337 Tasting Notes
I love my Nina’s teas. I think they might be my favorite French tea company so far. Not long ago I went on a binge and ordered a bunch of their teas. While I was comparing prices on Amazon (the online Nina’s store was better), I saw this tea on Amazon but couldn’t find it on the Nina’s site. Laurent started a chat with me while I was browsing and added it within moments. Great service!
I love the white tin that this comes in. 80g of tea is a lot, so if anyone wants a sample let me know. I wonder why this one gets a special white tin instead of the normal red ones?
Anyway, it’s a nice tea. Not my favorite of the flavored Nina’s teas by any means, but a nice cup. It’s a little bit orange-y. I didn’t get some of the other flavors that other reviews mentioned. It’s not transporting me like Grand Amour or The des Anges, but it’s nice enough and I won’t have any trouble finishing it I’m sure.
For the past week I have been having themed tea days. Today is Whispering Pines day! I think I will adjust my schedule though, and have more of an event that will go until I have had each of the teas from that collection. The whole point of doing this was to make myself revisit teas in my collection, but I am finding that I don’t get to visit as many as I had planned. So, I’ll start that today.
This was the first pick on Whispering Pines day, and this tea is just. So. Good. I don’t have anything to say about it other than what I have said before, but having it today makes me wonder why it’s not totally gone – it’s so good.
I was really looking forward to trying this tea. The description was really tantalizing, and it did not disappoint me. It’s really hard for me to describe what this tastes like, because I think Kelly has made a unique flavor blend. It’s a bit fruity, a touch of spice. Just really well done.
I usually don’t reach for strawberry teas, but this tea has me reconsidering that. Easily the best strawberry tea I have ever had.
I took this to class the other day and it didn’t taste anything like I thought it should – or like the reviews led me to believe. It tasted orange/spicey. So I figured that was user error and sure enough, my steeper still smelled like the prior tea. I tried again today and I have been happily nursing a 16 oz serving of this. Delicious, strawberry and cream. I really love it.
I was a bit stymied on how to review this on the site, so I went out on a limb and created this posting. I figured – why not?
Curious Tea is a company based out of the UK that has started a subscription box. One thing that I like very much about the box is the ability to choose the type of tea that will arrive. I don’t drink many greens and only have two herbals in the house (out of more than 200 teas), so my tastes aren’t very broad anymore. I appreciate the ability to target my preferences closely. Here is their website: http://www.curioustea.com
Since I have tried many of the different subscriptions that are out there, I jumped at the opportunity to give theirs a try as well. The communication from the company is extremely fast and very friendly. They let me know by email when the box was sent, and asked me to let them know when it arrived, since they were trying to get a handle on how long it might take to ship the box from the UK to the US. It took less than two weeks.
The presentation of the box was lovely. Photos here:
Two 50g packages of tea were included. They were nestled in red tissue paper, sealed with a logo sticker, and presented side-by-side in a very wide and flat box. On the inside lid of the box there were cards describing each of the teas (including the tea name written in the original language – which was neat). Each card had a space for tasting notes. The cards were affixed with spot glue and were easy to remove.
The teas were sealed in zipper lock foil-lined kraft paper envelopes, and that’s a great way to keep them indefinitely – so I loved that feature. Many of the tea subscriptions send their teas in packaging that can’t be closed again easily, so the end user is left with having to find a solution right away. Not so here. I also really liked the stickers on the tea packages. They made it quick and easy to find the quantities of tea to use, how long to steep, and at what temperature. One small note – the cards measured the tea in grams to half liters, and the tea envelope stickers measured in teaspoons and didn’t include a water quantity, so that seemed a tiny bit inconsistent.
Since Yunnan teas are my favorite, I started with the Yunnan Golden Tip tea. It smelled lovely in the bag, perhaps a bit lighter than some others (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). No brown “fairy dust” everywhere. And in the cup, it was a medium bodied tea without the heavy sweet potato or malty notes that some varieties have. It had a very nice light malty flavor and I enjoyed the cup thoroughly. The package asserted that the flavor would be caramel, and I could see that.
I haven’t had a ton of Darjeelings, but the ones that I have had brewed more nicely at lower temperatures, so I was surprised when the package said 100C. Perhaps I should have tried it at that, but instead I went lower. Initially the tea was very hot and hard to drink, but as it cooled I thought that the flavor improved and became the lighter muscatel that I was expecting. Dry, the leaf was a mix of greenish and black, so I think it was due to the first flush that it was lighter than ones I have had in the past. The brewed tea was very light in color, as I had expected from the greener leaf. It reminded me more of a white tea than a black, and had a very light muscatel character that was pleasant.
Overall I was very happy with this box, not only in the care taken to choose the teas but in the teas themselves, the quantities provided and the presentation. I think it will be an especially good subscription for people who live in the UK, and from what I understand, there aren’t many there. The postal surcharge for sending to the US makes it a tiny bit less appealing to me, but that is not a reflection on the box itself. Thanks to Curious Teas for the chance to write up this review!
I got a huge quantity of tea from Tattle Tea for next to nothing. There was an online deal where I got a $50 gc for $25, and then I had a lot of trouble finding enough tea that I wanted to get to $50 because their tea is so inexpensive!
Since it was really inexpensive, I went in without very high expectations of what the tea would be like. My biggest concern was that it would taste artificial, but I popped open several and they smell really delicious, so I’m happy about that.
This is the first tea I tried, and I have to say that the leaf smelled great. It has a strong orange smell, but it’s not a bergamot smell – it’s more like an orange/orange peel than that. The base tea isn’t very obvious in the flavor, I mostly get orange and spice, and I’m ok with that. It is a very enjoyable cup. At $1.50 an ounce it was certainly affordable.
I really hate wimpy tea, so I am enjoying how strong this tea is. I didn’t dilute it at all and I am happy with that decision, but I think people who prefer a weaker tea would still like it with more water added as well.
Flavor wise I don’t have a lot to say, except to say that I steeped it for 4 minutes and don’t find it bitter at all. I purposefully didn’t go the full 5 because I was afraid of that. It’s a nice basic black unflavored tea. Nice strength, and I have nothing negative to say. I haven’t tried resteeping it but I bet it would make a second batch well.
Today was a serious mail day. I got in 11 fancy French teas, and I kid you not, I picked this one over those. I have been so intrigued by the description of this tea that I just couldn’t wait to try it.
I first encountered Mountain Witch Tea Company back when we did secret pumpkin gifts in the fall. The name of the company sounded “Halloweeny” and several of the teas did too. I emailed the owner and asked if she could help me by sending the package with no mention of the sender, and she was great to work with and provided really personal service. Although, I don’t think the company can be named for her, she is far too nice to be called a witch.
So anyway, I have never had a prickly pear and had no idea what to expect. I purposefully went in blind and didn’t look up anything about it. The dry leaf smelled a little like peaches. Brewed, it is just intoxicating to smell. I get more melon now, still a little peach, and the slightest hint of citrus maybe? It also has a really nice aftertaste that reminds me of honeydew.
The steeping parameters suggested 2 to 3 minutes, and I used 3 but I think next time I will do 2 since it’s a tiny bit drying. Really, really nice tea and no artificial taste to me at all.