This is bizarrely musty. I don’t see or smell anything wrong with the leaves so I doubt it’s literally musty, but the taste/texture is extremely off-putting. I think I may dump this cup out and try again with hotter water.
216 Tasting Notes
Interesting! It started off harsh — just what I’d expect from lemon verbena, which I generally find to be an extremely strong and spicy flavor — but it sweetened and softened as it cooled. There were three of these sachets tucked into the box I just got from Harney & Sons, which is a nice little bonus. I’m not sure I’d want this as an after-dinner drink, but as an early-evening-and-dinner-will-be-late drink, I like it.
Ooh! Surprisingly smooth — I know rooibos is usually smooth, but this is smoother than that. Like picking up a nectarine when you were expecting a fuzzy peach: that smooth. And definitely peach, in a sort of sweet and gentle way. Really, just a lovely tea!
No notes yet.
Okay, this one can definitely get bitter if it’s left to steep too long. Not a good steep-in-the-mug tea! Although it’s worth noting that even oversteeped it has a sweet tang which lingers longer than the bitter does after sipping.
Eh. Unimpressed so far.
I had this for dessert last night: three flowers in a small
punch teacup, continual topping up of the water. This was a bit weaker and the tea itself didn’t turn as bright green, but it was still very tasty — I think I like it a little better a bit weak, actually. The flowers started out floating on top of the tea but eventually sank to the bottom of the cup (and were very pretty to look at as I sipped). Interestingly, given the lesser coloration of the tea, when I washed out the cup this morning the flower petals had streaks of green staining them!
Reading up on chrysanthemum teas, I hear that they aren’t generally soporifics; apparently it’s just coincidence that I conked right out after finishing my last cup of this last night! I guess it was just plain old soothing.
While this does make a decent iced tea, there’s nothing very special about it — and it does feel a little silly to be taking the long way around to fruit juice. I’ll save my new supply of this for hot tea!
Oh, this is nice! I was uncertain at first, because I ripped open the sample packet and it smelled exactly like cough syrup, but apparently that’s only in the dry leaves. The tea smells fruity and summery, and it tastes sort of in between actual cherries and really good cherry candy. And tea, of course — there’s a really good tea taste too, and it mixes in very nicely with the cherry flavor.
Now I’m wondering if I’ve got enough in the sample to make iced tea out of it! This would be a really great high summer tea, I think.
I was one of the lucky requesters to get a sample of this tea from JK Tea Shop’s offer — I’d never had chrysanthemum tea before, but I was intrigued by the concept.
The scent of the dry leaves was…odd. Definitely floral, but not floral the way any other tea I’ve ever had has been. Heavier somehow. I put eight flowers and a small shake of loose petals into a pot, and steeping it was the same scent even stronger. The color was a pale virulent green which wouldn’t be amiss at a mad scientists’ cocktail party!
So I sipped cautiously, and it’s amazing! It tastes just like it smells, and while I still have no idea what that taste is, I can now tell that it’s juicy and extraordinarily sweet. It’s not cloying, but it’s just this side of it — I can’t imagine putting more sweetener in! And it leaves behind a plainer, less confusing aftertaste that’s just sweet and sweet and sweet. I had to go make a second cup right away after finishing the first! (Second cup came out just like the first; I’m not tasting any change at all for the second steeping.)
The flowers were a lot smaller and paler than I expected: I think I was picturing something like an American Black-Eyed Susan flower in a dark purple, but these were about half that size and nearly white. So I have a lot more left than I expected! This is a very generously-sized sample packet.
Flowers steeping in the pot:
When I opened the pouch this morning, this tea smelled absolutely wonderful! Sadly, it just isn’t as exciting when it’s brewed up. I tried it with sugar and again with milk, and neither one made a big difference.
…Huh. This tea sounds so good, but there’s some weird scent/aftertaste thing going on that’s just not pleasant, like industrial floor cleaner or artificial sweetener. I tried this cooler and then almost-boiling, and the hotter cup was better, but still…odd. I will give it one more chance, and then it may be yuckyface time, I’m afraid.
(Still, though, mad thanks to Doulton for the sample! I always would have wondered, otherwise.)
I tried steeping this for longer this time, and it turned up a really bitter aftertaste. Sugar helped, but I really don’t think that “good vehicle for milk and sugar” is what this tea is going for!
I’ve done this to myself several times now: I get the Twinings “Fruit & Herbal Infusion Selection” box, use up all of the Blackcurrant, Ginseng & Vanilla sachets, and find myself left with five-sixths of a box of tea. Once I lucked onto a whole box of just the good stuff, but they’re really hard to find!
Which is to say, this is a decent tea. A bit sharp, but for once (thank goodness!) not in a rosehippy hibiscussed way. I do like it! It’s just, you know, not actually why I buy the box.
Okay, it’s kind of pointless to pretend that this isn’t my new favorite iced tea when I just went out and bought a big bag of it, isn’t it? I guess it doesn’t matter how it tastes hot if I’m always making it iced!
Have some time-lapse photography!
This has kind of a lot of caffeine/whatever in it, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it?
Okay, here’s one for ~lauren!
This is decadence. This is a double-strength mug of Florence with three scoops of chocolate ice cream added.
Double-strength Florence is so dark the spoon almost stands up and incredibly bitter — and I say that as someone who loves bittersweet chocolate! But double-strength Florence with three scoops of chocolate ice cream is creamy and smooth and delicious! I didn’t cool the tea down before adding the ice cream, but letting it steep for so long and adding the ice cream cooled it down enough to let me start drinking right away, so I could enjoy the combination of hot tea and cold ice cream before it equalized.
(Dinner? What dinner?)
The dry leaves on this were intimidatingly black and twisty! And indeed, it is a very roast-y tea. It doesn’t have the sweet undertones of some other roasted oolongs that I’ve been trying lately, either, although there’s a lot of tea going on underneath the smoke.
Here’s a picture from the third steep, although the reflections off of the side of the teapot are keeping the twistiness of the tea from being clear:
(That’s my newest teacup in the photo as well, by the way. I had been feeling like I didn’t have enough drinkware to support my telecommuting tea habit and also like I wanted something better sized to my wee Samovar teapot, but I didn’t really have the budget for full-on-fancy teaware — and then I was wandering around the outskirts of the farmers’ market on Saturday and found someone selling a punchbowl and eighteen nice little punch cups for, y’know, flea market prices. So, uh, now I have three new glass teacups and a fifteen-cup backup stack in my storage cupboard.)
I have been shamefully neglecting to log this, despite Doulton’s kind swapping when I specifically wanted this one! I just seemed to keep drinking it at times when I would have had to give a really rushed tasting note that wasn’t worthy of the tea. So, consider this a backlogging x 5!
I’m not usually a big fan of chocolate teas: I figure, if what you want is chocolate, make some cocoa! But the luscious descriptions of this kept drawing me in. First I tried it plain, and I thought: Okay, it’s not bad, but what’s the big deal? Then I tried it with milk.
Om nom nom nom nom!
Oh! So I get it, now.
With milk, there’s a chocolate taste, yes, but there’s also a thoroughly creamy hazelnut that blends in perfectly, and supporting both of those there’s a strong black tea base to remind me that this isn’t a cocoa experience. Cocoa is a comfort drink, a lazy drink, something to sip while doing something else. Tea is its own justification! Mmm, tea.
Oh, this was very tasty! (Thank you, Doulton!) The bag smelled alarmingly of pine, but the tea itself was a wonderfully balanced mix of spices that did, in fact, remind me of Christmas food and drink. (Usually when a tea says this it just means “we have cloves!”, but this was a much more complicated blend.)
Hmm. This doesn’t make the best of iced teas: the tea flavor and the berry flavor are both there, but they never quite mesh.
Disclaimer: My tin of Marco Polo is embarrassingly old, which is surely affecting the flavors it produces.
Tried this as an iced tea again. It’s strong enough this time, but the flavor is…odd. You sip and it’s strawberry immediately, but then that’s gone and you’re drinking water — but when you’re done, there’s a lingering taste of kiwi. Alas, I think this one is not to be.
Oh, it is too hot out for more caffeine that this. Please please please let my building turn on the central air soon.