488 Tasting Notes
I have had Della Terra’s Upside Down Pineapple Cake. You, my friend, are no Upside Down Pineapple Cake. Nope. You are a sweet, creamy, vanilla blend with a touch of tartness. Now that others have mentioned it, I am also noticing a touch of maple syrup flavor. You have the same mouthfeel as Autumn Leaves. Sort of a sweet, pleasant film that builds on the roof of the mouth. But pineapple? Cherry? Cake? Nope nope nope. Which is both disappointing and just fine. You are delicious. You just have the wrong name. It’s ok. I like you anyway.
Aah. This tea. It’s my forbidden love. So, so good and yet so, so bad for me. It’s not hurting my stomach so much today, possibly because I ate first. This is seriously delicious. It’s more nutty than creamy this time around. All four steeps are still very much like drinking a rich, indulgent dessert. For better or worse, this is a sad, sad sipdown. Thanks for the sample, Stacy!
This comes to me courtesy of RogersCK. Thanks for sending me this pleasant and intriguing blend!
This is an orange brew that smells of green grapes. The taste really does remind me of white wine. Admittedly, I am by no means a wine connoisseur. Still, this tastes light, grapey, and almost sparkling. There’s a touch of sweetness during the sip and a gentle tartness at the end.
The apricot that everyone’s talking about comes out for me in the second steep. Juicy, with a more assertively tart finish than earlier. More lemon myrtle than lemon fruit. The third steep tastes about the same, only even juicier. Nom nom nom.
This is my first exposure to Vintage Tea Works. I’m impressed. I look forward to trying more of their teas in the future.
steep 1: 167f, 3 mins 30 secs
steep 2: 182f, 5 mins
steep 3: 194f, 6 mins
adagio breeze sent this to me at least 6 months ago, but I’m just now getting through the last bag. I really like this blend. I’ve come around on the lemon balm in here. I used to think it was too much, but now I quite enjoy it. It tastes lemon-y without tasting like I could have just squeezed some fresh lemon into the cup for the same effect. Maybe it mellowed out with age? Anyway, bumping the rating a bit. Sad to say, this is a sipdown. Thanks adagio breeze!
RogersCK sent this in my Secret Pumpkin/Turkey package. Thanks!
I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I was expecting something sweet, but instead I got a savory, rice- and hay-inflected treat. I got three solid steeps out of this. The last one cooled before I got around to drinking it, so I shoved it in the fridge to see if this tea is any good iced. Turns out, it very much is. The flavor doesn’t change much other than a touch of sweetness coming out that wasn’t there before. It’s very refreshing. I would not restock this, both because of the price and because it’s from Teavana, but I’m glad to have tried it.
I got this from our swap at the Taste of France Festival, I think from greenteafairy. Thanks!
Alas, I think I let this one sit around too long. It’s beautiful – the dry leaf is interspersed with pink and yellow petals. The smell, both dry and brewed, is pleasantly floral. The floral aspect doesn’t translate much into the actual sip though. Mostly I’m getting a grassy flavor with a dry mouthfeel and just a hint of rose. Pleasant enough, but I don’t think this is at all what the tea was supposed to taste like. Shame. I’m not giving a rating, since it’s not the poor tea’s fault that I callously neglected it.
Hey by the way, another sipdown.
I received a sample of this tea from Yunomius, an online marketplace that features small Japanese tea businesses. Thanks for the sample, Yunomius! Mine came months and months ago, so it’s from the 2013 harvest.
I brewed this tea using the company’s suggested “warm water” steeping technique (https://yunomi.us/716/warm-water-steeping-technique/). This was a totally different tea experience from anything I’ve had before.
I made the first steep at 160f for 2 mins in my gaiwan. The tea was thick, almost syrupy. The flavor was sweet, spinachy, and creamy. There was a slightly dry but thick aftertaste.
I made the second steep at 180f for 30 secs. This brew was smoooooth. Still thick, but not as syrupy. There was a vegetal sweetness to it and a slightly astringent aftertaste. It became more savory as it cooled to lukewarm – evocative of simple congee.
I made the third steep at 190f for 50 secs. This was the best yet. Sweet and savory in equal measure. The mouthfeel was absolutely perfect. Smooth and thick without being syrupy.
I made the fourth steep at 200f for 1 min. This one was more savory and vegetal with a slightly dry mouthfeel. What I’d normally expect from a good sencha, basically.
I made this in my gaiwan, but I would not advise it. It just couldn’t quite contain the leaves and bits got through into the tea. Maybe it just takes more finesse with the pour than I currently possess. If I had this tea again, I would brew it in my glass gong fu teapot.
The company suggests making a salad out of the used leaves. So I did! I mixed them up with some soy sauce and chowed down. It was decent. Just tasted like steamed spinach. I bet it would be good over rice.
Overall, this was a really special tea experience and a really special tea. I wouldn’t keep it in my regular rotation only because it’s rather pricey. I would definitely pick this up again as a special treat though. The Obubu website only sells it in 100g bags ($33 US), but yunomi.us has it in quantities as small as 10g ($4 US).
My dad is one of those people for whom all tea tastes the same. On occasion he can tell that he doesn’t like something (for example, he really didn’t like camellia flower tea). Somehow that didn’t stop him from wanting a piece of my haul from the Coffee & Tea Festival. So I gave him most of my H&S samples of this tea (oddly enough, they were giving out the same samples last year). I also happened to have an extra tin of this lying around, so I added that to the pile along with the Tarlton Green that I picked up special for him. Three days later, my dad comes back to me saying how much he loved one of the tea samples I gave him and can I get him more. Of course he had forgotten the name but when he described it I realized it had to be this one, so I got to be all “I already gave you a whole tin and you didn’t realize it. So there, I’m that good! Bwahahaha!” Ok, maybe I didn’t actually say bwahahaha, but I was totally thinking it.
When even my dad finds a tea distinctive, I had to give it a try. The cinnamon is definitely dominant here. It tastes like cinnamon sticks, not powder. It’s also weirdly juicy. I know there isn’t any blackcurrant in here but I could swear I’m picking up a tinge of it. There’s a sweetness here that’s very much present but not overpowering. After a few sips, I realized what this tastes like – it’s dead on for red hots!
This is vaguely in the same flavor family as Della Terra’s Cinnamon Diletto, which I hated. That one tasted like Big Red gum. My problem with it was that the sweetness was off somehow, almost aspartame-like. I can’t stand the taste of aspartame. Here, though, the sweetness is more sugary and meshes very well with the cinnamon. I can’t make out the black tea base, but it’s possible that the base is also holding the flavors together better than the rooibos base in the Cinnamon Diletto.
Overall, this tea is more liquid candy than tea. I can see why a non-tea drinker (non-tea-drinker?) would like it. I find it tasty enough, but I do prefer being able to taste something of the base. It’s also a bit too sweet. I love the lingering strength of the cinnamon though.
Like many black teas, this one hurt my stomach. I’m giving my last few sample sachets to my dad and calling this a sipdown.
This was in the March 2014 Amoda box. It’s quite good.
I have enjoyed this several times already. I love it as a breakfast tea in my travel mug on an offensively cold day. The dry leave smells a little artificial, but that doesn’t translate in the brew. Instead, I get a lovely, creamy caramel toffee blend. The flavors are dead on without feeling overwrought. The base is dark and woody, complementing the flavoring. I find this really creamy on its own, but I bet adding some milk or dairy substitute would bolster that creaminess very well.
This resteeps nicely if you give it a long second steep (10-15 minutes). I accidentally left a second-steeped cuppa on my nightstand the other day and it was completely cold by the time I woke up. I decided to give it a taste and OMG it is amazing iced. Absolutely wonderful. I would totally advocate this as an alternative to fruity iced teas in the summer.
All in all, another winner from the Amoda box. Something I would strongly consider restocking.
So today was just awful. I really felt like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown this morning. Thankfully I was able to take the afternoon off work. And tea is an excellent respite from the world.
I had a coupon for a free cup from Davids. This seemed like a good opportunity to use it.
The salesperson was super nice. I told her that I wanted something vanilla and she pulled down at least 6 cans. I smelled the Vanilla Orchid first and was sure it was the one. None of the subsequent teas smelled nearly as fabulous. And then she brought down this one. Oh. my. goodness. It smells amazing. I just wanted to climb right into the can. Or maybe eat it. It smells creamy and vanilla and… warm, if that makes sense. The salesperson brewed this up in my travel mug and I was on my way. She suggested just leaving the bag in, so I did. This brewed for at least 15 minutes before I actually tried it. Nom nom nom! There was no bitterness or other unpleasant indication of oversteeping. Only wonderful, creamy vanilla and caramel. I’m not really tasting the coconut except in the creaminess. I’ve never had a mulberry, so I can’t speak to how true-to-nature this blend is. I rather don’t care. Whatever it is, it’s fabulous. Highly recommend.