1474 Tasting Notes
I’m not quite sure why the hate – it’s not fantastic or anything, but it isn’t terrible. I’m drinking it with lots of milk like I would a chai, maybe that makes a difference? It’s certainly spicy like a chai, though it has less of a bite than most masala chai blends. I can even taste a bit of pumpkin, although like most pumpkin-flavoured teas it’s not strong.
This one’s out of the Travelling Teabox – which seems to have a lot of SBS teas in it – was someone back along the route an employee or something, I wonder?
I love all things cherry, though it’s hard to find a decent cherry-flavoured tea. I wasn’t sure about this one since I noticed the dreaded hibiscus listen in the ingredients, but the cherry part won me over. Why do practically all fruit tisanes contain such a large amount of hibiscus? I know it’s supposedly good for you, but so is broccoli – and I don’t see them rushing to make broccoli-flavoured tea!
I went on the lower side of the steeping reccs and the tea turned out of be curiously mild, almost bland. I can still taste the hibiscus, though it’s not obnoxious and maaaybe a bit of something that might be cherry, but certainly nothing that would resemble vanilla. Actually it reminds me a lot of that Saskatoon Berry tea I had awhile back, only slightly less tart. Ordinarily I’d steep this longer to try and bring out the cherry flavour, but I KNOW that if I do that I’ll just end up making the hibiscus taste stronger.
I’ve never really tried a Kenyan tea on its own though I recognize the flavour somewhat from English Breakfast blends that have it mixed in. It’s an interesting taste, not really like any of the Indian, Ceylon, or Chinese black teas I’ve sampled. It’s closest to an Assam, I think – it has a bit of a malty scent and flavour though without the strength or ‘density’ of an Assam. The aftertaste is rather strongly astringent unfortunately, which made me give it a lower score. It might be improved with some milk, but this isn’t a tea that I’d drink plain again.
I had the bagged version of this tea which I know full-well isn’t the same as drinking it loose-leaf, but all the same I think I got a good idea of what this tea is about.
Right away I can smell the pungent, citrusy scent of bergamot and it’s quite prominent in the flavour – crisp, but not too bitter. I tried drinking the tea plain at first but I found that the astringency of the tea base along with the bergamot wasn’t the best combination. So I added some skim milk and found that I enjoyed it more that way. It brought out a little hint of sweetness in the blend which I liked and smoothed out the bergamot.
It’s a decent earl grey. but nothing overly special in my opinion. I’m not about to swear off all other earl greys just because I’ve tried this one. :D
I have no idea why Adagio recommends such long steeping times for their white teas, just about any tea is going to taste unpleasent if you steep it for that long! So I stuck with the steeping times I’ve used for other whites tea (I go for something between 2.5 – 4 minutes, usually). It certainly made this tea more palatable – it has a vegetale flavour but it’s not too strong and I can even taste a bit of that nutty flavour that’s characteristic of many bai mu dans. But where the heck is the pear? I can’t taste anything beyond the tea base except maybe a very vague, general fruit flavour. I’m not sure if that’s due to how old this tea is (I got it out of the Travelling Teabox so I have no idea of its age) or if it’s just the blend itself.
So it’s not outright teaFAIL, but it’s not something I’d be willing to shell any money out for. So back into the TTB it goes – hopefully someone down the line will like it more than I do.
The tea is a pretty generic bagged orange pekoe; it’s filled with fine-particled tea dust and it doesn’t have much of an odor beyon a bit of the generic tea smell. The tea brewed up quite dark but I found the flavour disapointing. It was quite weak and unremarkable with a very ‘flat’ flavour profile. Maybe it was a mistake to add milk to this, as that seem to be mostly what I’m tasting.
Rounds 2 and 3
The second time I steeped the leaves – for 3:30 mins – the lychee flavour was considerably fainter, with the oolong base being more distinct. It made the steeping taste quite bakey.
The third steeping at 4:30 mins is pretty weak, though interestingly the sweet lychee flavour is back a little bit.
So not really a tea that’s good for the long haul; I probably wouldn’t steep this more than twice.
Another tea from the Travelling Teabox (I’ll send it out soon, I promise – I’ve just been so busy with school) this one from the mythical Lupicia whose teas, alas, I can’t get ahold of given that they don’t ship north of the border.
The tea smells like lychees, a fruit I’m rather ambivalent about, but at least it lends credence to the tea’s name. It brews up a surprisingly dark cuppa and it smells more like what a dark formosa oolong would smell like. The tea is sweet and fruity, the flavour of the oolong meshing nicely with the lychee. It’s quite nice, I’ll be resteeping the leaves and seeing how that goes.
I was surprised at how low the recommended water temperature for this tea was on the package. I understand the importance of not scalding a green tea, but usually I only brew gyokuros at such a low temp.
I like the idea of apple and coriander flavoured tea. Coriander is something I like using in cooking, either in the form of seeds or in the form of leaves (cilantro). Unfortunately, I found it tasted rather weak with the apple and coriander flavours quite faint. I think the low temperature is at least partially responsible, so I’m not going to rate this tea until I adjust the steeping parameters.
I picked this up at the healthfood store – I’ve tried hot mate and thought it decent but I’ve never had it iced. Apparently it’s quite a popular way to drink it in South Amercia, though I’m not sure if they bother with all the sugar that’s in this.
And sweet it is – there’s less sugar in it than in bottled iced tea or pop, but 20g of sugar is still a fair bit. I tasted most of the sweetness at the start of each sip, as I swallowed it took on a herbal, sort of woody taste. It left almost a smokey aftertaste in my mouth, interestingly.
It’s interesting and I’m glad I tried it for variety, but it’s not going to be my go-to cold drink or anything.