268 Tasting Notes
My previous note for this tea was when I first received it and I was so enamoured. I am not one to write multiple notes and will do so only if one is warranted.
I have had this quite a few times since that first attempt and while it was pretty much what I expected and remembered, I don’t love it as much. Usually when I do drink it, it’s not with excitement, it’s only because I have to keep it in rotation.
I will not be replacing this, there’s an element about it, a particular fruit I can’t put my finger on, that’s no longer doing it for me.
I have been hoarding Florence but this morning I allowed myself a cup. I have exactly one cups’s worth left in the tin and am really hoping Black Friday deals will allow me to get some more. I’ve been in a holding pattern with teas recently.
Anyway, something interesting happened this morning. After not having had Florence for a good month or more, and having other teas in the meantime, well, it is not as good as I remember. Total shocker. For a brief moment I even thought to myself maybe I won’t get more. But then the Florence fan inside me screamed and I perished the thought. Yes, I will get more, but just for the record, me thinks the honeymoon is over.
Thank you to Dexter3657 for a sample of this. I have enough for a generous two cups. I need to do a better job of polishing off the ziploc bags. I don’t like them. It’s a dilemma. It’s always nice to receive swaps but then these bags are everywhere, unruly and taking over places… God, that sounds ungrateful. I love the tea, I just need to drink it when I get it instead of dragging it around. A you see it’s not you, it’s me :)
I was ok with these flavours. I did find it a little one dimensional, didn’t get a whole lot or orange, I did get clove but it wasn’t an unpleasant amount. I confess I did not try to find depth of flavour. I took it for a trip to chapters so in a travel mug it went with a generous amount of sugar (after all, chai is sweet, yes?) and some whipping cream. The fake stuff that’s all oil and terrible for you. Whatever.
The chai? Good. Would I buy this? Probably. In my search this comes closer to contenders than to the bottom of the list, in case you’re wondering.
1.5 tsp for 10 oz boiling. In a travel mug. By the time the chapters trip was over, it was gone. And that’s how you know. When you look in your cup and the tea is gone, it means it was good, right? :)
I don’t even know what white tea they are using for this blend. The more I drink and think about their teas the less enthusiastic I am. On one hand I feel they are a gold mine, a good quality tea purveyor right in my back yard, on the other hand, half the time I don’t know what I’m drinking.
In the store you can ask questions but unless you have a notebook with you and quiz the man behind the counter, once you get home with the stash, well, it’s all “up in the air”. Also, teas never taste the same when you’re out vs when you make it home. Is it because outside you are distracted by surroundings and also feel self conscious at times that you are not as in tune with your taste buds?
This tea smells great in dry form. Once steeped, all the aroma is gone. It just smells wet. Not grassy, not fruity, just … Wet leaves. The flavour is more pear than mango which is fine I suppose, they do call it pear mango, not mango pear. But I’m barely getting any mango and errr… I can’t be sure but it tastes stale. Or something.
I steeped at 160 for 6 minutes because I forgot about it, meant to do more like 4 min. Nonetheless, it is forgiving. Not bitter, not astringent, brews quite a bit darker than I expected. Maybe it’s the fruit skins because if you didn’t tell me this was white I wouldn’t guess looking at the liquour.
Some is going to dexter3657, see if we agree or if it’s just me. 25 grams will go fast if shared. Am just thinking, given the prices, there’s something about Bonsai Hill that makes me go hum. But maybe I’m just a pleb.
ETA: resteep not worth the time. I left it probably 15 minutes. Same color, less taste. Examined the wet leaves. They look like tree leaves, not like tea. Upon closer examination I found exactly four recognizable white tea leaves. Explains lack of flavour I guess.
This is my first Red Robe. The description is rudimentary because Bonsai Hill is not on Steepster, their website doesn’t have a description of products or anything aside from store hours, location and the types of products sold, so I can’t retrieve any information. I can look up Red Robe on line, as can you. I don’t know much about Bonsai Hill’s Red Robe so I can’t in good conscience make stuff up and pass it off as legit.
This reminds me a lot of Tao Tea leaf’s Shui Xian Lao Cong. A lot.
It smells roasted, has long dark twisty leaves, and it brews pale brown. I suck at describing oolongs and I think I overstepped this one a bit because there’s slight bitterness. And the nice thing about it is that it does taste like you would expect it to after smelling the dry leaf. A nice cup, will likely restock for those days when I feel like straight tea. I can’t do straight blacks yet (shudder) and straight greens don’t do much for me.
I had this bag since summertime and I barely touched it. I had tried one cup while camping, it was not good, so I left it on the shelf since. Its sister, the “butter brandy cake” was terrible. So terrible, in fact, that I …. Got rid of it. It was so chemical and awful. So there’s a few bucks I’ll never get back. I even tried airing it out, as someone suggested (suggestion was based on feedback and comments from here) and still no go.
Given this butter brandy cake experience I am sure nobody would blame me for fearfully avoiding this bag. Well, it seems I avoided it long enough for it to get to the point where it is ok tasting. Reading through notes here I see someone mentioning “curing” the tea. I’m assuming curing is kinda like airing it out?!?
I’m glad the bag is finally working because I’m out of all butter rum from DAVID and I’m running really low on SoHo blend from Harney, so now I have an entire bag of butter rum just in time for winter.
It still has a hint of something I don’t like but it really is just a hint, I can easily ignore it especially with a fixin’ of Demerara and vanilla creamer. Fixed just so it is indeed a good cup.
Used DAVID’s perfect spoon for 8 oz water that I allowed to cool to 204F after boiling. Just over two minutes. No astringency and good aroma.
(ETA: wow factor increases with a splash of Gibson’s Finest rye)
So the difference between this and just caramel matcha is what?!? I think it’s sugar. When I added sugar to this, it was too sweet to drink it, I had to dilute it. I add the same amount of sugar to caramel matcha and it is fine. Also, the sample they sent me with purchase was way more than I normally would add to an 8 oz cup of cold matcha latte.
It is also a little chalky. But hey, it was free sample with purchase and if you let it sit a bit, the “chalk” settles and you can enjoy this decadent drink.
I added the matcha to a travel bottle and added a little warm water and a tsp of sugar. I shook the bottle to dissolve. I then added 8 oz cold milk and shook the bottle again. Poured over ice, stuck in a straw and …. Sluurppp!
I received this as a free bag with purchase during a promo. I should have just left it for someone else to have. Even the dry leaf smelled so off putting — like bad milk chocolate — sour almost. Yes, I smelled coconut and Cinammon but the acrid chocolate smell was prevalent.
I finally forced myself to have a cup to satisfy a craving for something I couldn’t put my finger on. I looked at my cupboard and wanted nothing (well, really, I wanted a Starbucks’ tall salted caramel mocha with whipped cream and sprinkles) so I sighed and decided it was time to stop avoiding this bag.
You know, " #%^} or get off the pot", right?
It brewed orangey brown, had a ton of floaties, like A TON and I couldn’t make myself do it. I didn’t even waste my yummy creamer on it, I took a tiny sip and dumped it. The only thing that tasted worse to me was a sort of Tulsi chai I got a sample from someone — won’t name names :)
THis stormy night is the stuff nightmares are made of. Sorry, DAVID, I’m a fan overall, but this one needs to go away.
First off, who is Tali and why is there so much chai named after her? :p
Second, maybe I should give up my quest for chai, it is doomed, since I can’t stand milk and it seems chai and milk go together like, well, you know. I tried steeping Tao tea leaf’s masala chai in straight up milk — good spices but oh god, warm milk assaults my nostrils and I nearly barf so I boiled some water and tried to calm myself with this. If I am not careful with the milk I will develop an aversion to chai by association.
Back to this one though…The spices are quite good, balanced, but it is thin tasting. There’s a hint of ginger and clove, they do not steal the show. It wouldn’t be a good show if they did. Good overall but not essential.
Many thanks to Dexter3657 for all the chai shared with me, practically almost all the chai I’ve had. I’ve been a little gun shy in buying myself. Alas, there are two favourites still, the Laoshan Village Chai and something else I can’t quite remember. I’ll have to go through my notes but I think it was from Tealux. (Edit: yah, it was Oo Nutty Delight from Tealux)