1527 Tasting Notes
In my limited experience with Darjeeling first flush teas this is probably the most herbal FF I’ve tasted. It’s crisper and it lacks the sweetness that previous FFs I’ve tried have, and it reminds me of a dry, unoaked white wine. It’s more like a later season darjeeling tea in my opinion, with a distinct muscatel character. I can also taste a fair bit of astringency although it’s not excessive and the tea doesn’t have that mouth-drying effect that later season Darjeelings have on me.
My boyfriend and I both enjoyed Yogi Tea’s Licorice Mint herbal tea and since we recently ran out I wanted to try this out to see if it would make a good replacement.
I could actually see the contents of the bag – it’s one of those pyramid-style sachets – and there seems to be quite a large amount of shreded licorice root in the blend. The taste bore that out as it was quite sweet, certainly sweeter than the Yogi version. It’s on the edge of being too sweet and probably would be if I steeped it any longer – thankfully I looked at the steeping directions on the box rather than just giving it the standard 5 min steep I usually use for herbals tisanes.
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.