1666 Tasting Notes
I was never a big fan of licorice – in fact I downright loathed it as a kid. Time (and good tea) has eased my dislike considerably but it’s still not my favourite flavouring. As it turns out, this tea has it in spades. In the blend’s defense there aren’t any artificial licorice flavours used, instead the licorice was achieved with star anise. Star anise, while very licorice-y, has a unique flavour all of its own and none of the (sometimes overwhelming) sweetness that usually comes along with adding licorice root to teas. It complements the white tea base well and it isn’t horribly strong or anything. I personally wouldn’t buy it, but if you enjoy licorice flavours then this may well be the tea for you.
Pumpkin is a hard flavour to get right and there’s only a few teas that manage it – most just cover up the flavour (or lack thereof) with spices. And while there is a bit of spice present (there was a huge chunk of cinnamon bark in this scoop) the blender was smart enough to let the other flavours do the talking and only making the spices strong enough to accent them. This is such a smooth, creamy tea, the only thing that’s missing is the sweetness of the cream brulée – a bit of it is there as the tea cools but it could be more prominent. I think I’ll add some honey next time to see what that does.
I was quite surprised to see these strange-looking little puffy bits in the tea when the shop assistant showed it too me – as it turns out they’re popped amaranth seeds which I can’t say I’ve ever had in a tea before. I’m not sure what they added – maybe they help hold the flavour? Unfortunately they soften in the water and leave a bit of a mess in my strainer.
Flavour-wise they really did a good job with this blend – I’ve found that many mango teas (and to a lesser extent fruit teas in general) smell nice but are rather lacking in the flavour department. This manages to be the exception – I think it might be helped by the tiny little bits of mango that are blended in and the result is the flavour is nice and fruity and distinctly mango with just the right amount of sweetness.
I’m actually pretty surprised at the number of people who didn’t know that kiwi cheesecake was a thing – it’s actually semi-common here.
The smell of the tea is absolutely mouth-watering and I could spend all day sniffing it, lol. An oolong base was a good choice for this tea as it give the tea just the right amount of sweetness. I can taste the kiwi, though it tastes more like the dried kiwi I’ve occasionally eaten as a snack than the fresh fruit. The creamy cheesecake note is there but it could stand to be a bit stronger. Still it’s a really nice flavoured oolong, and I’m not sure why it’s as slow to sell as it seems to be because this blend is TASTY.
Mmmm nice crispy, bacon… At least that’s what the tea smells like. I’ll be honest I’m not a big fan of lapsang souchong, preferring its milder sibling Russian Caravan but I have found a few that I liked so I try and keep an open mind.
This one is definitely smokey but at same time apart from the smoke the flavour is curiously bland making this tea something like a one-note wonder. There’s just a bit of sweetness somewhere in the middle and something weird that might be pitch. Whatever it is I’m just not feeling it with this one.
Let me start off by saying that I love cilantro and I use it often in my cooking so I try to keep a bunch of the fresh herb in the fridge as often as possible. Unfortunately the boyfriend-creature HATES it so it usually ends up being used more sparingly than I’d like. Cilantro seems to be one of those all-or-nothing foods, and I think I read somewhere that there might actually be a genetic component to this that makes it taste unpleasant to some people (the boyfriend says it tastes like soap).
Right off the bat the scent intrigues me – faintly fruity and distinctly fresh. It took me awhile to work out what those pink things mixed in were (amaranth petals) which add an attractive touch even if they don’t do anything for the flavour.
I can taste a stronger pineapple flavour than I did in the Flowery Pineapple Oolong. This is both distinctive and authentic and the cilantro works with the tea base to give the tea a fresh, green flavour that leaves a sweet aftertaste. The cream is less of a distinct flavour than it is a smoothness that brings all the elements of the tea together.
Man, I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to try this tea because once I’m done my little bag there’s no more where that came from (and with such a unique flavour there’s no way I’ll find a replacement).
This tea came to me via the GCTTB as I’d really wanted to try this tea after hearing all the rave reviews it was getting. The steeping instructions on the sample suggested 5g of tea in 6 oz water for 2-5 minutes. I’m going to assume that those parameters are for gongfu-style brewing which I don’t really have the equipment for unfortunately. Instead I emptied the entire sample (it was about 2.5 grams) into my mug (no dainty-sized tea cups for me I’m afraid, though I should look into buying some) and filled it about half full with water for 3 minutes.
It’s certainly an attractive-looking tea as such things go. The leaves are entirely golden and quite large and whole. They open nicely as the tea steeps. Looking at everyone’s reviews I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tea described so many different ways – sweet potatoes, wood, vanilla, mushrooms, etc. it seems like it’s a bit different for everyone. As for me, I’m getting a strong cocoa note, faintly bitter and earthy. But it isn’t harsh or astringent and I notice that there’s a sweet note at the start of each sip.
Second steep (@ 3:45 min) and I notice that the wet leaves do, in fact, smell a fair bit like sweet potato. The second steep is again bitter cocoa, but milder, with an interesting hint of spice (pepper maybe?)
A wonderful, unique tea that’s totally going on my to-buy list.
I’m not a huge jasmine fan but this isn’t bad. I actually think I like the flavour better with a black tea base as opposed to a green one as the stronger base tones down the perfumy quality jasmine usually has. The vanilla is a nice touch too, lending the tea a creamy smoothness.
Sipdown. After having gone through a package of this tea I found that I enjoyed this more than what more original tasting note might suggest. And maybe it actually is a bit more like the real thing than I previously though (I recently has rum and raisin ice cream).