Trader Joe’s WINTER WAKE UP TEA


So let me just start off with the comment that I really like this tea but frankly found the name a wee bit misleading. When I saw the words “Wake Up Tea”, I just assumed this will make a cup of strong, dark, kick-ass, rocket fuel (English/Irish) tea… A dark cuppa that really wakes you up in the morning. But when I brewed up a cup as you can see in the picture its not a very dark super strong tea. However when I tasted it I thought, oh this quite good! So I really like this tea but my take is kind of Trader Joe’s should have come up with a different name minus “wake up”. “Winter Wake Up Tea” is probably not something I would brew to wake me up in the morning. But other than that comment, Trader Joe’s has come up with an EXCELLENT TEA BLEND with great spice flavors that would satisfy me at any time of day, and makes me feel all nice and warm and cozy!

TJ’s Winter Wake Up Tea is a wonderfully balanced tasty spiced tea, a blend of black tea, cinnamon, orange peel, ginger and cloves. If it was called something a bit different without “wake up” in the name, I would have simply started the review with “A most wonderful spiced tea that will make you feel warm and toasty on a cold snowy winter’s eve, and will warm your heart and soul! Drink it in front of the fireplace and just relax….” Personally Mr. Joe, I would have named it something like, say… WINTER COZY TEA. or WINTER SPICE BLEND TEA* or something like that.

Brew this up and you get a very nice spiced tea that reminds me slightly of CONSTANT COMMENT tea – a famous spiced tea blend created back in 1945. My parents always had it in our cupboard, especially making an appearance when “company” came over, as it was kind of special and would get a “yum… whats this tea?” comment from our guests. Ah the good old days! This TJ tea make a lighter cup than Constant Comment, with less black tea prominent in the blend but probably more spices such as cinnamon, ginger, plus clove and orange peel. It even is has the slightest bit of sweetness naturally as an under-note from a bit of licorice, which possesses natural sweetness.

So will this wake you up like the Irish Breakfast tea which actually is a “wake up tea”? Myself, to wake up I need a strong cuppa like TJ’s excellent Irish Breakfast Tea, or a typical English tea like Typhoo Tea or the like. But still enjoy this Winter Tea for what it is – a quite lovely spiced tea full of flavor.

Aha, methinks, I’ve a great idea! What if I combined the two teas together?! I brewed both teas up together, and very much liked the resulting concoction. If you do you want something a bit darker and stronger but with lots of nice spice flavors, just take 2 cups of water, bring to a boil in a pot, and toss in a bag of this Winter Tea plus a bag of Irish Breakfast Tea. Let it brew for at least 5 minutes. The result is nice mix-up of both, a strong “cuppa” plus lots of warm spices and flavor, not terribly unlike Constant Comment, and which actually now is a Wake Up Tea that will perk you up on a cold winter’s morn.

*So Mr Trader Joe, should you borrow my ideas and rename this product “COZY WINTER TEA” you better at least send me a case of this stuff!

 

 

 

Trader Joe’s IRISH BREAKFAST TEA


 

 

 

If you enjoy a nice “cuppa” like I do, you’ll likely enjoy TJ’s IRISH BREAKFAST TEA.

Trader Joe’s ORIGINAL IRISH BREAKFAST TEA BAGS is a newer incarnation of a previous version of Irish Tea they carried, then “revamped” a few years back. That previous Irish Tea packaging looked a bit different and tasted different too, according to the internet’s tea aficianados. This new version is an improved, better version, also according to them. Its has more flavor and is a stronger blend, which is what you definitely want in a cup of “Irish Tea” as Irish tea should be strong enough to stand up to milk and sugar, the way most people probably drink it there, as well as in the UK. And the way I takes me tea, as well!

TJ’s gave the box a new design too,  and the tea which was in a square bag, now comes in a round bag (tables with no string). Inside the box are 2 foil-wrapped packages with 40 tea bags each, which is great way to sell tea as the foil wrapper keeps 1/2 the tea totally fresh and airtight until you need to open the second package. When you rip open the foil pack you will smell the tea easily, its got a very nice earthy (boggy?) deep tea aroma. To me this is what good tea should smell like. I won’t be a snob and say no one should use a tea bag, let’s face it they are mighty convienient (yes on occasion, I will make a pot with loose tea).

According to the info on the box, TJ’s IRISH BREAKFAST tea comes from 5 countries: India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malawi, and Kenya. A box is 80 teabags has a Net Wt. of 8 ounces which basically means each tea bag contains a nice decent amount of tea, enough to make a strong “cuppa”. When you see cheap tea that has 100 tea bags and says “6 oz” you already know that means there’s simply not enough tea in each bag to make a strong cup of tea. Lipton comes as 8 oz of tea in 100 bags, so obviously each has less tea and won’t brew up as strong as this stuff. This is a black tea and properly steeped (4-5 minutes) the tea gives you a nice very strong, dark “cuppa” with a deep reddish color. It is strong enough to stand up to milk and sugar, or not, as you like! The box with 80 tea bags sells for $2.99 (or $6/lb) which is a good deal even compared to TJ’s ENGLISH BREAKFAST TEA (which comes in a box of 48 bags for $2.99)

As the box says, “The Irish love their tea”. Some of us Yanks do too and we can easily enjoy this brand of tea easily and affordably from TJ’s to make our daily “cuppa”.

RAVE

new irish tea
FALL 2020 update – Note that the Irish Tea package has changed again. This is what it now looks like (blue sky, green grass, bicycle drawing). They also changed from foil packs inside (lovely) to plastic wrapped packs (meh!). Most people, as well as yours truly preferred the foil packs for freshness. Oh well. Some report the tea’s blend changed. At least still 8 oz with 80 teabags. For comparison Whole Foods sells their Black Tea in a package of which is 70 teabags with a listed weight of 4.9 oz. Wow, thats a lot less tea for your money! So at least TJ has kept the amount of tea the same, and gives you more tea, which of course makes for a stronger cup.