I had decaf tea for the very first time today.
It was an accident, I assure you. I will never order decaf tea knowingly, even for the sake of discovering what it tastes like. No. I will not waste my money on that. I will rather take McDonald’s tea than decaf.
What happened was that I was having some food with my girlfriend at a middle eastern restaurant, and while she ordered a Turkish coffee, I wanted a cup of tea. Among the choices of chamomile, earl grey, rose, and blueberry butterscotch dillweed hibiscus, I heard “English Breakfast”. That’s an unadulterated tea, I thought, so I ordered it.
The teabag came in a little plastic bag, I opened the little bag and noticed that on the blue tag where it said “Trader Joe’s Premium Teas”, there was a little orange line underneath it, with a bold black word “decaffeinated” written across it, as if it were a warning sign.
Since I already opened the packaging, I didn’t quite want to return it to the server, and figuring it would be the first time for me drinking decaf… I plunged it into the cup of hot (really not so hot) water.
I couldn’t really tell any difference between this teabag and any other teabags I’ve brewed in the past. It does the usual diffusion of colour slowly, and I let it sit, figuring it needs a good few minutes to brew a proper cup for me to taste test this thing.
So a few minutes later, I took a sip… hmmm… it tastes like…. the second wash of some bad teabag tea. You know how sometimes, when you’ve brewed one cup with a teabag already, you can always try again and brew another, weaker cup. Well, this tastes like that weaker cup. It’s…. bland. It’s not bitter at all. I suppose the lack of caffeine reduces the bitterness. I also suppose that whatever the decaffeination process is, it probably does something similar to brewing the tea once. It’s so bland… I let it sit some more in the cup, and tried it again, and it was still the same bland taste. I don’t think this thing can take a second infusion, no matter what you do. It was so bad I even took a small sip of my girlfriend’s Turkish coffee.
I think I’m going to brew myself some puerh now.