Review of English Teatime Decaffeinated

3 of 103 of 53 of 541 of 100

Caffeine generally doesn't bother me, even before sleepytime (lower-case, not to be confused with the Celestial Seasonings brand of herbal tea). As such, I am still rather inexperienced with decaf teas, outside of 1) a couple of lame food-service brands and 2) a strongly flavored variety that I have loved dearly for a long time, and that uses decaf green tea largely as ballast for an excellent herbal blend (hello, Candy Cane Lane). The more decaf plain teas I try, however, the more it seems they need a heaping helping of help to overcome the aromatic and taste deficiencies the decaffeination process seems to impart.

Okay, enough pontificating...point is, this one was no exception. I've had regular English Teatime, which was okay but nothing inspiring, and the decaf version here is remarkably different and lower in quality.

Sniffing this tea, in its various stages, was mostly an unpleasant experience. The dry bag didn't have much smell at all, faintly like tea, but also a bit metallic (like the taste). The in-cup liquid and wet bag each gave off an aroma that I first interpreted as "musty", then "salty", then as "sweaty" (a combination of musty and salty). No bueno. I'd rather my tea not remind even faintly of my old middle-school locker room after football practice on a hot day. The taste was tolerable and recognizable as weak tea, again faintly metallic but still drinkable, without the sweatiness...that is, if I held my breath and did not let the vapors from the cup waft into my nostrils while drinking. Should that caveat be the norm? I hope not!

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