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….
The miracles and wonders of SOY in tea 🙂 It even gets a full “Nutrition Facts” label, highly unusual in teas. There we learn you get 2% Vitamin C per tea bag. Peppermint is the leading ingredient, followed by the decaf green tea and the various spices and flavors.
You won’t find the brewing instructions on the outside of the package. When you open it up, they are written on the right inside flap, just like the Harvest Blend. It looks like they are both made at the same place judging by their packaging.
It recommends “below boiling” water. You can do this by stopping the water heating before a full boil, or wait a couple of minutes after your kettle finishes. All these vary depending on how you boil the water and how much you are using and so forth.
Even though it’s a green tea, most of the tea bag is everything else, so you don’t have to be as careful about the water temperature compared to when you were making a pure green tea.
If you are into scrapbooking and crafts, the left inside flap is some kind of a dolphin zombie creature, you can cut it clean and use it in your projects 🙂
You get 20 tea bags for $1.99 (as of November 2017). The tea bags are sealed in a waxy pouch, with a gummed horizontal opening. You can use that and fold it over when closing, or you can use a kitchen clip for additional protection from the air.
The square tea bags sit inside the waxy pouch (which is glued to the inside bottom of the thin cardboard container). The tea bags are in ten rows of two. They are attached to each other two by two, but it’s easy to tear them off.
The square tea bags have no staple, and no tea string, so that’s a plus.
HOW DOES IT TASTE?
It is a festive mix of different tastes. The peppermint is there, necessary of course for the candy cane. The candy part is more to the imagination, it is an agreeable mix of all the ingredients. I do not dislike it, but I wouldn’t buy more than one box per year during the holidays. Even if I fell in love with the taste, the trio of SOY, decaf and “natural flavors” would discourage me from buying more.
This actually mixed well with the Harvest Blend, it created a flavor that was neither yet has flavor characteristics of both. But if you over-steep it (eg forget to take the tea bags out), the Harvest blend will take over because it has stronger spices/flavors.