361 Tasting Notes
I must confess that I was becoming jealous of all the posts today that mentioned their GM sampler had arrived. Then I went out on an errand and came home and saw the package in my entryway. I let out an earth-shattering “squee” that sent my cat tearing across the room for cover. But I digress and would like to post my tasting note and then re-digress so anyone who wants the review can read it up front and then ignore the rest of my rambling.
This was the first tea I chose out of the 31 even though so many called out to me. I have never tried a black/fruit tea combo (oops – just realized that I’ve had decaf apricot ::facepalm::) and this one just sounded happy. I’m also hoping to expand my understanding of black teas. I’m generally not a fan of many of the black teas I’ve had – I’m turned off by their astringent bite. I popped open the bag and holy schnikees! It was pear. It was uber-pear. It was pear that shouted “I will suck your soul!” Underneath that there was a bit of musky-polleny smell.
I steeped that sucker and held off eating (I was really hungry) just to try this without distraction. I found it utterly yummy. I’m not a fan of pear and I’m not a fan of honey. Who knew that this blend would do a dance of happiness in my mouth? I drank the whole cup without eating since I was enjoying it so much. Afterward I did get a dryness to my mouth, but that doesn’t bother my noob palate – not yet. I’ll try more teas, but so far this is on my shortlist for my next GM order. And I’m dying to try this one iced. TG
Okay – so now I wanna have a moment to express my utter joy with tea. I’m a HUGE lover of books, but I can’t recall squeeling over a new book’s release. In the short time I’ve been discovering tea (with loose leaf being a mind-blowing new experience), I have fallen in love with the drink/experience. I love tea. I love the process. I am a tea-aholic and that brings me joy. I’ll find myself running my hands over the tea pots as the tea steeps and that makes me happy. I wish I had better words to express how much tea has rocked my world and I’m so very grateful that there’s Steepster. I’ve gained so much insight and pleasure from reading others’ thoughts. Happy, happy, joy, joy!
That is all :)
Edit: Okay, so not quite all. After my second steep I think I was coming down from my first ever “tea high” – like a runner’s high only yummier. There was something odd about this tea that I couldn’t put my finger on, so I read through more tasting notes and takgoti nailed it: “strawberry runts and banana boat suntan lotion.” And after reading others I thought that there must be a better fruit tea out there – so I bumped down my rating a bit. I still like this tea, but I’m more uncertain about reordering. The TG stays for now since at that time I definitely was euphoric, but not due to this tea alone. I shall try this one more time in a saner frame of mind and possibly readjust the rating one more time.
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