357 Tasting Notes
I’ve had this several times now and every time I’ve had it I think the word “unusual.” I think that tonight I finally tipped over the edge into not really liking this.
I’ve only had one other experience with a rooibos that someone served me, and as I recall I spent most of the time thinking “unusual” and “there is no problem so great that it cannot be solved by a cup of bush tea.” It just piqued my interest in exploring this tea more. I found rooibos intriguing and I loves me some caramel, so I thought that this would be an ideal tea for me. Um…not so much.
I know that I read someone’s review here on Steepster where they opened the can and thought “wood chips” and then “chippies!” Ever since reading that I think the same thing when I look at my sample tin of this (and my honeybush sample as well). So, thank you to the Steepsterite who coined that term – it really makes me happy.
I think that what tipped it tonight into the “not like” category is that I finally put my finger on what I feel this is like. It’s what I’d imagine damp cardboard dusted with fake caramel would taste like. It’s not the best description, but that’s the closest I’ve got. And I really don’t like how much of the tiney pieces end up floating around in my cup even though I have a nice strainer.
Ultimately, I will finish off my sample, but I don’t plan on exploring more rooibos since I really prefer my honeybush chippies! M
Having worked at Borders (pre-Seattle’s Best), Starbucks, and Barnes & Noble I’ve tried their chai drinks and didn’t care for any of them. I likened the tastes to liquified servings of cinnamon & sugar toast. Granted, I never did try the Tazo tea bag version of this during my tenure at Starbucks, so I decided “what the hey” this morning and gave this free sample a go.
While I waited for the tea bag to steep I took a sniff of the packet and my head involuntarily shot back. The spice smell was so intense that my sinuses actually cursed at me in several languages. I quickly tossed the packet in the trash and tried to get myself back into a zen-like state of open-mindedness regarding this tea.
The smell reminds me a lot of the Extra Cinnamon gum that I had to stop chewing because it irritated my mouth so much. And here I must note that I’m a straight-up-no-additive tea drinker. I could imagine this tea being benefitted by some sugar and milk (but then I think that it’d be back to the liquified cinnamon & sugar toast taste). I actually preferred this black version over the other chais I’ve tried. The smell is a lot more intense than the taste. Someone mentioned that this tea reminds them of Christmas – I can see that, but Harney and Sons’ Holiday tea has already taken that spot for me.
Overall, I wouldn’t turn down this tea if it were offered to me, but I will not be purchasing this one. I am now very curious about their Double Spice Chai (with which I will NOT do the pre-steep packet sniff). M
I can’t recall ever having an Irish Breakfast tea before. In my mind I had visions of Colin Ferrell swooping in (wearing only a cape) and bringing me breakfast in bed. Not so much, but it was still a pleasant tea – more like Sir Michael Gambon (in a suit) sitting down for a pleasant chat.
It has a nice “umph” to it and I’m putting it on the short list of tea bags I’d like to keep on hand for occassional cups. To keep the quasi-movie-themed tasting note going: “That’ll do tea, that’ll do.” NE