618 Tasting Notes
It’s time for my morning cup of chai! I was all out of my regular chai concentrate mix, and I didn’t feel like running out to the store. I bought this chocolate chai concentrate as soon as it was released. I was super excited for it! After trying it once, I stuck it in the fridge and promptly forgot about it. Well, it’s time to drink and log it properly!
This one will not be replacing my regular chai. The chocolate is like chocolate syrup. It’s very thick and viscous and not at all like the regular chai mix. It just tastes weird and artificial to me. I feel like I’m drinking Hershey’s chocolate syrup with a kick of spice. Blech. That’s just not really my thing.
And to pour salt on the wound, this mix cost an extra $1 more than the regular chai mix. Now that may not sound like much, but it made me feel like I’m getting jipped. You can’t honestly tell me that it costs an extra $1 to add chocolate. I don’t know. Maybe I’m overreacting. But every dollar adds up over time!
This will not be a restock for me, and I think I may just pour out what’s left in the box. Since it’s premixed in liquid form, I can’t pass it along to someone who might enjoy it better. And that makes me sad. :(
I bought a bottle of this at work when I was really in need of tea. Now, I love adding sweetener to black tea. I have a huge sweet tooth! But this tea was waaaaaaay too sugary for me. I swear I could feel my teeth rotting out of my skull. I honestly thought about adding some water to dilute it.
One bottle has 160 calories and 42 grams of sugar. Umm, does anyone else see the problem with this? And to think they also make an “Extra Sweet” version with 250 calories and a whopping 65 grams of sugar!!! Ack! Never again.
The dry leaf aroma is sweet and fruity. The brewed tea aroma is distinctly cherry. I’ve had a few cherry-flavored teas before, but this one has the most spot on, authentic cherry flavor. It is pretty good plain, but I did add a little Truvia to ramp up the sweetness. I let the cup cool and enjoy this much better as an iced tea. Overall, a very enjoyable cuppa! Thanks Sil for the sample!
The brewed tea aroma is…not my beloved Yunnan black! It almost smells like Keemun…WEIRD! This tea is what I refer to as “dirty diaper tea.” I’m so confused. I LOVE Yunnan black teas! They are one of my all-time favorite tea regions. So, what is this cuppa? Is it a blend of Yunnan and something else?
The dirty diaper aroma doesn’t fully make its way into the taste. It’s more in the aftertaste, which unfortunately builds and gets stronger as I take more sips. Booo! What has Mariage Frères done to my beloved Yunnan? :(
It’s borderline undrinkable and not something I’d want to try again. I’m sure others could drink this and enjoy it just fine. It’s just not for me. Big thanks to Sil for this sample! I might have bought 100g of it thinking it was a safe bet just to be disappointed when I got home. Catastrophe avoided! ;)
The dry leaf aroma is mostly berries. Catching a whiff of the brewed tea aroma, I was immediately hit by jasmine. But this isn’t a jasmine tea. Odd. I kept sniffing and slowly the aroma transformed into something floral and gritty, tugging at the edge of my memory. Honeysuckle? I think the floral aroma is honeysuckle.
First sip…the immediate taste is rose and rock sugar…then it ebbs into that grittiness from the aroma. I’m guessing that’s the cedar note. Then slowly it transforms again into a lovely floral aftertaste very reminiscent of honeysuckle. The goji berry melds with the floral notes so that I can’t quite separate its distinct flavor.
I should add that what I describe as “gritty” is really my way of trying to describe a flavor, not a texture, that I haven’t come across before and therefore lack the vocabulary to portray properly. This tea is very smooth.
Overall, I’m very impressed with this tea! It has a nice progression of flavors that I haven’t encountered often. I believe that’s a characteristic of the pu’er coming through. I don’t have too much experience with pu’er, but it’s the only tea variety I have tried that morphs in your mouth like this.
It’s a naturally sweet blend and much more yummy and drinkable than I had anticipated. Too bad this one is all gone now too. Alas, my Verdant tea blend samples are all drunk. But there’s still the straight ones to sample!
The dry leaf aroma is intoxicating! It smells predominately of Yunnan Black and Bai Mu Dan. The brewed tea aroma is mostly Yunnan Black.
Wow! The taste of this tea is incredibly unique and familiar all at the same time. I can taste the Yunnan and the Laoshan, the Bai Mu Dan, and a hint of Shui Jin Gui Wuyi. How can this tea be so amazingly complex and yet distinctively each tea in the blend? All I want to do is buy more of this tea!!! But it’s currently out of stock. :( I guess that’s God telling me to stop buying new teas.
Second infusion for 2 minutes yielded a very different cup but still a very tasty one. It’s softer, more balanced, and more cohesive now. I then cold brewed the next cup overnight. This blend makes for a yummy cold brew even on the third infusion! I really like this tea, and I’m sad it’s gone. But I’m very happy I decided to buy a sample and had the opportunity to enjoy many delicious cups!
The dry leaf aroma is citrus spice all right. The brewed tea aroma is heavenly and enticing! I haven’t tried Zhu Rong straight yet, so it’s a little difficult for me to distinguish the flavorings from the base. It’s one great melding of flavors to me. The coriander in this is an interesting twist. It’s spicy and noticeable and yet very well blended into the mix of flavors. I really love this!
The first cup disappeared in record time, so I immediately made a second infusion for 5 minutes. While it was steeping, I Googled coriander seeds. It turns out that they’re the same thing as cilantro! Who knew?! I absolutely detest cilantro, but I like coriander. Strange, right? Am I the only one who finds that weird?
Anyway, the second cup is still tasty. This is a very nice, intriguing blend. The only thing I’m missing is the vanilla. If it’s in here, it’s very light. I prefer vanilla teas to be in-my-face strongly vanilla. This is heavier on the citrus and spice and reminds me of a nice calming herbal blend. It is quite a relaxing cuppa.
I steeped a third cup for 8 minutes; it was less spice and more citrusy tea. I suppose that’s to be expected. That first cup was magic though, and now I’m wishing I had a lot more! I MUST resist the urge to pick up more. Why do Verdant teas have to be so darn good? *Sigh. Someday.
I always start my morning off with chai. Why not Laoshan Village Chai? :)
I decided to use the whole 7g sample in one cup. I may come to regret that, but it’s too late now! The dry leaf aroma is an aromatic blend of spices. The brewed tea aroma is spicy with a woodsy element from the Laoshan Black.
First sip…mmmm! What a beautiful tea! The chai spices are very nicely blended, and the Laoshan Black comes through strong with its chocolaty malty goodness. Ohhhh yeaaahhhh!!! This is a fantastic tea! I’m very pleased with it and find it much more enjoyable than plain Laoshan Black. If I didn’t already have so much tea, I would definitely take advantage of the current 25% sale on all Verdant tea blends.
I’m not exactly sure which year this tea was harvested. The sample package just said “autumn.” But since it’s fairly late into 2013, I figured this must be from 2012. The dry leaf aroma is floral green oolong at its finest! The brewed tea aroma is more subdued since I did a quick one minute infusion.
The first sip was like an explosion of flavor in my mouth! At first, it was super sweet and creamy. Then it morphed into a floral, silky, green oolong. Finally, the aftertaste had a metallic tang to it. This is mouthwateringly good! Mmmm! I can tell that I am going to thoroughly enjoy this sample.
The leaves completely unfurled during the second infusion for two minutes. The flavor has changed slightly, but it’s difficult to describe how. I suppose it’s a little less metallic and a little more floral. In any event, it is still super yummy! I did a third infusion for three minutes and a fourth for five. Mmm mm! I could drink this every day!