Cheap motels are that way for a reason—well, several reasons—one being those that do bother to offer tea often buy cheap tea in bulk from Wal-Mart. The nearest Wal-Mart to this place was at l...

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Picture of Editors' Blend Tea Bags

Editors' Blend Tea Bags from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

91 / 100 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Nov. 3rd, 2021

Murchie's carries so many different tea blends that it takes a long time—years, at a normal tea-drinking pace—to get around to trying most of them. I wish this one had landed on my porch sooner! This may be the richest, smoothest, fullest-bodied all-black tea blend of theirs, or anybody's for that matter, that I'...

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Picture of Diamond Jubilee Tea Bags

Diamond Jubilee Tea Bags from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

87 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 27th, 2021

Another Murchie's mix marches out of the box and firmly into fond appreciation, this one in a traditional but growing group that honors assorted British royalty. The dry-bag aroma is mild but pleasant, offering an honest hint at the smooth and bold flavor to come. This blend tastes, has in-cup aroma and smells in the...

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Picture of Scottish Breakfast Tea Bags

Scottish Breakfast Tea Bags from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Scottish Breakfast – Region: Blend

89 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 4th, 2021

Somehow, through all the teas I've chugged the last few years, Scottish Breakfast hasn't gone down the gullet yet. Why? Forgive my neglect. I've been missing out. I won't speak for other shops' renditions yet, but Murchie's has a championship-caliber blend going here.

Maybe some of it was reading that many Scott...

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Picture of Extra Strong

Extra Strong from Typhoo

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

81 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Jun. 29th, 2021

Typhoo hard-sells to appreciators of strong tea with what appears to be their newest offering, straightforwardly titled Extra Strong, with this verbiage on the side of the package: "The most hardcore quality teas from estates in India and Africa, wrestled from the plant and blended together. Deep. Bold. Strong. Th...

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Picture of Premium Tea Decaffeinated

Premium Tea Decaffeinated from Bigelow Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

46 / 100 Aroma: 4/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Jun. 13th, 2021

This tea came from a motel. That isn't surprising, considering that the Bigelow website for the product offers 48-bag boxes and cases thereof, as if targeting the food-service market. I've gotten the regular version of this (which is mediocre too) in motels as well as on airplanes.

For a decaf tea, Premium Decaf w...

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Picture of 1894 Select Orange Pekoe Tea Bags

1894 Select Orange Pekoe Tea Bags from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

84 / 100 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
May. 26th, 2021

Imagine if Lipton black tea were actually really good, how it should taste. This is that. 1894 is one of the original Murchie's teas from nearly 130 years ago, first blended by their founder in Victorian-era Vancouver. It's a simple, straightforward, unpretentious mix of good-quality Ceylon and Assam, with both the ...

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Picture of Murchie's Afternoon Decaf

Murchie's Afternoon Decaf from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

74 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Apr. 3rd, 2021

As decaf teas go, this was about the best I've had. I think I've found a new beverage to chug when I get a hankerin' for black tea before bedtime. Long a big fan of their traditional Murchie's Afternoon (formerly Empress Afternoon), I got this in a variety pack and didn't even open the box for months, afraid of disa...

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Picture of Prince Charles Blend Tea Bags

Prince Charles Blend Tea Bags from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

87 / 100 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
Jan. 14th, 2021

Prince Charles isn't among most heavily advertised teas in the large assortment Murchie's carries, but maybe it should be. It was, according to the website, "originally blended in 1981 to commemorate the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana." Good thing this tea long outlasted that marriage!

The dry bag gave a sharp...

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Picture of Rocky Mountain Blend

Rocky Mountain Blend from Murchie's Tea & Coffee Ltd

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend

72 / 100 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
Aug. 15th, 2020

Both the loose and bagged versions of this blend have gone down my gullet, and I honestly can't tell much (if any) difference, at least within a reasonably narrow batch-to-batch margin of error. That said, I'll base this review mainly on what I've got right now, which is bags from a sampler pack.

The dry-bag (and ...

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Picture of Assam Tea Bags

Assam Tea Bags from Taylors of Harrogate

Style: Assam – Region: Assam, India

73 / 100 Aroma: 7/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 4/5
Jun. 2nd, 2020

Taylor's has/had a "Pure Assam". Does the absence of that adjective here make this one "impure" by default? :-)

Seriously, I don't know if "Assam Tea" is the same as "Pure Assam", repackaged and rebranded, or a parallel offering. It has been a few years since I tried and reviewed "Pure Assam", so I can't compare...

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Picture of English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Lipton Tea

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend

54 / 100 Aroma: 5/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
Feb. 11th, 2020

I bring news! Whether it's good news or not is up to the reader. This tea, as a brand with the same name, is not retired after all, as of Feb. 2020. Instead, it has found its way to the food-service division of Unilever, Lipton's corporate overlord. I'll upload a photo of its newest packaging separately. I was abl...

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