Tazo’s Awake English Breakfast

Awake English Breakfast by Tazo Tea
Black Tea / Straight
$2.50 for 61g (24 sachets)

20170401-tazoawake1

First Impressions

Just a note on the price, I bought two boxes of Tazo Tea while they were on sale for 2 boxes for $5.00. Regular price is usually higher ($4.99-6.99/box, depending on retailer). The box itself is cardboard, I like recyclable packaging. The tea bags come individually packaged in paper and the tea bags themselves feel like they’re biodegradable.

20170401-tazoawake2

Awake English Breakfast is made up of “a blend of black teas”. There’s a malty aroma to the black tea that reminds me a lot of Assam tea, so it wouldn’t surprise me of one of the black teas in this blend is Assam. I did rip open the tea bag to see what it looked like inside, I was not surprised that the tea leaves inside of the tea bag were tiny, definitely not the whole leaf tea that I’ve been getting used to. I mostly bought the bagged tea for the convenience factor that tea bags have when it comes to having tea on the go (where I work, I don’t have a desk and I can’t have open mugs).

20170401-tazoawake3

Preparation

Tazo Tea recommends steeping Awake English Breakfast in 100°C (212°F) water for 5 minutes. I followed the steeping directions.

First Taste

Awake English Breakfast steeps to a deep orange, it’s got a great smell to it that reminds me of other breakfast teas. I think 5 minutes are far too long. I ended up trying again (and again) with other tea bags and found that 3 minutes was a good amount of time. 5 minutes – I wound up with a very astringent and bitter cup of tea. Less than 3 minutes and it was just very weak. 3 minutes was a good length of steeping time because I wound up with a strong cup of tea with a very strong malty flavour, but minimal astringency and no bitterness. 5 minutes is definitely far too long for this tea (perhaps if it was whole leaf tea, it would be a different story).

20170401-tazoawake4

Awake English Breakfast was good on its own, but also good with some honey and evaporated milk. It helped tone down what little astringency there was with the 3 minute steep.

A Second Cup?

Awake English Breakfast is a one steep wonder, I found that a second steep resulted in a very watery cup of tea.

20170401-tazoawake5

My Overall Impression

2cups-2

I thought that Tazo Tea’s Awake English Breakfast was just okay. As far as breakfast teas go, Awake English Breakfast is okay. I don’t recommend their recommended steep time (5 minutes is just far too long!) and I wouldn’t buy at full retail price ($0.30/sachet vs. $0.10/sachet). It’s very convenient to have tea prepackaged into tea bags, which is what I typically have when I’m at work (each to steep and easy to discard). If you can find it on sale, I would recommend snagging some Awake English Breakfast for some black tea on the go. For the love of tea, don’t over steep this one and pull the tea bag out at the 3 minute mark – life is too short for a bad cup of tea.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Tazo Tea’s Chai Latte Concentrate

Chai Latte Concentrate by Tazo Tea
Black Tea / Flavoured
$5.75 for 32 fl oz

20160112-tazoteachailatteconcentrate1

First Impressions

My first Starbucks love was their classic Chai latte. Ignore the new one that came out a couple years ago with Oprah, and just focus on the original Chai latte. It’s creamy, spicy, bursting with great flavour and it’s also expensive after a while. At over $4 a cup (I usually get grande), I always wanted to be able to make it at home without having to fork over nearly $5 for every cup. The Chai Latte Concentrate is not a product that I’m new to, it’s something that I buy on occasion because it’s definitely cheaper and more budget friendly to buy the carton of tea concentrate than it is to pop into a Starbucks location every single time that I want a Chai latte.

20160112-tazoteachailatteconcentrate2

The tea concentrate is a dark, almost murky reddish brown colour. The aroma of the Chai Latte Concentrate is all of the familiar spices that you would expect to find in a Chai: cloves, cardamom, cinnamon. It also smells like it is very, very sweet. Deliciousness in a cup! The ingredients for the tea concentrate are as follows: water, black tea, black pepper, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, natural flavours, cane sugar, honey, ginger juice, natural flavours, vanilla extract, and citric acid. Everything from water to the first natural flavours is the infusion, and then the added ingredients after it. Cane sugar and honey would account for the very, very sweet aroma and taste to the tea concentrate.

Preparation

The directions on the carton from Tazo Tea is to shake the carton and then mix equal parts of the concentrate with milk (or dairy alternative of your choice). It can be served over ice, heated on a stove, or heated in a microwave. I mixed half a cup of tea concentrate with half a cup of 1% milk and heated it in the microwave.

First Taste

The colour of the Chai latte after it was done in the microwave (and I gave it a little stir) is a pleasant light brown colour that is very similar to the colouring of a Chai latte made in a Starbucks, if not the same. I had to let mine cool for a bit since it was too hot to sip coming from the microwave. While I don’t get the foam that I often have on top of my lattes that I get from Starbucks or other cafes, it’s quite good. If you’re not fond of sweet things, this product will probably not be for you (and perhaps making your own tea concentrate would be something you could try in the future). I personally really enjoy Chai lattes, so I really like the flavour of this tea concentrate. It definitely has the spice and heat that I would expect from a Chai (thanks to all that ginger!), the flavours of cinnamon really come out well and the creaminess that the milk adds really helps to cool down some of that heat.

20160112-tazoteachailatteconcentrate3

My Overall Impression

rating4

I loved Tazo Tea’s Chai Latte Concentrate. As I previously mentioned, this was not my first time having this product (and it certainly will not be my last!). I find it really nice to be able to have my favourite ‘treat’ (a Chai latte) without having to spend the money in the local Starbucks. The unused portion of the carton keeps for up to 7 days in the fridge after opening, and for someone who really enjoys Chai lattes, it is cheaper to go with the carton of tea concentrate than it is to get it made in-store. That said, it would be even cheaper to just make my own Chai lattes from scratch (I know, I know), but for a quick, pretty fool-proof latte, this tea concentrate works really well as a nice treat from time to time.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.