17 Tasting Notes
I’ve been getting into Chinese black teas lately. They’re nice when I want something less bitter. Especially when I forget my cup and oversteep it; I can still drink it rather than throwing it away. This tea was fairly pleasant, slightly cocoa-ey and mild. More like something I’d drink in the afternoon than the morning.
I tried it with sugar as well, and found that I had to go very easy on it. The tea’s already sweet, so too much sugar and it becomes nauseating. No more than a half teaspoon.
It doesn’t really hold up well for a second steep. At least in my opinion anyway; the second steep was very light and bland. I could steep the Black Dragon Pearls three times and the Yunnan Jig twice, so the fact that this is only good for one was a bit disappointing. It’s a decent tea, but I’ll stick to other varieties with more staying power, especially if I’m paying $8 a bag for them.
I love ginger, and a tea with just that is hard to come by. Usually it’s ginger with some kind of fruit, like ginger peach or ginger pear, or a holiday tea like gingerbread. Not that I don’t like those, but sometimes I just want ginger and nothing else.
This tea suits my needs quite nicely. It’s got a strong ginger taste that works well with the black tea base. I can take it either with sugar or without, but I really wouldn’t recommend any milk.
Decided to try this one next, since I’d already tried the chocolate chai and it wasn’t bad. With that in mind I had high hopes for the caramel chai. I brewed it up and added a spoonful of sugar.
The smell of the brewed tea was off-putting. It smelled more like potpourri than anything. While potpourri’s nice, I’ve no real desire to drink it. I let it cool a bit and tentatively took a sip. To my dismay, it was nowhere near as pleasant as the chocolate chai had been; between the cloying sweetness, the faint undertaste of rooibos, and the strong potpourri scent, I began to feel a bit nauseous and dumped the rest down the drain.
Maybe it would be somewhat more tolerable with milk added, but I really don’t feel like wasting any on a second attempt.
The second one out of the four-pack that I decided to try. Not without misgivings; rooibos isn’t something I normally enjoy. It certainly smelled nice, I’ll give it that. I let it steep for roughly eight minutes and added sugar. While waiting for my cup to finish steeping, I pondered what exactly the “shortbread flavoring” listed on the can could be.
The first sip I took? UGH. There was something sharp and almost medicinal about it. I thought about dumping it down the drain for a moment, but I figured I’d let it cool a little and try again. The taste definitely improved when I did, making it mainly chocolate and cinnamon. A tiny hint of rooibos, but not anything I couldn’t ignore.
Not really the spiciest of chais, but still a tasty tea. And getting me to willingly drink rooibos is certainly a plus.
Picked up a Zhena’s chai sampler cheap at Marshall’s. Not like I’m exactly running short on tea right now, but I have a hard time turning down more. This was the first one out of the four I decided to try. And well, the name’s a bit misleading. There’s no hazelnut flavor to it at all. It’s just chai. A very, very mild chai at that.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not terrible. I’ll use the other three bags (there’s four bags of each kind in the sampler), but it’s not something I’d buy more of if I wanted something hazelnut flavored. Or hell, even if I wanted chai; there are far better ones than this.
So with all the snow we’re getting here in NY, I felt today was a spiced tea sort of day. Since I have a sample on-hand, I figured this tea fit the bill.
It tastes and smells mainly of cinnamon and apples. There was a nice big piece of apple in the scoop, so that probably helped. I guess the vanilla’s what’s giving it that little bit of creaminess. No bitterness at all. If you add sugar though, I’d advise moderation. This gets VERY sweet if you add too much.
I have a love-hate relationship with vanilla teas. Sometimes I love them, far too often they taste like canned cake frosting and I hate them. Figuring I might have better luck with a tea that just had vanilla pieces in it as opposed to all sorts of added flavorings, I decided to try this.
I’m glad I only bought a sample. I wouldn’t say I hate it, but it’s not exactly great either. It’s…alright. Drinkable, but not remarkable, and not something I’d buy more of. The vanilla gives it a sweet note without being obnoxious, but the tea itself had a nasty bitterness when it cooled. Maybe I’ll change my mind with different steep times and some sugar, but for now I’m really not impressed.