666 Tasting Notes
I like this. Which, reading some of the notes here, is perhaps a bit of a surprise. I’ve tried a couple of tropical green teas before, and I’ve mostly been underwhelmed and, on the whole, not very impressed. They always smell nice, but they taste thin, weak, and generally a bit meh. This one is what I wanted them all to taste like. Papaya and mango are the dominant flavours, and I’m not getting much in the way of pineapple at all. With flavours this juicy, though, I can’t say I’m really all that bothered. None of the petals really seem to make much impact in terms of taste, although they do make the dry mix look pretty. As do the little chunks of actual fruit, come to that.
The green tea is discernable — it’s very slightly bitter, but not at all astringent. It contrasts with the naturally sweet fruit very well, though, so I’m not terribly upset about that either. I guess I’m just pleased to have finally found a tropical flavoured tea that genuinely tastes tropical. I should probably add that I ignored the time and temparature guidelines on the front of the packet. I know what seems to work for me with green tea now, and 5-7 minutes at nearly 200 F made me scrunch up my face in anticipation of how bitter that would turn out. I gave it my usual 2.5 minutes in water that’s been standing for a good few minutes and can no longer really be called “hot”. I guess around 180/185 F. It tastes good to me this way, and it’s put the Beach Boys in my head. Added to that, the sun has just come out after what’s been a particularly dull day so far. Perfect! I wish I had enough to try this cold, but part of me is leery of cold brewing green teas anyway. Thanks to Courtney for sharing this with me!
The last of the SBTs currently remaining in my cupboard. I think I left this one until last because I have a bit of an odd relationship with pear. Some varieties of the actual fruit give me a migraine. I needn’t have worried about this, though, because it actually tastes more like pear drops (which I DO like) than pear itself. Rather than being soft and perfumey, it tastes sweet and candy-like. There’s pear there, but it’s much more reminiscent of a pear drop than a pear, if that makes sense.
I gave this the usual treatment — about 3 minutes in boiling water, topped up with cold, and then into the fridge overnight. The black base is perfect, as ever, and as a summer drink it’s very refreshing. I suppose the taste is less “natural” than some of the other SBTs that are based on things found in nature (like Mango Peach, or Watermelon). That doesn’t put me off, though — I’m just glad I can drink it without feeling ill afterwards. Besides, pear drops are nice anyway! Another great SBT!
Sipdown! Finished off the last of these at work today. They were nicer than I expected them to be, but that’s about all I can say for them. I generally prefer my rooibos flavoured, so I probably wouldn’t buy these again. It’s nice to have tried it again, though. I know my tastes have changed since I first started drinking “proper” tea, so it’s good to revisit some I’ve tried previously from time to time. This is by no means bad rooibos, it’s just not for me.
This was actually my cold brewed tea from Monday, which, again, I’ve only just got around to logging now. Courtney sent me a very generous sample, so I tried a cup hot and then used the rest to make a litre of cold brew. My first thought upon trying this was that it’s actually really sweet – sweeter than it seemed when I tried it hot. The watermelon flavour comes out really well, although the other ingredients are a bit lost. That’s not a bad thing, though, given that this is supposed to be a watermelon tea and not apple or carrot or beetroot.
I did find this sweet at first, but I also found that it grew on me as the day went on. You can’t deny that the flavour’s there, and it almost had that sweet, juicy stickiness that real watermelon has. Great stuff – very enjoyable on a hot day!
Today has been HOT. That’s how I knew without really having to think about it that this would be my tea of choice this evening. It was calling to me. I could smell it. Pleasingly, because the scent of the dry leaf is beautiful. It’s sweet and slightly tropical-fruity (it’s making me think of um bongo, which I haven’t thought of in years…) I’m getting melon, although it smells more like honeydew than watermelon to me. There’s just that little extra sweetness that watermelon doesn’t really have. Still, though, let’s not split hairs.
The dry mix is interesting. There are some quite big pieces of fruit, watermelon among them, and some very fine powdery green flakes. I’m not 100% sure on the identity of any of it, except the watermelon. A sneaky peek at the ingredients list reveals apple, carrot, beetroot, watermelon, honeydew melon, and strawberry leaves. I’m rather pleased to see that there’s some honeydew in here — my senses weren’t deceiving me after all. And the fine, powdery green stuff is strawberry leaves, so there’s that mystery solved.
Brewed, the liquor is a beautiful red-orange colour. It really does look like watermelon flesh, but I suspect it’s a result of the beetroot. It smells much like it does dry, but the taste is something else! The dry leaves reminded me mostly of honeydew melon, but to taste this is definitely watermelon. It’s sweet, juicy and refreshing — perfect for a night like tonight. I think I can taste a slight hint of apple in the background, but this is mostly like drinking watermelon juice. I’d really love to try this iced — hopefully I have enough left for a small jug.
Many thanks to Courtney for sharing this with me — I’ve really, really enjoyed it!
Sipdown! Used the last of my sample sachet to make a couple of litres cold brewed, which I actually drank at work on Tuesday and Wednesday, and completely forgot to log. That’s what being manically busy helping to plan an upcoming agent visit does for my tealogging.
Anyway, I‘ve tried this hot a couple of times, and it’s pretty nice like that. It’s really nice cold, though. The creamy lime flavour comes out really well, and the honeybush remains firmly in the background. As far as a cold brewed, citrus flavoured tea goes, that’s all I could want. It’s not sweet, so I guess if I’d thought I could have added a little bit of sugar. The creaminess is nice, though, and it’s refreshing enough just as it is.
This is definitely one I’d buy again in future. It’s still one of the best honeybush blends I’ve tried so far, and it works equally well cold and hot. I can see this one becoming a cupboard staple!
This smells AM-A-ZING dry, like a posh chocolate biscuit, or hot chocolate mix. There’s something slightly “green” about it, too, which at first I assumed was the green tea. It’s not the characteristic dank small I associate with green tea, though, so I’m actually thinking it might be the green rooibos. I don’t have any previous experiences with green rooibos to compare, though, so I could be wrong. Either way, it’s a nice smell, and I like it. There’s a slight hint of cinnamon, too, and the combination is somehow slightly Christmassy.
Brewed, this smells much the same as it does dry. The taste is slightly weak, although that might be my fault for being cautious with the brew time. The initial sip is a little bland, but the flavour really develops in the aftertaste. I’m surprised how well the chocolate emerges, especially given that it’s up against two strong flavours in their own right. Mostly, this tastes just as it smells – chocolate first (if blindfolded, I’d probably be convinced this was hot chocolate), a hint of cinnamon, and then a subtle earthiness from the base teas that gives the whole thing some depth.
I’ve got enough left for a couple more cups, and this is certainly one I’m going to enjoy trying again. Maybe I’ll be brave and extend the brew time a little! This is lovely as it is, though – thank you to Courtney for another generous sample!
Sipdown! Figured out last night that I had just enough of my sample left to make a litre of cold-brew to take to work today. I’m really glad I managed to try it like this, because I think this is how it shines brightest. The lemon and cream flavours really pop, and the rooibos remains in the background (exactly where I want it, in other words!) I thought this was gorgeous before, now I know it is. I’d definitely re-order this one.
I approached this one with a little trepidation, as earl grey isn’t always my favourite thing these days. Sometimes it’s just too floral and bergamot-y, and it gives me a headache. I should have known that I could trust Frank, though, because this one is perfect. I gave the bag the usual three minutes in boiling water, by which point it was looking quite dark. It certainly smells quite strongly when you first open the bag, but it translates into a quite delicate tea. I’m glad of this – I want my iced teas to be refreshing rather than in my face. At the same time, though, I like to be able to identify what I’m drinking. This one strikes the perfect balance. The black base is smooth and solid as ever, and the delicate citrusy flavour of bergamot seems to float on the surface. There’s a slight floral note to the aftertaste, and something of a candy-like creaminess as well – it’s certainly not harsh in the way that some EGs can be. I could happily drink this all day. In fact, that’s more or less exactly what I will be doing. It’s supposed to be hot here again, and I’ve got 300 shipping invoices to enter on DHL, so I’ve hardly an excuse to leave my desk. Good thing my tea is close at hand, then!