445 Tasting Notes
Another sample from the wonderful Sil! I did actually try and order this one, but a bag of Malted ChocoMate turned up instead. Still, it was just as welcome, and I’ve got to try both in the end anyway!
The dry leaves smell sweet and woodsy, and ever so slightly like maltesers. It’s only very slight at the moment, though — the main scent is undoubtedly the honeybush. That’s okay, though. Honeybush and I can get along.
Brewed, this smells rich and deep and chocolatey. Not so much like malted chocolate, more like a bar of chocolate that’s been melted. To taste, this isn’t quite what I was hoping. It is vaguely chocolatey, but I’m not really getting chocolate malt. There’s also a slightly odd chemically flavour that I know some others have picked up on too. It’s not overpowering, but it does seem to mask the flavour a little.
With my second and third cups, I tried a little more leaf and a slightly longer brew time, but that didn’t really change anything. I’m not 100% happy with this one. It’s a palatable enough honeybush, but it just doesn’t wow me like some other 52Teas blends have. I’m not missing the full bag after all!
This is another one I’ve been drinking almost exclusively cold-brewed recently. On the whole, I prefer my tea hot, though, so it’s high time I tried this one before I run out.
The dry mix smells insanely strong — just like freshly squeezed apple juice, with a touch of pineapple swimming around in the background. It reminds me a little bit of apple fruit leather, only jucier!
Brewed, this smells completely different — a bit like freshly baked apple pie. There’s a slight hint of cinnamon and caramel about it, which is probably what’s giving me that impression. The pineapple also comes out much more clearly than I was expecting. It’s a bit of an odd combination, actually.
I needn’t have worried, though. This has got to be one of the better fruit teas I’ve tried — not least because it’s got no hibiscus in it! The natural flavours of the apple and pineapple shine through, and it really is like drinking a fruit salad. The “baked” element I detected in the scent doesn’t really translate to the taste, except slightly in the aftertaste. It’s just fruity, refreshing, tropical wonderfulness. Another hit from Tea Palace!
I loved strawberry lemonade when I was a child (and anything pink, come to that). Now I’m all grown up, I like tea more than carbonated drinks — and fruit tea is a particularl favourite. When the two can combine, it’s a good day in my book. The dry leaves of this tea are insanely summery. Huge chunks of strawberry, lemon and orange peel, small pieces of apple, hibiscus, and sunflower petals. The scent isn’t exactly strawberry lemonade — it’s somehow more sherbet-like than that. I suppose that could be the “fizz” element. Either way, it definetly smells of strawberries, with maybe the faintest hint of lemon. Fresh, sweet, beautiful!
I tried this cold brewed a couple of weekends back, and was a tiny bit disappointed with how well the strawberry came out. It was a little flat tasting, and the hibiscus seemed to take over, so I’ll be interested to see whether it’s different brewed hot.
Brewed, this is definetly a fight between the strawberry and the hibiscus, but I think the strawberry just about wins. The same sherbetty element I picked out in the smell survives and adds a certain lemonade-esque quality to this tea. The lemon itself comes out really clearly in the aftertaste. On balance, I wish there was a little bit less hibiscus, but this is a pretty good fruit tea. I certainly get strawberry lemonade from it, and accurate taste can sometimes be a rare commodity in fruit teas. I could drink this happily all summer — it’s so juicy, naturally sweet, and nicely balanced in flavour. Great work, Bluebird!
Drinking this at work right now. It’s sweet and comforting, as always, but I think on the whole I prefer it with milk. It seems to lend this a milkshake-like flavour that I can really get behind. Anyway, there is no milk, so black it is. I’m having a hard time staying awake today for some reason. I can’t think why I should be so majorly tired, but I am. I think I’m going to switch to something caffeinated for my next cup or two. Honestly, 5.00 can’t come quickly enough!
Yesterday’s tea was a cold brewed pitcher of this I’d prepared the day before. I seem to have finished it without really paying attention to what I was drinking, though, so I’ll add a better note at a later date. As for what I can remember — the both dry and brewed reminded me of apple juice, as did the colour of the liquor. As I expected, given that this is primarily an apple tea, apple was the main taste coming through. I also detected a hint of cinnamon, and a dab of pineapple in the aftertaste. I had to work to find the pineapple, which is a shame as I was hoping it’d be a more prominent flavour. Still, apple is nice, so that’s fine with me! I found this quite a subtle tea, at least brewed like this. The flavours are there, but they’re not really in your face. I might experiment a little bit with quantity of leaf and brew time, just to see, and I’ve yet to try it hot as well. Definetly refreshing, though. Just perfect for our first summery day!
Today’s cold-brew is a pitcher of this. It’s recommended for icing on the packet, but it’s somehow fallen a little short in my estimation. I put it in the fridge yesterday, in the early evening, so it had a good 14 hours plus to infuse. I’m getting strawberry, just about, and a slight bitter sweetness from the lemon in the aftertaste. What I can taste most is hibiscus, which I dislike in fruit tea, although it’s pretty unavoidable. It’s pleasant, but the whole thing just tastes a bit washed out. I used 4 tablespoons, so I doubt I underleafed, but I suppose it’s possible. I think next time I’ll maybe try making this in a smaller quantity, and possibly adding some actual lemonade. It was definetly refreshing, though, and pleasant to taste. I just wanted the strawberry to come out a litle more strongly. I can work on that, though, and it smells divine in any case!
Another sample generously sent my way by Sil. My experiences with chamomile tea so far have been good, and orange blossom is a flavour I know I like, so I’m looking forward to this one. My new job is still stressing me a bit, so I’m hoping this will help me to relax a bit after a long and tiring week. The dry mix has generous amounts of whole chamomile flowers, lemongrass pieces, orange blossoms and orange zest. It smells primarily of chamomile — that very distinctive, honey and hay-like scent with a slightly sweet, floral undertone.
Brewed, this still smells primarily of chamomile, but with a definite edge of orange. There’s also something slightly lavender-like in there, although I don’t think lavender is actually one of the ingredients. I guess the taste will tell. One thing that did take me by surprise is the colour of the liquor — it’s bright, grassy green! As the tea cools, it seems to mellow into a more ordinary golden yellow, but it certainly made me question my vision for a few seconds. I’m assuming the purple flower petals (are they orange blossom?) were the cause. Interesting, but unexpected!
To taste, I’m not getting lavender any more, I don’t think. Instead, I’m getting mint. I saw it listed among the ingredients, but I couldn’t see any in the dry mix, and it certainly doesn’t come out in the scent. It’s very subtle and complementary, though, so I’m happy enough with the combination. The taste is mostly of chamomile and a sort of floral orange in any case, so the name is pretty accurate after all. It’s not the over-sweet chamomile I’m used to, though. It’s somehow more herbal, more floral, and more grassy in taste than those I’ve tried previously. While the orange blossom isn’t strong, it adds to the flavour delicately and pleasantly, contributing a fresh, zesty, floral aftertaste.
A very enjoyable evening drink. Thanks again to Sil for sharing it with me!
Opened a bag of this today. It’s so delicate and beautifully floral, just perfect for this time of year. I’ve been resteeping the same leaves all afternoon (about 4 times, I think), and they were still going strong when I chucked them just before I left at 5pm. I like white tea in general, but this one never fails to impress me. Amazing stuff.
I’ve got one more cup of the loose-leaf version of this left, but it’s not a sipdown because I’ve got a box of the bagged version still to go. No worries, though, because it’s one I almost always enjoy. I say almost always because I managed to oversteep this today (I only went back to my desk to get a spoon, and ended up being buttonholed by a visitor…). Anyway, for some reason, I got a foody kind of note from it, which wasn’t 100% pleasant. That’s not my usual experience with this tea, though.
In a way, I wish this was a sipdown. I’m heartily tempted to buy more tea, and I have too much already (and more in the post…) The trials of life :)
The last of the samples from my first Bluebird order. I don’t think I’ve ever tried a white/green blend before, so this is a first for me. I also fear it may be rather an odd experience, because while white tea and spearmint are two of my favourite things, green tea and jasmine are not. Frankly, I think the orange might get a bit lost. Still, assume makes an ass out of you and me, so perhaps I should get on and try this before I expand this note further with my unfounded misgivings.
The dry leaves smell mostly of spearmint, with a slighty grassy, slightly smoky undertone that I’m assuming is the green tea. It’s an interesting mix — there are quite a lot of white tea buds and a few twigs and leaves, slightly less of the green tea, a generous sprinkling of shredded spearmint, and some really quite generous orangey pieces. Some of them are undoubtedly zest, but a few look more like blossoms to me. Jasmine? Orange? I’m not sure, having never encountered either in their raw state before. Could be.
Anyway, this is definetly an interesting tasting tea. Brewed, the scent is mostly of spearmint and jasmine, which is a strange combination. It’s surprisingly delicate to taste, though, and seems to have a base that owes more to the white tea than it does to the green. There’s the initial hit of sweet spearmint, the floral and perfume-like jasmine, a slight grassiness, and then the smooth, honey-like taste and texture of white tea. It’s only the very slightest bit astringent, and that might even be my fault for being a bit impatient with the water.
I like that Bluebird are trying to do something different with their teas, like this white/green blend. It’s a deceptive tea, as the liquor is golden brown, and the scent definetly lead me to expect more of a green tea. That’s not what I got, though, and this turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It’s not 100% my kind of thing, but it is pleasant, and the spearmint is simply glorious. Another I’m glad to have had the chance to try!