Saturday, June 5, 2010

Stash - Cinnamon Apple Chamomile

Smells just like apple pie. A lovely dark red-purple color tea. I'm kinda expecting the taste to be less amazing than the smell like most teas.

Tea leaves are like most packages teas - small. The tea bag itself does have a string and it is of good length (goes right over the mug, but doesn't need to be wrapped around the hand or anything). It's been steeping for a few minutes so I'll taste it now.

Ingredients (from back of packet):
Cinnamon, hibiscus, chamomile,and apple flavor.

This is confusing. VERY confusing. It tastes sour. Sour apple pie? No. I taste just sour, not a hint of apple pie or cinnamon or chamomile anywhere. Must be the hibiscus. Gosh, I am starting to hate hibiscus. I'm going to add some sugar to this.

Sugar improved this tea by a whole lot. Totally neutralized that hibiscus. I put in about 1½ spoonfuls of sugar. Actually tastes like apple pie now! But a very apple-less pie since I can't really taste that.

It's alright. Would probably taste better if I sprinkled some more cinnamon in there. Better yet, why don't I just dump some cinnamon into some hot water? Might get the same results from that.

Rating: 1.5/5
Recommend? No

Twinings - The Lady Grey

So I tried this tea because well, I love the color grey. What an odd reason to buy tea, right? The smell was slightly repellent, but I started to be able to pick out the citrusy parts and the tea leaves part from each other and it started smelling quite pleasant. I have never tried black tea before either so this is a first.

Ingredients (from back of the packet):
Tea, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Citrus Flavoring.

The tea bag contained tea leaves of relatively small size. Most of the teas I've drank so far have similar size, so it doesn't really concern me. The string had the perfect length for the cup (mug) I was using. The tea bag itself got stained slightly orange-brown because of the tea. So I'm going to take a sip of this right now since it has cooled for a while (I don't like to burn my tongue really).

The flavor could be described as woodsy with a hint of citrus. The citrus taste comes at the end of  the sip after the woodsy part. It tastes slightly bitter, but in a good way. I did not add any sugar or milk this time. Even though this tea does have caffeine, you can probably get similar flavor from the Decaf version that Twinings also made. I have no idea why, but I actually feel more relaxed by drinking this tea.

So the best part? The smell. It has an interesting scent compared to those extremely obvious scents from the herbal teas I've been drinking. The taste is pretty rich and I have no idea how smooth a tea must be to be described as smooth, but this sure is smooth.

I think one tea bag would make quite a few cups. Two minutes already gave quite a strong flavor.

Bought  this for the extra caffeine to study for my exams next week. All twenty tea bags would probably be gone by the end of that week.

Rating: 4.5/5
Recommend? Yes

Friday, June 4, 2010

Celestial Seasonings - Country Peach Passion Herbal Tea

For Celestial Seasonings, I also requested some samples. They offered to send me some coupons (three $0.50 off Celestial Seasonings) which I have received. I already used one for the sampler pack that includes this flavor.

Ingredients (from their site):
Orange peel, rosehips, hawthorn, chamomile, natural peach flavor with other natural flavors (contains soy lecithin), blackberry leaves, hibiscus, peaches, citric acid and paprika (color).

This is 100% natural, caffeine-free, and zero calories. Sounds good to me.

This tasted like a non-sweet peach when no sugar was added. So obviously, I added sugar. About two spoons of sugar this time which was just enough to make this taste more peachy. The smell of this tea bag was mostly peach and something I can't identify. There was no string for the tea bag, so a spoon had to be used. I think this tea is flavorful enough to make a second cup, but beyond that I don't think it will taste right. Nice, but kind of boring. Maybe as an iced tea (I haven't tried it as an iced tea yet), but hot peaches? Kinda odd. Not really anything special unless you are a huge fan of peaches. I do like peaches, but it doesn't taste of peach as I wanted it to be.

Overall, it's an alright tea.

Rating: 3/5
Recommend? Yes

Gold Kili - 3-in-1 Instant Milk Tea

Another brand that my parents bought and regularly drink. The "3-in-1" part probably means that sugar and milk/"creamer" was already added with the tea. It is ground into a powder and each packet is for one cup only.

Ingredients (from the back of the entire bag):
Sugar, Creamer {Glucose syrup, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Coconut Oil/ Palm Kernel Oil), Sodium Caseinate (Milk Derivative), Stabiliser - Potassium Phosphate (E340), Emulsifier-Mono and Diglycerides (E471), Color (E160a)}, Instant Tea

As you can probably tell, this is not a very natural tea. To me, all that matters is the taste. Unless the tea contains some kind of hazardous ingredient that can kill me, I'm not really concerned with what it's made out of. But for future reference, I actually bothered to type it out.

This is the only tea that I will add milk to. In fact, I add one spoon of sugar and a splash of milk into this one. This tea is so insanely wonderful, I drink it almost daily!

It's probably all that random weird stuff that I don't care much about in this tea, but it adds up to 70 calories if you don't add extra milk and sugar like me. 10g out of the total 18g of this is sugar! Gosh that sounds horrible, but it does taste nice. So half of this tea is sugar; didn't expect that. There is probably caffeine in this too. It still feels quite relaxing to drink this though.

Love this tea even with it's unhealthy factors. Trust me, this stuff tastes good.

Rating: 5/5
Recommend? Yes

Prince of Peace - Premium Green Tea

This green tea claims that it is "100% Natural" and also "Premium". However, the tea leaves are pretty small so I don't really know. I am actually quite new to tea and the reviews I have posted are the only teas I own. The green tea is packed in individually wrapped tea bags which I do like.

Ingredients (from the pack):
Young Green Tea Leaves

From what the ingredients lists, this is 100% natural. By "Young Green Tea Leaves", I think they mean Sencha. You are supposed to brew this for 3-5 minutes, but I only leave it in for one since I like my green tea more mild. Prince of Peace Premium Green Tea was not bought by me, but bought by my parents, so I don't really know where you can buy this.

This tea is not caffeine free as it contains 20mg of caffeine per cup. This tea is less bitter than the Zhena Biodynamic Green Tea (KiwiPeach). The string attached to the tea bag is way too long though; I can wrap it around the handle of the mug I use for tea several times. That is really my only complaint with this tea.

Rating: 4/5
Recommend? Yes

Zhena Biodynamic Green Tea - KiwiPeach

A fruitier green tea, or so it should be. I requested samples from Zhena, they accepted and sent me a packet of 4 different teas. This tea tastes like most other green teas, the difference is probably the quality of leaves. They are much larger than the other teas I've tried and the taste is strong enough for a third cup.

Ingredients (from the back of the pack):
Organic, Fair Trade, Biodynamic Green Tea, Organic Kiwi Flavor, Organic Peach Flavor.

What a short ingredients list! No wonder they boast about how natural their teas are! Apparently, this line of tea "offers one of the smallest carbon footprints of any agricultural method." which is good if you do care for the environment. I don't find this fact very important, but others may so might as well throw it out there. So I steeped the tea bag for the 3-4 minutes recommended and was rewarded with a brilliant taste of green tea.

While I was waiting for the 4 minutes to pass, I noticed something odd. The string that is supposed to hang out of cup, but it was way too short to pass over the top of the cup, so it just flopped over and stuck to the tea bag (which was pyramid-shaped). The tea leaves, as I said before, were a good size and definitely made a difference. The smell of the tea was similar to a slightly sour peach, the tea however was not sour. A taste of this and I realized that the peach and kiwi were only part of the smell; there was not enough of it to make an impact on the taste.

Overall, this was a nice flavorful tea.

Rating: 4/5
Recommend? Yes

Tetley - Red Tea (Rooibos)

This is my first experience of red tea, and it was pretty good! Tetley sent me some samples and coupons for this lovely tea.

Ingredients (from the site):
Rooibos (red bush)

Tetley Red Tea is caffeine-free and Tetley claims that it "contains qualities that relieve allergies, ease digestion and help increase iron absorption". I have no idea if it helped me with anything, but this was a nice tea. Tetley also says that "it also contains minerals that promote healthy skin, teeth and bones."

I'm no scientist so I have no idea if those are true or not. I drink tea for the feeling and taste (also because I dislike drinking water). Overall, this satisfied my tastes and I am considering buying more after I finish some of the 58 tea bags I bought today.

Rating: 4/5
Recommend? Yes