1747 Tasting Notes
I got this tea at the Victoria Tea Festival this year. My friend and I were a bit lazy about getting started that morning so by the time we got to Vastu’s booth they were all out of their black Masala (which we’d been lookign forward to trying). But we made puppy-dog eyes and they scrounged up some samples for us, so it was all good. ;)
Two things I noticed right away about the tea – the leaves are very small and it smells strongly of pepper. It doesn’t match the western idea of a masala chai with cardamom as the main flavour, but you have to consider that in India (where the company’s owner is originally from) there’s no set recipe for chai and often each household will have their own special blend.
The pepper is quite prominent and it gives the tea a slight bite and leaves a trace of heat on the tongue. There are other spices in there too – cardamom and cloves and something that’s a touch herbal – the valerian root maybe? I drank it with milk as that’s how most chais are meant to be drunk (in my opinion) and it tames down the spiciness of the pepper.
This is a very unique chai and I really enjoyed it. Too bad the sample only had enough for one cup – I’ll have to keep an eye out for more of this tea in the stores.
I’m tasting a lot more pumpkin flavour in this tea than I got from the other 52Teas pumpkin blends, which I appreciate. I’m not getting the pancake part as much though, even with added milk and some agave nectar. The tea tastes rather bakey, but it’s sort of a generic bakey and nothing like syrup or butter in my opinion. Even so, I’m enjoying this tea, it has a comfortable, homey feel to it.
I believe this is the first Teavana tea I’ve consumed; I got it in a trade with DaisyChubb rather than buying it myself. Let’s just say that I have strong moral objection to the company’s business practices so I’ve decided not to give them any of my money – not that I don’t appreciate the tea, Daisy. ;)
This is an interesting mix – chai spices without the ‘chai’ and mixed with chocolate basically, though it smells totally awesome. The result is a little bit light for my tastes, though I could see this going well with a sweet dessert or something similar. I was expecting it to have a stronger chocolate flavour than it actually did, there are some mild bitter cocoa hints but the flavours seem to mostly be from the spices. I swear I’m tasting chicory root in there as well, though it doesn’t seem to be listed with the other ingredients. Hmm.
My boyfriend came across this cool recipe for tea-infused creme brulée – it actually called for earl grey tea but I couldn’t find any of that variety (I’m sure I’ve got some somewhere, it’s just buried in the depths of my cupboard) so we decided to use this tea instead. The result was quite delicious with the creme brulée bringing out the sweet grenadine flavours and mellowing out the tannins in the tea. Yummy!
The longer steep brought out more strawberry this time around but I think it could still use a bit more. I’m also getting a bit more of a ‘baked pie-crust with spice’ flavour this time rather than straight cinnamon. It’s interesting but I’m finding that I feel rather ambivalent towards this blend. It’s on the right track but it needs a bigger, bolder strawberry flavour to really convince me.
Rinsing this tea did wonders for removing the fishyness from the pu-erh, so I highly recomend that anyone else who has an issue with it do the same. That along with an increased steeping time seemed to bring out a more pleasent, softly earth flavour that had been lacking the last time I tried this tea.
You know, maybe I should revise the score I gave this tea way back. I tend to compare all dragonwell teas to that wonderful one I regularly get from Specifically Tea and I’ve had the opportunity to try them side by side and I found that this tea was a bit lacking. Not a lot lacking mind you – it’s a good-quality tea in its own right. But I noticed that it didn’t have the same fullness of flavour and doesn’t resteep all that well. It’s also lacking that hint of smokiness I get from the Specifically Tea Dragonwell, but that’s more of personal preference, I think.
First of all, a thank you to Daisy Chubb for letting me try some of this tea, which I’ve been eyeballing for quite awhile. The tea smells sweet and fruity but at the same time a bit spicy – when I taste the tea it’s clear the spice is cinnamon, not a lot, but it’s a nice touch. It’s mildly sweet but I do wish the strawberry was easier to pick out – perhaps I just need to steep it longer.
Another tea from the 12 Days of X-mas sampler that I haven’t got around to reviewing until now. I’ve got to say that Frank got the right idea – this tea is truely delicious iced. It’s wonderfully fruity and thirst-quencing and you can really taste both the strawberries and ‘lemon-aid’ in the tea. The white tea is a good choice of base for this because its light, delicate notes balance the fruit flavours nicely without drowning them out like a black tea might.
I’ve also tried this tea hot (and apparently forgot to log it) and it was pretty good like that too although I couldn’t taste the strawberry very well. It reminded me a bit of watered-down hot lemon-aid or may Neo Citron – so while it wasn’t bad at all, I still prefer it cold.