90 Tasting Notes
This has been my go-to Monday tea recently. Firstly because Mondays are just tough in general so it helps to have a tasty treat to look forward to. Secondly because I have class after work, so I make this one in my Timolino so I can resteep before heading to school. It can withstand a long steep so I can leave it in there with no worries of it becoming bitter.
The smell is so intoxicating that I have to spend a few moments just taking it in (which causes passing coworkers to give me curious looks. But it doesn’t bother me cause I’m in creamy vanilla bean ice cream zen mode). On the first steep, the oolong comes through first followed by a delicious rich vanilla note. On the second steep, the oolong tones down a bit so it’s represented almost evenly with the vanilla. On the third steep both flavors are quite faint but it’s still enjoyable. As far as oolongs go I prefer straight or milk oolong as an anytime tea, but love this one as a special treat.
Since I have a midterm tomorrow, I am s̶t̶u̶d̶y̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶v̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶h̶a̶r̶d̶ taking a longer than necessary break on Steepster. I was pretty sleepy before I started (funny how that always happens when you have to do something you don’t want to), so I wanted a straight black tea with a bit of muscle to get the job done. This is the first plain black I’ve tried since bags, so I’m no expert, but it’s simple and good. At first sip it just tastes like a basic black, nothing special, but on the second part of the sip I can detect some nuances in the flavor, which becomes even more apparent as it cools down. By the end of the cup I realize it’s tastier than I originally thought. Overall it’s a good basic black tea, and pretty inexpensive compared to most of their other offerings. I think I’d like to try a few other varieties before deciding whether to restock this. And also, I’m still sleepy. Hmm…maybe a little nap will make me more productive?
So somebody ate too many V-day chocolates and cookies yesterday. My tummy is shaking its head at me. Please be nice today, it says. I’ll try, but no promises (it is Friday after all). So I decide on a simple straight green. I love the name of this tea; it sounds like it has mystical powers. I’m getting a slight unexpected hint of ginger. It starts out a little astringent and then pleasantly smooths out. It doesn’t have the roasty notes I was expecting; the flavor is quite simple, but it’s nice. I think this is a tea I’d drink when I’m in the mood for something straightforward, or something I’d have with food rather than savor on its own. I’m actually enjoying it more as it cools down. I like it, but it’s not one I’d rush to buy more of. I’ve ordered a few different dragonwells so I’m going to wait and see how those ones stack up (perhaps a tea tasting is in order?)
Today is one of those workdays where my brain decided to check out and leave me to my own devices (which usually results in me spending too much time wondering if anyone will notice if I go nap in my car). I needed a tasty pick-me-up to distract me from this terrible idea. I know the holiday season has long passed, but there’s just something magical about this tea that makes me continue to crave it. It has a mellow black tea base and a minty flavor, but more like a creamy vanilla mint with a hint of something richer. Caramel? Chocolate? I just can’t figure it out (maybe that’s why they call it a secret. Even the ingredients list is pretty tight-lipped). Anyway, whatever it is, it’s delicious. I was so sad when I finished that I continued to sniff my empty mug for the next half hour in an attempt to extend the experience. Damn, Santa did good!
If you treat this one right, it showers you with affection in the form of a delectable buttery spinach flavor with hints of roasted nuts. But if you neglect it by letting it steep for a few extra minutes, it becomes a little bitter (literally). Slightly high maintenance, yes, but so worth it. It’s a nice, flavorful basic green for the price. I think I need to try a few more before I find the perfect, everyday sencha. Not sure if this is it, but it’s definitely a contender.
This is one of those teas that smells so good you just want to cradle it under your nose and hang out with it in between sips. The smell is more chocolatey than the taste, which is predominantly minty with just a hint of chocolate. The rooibos is a good base but is very much in the background, which I liked. Overall it’s a solid after-dinner dessert tea, and since it has peppermint it’s a good one to turn to after one of those meals where you wish you’d worn your stretchy pants.
Crème brulee is my favorite dessert in the whole world, so I was super excited about this one. I really wanted to like it, but sadly its enticing promises (decadent! creamy! rich! caramel!) just turned out to be sweet nothings. The flavor was very mild and overpowered by the green rooibos. I tried making it stronger than suggested, which just intensified the rooibos flavor, and also tried sweetening it, which just seemed to bring out a chemical aftertaste and made it worse. This one might work if you’re a fan of straight rooibos and just want a hint of flavor, but for a caramel-y dessert rooibos, I found Crème Caramel to be a much tastier cup.
Peppermint tea is like the sweater I always wear when I want something warm and cozy. It’s reliable, soothing and goes with everything. After tasting this one, I exiled my peppermint teabags to the hard-to-reach cupboard above the fridge. This tastes fresh and full-bodied, like a peppermint flavor explosion. It’s like my old sweater magically became new again.
After reading all the reviews on this one, I picked up a sample size of this. I decided to try it this morning as a wooo-hoo-it’s-finally-Friday! treat. The dry leaves smelled like they were drenched in condensed milk or sweet freshly whipped cream. As someone who usually devours the whipped cream that comes with a dessert faster than the actual dessert, at that moment I knew I was in trouble.
The first taste is of a light oolong with an orchid undertone, and then bam…a rich creamy sensation envelops my entire mouth and stays a while. It’s now a dilemma between basking in this lovely creamy afterglow or taking another sip and starting the whole delicious process again. I choose the second. Two sips in and I’m already wondering how I can justify buying a whole tin. I don’t really need to get a haircut, do I?
I haven’t been a huge fan of rooibos, but I do like the fact that it’s caffiene free so I can drink it in the evenings. So I picked up a few dessert blends in the hopes that it would grow on me and satisfy my notorious after-dinner sweet tooth (I figured buying tea was cheaper and more pleasant than going to the dentist. It just made too much sense).
This smells of caramel and vanilla; the rooibos is barely detectable which is a plus in my book. It’s got a smooth caramel flavor without being too sweet, and the rooibos doesn’t have that strong woodiness as it sometimes does. I was so excited that I liked this, that I decided to get a little wild and added a little agave and soymilk to the second cup just to see what would happen. Wow. It tastes like a liquid Werthers candy. This one’s a keeper.