Review: PUR 7 Cup Basic Water Filtration Pitcher

I used to co-ordinate water refills with taking the car to the mechanic. I got water from a local mom and pop water filtering business. But the last time I took the car to the mechanic I realized that I needed a plan B in case the mechanic took longer (eg, waiting for some hard to find part). So I decided to use home filtering as a backup plan. But it turned out to be a lot more convenient than a weekly water refill revisit, so I am, for now, continuing with home filtering.

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Zhena Coconut Chai Black Tea (Tin)

Another impulse buy, there was some kind of a sale or coupon or so at Smart and Final of all places, and I gave in and picked this up. I had never tried a coconut chai combination before, and I found that it actually works well. The coconut-iness mellows the spices in a complimentary and complementary way 🙂 But is there actual coconut in this? Read on to find out…

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Value at 10c per cup, the Trader Joe Peppermint Tea

If you are looking for a reliable no-nonsense peppermint tea in tea-bags, and you are near a Trader Joe, their 20pk for $2 (I think it was $1.80 before) is a good value! It has just one ingredient, peppermint and nothing more. It is a modest minty taste, not as bright as the TeaPigs [see Prime Tea Samples Diary].

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Raspberry Black Tea (from the TJ 2017 Holidays Gift Set)

This tea has grown on me enough that it is now challenging the Vanilla Rooibos as my favorite from the 2017 holiday season Trader Joe Gift Set. “This” refers to the raspberry black tea, made with just three ingredients loose leaf black tea, natural flavor, and dried raspberries.

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Numi Toasted Rice (GenmaiCha) Organic Tea

Genmaicha is currently my definition of a “comfort tea”, a warm wholesome taste, especially nice when it’s cold inside or outside. The Numi Toasted Rice was one of the first genmaicha teas I tried. This is their standard tea bag configuration. As such, this is not a bad attempt at a genmaicha, definitely more accessible than finding the loose leaf variety at supermarkets and such.

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Bigelow Classic Blends Mint-Herb Tea

I found this on sale/clearance at a brick and mortar store [I don’t remember which one], and since I had never seen this before, I gave in to the temptation and bought it. This is the first time I’m trying this tea, the Bigelow Classic Blends Mint-Herb Tea…

It is packaged a bit differently, instead of twenty tea bags in a box, you get five sealed pouches, with each pouch having four tea bags inside. A good way to keep the tea bags sealed longer than usual.

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Tea review: Thotalagala Green Tea

It “only” took me three months (it’s a good thing I’m not the one writing “The Winds of Winter”) to finish reviewing the Trader Joe Thotalagala Tea Gift Set 🙂 But the project is finally complete with this very review of the Green tea from this tea pyramid set:

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Bentley’s Earl White review (one of my “Cola transition” teas)

Unlike their Acai Berry and Blackberry which I found quite meh, the White Earl Grey tea from Bentley’s I actually like as a flavored tea. Maybe because it was one of the first wave of teas that helped me escape from Colas.

The taste is typical of tea-bag white tea with the distinctive flavoring of earl grey (bergamot), yet somehow the combination works for me. I’m fine with how it tastes, I haven’t tried combining it with anything else. This is the type of tea that can help when you are switching from Colas and juices and want something along those lines to help you transition.

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Tea Cup Review: The $40 Starbucks January 2018 Cup

In Part #1, we discussed whether the $40 Starbucks cup is a good deal for consumers. In this post, we review it as a “normal” insulated tea drinking cup…

You may still find this cup in the clearance bins at some Starbucks stores and probably at thrift stores and eBay and such. Or you may be handed it by friends and family. The free drinks promotion expired on January 31 (2018), so the value of the cup crashed since then…

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Vanilla & Rooibos Red Tea Loose Leaf Tea (from TJ Party Set)

This is probably my 1A favorite among the six teas that are the Trader Joe Gift Set, it is the “Vanilla & Rooibos Red Tea” that has just two ingredients, rooibos and vanilla powder! Vanilla aroma is the first thing that reaches your senses when you open the tin, and it is indeed carrier forward in the taste. The vanilla definitely tames some of the “medicinaliness” of rooibos! I liked this well enough I am going to look for vanilla rooibos teas like this (instead of natural/artificial flavors).

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Tea Review: Thotalagala Black Tea

Oh my! Three weeks without a new tea blog! Where did all the time go? I have a mountain of teas and topics to write about! I must needs write like the wind 🙂

Today we are back with Tea #3 from the Trader Joe Thotalagala collection, a single-estate Sri Lanka tea set in tea pyramids (but the tea leaves can be easily liberated and brewed loose leaf style). We are talking about the Black Tea of this set, which is black tea leaves and nothing more!

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Bergamot Flavored Loose Leaf Black Tea (from the Trader Joe Tea Party)

And we are back, with our first review of the six tea-tins included in the Trader Joe Tea Party Set that premiered during the 2017 holiday season. We start with Jean Luc Picard’s favorite, the “Bergamot Flavored Black Tea”. Technically they don’t call it “Earl Grey” ~ it’s not that they have to pay licensing fees to the good old Lord Grey ~ or Lord Frey 🙂

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Hime Genmai Cha Loose Leaf review

And we are back with a new loose leaf review! I have gone through more than half of this 10 ounce container of the Hime Genmai Cha, so it’s a good time for a review!

I found this while placing an Amazon Prime Pantry order and the price was right, so I picked it up out of curiosity. I haven’t found it in-stock since at Prime Pantry, but you can get it in packs of four 10 oz boxes from the regular Amazon. I believe it should also be easy to find at local Japanese and Asian markets.

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Bentley’s Acai Berry and Blackberry Green Tea review

I found this tea during a visit at a discount store (Ross or Marshals or something like that). The price was right, considering you get 50 tea bags and a colorful tin to use later.

The best use of this tea is for people trying to switch from sodas and flavored drinks to tea, it’s a transition stage tea.

Otherwise, fans of pure tea may find the added flavors rather obnoxious and unnatural. Or you can experiment co-brewing with other unflavored/boring teas to tame/hide the added flavors.

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Unboxing the Trader Joe Tea Party Gift Set

It’s a tea party at Trader Joe! Introduced (I believe) for the 2017 holiday season, Trader Joe has a second tea gift set, in addition to the Thotalagala set. The “Tea Party” goes for $8 and has six small tins of loose leaf tea, half with caffeine, half without. The first row in the picture below is caffeinated, the second row has no caffeine.

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Tea Review: Thotalagala Festive Black Tea

This is the second of the four teas included in the brand new Thotalagala Single Estate Tea Gift Set, two flavored, two unflavored, to keep purists and non-purists alike happy 🙂

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Tea Review: Thotalagala Lemongrass Earl Grey

This is the first of four reviews of the four teas included in the brand new Thotalagala Single Estate Tea Gift Set! We start with the most aromatic of the options, the Lemongrass Earl Grey.

Thotalagala Trader Joe LemonGrass Earl Grey Tea

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Tea Review: Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Decaf Green Tea (2017 edition)

The holiday teas are coming out in all directions, and they are usurping my “Phase II” plans. Today’s review is another Trader Joe holiday classic, their decaffeinated Candy Cane Green Tea. Thanks to Game of Thrones, I have now renamed decaffeinated teas as “eunuch teas” 🙂 I usually avoid them, but because this is a holiday tea, I get one every year for the tradition and holiday spirit 🙂

If it wasn’t a holiday tea, there would be many reasons to avoid this tea. It has SOY, motherfrakking soy (soybean oil part of the “roasted chicory”), the last ingredient in the list. It also has unspecified “Natural Flavors” and of course it is decaffeinated.

If none of the above turns you off, keep reading….

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Tea Review: Davidson Organic Peppermint Loose Leaf Tea

This is the largest quantity of a tea I ever purchased. A whole pound in a bag! And with good reason, the price was right and peppermint is nowhere near as fragile as something like Japanese green tea. The 16oz bag of Davidson’s Organic Peppermint loose leaf tea goes for under $15 most of the time at That’s under $1 per ounce.

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