58 Tasting Notes
It’s my Birthday and, as promised, I had Paris Morning dessert style (with sweetener and coconut milk) for the first time. It was as awesome as I imagined it would be and a great tea to have on my birthday.
Since I was in doing so depleting my tea supply a little, I just had to stop by Savoy Tea Company to replenish my supply and see what was new. While there, I couldn’t resist having one of their bacon cupcakes. OMG Om nom nom…
This smelled nice and looked like dried whole flowers—Pretty much as the name implied. I brewed it up in my glass measuring cup so I could watch the flowers unfold. It was quite a pretty show and made me realize why some people have clear glass teapots. Now I’m thinking of getting one myself. It was a lovely meditative moment just sitting there watching the flowers unfurl in the water and catching that delicate scent. Making hot tea is one of those things that forces you to slow down and live in the now. It was very nice contemplating the pretty flowers in the water and waiting for the tea to be done.
It seemed kind of a shame to have to strain the pretty petals out afterwards (that pretty much destroyed them), and downright irreverent to dump them in my compost bucket. I kind of hated to do so, but you have to taste the tea eventually and I suppose it’s one of those things to add to my meditations…an awareness of the impermanence of all things.
It tasted…delicate…flowery… a little grassy, with a sweet honeyish implication. It’s nice—not an assertive flavor I would seek out and lust after, but a pleasant taste to reminisce and relax to while I reflect on the memory of those pretty flowers in my measuring cup. This is the sort of tea I would get a glass teapot for so I could drink one cup while I sit and meditate upon the flowers floating in the bottom of my teapot. Maybe write some haiku or something.
“I love Paris in the Springtime, I love Paris in the Fall,
I Love Paris in the Winter when it drizzles,
I love Paris in the Summer, when it sizzles…
(song from the musical “Can Can” by Cole Porter)
Ah, Paris Morning…How do I love thee? An awful lot, apparently. Running out of this was my main reason for returning to the Savoy Tea Company. Not that I needed more tea (I’m generally up to my eyebrows in it) but because I was out of THIS TEA and by golly, I had to have more right away.
I found it on my first visit to this shop while sniffing various sample jars. I caught a whiff of tea, vanilla, and bergomot and had to try it. If Paris is the city of love, well, it’s amore. Just taking it out of the cupboard makes me start getting all poetic.
This is a luxuriant tea, sensual and fragrant. Of course, the whole tea experience could be described as such. It’s time consuming to heat the water, steep it within the proper time frame, and then you have to wait for it to cool (though I’ll admit to occasionally dropping an ice cube in my brew out of impatience—I’m not much at this zen of tea stuff.). My point is, this is not the sort of tea to guzzle away in the course of a day or two. It’s more the kind I hoard like fine jewelry or expensive perfume, taking my time so I don’t run out too quickly. But even so, the days pass all too quickly and I’m alone again, staring at the empty place in my cupboard where my lost love once resided.
Paris morning is lovely stuff hot or cold brewed and like most of my favorites is fine alone, although cream and sweetener are fine for special occasions. Like my birthday. Yeah, maybe I’ll have it that way then.
I took a good look at this tea before brewing it. This was pretty stuff with interesting bits of dried fruit and red berries, black and blonde shreds, and little papery seed pods. The scent of vanilla was the first to emerge from my cup when hot water was added.I used a teaspoon in my strainer. The resulting brew looked a little watery. As I waited impatiently for my tea to cool, I kept sniffing it and puzzling. With so many elements in the mix, it seemed strange that all I could smell was vanilla.
Upon taking the first sip, my immediate thought was ’but I just HAD Madagascar Vanilla!
I was a little disappointed. Somehow I expected this tea to be more interesting and exotic after seeing all the neat-looking stuff in it.
I really shouldn’t be comparing this to Celestial Seasonings Madagascar Vanilla, that’s rather unsporting. Still, I’m considering placing this in the same box to save space in my cupboard. Except for the kick of caffeine from the black tea, the two taste exactly the same to me.
It’s not as though I don’t like this. I find the vanilla and Rooibos combination, though a bit unexciting, strangely addictive. Rooibos is something I like to think of as the African answer to sassafras. I was initially put off by it’s trendiness but after my first sample, it grew on me. I rather like the undertone of sweetness. So now I have a caffeinated version of Madagascar Vanilla. That’s fine by me but I like my variety and hate having the same tea twice in a row. I’ll just need to remember to keep both versions together so I don’t make the mistake of drinking one after the other. Cause I hate when that happens.
Some weeks ago, I went to Savoy Tea Company in search of autumn blends. One thing I like about the place is there are little “sample jars” of each tea to sniff and examine to aid in the selection process. This is so much more helpful than merely looking at artwork and ingredient lists on boxes.
This variety was dark in the container with little orange bits and smelled wonderful, so I grabbed a package to go with my other autumn selections.
The directions on the package called for a five minute steep! I was a bit surprised at the notion of such a long one but . . .ok.
When the water hit it, this tea smelled like Christmas to me. I stood over the steaming cup reminiscing about sweet winter spices and the fresh oranges I used to find in my Christmas stocking. Finally, the timer went off and I got to sample it.
The tea was strong and sweet with cinnamon and a good tea base which didn’t seem to mind the long steep at all. The orange was less strong after brewing but still a good balancing presence amid the background flavors.
A word of warning: This is NOT a subtle tea. If you favor delicately scented, poetry-in-a-cup sort of blends, do not waste your time with this tea. It is strongly flavored with cloves and cinnamon. If you hate red hots, this is not for you. I’ll admit to some hypocrisy here—I’m the one always griping about the chia artists who get heavy handed with the cinnamon oil—yet strangely enough, I really like this variety. Perhaps it’s because I’m not terribly subtle either.
This stuff was very spicy, a little stingingly so. It made my beloved Celestial Seasonings Mandarin Orange Spice seem like kids stuff as this packed a much bigger punch. I found it a good morning blend. With a nice bite from the spices and a good kick of caffeine from the black tea, it certainly woke me up!
My first encounter with this tea had me expecting a strong anise flavor as that is what most people would expect upon seeing the word licorice. It was a happy surprise to find that the dominate taste of this tea is that of actual licorice sticks, the flavorful wood, rather than the black anise candy. As one who used to chew on actual licorice sticks, this was for me a pleasant surprise and brought back many happy memories. The other flavors (which constitute a few of my favorite things) add a subtle but pleasant background.
I love,love,love this stuff. I love the smell, the hint of orange. I love the sweetness that lingers in the back of my throat after I swallow. I like the unusual balance of flavors.
This is good hot or iced. It is strongly flavored and aromatic, giving a strong enough impression of sweetness that even a sweet fiend like myself doesn’t need to add sugar. This is one I’m definitely keeping in my cupboard.
Call me a spoilsport but I get a little cynical this time of year amid all the talk of pumpkin flavored this and that. Pumpkin happens to be one of my favorite vegetables. I eat a lot of it and know exactly what it does and doesn’t taste like. It’s a vegetable. From the vine it does NOT taste like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. These are spices we PUT INTO pumpkin to cover up the bad taste of the vitamins. (Yes,I’m from the Peg Bracken school of vegetable cookery)Most “pumpkin flavored” items are all about the spices and have no pumpkin in them. So I was quite surprised to find these tea bags actually smelled like pumpkin as well as the spices. I brewed one up and found it quite good. It reminds me of the same company’s Bengal Spice (which I love), but with less butter and cinnamon and with a whiff of actual pumpkin. The stevia gives it a hint of sweetness but only a hint. If you want it really sweet, be ready to add some more. Being a pumpkin fan, I’m inclined to throw in some cream and a bit of salt as well.
In conclusion: If you like Bengal Spice, you’ll probably like this one. Except for the hint of pumpkin, for me this is like having the same stuff in regular and decaf. Not that I really mind. Since they’re both quite good, having two boxes is twice as nice.
I had my first sample of chai Tea at a Thai restaurant years ago. It set a high standard. I have since sampled and rejected plenty of pathetic imitations. Fortunately, there have been a few good ones as well. This is one.
Just taking this tea out of the box is a sensual pleasure. Lots of intense, noisy flavors, but all getting along like a joyous celebration. This is not some wimpy, half arsed wannabe chai. This is a wonderful strong blend with top-notes of coconut, cinnamon and clove. I especially appreciate the conservative use of cinnamon, a presence that far too often dominates whole formulas until it’s all you can taste. This time it is a team player, taking a supportive role among the other spices without trying to run the whole show.
At the time I write this, of all the chai’s I have tasted, only a few have passed muster. This is one of my two favorites in that category. It’s good cold brewed or hot, year round.I’ve never bothered to try this one with cream or sweetener. I KNOW it would be awesome, I just haven’t because, like most of my favorite teas, it doesn’t need it. This is a major selling point for me. I love a tea that stands on it’s own and doesn’t need anything added to make it palatable.
After all, I could drink cream and sugar all by themselves and they’d be good. If a tea requires such embellishment in order to be drinkable,how good can it be?
I didn’t expect from the smell of this to like it much. When brewing it has a strong but not entirely savory nutty scent. I recently had a nut flavored tea I didn’t care for and the reminder kind of turned me off.
Surprise! The vanilla and sarsaparilla balanced this tea out and made it far nicer than I expected. A little cream and sweetener made this even more pleasant. I usually take it that way now.
This is not my favorite tea in the cupboard but is an amiable change of pace. The Sarsaparilla makes it an unusual addition to my cupboard and it is a little nutty without being obnoxious. There are other dessert teas I like better though. I’ll hoard and savor whats in the box but probably won’t seek out a replacement package when it’s gone.
I like peach tea on general principles. Sometimes I buy it bottled or canned to drink on the go and I found that the plain peach fruit tea from Celestial Seasonings goes great with black tea, so I used them in combination for some time. Then I ran out and kept forgetting to replace it, so when I saw Republic of Tea’s Ginger peach tea, I decided I might as well commit and buy the combination rather than the separate elements.
Upon opening the tin, I breathed in the lovely scent and thought I’d made a good decision. I brewed it up hot and took that first sip thinking, ‘Ginger and peach…what’s not to like?’ By the second sip, I was thinking this was neither as peachy nor as tea-y as it ought to be. And where was the ginger?
Over all, it seemed kind of watered down. To my surprise, sweetening this didn’t help a bit. Perhaps a longer steeping or an additional teabag might do the trick but perhaps not…it left an odd, astringent aftertaste in my mouth.
I’m really very disappointed and am glad I only bought the sampler size rather than hocking my valuables to invest in a full sized tin.