Yes, dear Tea Friends! We have a new blog achievement unlocked! Back to back days with new blog posts! Today too we have a Trader Joe tea, this is another one of their new product arrivals. It is a RED tea, Melisandre red!
The new Trader Joe RED refresh is a box of 20 tea bags, in a colorful cardboard box with a price of $2.49 as of review date (September 2017). The price was right for an impulse buy, unlike some of their recently added fancy Teavana-ish dessert-y teas that go for $5+ 🙂
INSIDE THE BOX
Inside the cardboard, the tea is sealed in a gummed waxy pouch that is glued to the bottom of the box. You can remove the pouch if you pull it gently but persistently. There is no good way to keep it sealed as it is, so I’m using a couple of kitchen clips [not included with the tea, thus the Xs in the picture]
The tea bags are flat, square, no tea string, no tea tags. Just a flat square bag you drop in the water. There are more tea bags when you open it, I almost drank it all, which is what forced me to finish the review before I ran out of tea 🙂
HOW DOES IT TASTE?
I like this tea iced! Hot is not bad, but it shines iced. They somehow managed to tame the brightness of the hibiscus with some of the other ingredients, and combined with the tarty flavor, it gives it its unique (to me) flavor. You can dilute it some more (eg use more water, or add more ice cubes) if it’s too flavorful.
The difference in color is because of the size of the cups. There’s more volume in the gaiwan than the tiny little tea cup, so it looks more red. It came from the same infusion 🙂
If I only had to drink this tea hot, I probably wouldn’t buy it again. But as an iced tea, I will definitely buy it again!
Being all herbal-y things, it is fine when you overbrew it or forget to take the tea bag out on time.
I haven’t tried any other combinations or mixed with it. I have not sweetened it. I rarely sweeten tea except for late night in the winter time, I add some honey to my last tea of the day, such as chamomile or peppermint.
This is the tea bag after the infusion. As you can see, the gaiwan’s lid can also serve as a display case for tea bags. Loose leaf and tea bags live in harmony, side by side on my …piano???
INGREDIENTS and BREWING INSTRUCTIONS
Both are printed on the same side of the cardboard box. The ingredients have the usual assortment you find herbal tea blends, with perhaps wild cherry bark being the least common. They do have “Natural Flavors” however, so any of you who avoid them no matter what, keep that in mind!
The instructions are as expected, the 4-6 minute boiling water thing. As I mentioned above, this can handle overbrewing without issue.
There is a not-so-easy-to-read “Best Before” date at the bottom of the box, but it doesn’t say where it was packaged or where the ingredients were sourced from.