827 Tasting Notes
This is another one from my swap with Sara. It’s described as a black/green blend, but I don’t see that many green leaves mixed in among the black. There are pale flower petals thrown in as well. I thought Monk’s Blend was generally a grenadine and vanilla flavored black tea, but this one smells strongly of bergamot. I went with a steeping temperature of 185, just in case there was more green tea than I realized.
The steeped tea has a much milder bergamot aroma, which is further softened by sweet vanilla and soft jasmine scents. This is actually very well-balanced, I feel. The bergamot is definitely the strongest of the flavors, but the sweetness of the vanilla really helps to tone it down, especially in the beginning of the sip. I consider bergamot to be a fairly heavy flavor, so the jasmine here really helps to lighten the whole blend. I’m unsure whether I can tell that there’s green tea in here, but the base as a whole seems very mellow. A nice earl grey with a little twist.
Flavors: Bergamot, Jasmine, Smooth, Vanilla
Continuing on with trying my older tea samples! This one came from a swap with Sara. Honestly, I’m not sure why I asked for this one, it doesn’t seem like something I would like. Oh well! It appears to be just green tea leaves and flavoring, nothing else added in. Dry scent is very stange and powdery in a candy way, like Smarties or something. Maybe a touch of floral as well.
The steeped tea smells somewhat sweet and candy-like with a light floral overtone. This has a strange powdery cherry taste that reminds me of chewing flavored Tums. Disappointing since I actually like the delicate floral note that’s also present, but rather overpowered. The green base is mild and unobtrusive. I think I would quite like this if it weren’t for the Tums aspect.
Flavors: Artificial, Cherry, Floral, Powdered sugar
Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 14th
Yah more Christmas teas! I got to try the green version of this tea earlier in the month. Though I didn’t love that one, I have higher hopes for this, as green tends to be my least favorite base for flavored teas. There are red and white flower petals mixed with the greenish white tea, which certainly looks appropriately festive. Dry scent is sweet cherry with perhaps some almond?
The tea steeped up a lovely light golden color, and the aroma is mostly ginger along with some sweetness from the cherry. Hmm, I’m a bit saddened that my cup of this tea seems to have come out as mostly ginger (especially since I don’t really like ginger). None of the other reviewers mentioned ginger, they seemed to taste strong cherry. No fair! I can taste a touch of cherry in the background, but mostly it’s ginger tea. :’(
Withholding my rating because my sachet was clearly not a good indication of what this tea is supposed to be.
Flavors: Cherry, Ginger
This is another tea from the set of 3 mini-tins I ordered from Lupicia (partially for the adorable tins!). This one is my favorite of the three, it has a cute little reindeer on the front (http://instagram.com/p/wcKGgCGgPz/). I was really surprised that there wasn’t an entry for this on Steepster, since Lupicia is pretty well known for their flavored teas. It’s a red rooibos base, and I can see pieces of citrus peel and some kind of crushed leaves – I assume lemon balm or something similar. It smells extremely medicinal, which is scary. It smells exactly like a lemon-flavored throat lozenge.
The steeped tea still smells a little bit medicinal, but it’s not as bad as it was dry. Thankfully, it doesn’t taste medicinal. This is a pretty tasty basic lemon tea – it doesn’t have any other supporting flavors. The lemon is sweet and not overly sharp, and it reminds me of lemon drop candies. Pretty good, I’ll easily get through my 5 sachets. :)
Flavors: Candy, Lemon, Sweet
Yay! I’m allowing myself to try one of my new Lupicia holiday teas just because I’ve only tried two so far and I’m still so excited for the rest of them. This one is a grape and champagne flavored black tea. The black tea leaves vary a lot, so much so that I think this may be a blend of one or more types. There are teeny tiny flower buds mixed in, I’ve seen them before in Den’s Sakura Sencha I believe? There are also a few scant pieces of dried fruit, it resembles cranberries but who knows for sure. I can also see some tiny little stems with leaves on them, not sure if that’s some foliage from the same plant as the flowers or what. Dry scent is powerful grape soda or candy.
Once the tea is steeped, I can still smell the grape but it’s nowhere near as strong. It still smells very sweet, however. Mine did come out the tiniest bit bitter, but it’s actually not unpleasant, and I’m sure it could be avoided by shortening the steep time to say, 3.5 minutes or so. The black base is unobtrusive and smooth, and I can taste a certain effervescent quality that I attribute to the champagne. The grape flavor is deep and sweet, like grape candies, and there’s a tiny bit of floral at the end of the sip. Overall, I can absolutely see why this one is a holiday tea – it reminds me of drinking sparkling grape juice! :)
Flavors: Candy, Champagne, Grapes, Smooth, Sweet
Continuing on with older samples! This one came from Mikumofu. What a unique and cute tea! It’s made up of little white tea buds (literal buds, with their protective outer layer and everything). They don’t have much of a scent while dry. I used the whole sample in my 8 ounce cup after looking at the suggestion of 1 T on the website.
It smells very herbal and reminds me of sheng in a way. The taste is actually quite musty, which I did not expect (almost like raspberry leaf or something). It’s a very herbal flavor. I can also taste some of the pine and rosemary notes mentioned in the description. The liquor feels quite thick in the mouth, although I wouldn’t necessarily call it smooth, as it leaves my mouth feeling a bit fuzzy. There’s a definite sweet aftertaste, similar to honeysuckle nectar. Overall, this is strange and it’s not something that I’d drink, but I’m glad I got to try it.
Flavors: Hay, Herbs, Honeysuckle, Musty, Pine, Sweet, Thick
Okay, I’m getting a little frustrated with the TTB teas, so I figured since I can’t mail it out until Monday anyway and I only have a few more to try, I’d go back to trying all my older untried teas. This sample came from boychik. I’ve tried similar teas before from Whispering Pines and Han Xiang via AliExpress, but I tend to love Yunnan Sourcing’s Yunnan teas the most, so I’m excited to sample their version. The leaves are rolled into cute and fat little curls which are covered with magical golden fuzz. There’s no dry scent left, but I have had the sample for a little while so no surprise there.
Once steeped, the tea smells like sweet potatoes and honey with a slight savory note. The mouthfeel is quite thick and silken. The flavor is surprisingly heavy considering this is a pure bud tea, the strongest note is definitely the rich sweet potato, which goes perfectly with the thick texture. For some reason, I’m getting a very slight bitterness, not sure why since I used a fairly conservative temperature and time. I’m also tasting that slight savory note, and it reminds me of a salty cheese or smoked meat. There’s a little bit of a mineral tone, and apricots, fuzzy exterior and all, appear in the aftertaste.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Mineral, Smoked, Smooth, Sweet Potatoes, Thick
Teeny Tiny TTB Round 2
I’m always up for another lemon dessert tea, even if it happens to be a bagged brand. I’m familiar with Red Rose, but I’ve never tried any of their teas before. Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve had a tea in a regular old traditional-style tea bag. Dry, it smells like more chiffon than lemon, it’s quite sweet.
Wow, the steeped tea also smells like a giant pile of meringue with a hint of lemon. Eh, this one is weird. The lemon is really chemically, and it’s reminding me of lemon-scented dish soap or something. Or lemon pepper. I taste zero black tea here, just an artificial sugary dessert flavor. And a weird aftertaste to go with it, ick.
Flavors: Artificial, Lemon, Medicinal, Sweet
Teeny Tiny TTB Round 2
This is the only other unflavored black tea in the box! How shameful. :P This is a blend of Keemun, Ceylon, and Darjeeling teas. Sounds interesting! The leaves are somewhat thin and twisty, and a dark grey-brown in color. I can see a few greenish Darjeeling leaves but not many, so I decided a 200 degree steep would probably be okay. Dry scent is hay and bread with a light creaminess.
The aroma is nicely bready with some sweetness. Hmm, this one is a little bit too one-note for me. It tastes somewhat generic, similar to the last tea I tried. There’s malt and little tad bit of bread at the end of the sip, but that’s about all… And it’s a little bit astringent, which is not my favorite.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt
Teeny Tiny TTB Round 2
I admit, I was unsure about trying this one. I’ve had a couple of other samples from Just Organic and I did not enjoy them or find them memorable at all. But since this was one of only two unflavored blacks in the box, I looked at the reviews here on Steepster and decided it seemed worth trying. The leaves are dark, wide, and extremely short. They have that reddish hue that reminds me of Japanese blacks. Unfortunately, this bag smells like sugary cinnamon, clearly it was a victim of scent contamination…
Steeped aroma is surprisingly nondescript – perhaps a touch of vegetal? Meh, nondescript is definitely the correct word for this tea. There’s a fair amount of malt, but nothing else besides a generic “black tea” taste like you’d find in unsweetened iced tea. I can taste a touch of grassy/leafy flavor and it leaves a weird aftertaste in my mouth. Meh!
Flavors: Grass, Malt