127 Tasting Notes
There is a change in the air this morning. The sunlight filtering in seems a little bit different somehow; a varied angle or brightness perhaps? It is cooler out with a gentle breeze. Is autumn coming already? I can’t wait!
This tea accompanies the weather perfectly. Sweet vanilla and smooth oolong wrap me up in cozy comfort. I have been rationing it because I love it so much. I need to go ahead and buy a larger quantity so that I know it is always there for me on these lovely Sunday mornings.
I’ve been drinking a lot of this classic over the past month and I have to say that the more I have it, the more I like it. I just bumped the score up a bit to reflect this. It is never bitter, though it is a hearty breakfast blend. It can also take a bit of forgetfulness with kettle times, and I’ve found that this one really shines with a touch of light agave and a dash of milk. It holds up to multiple steeps no problem and I haven’t found a better one yet for the price. This tea generally blends well with other David’s flavored blacks and is overall becoming the household go-to English Breakfast.
Oh, this is so easy and delicious. My husband keeps asking me when we are going “to order the giant-sized bag” of caramel matchaccino. Apparently we need to stockpile it in the kitchen somewhere. To be fair, it really is quite an experience and easily substitutes for a much higher calorie sweet treat. I haven’t reviewed the others yet, but the french vanilla and cheesecake matchas from Red Leaf were lovely as well. I need to get caught up on tasting notes!
Dry: Lovely large rolled dry leaves, grass-green in color with a few faded pieces. No broken tea or stems noted. Smells light and fresh with a slight spice note.
Steeped: Olive green clear liquor. Very subtle aroma, faint scent of fresh greens with a hint of sweet.
Taste: Mild is the word I would use to describe this one. If you do not like strong or complex green teas, this one would be a good option to try. Soft spinach with hint of sweet and a hint of spice. No bitterness or bite noted. Smooth and mellow, a nice experience but nothing that really grabs and holds my interest beyond enjoying a simple and pleasant experience. Holds up to a couple more steeps and I am glad I tried it.
Dry: Light, feathery long leaves, buds, and stems. I was intrigued from the scent of the dry tea. It smells subtle, sweet, and ever so slightly green and dewy without any heavy vegetal notes. It is not a stretch to imagine that this tea is grown in the clouds and mist of the mountains.
Steeped: This brews into an exceptionally pale yellow clear liquor. The scent from the infuser is more green than the dry leaf with an almost nutty aroma.
Taste: This is where this tea really shines for me. I was very pleasantly surprised by the flavor, which has nice depth and character. This is not a heavy buttery vegetable tea, but rather light and airy, naturally sweet, with soft hay and floral notes. I am not getting anything fruity, roasted, or nutty from the taste, but I am also not getting any bitterness whatsoever. This is holding up nicely to short steeps of 1 min, 2 min, and 3 min- just lovely!
I am really enjoying all of the Teavivre greens, but this one might need to become a staple in my home at some point.
Let me preface this that I am giving a numerical rating based on what I believe the quality of the tea is, not my personal preference. I don’t generally like jasmine or strong floral teas at all, but this one really is very, very good if you like jasmine tea.
Dry: Lovely silver-tipped buds rolled into tight pearls, creating an interesting variegated pattern. The scent is bright, sweet jasmine. It smells like I am holding the blossoms right up to my nose.
Steeped: Pale yellow clear liquor. The pearls unfurl in the infuser like flower buds opening, lovely to watch. This smells heavenly as it is steeping. Pure, sweet jasmine wafting delicately across the kitchen to tickle my nose! This scent could be bottled and worn as a perfume, not artificial at all.
Taste: This tea is sweet and very fragrant. I do not care for jasmine tea, but even I have to appreciate how potent and real the taste and aroma is. The tea leaves and the tea taste/smell are exactly what they are supposed to be. No bitterness whatsoever and it held up to three steeps. I followed the instructions on the Teavivre site and did 1 min, 2 min, and 3 min. I think it would have been noticeably weaker for a fourth steep, but since you don’t need many pearls for the brewing itself then you still get a good value. I really wished I loved jasmine tea. If I did, this would be the one I would order again and again.
Dry: Lovely green tea leaves blended with white and dried apple chunks. Smells sweet and apple-y, almost like green apple candy (Jolly Ranchers, anyone?).
Steeped: Clear amber liquor. Warm and cozy aroma of tea and apple blended together in harmony. I was really excited about this from the dry leaf and the smell wafting from the infuser.
Taste: Unfortunately, this one did not live up to my expectations, at least per the directions. I steeped exactly as the label stated at 3 minutes. It isn’t awful, but it tastes like a light and basic apple tea with a pretty significant bitter bite. I only had a small amount of this, so no second chances unfortunately. If I ever try this again, I would not steep for longer than 2 minutes.
Dry: Pretty fruit and petal blend with little red heart sugar cubes. Smells very sweet, primarily like candied pineapple with a hint of coconut. I love pineapple and coconut, so high hopes!
Steeped: Brown-gold slightly cloudy liquor. Slightly concerned about the aroma- has a bit of a sour smell? Almost like hibiscus tea instead of a sweet fruit blend. I brewed it strong, so I added some cold water and the caramel and pineapple are starting to come through as it cools more.
Taste: This tastes entirely different from how it smells alone, at least to my nose. I am getting creamy coconut and pineapple with hints of apple. Quite nice! I tried it hot first and it is fruity and lovely. Cold is even better. This really shines as a summer iced tea. I think it would be a nice pick-me-up in winter when dreaming of the beach, too.
As far as fruit herbal blends go, I really like this. I know it is unorthodox, but I might try this with a dash of milk and see if it enhances the creaminess even more. If you like pina colada, then this would be a good one to try out.
This morning I had the last of this beautiful white and I enjoyed it just as much now as I did before. I will need to order more of this, though I keep telling myself I need to stop falling in love with some of the more pricey teas. I just recently picked-up a larger size of David’s Gyokuro Yamashiro and I told myself that then, too. :)
Anyhow, short re-steeps are lovely with this gorgeous Silver Needle so I should be able to enjoy it quite a bit longer today. Subtle, sweet, and fragrant. What’s not to love?
Dry: Pretty blend of loose black tea and what appears to be broken pieces of star anise. There are also orange bits that I am guessing are tea-stained coconut from the ingredient list. I don’t see any cocoa or white chocolate nibs in the blend, but can taste it once brewed. Dry leaf smells sweet with a hint of spice and cocoa.
Steeped: This brews into a slightly cloudy gold-brown liquor with a very slight film. The aroma is that same sweet-spice and chocolate from the dry leaf that is really quite appealing and makes me think of the cooler months ahead.
Taste: At first, I thought this was rather bland with nothing really standing out. As it cooled a little though, the Ceylon tea is quite lovely. The star anise is a flavor I never really appreciated in cooking, but it is nice in this tea. The cocoa adds a warm sweet note to what is already pleasant to begin with. I wasn’t getting much in the way of coconut, but it didn’t seem like it was missing it either. This was noticeably weaker in the second steep, I don’t think it would hold up to three without losing considerable strength.
I didn’t think I’d like this tea because I hate anything remotely licorice, but it turns out I actually like Ceylon Star for what it is worth. Not my favorite tea ever, but certain worth giving it a go for a sweet and relaxing experience.