We approached the reviews in unique and diverse ways, and this is what I enjoyed most. I loved learning about the way each woman approached her review. Some did so systematically, observing water temperature and time. Another shared the tasting with her husband. One woman gathered a group of friends and hosted a tea party. We have a review from a pre-schooler, too. All reviewers did an excellent job!
The teas we reviewed were in bags, organic and Fair Trade. Paisley Tea Company's parent company is Two Leaves and a Bud. Thank you to Paisley Tea Company for providing the samples for this taste test.
You'll notice differing opinions among the reviewers. Isn't it cool how we can disagree and still appreciate each other's perspectives? (A fact not to be lost in this election time!) Here's what we thought...
"It is a lovely dark golden brown in color [3 min brew]. I found the flavor to be strong with just a little tang. Remember, I'm a green tea fan so this just may be my taste buds waking up! I then added a little lemon (my usual) and found the tea very nice. A good wake up call for breakfast.... I tried another cup later in the morning. Preparing the water in the same way, this time I let the tea steep for 5 minutes. I didn't find much difference in steeping 2 minutes longer. Perhaps a small bitter after taste. It is hot here and I thought "let's try it iced"! It was okay. I added a little *fake* sugar and my usual lemon. I have to admit I enjoyed hot English Breakfast Tea more than the cold."
"Smell of the bag was virtually nonexistent. The tea brewed to a lovely dark brown with a very mild and light taste and smell. This would be a good tea for people that don't like strong tea. This was not what I've experienced with other brands of English Breakfast teas."
At a tea party..."We found it smooth and not as astringent as most English Breakfast Teas. K thought it a bit bitter (I only steeped it for about two minutes... I used 4 [teabags in the pot] so two minutes seemed plenty)."
"My husband and I did our tea tasting and review. Now this was done with a man; therfore, it was bare bones and quite serious. He did as a parofessional tea taster would do. It was fun... All the teas were brewed with boiling water at 5 minutes. Each tea was served in its own different cup. I used a tea cup and my husband used his mug. They were white inside so we could see the color of the tea... English Breakfast: Dark amber color. Very, very faint tea aroma, more body in this one, made my mouth pucker - stronger briskness. B detected a slight lemony taste, more brisk aftertaste. After addition of clover honey, it cut through the brisk taste."
Decaf English Breakfast
"We had T (pre-schooler) taste the decaf. She loaded it up with honey and milk and proclaimed it delicious."
"This tasted very similar to the regular English Breakfast tea. This would be a good choice for people who want Decaf but want the flavor of regular."
"Decaf English Breakfast and English Breakfast: I tried one cup of each of these teas side by side to compare. They were brewed in boiling hot water for about 1 minute. I found the regular English Breakfast to have slightly more fragrance, but flavor was very close to the same. I found them both rather nondescript and weak. ...Second try: Brewed for 4 minutes each with about half the amount of boiling water. The regular English Breakfast became a bit too tannic for my taste, but the Decaf actually was a bit better. Not a tea I would buy as the flavor just wasn't clean enough."
"Rich amber color, faint aroma/weak in tea fragrance. Not a full-body tea, pleasant aftertast, slightly brisk. B uses honey in his tea usually so after the fist sips he put honey and found he tasted a more brisk impact than before. Not a very clear tea for some reason."
"...big thumbs up on the English Breakfast and Decaf English Breakfast..."
You can also read Snaps review of the Ginger Green tea here.
"Pretty yellow color; ginger frangrance but now overpowering. Somewhat flat in flavor, no briskness, medium body. Addition of clover honey masked the ginger flavor. We don't normally drink Green teas. We like the fullness of black teas, so this was really new to B!"
"I let the water cool a bit (tried to do the 160 thing) and put three tea bags in the pot. I let it steep for about three minutes until it was a thick amber color. None of the three of us could taste the ginger. It was more like a green tea. It had a vegetable kind of taste and aroma. A thought it smelled and tasted somewhat like Green beans."
"...Second two teabags I made with boiling hot water and a little less water. I did find more interest in it made with the higher temp, but still didn't taste much ginger. On both of the tests I did find that the green tea wasn't too grassy, which is something I don't like in a green and for that it made it easier to drink. Didn't notice an after taste. Both tests were steeped at 4 minutes."
"The tea was a pleasant light amber in color and had a slight grassy/ginger aroma. I let the tea steep for 3 minutes. ...Unfortunately, I compared it to a matcha with ginger I had recently and [this tea] couldn't hold a candle to the matcha."
"...smell of bag and brew was of ginger. The tea brewed a lovely yellow green color and the taste was light but of ginger. When I was pregnant I would have enjoyed this tea because of the properties of the ginger and the fact that it was green. I normally drink green tea everyday, usually sencha. This was my favorite of the 3 teas."