Review: Culinary Teas Orange Spice Tea

Black Tea, Ceylon Tea, Cinnamon Tea, Culinary Teas, Lemon Balm Tea, Lime Leaf Tea, Orange Peel Tea, Orange Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The flavour profile provides a very natural-tasting orange flavour, mixing juicy sweet and tart notes."
Sophie’s Teaview: 7.8/10
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culinary-tea-logoThis popular black tea combines a mixture of leaves from three high altitude Sri Lankan estates, freeze dried and air dried orange pieces, cinnamon, lemon balm, lime leaves and natural flavours. In this case, Culinary Teas' website provides a wealth of information about how this blend came together and why, something of a rarity when it comes to flavoured teas. I only wish they and other manufacturers went into such details about all their products!

At a glance, the greenish-black tea leaves used are longish and lightly twisted. The ingredients listed are all detectable - although in all honesty I can't distinguish between a piece of orange that has been freeze dried and one that has been air dried! The lemon balm and lime leaves seem a little scarce to be truly effective in my sample, but that might not be representative of the tea in general. Taking a whiff, the tea smells a lot like orange soda. I was initially a little concerned that this cup would taste like Tang but I needn't have worried...

Based on Culinary Teas instructions, I infused one teaspoon of leaves in water that had just come to a boil for 4 minutes. The smell of cinnamon and orange juice is very prominent to the nose. The coppery brown liquor is rich and enticing. The flavour profile provides a very natural-tasting orange flavour, mixing juicy sweet and tart notes. The Ceylon teas used are a good backdrop for it, as their floral qualities seem to enhance the fruity flavour. The cinnamon could be stronger - it seems to lend sweetness to the cup rather than a truly spicy taste. The finish is slightly drying, but not overwhelmingly so. A long steep time might prove too bitter for some palates though and would be something to keep an eye on, depending on personal preference.

I tried steeping the leaves a second time for 5 minutes. The balance of flavours is less satisfying this time around, as the tart notes are more pronounced. Still, the orange taste is very present and the Ceylon leaves seem to be adding an emerging malty undertone to the cup.

This strikes me as a sunnier, juicier version of my beloved Earl Grey. Although the cinnamon was a little too mild to my taste, I will definitely keep it in mind as a warming beverage over the long winter months. This reasonably priced tea is available in many different sizes and formats, including bagged and decaf versions. Well done!

— To purchase Culinary Teas Orange Spice Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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