445 Tasting Notes
The dry leaf here smells wonderfully of fresh strawberry. It’s just so strong and clear, it’s made me really interested in trying the brewed tea AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. I was patient, though, and waited for the water to cool :)
Brewed, this is the kind of murky yellow-green that makes my heart sink. I was expecting it to be bitter, but it was actually okay. The strawberry is reasonably clear, and the sencha base is smooth and slightly vegetal in taste. I didn’t expect the strawberry to taste as strongly as it smelt, but it almost does. It’s sweet and slightly candy like, but definitely strawberry. Apparently there’s papaya in here too, but I can’t taste that.
This is probably my second favourite of the Jenier Teas I’ve tried so far. I haven’t been all that impressed on the whole, but I’ve found a couple of teas to like from the selection I chose. This is one of them.
Sipdown! Finished this one off at work today. I’ve tried different steep times and temparatures, and varying the amount of leaf. I still don’t really like it, though…it’s just a bit chemically and over sweet for my tastes. I’m glad to have tried it, but there are definitely other grenadine flavoured teas I prefer.
A sample from Queen of Tarts. I really enjoyed this one. I’ve had a difficult day at work (it may be time to look for a new job…), and I came home tired, irritated, and in need of something soothing. This tea fit the bill perfectly. It’s relatively straightforward — just vanilla flavoured rooibos as far as I can discern. It’s a good one, though. The vanilla is sweet and creamy, very natural tasting (vanilla pod rather than vanilla essence), and the rooibos is slightly woody, maybe very slightly nutty. It’s a bit like drinking vanilla ice cream. Smooth, delectable, moreish. It smells good, too. There isn’t a lot to say about this one, except that it’s very pleasant, calming, and easy to drink. Some days need a tea like this, and today was one of them.
Backlog from Tuesday.
Last unopened Adagio sample bag, so I’m making progress here. I’ve got two tin sets and two fandom samplers to go after this, but they don’t count so much as they’re a bit special. There’s logic for you.
Anyway, I’m rather encouraged by the scent of this tea dry. It’s sweet, faintly woodsy, but not too harsh. There’s a vague honey/vanilla scent, also. Possibly this could be quite nice?
And it is. It’s very mild, delicately sweet and woodsy in equal measure. It’s very easy to drink, and it makes a change from some of the heavily flavoured blends I’ve been drinking recently. I don’t often choose plain honeybush, but this will make a pleasant addition to my evening rotation for a little while. It hasn’t got bells and whistles, but it’s soothing and comforting. Sometimes, that’s enough.
Sipdown! There were three whole blackberries in this cup, and you can taste the difference. They overpower the hibiscus completely, making this a lot more pleasant than it was last week. It actually tastes fruity now! It’s still a little tart and sour, but it’s also much improved. There’s a definite berry flavour, and it’s juicy and more refreshing. As a bonus, it’s not drying my mouth out anymore.
The flavours aren’t very well balanced. Last time, all I got was hibiscus and rosehip, with a hint of strawberry and raspberry. Today, all I’m getting is blackberry. Where the pineapple and papaya are in all this, I have no idea. It’d be better if the flavours were more even – if I could have a cup that tasted of strawberry, blackberry and raspberry I’d be happier – but I don’t think that’s going to happen. In any case, I enjoyed this tea today so I’ve increased its rating a little. I probably won’t be repurchasing, though. It’s too hit and miss for that.
Backlog from Monday.
Second of the fruit teas I got with my order of samples from Jenier. I have no idea why this is aimed at children specifically, or called Fairy Princess. It’s supposed to be a strawberry, papaya, pineapple, blackberry and raspberry fruit blend, as far as I can discern. With generous amounts of apple, hibiscus and rosehip thrown in for good measure.
It smells nice – you can tell it’s a berry tea, and the strawberry is detectable. To taste, though, it’s SO TART. It’s actually making me scrunch my face up, which doesn’t happen to often. I can taste strawberry initially, and a sharpness that’s almost raspberry in the aftertaste. Everything in between is screamingly tart, mouth-drying hibiscus, unfortunately, and I can’t taste pineapple, blackberry or papaya at all. It could be nice, but it isn’t really. There’s too much sourness for that. The search continues.
Backlog from Monday
A sample from Queen of Tarts, and the second of tonight’s stone fruit rooibos blends. This one has a bit more going on – it’s a green rooibos base, with peach, strawberry, and citrus flavouring. I like the idea of this one, and I’ll be a happy thing indeed if I can taste both the peach and the strawberry. More so if they taste even vaguely natural. Let’s see…
I gave this one three minutes, maybe just over, in boiling water. The scent here is mostly green rooibos – I’m not really getting any fruit. To taste, though, it’s a completely different story. Peach is the predominant flavour, as might well be expected, but I can also taste a hint of strawberry in the background which develops quite well in the aftertaste. There’s a slight sharpness, too, although I’d be hard pressed to identify exactly which fruit contributed that. Lemon? Orange? Probably one of those. This is another one that’s nice and natural tasting, so I’m happy about that. The fruit flavouring comes across sweet and juicy, and melds perfectly with the green rooibos base, which adds a slightly woody taste but it otherwise unobtrusive.
Another great rooibos blend, seemingly I’m on a roll with these at the moment! Thanks again to Queen of Tarts!
Backlog from Monday.
A sample from Queen of Tarts, and the first of two stone-fruit rooibos blends to round off the evening. This is the more straightforward of the two – conventional red rooibos with apricot flavouring. My problem with similar teas in the past has been that the apricot tastes so chemically and artificial. I’d love to like one, though, so we’ll see how I get on here.
I gave this one almost four minutes in boiling water. The liquor is a pretty dark brown, but the scent is lovely –sweet, slightly fruity, with not a hint of rooibos to be discerned. The taste is similar – the apricot is very subtle, very delicate, but it’s sweet and juicy, and perfectly natural tasting. The rooibos adds a bit of depth without being overpowering, and without the typical “brassy” taste it can sometimes have.
On the whole, I’d probably have preferred a slightly stronger flavour. Mild and natural is better than strong and artificial any day, though. I liked this a lot more than I thought I would – finally, an apricot rooibos I could get behind! Thanks again to Queen of Tarts for sharing this with me!
Backlog from Monday.
I’ve never tried a grapefruit tea before, so this is one I’ve been interested in for a while. I chose it as a sample with my last Butiki order, purely because I prefer black and rooibos teas to green. In any case, if I like it, I’ll definitely buy more!
Today was a good choice for this, I feel. It might well be the last day of summer, and grapefruit green somehow feels like a summer tea. I let the water cool to about 180, and gave it about 2 and a half minutes.
Brewed, this smells really beautifully, delicately, of grapefruit. It’s augmented perfectly by a slight grassiness from the green base, which complements the sharpness of the grapefruit and seems almost sweet in comparison.
I’d never have believed tea could replicate the flavour of grapefruit to accurately, but there you go. Tasting is believing! Another great sample from Butiki!
Backlog from Monday.
A sample from Queen of Tarts. This has got to be the nicest smelling fruit tea I’ve had in a good long time. Rather than tart hibiscus, I can actually smell sweet, fresh strawberries. This makes me hopeful that I’ll actually be able to taste strawberry…
I gave this about three minutes in boiling water. There were two foamy sugar drops in my sample, and I waited until they’d more or less dissolved. I’ve not seen this before, but it struck me as a pretty cute idea. I tried this with a little trepidation, as it smells so good. For once, though, the taste actually lives up to that. It’s like drinking strawberry Ribena, or something. It tastes beautifully of strong, juicy, strawberry, and there’s just the right amount of sweetness tempered by a slight background tartness. I can taste a slight spiciness, too (cinnamon/cardamom?), and a touch of orange.
As fruit teas go, this is definitely a great one. Love at first sip! Strawberry is the main flavour, but the other ingredients make it a little bit unique. Really, really nice.