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Recent Tasting Notes
Oh heck yes! I’m a sucker for dessert teas, and this one is inspired by one of my favorite baked goods of all time. My mom makes a killer lemon loaf (we called it a “tea cake” when I was a kid) and as such, the nostalgia factor is through the roof with this tea.
I snagged a couple bags from the TTB and my partner and I brewed them up last night. He was handling the prep while I read on the couch, and I heard an audible “mmm” when he sniffed the bag. We were both expecting the brewed tea to fall short compared to the aroma, but happily, it doesn’t. It truly does taste like the essence of a lemon loaf has been distilled into tea: creamy, lemony, and pound cakey, with a hint of vanilla and the suggestion of sweetness without sugar. Love it. I wouldn’t say no to a bit more zestiness (I like my lemon loaves sharp!). I might have to pick up a box and tinker with adding some lemon.
The takeaway: Bagged teas can still delight and surprise. :)
Flavors: Cake, Creamy, Lemon, Pastries, Sweet, Vanilla
Tasting note: This is the closest thing, I have had to a glazed lemon cake. And its not overly sweet and really nice night cap. Lemony and has a creaminess. Also, its not too expensive. I will be finding more of this soon.
Apparently I’m a lone voice in the wilderness here, but I liked this tea. Normally I find most pre-made chai blends not entirely to my liking. But I found this one a well-balanced delight. It does seem to have an essence of pumpkin about it, as another reviewer here noted. It has a nice initial warmth, and the cool aftertaste of licorice, with a nice shunting between the different spices in between. I particularly enjoyed it with a bit of honey. I liked using a bag or two of this when blending a pot of mixed chai blends. I do hope TAZO brings it back this fall so I can enjoy it again! ((ALSO: Please note that the list of flavors under “What flavors and scents do you notice?” was automatically ALPHABETIZED, which is NOT as I originally ordered the flavors. I had put them in order as I tasted them: Pumpkin-Spicy-Cinnamon-Anise. The alphabetized list makes it seem as if anise is the strongest note to me. It was LAST.))
Flavors: Anise, Cinnamon, Pumpkin, Spicy
I was restocking the wonderful glazed lemon loaf, and there was a discount for buying two Tazo teas, so I grabbed this one for my work stash. It’s less tart and fruity than I expected. The first time I tried it, it was almost like licorice and Kool aid. I had it cold, and it was pretty muted and boring. The second time, I did get some authentic berry flavors, but it wasn’t super delicious. The third time, it was too medicinal and not that great. I’ve had it a bunch more times now, and I can say that it’s drinkable and different from other fruity blends, but I don’t like it that much.
A single tea bag received from Michelle! Thank you so much! I really wanted to try this, but getting any US tea here… it is rather a lucky accident to get some, than getting it somewhere commonly. US candy shops don’t carry them.
So I have brewed it about a hour ago, and I have sniffed the bag prior. It was spearmint with some unidentified sweetness and lightly pine.
Brewed it is very similar, quite spearmint-y and sweet. It was similar to Halls cough drops with its lemon-honey flavour. It wasn’t bad actually. In the end of the sip, there was some pine flavour. But it was quite weak and honestly I have hoped for stronger taste of juniper.
This is one of the four Target-exclusive Forager Edition herbals from Tazo, the one based on the Southwest US. So far, I have really enjoyed the Midwest “Wild Apple Sarsaparilla” and the Rockies “Juniper Mint Honey,” but really disliked the Northeast “Elderberry Blackberry.”
I was a little trepidatious about this one, as the “Elderberry Blackberry” listed chamomile quite high on the ingredients list, and this one does as well, and it’s a flavor I really dislike. I got a very off-putting soapy/baby powdery taste from the “Elderberry Blackberry” tea that I never could shake. And I’m picking up a bit of that same aroma here. But, there is a stronger melon/pear sort of aroma that is helping mask it a lot.
Thankfully, I’m okay with this on the sip. Perhaps it was the flavorings in the “Elderberry Blackberry” that created such an off-putting flavor, because I quite like this “prickly pear” flavor. It isn’t a flavor I could pinpoint very well myself (having tried prickly pear candy all of once in my life) but, I like it. It does have a strong mixed melon/pear sort of flavor, with a touch of florality. Hibi is listed first of the ingredients on the pouch, but honestly I don’t even notice it aside from a subtle pink hue to the yellow liquor of the brew (I’m a big hibi fan, so I wouldn’t have minded more of a presence from it, but for the vast majority of hibi-haters out there, don’t be turned off by its high placement on the ingredient listing). There is maybe a little citrusy-sort of tang, with a long steep? I’m not noticing the chamomile either, which is a bonus for me.
I don’t like this as much as the “Wild Apple Sarsaparilla” and the “Juniper Mint Honey”, but it is certainly enjoyable and I wouldn’t mind getting it again. I think this flavor will shine more prepared as a cold brew, which I’ll have to put on my to-do list.
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Melon, Pear, Sweet, Tangy
One of my favorites from Tazo. Have been drinking this for years. Is incredibly potent both hot and cold. Orange essence and rind with tangy hibiscus. I buy this in bulk.
Flavors: Citrus, Citrus Fruits, Citrus Zest, Hibiscus, Mandarin, Orange, Orange Zest, Tangerine, Tangy
This is one of the four Target-exclusive Forager Edition herbals from Tazo, the one based on the Northeast US. So far, I have really enjoyed the Midwest “Wild Apple Sarsaparilla” and the Rockies “Juniper Mint Honey.” I figured this one would easily also be a hit for me, since I’m one of the few people I know that loves tart, tangy, hibiscus-heavy fruity teas, which is what I was expecting to get from a tea called “Elderberry Blackberry.” Sadly, it wasn’t.
I do taste a strong dark berry flavor, but it just doesn’t have that juicy/tart element I want and expect from berries like elderberry or blackberry. Instead I get this rather awful pervasive background note that tastes flowery, soapy, and baby powder-y… pretty much how chamomile tastes to me. And then I looked at the pouch and see chamomile is an ingredient. It doesn’t have that particular hay/herbaceous/apple/honey chamomile flavor, but the things about that particular flower that always taste “off” to my tongue are present. I guess it is sweetening up the berry notes, but the result is that “chalky/powdery” fruit flavor that Cameron often describes.
Honestly, I need way more hibiscus and way less chamomile for this blend to work for me. I imagine for everyone else out there, though, the choice to make this more chamomile and less hibiscus is welcome. I wish I had some of my plain hibi stash to add to my cup, but sadly I’m out…
Drunk as a plain hot cup, I just find this rather yuck. But I’m going to continue to try to brew it in other ways and see if I can’t find a way to make this work for me, at least to use up the box. I definitely would not get more of this, while I’d happily restock “Wild Apple Sarsaparilla” or “Juniper Mint Honey.”
Flavors: Berries, Chalk, Floral, Soap, Sweet
I had pulled an old advent packet of 52Tea’s “Crisp Cranberry Soda” to try it warm (my previous packet I drank cold brew), thinking that might bring out the “cranberry” for me. It didn’t. I found it pretty meh and the green rooibos was rather dominant in flavor (to be fair, it’s old ) but I just decided to throw the rest of the packet into a cold brew bottle for tomorrow and get a different herbal for my second cuppa.
So I grabbed this, one of the four Target-exclusive “Forager” herbal teas. This is the Rocky Mountain blend (my neck of the woods!) I’m a big fan of this one! As it steeps, it has such a lovely pine-fresh aroma from the mix of juniper and mint. The aroma of the honey, too, reaches my nose.
The sip is very pleasant. I’m a huge juniper fan and could do with it being even stronger here, but the way it mixes with that menthol/fresh flavor of the mint, the two meld in a way that creates a very nice pine flavor. There is definitely an underlying sweetness to the tea, but it doesn’t really taste distinctly “honey” to me. It’s lacking that underlying florality I associate with honey. Still, the sweetness and the mix of juniper and mint makes this a very nice evening cuppa for me.
Flavors: Mint, Pine, Sweet
This is a solidly decent bagged chai tea for under $5. Nicely balanced spices — you can taste the cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and black pepper in turn. Definitely the winner of my grocery store tea expedition so far.
Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Licorice, Spicy
Not long ago, I decided I really needed to stock up the pantry with some quick-and-easy teabag herbals, as I’ve been quickly using up my non-caffeinated loose leaf due to my “no caffeine after 6 pm” rule. I remember hearing about the limited “Forager’s Edition” teas exclusive to Target (four blends, each “inspired by” a different region of the US). When I went, Target was sold out of the Midwest blend, Wild Apple Sarsaparilla, so I went home with a box each of the other three.
Then, gmathis was kind enough to offer me a sample so I could try all of them! Today I (finally) got out to the mailbox and was surprised with a beautiful card, kind note, and two teabags. So I am now steeping it up as my nightly cuppa today!
The aroma from my steeped cup is giving me sort of a caramel apple vibe… I smell apple, but there is a sweet vanilla/caramel sort of note as well. On the sip, I taste green apples, and it actually has more of a bite to it than the syrupy sweetness that plays on the nose. Sort of an herbaceous peppery flavor… which, looking at the ingredients on the package, I’m going to guess is coming from the cardamom. After the swallow, a sweetness plays out on my tongue… I do taste licorice root, but mildly, without the long, coating-sensation sweetness. I’m actually having a hard time making out the sarsaparilla, which is what interested me the most in the blend (I’m a big fan of it!) I had been initially worried about the chamomile (a flavor I’m not keen on) but the flavors/spices in this tea completely cover up that weird “soapy” taste I get with chamomile.
This is really pleasant! A nice blend to unwind after what felt like a very long work week. Thank you so much, gmathis!
Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Green Apple, Herbaceous, Licorice, Pepper, Sweet, Vanilla
Between weather, being under it, and being overwhelmed at work (love those January 31 tax statement deadlines), I haven’t gotten out much lately…so much so that a stop at Target on the way home was a Big Adventure. I did a little foraging in the tea aisle and snagged a box of Juniper Mint Honey, primarily for office purposes. I’m going to dare my morning teakettle queue to give it a go and keep a little for afternooners…my old schoolroom office is so cold that I’ve been sipping nonstop and some friendly non-caffeinated bagged options are always welcome.
It just dawned on me that I’ve not said anything about the tea itself. It’s just a nice balance of three flavors I’ve never enjoyed at the same time. the juniper adds a nice piney touch to what would be ordinary honey-mint tea, and the reasonably authentic honey flavor (not 100%, but a decent 79%) complements the mint to keep it from being just another minty tea.
My usual complaint about honey flavoring in tea is that it just doesn’t taste real, which seems to be the general impression of the reviews for Juniper Mint Honey so far. This is the best (or least worst) emulation of honey I’ve had in a long time. With the cooling mint and slightly piney juniper (not a lot), I enjoyed it and was looking at the bottom of the cup surprisingly quickly. Thanks to Michelle for this sample!
I kind of had a feeling I wasn’t going to like this one as soon as I opened the tea bag. WAYYYY too sweet for my tastes, plus I’ve never been a fan of butterscotch or blondies in general. But, guess you can’t knock it ’till you try it.
It does taste better than it smells, in my opinion (insofar as the taste isn’t quite as pungently sweet as the smell). All the same, I really don’t care for the taste either. Again, I’m really not big on overly sweet things, particularly when it comes to beverages, so my review is entirely biased.
Flavors: Butterscotch, Honey, Vanilla
This chai blend had a strong aroma of cardamom before steeping but after smelled only of fennel and/or licorice (just checked the ingredients and I’m guessing this is the star anise). The flavor is unremarkable, vaguely spiced. I’m not able to pick out anything specific. It’s one I might have tried because I do like Tazo teas generally, but I’m glad I was able to sample it first. Thanks, Devon Bartholomew!
Flavors: Cardamom, Fennel Seed, Licorice, Spices
From Devon Bartholomew.
This reminds me very much of Bigelow’s Salted Caramel black tea. Both have a black tea base with chicory root while Salted Caramel has rose hips and Butterscotch Blondie has cocoa peel, licorice root, cinnamon, and cardamom.
This has a very full flavor. I can taste the sweetness from the licorice root, but it really works here. I’m not sure what cocoa peel is exactly, maybe shells, but I don’t taste any sort of cocoa flavor. Neither do I taste any of the spices. It’s a rich caramel cup, and I can see the similarity to a blondie with its sugary caramelly bite, but I don’t taste the butterscotch.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Licorice, Sweet