469 Tasting Notes
This is really weird. I went to my local supermarket yesterday which has an awesome bulk section and found this tea, but I can’t find any mention of it online or on the company’s website. The store has a large selection of Republic of Tea sold as loose leaf in bulk, which is an awesome way to explore new teas one cup at a time. It was the look of this tea that I found intriguing. The leaves are rolled up into little pellets with smooth surfaces. I have seen this style one other time at a tea shop in San Francisco’s China Town and that tea was quite good. I have no idea what the recommended brewing method is, so I’m totally winging it here.
Ever been to a petting zoo? You know the little pellets that they give you to feed the goats? You hold a palm full of them out to a goat or some other animal and they eagerly scoop it up into their mouths with their muscular lips leaving you with a palm covered in goat saliva. Well this tea smells just like those pellets. And this is what the king drinks?!
The first few sips taste like those pellets, heavy on the dry hay, but it is also buttery too. Somewhere mid sip the butter takes over before letting the pellet taste come back in. At the very end of the cup the pellet taste fades and I get a feeling on the back of my tongue almost like I had eaten licorice.
While waiting for the water to heat for my second steep, I notice that the surface is starting to crack on the tea pellets and the ends of tea leaves are starting to poke out. As the pellets steep, they begin to grow slightly as the tea leaves attempt to unfurl from their cocoons. I can’t tell if the smell of the petting zoo is getting weaker or if I’m just getting used to it. The tea tastes the same with the licorice feeling happening earlier in the cup. By the end of this cup it still hasn’t changed much.
Third cup: pretty much the same. At $149/lb bulk I expected this tea to have some sort of amazing hidden away, but so far I’m getting none of that.
Fourth steep: Same. I GIVE UP!!! Never buying again.
Picked up a couple cups worth of this tea in the bulk section of a local grocery store yesterday. It is black, it is vanilla, it is almondy. Very true to it’s name with no surprises. It is quite drinkable, but there is very little wow factor to it. It seems to loose a lot on the second steep. It is kind of just meh.
This tea smells fantastic and juicy when dry! It was smelling it in the store that convinced me to give it a try. I didn’t realize until I was brewing it that it has a lot of green rooibos in it. I’m hoping it still has a caffeinated kick to it. My first few sips while hot were rather boring, so I left my cup and was unable to get back to it until cold. Now the juicy melon comes through with something almost roasty. I could see this being really good iced on a hot day, but for a cold winter day… not so much.
After having this tea in my cupboard for a while, the smell still doesn’t fail to impress me! I open the bag and can smell rich caramel and chocolate that tempts me to brew a cup. I’m trying this cup unsweetened. Usually I add a bit of sugar which makes the flavors quite rich and delicious. Without sugar I don’t get much flavor on the sip, but the aftertaste is a delicious mixture that reminds me of tiramisu. I’m getting this chocolatey roasted coffee taste that is quite enjoyable without the lingering bitterness that comes with coffee. For those who love dessert teas, this is a very delightful and decadent choice!
There is a jukebox that lives in my brain and it plays what I’m thinking to the tune of various songs or sometime the original songs. For example, this cup is a sipdown and whenever I have a sipdown I hear it repeated in my head to the tune of Jungle Boogie. When I see the word rocket, like in chocolate rocket, I hear a part of the Flight of the Concord’s Boom Boom song “Like a rocket taking off to the moon”. My head is a ridiculous place to live.
Onto the tea? Roasty, with a chocolate raspberry candy aftertaste. It was interesting at first, but as it cools I’m getting a flat cardboard like flavor. It just gets worse as it cools further. Pitty, roasty chocolate raspberry has so much potential.
I have had this sample kicking around for a while. I know I tried it before, but don’t remember if I reviewed it or even liked it. Dry it had little to no scent and once brewed I smell something like kind of like rice with something else. I got only one juniper berry in my infuser and left six or so in the last serving of this tea, so I’m curious as to how it will affect the taste.
It kind of has a weird citrus like taste to it, but it is nothing like lemongrass. The more I sip it, the more I think of broth without salt. I’m getting a little ginger. Tempted to sweeten it, but I’m enjoying the savory broth taste and don’t want to ruin it. WOW, so I added a pinch of salt to it and it is like a really good soup base! Is it the juniper that makes it so interesting? Now that I think about it, it is a little gin like. I’m going to have to look up how much this tea is, if they still sell it and think about cooking with it!
I set aside a portion of it to try with sugar and the sugar really changes it. It has an almost caramel finish to it once it is cool. This. Tea. Is. SO. Weird!
When the tea was dry I thought it smelled a little heavy on the lavender. Once brewed I’m still smelling it coming off my cup, but finding only a hint of it in the taste. Vanilla is the main flavor I’m getting in each sip with the spearmint adding a gentle touch of accent mint. I’m not sure what guyusa tastes like on it’s own, but I’m not picking out any flavors aside from the mint, vanilla and lavender.
Last time I had guyusa it had a kick in the butt type caffeine effect on me. I’m hoping it is the same this time because I really need a jump start this morning. The last sip of the cup was a little grainy, but I should have seen that coming. This is pretty tasty and I have a feeling it is going to grow on me even more.
I am just starting to explore breakfast tea and have little concept of what they encompass or have as defining characteristics. I’m smelling a little smoke and something else that I can’t name once this tea is steeped. The taste is hard to describe as well. It tastes hearty. It is smooth at first in the way I have come to expect MF teas to be and then the smokey aftertaste kicks in with a little bit of bitter in it. Adding sweetener brightens the flavors a little, but doesn’t really enhance it much. The aftertaste is now a little more leathery. Adding milk mutes a lot of the flavor in the sip, but makes the aftertaste stand out a little more. I’m not quite sure what to think of this tea. It is puzzling and I’m not sure I can appreciate it for what it is.
Sad sipdown! I’m finishing off the last cup of this that I have had around forever. I think I was trying to keep it around just so I wouldn’t have to face the fact that it is gone. There is something about the marshmallow creaminess that takes the usual edge off the spearmint and makes this an extra enjoyable tea. I have been trying to stay off the fan bandwagon with this one, but it has grown on me. I think it has got to be in my top 3 best minty teas. It isn’t a super wild and crazy flavor fest like many other 52teas blends, but what it has it does REALLY well.