30 Tasting Notes
Thanks to Misty Peak Teas for a sample, from a pu’erh novice!
Review is based on infusions 1-7. Prepared with a gaiwan. Rinsed after 10 seconds. First infusion lasted 10 seconds; the second, 15; subsequent infusion times increased by three seconds.
I would have liked to experience the aroma of the dry leaf; it unfortunately faded while the tea traveled in the mail, but through inhaling deeply I was able to smell earth and minerals. The wet leaf’s aroma strengthened as the leaves (whose color ranged from dark green to brown) continued to unfold with each infusion. A combination of musk and meat had emerged.
The liquor was consistently a clear pastel yellow.
The flavor was medium-bodied, flavorful, soft and smooth. Infusions 1-3 were sour and astringent. After swallowing, I felt a prickly sensation on my tongue, and the aftertaste was slightly spicy. The spiciness began disappearing after the fourth infusion and completely faded away during the sixth. By the seventh infusion, the flavor was totally musky and forest-like with a hint of apricot (and still a bit prickly and astringent).
Thanks again to jessiwrites for a sample.
Glitter and Gold has the aroma of fresh, hot sugary bread, and tastes mostly of cinnamon and vanilla. The orange stands out when it cools. Also, what a pretty tea: when the golden sugar balls and silver crystals melt they create gold sparkles suspended in the liquor.
It’s nice spiced tea, one of the few bagged teas I still drink. I especially enjoy the aroma. The orange and spices make a good combination. Drinking it as it is isn’t for me (I don’t like drinking any teas with spices straight), so I add sugar and milk. Good for a winter’s day or frigid night.
Thanks to jessiwrites for a sample!
The dry leaf is quite colorful – pineapple chunks, amaranth bits, green tea leaves – and appealing to look at.
My brain confused itself when I experienced the aroma. It just couldn’t get over the fact that pineapple and cilantro were paired. It’s an odd combination, but it’s strangely good! While the dry leaf’s aroma smells strongly of cilantro, the aroma of the wet leaf and the infusion is slightly more balanced. If I inhale slowly, I can smell the pineapple.
The liquor is clear and pale: it is yellowish off-white, and the flavor is light-bodied, but strong. I could only taste the cilantro, and even when I let the tea cool and settle in my mouth for a few seconds, I still had no sense of the pineapple.
My thanks to Stephanie for a surprise sample!
I’m going to start by saying that as soon as I smelled the dry leaf, I knew this tea wouldn’t be for me. The base is black tea – a rather bold one at that. I recently discovered I don’t like bold black teas in blends. Overall, I thought this tea was alright; it’s not that I thought it didn’t taste good. The combination of the freeze-dried raspberries and chocolate chips is strong enough to provide balance against the bitter base. I love the taste of the raspberries and chocolate, but I didn’t think it meshed well with this black tea.
I received a tea bag as a sample when I went to the Coffee and Tea Festival. I was disappointed that I didn’t get another kind because I don’t like beets. Well, I’ve never actually eaten any, they just look icky. I gave it a try anyway. Why not?
A quick note on the color of the liquor: what a red! The “bright crimson” is such a gorgeous color. While I waited for the tea to cool, I took the time to admire it.
The tea bag smells heavily of the spices. The aroma of the infusion is less intense, with the beets standing out more. Smells like soup. It also tastes like soup, albeit watery soup (obviously). The flavor is full-bodied and strong, but not overtly so, and the beets and spices are well-balanced. Also, good combination of spices. What I like most about the flavor is that it leaves a long-lasting aftertaste.
This tea is appropriately “savory.” I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. Makes me want to try the others. Yay coupons!
When I saw Ajiri’s booth at the Coffee and Tea Festival, I had to stop by, being curious about African teas. I talked to the older daughter of the family who owns the small farm and company. It was a relaxed, lovely and informative conversation: we talked about the company itself, about how they bought the farm and started their business, and about the tea they produce and African tea in general. Ajiri, Swahili for employment, hires Kenyan middle-aged/older woman, who hand-craft beautiful pictures of indigenous Kenyan scenery on the boxes and fashion strings with two colorful beads that tie the bags containing the tea.
I gladly bought a box of their loose leaf tea – a CTC black – which I sampled twice. The flavor was too unique to pass up, as was one of their boxes. The tea is distinctively African, and to my surprise, it’s not as bitter as other African black teas I’ve tried. It’s light-bodied, and the bitterness disappears after swallowing! The best part: I can appreciate a cup of this without milk and/or sugar! When I brewed some at home, I did so with an infuser in an 8 oz mug, rather than the Kenyan method given on the box. The color of the liquor is beautiful, a scarlet. Then, when there were only a few more sips left, golden sun.
If you’re looking to introduce yourself to African teas, this one might be good try!
I found a surprise sample in my package! Thanks to Della Terra Teas for sending it even though I placed my order a couple days before the promotion. So I had ordered a mate tea, and somehow some of the mate got stuck to the back and the bottom of the packet. (shrug)
The dry leaf is colorful – a combination of pinks, orange, blue and yellow because of the hibiscus, jelly beans (!), and apple and strawberry bits. I can smell the jelly beans, which busted its way out of the packet as soon as I opened it. The liquor has the usual stunning color of hibiscus, which initially dominates the flavor and then subsides so that the strawberry and jelly bean take over. It’s tart, but not as much as pure hibiscus tea (mostly likely because the kind I have is in tea bag form and this one is full leaf). Overall, this tea is sweet and slightly sugary. If you like hibiscus, or at least tolerate it, it’s pretty good.
Since this tea is pretty much Shamrocks and Shenanigans, but with candy cane pieces, I’m keeping this review short. This is one of my favorite dessert teas. It tastes so good! The addition of the candy cane creates a nice aftertaste, and adds color to the dry leaf as well.
Thanks to Stephanie for sending me a sample! First off, I love the name; it’s what had me interested in the tea initially. The dry leaf is very pretty: the amaranth, while gorgeous by itself, creates a wonderful color contrast with the silver needles, which also look lovely. The aroma smells of watermelon bubblegum. That was a bit nostalgic – I haven’t had that flavor since I was a kid! The liquor, a pale golden yellow, is light-bodied. I thought the watermelon flavor would overpower the silver needles, but to my surprise I could taste both. I can’t say anything about the quality of the silver needles since my experience with white tea has yet to come into being, but the watermelon compliments them very nicely and stays in the mouth long after my swallowing despite that it’s not too strong.
What a wonderful tea, all around! I’m glad I got to try it.