Zoe’s grumpy hot beverage reviews.

You may remember a few weeks ago I declared I was going to find a good (herbal) tea to get me through the winter, with the requirement that I want to be able to actually smell the tea even with my wacky sense of smell. I remain optimistic! I have learnt all kinds of things about what I can and can’t smell at the moment! I have consumed litres of hot drinks! I am yet to find something that really works for me.

Here’s what I’ve been drinking, all chosen because they were readily available at the supermarket or in Eataly:

Pam Supermarket own-brand instant coffee: Not a tea, but I have been drinking a lot of this recently, since I can’t smell/taste the difference between good and bad coffee. It’s cheap. I can use it to make a mug of coffee, which I realize I’ve kinda missed while living in Italy. I can leave it in the office kitchen and no-one will ever steal it. It gives me a stomach ache if I drink too much and it’s not Fairtrade which gives me middle-class guilt if I drink it at all. Still an overall top pick at the moment.

Clipper Zen Again Infusion: This lemongrass, eucalyptus and ginkgo infusion made me angry. It started with the packaging. Pink flowers. It was a good thing I’m not a man, because apparently lemongrass and eucalyptus has a gender. “For that moment of peace”, printed on the front. I picked it up. On the back: “A … spa-inspired blend … Perfect for those moments of reflection.” This was the women laughing alone with salad of herbal tea packaging. Well, for the price it was being sold at, I was going to need a moment of peace. Several hours of peace, probably. I gritted my teeth and decided to take a risk and give it a shot.

Image from

Image from Clipper Teas.

Turns out I can’t smell eucalyptus. Or lemongrass. At least I can taste the nettle they’ve added to fill out the bags.

Clipper Orange and Coconut Infusion: The box is orange and says “tropical”. It probably would be, if I could smell the coconut. I can taste the orange, at least, but without the coconut it’s awfully reminiscent of the orange oil we used to use as a cleaning product when I volunteered in an Oxfam shop as a student. Despite this, it’s not unpleasant and I will definitely finish the packet.

Overpriced organic Rooibos: (I can’t tell you the brand-name because I accidentally left it at my desk at work.) Comes in dinky foil-wrapped teabags which don’t sit well with me as someone who watched a lot of Captain Planet as a small child. I can’t smell the rooibos, but I’ll be optimistic and say it’s a subtle smell. The taste is adequate, but, well, it’s also quite subtle. (“Subtle” is my new favourite euphemism.) The next rooibos I buy will probably be the cheaper non-organic stuff.

Pam Supermarket own brand black tea: This smells of tea. It tastes of tea. It doesn’t smell or taste of anything more sophisticated than that, which doesn’t bother me at all, since I doubt anyone can smell or taste anything much in this 1.19 Euro for 25 bags packet of tea. I used to think of myself as a bit of a tea snob so I hate that I like this tea, but ehh, life’s an amaing journey and all that.

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3 thoughts on “Zoe’s grumpy hot beverage reviews.

  1. Pingback: Notes from my extremely glamorous life: Surprise cows! edition | Where's Zoe now?

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