1680 Tasting Notes
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).
I got this for free with one of my recent Butiki orders. I noticed that this particular green is being used as a base for many of their recent green-based blends. I’m normally pretty ‘meh’ about most plain green teas but this one sounded interesting enough and Butiki’s teas are generally of good quality. Plus free tea is free tea. :D
The leaves are fairly broken-looking – not teabag or CTC sized but definitely not intact enough to really be called ‘whole-leaf tea’. Normally that would make for a more bitter brew but this one is actually quite smooth. It’s vegetal but there’s also a surprising sweet undertone that comes out particularly as the tea cools – I think the description likened it to spinach and corn and I suppose that isn’t too far off for me. It’s quite a nice green tea, the flavours are strong enough to be distinctive on their own but subtle enough that I could see this working well as a base for a flavoured tea.
I picked up this iced tea at my local Chapters bookstore at the end of the summer when they discount all their summer stock to make way for the incoming fall products. Unfortunately each large teabag is intended to make a gallon of tea and I only have a smaller 2 L pitcher so steeping times and quantities are at best a guesstimate. The steeping instructions on the tin said boiling water for 15 minutes – which I ignored as it was obviously just copied over from the black tea-based iced teas without taking into account the more delicate green tea base. The water I used was 80°C and I steeped the large tea bag in 2 cups of water for 4 minutes and then added iced and cold water to make up the 2 L volume. It is convenient having the iced tea in a bag which saves me having to filter the brewed tea and results in much less mess.
Despite the reduced steeping time I found the base to be a bit bitter and it took a fair bit of my homemade simple syrup to make it palatable. The flavour isn’t citrusy lemon, instead it’s pretty obviously derived from lemongrass and that adds to the strong herbal undertone which I’m not terribly fond of. It’s a refreshing tea, I’ll give it that, but it’s not to my taste.
The smell of this tea is intriguing – as other people have described it I found it to be almost chocolate-like with a cured-hay undertone. Flavour-wise the earth notes were present but quite mild and smooth so I would definitely recommend this tea for someone who doesn’t like strong pu-erhs or is just starting to get in to that particular tea type. Unlike many pu-erhs it unfortunately doesn’t hold up all that well for resteeping as I found the 2nd steeping (@ 4 min) to be rather weak in comparison.
As someone who is (slightly) more familiar with pu-erh teas this one didn’t wow me particularly but it was pleasent enough to drink while I scroll through my tumblr.
Well I tried the longer steeping time but the flavour that creeps in isn’t fruit or berries – it’s quite distinctly hibiscus. Ick.
I may have to lower this tea’s score because – while on the rare occasion hibiscus can work for me in a cold tea – I invariably hate the taste of it when it’s hot. This is no exception.
Sipdown. I’m kind of sad to see this tea go as it was a decent tea and given that Teaopia is now defunct I won’t be getting more. But tea isn’t something that will keep indefinitely and this blend is noticeably showing its age at this point.
This probably ranks as my favourite tea from this season’s Winter Collection. It has a nice fruity-apple flavour combined with sweet, creamy vanilla. Add some honey or other sweetener and then the flavours really pop. An excellent dessert tea.