576 Tasting Notes
Thanks to Chi Whole Leaf for the free sample! Blended into hot water with my trusty milk frother, this was a pretty boring mint tea. Not bad, but not exceptional either. I frothed the last of the powder into a glass of cold rice milk. The result was a better suspension than I got with the hot water. The flavor was better too. The mintiness of the tea interplayed nicely with the creamy sweetness of the rice milk. I never picked up on the eucalyptus flavor, unfortunately. Overall, I think this kind of powder is most useful for making quick iced tea or lattes. Sipdown!
Lavender, vanilla, and peppermint is an awesome combination. It is executed quite well in this blend, which has held up nicely over time. Alas, it’s a sipdown. I wouldn’t mind keeping this in my regular rotation (you know, in the magical universe where my stash isn’t totally out of control). I should probably stop watching The Newsroom now and go to sleep…
Flavors: Creamy, Lavender, Peppermint, Vanilla
Thanks to KiwiDelight for sending me a sample of this! I like the chocolate flavor of this blend (and that it’s caffeine-free), but mostly it makes me want to eat real chocolate. Seriously, that’s what I did. I drank half a cup of this and then reached for a chocolate bar. Rice milk does add a nice creaminess that makes for a more enjoyable cup. Overall, it’s ok but not exceptional. Sipdown!
Thanks to MissB for sending me some of this! Honestly, I was a little reluctant to try this after reading the ingredients list. Licorice AND anise? Black pepper? These are not ingredients that I am traditional fond of. But actually this isn’t so bad. I’m not picking up any spiciness. Instead it tastes mostly like sweet licorice candy. Not something I would pick up on my own but certainly not something I would pour out either. It’s as good iced as it is hot. Sipdown!
Thank you to TeaVivre for sending me a sample of this!
The scent of the dry leaf is fresh and slightly seaweedy. The brewed leaf smells of asparagus and freshly cut grass. I used half the sample packet in my ~ 6oz gaiwan/teapot hybrid. After a 5-second rinse, I steeped the tea at 182f for 30 seconds. This first steep yielded a very pale green brew. The immediate flavor note upon sipping was artichoke. The second steep (176f, 60 secs) came out slightly bitter and drying, which was surprising and really distracted from my enjoyment. That slight bitterness was still there in the third steep (180f, 90 secs). The dominant flavor note was asparagus and maybe peas, but that bitterness kept bugging me.
I used the other half of the sample pack for a Western-style brew: 186f, 4 minutes. Much better! The flavor was light, vegetal, and evocative of a stone fruit – maybe apricot? The second steep tasted much the same. I put the third steep in the freezer for quickie iced tea. It was really tasty that way!
I decided to cold brew another sample pack to see if I could get the good notes without the bitterness. It worked! The cold brew is grassy, vegetal, and light. Really lovely for a summer afternoon. Even my dad liked it, and he’s pretty iffy on iced teas.
Flavors: Artichoke, Asparagus, Peas, Vegetal
I loved this tea back when I first bought it, so I stupidly hoarded it. Now a lot of the tropical flavor has faded, which makes me super tea-sad. To rescue it, I had to add a bit of rock sugar, refrigerate, and then mix with an equal amount of seltzer. The result is actually a pretty tasty tea soda. The tropical flavors are still pretty muted and there’s more earthiness than I generally like, but it’s quite refreshing.
Celebrating today’s Supreme Court ruling with something decadent! We got rainbow treats at lunch, but no celebration of mine is complete without tea. The chocolate in this one is stronger than I remember. It’s pretty awesome. The raspberry comes in towards the end of the sip and lingers. I’m not really getting any waffle flavor today. More like a warm chocolate cake with raspberry drizzle. This is just a lovely way to wrap up a lovely day. I actually think this tea has gotten better with age (though I should still finish it soon because of the dried fruit and chocolate chips).
Flavors: Cake, Chocolate, Raspberry