I’m normally a huge mango fan but mango seems like one of those flavours that’s difficult for a tea company to get right. This one is…okay, though it doesn’t quite meet the mark. This one at least actually tastes like mango, although it’s a bit too tart for my liking. I was a bit surprised to see that there isn’t any hibiscus in the ingredients – it almost tastes like there is. I don’t normally sweetened white teas but I might try it with some honey or agave nectar next time to balance out the sourness.
1427 Tasting Notes
Tea Desire opened a new store in Kelowna which I’m glad of as it’s close to me and I visit there a fair bit. It’s in the same mall as the Teavana *shudder * store and I’m not sure how they’ll fare in such direct competition with such a big chain but I’m happy to have an alternative.
I picked up a bunch of one-cup samples to try and this is the one I got when I picked one out at random to try today. It’s essentially a spice tea with added cocoa nibs and orange peel, but it has a nicely-balanced simplicity to it and despite being all spice it doesn’t taste harsh or overwhelming at all. The cocoa notes stand out the most as well as the licorice flavour of the star anise – although the latter might just be because my sample had a whole big ‘star’ in it. It also re-steeps very nicely too without losing much of its flavour.
While I do find that I’m missing the body that a black tea base gives a chai, I’m still pretty happy with this one.
I tried adding milk to see if it would improve the flavour at all – sadly, it didn’t seem to make much of a difference.
I’m honestly at a bit of a loss as to why this blend seems like such a hard sell, as I think that it’s quite enjoyable. Kiwi isn’t a flavour I’ve had the opportunity to try in a tea very often. And the last experience I had with Tea Forte’s kiwi tisane reminded me ore of Buckley’s cough syrup than of the fruit. This, on the other hand, is quite good. For one thing it manages to actually taste like real kiwifruit and the natural sweetness of the honeybush seems to soften its tanginess just the right amount. It has a pleasant fresh, clean tone to it that would probably make a good iced tea as well.
Steapdown. Saying goodbye to a lovely chai. ;)
It’s unusual to see a green oolong that doesn’t have rolled up leaves. These are more like little loose twists. The tea has a smooth, cooked-fruit (peaches or apricots maybe?) flavour and a sweet scent that remind me of lilacs. It has quite a few similarities to the Aged Wuyi Variety oolong that I tried from this company earlier, but it’s a bit sweeter and fruitier and lacks those bakey notes and roasted scent that the former had.
EDIT: Apologies for leaving the note unfinished last night – I got distracted. :D
This tea is excellent with milk as well as plain, I’ve discovered today. I keep expecting this tea to be more smokey-tasting than it is because the scent is full-on BBQ à la lapsang souchong. Luckily the other teas in this blend seem to dampen it down a little.
Sip down! This has been a staple in my cupboard for ages, but now it’s finally time to bid it adieu.
I feel a bit bad for saying this since this is an award winning tea and a lot of people seem to love it, but I’m rather underwhelmed by this chai. For a company that specializes in chai I’d expect something a bit more edgy and a bit more flavourful. This isn’t bad mind you, but it comes across as a bit bland and ordinary. I thought Tea Desire’s Masala chai was better.
I purchased this tea through Ten Thousand Villages – an organization that supports fair trade products from groups of artisans all over the world (http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/). This tea bags came packed in this cute little embroidered green silk purse which I just love.
The flavour is surprisingly light and pleasant for a bagged green tea. It’s a combination of vegetal notes and fruity muscatel notes like you might get from a nice Darjeeling. The lemon isn’t too overpowering and it compliments the tea very nicely.
There’s nothing more soothing than a nice cup of chai on a chilly autumn day when you have a report to write up for class. This tea has that sort of comfortable familiarity when I drink it – it isn’t anything unusual or extraordinary but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good cup of tea. The spices are nicely balanced, though the cardamom stands out a little bit – which I enjoy. I could see myself stocking this as a staple in my cupboard.
My 52Teas order just came in today and this tea was first on my list to try. It smelled very dessert-like and I was glad that Frank included lots of little apricot chunks in the mix. The tea tasted quite nice but it needed more booze – I couldn’t taste any brandy flavouring which is a shame for something that is the first word of this tea’s name. Otherwise I quite liked it – it had a sweet cakey flavour mixed with fruity apricot notes both of which blended well with the honeybush base. It’s enjoyable even if the lack of brandy was a bit of a let down.
No notes yet.
Taking on another sample from the depths of my cupboard. This one has a wonderful sweet, honey-like scent, particularly the dry leaves. However I found the flavour to be a bit disappointing. Perhaps I just need to steep it longer, but it strikes me as bland and weak, especially compared to other Keemuns I’ve tried liked Adagio’s Anhui Keemun and Granville Island Tea Co’s Keemun Grade 1. There are some honey notes tacked on to the end of each sip but it’s altogether too light and weak.
Brr, yesterday it was a balmy 25C degrees outside and today it not even breaking 15C – it’s like Mother Nature said, “Enough summer for you!” and flipped a switch. So right now I’m curled up on the couch wrapped in a blanket and the hot mug of tea I’m drinking is very much appreciated.
This tea smells very much like I’d expect a Formosa oolong to – with a strong roasted, bakey scent. The flavour of the first steep (1 min) is quite unexpected however; yes there are some of those bakey notes but this tea is lighter and sweeter than I expected with some lovely fruity notes.
The second steep at 35 sec was richer and more rounded. This time I could taste some bakey notes in the flavour as well as a smooth honey-and-fruit finish. It also doesn’t cross the line of becoming too sweet like some green oolongs do (like certain Ali Shans for instance).
I’m really liking this oolong as it seems to combine some of the best qualities of a typical Formosa oolong with those of a Chinese Wuyi oolong with great results.
My chawan has been sitting in my cupboard looking dreadfully neglected as I haven’t used it to make matcha since last winter, I think. Lately the only time I’ve had matcha is in coffee shop latés and added into fruit smoothies (which is yummy BTW). But since everyone is raving about Red Leaf Tea’s matcha blends I decided that now would be a good occasion to take out my matcha stuff and find out if there’s something to all this fuss. ;)
For the record, this is a basic grade matcha with a ‘delicate’ level of flavour – I figured I’d start off slow. I was glad for the little brochure that came with my order that had basic instruction on how to make matcha as it’s something I rarely do and it’s a pain to have to refer back to the internets.
Just the smell of the matcha powder was delicious – creamy and sweet, it was almost a shock to taste the grassy matcha when I licked a bit of powder from my finger. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I added a bit of agave nectar to sweeten things up a bit. The matcha base tasted much like I’d expect matcha to taste – I don’t drink enough to have much of a discerning palate yet, but it seemed decent to me. The Bavarian cream flavour was a real treat – rich vanilla cream flavours that reminded me of Tim Horton’s Boston Cream (or is it Vancouver Cream, now?) donuts. It’s subtle, so I think the next matcha I try I’ll go with a stronger flavouring option, but it’s still quite clear to my tastebuds what this tea is supposed to taste like. I’d love to see if I can make my own matcha latés with this one as I bet it would be phenomenal mixed with steamed milk.
This came as one of my samples from my most recent Davids Tea order. I mostly just get a nutty toasted almond flavour from this tea with some hint of cocoa. It might just be because it’s a small sample but I can’t really taste goji berries or anything that really reminds me of fruit at all. It’s not bad, I guess, but I think it needs a more robust base than this white tea.
These came from a friend of mine who lives in the UK (and unfortunately is not on Steepster). The blossom held together well despite its trip through the mail and unfurled nicely without shedding too many bits in the process. The tea was an interesting one – a mix of vegetal and nutty notes with a hint of smokiness. The floral jasmine was in there too, but it was light and restrained which I appreciate as there’s nothing I hate worse than feeling like I’m drinking a cup of jasmine perfume.
90ºC seems like a hot steeping temp for a green oolong, but the short length of time seems to keep the leaves from getting scalded, I suppose. It’s a tea more suited to a gong fu style brewing, I think, and maybe one of these days I’ll get the proper utensils to give that a try, but not today unfortunately.
The first steep at one minute brewed up a nice gold colour and had a lovely lilac scent. The flavour was floral and sweet with a slight fruity note. I think I can pick out the osmanthus, but it’s quite subtle and mixed well with the natural floral notes of the dong ding base.
The second steeping at 45 seconds was lighter and more floral and the third steep at 35 seconds took on more of a vegetal tone with an slight peach-like aftertaste. Each time the tea never lost its smoothness and refined character. Overall it’s an interesting-tasting, good quality oolong, but if you take away the osmanthus notes what’s left isn’t anything really unique.
This is another blend that I missed out on the first time around but managed to pick up thanks to Rachel. It’s not a tea that’s really suited to being drunk plain with very fine broken tea leaves and lots of ginger and cinnamon making it too harsh without some milk added to it. But it really does taste like gingerbread and it practically screams autumn/cold weather/holidays to me. I’d love to do this up as a latté – I’m betting it would beat out Starbucks’ artificial syrup-laden version any day. ;)
I found a couple samples for Chi of Tea in my cupboard – no idea how old they are. ¬_¬ Clearly this is a sign that I need to concentrate on drinking up all my older teas and samples.
The scent makes me think of bubble gum, which is a bit odd as I’m used to pu-erhs smelling very earthy. The earthiness comes back in the flavour, though it’s fairly mild compared to some pu-erhs I’ve tried (admittedly my experience is pretty limited). I can taste the orange flavour clearly, though it’s more like a sweet mandarin orange rather than a sour, acidic navel orange type of taste. However I noticed that each sip ends on a weirdly dull note that I’m not sure I care for – maybe I just need to steep the tea longer or hotter.
Have you ever opened a bag of tea and it smelled so good you wanted to eat the dry leaves then and there? That’s what this tea smells like to me – it reminds me of the awesome almond cherry biscotti my dad makes.
The tea brewed up quite dark for a green tea, like many gunpowder greens. That base was a pretty good choice because it gave the tea more of a robust slightly smokey base rather than a light vegetal one liked you’d get with a sencha. The almond and cherry (two things that I absolutely love BTW) blend very well with it and the end results weren’t artificial-tasting at all. Two thumbs up, Frank.
I’m not sure why I decided to get this particular tea, I think it just caught my eye when I was rambling through the Teaz Tea (Herbal Republic is their brand) shop on Granville St in Vancouver last year. Any how, I found it tucked away in the back of my cupboard today and decided to give it a try.
The dry tea smells quite spicy almost as if chili pepper had been added to it, though I guess that might be partly due to the ginger. Interestingly the flavour itself wasn’t spicy at all. Instead the tea tasted lightly sweet and herbal with a hay-like note – from the clover maybe? Not sure if it’ll cure all my ills but it’s a pleasant tisane to drink late at night.
I used to thinking of iced tea as being fruit flavoured so cotton candy struck me as a bit of an odd choice for this style of tea. None the less it seems to work pretty well. The spun sugar cotton candy flavour was a bit on the subtle side but adding a tablespoon or so of agave nectar to the jug helped bring it out.