470 Tasting Notes
Almond Joy candy bars in tea form? Why yes please. They’re one of my favorite candy bars—well actually I prefer Mounds, but I think in tea form I’d rather have the added almonds since most chocolate in teas tastes like dark chocolate anyway.
When there are 3 strong flavors in a tea it’s usually hard to taste them individually. This is the case here: the almond is the dominant flavor, and I’m getting a lot of chocolate as well. The coconut? There’s really only a hint of it. BUT this is the best almond tea I’ve tried so far, so I’m not going to complain! After all almond + chocolate is delicious, I’m really thinking of mixing in a bit of Yunnan’s Fable for the extra oomph of coconut (and also extra chocolate).
So I hate to admit this, but a while back I lost some of my tea samples. Yes, lost them. ;~; And I felt terrible, because included in the lost tea were many of my samples from Teavivre. I’m so sorry, Angel, but I finally found them! They were tucked in with the granola… what they were doing there is a mystery, as is who put them in such an odd location. I’m just going to blame tea-loving ghosts.
This is a gorgeous tea, little golden strands in my steeper that unfurl in to large, fat leaves of the most beautiful gold-brown shade. They’re so fluffy, reminds me of sheep wool for some reason. Actually what they really remind me of is fairy tales, Rumplestiltskin spinning thread into gold—I imagine this is what the result looked like.
The smell is heavenly, like raisin bread baking in the oven. Yeasty, warm and soothing. One sip of the golden brew and I’m transported to a bakery! Sweet potato rolls, fresh bread, warm honey, those are the notes I’m picking up from this. It reminds me of Bailin Gongfu, but lighter and less malty. There are some soft cocoa notes at the end of the sip, not really chocolatey but like the smell of cocoa powder when you’re mixing it into a dough. Scrumptious!
EDIT: As this cools, a strong orange citrus note comes out, like candied orange rind. The second steep is lighter and more golden, with a stronger bread note and a brief maltiness in the background.
Ah, jasmine. Such a classic tea flavor but you usually only see white or green blends scented with this luscious flower. I’ve had 2 black jasmines, but they’re really a jasmine green blended with black tea. So I was intrigued by the idea of a jasmine pu-erh blend, especially since I’ve really enjoyed the other Numi teas I’ve tried thanks to Kasumi.
Mm, this smells divine! Hot, sweet, floral but not too floral. I know jasmine can get soapy or perfumey (which, being a floral hound, I don’t mind) but it is nicely toned down here. The pu-erh is earthy and rich, the depth of flavor tempering the jasmine down to a more sweet level. They work so well in combination together. Plus, I got 3 resteeps out of a teabag—always a good sign!
How exciting, for the second time I’m the first person to review a 52teas blend! This is one I probably would have skipped (sadly, because I love pomegranate), since before I tried to limit myself to 2 of their blends a month. The tea of the week club is SO worth it, since now I don’t miss any of them! Though the white blends never seem to be as popular as the other ones, maybe because you get 1 ounce instead of 2?
Just a few days ago I was decrying the lack of teas that actually taste like pomegranate, but this blend has actual dried pom seeds in it so my hopes were up. Though, really, if I want a pomegranate fix it is the season for them—in fact I devoured half of one just last night! Yes, I am a pom addict.
I made this iced and it took me all day to get through it—not because it’s bad, but because I am freezing! I am so used to the balmy temperatures of my apartment, where it’s about 75 with the heat OFF because I’m on the top floor and everyone else has it blasting. My parents live about 60 miles up from the city and good lords is it chilly here. Not really iced tea weather anymore. But even with my hands feeling like they are going to fall off I enjoyed this blend.
The blackberry is the dominant flavor here, and (I guess unsurprisingly) it reminds me of the watermelon blackberry honeybush that I adore. Sweet and juicy! The pom is a supporting note, but for once it actually tastes like pomegranate! Tart and crisp without the raspberry vibes pom blends usually give me. I’m probably going to save my pouch for the summer, I imagine a big pitcher of this with a slice of lime would be divine.
Oh my did I overindulge on Superbowl food. (I’m not going to talk about the actual superbowl because the reffing was so bad I want to tear my hair out poor 49ers) Usually I make burgers and guacamole and halftime, and we have chips & dip in the first half. This year I decided to forgo the burgers and make bacon cheeseburger dip—I thought if I replaced regular dip with that and skipped the burgers, it’d be lighter. But the dip was so good, and I made so much… and then guacamole… and then cookies… urgh. So I needed something light to combat it—I’m really in the mood for some genmaicha or a nice sencha, but I’m at my parents’ house for the game so I only have what I brought with me.
I decided instead on something herbal, and lo and behold I have a bag of this from KittyLovesTea! Well, it’s not exactly 100% herbal, but there’s some thistle in it so it counts.
This is an interesting blend. At first sip (and sniff) it smells just like your average Indian black, ctc, nothing special. But the thistle adds a really nice herby dimension, almost floral and with a hint of pleasant bitterness. Not overstepped black bitterness, but more like… grapefruit rind bitterness. Refreshingly brisk, this is really doing the trick! Thanks fellow Kitty!
Thanks to ne14t for this sample!
I’ve been drinking a lot of samples from DAVIDsTEA lately, and I’ve noticed something—a lot of their blends, especially the black ones, have a distinctive taste. I can’t at all put my finger on what it is, but it’s like an underlying current through all their blends. I wonder if they add something specific to accomplish this or if it’s just an aspect of their flavoring?
Anyway, on to this tea! Star anise seems to be a divisive flavor, but I like it. Just a hint of licorice, not too much, and a chai-like spice aspect. This blend utilizes it nicely, though there are HUGE pieces in there it’s not overwhelming. It’s a lightly chocolatey blend though there’s double chocolate in here so of course that’s to be expected! I’m not tasting any coconut though, but that’s not a negative—if I want coconut I reach for a coconut blend, not a star anise one! Overall this is a nice blend, pretty unique in some aspects but that underlying DT flavor doesn’t make it stand out as much as it could.
I love this blend, but I’ve oddly never had it as a traditional chai, so I decided to change that (last night, when Steepster was acting wonky). Stovetop, 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, honey, simmered for 10 minutes. Perfect!
The honey brings out the buttery notes in this blend, and it’s more distinctly “chai” than the gaiwan method (which brings out individual spices instead of the signature chai mishmash). There’s also a lot more chocolate, in fact some pretty darn strong cocoa notes! This is a perfectly balanced chai when prepared this way, no single note dominates but they all meld together beautifully. I wonder how it would taste with almond milk…
Pomegranate is my favorite fruit (followed closely by mango), but it seems utterly impossible to capture in any sort of flavoring. I’ve not once had a pomegranate flavored anything that tasted like actual pomegranate. I wonder why? It’s quite a distinctive taste, but illusive especially in tea.
This tea is good, but it tastes like raspberry! Tart, sweet, with strong berry notes. Yup, definitely getting straight raspberry rather than pomegranate. It’s actually really tasty and the white base is lovely and light, but I’m disappointed by the lack of actual pom in here. I think it’d probably just be easy to cold brew some white tea myself and add pomegranate juice! Ah well, thanks for the chance to try it Azzrian!
Back before this blend was still in the development stage, Stacy tried it with a Dragonwell before deciding on a white. I placed an order around that time and asked for a sample of the original blend—I tasted it months ago, but never wrote a tasting note (because I’m a spazz). However, when scrounging through my samples the other night I found that I had just enough for one more cup!
The silver needle version of this blend really is quite different oddly enough, even though the watermelon flavoring is presumably the same. While Watermelon Xylophone is candy-sweet without and sugar and bursting with juicy flavor, the dragonwell is not nearly as in your face. The watermelon is a bit softer, more subdued and not overly sweet. The base is more buttery and crisp, so it’s a much different tea than you’d think! Honestly, I think most tea blenders would have stuck with this and not experimented any more since it’s so delicious. I prefer the final blend though! I really appreciate getting the chance to try an “in progress” blend, thanks Stacy!