393 Tasting Notes
Purchased this from Maria in her stash sale. I figured I’d keep going with trying all of my untasted rooibos/honeybush blends since I’d already started. :P Rooibopalooza! This looks like rooibos with those weird little caramel cubes in it. It smells fairly caramelly and custardy.
Meh… This mostly tastes like rooibos to me. There’s a little bit of caramel and a creamy element, but they’re mostly just accents to the plain ol’ rooibos. Tastes woody and slightly medicinal. Not a big fan!
Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Rooibos, Wood
Another sample from Mandy! There are a few pieces of dodgy-looking coconut mixed in with the honeybush. They almost look (and feel) like paper… weird. I do smell coconut, but it also has that alcoholic flavoring smell that I’ve been finding in so many flavored teas lately. I did a 5 minute steep in boiling water, and used a little over a teaspoon of tea.
The brewed tea smells lightly of coconut, and heavily of vanilla pudding! :O Exciting! Meh… Taste-wise, the flavor is a bit weak for me, I think in the future I’ll use two teaspoons. The flavor this is there is rather good, though! Very creamy and vanilla pudding-ish, with plenty of coconut. I get something resembling crust in the aftertaste, probably just as a result of the honeybush base and not the flavoring.
Overall, this is quite good! I find it to be mostly accurate to coconut cream pie, it definitely has the coconut and the cream down if not the crust as much. Reminds me of pudding, yum! I won’t have any trouble drinking the rest of my sample. :D
Edit: I think the actual coconut pieces in here might be past their expiration… I’m getting a weird sour taste on the tail end of some sips. I’ll remove them and try again another time.
Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Custard, Pastries, Vanilla
This is from my swap with Mandy. Must try all the almond teas! :D The smell is not terribly enticing, it has that alcoholic “flavoring” smell that tells me nothing, lol! Steeped about 1.5 tsp for 5 minutes in boiling water.
Mmm, the brewed aroma is definitely marzipan! Yummmm! I was fully prepared to be disappointed by this tea, but it defied my low expectations! The flavor is mostly sweet almond extract or marzipan, which I adore. There’s definitely a cherry element here, though. It’s like Jergens lotion! Lol. In the best way possible! I did add sugar to mine. The rooibos taste comes out a little bit near the end, but it’s definitely not very strong.
Pleasantly surprised! :D
Flavors: Almond, Cherry, Marzipan, Rooibos, Wood
Another sample from Nicole! I’m not generally a fan of green oolongs, so we’ll see how this goes! The pellets are fairly dark for a green oolong, and they’re somewhat small. I get a vague fruity smell along with a “green” scent. I did a 3 minute steep at 185 degrees.
I definitely get crisp pears from the aroma, which is lovely. The green oolong scent is also still there, unsurprisingly. Yum, pear! This is definitely a pear tea. The flavor reminds me more of cooked or canned pears than fresh, which is not a problem. There’s a lovely honey note that melds beautifully with the pear. I’m always unsure how to describe the flavor of green oolongs – it’s not really vegetal and not quite grassy. The only thing I can think of is that it tastes like leaves, which just sounds stupid to say. :P There’s a bit of a floral note here, which I pretty much expect from a green oolong. It’s rather mild though, so I’m okay with it! The pear is the star, and it’s very tasty! Thanks Nicole, this one surprised me!
Flavors: Floral, Green, Honey, Pear
I got this sample from the lovely Nicole (thanks dear). It was two servings originally, but I sent one to Roswell Strange in our recent swap. So technically this is a sipdown, I guess. Hah. Visually, it just looks like short, dark black tea leaves. The smell is vaguely sweet and vanilla, I don’t get any orange. I checked Tealeaves’s website and used their recommended parameters. In hindsight, I feel this should be steeped longer than 3 minutes.
Ah, there you are, mandarin! I can definitely smell it in the brewed tea, along with sweet vanilla. I’m surprised by how specifically mandarin the orange flavoring is, usually I find orange to be rather generic “orange”. But this time it’s definitely mandarin oranges, yum! The vanilla is sweet and creamy, and it rather reminds me of vanilla pudding or custard. There’s the tiniest hint of floral near the end of the sip for me, but it’s a very mild floral.
If I tried this one again, I think I would do a 4-5 minute steep instead. Otherwise, quite delicious! Thanks Nicole! :)
Flavors: Creamy, Custard, Floral, Orange, Vanilla
I think I originally bought this from Shadowfall? But I sent a lot of it to Mandy in a swap. I made sure to leave one serving for myself, though! I wanted to compare it to the Spring Harvest that I tried before.
This reminds me a lot of genmaicha! It has a toasted grain flavor about it, and the taste of autumn leaves. I also get a rather mellow spinach and squash flavor that reminds me of sencha a bit. The texture is super creamy and it ends up reminding me a bit of soy milk, which I remember from the Spring version as well.
Overall, green tea is not my favorite, but this is a lovely example of a mellow, relaxing green tea. I love the similarity to genmaicha, which is one of my favorite teas. There’s no grassiness or harshness here. Yum!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Butternut Squash, Creamy, Grain, Spinach, Sweet, Toasted Rice
Sipdown! (134 QQ)
I wasn’t planning on writing a note for this, but wow this came out so fruity today! It’s all about the raisins and dried apricot in both aroma and taste. It literally smells like apricot preserves! I’m not sure what I did different, but damn is this good… The fruit isn’t quite as extreme in the taste as the smell, but the stonefruit is extremely present compared to other Yunnan or black teas in general. I am amazed! I would absolutely order this one if it’s going to be like this every time! :O
The only difference in the preparation is that since I brewed it in a glass Pyrex cup, the leaves had a bit more room to unfold. But I can’t imagine that making such a difference considering they usually have plenty of room in my brew basket! So weird!
I wish I could share this cup of tea with everyone here! Lol.
Flavors: Apricot, Raisins, Stonefruits
Yay, I feel much more comfortable tasting these Shang teas now that I’m home with my variable temperature kettle. My mother doesn’t really have a thermometer that lends itself to measuring water temperature – she just has the “instant read” variety that you normally use for meat, and they take too long to measure the temperature, allowing the water to cool somewhat in the time it takes to find out the temperature. Anyway, hooray for kettles! I did have good experiences with the Shang teas I tried at her place as well, so no harm done there.
So, this tea. The dry leaves are very dark and rather small and wiry, and there are a very few golden tips mixed in. Their scent is mostly raw, chewy grains (if you don’t know what I mean, chew on a little bit of raw oats or other cereal grain). I get a little whiff of peanuts in the shell also, which is interesting. I was considering doing a 3-minute steep, but I ended up stopping at 2 (which I think was the correct decision).
The brewed aroma is dark multigrain baked bread studded with dark dried fruits (raisins, cherries, prunes) and drizzled with a touch of molasses. I love the bready teas, so it was making my mouth water! Yum, this tea! It definitely has both the chewy raw grain flavor and the dark baked bread flavor as well. Best of both worlds! That dark fruitiness from the aroma is also present in the taste. I get just the tiniest hint of cinnamon near the end of the sip, and I love it in this tea! Funnily enough, I can taste the peanuts from the dry scent, hah! No shells this time, just raw or lightly roasted peanuts. Of course, there’s a coating of honey/molasses over the top of the whole darn thing! Overall, this is a very “thick” tasting tea with a heavy mouthfeel. I’m quite glad I didn’t steep it longer, because it’s quite flavorful even at 2 minutes!
I think this might be my favorite so far of their red teas. I have another packet of Golden Needle so I’ll drink that later to compare! :D
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Grain, Honey, Molasses, Peanut, Raisins
Continuing my re-tasting of these chanakara teas that I bought a year or more ago. Luckily there were a couple of boxes that were still wrapped in cellophane, and the flavor seems to be very present so far. When I wanted a caffeine-free tea to sip on, I went for this one. I’m not terribly familiar with dragonfruit itself. I’ve seen them for sale before, but I’ve never actually tasted one. The dry tea bag smells very gingery… uh oh. I steeped for 5 minutes in boiling water.
The brewed aroma is fruity and quite tart from the hibiscus. I can definitely pick up on a kick of ginger. Because of the smell, I added a teaspoon of sugar before I even tasted this tea. I am actually pleasantly surprised by it considering the number of ingredients in it that I don’t generally enjoy (ginger, hibiscus, licorice). Most of the flavor is a lovely fruitiness that is accented but not overpowered by the hibiscus. The fruit definitely reminds me of other “exotic” fruits, such as mango and papaya. I taste the ginger and peppermint only at the end of the sip, and even then they’re quite mild and play nicely off of the fruit.
Overall, I’m quite impressed with the fruit flavor in here, and the restraint on the hibiscus! This would make a super delicious iced tea, too. I might have to order more of this one, and perhaps the loose leaf version this time around!
Flavors: Fruity, Ginger, Hibiscus, Peppermint, Tart
Jeez, I’m really going through the teas I got from Roswell Strange. Every time I go into the kitchen to choose a tea, I end up with one of hers. This one is “generic” black tea leaves with a few slices of almond and some red flower petals. It smells of sugar and caramel with some almond and cinnamon in there too. I did a 3-minute steep at 200 degrees, next time I may go for longer.
The brewed aroma is cinnamon and honey roasted almonds. Yum! I added sugar to mine, and it’s lovely brown sugar-candied almonds with just a little touch of cinnamon. There’s a definite caramelized taste here, and a little hint of buttery pastry. Mine came out just a little bit weaker than I would have liked, so I will probably try a longer steep for the other half of my sample. Overall, I love the flavors here. :D
Flavors: Almond, Brown Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Cinnamon, Pastries, Sweet