A couple of weeks back my father was given a wooden box full of a variety of different flavors of tea as a gift. Not one to allow too many surprises to his usual cup of tea, he bought it home open to whatever experimentation any one of us was willing to do. I decided to have a taste of every one of the flavors in there. There were some I just knew I would like and then there were some flavors I didn’t think would ever be spoken in the same sentence as tea. It was an interesting experience and I present to you the highlights and my opinion of each of the flavors in this blog.

Ginger and Lemon

Ginger isn’t something I’m too fond of, so I was really nervous about this flavor of tea, the distinct smell of ginger wafting out of the cup as soon as I poured the water in didn’t help either, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when I took the first sip. The flavor of ginger doesn’t overpower the rest of the flavors in the tea, even though I wish there was more lemon. The aftertaste was, however, a bummer, with my mouth full of the ginger flavour. I probably would have it again, provided I have something sweet for support.

6/10

Strawberry

As soon as the tea bag was out of the packet there was a rich aroma of strawberry that got me all excited, and the color was beautiful. This tea was actually getting me all giddy, but once I took a sip that butterflies kind of fell flat. Apparently all that was strawberry about this tea was the smell, if I had not made it myself I couldn’t have differentiated it from normal albeit really good green tea.

The smell was amazing. Maybe, they should make a perfume out of it!

5/10

Green Tea

I always prefer having my green tea with something sweet. It’s a habit I’ve developed from my university days. I actually really liked this green tea. It had a light and refreshing flavor to it. The color, the aroma and the flavor all came together perfectly to give me a relaxing unwinding time at the end of a long day, exactly what green tea should be.

10/10

Black Tea with Thyme

As soon as I pulled the teabag out of the packet the smell of thyme literally filled the counter section of the kitchen. Since it was black, I added milk and sweetener. As soon as I took the first sip, and here I shamelessly use the cliché, there was a party in my mouth. The flavor of thyme almost overpowers anything else. So if you don’t like thyme don’t even come near this tea, but the slight spice of the thyme along with the milk and sweetener made for a really interesting experience.

8/10

Raspberry Tea

The only way I can describe this tea is refreshing. And add a little sweetener and you’ve got Kool-Aid for the summers. I loved it! From the smell, to the color and then to the delicate sweet taste of the tea itself. If all you need is a warm beverage that will soothe your system, this is the tea for you. Definitely one for an occasion or two.

10/10

Cardamom Tea

Cardamom tea is quite a range nowadays, but all the ones I’ve had have been a little too sweet and bland for my taste. This was on the other hand was pure stuff. I couldn’t have it without milk, of course, because the flavor was too strong. But once the milk was in it was a great cup for my tea time in the evening. I kind of imagine being a great combination with a piece of cake to be honest.

9/10

Blackcurrant Tea

I'm not a big fan of blackcurrant but a sip of this tea kind of did remind me of skittles, specifically the purple one. It wasn't too bad once I’d sweetened it a bit. I’m sure someone who likes blackcurrants would definitely enjoy this tea. I’m even thinking of trying it again someday. Maybe it’ll grow on me.  

5/10

Green Tea with Thyme

This tea felt like someone had dropped a small container of spices into the cup by accident. Same like black tea of the same and without the sugar and the milk the flavor of thyme overpowered everything else. This tea was almost savory. It was still enjoyable though – a change from the usual green tea experience.

7/10

Mint Tea

When I took out the teabag i was reminded of those mint chocolates they put under pillows in hotel rooms. Taking a taste of it was a completely different matter. There was just a dash of mint in the flavor which was great and which I have to be honest had an almost soothing effect.

7/10

Moroccan Tea

I was very interested in trying out this tea, but the experience ended up being a little weird. I just couldn't wrap my head around the combination of flavors. It seemed to have a very strong mint presence but with a dash of rosemary, not really my cup of tea (pun intended). I'm hoping the taste will grow on me the next few times I try it, because I couldn't finish the cup this time around. My garlic bread pieces were very lonely.

3/10

Orange Tea

When I was boiling water for this one I was convinced this was going to be something like hot tang and I wasn't too far from the truth. The orange flavor was very prominent and as soon as I took a sip, my mind nostalgically flashed back to the Fanta toffees we would eat by the dozen. Not that sweet, of course, unless you put sugar in it – but very refreshing.

10/10

Lemon Tea

This tea was nothing but disappointing. It had no aroma, no fresh lemon smell and tasted really bitter. Even putting sugar in it didn't make it any better. It was like they forgot they were supposed to add lemon in the tea. I honestly gagged my way through the cup.

The color got me a little excited I’ve got to admit.

1/10

Peach Tea

Peach tea, in all its forms never disappoints. As soon as I put boiling water into the cup I knew I was in for a treat. The aroma is fresh with a subtle peachy smell. I have to admit that on its own the tea was a little stronger than my taste but just a quarter of a teaspoon of sugar later it was perfect. I have a feeling I’m going to be brewing a cup of this pretty often.  

9/10

Jasmine Tea

The aroma of this one is just heavenly. From the moment the teabag is out of its cover to the moment the cup touches my lips it's all about that scent of jasmine that I love. It's the perfect cup to wind down after a busy day.

9/10

Thyme Tea

This tea completely met my expectations. I didn’t expect to be able to finish pure thyme tea and I wasn’t able to. It felt only a few ingredients short from becoming thyme soup. The flavor of thyme mixed into green or black tea made for an interesting combination. Nut on its own, it was a little too much for my taste buds.

1/10

Peppermint Tea

Imagine someone dropping a polo in the green tea you’re drinking, that is what this tea was like. It wasn’t bad, not at all. It was actually a good change to my daily green tea routine. The taste of peppermint was not in any way empowering and added a refreshing twist to the cup. There was nothing amazing about it but it definitely didn’t disappoint. 

8/10

After this week’s tea tasting spree I know there are some flavors that I’ll be reaching out for almost every other day. Some for occasions, to treat myself, and some will probably remain untouched. All in all it was an enriching experience and probably increased my appreciation of the good old ‘chai ka cup’ at my disposal every day. I’m actually having one as I type this, nothing like the taste of familiar and friendly.