Review of Murchie's Afternoon Decaf

6 of 104 of 55 of 574 of 100

As decaf teas go, this was about the best I've had. I think I've found a new beverage to chug when I get a hankerin' for black tea before bedtime. Long a big fan of their traditional Murchie's Afternoon (formerly Empress Afternoon), I got this in a variety pack and didn't even open the box for months, afraid of disappointment. While a noticeable step down from the full version, the original is so outstanding that the decaf version actually was still quite good!

The aroma and flavor were not as rich as the original, of course, but on a positive note, this tea lacked the tinny, metallic or offputtingly flat character so common to decaf black teas in my experience. Instead, it took sweetening very well and became, with several minutes of immersion, a very smooth and relaxing hot drink that tastes mellow, but still somewhat complex. It finishes clean, with not much aftertaste. The in-cup aroma did have some of that oddly toasty to rubbery nature of some decafs, but I really didn't detect that in the taste buds at all, nor in sniffing either the dry or post-steeping wet bag.

One curious thing occurred as I brewed this tea and lightly stirred: it formed a good deal of foam inside the bag. The way I usually steep tea, this seldom happens. I'll upload a supplemental photo I took of that. I've seen minor or very transient foaming in other teabags before, but can't recall to this pronounced of an extent visually, nor as persistent (the entire time the bag was immersed, even during stirring). I'm not sure what to make of it.

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