411 Tasting Notes
A whole bunch of my notes from the past few months have disappeared, including this one. I just found this draft in my e-mail.
I had this tea to go from the store. The scent of dry leaf reminds me of the pumpkin chai – lots of cinnamon. The clerk said that it reminds her of the gingerbread tea from last winter, but I don’t recall having it. I think I oversteeped because the flavor was mostly warm cinnamon with a pumpkin undercurrent and no creaminess to speak of. Tasty, but not cheesecakey. I did not feel the need to buy any for home.
I yoinked a bag of this from the office kitchen today out of sheer curiosity. Those cheerful penguins on the packaging are hard to resist!
I did not have an opportunity to remove the bag, so I ended up tasting it at a variety of steeping lengths. I think the optimal steep time is about 4 minutes. At that point, it’s all creamy vanilla goodness with a hint of cinnamon and maybe even nutmeg. The longer it steeps, the eggier and cinnamonier it gets. I really dislike egginess (yes, even in eggnog). I like cinnamon, but it ends up drowning the other flavors here if the bag sits too long.
My rating is based on the 4 minute steep time.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Eggnog, Nutmeg, Vanilla
Thanks for the sample, JustJames!
This is a really lovely tea. The leaf is very pretty. Full of fruity bits and bamboo leaves. The wet leaf smells fantastic – basically like grapefruit juice.
The brew is tart and sweet. The woody bamboo flavor complements the citrusy aspect nicely. It’s equally good cold – light and sweet – and resteeps well as long as you let it sit for a while. Overall, I think this is an excellent option for a spring or summer evening cuppa.
You may have noticed (or not) that my reviews have been quite sparse over the past two months or so. That is because I came back from vacation and was immediately informed that my request for a transfer had been approved and they wanted me ASAP. Well, when you have a full case load and have to write transfer memos for all of those cases, on top of actually doing your job and remaining responsible for the transfers until the day you leave (literally), ASAP is exactly two months if you work late and weekends. I had to pack up my office in such a hurry that I ended up packing all of my office teas. I won’t see them again until my stuff gets delivered to the new office – next week if I am lucky. So when I didn’t want any of my purse teas, I resorted to bumming tea off my new officemate. I was in the mood for something spicy, so this one piqued my interest.
Alas, this tea is blegh! It just smells and tastes like black pepper with a clove backdrop. Awful. Simply… awful. Perhaps it would be better with milk and honey, but I expect a chai to at least be drinkable even without those things. I did manage to down it because I desperately needed caffeine, but it wasn’t exactly a pleasant experience. I sure hope my stuff arrives soon…
There are currently 31 pages of tasting notes for this tea. I had to manually go through them in order to find my own previous note. There has got to be a better way to do this. Hear me, oh Steepster overlords!
So. This tea. I got a sample from teamore last year. I was not particularly impressed then. However, I apparently liked it well enough that I went and bought ½ oz when Davids brought it back this year.
This tea is better than I remember. I had it in my travel mug during a few busy mornings, so I am a bit fuzzy on details. I do remember it being pumpkiny, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, slightly creamy and nicely balanced with cinnamon and clove. For a few weeks there I was pairing this in the morning with H&S Pumpkin Spice in the evenings. This was a nice fall tea that was good while it lasted. I won’t restock now, but I will probably pick up another ½ oz next fall.
Bumping the rating.
I tried this one three times at slightly different brewing parameters. It’s hard to get this to taste right, but the trick seems to be low temp and short steep time (approx. 165f for 1 minute or less). If not steeped just so, it ends up tasting like burnt rice and the burnt note lingers. The marshmallow comes out more as a mallowy texture at the end of the sip than any actual flavor. When steeped exactly right, this does taste like rice cereal treats. It’s actually nicer hot than iced, even when done right. I would rate this an 80 for flavor, but the blend loses points for being so fickle.
I’m not in the mood for a narrative, but I haven’t posted a tasting note in a while so… here’s a tasting note. My impressions of this tea seem to differ wildly from those of other reviewers.
The dry leaf smells all pumpkin spicy. The most dominant scent is nutmeg. So. Much. Nutmeg. It’s not bad, just… strong.
Speaking of strong, the scent of clove wafts out of the mug and smacks you in the face about three seconds after the water hits the leaf. By contrast, the flavor is actually quite well balanced. The pumpkin leads, strong but not artificial, followed by cinnamon and clove. Not really getting any nutmeg taste though. The cinnamon lingers long after the sip, along with a hint of sweetness. It’s very similar to the after-taste of HS’s Hot Cinnamon Spice. Not sure how I feel about that. It’s a bit…much.
Overall, the actual sip is nice and well-balanced, but the scent and aftertaste are a bit too strong and one-note for my liking. I’ll just add it to the collection in my office drawer.
This comes to me courtesy of Angel at Teavivre. I made a pot last night to go with our break-fast meal. It was tasty enough. We didn’t finish off the second steep so I just put it in the fridge.
Whoa. This makes a good iced tea. The strawberry flavor really pops without tasting artificial. It’s a bit late in the year for me to be figuring this out, but better late than never. Bumping the rating a bit.
See previous note for details on the hot brew.