470 Tasting Notes
After the min-disaster with Laoshan Genmaicha I decided to go for something I knew I’d like. I’m on a mission to go through my Verdant samples, which I have been hoarding for some reason. I guess I was just worried about messing them up, or waiting for the right time to enjoy them. But I realized that’s a bit silly—no reason to squirrel away tea!
Ginger is hands-down my favorite herb, so of course any Verdant blend with it becomes a must-try. This is a rich, earthy brew backed up by the sweetness of elderberry and the heat of ginger and peppercorn. It’s not really a spicy blend in the sense that it’s not hot-spicy, but more mouth-tingly spicy. The description says they were going for mouth-numbing qualities and they are definitely here! My whole mouth feels tingly after a few sips in a pleasant way.
The ginger is definitely the strongest element, followed by the smooth pu-erh. There are some whiffs of cream and pastry here, a surprising contrast to the bright, spicy ginger. I think this blend would be a favorite if not for the licorice. There’s an unpleasant sweetness that is lingering in the back of my throat, and to me it just clashes with the ginger. Licorice is okay in small quantities, but I think there were a lot of chunks of it in my sample. Still a very delightful experience! Also, after about roughly a million steeps (okay, more like 8) the nuggets still have not unfurled all the way! Tenacious little fellows.
I feel like I am probably the only person on Steepster who has yet to try Laoshan Green, though that is by design. I hate green beans. Not a causal hate, I despise them, and that is often pointed out to be a dominant taste note in Laoshan Green. But I am a little bit obsessed with genmaicha so I got a sample of this against my better instinct.
Well… I suppose I am glad that I tried this. It’s very buttery as other notes have mentioned, but oh man is that some green bean taste up front and center. Very vegetal, but not in the soft spinachy way that I enjoy. This is like vegetables… in my mug. I have this issue with most Chinese greens really, it’s like a stewed veggie mash. Ugh.
The toasty, roasted rice notes are nice but I am so put of by the “here, have a cup of veggie liquid!” that I am having trouble really distinguishing them. Yeah, I am kind of hating this blend. My own fault, I suppose: not going to rate this one as it’s nothing wrong with the tea. I have a $5 voucher at Verdant so I think I’ll give the black genmaicha a go—no green beans there!
Another from the Traveling Tea Box! There’s a large amount of this one so I made up a small pitcher (and there’s still tons for everyone else!).
Peachy! I was expecting more of a flavor from the oolong, since it’s so pretty. Big, fluffy whole leaves. There is a small sample of the pure base in the TTB, so I’ll have to try it and compare!
But essentially this is just a peachy tea. I don’t know why it’s called ‘tropical’ because peach is the only flavoring I detect. I thought there might be pineapple or guava or something but this really tastes like a super basic black peach. Not like that’s a bad thing, especially sweetened and with some lemon slices, but I think they kind of squandered the base on this one.
I so wanted to like this one. I was pretty excited when I saw it in the Traveling Tea Box since most notes I saw on it mentioned that it smelled and tasted like cedar chips. Call me crazy but that sounds appealing!
I am praying that I either overleafed (over….barked?) this or steeped it for too long (ten minutes) because it was beyond bitter. Just… undrinkable. Literally. I took one sip and had to pour the cup down the drain. :( I’m definitely going to give this another shot because a cedar-flavored herb seems like it would be great for blending.
I have been dying to try this blend since it first came out. I probably should have ordered some but I have a really hard time placing small orders at Butiki. I start browsing and suddenly there’s $60 worth of stuff in my cart! Thankfully I get to try this one without draining my account thanks to Emily M!
Hot this one kind of tastes generically sweet, but I let it cool a bit as other reviews have recommended and the flavors start to pop! Sweet, thick maple, nutty pecan, and of course the wonderful base adds rich, woodsy notes. And am I detecting a hint of stone fruit? Something plum-y is going on at the end of the sip and I love it!
This is one of those blends that I would happily drink every day. It’s quite complex and yet on a level delightfully simple—pecan pie in a cup!
Another tea from the Traveling Tea Box! Of course I had to try this one, it’s an Earl Grey Cream and I am on a quest to catch ’em all. Or, well, try ’em all.
This one sounded interesting since there is coconut oil added, I think the idea of a tropical EGC is really interesting. Sadly, that’s not at all what this is: there’s no coconut at all! I wonder if there’s just not enough of it or if the flavor has waned since it was first bagged up. I agree with Tea Sipper’s note that the packaging seems less than ideal, just light paper to keep it from the elements!
I have tried so many EGCs, and many of them are quite spectacular. But I guess a lot of the middle of the road ones blend together, and this is one of them. The bergamot and vanilla aren’t as well balanced as I would like. It’s a bit creamy but nothing in it really screams “I’m an ear grey cream!” Don’t get me wrong it’s a nice blend, but I think at this point I am so spoiled by the better EGC blends I’ve tried. However, this does make me really want to mix a coconut tea and EGC together and see what happens!
One from the Traveling Tea Box! I love a good blueberry mix so this is the first one I picked out to cold brew. Considering that I’ll have the box probably until Thursday I’ll be able to get a lot of iced tea out of it! But first, this one. It doesn’t really smell like much but I think that often happens with small samples that have been hanging around among more assertive cousins—it’s hard to discern anything distinct.
Sadly, that kind of transfers over to the taste. I am getting zero blueberry! It really tastes like an unflavored black. There’s maybe a whiff of generic fruit and there’s some nice floral elements (from the big mallow blossom in my spoonful!) but really, it’s just kind of a regular iced tea. The green blueberry blend from the same company smells much more like, well, blueberries so I will give that one a shot next!
I have been hoarding my sample of this from Kasumi no Chajin for a night when I really needed it, but I recently discovered that my local grocery store stocks it! I had not seen them before because they’re not with the tea: there’s a mysterious section next to the spices featuring loose herbs for blending (lemongrass! eucalyptus!) and more exotic teas. $3 for a box of these, so I can definitely afford to keep them stocked!
I love ginger and I often get nauseous, so this is the absolute perfect tea for me. Plus no steeping involved, so when you are really ill you don’t have to stand around waiting for your tea to be done. The instructions say one whole packet per a small mug but there’s a whole lot in here and it smells strong so I used half of one for one of my smaller mugs.
This is quite possibly the strongest ginger tea I’ve ever had! And I love ginger so coming from me that is a big complement. Warming, spicy, with a nice hint of honey that adds flavor but not overpowering sweetness. And not only is it tasty, the ginger acts as an instant nausea killer. I bet it would be great iced too!
Thank you so much for introducing me to this tea (tisane, I suppose!) Kasumi, I am definitely going to always have it on hand!
I am in a sugar coma right now. In the afternoon I indulged in a delicious sakura flan on my tea trip with Mercuryhime, and afterwards I met up with the boy to check out Doughnut Plant. How can I NOT go to a store that Saveur says has some of the best donuts in the world? Of course I didn’t really plan on eating any tonight, I was going to save them, but the creme brulee and tres leches were calling our names… they are rather small (or at least the creme brulee was), but oh man it’s like all the richness of a real dessert wrapped in a donut. So good, but I feel like I don’t need to eat again for a week at least. And there are still 4 donuts left…
While this does not seem like a tea to reach for when you want the opposite of sugar, I found it in the traveling tea box (along with 2 other holiday ones!) and considering that I missed all of the flavors this year I decided to go for it.
I have a love/hate relationship with Celestial Seasonings. They have a small handful of blends that I enjoy from time to time, namely Sleepytime and Bengal Spice, but most of the time it’s just not quite there. I mean, I do tend to be more lenient in my opinion since it’s a bagged tea, but even then they taste… off. I think this blend falls somewhere in between: not great, but not really bad either.
Nutmeg is one of my favorite spices so I was excited to see a blend featuring it, but I am only getting a little whiff of nutmeg and some vanilla. No cinnamon at all! There’s kind of a generic holiday taste, like if you liquified Christmas potpourri and put it in tea. Which sounds gross but it’s not that bad! Well, not good, but not bad either. A decidedly middle of the road tea. But I am happy to have tried it—I want to get all the holiday blend desire out of my system so I can try them and not end up getting a whole box I will never drink!
I picked this one up from the Ovation liquidation sale for its potential as a cold brew in the summertime. Most of my favorite iced teas (for example Cantaloupe & Cream or Green Chestnut) are way too pricey to make in bulk, and while I have a few that I like to make pitchers of I enjoy variety. And with 8 ounces of this one I think it will last quite a while!
This is nice iced, the pineapple is in the forefront and the blueberry a nice burst at the end of the sip. I think I’m going to leave off a rating until it’s hot and really iced tea season, I can see this being so refreshing during the warmer months… especially with a splash of coconut sake.