389 Tasting Notes

I was quite pleased to receive a sample of this at the Coffee & Tea Festival. I am really intrigued by this new Savory Tea line. I don’t know what to expect. Will it basically be a light soup? A flavored tea with prominent notes of vegetable and spice?

It smells like minty tomato soup. The tomato smell is strong and spicy. It tastes like a very light tomato broth, with an aftertaste of mint. After a few sips, the aftertaste becomes more peppery. I originally brewed this in boiling water for 10 minutes, per package instructions. Putting the teabag back into the mug to see what happens if I brew it longer…

Brewed longer, pepper and lemon flavors come forward. This is an interesting drink. There is a black tea base, but I can’t taste it at all. I’m not sure this should properly be categorized as tea at all. Yet it’s too thin for a broth. I still don’t know what to make of it. This might be put to best use in cooking – I think rice especially would take kindly to it.

As a drink, I’m not really enjoying this. I am not going to rate it because I can’t even figure out what standards to apply. I doubt I’ll be drinking it again, though.

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68

Stash Co. kindly sent me samples of a few teas. This one is ok, but not great. It’s very straightforward. Tastes exactly like its name – no more, no less. So it’s a honeybush tea with a hint of vanilla. Nothing about the flavor profile is especially notable. I think this could benefit from a bit more vanilla, to add depth and compensate for the decent but unremarkable base. I would drink this if it were around and I wanted something caffeine-free and a little sweet, but I won’t be buying it.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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78
drank Sunshine by Della Terra Teas
389 tasting notes

Mmm. The dry leaves smell like real apricot and mango. Brewed, the tea has a light apricot scent. It has an equally light, smooth flavor. It’s very fruity and tart. Tastes like real fruit, not at all syrupy. I’m actually getting the inverse profile of what MissLena12 tasted. To me, the dominant flavor is definitely apricot. The mango comes through only a bit. I can’t taste the green tea base at all, except for a dryness at the end of each sip.

Overall, I quite like this and will happily finish what I have. Next time I might try it iced – I also think this tea would lend itself quite nicely to that.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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12
drank French Roast by Teeccino
389 tasting notes

Backlog – I keep scribbling notes as I go and then failing to type them up into coherent paragraphs.

I had a nice big Sunday breakfast yesterday and wanted a cup of coffee with my meal. I can’t really have coffee, so I thought I’d give this a shot instead.

I’d have done better drinking coffee. This just tastes like burnt chicory, with a hint of carob. I followed package instructions (brew 3-5 minutes using boiling water), so I don’t think the burnt taste can be attributed to user error. I found this thoroughly unenjoyable. I took a sip, was put off by the taste, ate until I forgot just how bad it was and decided to give it another shot, and was equally put off the second time. And the third. After that, I just poured out the rest.

Lucky this is a sample.

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95
drank Sencha Shin-ryoku by Den's Tea
389 tasting notes

Brewed a heaping teaspoon at 160 degrees in 8 oz of water for 90 seconds. This comes out a lovely, very pale green color. It smells like toasted rice, with a touch of hay. It has a savory, rice-like flavor. I love this, but I can’t really tell the difference between this and the Den’s Tea Sencha Fuka-midori. This one is maybe lighter and less spinachy. Yum.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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63
drank Green Tea with Coconut by T Salon
389 tasting notes

Tried this again today. I wanted to make some iced tea and thought the sweetness of this might work nicely. I used a large pitcher, two tea bags, and water that I’m hoping was around 150 degrees (my kingdom for an affordable kettle with temperature settings). Lost track of how long I steeped it, but it was a while.

I lost patience waiting for it to cool and poured myself a warm cup. It tastes much better this time. The green tea takes prominence. The Coconut/pineapple flavor is still too strong, but the tea is actually tolerable now. Hope it’ll taste even better iced…

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44
drank Sweet Lullaby by The Tea Spot
389 tasting notes

Many thanks to Shelley_Lorraine for thoughtfully including a surprise sample of this. I was so excited to try it! Alas, it does not stand up against the other bedtime teas I have been trying. The problem might be as simple as “too much hibiscus”.

The dry leaves smell very strongly like a haystack… hayfield? I don’t know, I’m a city girl, but the point is it smells like a farm. My partner literally recoiled when I made him smell this.

I brewed according to directions. This brews up a lovely, vivid red color, like strawberry wine. It smells much better brewed than dry. No more hay smell. Except now it smells too sweet, almost medicinal. The flavor is just all hibiscus. The hibiscus overwhelms everything except for a slight aftertaste of valerian. This tea is just not doing it for me right now. It might be worth trying again with a substantially shorter brew time, or blended with a rooibos base. Frankly, since there are so very many other teas to try, I don’t think it’s likely that I will be giving this one another shot.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Shelley_Lorraine

really, hibiscus? All I could pick up was the ginger! Guess we are all most sensitive to the flavors we like the least. Well no matter. I would’ve thrown it away anyway if I didn’t give it to you.

Kaylee

Interesting that we tasted such different things. Glad it wasn’t precious, at least!

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86
drank Honey & Spice by Della Terra Teas
389 tasting notes

I first steeped this for 3.5 minutes in boiling water. It smells just like hot apple cider – yum! It kind of tastes like it too, only not as sweet. At 3.5 minutes, the taste was heavy on the cinnamon and cloves but very one-note. So I put my rubber duck tea infuser back in to see if the taste would improve upon further brewing. I got distracted reading Steepster, so I accidentally steeped it for another 4 minutes, longer than I had intended. It is much, much better now. The tea tastes fuller, if that makes sense. The rooibos really came out more and balanced out the spice.

Overall, this tea is ok. It’s enjoyable, but not stunning. I agree with Sil and yappychappy that the spice is overwhelming. I will finish what I have, but doubt that I’ll be buying more. I admit having extremely high expectations coming in. My first (and very recent) experience with Della Terra was the Lemon Chiffon, which set a crazy high bar. So I may be judging the Honey & Spice too harshly because it doesn’t meet that bar. Rating adjusted slightly upwards accordingly – a company shouldn’t be punished for making really good tea!

I’m thinking this tea might actually be great to brew with some apple juice/cider… has anyone tried to do that?

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Sil

ooh if you try it let us know how it turns out!

Kaylee

If anyone knows where I can get decent apple cider in NYC in the springtime, I’ll give it a shot!

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93

Took me a few days longer than I’d hoped to try this tea again. The first time I had a cup before bed, I slept very badly (though not so much more so than usual that I would blame it on the tea). Last night, I tried two cups. Still tasty, if nothing else! Well balanced and soothing. I slept fairly well, but now I can’t say that my sleep was so much better than usual that I could chalk it up to the tea. So the score is 1-1, and I will keep trying!

K S

Kaylee, this blend sounds very similar to Sleepy Time Extra by Celestial Seasonings. I find it does not knock me out so much as it helps my brain stop thinking so I can sleep naturally. Two Leaves sells a Better Rest Blend that does not have the mint but in addition to the chamomile and valerian, also has hops. I only had it once so it could have been placebo affect but it put me down for the night.

Kaylee

K S, thanks for the suggestion. On the shopping list it goes!

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95
drank Sencha Fuka-midori by Den's Tea
389 tasting notes

So first let me say that I don’t have the supplies to brew this tea properly using the traditional guidelines. I did my best to approximate, using a heaping teaspoon in 8 oz of approximately 180 degree water, steeped for 90 seconds.

This smells FANTASTIC. Like toasted rice or savory popcorn. The color is a light greenish-yellow. Based on the color and short brew time, I was worried that it would taste weak. Not at all! It tastes like hay and toasted rice (in a good way, I promise). Spinachy. I’m not picking up on any sweetness or astringency. Just nice and savory and a great complement to dessert. Or after dessert. Or on a cold rainy day when you’ve come home late during a thunderstorm and your suit is soaked and you need something warm to relax.

This is the first of the green tea sampler that Den’s Tea sent me. I really hope the rest are as good as this one. If they are, I expect I’ll be making purchases from them soon.

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