Review of Canada 150 Blend Tea Bags

6 of 104 of 55 of 574 of 100

Here's a new blend style for me: green, black and oolong. As the name indicates, Murchie's first produced this to commemorate Canada's 150th anniversary, and it apparently gained enough of a following to keep going as a sale offering. Fittingly, it also is faintly maple flavored—much less so than any of Murchie's other "mapley" teas I've tried yet. This three-tea blend with a hint of maple, all told, makes it a unique beverage.

The overall aroma was weak to mild, but pleasant, across either dry-bag, in-cup or wet-bag sniffing modes. The maple was more detectable dry, less wet, and the green/black/oolong mix balanced well in all phases. Neither of the three tea types dominated either taste or smell for me, though the black tea seemed to be just a tad stronger than the others in taste and wet-bag aroma. Despite being consumed hot, it seemed to have some cooling effect, and could be a good summertime tea.

Canada 150 can be a nicely satisfying tea, "deliciously different" to borrow an old slogan for Big Red soda, but one must be as balanced in brewing this as the tea itself is with its components. Optimizing the experience requires some self-discipline in steeping, which I'm not accustomed to. A lazy steeper like me should set a timer.

As with most strictly green/black blends I've tried, this one starts getting noticeably (potentially unpleasantly) bitter if allowed to brew too long—say, more than about 4 minutes in water that's cooled about 10–20 degrees off boiling. Yet since I like to soak the tea a long time to maximize flavor, this one presents a challenge in balancing robustness gain with tolerable bitterness. Three to four minutes seems about right for me for one bag—no more (too bitter), no less (not much body). Within that window, however, it's a very pleasant, thoughtfully balanced blend, especially if a touch of maple doesn't bother you. If you prefer a more-delicate flavor, 2 minutes should work fine. Also, the flavor gets more woody (as in, freshly cut wood) the longer it steeps.

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