Tea Love: Instilling a Love of Tea, One Sip At A Time

Posts tagged ‘Keurig’

Last Red Rose Review! Naturally Decaffeinated

Oh noz!   My final Red Rose K-cup review!   For those of you who are late to the game, Red Rose gave me three different types of K-cups to review – English Breakfast, Original, and now, Naturally Decaffeinated.

For those of you who don’t know, decaffeinated tea STILL CONTAINS CAFFEINE.   It is in trace amounts, but it is still present, so please tread lightly if you have any allergies to caffeine.   Tea labeled as decaffeinated must have less than 2.5% of the original caffeine level.

Red Rose uses a process to decaffeinate their tea called the ethyl acetate, or EA, process, which is also the most widely used method in the US.   Basically, this means that the chemical ethyl acetate, which is found naturally in tea, is used as a solvent to extract the caffeine.

Now, the most important question – how is the tea?

Red Rose Naturally Decaffeinated Tea

Red Rose Naturally Decaffeinated Tea

The first thing that I noticed about the tea was that it was lighter in appearance than the others.   While this normally is not a bad thing, it did sadly translate over into taste a bit.   I only tasted a hint of the tea and have not been able to figure out why.   I did find that the ethyl acetate is very difficult to remove and can leave a chemical taste to the tea sometimes.   However, thankfully, this was not the case.   The tea was just a bit weak for my taste.   It smells strong, and I brewed it in the Keurig as I did the other teas, but for some reason, this one is just not working for me.

So, in short, while I do love Red Rose tea, I am not sure if I will be running off to purchase more K-cups.   I might get the Original since that tasted like normal Red Rose tea, but the English Breakfast tasted just like the Original, so I’m not sure if that is worth it.

So Red Rose, I do thank you, and I will keep buying your tea bags, but your K-cups are not my cup of tea.

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Tea Review – Red Rose English Breakfast Tea

Hi all!

So, life has been busy, busy, busy!   First off, GREAT news regarding my recent health issues.   I finally got everything resolved.   Cysts have disappeared, kidney is non-existent but not a bad thing, and my low iron has been resolved.   Even better?   Ever since taking my iron pills, I have had more energy, I feel less depressed, and I have even started going to the gym again, this time with my mommy in tow and soon, my boyfriend will be joining on Saturday!

Very excited about all of that 🙂

I also got word that I will be doing another Tea Love talk!   This one will be in February, details to follow.

Now, as some of you might already know, I received a package from Red Rose Tea again, this time asking to review their Keurig cups.   Though I must admit, I am not the biggest fan of K-cups, I decided to give it a whirl.   Last time, I reviewed the original K-cup.   Now, I moved on to…

English Breakfast From Red Rose Tea!

English Breakfast From Red Rose Tea!

English Breakfast!

So, I brewed it and, as you can see here, it has its signature red flavor to the tea, almost like burnt cinnamon.   Truly, if I could, I would put some of this tea in resin and wear that as a necklace or ring, it looks so pretty.

Unfortunately though, in terms of taste and scent, it doesn’t quite meet standards.   I do not taste any outstanding flavors to it, nor do I smell any.   To smell anything, I have to quite literally stick my nose deep into my cup and even then, I get a slight smell of black tea.   As for taste, it is a good black tea, mind you, but I would not want to use it to wash down a hearty breakfast of eggs and sausage.   It is more mild, better for some light sandwiches.

I know that my aunt likes to dress up her Red Rose Tea with a little bit of orange juice, so I might give that a shot, but this is more of just a pleasant tea, nothing too outstanding about it.

Sorry, Red Rose!   I do like your products, but this one, I would recommend an improvement on.

Next week, I will review the final one, the naturally decaffeinated tea.

 

Mystery Package – Revealed!

Hi all!

So, in case you didn’t read last week’s blog post, I did have a bit of a health scare which is getting better.   I am not completely out of the woods yet, but it looks like kidney cancer is very low on the possibility list.   I might either just have some other issue, or I might only have one kidney (kinda cool!).   I will keep everyone posted.   In the meantime, prayers, well wishes, what have you, are all welcomed.

Now, onto tea…

I got a wonderful little Christmas gift in the mail the other day!   Not one, not two, but THREE Keurig cup packages from Red Rose Tea!

Yay!   Lots Of Tea!

Yay! Lots Of Tea!

That’s right – Red Rose Tea contacted Tea Love again for another round of reviews, and this time, they are having me test out their new Keurig cups.   Admittedly, one thing I love about Red Rose Tea is the little figurines they include with all their teas.   Sadly, the K-cups do not come with the nautical theme that they have this year, but I did manage to score a cute little scuba diver head the last time I did a review for them.

As you know, I am not entirely sold on K-cups.   The Keurig delivers a flash brew from a bunch of tea dustings.   While it’s good for what it is, I can’t say I am wild, over-the-top, crazy about them.   However, when I am looking for something faster than even a tea bag, I know I can also grab a K-cup.

Now, to dissect these little guys.   Each one has a tin foil lid, just like most K-cups.   Let’s take a peek inside:

 

Never Too Thrilled With Tea Dustings...

Never Too Thrilled With Tea Dustings…

As I thought, the tea is a bit of a powder.   This will help promote quick brewing, but does lack the quality of a loose leaf tea.   However, when you are on the go, this is pretty helpful.

As established in my blog Undressing The K-Cup, I explored how a Keurig brews the tea.   There’s no temperature control, so everything brews at 192 degrees, which is a bit colder than the 200 degrees needed for black teas, but should do here because the tea is a powder.

Now, what about the taste?   Find out next week how it is, how it looks, and if you should go running to your grocery stores!

 

Undressing The K-Cup

My company now has a Keurig machine a floor above me.   Very delightful, I must admit.   It’s nice having instant tea or coffee with the push of a button.   For a bit, I was stocking up on chai tea lattes and, after a hard day, my coworkers would always be able to find me racing upstairs with my mug and cup in hand.

But I was asked once, how is the tea for a Keurig machine?   Well, I know that I’ve had it before and it’s been tasty, but I can’t exactly leave it at that, can I?   Is this a high-quality brew or just something to grab when you are in a rush and need tea in the next thirty seconds?

So, I asked to borrow my sister-in-law’s K-cup (and I promised her I would pay her back the full 25 cents that I now owe her as a result) and dissect exactly what is within those little white cups.

First, the unbrewed version:

A K-Cup of Earl Grey

A K-Cup of Earl Grey

So, when I opened up the K-cup, this is what I found – tea leaves that were almost resorted to a powder.   Now, as many of you know, I highly advise against this if you are looking for a high-quality brew.   The more you can identify within your tea (meaning I can pick the leaf up and know that it is a leaf), the better your tea is.   The reason why you want to identify the leaves and the parts of the tea is because your tea becomes bitter the more it is broken up.   While this is all well and good for certain teas, it is not appropriate for all.

However, one reason why the K-cups probably contain this finer tea is because it will brew that much faster.   And when you have thirty seconds of 192-degree water hitting the tea leaves, the faster the brew, the better for the process.   However, given that you cannot control the temperature, nor the time for the brew, it is a bit iffy.

Now, what does it look like when the tea is brewed?   While I did have to use a different tea, here’s the picture:

Lemon Herbal Tea

Lemon Herbal Tea

So, the stream of water only hit the middle part of the cup.   Meaning only the tea in the middle of the cup got the main blast.   The rest doesn’t even look like it was moved (other than that little bit in the bottom right-hand corner that I moved).   So, considering that you have a portion of the tea hit and the rest that just kinda… sits there… this is not a positive sign.

So, in the long run, if you want to grab a fast cup of tea, just understand that the Keurig cup isn’t exactly high quality.   Fine if you want a quick cuppa but understand that high-quality tea can never be done quickly.

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