Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Pinkies up! It's Tea-Time - 3 different teas (Lidl & Aldi)

Tea Time

Long story short, I like tea, but my ex was obsessed. He would steep bags of green tea, peppermint tea, jasmine tea, and black tea, all mixed up, for hours at a time. Tea snobs would probably have a heart attack looking at the concoctions he made, but, I enabled him. (My bad.) Especially during the pandemic. 

He went through tea so quickly that last March, when things started shutting down, I stocked up. People probably thought I had a bunker somewhere, but with his heavy usage of about 12 bags a day, what I bought would have been about 2 months worth. Imagine a large kitchen drawer filled with peppermint and green tea bags. Not long after that, he was gone. And here I am, STILL drinking peppermint tea over a year later. (Because I'm stubborn and hate wasting things.)  

I am so sick of peppermint tea. So let's shake things up with some fruity summer flavors from Lidl and Aldi.   


The Lidl boxes are pretty stinking cute. I love that the branding is cohesive with color and illustration changes depending on the flavor. By comparison, the Aldi tea has a pop of bold color and lovely illustrations, but their offerings just haven't been consistent in branding or packaging. Their art is always evolving, which I like, but the bags inside are wrapped individually in plastic, something I know Aldi is trying to move away from in their effort to be less wasteful (which I am 100% into.) That said, the boxes are all pretty, I like the Lidl designs slightly more, but all three have plastic-wrapped tea bags, which I would love to see changed in the future. 

I have three fruity flavors. First I will try them hot, then cold, and then I'll let you know what I've been doing with them.  

  

Raspberry Flavored Hibiscus (Aldi)
: When steeped, it has a lovely deep berry coloring, and it smells like fresh, but tart, raspberries with some earthiness. Unlike most floral-based teas, this does not smell perfumed or cosmetic, which I really like. (I am not a huge fan of floral flavors.) 

Taking a sip, hot, in spite of its very dark coloring, it tastes light and refreshing. It has a realistic raspberry flavoring with a healthy amount of tartness, which is about the same level as most freeze-dried berries. As far as the hibiscus, it's kind of there, as a hint of floral earthiness, but the raspberry overpowers it. Hot, I like it just as it is, without sweetener, but when it's cold I think it loses a lot of it's edge. 

Iced, it's tart and refreshing, like some kind of fancy fruit infused spa water, but it needs a splash of lemon and sweetener, like honey or sugar to really make it shine. I will definitely buy this box again. 


Peach (Lidl)
: When brewed, it takes on a lovely pink-y-peach coloring, almost like a bottle of Rose. Unlike the Aldi tea, this one smells sweet and a little artificial, like peach flavored gummi rings, but I'm not mad at it. I can tell what it's going for, but it's not as realistic or authentic as the Raspberry tea.  
Taking a sip, hot, this one is also lightly flavored, with a sweet finish. Unfortunately the overall taste reminds me more of an air freshener than a real fruit or beverage. More specifically a cheap peach-scented aerosol air freshener I used to get at the 99 Cent Store back in the 90's. It's not awful, or spit-worthy, but I don't find it as refreshing hot as I did the raspberry. Iced, however, is a completely different story. 
When chilled, the fruity notes come forward and make this way more palatable. It's not a truly unique product, it ends up tasting a lot like the bottled peach-flavored teas you can buy at any store, but for DIY homemade iced tea? It's pretty darn good! Mix in a squeeze of lemon, some sugar or honey, and this is an amazing iced tea. It's actually my favorite of the three! (As long as it's iced.) Just goes to show how different something can be at different temperatures.

Blueberry (Lidl)
: When brewed, it's nearly identical to the Hibiscus Raspberry, but if you look closely this flavor is just a bit more pink than ruby red. It has a deep, but slightly tart, blueberry aroma, that teeters on jammy. 
Hot, it's a lot like the raspberry tea, slightly sweet on it's own, but tart like slightly unripe berries. The berry flavoring leans blueberry, especially towards the end, but overall it's the lightest of the three. Hot, it's very pleasant summer sipping, so I thought it must be even better cold. I was wrong. 
I am not sure why, but cold, this gets rather bitter, with an aftertaste I really do not care for. Not even honey and a squeeze of lemon could save it. It's kind of like a glass of water you left some unripe blueberries in for a few days. What ended up working was splitting this half-and-half with some homemade State Fair Lemonade. Which is pretty much normal lemonade, but you infuse the sugar with lemon zest and let it turn into a sweet, sticky, lemon syrup before adding it to the lemon juice. It's amazing. When this iced tea was used blueberry Arnold Palmer-style, this worked really well. I was glad to find a way to make this work, but it's not my favorite. I only want to brew it if I also have lemonade on hand, so I find myself reaching for it less than the other two and probably wouldn't repurchase. 

While all three are a welcome change of pace, the peach tea is my hands-down favorite. The box is nearly empty already because I keep making iced tea that is gone in the blink of an eye. (The raspberry flavored hibiscus is a close second.)

Have you tried any of these? What did you think? Oh, and if you know of anything I can do with a bajillion peppermint herbal tea bags, other than drink them, please let me know!

Fans of these would also like: Pumpkin Tea Battle, 3 teas enter, one tea leafs!, Hello, is it tea you're looking for? Iced Tea Candy, Lidl Pumpkin Spiced Tea Review, or Peach Oolong Tea
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