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Which Tazo Tea is Supreme? Day 1: Wild Sweet Orange

With inspiration from my friend, Kat Bush (who has been tweeting to Conan O’Brien for the last 17 days and counting…) I wanted write about a challenge of my own.  Starbucks started a “12 Days of Holiday Gifting” where they send you special offers and deals for the first 12 days of December. I have enjoyed sharing this with my friends but I’m really looking forward to Day 10:  the Tazo Tea Sampler! I am a creature of habit and whenever I go to Starbucks, 9 out of 10 times I’ll order a tea than a coffee. When Starbucks unveiled their new logo in January of this year, critics had mixed reviews. Personally, I was surprised but knew it could only benefit Starbucks by promoting its brand to its consumers by offering something more than just coffee. We all know Starbucks offers a great experience and products, but you don’t hear much about the Tazo tea line until now …

With my box of Tazo tea and tea cup ready, here we go!

Tazo Tea Tasting #1:  Wild Sweet Orange

(Filterbag)

“A juicy blend of lemongrass, citrus herbs, licorice root & orange essences.”

Ingredients:  Lemongrass, blackberry leaves, citric acid, rose hips, spearmint leaves, orange peel, color (turmeric, riboflavin), hibiscus flowers, natural flavor, rose petals, natural orange essense, ginger root, licorice root, licorice extract. Caffeine free. (C) 2009 Tazo.

With the description and ingredients, I was intrigued how this creation would appeal to my stuffy sinuses. I boiled water and decided to steep the tea bag in my cup for about 5 minutes, like the box suggested. Normally, I could steep a tea bag longer and be fine with it, but I decided to follow the instructions to learn if I needed to steep the tea bag in more or less time for the next time I try this flavor. When the tea bag was steeping, the aroma of orange and ginger fulled the air. Upon my first sip, I had tasted the strong licorice and ginger root flavors overpower the other delectable flavors. I emptied a splenda packet to sweeten the intense, bold flavors. After another sip, the strong flavors were still apparent with a hint of lemongrass and spearmint but lacked the sweetness I was hoping for from this tea. As I stirred in two teaspoons of honey, I continued to smell sweet orange steaming from the hot tea. To my disappointment, the honey and splenda did not bring out anymore sweetness from the other flavors I was hoping to taste.

As I proceeded my attempt to enjoy the tea, I reminded when I have cooked with ginger it tends to overpower easily if you aren’t careful. Don’t get me wrong, it enhances a good Asian meal or marinate, but that’s all I’ve used it in my cooking. For those who like the candy-like flavor, the licorice root and extract might be great combination for something different in a hot tea. My expectations were to taste something sweet and zingy with a orange flavor, but sadly all I tasted was zing with less sweetness.

Have you tried Tazo Wild Sweet Orange? How was your experience?