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:

As far as I can tell, this is the first time I’m drinking green tea from Sri Lanka, and the flavor was different from the other green teas I’ve drunk so far (some Chinese, some Japanese). The tea leaves are good enough that I began “liberating” them from the tea pyramids, and brewing them as loose leaf. It’s very easy with most tea pyramids, you gently pull at the seams and the pyramid sides part.

It does not have the smooth jazz of dragonwell but neither the astringency of the more commonly available at retail green teas (eg gunpowder). There wasn’t as much of the vegetal or marine either. In some ways it reminded me of assam black teas, so maybe this is based on assamica varietals (just I guess, I have no way of knowing for sure).

Overall I liked it well enough to keep drinking it, but did not fall in love with it to the point of crying because I can not buy it again. And that’s the sweet spot when you are buying limited availability gift sets. You don’t want to fall in love with them if you can’t buy them again 🙂

These are the tea leaves after the infusion:

NICE COMBO – by accident

But the best combination for this happened by accident. I was “separated from my tea timer” and it ended up brewing for over five minutes. It came out pretty strong yet not as bitter as one would expect from a five minute brewing session. I just happened to have unfinished loose leaf spearmint tea, and mixed the infusions (more parts green than spearmint) and it was pretty good!


There is only one ingredient in this, organic green tea. This and nothing more.

The brewing instructions were generic for all four teas in this box (three of the four are black teas) and they look like black tea brewing instructions. Most of the time I left the water cool further for the green tea, but the 1-2 times I used “almost boiling” there was no brewing disaster 🙂

2 thoughts on “Tea review: Thotalagala Green Tea”

  1. This Thotalagala Green Tea stopped me in my tracks. It tastes like brewed pot, as in marijuana. Not that I was a smoker back when, though I tried it a few times, but this tastes totally like pot, the steam smells like it too. Am not so sure it’s any kind of traditional “green” tea, except that the leaves are green. Haha. So strange.

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