Trader Joe’s Earl Grey

Earl Grey by Trader Joe’s
Black Tea / Flavoured
$1.99USD for 40g (20 sachets)

First Impressions

Just wanted to start off with the fact that I’m really sad that this is my last tea that I’m review from my cross-border tea shopping haul that happened back in September. I’m pretty sure this just means that I need to go shopping again (right?).

I picked Trader Joe’s Earl Grey because I love Earl Grey, and I like to judge tea companies based on the quality of their Earl Grey blends. Earl Grey came in a cardstock box, holding 20 tea sachets. Each tea sachet is individually wrapped in a foil packet – so bad for the environment! However, unlike the last Trader Joe’s tea that I reviewed, there weren’t any staples holding the tag to the string or the string to the bag – so there’s that, at least? The tea bag material is slightly stained yellow on multiple bags, so I suspect that it’s due to the bergamot oil.

The aroma of Earl Grey is primarily the bergamot, such a nice rich citrus flavour! The black tea base isn’t as strong compared to the bergamot, but I can smell it. It reminds me a lot of an Assam black tea with its rich malty notes. Earl Grey consists of: black tea and bergamot oil.

Preparation

Trader Joe’s recommends steeping Earl Grey in boiling water (100°C/212°F) for 3 to 5 minutes. My initial steep was for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Earl Grey steeps to a deep reddish orange. The aroma of bergamot is strong in the steeped tea. On first taste, all I can taste is bitterness, the tea is very astringent. I did another initial resteep, this time at 3 minutes, and found that tea was more drinkable. I could taste the bergamot, and the malty notes from the black tea play well with the citrus flavours. At 3 minutes, I found no bitterness or astringency.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Earl Grey and found the flavour to be severely lacking. I would say that Earl Grey is good for just one steep.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Trader Joe’s Earl Grey was just okay. Part of my problem with this tea is the packaging that can’t be composted or recycled (those foil-lined packets!), and that the tea was pretty terrible when steeped for 5 minutes (which is part of the recommended steeping times). However, Earl Grey did redeem itself when I did an initial steep for 3 minutes. The flavours were well-balanced, and it made for a decent cup of Earl Grey. That said, there are a lot of Earl Grey options out there that have less packaging (or more recyclable/compostable packaging). The flavour is on point for an Earl Grey, but it just doesn’t excite me as much as other bergamot black tea blends do.

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Trader Joe’s Organic Pomegranate White Tea

Organic Pomegranate White Tea by Trader Joe’s
White Tea / Flavoured
$2.49USD for 30g (1oz), 20 sachets

First Impressions

Organic Pomegranate White Tea was one of my purchases from my cross-border tea haul trip back in September (I’m almost done reviewing those teas, I swear). Organic Pomegranate White Tea is one of my Trader Joe’s finds, and came in a cardstock box. Each tea bag comes individually wrapped in clear plastic and there’s two staples with each sachet – one on the bag itself and the other on the tag. Not impressed.

That said, the tea itself smells lovely. I can smell hibiscus, lemongrass, and pomegranate – all very nice fragrances. The ingredients in Organic Pomegranate White Tea are: white tea, hibiscus flowers, lemongrass, natural flavours, pomegranate extract, natural orange flavour, natural lemon flavour, and other natural flavours (all organic). Fun fact, Organic Pomegranate White Tea is sold in Trader Joe’s (American company) but is a product of Canada (where I live).

Preparation

Trader Joe’s recommends steeping Organic Pomegranate White Tea in boiling water (100°C/212°F) for 3 to 5 minutes. My initial steep of Organic Pomegranate White Tea was for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Organic Pomegranate White Tea steeps to a beautiful dark pink, many thanks to the hibiscus in the blend. The first thing I notice about this white tea blend is the tartness. I think we can thank the hibiscus for that. Other flavours that I can make out is sweetness, floral notes, and a fruity flavour that does remind me of pomegranate (perhaps suggested since it’s in the name?). I find myself searching for the white tea base, I can’t taste white tea because the other flavours are quite overwhelming and powerful in comparison.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Organic Pomegranate White Tea and found that the flavour was very poor compared to the initial steep. I would recommend steeping Organic Pomegranate White Tea just the one time.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Trader Joe’s Organic Pomegranate White Tea was just okay. The thing that really bothers me the most about Organic Pomegranate White Tea is the sheer amount of packaging. The cardstock box is okay, because that will go in recycling, but the individual clear plastic packaging around each tea bag is unnecessary – along with those staples! Staples aren’t biodegradable, so if you’re looking to pop the tea into your green waste bin when you’re done, there’s an extra step to remove the staples in order to be environmentally friendly. That said, the flavour of the tea is really nice and I think its great – it’d be fantastic as an iced tea because of the fruity tartness, but Organic Pomegranate White Tea does fail from an environmental standpoint.

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Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix

Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix by Trader Joe’s
Green Tea (Matcha) / Flavoured
$3.99USD for 8oz (227g)

First Impressions

Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix was one of those things that I spotted on the shelf at the Trader Joe’s in Bellingham, WA and just had to try it. I do know how to make a matcha latte at home (and have even shared a recipe here before for my Rose Matcha Latte!), but the idea of an easy way to make it at home (albeit not entirely from scratch) was appealing. Which is exactly how the tin ended up in my shopping cart.

Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix comes in a carton with a plastic lid, and a silver foil seal underneath for the freshness. There’s a light green powder inside, and no scoop (unlike the Spicy Chai Tea Latte Mix that I shared last week!). There’s no strong smells from this mix, it smells like a very light green tea. Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix consists of: cane sugar, coconut oil, maltodextrin, matcha green tea, whole milk powder, non fat milk powder, malted milk powder, natural flavours, sodium caseinate, tricalcium phosphate, guar gum, mono and diglycerides, silicon dioxide, and salt.

Just for your information, each serving consists of 13g of sugar, and there’s 8 servings per carton.

Preparation

Trader Joe’s recommends preparing Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix with 3 tablespoons of mix with 6oz of hot water, and to stir to dissolve.

If you want to have a cold Matcha Green Tea Latte, they recommend 3 tablespoons of mix with 3oz of hot water, stir to dissolve, and pour over 1 cup of ice.

I opted to do my initial taste of Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix as a hot matcha latte, mixing it with 100°C (212°F) water.

First Taste

Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix dissolves completely in hot water and quite easily after stirring it with a spoon directly in my teacup. The colour is very similar to the powder, a light pistachio green. There’s a very mild aroma to the Matcha Green Tea Latte, it’s a very light green tea aroma and I can smell the milk as well. The flavour is very milky, with a nice sweetness to it. I do taste the matcha, I do wish it was a bit stronger (although I don’t know how much of the matcha flavour is being masked by the dairy in the ingredients list). This does remind me a lot of a matcha latte that I might be able to find at a cafe, and it’s not overwhelmingly sweet, which is greatly appreciated by me.

A Second Cup?

No second cups here, since the Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix completely dissolves in the water.

My Overall Impression

I loved Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix. This was a very easy product to use at home – no sifting or whisking required for a morning cup of matcha latte. I do wish that the matcha flavour was a bit heavier, but I also understand that for the demographic this is probably targeted at, the flavour is probably pretty much on point. The dairy content has a nice creaminess to it, which lends itself well to the latte aspect. For the cost of what ends up being $0.50USD/serving, it’s really not that bad – especially when comparing to a $6 cup at the local coffee shop. It’s not as sweet as I was expecting it to be, given that it is a latte mix, so that was a nice and pleasant surprise.

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