Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Tea of the Day: The Battle of the Oranges

Hey y'all.  So for New Year's Eve (by complete coincidence) my family and I will be having a competition between all three brands of orange flavors that I ended up with after Christmas.  We're all going to sit together, watch a movie, and rant about tea.  Marvelous!

A note about our judges.  One is me, of course, and the other is my dad.  Dad's a very regular sort of person, who doesn't like going out of his way to try weirdo things.  His favorite tea flavor is orange pekoe, which as tea folk know is a reference to when a leaf is picked, rather than a flavor.  I like trying new things, but I'm not necessarily the best at it. I don't have the most sophisticated palate, and unless a tea (or anything else) is very good or very bad, I'm not always likely to distinguish tastes without a frame of reference.

In other words, we're the best judges ever!

Dad will be drinking each tea with a packet of off-brand fake sugar, and I'll be drinking mine black, just for the record.

#1 Competitor: Bentley's orange spice.
Ingredients: Chinese and Indian black tea, orange spice flavor
Dad's prediction: this one will be the best.
- After smelling bag: "I may be wrong".
My prediction: this will be pretty good.
- After smelling bag: Smells spicy.  Kind of nice.

Dad's comments:
Would drink again:  Not interested in choosing to do so.  Doesn't care to finish the cup.

My comments:
A bit sour.  Sort of like some green tea got into the mix.  However, that's sort of a nitpick.  I'm perfectly content with it.  Not particularly orange-y.  I'll probably end up saving this until I'm done with the other flavors and drink it when I'm low on tea.  Which will probably be a while, considering how much I have.
Would drink again: Sure, why not?

#2 Competitor: Harris Teeter Traders orange spice
Ingredients: Black tea, orange peel, clove, natural flavors, cinnamon.
Dad's prediction: "I'll hate it"
- After smelling bag: "Not as bad as I thought.  I like Harris Teeter."
My prediction: Not sure about this one.  Kind of iffy on it.
- After smelling bag: Bit like potpourri.

Dad's comments:
"Ew, gross!  Yuck, Gross-O-Rama!"  Prisoners should drink it for punishment.  Can't stand the taste of cloves, which ruin the orange peels.  Horrible.
Would drink again: Never. Not even if wife asked him to.

My comments:
Bit like potpourri.  Not as "fake" tasting as Bentley's.  Inoffensive, but not delightful.  I'm pretty amused at my dad's remarks, but it's not that bad.  So long as you're don't mind feeling like you're drinking a bottle of perfume.  Not so great aftertaste.
Would drink again:  Probably, but I'm not picky.  However, since it's individually wrapped, I can bring this to a church meeting and get rid of -- I mean, "share".

#3 Competitor: Celestial Seasonings mandarin orange spice
Ingredients: Orange peel, hibiscus, roasted chicory, rosehips, blackberry leaves, chamomile, hawthorn, cinnamon, natural mandarin orange flavor with other natural flavors (contains soy lecithin), cloves and coriander.
Dad's prediction: "I'll like it."
- After smelling bag: "Ew, gross."
My prediction: The packaging is pretty and fanciful.  The ingredients imply lots of flavor.
- After smelling bag: Hm, it smell like the interior of a cozy log cabin.

Dad's comments:
Best of the three, clearly.  Least complex, even despite having more ingredients. Doesn't taste like boiled shoe with orange in it.
Would drink again: Yes, if wife asked.

My comments:
A little bit of a sweet flavor to it.  Very pleasant, even when the tea bag is left in the cup.  The tea part isn't quite as strong as the rest of the flavoring, which is my only problem with this tea.
Would drink again: Yes, and will soon.

So yes, I can recommend the Celestial Seasonings tea.  It's weird though.  I made that tea for Dad some weeks ago and he drank it without complaint.  Then again, sometimes you have to sneak-attack for Dad to try something new.  Either that or he drank it just to be nice.

"So was the tea test a failure?" I asked.

"No," Dad replied.  "It just proved that they were all crap."

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