300 Tasting Notes
I took this off of *TheLastDodo*’s hands.She was kind to sent the entire packet.
The dry leaf has an appealingly sweet, orange aroma. The infusion has a soft texture and is full with flavor. I can mostly taste the orange and the rooibos, which are strong. The aftertaste starts of with orange juice, but seconds later reveals light notes of hibiscus, rosehips, and then vanilla.
I was pleased to find an orange-flavored tea, since there aren’t many. For those wary of hibiscus, I don’t think you’d have to worry about it overpowering this herbal blend. I enjoyed this one.
Flyawabirdie included in her Christmas gift a whopping 50g rather than a sample. Wow! Thanks so much for introducing this to me.
By smelling the dry leaf beforehand I knew this would be a good one. This is one of the freshest – if not the freshest – peppermint teas I’ve ever had. It’s so strong, it’s as if I had been chewing a Dentyne Ice gum (which is my go-to gum for mint power). I even feel the cooling effect in the throat. I’m keeping this is mind for a re-stock when I run out.
TheLastDodo included some of this in her swap. Thank you!
Brewing method: gongfu session with a ruyao easy gaiwan and cup set. Steeping times: 20, 15, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 3 min, 6 min.
I have only drunk yabao once, almost three years ago, when I was a very new to Chinese tea drinking. I wasn’t impressed. There was a spicy note I didn’t take to. I chose this yabao as the first to try from Dodo’s selection because of my faith in Whispering Pines.
This yabao reminds of evergreen trees. It has notes of needles and sap, and lengthy aftertaste of juniper berries, followed by cherries. I would say it is excellent to drink all year round, as evergreens keep their needles. It evokes the green seasons and provides a sense of green in the middle of winter. I am enamored with the beauty of pines, spruces, cedars, firs, yews, and so on. When I am bird-watching and come across a cluster of evergreens in a deciduous woods, something pulls me away from the birds and I must stop. (Well, also, there is always a chance of a Red-breasted Nuthatch or an owl in them during wintertime.) It is a different kind of atmosphere. The wind sounds different blowing between needles.
From the Herbal TTB. Amount taken is actually 1.5 tsp. There is some left for another 8oz cup if anyone was wants to try.
18 herbs?!? Wowee. Here they are from the website: Barley tea, job’s tears, sicklepod seeds, cat’s whiskers (herb), dokudami (herb), oolong tea, tumeric, guava leaves, biwa (loquat) leaves, mikan (Japanese mandarin) peels, brown rice, pine leaves, ohbako, benibana, persimmon leaves, amachazuru, sarunokoshikake (fungi), cinnamon.
Oolong. OK. This is not a purely herbal blend then. Considering the number of ingredients and that I’m taking them from a sample packet, there wouldn’t be much of each, including the oolong. Still. This is under the herbal section.
That aside, I have never tasted practically every single one of these ingredients. This blend is difficult to evaluate. I thought I smelled and tasted a solid note of juniper berries. No barley – it wasn’t something I grabbed a lot of. That may have been the sicklepod seeds.
Pleasant cup, but I’m not hooked. You might get something else out of this, so go for it. It is something I’ve never seen before.
Brewed on the stove top. Added 2% milk to the second boiling round. No sugar.
As the leaf simmered, the house was filled with a deliciously fruit-filled rooibos aroma. Considering that almost half of the ingredients are fruits – apple, hibiscus, rosehip, pineapple – it’s not surprising. My mother thought I was burning a scented candle, ha ha.
The spice mix consists of ginger, cinnamon, and chili. That last one. Holy frickin’ cow! It’s incredibly strong. This is one of the most peppery spiced teas I’ve ever had, alongside Old 52Tea’s Spiced Chai. Even my throat felt spicy.
On the plus side, good on this blend for nice aroma and spice strength. However, the chili overpowers everything else. Coconut? Shrug. Not in even in the aroma. Too many fruits. Additionally, there are “natural flavors.” Is there a point? The are enough powerful ingredients as it is.
Give or take. You may want to try it or not.
From the Herbal TTB. Off to a good start.
I was intrigued by the list of ingredients: “elderflower, German chamomile, peppermint, rose hip and heath flower.” The blend makes a sweet, flowery cup. The liquor is light, mild, and smooth. Chamomile tends to be overpowering for me, but it’s not at all strong. The amount of each ingredient is just right. The aftertaste is rose hips and peppermint, an interesting combo. Refreshing and relaxing.