Snooty Tea Review: IntheBag Tea Round 2

IntheBag Tea has the second half of a worthy challenge ahead. Herbal teas can easily be boring, but these gals have got a line of in-tea-resting combos that are cer-tea-nly tempting.

It’s time to test whether In The Bag Tea has truly gotten this stuff in the bag.

itb_herb_frooteaFrom Cracklin’ Rosie we segue to Frootea, which is the same thing minus our friend Rooibus. As a dry blend, it doesn’t smell like much, one of those where you have to really stick your nose in there to get a whiff. In the cup, that red fruit does its thing. The aroma becomes bright and sassy, like a grapefruit or blood orange. Natural sweetness? Nil.

As usual with fruit and berry teas, you get a wine-colored liquor here, but the taste is reminiscent of anything but wine. All those tangy, tart notes from Crackin’ Rosie are just off the wall here. Bam. Bam. Bam. Bam. Whether you oversteep it or not, just be prepared to start playing hopscotch with the Sour Patch Kids, because Frootea does not mess around and pretend it’s sweet. Oh no. This is the kid who backtalks the teacher and tells you exactly what’s wrong with your outfit today. What a kicker.

If you prefer your fruit teas tasting more like sangria or Ocean Spray, then you’ll want to sweeten the hell out of this thing. Honey would be awesome. No milk, please. Like all of In The Bag Tea’s blends–except Jazzberry–this one has zero caffeine, so it’s a good anytime-snacky tea.

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Digestiblend is made for sweet little farm girls. Why? Because right out of the bag, it smells like fresh hay. It’s only when you steep it do you get the lovely lemon vibes in the aroma. You’re still chilling in the hayloft, but it’s been scrubbed with the power of PineSol, baby.

What’s nice about In The Bag’s tea is that you can gulp or sip it without regret. Hoity-toity blends (here’s looking at you, Chateau Rouge) make you feel guilty for drinking a cup with anything but the utmost reverence, swishing the delicate flavors around in your mouth to savor every one.

Here, however, none of that. Tiny sips are just as rewarding as the chugs. Whatever the reason, Digestiblend goes down easy. With a liquor like an old dollar coin, it’s got a heavy body for an herbal, but that just means you’re getting the most out of the leaves. w00t. Even though there’s supposed to be mint, you don’t feel a lick of it–in fact, you’d swear the base was chamomile, it’s so down-to-earth and relaxed.

Not a wakeup tea, this one. Save it for after supper or something. Add a sweetener if you like, but with that unabashed flavor, it’s well-endowed as it is.

itb_herb_hanghelpHello, a tea for Sunday–or, as rugby folks call it, Holy Hangover Day. None of the dry blends from In The Bag Teas have a saccharine-sweet tea-sposition; Hangover Helper is no exception. In the cup, not much can be said for the aroma. You get the chamomile fuzzy-blanketing everything, though the pucker of rosehips pokes through, along with a soft greeting from the orange peel. Richly golden liquor–blessedly alcohol-free.

Not all hangovers were mothered by vodka and require prairie oyster treatment. Some hangovers are just from an overdose of sleep–oh yes, it’s possible–or eating a bad meal the night before. And let’s not forget emotional hangovers. Nothing may have happened physically on the beforehand, but if you’re going through friend drama or a breakup, the morning after will certainly feel like a Morning After.

As a result, In The Bag does well to include gently stimulating herbs like mint and ginseng to counteract the sleepiness that’s going to happen with the chamomile. If you’ve already slept too much, the last thing you want is a tea that’s going to put you back to bed. However, despite the strong lineup of ingredients here, Hangover Helper does not deliver an astounding performance on the flavor front. Funnily enough, this renders it perfect for an actual hangover. If you’re in a god-awful state of being, it’s a relief to get a cup of something that isn’t too complicated on the way down. (Though Digestiblend sits better in the belly.) Hungover, you crave Just Plain Tea. This fits the bill admirably.

Honey or sweetener wouldn’t be bad here; hold off the milk. If you’re not hungover, enjoy whenever.

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Dry ChamoMint is Hangover Helper on Beginner Mode. Actually, there’s a nice subdued effect about it. The fragrance is simpler; cleaner than the hodgepodge of flavors and smells snarled up in the previous tea. Here, in the cup, the herbs merge without making a fuss about it.

Another frank, no-nonsense blend, Chamomint taps into that beautiful honey quali-tea that we’ve seen in other herbals from Simpson’s and Smith Teamaker. This tea just puts you right at home. With its dusky gold liquor, the chamomile dominates, and the mint chimes in only on the aftertaste. These three notes come together quite plainly, but that makes it just fine for your quieter days, nights, or passing moments.

Sweeten if desired, and remember that any sort of milk is a tea-rrible companion to chamomile.

Final verdict? IntheBag Tea could use some fine-tuning of its flavor profiles, but honestly, the rustic boldness of each blend seems to be a trademark. Here is a situation where personal style is more interesting than anything else.

Best of luck, ladies! You’ve got this in the bag.

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