90 Tasting Notes
It’s Friday! And the sun actually came out! Wooot! What better way to celebrate than with my first spring tea of the season.
This has a light floral and fruity taste, without being sweet. I generally can’t stand all things cherry flavored as they remind me of children’s tylenol syrup from back in the day, but this just tastes so light and fresh and natural. The flavor is so delicate; it tastes like my tea was kissed by a cherry blossom. Mmm…it’s love at first sip. Hello spring!
I had this one last night before bed, and adding milk took it to the next level of creamy deliciousness. It was like an egg-less nog, without that heaviness that comes from the eggs and cream.
(Side note: “nog” is such a fun word! Maybe that was part of the appeal.)
I definitely prefer this to actual eggnog (cause I’d rather eat my empty calories than drink them!) It’s very soothing with a mellow spice level, and the rooibos taste is barely present. I think this would also make a great base for a hot toddy with a dash of rum.
I’m not typically a jasmine fan but after this sample from Teavivre I may be a convert. It was incredibly smooth with no astringency whatsoever, and the floral taste was fresh and bold without being overpowering. I had it at work and felt like I had momentarily escaped to a garden tea party. I just wish I had made this in something transparent so I could watch these little guys unravel more and more with each steep. Resteeped twice with just as much flavor as the first time. Another hit from Teavivre.
This smells like a mix of winter baking and a summery pina colada, a sort of oxymoron of tea flavors. I was intrigued but a little unsure of how it would go together. Quite well, it turns out. It tastes like a walnutty caramel cake, but a light, fresh version if that makes any sense. It’s not as sweet as it smells, which is nice because it works both as a green tea with just a little oomph, or more of a dessert tea if sweetened. The green tea base works perfectly to complement the flavors without overpowering them. The pineapple has disappeared and the coconut is barely noticeable in the background; I think I only pick up on it because I know it’s there, but it smooths out the tea nicely. Considering I’ve already gone through two large mugs of this and it’s only been twenty minutes, I’d say it’s a hit.
With its mini marshmallows and little sprinkles, this tea looked like the fun treat I needed to liven up my study break. On its own it tasted like black tea with a sweet aftertaste, but after adding milk the flavors really popped. It reminded me of that hot chocolate mix with the mini marshmallows that I used to have as a kid, but a more grown up version that’s less chocolatey and with more of a caramel undertone. It paired perfectly with my super sophisticated snack of crackers and cheese. It was a tasty cup, but I’d love to try their S’mores tea for comparison.
Today I had one of those meals that seem like a good idea at the time but put you into that i-could-doze-off-at-any-moment haze afterwards. Unfortunately I was at work, so couch sprawling was not an option. I was craving something “clean” and refreshing to perk me up, and decided to go with this sample from Teavivre, mostly because the name sounded pure and cleansing. The smell was very grassy, which made me unsure, but the taste wasn’t at all. It was light and delicate and floral, but still flavorful and full bodied in its own way. Mid-sip a sweetness emerges, but a soft, natural sweetness that satisfies the craving without venturing into dessert tea territory. I don’t think I’d have this one first thing in the morning as it’s very light, but it’s perfect for relaxing. Or successfully emerging from a food coma.
I must admit that I botched this yesterday by not using enough leaf, which resulted in an almost flavorless brew. So this time I used 2 tsp for 8oz and steeped for an outrageously long time to account for its mildness. The liquor was still a very pale yellow so I was worried it would be weak once again. But no, this time it packed a lot of flavor! It tasted rich and every sip a bit different; some more vegetal, others indulgently buttery, others slightly nutty. And no bitterness, even after my errantly long steep. A few minutes later I realized I had gulped it all down in record time, which caused me to sadly gaze at my empty cup hoping it would magically refill. So definitely a winner.
My first order from Teavivre came; Monday is looking up! This was less than half the price of David’s Quangzhou Milk Oolong so I wanted to see how it stacked up (as that one is my current addiction and I’m going through it way too fast!) The first part of the sip tastes like a smooth floral oolong, and then a slight sweet creaminess appears at the end of the sip. As it cools it becomes slightly richer and gains a little more milkiness. The second steep produces a rich color once again but the flavor is pretty mild and the creamy aftertaste has almost disappeared. I find this to be more of an everyday basic milk oolong with the oolong being more pronounced and the creaminess in the background, while the Quangzhou definitely tastes more indulgent and in-your-face with the creaminess. It’s still a very tasty tea and I think I’ll take it for another infusion.
My first order from Della Terra came! It’s taking all of my restraint not to try them all consecutively. But I overslept big time today so I figured getting all hopped up on caffeine so late in the day would not be a wise idea. So I chose this to accompany my breakfast-for-dinner. This is a nice chai blend with just the right amount of spice that it’s very present without being overwhelming. I just added milk and because of the vanilla bits it was sweet enough as is without adding anything else. My only complaint is that the sweetness was a little artificial tasting; I probably could have done without it and just added my own honey as I usually do with chais, but overall it was a nice winter-warmer-upper.
I had decided not to buy any more tea until my three orders from abroad that I’m i̶m̶p̶a̶t̶i̶e̶n̶t̶l̶y̶ excitedly waiting for arrive. But I was having some major trouble sleeping for the last couple of weeks, and after trying various things, I decided to pick up a little bit of this tea as it’s locally available, and not buy any others while I was there (that didn’t work out). The girl in the store advised steeping this one for a long time for best results, so I did.
The first part of the sip starts off tasting like your typical chamomile lemon tea, so immediately I thought, ah, I know your game. You’re just like the others, only better looking. But then it threw me for a loop; the juiciness kind of dried out and the sip ended with a slight aftertaste of spice that replaced the tartness of the lemon, which was tasty and cleared my palate before the next sip. As far as its effectiveness, for me it gives more of a body relaxation and makes my limbs feel very loose and gumby-like. It doesn’t particularly make me sleepy, but it does help me relax and unwind after a long day. It kind of feels like having a guilt-free glass of wine. I’m definitely going to go pick up more of this (and nothing else). Maybe I should stop making promises I can’t keep.