1751 Tasting Notes
Normally I don’t drink Chinese blacks with milk apart from the occaisional keemun. Yunnans, which this tea resembles a bit, in particular don’t work well with additives I’ve found. None the less I decided to experiment this morning and added a splash of skim milk, which to my surprised worked out quite well. It really brought out those faint cocoa notes and gave the whole thing a nice, smooth finish.
I’ve seen this tea in the store before but I always gave a it pass thinking that it was just another fruit tea that used a bunch of hibiscus to replicate the tart fruit flavours of the pomegranate. It wasn’t until I got a few bags of this tea in a swap that I was proven wrong. Firstly when I added the water there was no tell-tale bleed of red – the tea stayed a soft, pale-golden hue the entire time it steeped.
The flavour is lightly sweet and fruity – I wouldn’t say it’s quite real pomegrante, but it’s a heck of a lot closer than the hibiscus blends usually are. It’s still quite a natural-tasting tea, delicate and subtle. It would be lovely iced, I think.
Woah, smells like bacon! This Russian Caravan is maybe a bit more smoked than what I generally like. Rather than using the usual Chinese black teas they seem to have gone with the more conventional (and cheaper?) Indian black teas. And you can tell as the tea has more bitterness and astringency than what I’m used to tasting in most Russian Caravan blends. Meh.
The problem with rationing tea is that no matter how much you want to save it eventually you have to drink or else it goes stale on you. This is the dilema I face with my teas from SpecialTeas; some of them, like this one, are very good, high quality teas with nothing to replace them with when they’re gone (Teavana doesn’t count – I refuse to buy from them). But I guess all good things have to come to an end sooner or later.
I’m drinking this tea with milk today and, while I think I prefer it plain ultimately, it’s fine this way as well. With some teas the milk will drown out the flavour but in this case I can still pick out the delicious citrus and cocoa notes.
This blend smelled very orangy when I opened the pouch and it was more of a sweet mandrin orange scent than your more tart navel oranges, I found. At first the orange flavour wasn’t readily apparent in the tea, though equally the woody rooibos flavour wasn’t as strong as I’d feared. There’s an strange flavour that I couldn’t identify that came across as being a bit bread-like or maybe nutty – it was odd, though not unpleasent, just not very orange-like. However as the tea cooled off the orange flavour made a re-appearance and interestingly the tea also became sweet, depite me not adding any honey or other sweetener to it.
It’s not a bad tea, but I don’t think they quite hit the mark with the flavouring.
The tea gives off a roasted aroma both in the canister and while it steeps. The recommended steeping time was longer than what I’d normally give a green(ish) oolong on the first round and it produced a fairly dark-coloured cup of tea. Despite the dark colour though the first steep was light-tasting to the point of being bland.
The second steeping @ 6 min was a bit better, and I could taste some lightly sweet flowery notes at the beginning of each sip, but even so it lacks the vivid flavours I’d expect from a Tie Guan Yin oolong. Perhaps I’m just spoiled by better teas. ;)
This was certainly a pungent-smelling cuppa – very herbal with added lime. The flavour is…interesting, again it’s rather pungently herbal with some slight bitter notes. The coconut is more readily apparent giving the tea a nutty aftertaste, but I’m not getting as much citrus as I thought I would given the scent.
I’m not entriely sure what I think of this tea yet, so I’m going to hold off reviewing it for now.
I brewed up a nice big jug of iced tea out of this blend, which this tea is totally suited for, I might add. The white tea base doesn’t hide the fruitiness of the strawberries and the cucumber is a fresh background note (and thankfully not the least bit dill pickle-y). The boyfriend-creature likes it too and he’s not generally a tea fan.
It was pretty hard to measure out this tea as the leaves and pine needles wouldn’t fit in my scoop, so I ended up guesstimating the correct amount. I don’t see any tinges of pink in the steeped tea, but then there weren’t too many sumac berries that I could see in the blend to begin with.
It’s rather unfortunate that this tea tastes mostly like watery Pepto Bismol – not surprising I guess since PB is flavoured with wintergreen. So it isn’t the poor plant’s fault that its flavour immediately brings stomach medicine to mind, I gues,s but it does make it harder to enjoy this blend.