576 Tasting Notes
Sipdown. The dry leaf smells like sweet mango, and that’s exactly what the brew tastes like too. The sencha base gives it just a touch of grassiness to keep the sweetness from getting cloying. I brewed this hot but decided to ice most of it after a few sips of the hot brew. It lends itself really nicely to that treatment. The sencha base comes out a little more in the aftertaste. However, the dominant note is still gently sweet mango. This blend isn’t mind-blowing but it is definitely a solid offering. Thanks so much for sending this to me, EmilyGee!
Flavors: Grass, Mango
Sipdown! This was a sample that came with my purchase at the Coffee & Tea Festival. Frankly, I like this a whole lot better than my actual purchase. The roomy pyramid teabag contains whole chamomile flowers. Dry, the leaf smells like apples. Brewed, it smells like crisp golden apples. The flavor is very nice. It’s sweet and slightly savory. This actually reminds me of Bonomelli Camomile, although these flowers come from Croatia and those come from the Lombardy region of Italy. I would happily keep this on hand.
Nasty migraine today. I wanted to drink something good, but simple. I went with some flowering jasmine tea that I picked up in Taiwan a year ago. I think it’s green. It has the virtues of looking pretty, tasting lovely, and not getting bitter with a long steep. The floral note really hit the spot. It’s a very natural jasmine flavor (I would be shocked if there’s any added flavoring besides the flower itself). The base is nice and grassy. Solid, but not complex. Perfect for when I don’t have the time or energy for a tea that demands engagement. I put the third steep in the fridge for some nummy iced tea tomorrow.
I had a coupon for a free tea so I decided to reward myself with this one on Sunday. It tastes just like a chewy caramel candy! Well, not exactly. The flavor is noms, but it’s also watery. It kind of just falls out at the end of the sip. I thought that the lady had just underleafed it, but looking at the other reviews I am wondering whether more leaf would really have solved the problem. This particular rooibos base just might not be hearty enough to support the flavor. I would be open to playing around with this one at home to see if I can fix it.
Flavors: Candy, Caramel
Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for the sample! I enjoyed this gongfu-style today while watching Wolf of Wall Street and Gideon’s Army. I was a little distracted, but I definitely noticed a dark honey flavor and a bit more astringency than I personally like. It must have lasted a good ten steeps or so. I used the entire sample packet in my little teapot/gaiwan hybrid and played around with temp and length of steep. The caffeine here is just the right amount for me; I felt quite good all afternoon but never jittery and I expect I’ll be able to sleep tonight. I think this would make for a good work tea – it’s tasty but not distractingly so.
I’m not a huge fan of chemically decaffeinated teas. The process doesn’t strike me as particularly healthy. Still, this smelled so good at the Coffee & Tea Festival that I couldn’t resist the impulse buy. I have been enjoying it with a splash of rice milk for a creamy evening dessert drink. It complements chocolate and cookies nicely. It might be making my stomach hurt tonight, though…
Thanks to KiwiDelight for sending me some of this! I decided to have it gong fu style with boiling water. The dry leaf has a nice, promising cocoa smell. The first infusion was 15 seconds. It brewed up a lovely amber color. The flavor was thick bittersweet chocolate. The second infusion was 30 seconds. It came out darker than the previous steep. Again, lots of lovely cocoa notes. My dad showed up at that point and I stopped taking detailed notes, but I think I got about 7 total steeps out of this one. Later steeps were more malt than cocoa, but still quite lovely. Sipdown!
Incidentally, I thought this was a black tea. Turns out it’s a ripe pu’er. I haven’t had the best experiences with pu teas, but this one is making me think I’ve just been drinking the wrong ones. Hmm.
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Malt