Review of Hazelnut Herbal Coffee

10 of 104 of 55 of 597 of 100

I thought this was amazing! Everyone who knows me knows that I'm primarily a tea drinker, but I do like coffee now and then, especially in winter, when I drink it with milk or cream. I mainly don't drink it because I'm sensitive to its high caffeine content, and also because it is rough on my stomach. This one solved both problems, while satisfying me just as much as better-than-average flavored coffee. I now want to try more of these coffee-substitutes from this company.

This was a single teabag thrown in as a free sample from the Philadelphia Coffee and Tea Festival; I'm glad I finally tried it. I was initially skeptical; it's hard to make herbal blends that taste like coffee...a lot of them end up dark and roasty but just don't do it for me. But wow...

This is full bodied, very dark in color, like coffee, far darker than any tea. Has a richness that I usually only encounter in coffee, there's even the sour flavor--still present enough to taste authentic, but a little less acidic than typical coffee. The aroma is also very coffee-like. There's perhaps a bit less of the in-your-face roast as it's brewing, but the roasty aroma is there and pleasant, and I love the nutty qualities--they smell fully natural, rich and earthy rather than the fleeting flavorings that plague some flavored coffees or teas. The main difference that jumps out at me as being different from coffee is that there is little up-front bitterness or kick, instead a muted bitterness that comes later. The aftertaste is actually very similar to coffee--even leaving an astringency and sourness on my palate (something I'm not crazy about with coffee).

I tend to like Hazelnut-flavored coffees, and I think I like this better than any example of such. The fact that it is completely caffeine-free, yet more flavorful than any decaf I've ever tried, is a huge plus. I am actually drinking it, and writing this review, in the evening.

I only brewed one cup, but I sampled it both with and without milk. It tastes great black, but I liked it best with milk. Behaves very similarly to coffee when adding milk: its flavor holds its own more than any tea, and I find the nutty qualities come out a lot too.

I could see drinking this regularly. It's pretty exceptional. It's a little pricey per-cup, but decent coffee tends to be slightly pricier per-cup than tea.

The only note of caution...I know some people don't like carob, and this does contain carob. It doesn't exactly dominate, but when I was looking for it in the aroma, I could sense it. So people who strongly object to carob will probably notice it. I rather like carob, and I thought it blended into the background and I mainly got a more general roasted aroma.

Bottom line, I went out and got a whole (loose) bag of this stuff, and it's disappearing quickly. I like it as an evening drink, on nights when I might normally drink hot chocolate.

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