1586 Tasting Notes
This is the end of my little sample and I had it plain with a bit of honey added to it which turned out to be really good. The sweetness mellowed out the bite of the hot pepper a little bit, but it didn’t sacrifice the other flavours to do so. It also brought out the flavour of the cocoa nibs a little bit – and if there’s one thing you need to know about me it’s that more chocolate is always appreciated. ;)
I’m still not sure if I’d buy a whole bag of this tea – like I said in a previous entry I’d have to be a specific mood to want to drink this tea. It’s a good novelty tea (or may that’s novel-tea) and I enjoyed having the chance to expand my horizons a bit.
This looks and smells a lot like the Ryokucha that I tried from Samovar – tea leaves and toasted rice kernels covered in a green dusting of matcha powder.
It doesn’t have quite the same full, savory flavour the Samovar version does. This tastes a bit ‘watery-er’ (for lack of a better word – taken by itself the tea isn’t watery) and it has a rather distinct grassy flavour that I don’t entirly care for. Maybe I’ll try cooler water and a longer steep next time.
This isn’t a strongly-scented tea, but white teas generally aren’t. What I can smell is surprisingly authentic – delicate stewed pear with a wiff of spices. Like the scent the flavour is light and dainty. The pear seems like the primary element and it isn’t fake like some fruit flavourings can come across. I think I might like it if the spices were a little bit stronger – I’ll steep the next cup a bit long.
I steeped the leaves for 4 minutes this time which brought out the muscatel flavours more strongly, making it taste a bit more like a typical Darjeeling – though not as bitterly astringent as I’ve found most 2nd Flush or Autumnal teas to be. I resteeped the leaves (@ 4:45min) and while the results were a little bit bland the tea still had the same recognizable flavour-profile as during the first steep.
You know, adding skim milk to this tea doesn’t really do much for me. Yes it lowers the heat of the cayenne pepper a little bit, but it also dulls the other flavours, including the chocolate (oh noses!). I think this is one of the only chais I’ve ever drank that I’d recommend drinking plain.
This time I drank the tea with a dash of honey and a bit more milk added and liked it even better. The sweetness emphasized the similarily to an SBUX pumpkin spice latte, giving the tea a sweet, carmelized flavour to accompany those fragrant spices. It makes for a very rich, and festive-tasting drink without all (or at least most, I suppose there are some in the honey) the calories.
I’m adding this tea to my shopping list – maybe when I’m down in Vancovuer this winter I’ll see about finding a David’s Tea store and picking some up.
Dear David’s Tea,
Please stop putting all your samples in itty bitty tins that I can’t get my scoop in without tea spilling everywhere.
Oh. My. God. This tastes like those Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes only better! The flavours taste more authentic and the spices are fresher and well…spicier. The addition of some milk makes it creamy and smooth-tasting, and for once I’m actually able to taste the pumpkin. The spices in this blend work really well with the pumpkin – I can taste primarily cloves and cardamom which I like better than the cinnamon that’s often used in autumn-themed teas.
I bet this would be fantastic steeped as a traditional-style chai with steamed milk and honey.
The flavour profile is a bit more balanced this time – I think the extra minute I steeped it helped. The rootbeer flavour is stronger and there’s some slight minty notes as well. Chamomile is still the dominant flavour however, which is fine I suppose – I have nothing against chamomile.