220 Tasting Notes
I have been intrigued by the name of this tea, but unwilling to purchase 2oz to try it. Traveling Tea Box to the rescue! It smells good dry, but hibiscus is listed as an ingredient. I’m scared, but I’ll give it a try anyways. The tea didn’t turn bright red instantly, so that is a good sign! First sip had me wincing and scrunching up my face. Yup, hibiscus strikes again. I added some sugar to try to make it palatable, but I added too much. I could see this being a nice juice or prepared like a sweet tea and served on ice, but I really wouldn’t go out of my way to try this and I’m glad I didn’t have to!
Found this tea in the super awesome bulk section of a local supermarket! They are wrapped up individually in colored foil and look very much like wrapped chocolates. I had a child with me who was convinced I was hoarding the goodies, which I was, just different goodies than suspected.
The tea came with instructions to brew it for 4-5 minutes, which seemed super long. I chose two minutes instead and got a really deep color like coffee in my cup. There is that pu-erh earthiness to be sure, but I can definitely taste rice as well. It makes me hungry. So far I have gotten two good steeps out of it, both of which were super smooth, but it seems to have a bit of caffeine too so I need to stop drinking this if I want to get to bed tonight. I’m already buzzing around the kitchen and can feel my heart beating a little faster than normal. It is going to be a long night. Tea! Right! This is seeming like a pretty nice pu-erh in my limited experience with them and I hope to steep it more tomorrow! Maybe first thing in the morning. I could sure use a jolt like this earlier in the day!
While grocery shopping today I strolled along the tea isle and was excited to see four flavors of Talbot teas! Unfortunately they didn’t have the Chocolate Almond and unfortunately they were only sold in bags, but oh well! The bags are made of Soilon, and look like the silken mesh tea bags that are supposed to be biodegradable, but I kept finding whole in my garden bed after going through the compost pile. I looked it up and they are made of corn starch. I’ll try tossing these in with the compost and see what happens, but I’m fully expecting to find these bags chilling in my veggie garden.
Onto the tea! The first cup I brewed was at 3.5minutes in boiling water. I filled my cup 2/3 of the way with water thinking being bagged tea it was likely to be a little weaker, but it wasn’t. I went outside with it where I couldn’t easily add more water and drank the whole cup even tho it was way too strong. It wasn’t really bitter, but it had that bite at the sides of my tongue that dilution was likely to resolve. My second cup was steeped for 3 minutes in the same amount of water and was an improvement in the concentration factor, but may be lacking in the flavor arena. I’m getting strawberry as the dominating flavor in the sip with chocolate being more of an aftertaste and the whole thing is pretty smooth. The problem I’m having is a flatness in the sip that is cardboard like. I’m betting if I brewed it right the first time, it would have been a much more enjoyable cup. I have 11 more bags to try it with, so I’m sure I’ll get the chance to brew it better in the future.
When I opened the bag of this tea, all I could smell was rooibos. It made my tongue feel dry just smelling it! Spaced it during stepping and left it sitting for a few minutes longer than intended, but hey, the dishes got done so it is still a win.
I really don’t taste anything on the actual sip, but as soon as it goes down I get a fruity flavor on the aftertaste followed by strong rooibos. I’m keeping in mind that it has been an allergy-rific day for me, but I don’t remember this tea wowing me last time we met. The longer aftertaste is a pretty even mixture of woodsy rooibos and fruit. I have read that this is supposed to be cherry, but I’m just not able to pick that out. This rates as pretty meh for me.
I keep meaning to try this tea and I keep running out of it before I can! A friend who comes over loves this tea. She is allergic to cloves, yet loves chai so this tea is a perfect match for her.
I have noticed that when Zhi teas have cardamon, they have CARDAMON. They don’t play around with that stuff and it was a little overpowering at the beginning of this cup. A little further into the cup, I’m able to pickup on the coconut aspect. The coconut is nice and natural and present in the aftertaste as well. It is a nice tea, well done, but not one that I’m super crazy about like their Kashmiri Chai, which I desperately hope they will bring back.
I am loving having done a mystery swap with Moraiwe! I’m getting to try teas from many companies that are new to me, this tea being one. If you get a chance to do a mystery swap with someone, I’d recommend it. It is a great way to try things that you may not have picked yourself.
This tea smells like raisins when dry! I think it tastes a little like them too. I’m definitely getting nuts in this tea. I can pick out walnuts more than almonds, but most of what I can taste is raisins. It reminds me of that really rich dessert wine, almost like a light port. It’s nice. I’m looking forward to my next cup of this.
Interesting, very interesting. This tea is super fruity floral but, more floral than fruit. It has similarities to the Le Palais’s Geisha tea. There is a slight tangy freshness that is fresh rose petal like. Also rose like is the way it leaves my mouth dry. It is a nice tea if you like floral, but I wouldn’t choose it over the Geisha.I do wish Le Palais sold sample sizes. It is really hard to commit to buying such large quantities based only on description of scent. Even in their store where they have tins of the teas sold bulk they won’t let you buy small quantities to try. Lucky for me I didn’t have to buy a huge bag to try this particular tea, I got a sample from Moraiwe!
I got this sample courtesy of Moraiwe. Thanks!
It smells minty and creamy, but I’m really perplexed by the taste. It is minty, but there is something else and I’m not sure how I feel about it. One second i think I might like it and then the next I view it suspiciously. It almost tastes like there is dairy in there. I’m going to have to read the ingredients and see if I can figure out what I’m tasting.
Trying this again and playing around with time and temps.
1st steep was at 195F for 2.5 minutes with 1.5tsp in 10oz water. It was much less bitter than before. Only a little hint of bitterness, but the flavor wasn’t super strong. I sweetened it a little, then decided to try some cream, but the cream took over and dominated the flavor.
2nd steep was at 195F for 2m. I added maybe 2/3 of a tsp more to try to amp up the flavor. Just reread my last notes and Whatshesaid suggested an even shorter steeping time, so I may try that next. There is little bitterness in this cup, but not as much flavor as I was hoping for either. In an attempt to up the flavor, I added too much sweetener.
3rd steep was at 212F for 1.5 minutes. It may be a little less bitter than the other cups. I may try this steeping like this with new leaves next time. These have been good cups, but I’m not getting the smoothness and flavor I have come to expect from French teas. I’ll keep trying tho!