Thus far, I’ve devoted all my reviews to loose leaf teas. They’re definitely my tea of choice, but it’d be unfair to overlook other options as well. Bagged tea is the kind most commonly sold and consumed, and it’s readily available in supermarkets in a wide variety of flavors. Some tea fans don’t even own the infusers necessary to enjoy a cup of loose leaf tea, and they’re perfectly happy with their pre-mixed blends and bagged varieties.
One of my husband’s coworkers is a tea drinker like me, but his choices are selected out of the grocery store aisles. Knowing I like teas, he occasionally sends individually wrapped tea bags home with the mister for me to try. Today’s review is one of those.
Tazo is one of the slightly pricier brands found in supermarkets, and they offer a wide variety of flavors. Though the company is owned by Starbucks, who also owns Teavana, Tazo’s line of teas is distinct from Teavana’s. Both lines take a new-age marketing approach, though it’s more prevalent in Tazo’s line, and is sometimes reflected in their flavor namings.
The individual Tazo bags have a thin plastic lining inside the bags, making them waterproof and airtight, keeping the tea fresh for longer. The packaging is simplistic but attractive, and the backs of the bags offer steeping instructions, just in case the tea became separated from its box. I found the directions on the Refresh Mint flavor to be dubious, however, calling for 212 degree water and a steeping time of five minutes. Too hot and too long for a green tea, as far as I knew. I opted to brew mine for about two or two and a half minutes, using 170 degree water.
It brewed bright and fragrant, though even brewing for the shorter period of time I did, I caught the faintest hints of bitterness beneath the flavor of the mint.
The green tea is a subdued taste, meaning the mint stands out. It’s really more a mint herbal with touches of green tea than green with mint, but the flavor is pleasant. Its mix of spearmint, peppermint, and tarragon make it a unique mint blend, especially since the spearmint is what stands out most. I didn’t detect any of the tarragon flavor, which is a plus for me, as I’m not a fan of anything that tastes like anise.
Because most mint teas tend to taste like candy if sweetened, I left this mix alone, drinking it straight. There was plenty of robust flavor, and the cooling sensation of the mint did make it very refreshing on the hot and humid day I drank it. It’d be an excellent mix to add to a pitcher of iced tea for something just a little more cooling, and that’s something I think I’ll be trying later this afternoon.
Overall, it lacks the robust tea taste you might get with a loose leaf tea blend, but it definitely holds its own as far as enjoyability and unique flavor goes, which just goes to prove that loose leaf isn’t the only way to enjoy tea.