1162 Tasting Notes
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!
Had a cup of this when I returned from lunch this afternoon. After I’d cleared the backlog of visitors in my reception, anyway. I’d been reading Dr No (I know, I know…), and I’d just got to the part when his “dragon” appears. To continue the theme, this seemed a fitting tea to start the afternoon off. I think this is actually only my second or third cup of this — my pouch is still pretty full. I like it just as much as I did last time I logged it, though. The cinnamon is sweet, the cayenne pepper spicy, and the dragonwell is a beautiful complement to both. Slightly vegetal, but not at all astringent. This tea really does make me think of dragons, somehow. The green tea for the dragon itself, the cinnamon for the fire, and the cayenne pepper for the smoke puffs that are obviously going to ensue. Evocative, this one. I love that in a tea!
This is so good when it’s cold. I put my SBTs in a bottle to bring to work a litre at a time, leaving the second litre in the fridge at home for the next day. I drank half of yesterday’s bottle in the morning while it was cold, and absolutely loved it. I forgot to put the other half in the fridge while I went for lunch, though, and came back to a warm-ish glass that wasn’t so fabulous. Somehow, this tea seems to lose some of its flavour when it gets warm. I guess the clue’s in the name given that it’s iced tea, though. Anyway, today I’m making an effort to be less forgetful so I can log this successfully.
Cold, this tastes beautifully of cola with a twist of lime. It’s cola rather than coke — the kind of flavour you’d expect if you bought own brand rather tha coca cola or pepsi, or whatever. Like cola bottles, really, I suppose. The lime tatses remarkably fresh and zingy, almost like I’d squeezed it in myself. On a hot day (and today is warming up quickly), this is just the thing. Better for me than actual cola, but just as tasty. All that, combined with the fact that it’s tea make it a winner in my book! This is great stuff — I definitely feel a repurchase coming on.
This is one of the boxes of Teapigs from my “Ultimate” collection that I’ve left until last fairly intentionally. Plain rooibos blends aren’t usually my thing – I want to like them, but I can’t get past the taste of rooibos on its own. It’s just too earthy and woodsy and plain odd. On closer inspection, though, this is actually a rooibos/honeybush blend despite its name, so I’m a little more hopeful about it now. Honeybush I can tolerate.
Dry and while brewing, this just smells like rooibos. It’s that typical, almost medicinal scent. Possibly there’s a higher proportion of rooibos than honeybush in here, which would make sense given that this blend is called rooibos, so perhaps I should have expected that. In any case, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to my first sip.
Strangely, though, the predominant taste here is honeybush. Relief is probably the first thing I felt, because now I know I’ll be able to finish the box. I was expecting the harsh edge of rooibos here, for certain, but this tea is remarkably sweet and smooth tasting. It’s almost as if I’d added honey, which I haven’t. After seeing the colour of the liquor, which is a deep, dark red-brown, I was half tempted to add some milk in an effort to make it more palatable. I’m glad I tried it first, though, because it absolutely doesn’t need it. I suppose there’s a lesson here in how not to judge a tea by its cover, as it were. Or by previous experiences with other similar teas, for that matter. It’s not my favourite, and no rooibos/honeybush blend ever will be, but it’s eminently drinkable and, I feel, one of the more pleasant examples of its type. A successful end to this experience, anyway!