Tea: Loose Leaf Breakfast Blend Black Tea

A Black Tea from Benner Tea Co

Picture of Loose Leaf Breakfast Blend Black Tea
Brand:Benner Tea Co
Style:Black Tea
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Loose?Loose
# Ratings:1 View All

Review of Loose Leaf Breakfast Blend Black Tea

AromaFlavorValueTotal
7 of 104 of 54 of 572 of 100
Very GoodGoodGood Value

I was really excited to see loose-leaf tea for sale in ALDI, and I eagerly bought this. I can't remember how much it cost but I think it was around $5. I had written some time back about how frustrated I was at how bad the tea bag teas from Benner Tea Co, the ALDI generic brand, were.

ALDI consistently has high-quality generic products across the board, from chocolate to olive oil to canned soups. There are very few products in any category where I find their quality lacking, and therefore I was a bit flabbergasted when I found how terrible and undrinkable their tea was. It was far worse than Lipton, some of the worst tea I had ever tried.

I approached this with an open mind. The packaging is unusual...it has a metal-frame tin with a plastic window in it, not the greatest idea for long-term storage both due to durability (that window will eventually break or wear out, rendering the tin unusable) and storage (light can degrade tea substantially) but at least it allows you to see the leaf. And the leaf looks pretty good: it's large pieces of broken leaf, but orthodox tea, and with a few golden-to-silvery tips visible. The inside of the tin and lid are finely dusty, often a sign of high-grade teas as the dust comes from the fine fuzz on young buds.

The aroma of the dry leaf is odd, not what I expected. It's very fruity, but without much depth or complexity, although I do detect a few woody notes and hints of olive. The fruitiness strongly resembles grape, but more like concord grape, less like the muscatel grape of most Darjeeling or the deep raisin aroma of some Assam or Yunnan teas.

I brewed this tea as recommended, a teaspoon of leaf and 3 minute steep with boiling water. It produced a nice-looking dark cup, but it was oddly thin-bodied. The aroma was exactly like I would expect from the smell of the dry leaf: strongly fruity and dominated by the concord grape aroma, but without much complexity. There is little astringency, especially for a breakfast tea, although I find the finish is pleasantly tannic.

This tea strikes me as pretty good, but I would not market it as a breakfast tea. It lacks the robustness and the sort of strong malty character that I expect from most breakfast teas.

I don't know what type of tea went into this blend, but judging from the tea's aroma, it seemed more like a low-grade Darjeeling than anything else, or perhaps some other higher-altitude tea.

I also wasn't crazy about how I felt after drinking this tea. I found it quite caffeinated, and it even made me a bit jittery. But at the same time, I'm usually able to drink high-caffeine black teas, like tippy Assams or Yunnan teas, just fine. Something about this tea didn't agree with me.

This was an interesting experiment. I would say this is a good tea, and quite good for its price, but just not well-suited to my particular tastes in black tea. If you like Darjeeling tea and those fruity, grape-like notes, and you are not likely to feel too jittery after drinking lighter-bodied black tea (a persistent complaint of mine) you might really enjoy this one.

Too bad it's not for sale regularly...I saw it once and then it disappeared, like many of ALDI's products. Who knows if it will ever appear again?

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Comments:

Tchuggin' Okie wrote:
on July 18th, 2020

I've seen this tea at the ALDI store here, though not the last time I was inside (it's been a few months). I'm pretty much immune to caffeine, so next time we do an ALDI curbside order, I should see if they've got the loose-leaf version in house, and give it a go. Haven't tried their bagged black tea yet either, but from the reviews I've seen, including yours, it seems like a waste.

Alex Zorach wrote:
on July 20th, 2020

Yeah, the bagged tea was completely different, I'm not sure if it was even made from the same source leaves, I noticed no resemblance at all between the two. I recommend steering clear of it.

This one though was not bad, just not to my tastes, but I think a good quality tea.

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