269 Tasting Notes
It is with great excitement I announce I made a good cup of iced Kokomo green! I say “with great excitement” because I was really kicking myself for buying this after two first disastrous attempts.
I lowered the temperature and used less tea, much less than the label suggests. It’s got great flavour now but a little on the weak side. I still have to play with the tea amount to see if i can get it a touch stronger minus the bitterness but all in all — progress!!!
I am not changing my rating because I still think they screwed this label up but I feel a little guilty. Thing is, it’s a finicky and unforgiving tea!
A few years ago someone gave me a box of bagged but higher grade (oxymoron?) organic jasmine green tea. It was my favourite tea ever. Unfortunately it had been a while since the lady who gave it to me had purchased it herself and she couldn’t remember where she got it from so I was not able to replace it. I don’t even remember what it’s called anymore. I should have saved the box. I tried a few other jasmine greens over time but could never find another with similar taste.
During one of my shopping visits at DAVIDs my partner picked this tea for herself. In true nxtdoor fashion i bought 100 grams. We mucked it up a couple of times by using either too much tea, too hot water or too long a steep.
I finally got it tonight. 3 minutes is too long a steep for my taste so I did 2 min and 30 seconds. It’s fine now. Not bitter, not astringent, not too floral …. But sadly I have not found my long lost love. Maybe I just grew out of jasmine. It will be a while before I reach for this one but it is a fine tea. Just not for me.
Well, my friends, unlike other fruit blends, this one has a higher tea to fruit chunks ratio and if you brew following the label instructions, I’m going out on a limb and say that you will not like it!
5 minutes?!? Oh my good god. I steeped it for just over three minutes and it was bitter. Have you ever had bitter melon? It is to date the only food I cannot eat. Ditto for this tea!! Also you may wish to dial back on the amount of tea. I made originally just over two cups and thus put in two DAVIDs TEA perfect measure spoon thingy worth of tea. Label says 1.25 tsp (am assuming per 8 oz cup). I really think someone screwed this one up. The 2 tsp of dry leaf turned into half a cup of wet leaves, if not more!
Nose: ripe papaya; Liquor was a strange shade of orangey green and taste, well, bitter melon!
Down the drain it went.
Back to the drawing board: I sacrificed the sample of Mango Fruit Punch (which consisted of a disappointing two pieces of dry tangerine/orange, 4 tiny chunks of dried pineapple and some jerky looking thing I can only assume to be mango peel) and combined it with a scant tsp of Kokomo green for just under 2 cups of hot water. Temperature be damned but it was somewhere around boiling, I’d say 90 ish. Steeped for exactly two minutes. It is now a drinkable beverage with bitter finish only.
Buy large quantity of this at your own peril. (I hope Dexter3657 is not reading this because she’ll cluck her tongue and moan “I told you to be careful”).
The moral: blend it maybe, but definitely use less and as others have said, do not oversteep (maybe taste at 2.5 minutes and decide)
What is it with mango blends obscuring the tea leaf? This is my second mango tea where I can hardly see tea in the dry blend (the other was Teavana’s Mango Oolong Chai where you couldn’t find the actual tea with two free hands and a flashlight). Despite this, I can taste the tea even though I know from others’ notes they cannot. It’s not so much that I can taste it, more like I feel it. You know, the tannins in your mouth when you rub your tongue on the top back of your front teeth — if you have them :)
But let’s get back to the task at hand.
Dry leaf nose is tropical. I can’t really vouch for mango smell because it married all the other smells while in the bag, but it’s tropical alright. Brews a mango flavoured friendly yellow liquor.
I am not doing backflips over this one, maybe I put too much ice. Will revisit. It is a pleasant iced beverage to have though.
20 minutes later 2nd steep! I went for it not expecting much. Really hot water and without a timer because I wanted to forget it. It’s been maybe 15 minutes. Still flavourful. Skipped the ice on resteep. I thought warm mango juice would be a turn off but no. :) you can even try a third steep I bet, because of the large chunks of fruit and peel in there.
So far this is my go to hot tea in my modest, fledgling collection.
The smell of the dry leaf alone — vanilla and coconut — is enough to make one’s mouth water. There are large chunks of vanilla bean (I wondered what the bark-looking pieces were so I stuck one in my mouth only to discover it’s a piece of a rather large vanilla bean) and shreds of toasted coconut. Pretty blue petals that the box informs me are cornflower peek through the black tea leaves.
1st steep at 4 minutes with near boiling water gives a dark brown liquor. Stick your nose in and you might find it smells more like tea, less like coconut and vanilla. Ditto for the taste. Coconut is there but I think this one is a 3 minute steep for me.
2nd steep is more coconut, less tea, but somewhat watery. Would never steep this 3 times. Brown tasteless water is not my thing. :)
Throw in a sweetener of your choice and some booze and Bob’s your uncle.
After finding out this is Dexter3657’s favourite tea I went for it again this morning to see if I can change my opinion. Didn’t. I brewed this for the drive to work (at 6.30 am) and it’s still in my cup as I write this, at 10 am. Not a winner for sure. (But then I hated blue cheese upon trying it for the first few times).
Boiling water, 4 minutes for first steep.
Coffee on the nose makes this appealing. Dark liquor also fools one into thinking “coffee”. It just smells too marine for me. Not fish, really, more like nori (sea weed). And I swear I taste something that resembles aspartame or some artificial sweetener. I will try the tea again later with creamer and ice, I find it more enjoyable that way, but still will be a struggle to drink this.
The rating, temperature and time buttons are stubborn, aren’t they?!? I steeped at 98C for 4 minutes as advised by label.
Caramel on the nose and palate. I poured some In a clear glass to assess colour: caramel. Duh. It looks like a nice bourbon or a dark rum.
Found 4 minutes to be perfect as a first steep for me. Sometime four minutes is way too much (buddha’s blend from DAVIDs TEA for example) so was worried but went with it for testing purposes. Caramel through and through. I hate milk but I can see this would be delicious as a creamier version. Maybe I bastardize it with coffee mate and see what happens.
I would love to do blind tastings on teas and write notes without having prior knowledge of ingredient base… but I can’t since I’m buying them based on their online descriptions, not based on sampling. Why do I say this? Because this tea smells and taste like caramel to me. But then I read “English toffee” on the ingredient list and I think to myself: is it caramel that I taste, or English toffee? And what about the coconut?
Will replace, at least until a better caramel tea comes along.
On the nose, mint and cardamom. I was initially going to go with mint only but after taking a whiff of my cardamom spice jar I revised. :) I urge you to try if in doubt.
Though I rarely would pick peppermint as a tea, it is the only tea I would consider having when I’m in the mood for Moroccan inspired food. Also if you’re into movies, watch “Cairo Time”. if your not reaching for your mint tea stash at some point during the movie, well, you can call me an ignorant fool.
With lots of sugar or agave, as a hot beverage it’s nothing short of delicious. I tried it iced just last night and was surprised at how poorly it faired. Mint was amplified for me to the point of unpleasantness. Did not finish the iced version despite the shot of booze i threw in.
Drink this hot and sweet.
They should have just named this Rose Strawberry because visually, as well as the nose and palate are all screaming rose. In wines, legally they must list the grape varietal in a blend based on the leading percentages (I.e. if it’s 70% Cabernet and 30% merlot, they will call it a cab merlot, not the other way around). I wish this was the case with tea because I’d bet a paycheque that this tea is more rose than berry. And champagne?!? No. (Since champagne is actually a region, not a flavour). But I digress…
I’ve tried it both hot and cold, used different temperature water for the hot version, steeped for more, then for less, without a lot of variance in the end result. Tastes weak and much like rose water. Liquor has nice colour though.
This tea was a miss for me. Will not replace.