150 Tasting Notes
Gotta love flavorful black teas on snowy mornings… Enjoying this in the beautifully sunny aftermath of the blizzard that, mercifully, barely brushed the DC area. Just a few inches yesterday, I’ve enjoyed the luxury of pulling in and out of the driveway that I didn’t have to shovel :) Wish my folks in RI were so lucky.
Solid cup of flavor, medium bodied and round, with a lingering cocoa and slight malt. There is a distinct perfumey note that I read through everyone’s notes to pin down but somehow didn’t settle on … it nears the intensity level of a bergamot… maybe that’s what fellow Steeps are describing as floral? or cedar? The woodiness, oddly, seemed more of a flavor-texture than a flavor. There’s a fruit in there, too, will have to chase that down in future steeps.
The smokiness is phantom-like, in and out, wonderfully described by Fjellrev as “a (very distant) campfire”…just a hint of extra character.
This isn’t the most cocoa-y or chocolatey black around but they’re there to enjoy.
This provided a full 3rd finium basket steep which was a little smoother and flavor-focused on the rear sides of my tongue. Looked up the tongue-map only to learn that it has been scientifically discredited. I missed that news. But the 3rd steep definitely had tongue-localized flavor, so there you go.
1st in another round of generous samples just received from Teavire, thank you for the tea tours!
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Smoke
This is pretty enjoyable, and I usually find chai to be unpleasantly sharp. But then I don’t sweeten my tea and this one has stevia in it, so that may be part of why this one works for me. Mostly it works because it’s got a smooth balance of flavors. I dislike clove but it is ok here because it’s counter-balanced by the cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and vanilla. There’s a hint of a burn from the pepper, as well, which adds lingering interest without being offputting.
The predominant flavors are cinnamon and cardamom, sharpened by the ginger, clove and pepper and softened by the vanilla and stevia, which together nudge it toward a suggestion of caramel. Adding almond milk, this is easily as good as the chais my friends order at coffee/tea chains.
Not bad. Not “good” either. Wouldn’t mind having this served to me in a restaurant if I were lost in conversation. But the conversation certainly would not be about the tea :)
Curiously, it generated a thin layer of foam in the cup, not sure what that is about. Got the packet somewhere a few years ago… does old tea foam? lol
This is both refreshing, with its bright orchid scent and flavor, and creamy. I love orchidy oolongs and this one holds a very pleasant, though single, flavor note with the faintest hint of something more complex and warming, almost but not quite spice. This would be a good tea to have as a standard. Thanks to Tea at Sea for the sample!
Flavors: Creamy, Gardenias, Orchids
Full-flavored and roasty mate. Satisfying and nicely warming for this cold January day. Would be a good base for adding ‘dark’ complementary flavors like cocoa nibs/vanilla, if you’re about that as I sometimes am. I don’t think it’d work so well with citrus or other bright flavors. This would also be a great one to add to your coffeemaker if you’re looking for a coffee-mate blend. Decent also on its own.
Good for 1 or 2 solid re-brews.
I do like supporting Guayaki but I actually like Lupicia’s plain mate a bit better though I don’t know anything about their socio-economic sourcing.
Although I was expecting a typically juicy green floral oolong here I was nonetheless happy with the brew. This tea is very well-rounded and smooth though a bit roasty. Really pleasing soft buttery complexity with a mild gardenia-like floral, especially in the aftertaste.
Flavors: Floral, Gardenias, Honey, Hot hay
This tea is a good relaxant so it gets some points for that to counterbalance the relatively uninspired flavor profile. The spearmint is on the muted side and the stevia gives it a slightly ‘sweetened’, as opposed to naturally sweet, flavor. It’s pleasant enough, just wouldn’t buy it for the flavor alone.
Liking this better than Republic of Tea’s version, Double Dark Chocolate Mate. One reason being that RoT’s version requires 2 bags and a splash of almond milk to get full enough flavor. Drank this one bare and it was decent… it has a brighter and well-orchestrated flavor profile. Got a sample packet without ingredients listed so it would be interesting to see how the ingredient lists of the 2 teas compare.
Would love to find a great chocolate mate, if it’s out there!