713 Tasting Notes
Finally getting around to having some of this tea that I picked up last summer. I bought a lot of tea during my travels, so it has taken a while to get to all of it.
We visited the Volcano Winery in Hawaii last summer. I really wanted to check out a tea farm and this was the only one that I was able to reach and get answers from about tours. It is also a winery, which is the perfect combo for my husband and I, him being the wine enthusiast and me being tea enthusiast. The tour was small, just us and a couple other people. The growing area was small since they are just starting out in the tea business, but it was really neat to see tea plants growing. The Volcano Winery folks were really nice and enjoyed our visit. My husband went home with some wine and I went home with some tea!
This tea is really light for a black! It has a little bit of malt to it on the sip and a slight sweetness as well. There is almost a touch of grass. It seems really well rounded and smooth. I’m liking it!
With the weather heating up, I have been cold steeping this and drinking it by the pitcher full! It’s actually a carafe full, bur for some reason carafe full sounds a bit too pompous to my ear. :P With a little bit of cream, this tea is gone way too fast as I keep gulping down the tasty brew. It’s the perfect combo of nuts, coconut and chocolate. I’m going to have to restock on it this summer on my once yearly trip to a David’s retail location. Still loving it!
I’m not sure if I have experienced pandan before, but I have had chiffon teas that were amazing, so I really wanted to try some of this when I saw the group buy being organized. To me this looks and tastes like a light caramel hojicha. It is a little earthy, with low notes dominating the taste and caramel coming in on the aftertaste. I tried adding a little sugar towards the end of my cup and it really just knocked out the balance of this tea. It is now sweet, but I’m not getting the same depth of flavors that I was before. I added a little soy creamer to it and it took a few sips before I could taste anything past the creamer. Now I’m getting a creamy hojicha taste on the sip and something a little different on the aftersip. Maybe that is the pandan? Either way, it is nice and I think I prefer it plain, but unless this tea really grows on me while going through the sample I got, then it likely isn’t a rebuy or must have for me.
First off, a HUGE thanks to Nicole for arranging a group buy and doing the work of dividing the tea, packaging and mailing it all out!!!
The description of this tea says that it has black tea in it, but I mostly saw green, so I steeped it at a lower temp for a shorter time than the company recommends since I’m a little gunshy about burning my teas into a bitter oblivion. First thing I notice is a toasted rice flavor. It is a little heavier of a taste than most genmaichas, almost roasty. The mango rolls in on the aftertaste, combining with the rice, giving it that mango sticky rice flavor combo. It makes me long for good Thai food, something which we lack in Texas. We have okay Thai food in Austin, but not fantastic. Back to the tea! The flavor is subtle, but it’s in there.
Adding a little sugar to this tea makes the mango jump out sooner and explode on the aftersip with a little bit of a creamy mellowness. I really haven’t been adding sugar to my teas lately, so it’s is taking a little adjustment for my brain to register. I feel it is more true to the dessert with sugar added and I can almost imagine the sweetened condensed milk.
I’m on a soy creamer kick lately, so I had to add a little at the end of my cup. The first few sips with creamer were a little tasteless on the sip, but represented the dessert very well on the aftertaste. A few more sips in, my taste has adjusted and it is tasting really good with the cream! The flavor is still more subtle than the flavored black teas that I’m used to, but it is really nice.
I’m quite enjoying this tea and would definitely order more in the future! The mango is mellow, but true to the flavor of this fruit and doesn’t taste artificial at all. Genmaichas do well cold brewed and I’m looking forward to trying this cold steeped in my fridge, especially now that the summer is creeping in.
It has been getting warmer and warmer with summer approaching, so I have started cold brewing some favorites including this one! It is just as nice as I remember… nutty chocolate with coconut! I’m really glad that DT decided to keep this one around, especially with summer coming up. I have a feeling I’m going to go through this bag pretty quickly!
This cup is reminding me of TWG’s New York Breakfast tea. They both have that same malty base, but this one lacks the notes of chocolate. I’m having it with some cream and it’s a really nice breakfasty like cup. I’m enjoying it, but I think NYB trumps this one.
Have I really never reviewed this tea before?! How is that possible as I near the bottom of my 2nd tin?!
I really love this chai. It’s a good staple in my cupboard. I’m trying to get my stash under control and haven’t bought any tea yet this year in that effort, but I’m going to have a hard time not immediately restocking this. Zhi chais tend to be heavy on the cardamon, which I really enjoy. This also has a good clove zing and a bit of cinnamon in the end of the sip. The cacao is more noticeable at the end of the sip and really shines in the aftertaste making it smooth. The Zhi blends that I have tend to be well caffeinated, which is appreciated on sluggish mornings like this one where I need that bit of extra help motivating.
I have one more cup worth of this tea and it’s going to be hard to say goodbye, even if I know it’s not permanent. Once my tea hoard is in a manageable state, I can start adding favorites like this one back.
A rooibos that I like?! Impossible! Got this sample in the most recent Lupicia tea magazine. I wouldn’t have thought to try it otherwise. It has a really creamy yet strong and earthy peach flavor. I can taste a little rooibos in the aftertaste. It isn’t the bright peach flavor like their Momoko, but it is still really good. Adding creamer obscures the taste on the sip a little for me, but the aftertaste is just as nice. Adding sugar just makes it sweet and doesn’t really change or amplify the flavors. I might actually consider buying some of this for more evening options!
Second cup of this from the sample that Janelle sent me. :)
The first cup was had when my nose was pretty stuffy from allergies, which I feel are getting a little better. The tea has that fake chocolate and nutty scent to it. The tea base has a little malt to it on the sip which merges into a hazelnut flavor at the end, met with a tiny touch of chocolate. I’m not getting much of an aftertaste at all. Adding a little cream and sugar really brings out the nuttiness of the hazelnut. I’d say the chocolate could do with being amped up a bit, but I really dislike the chemically taste I get from H&S’s chocolate flavored teas. I’m enjoying this cup, but I feel like there are better versions by other companies. I think this concludes my venture into H&S teas, which gets a thumbs down from me both in flavor of the teas and customer service in their store. :/
Allergy season is super bad right now and I’m suffering! My sense of taste and smell is flickering in and out today as I sip this tea. Sometimes I get a bit of nutty chocolate and other times nothing. It isn’t quite a nutella taste, which is always my comparison with chocolate and hazelnut. I have enough of this sample from Janella to have another cup and will have to save it for the return of my senses.
I kinda wish I could hibernate through the spring allergy season. :/