Tea: Black Tea

A Black Tea from Farmer Brothers

Picture of Black Tea
Brand:Farmer Brothers
Style:Black Tea
# Ratings:3 View All
Product page:Black Tea

Review of Black Tea

3 of 104 of 54 of 562 of 100
PoorGoodGood Value

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 style of packaging—was busted wide open by a surprisingly strong brew.

The smell wasn't promising: almost no scent on the dry bag, and a musty, faintly algal or fishy odor when wet. But the color got very deep and pitch-dark, fast, before I finished pouring the hot water. The bag has lots of fairly finely ground tea leaves in it, and maximizes the output quickly. In fact (though I did not), one probably could brew up a couple cups from one bag—quite uncommon for teas of this nature, in my relatively limited experience.

The base flavor was rather straightforward, nothing outstanding or extraordinary in and of itself, except that it was remarkably strong and thick! This tea tasted stronger than any other food-service or store-brand tea I've tried to date, and right up there with some loose-leaf black blends that aren't flavored. Farmer Brothers doesn't dilute their tea or cut corners on density, that's for sure. You probably will get a good caffeine jolt from it too, if you are sensitive to such things (unlike me). If you want nuanced flavor, this isn't for you. If you want a slap-in-the-face strong, unpretentious tea to hit the road by, this will suffice.

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Alex Zorach wrote:
on August 25th, 2017

I wonder if this company has a cult following the way Rituals, another foodservice brand, does.

I'm a little skeptical of teas whose color infuses as quickly as you describe. If you read our recently-published article on additives in tea, it describes that some companies add colorings to their tea. On the other hand, with boiling water, finely-broken teas can and do infuse quickly, and if they're very tannic, especially if the tea bag is generous on the quantity of leaf, you can experience stuff like you described with no additives. I think the true test is what happens if you put the tea bag in cold water.

All that said, I'm actually drinking a loose-leaf tea whose color infuses super fast right now...it's the Safari tea from Ketepa, another tea that is kick-you-in-the-face strong. Sometimes I really love that stuff.

Tchuggin' Okie wrote:
on August 29th, 2017

Great tip, Alex...thanks. I'll have to try that cold-water dip next time I have a tea that gets dark fast. The Farmer Brothers bag was unusually full in dry state, and quite bloated after removing from the water; they don't skimp on quantity. Coincidentally I also ran across Rituals for the first time on the same trip.

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