Review of No. 10 Blend Tea Bags

8 of 105 of 55 of 586 of 100

RateTea's description of green/black blending says that it's hard to pull off successfully, due to temperature differences needed for optimal steeping of each. Partly for that reason, I haven't tried many (if any) green/black mixtures. And yet...

* Murchie's has yielded mostly very good to excellent teas in my experience,
* This blend has been in their repertoire for 110 years, which speaks to a loyal following across several generations, and
* Its website claims, "Our No. 10 Blend was selected in 1996 as the best beverage out of over 300 products sampled at the Canadian Association of Specialty Food."

So I got a variety pack with this included, and used water that I had boiled but let sit for a minute or two. It works! Props to Murchie's...this stuff tastes outstanding. At least if you like jasmine tea (and I do), it's a winner. It consists of two green teas (gunpowder and jasmine) and two black teas (Keemun and Ceylon). The dry-bag aroma is decidedly "jasminey", with a somewhat chocolate-like, Tootsie Roll type character I've experienced before with strong jasmine greens. Yet in-cup, with smell and taste, I pick up the black tea more than the green in the base flavor, making this a "jasmine black tea" to me. Occasional hints of the green-tea background sneak back in late-sip and especially in the aftertaste; it's grassy and mulch-like (but in a sweet, rich, pleasant way, not musty like lawn clippings). There's some bitterness—don't know how much of that is thermally induced—but it's not offputting. Overall, it's a weird but delicious balance. I haven't ever had a tea quite like this, and find it oddly satisfying and comforting.

Be advised, however, if you don't like florals or jasmine, or only want a faint hint of it, this isn't for you. Its flavor is more jasmine-heavy than most straight-green jasmine teas I've ever had.

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