141 Tasting Notes
So after drinking some Caramel Vanilla Assam all day I wanted something different and new. So this is the 4th tea I got as a free sample from Teavivre’s very generous sample offer.
Opening the package I get woodsy, malty, grain-esque smells. It actually made me think of really good iced tea. Lol. Or the first time I had black dragon pearls, which is strange because they’re totally different teas. Lol.
I used 2 tsp in 195* water for 2:30min (I write this down because it is nigh impossible to use the slider selector bars while on an ipad).
Smells the same brewed as dry. First sip is …..oh man. I think this is the sort of tea I’ve been craving without actually knowing what I was looking for. It’s slightly woodsy, and fruity and sweet. I get almost a gentle smokeyness from the sip too.
I get a touch of bitterness and a medium strong astringency from the end of the sip, but it might just be because I overleafed my cup. Next time I might just try 1 1/2 tsp just to see.
Otherwise this tea is absolutely delicious. It might even become a staple in my cupboard after I’ve given it a few more tries….and pared down dome of my cupboard. It’s certainly not going into the swap bin. Lol!
I’m also going to have to give this a shot iced, though I haven’t decided if I want to straight up cold brew it or brew it hot then chill.
I wish this tea had brewed up purple, because that would’ve been awesome. But alas, it only brews up a fairly paleish golden color. The smell at first reminded me of one of the aged Butiki oolongs I had (might’ve been the 2003 aged oolong, but I’m not sure.), which was something I dislked quite a bit about that. But after letting it sit a few minutes, that smell changed into more of an almost wine-y sort of scent.
Sipping at it I get a plum-y taste that’s surprisingly full for a tea. It’s vaguely woody and I get that wine-y sort of taste at the back of the sip. I don’t get any sort of sweetness from the tea itself or at least nothing that I would deem as ‘sweet’. But there’s no bitterness, only a very slight sourness that doesn’t ruin the tea but adds to it, and the astringency is very faint if there’s really any at all.
Adding a bit of truvia made the fruityness pop out a bit more. (Because I can’t resist trying any tea withoug sugar. Lol.)
All in all it’s not a bad tea. I’m not sure it would go on my reorder list, but I’m not going to get rid of it outright.
So this was one of the samples I got from Teavivre’s reviewers sample offer. This is actually the second time I’ve had this, but the first time it was kinda unexpected since the packet had split open during transit and I wanted to use some so I could tape the packet closed.
This time around I was much more prepared, though I’m not sure I used the correct amount of leaf since there was no recommendation on the packet. But it turned out nicely anyway. Lol.
It’s gota pretty strong roasty taste to it, with an added woody element, but it’s also oddly sweet. I get a small bit of maltyness but I mostly get woodsy/roasty tastes. Very little astringency which is nice. And the more I ponder each sip, I get a vague peppery sory of feeling/taste.
It’s not really to my taste at the moment, but I’m not about to pour my mug of it out because of that. Lol. I’ll probly end up either giving the remaining two packets to friends/family, or keeping them to add to the travelling tea box I’m pondering on putting together.
Unrelated note but I wanted to vent – typing this on my Ipad stinks. It deleted this at first, but I found out you can undo typing (or in this case deleting text accidentally) by shaking the ipad and it’ll give you an ‘undo typing’ prompt. I wish I had know this sooner since it would’ve saved me much frustration. Lol.
This is such a pretty blend in the package with the little sprigs of red mixed into the rest of the tea. Maybe I’m strange but that was my first thought when I opened the tin. Lol.
The dry tea itself doesn’t have much of any particular outstanding smell. It just smells like, well, tea. Lol!
Brewed it’s vaguely cinnamony, a bit roasted with a pecular wet sort of smell to it. Not like musky wet dog smell, but just sort of damp. I know that probly doesn’t make any sense to anyone else, but when I figure out something better, I’ll fix it.
The taste is kinda meh for me with nothing standing out except some cinnamon notes, something kinda smokey and another taste that I can’t identify. Maybe it’s the ‘mineral’ taste that the Mambo is supposed to add, I’m not sure. I’ll have to just make some Mambo (I had picked up a sample pack with my order) and see if that’s what it is.
This has a nicely spiced scent dry, but not sharp like a chai. The brew also smells slightly spiced and vaguely green. I did notice that the brew has a scummy green tone to it. I’m not really surprised since I’m betting that’s just the sprinkles fault. I have another tea from Adagio with sprinkles that does the same thing, though it’s not quite as noticeable with a black tea.
I was surprised at how watery this tasted to me though. Maybe I should’ve used 2 tsp instead of the 1 tsp for my 8oz? Next time I make this, I’ll have to up the measure, or else brew it for a bit longer than 2 min.
As it stands it was a green, spiced sort of brew to drink, though nothing particularly outstanding to me. It’s nicely light and doesn’t seem to want to knock you down with flavors, which is refreshing.
Tea #2 from my ‘The Town We Do Not Speak Of’ (aka Nightvale)
Dry this one has a very strong grapefruit scent. Sort of a sour/tart sort of scent.
After brewing it’s got this strange sweet/sour thing going on with a grassy sort of green taste. Adding some truvia mellows the sour taste, though doesn’t really bring out much more than what I’ve already tasted.
I’ll have to try cold brewing this one too since maybe that’ll bring out more sweet fruityness. As it is, it’s a pretty alright tea to drink hot.
My most recent order from Adagio I got the ‘The Town We Do No Speak Of’ sampler set. Since I had the day off today and all to myself I decided to get through as many of the tins as possible. This was tea #1.
Brewed this has a green smell with something vaguely smoky and coffee-esque (but not like bitter/burnt coffee). It’s earthy and definitely coffee like when I tasted it, though I’m not sure how much of that is the maté since I’ve never had maté before. It’s not unpleasant, just kinda odd. Overall this blend was just kinda strange, not in a bad way, just strange. I also couldn’t really taste any of the clover or cardamom, though it could be because I was concentrating so much on the overall oddness that they just blended in with the rest.
Unfortunately I think I might’ve brewed it too hot? I figured on something close-ish to black tea since the gunpowder can stand up pretty well to hotter water, but when I went to the Adagio website, they recommend 185* for brewing. Whoops. Lol. I’ll have to try that temp next time.
I can say that when I got to the bottom and went to dump the dregs out of my cup (my strainer isn’t the best), it was gritty black and pretty alarming. I’ve never seen that happen, so again, it might be the maté. I hope it was because sheesh, I just drank it. Lol!
Overall not bad. I’m not sure about the supposed kick the maté is supposed to have since I don’t react as expected to caffeine (can drink it right before bed and still sleep), but this did make me feel vaguely shaky/jittery. Could’ve been because I hadn’t had much to eat, but it’s something to keep in mind for next time I drink it.
So originally I got this from the 5 for $5 sampler that Verdant did, uhhh, last year? XD; And when I first got it I was super excited because all the reviews are pretty stellar. But when I actually brewed it, I thought it was just a so-so sort of tea. That might be why I never wrote a tasting note for it? I’m not sure.
But I decided to make it again because why not? Lol. It’s just been sitting (in a sealed jar because the original package wasn’t resealable) with all my other Verdant samples. Samples that I’ve been too paranoid to drink because I’m worried that my palate is just too crappy to detect all those little nuances that everyone points out. I really need to get over that because the samples certainly aren’t doing me any sort of benefit sitting there.
Anyway, unfortunately I still say that I do not understand all the hype and excitement about this tea. It still just tastes so-so to me. And not a so-so sort of taste I like.
The brew smells kinda like burnt coffee. Thankfully it doesn’t taste heavily like that, though I do get a strong roasted sort of taste. I’m pretty sure that I didn’t burn the leaves since I used what Verdant recommends for a western brew. I can honestly say that I had forgotten that they said one tablespoon per cup and only used a tsp for mine. But it didn’t taste watery/weak and I can’t imagine that using more tea would make it taste any less burnt-ish? Who knows. I’m not sure I even want to try to resteep it because of what the first brew came out to be. But then again, I don’t have anything to lose except another cup of water. Lol.
I still have enough for one more serving with Verdant’s parameters, so I’l give it one more shot. Or maybe I’ll try some gongfu style brewing for the last bit. It certainly can’t hurt. Lol.
I’ll put a rating for it after I finish it off, just to give it one more shot.
Almost finished with the bag with just one serving more left. I’ve got mixed feelings about this, mainly because I was so excited about this after reading all the great reviews. But after trying it, it was just so so for me. Maybe I set my hopes too high. Who knows. XD This was made regular ‘western’ style, but with my last serving I might give making this in a gaiwan a shot. Anyone have any pointers on how best to do that? I’m a total gaiwan noob. But onto the review.
I was surprised at how honey-like the brew smelled this time around. Maybe I was underleafing the last few times I’ve made it? Or else I just don’t recall the smell the other times. It’s not really a sugar-sweet sort of honey smell but something a bit darker (though not like burnt type dark), with a nice woodsy sort of undercurrent. As usual my words aren’t working very well. XD
The taste is woodsy, malty, slightly sweet. I can kinda understand the bready description that other people were mentioning, though it doesn’t really stand out like that to me. And I don’t get much of any sort of apricot/plum/fruit notes, or else their buried beneath the woodsy maltyness. XD
Even after a pretty unique cup of tea, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t reorder this since it’s just not a tea I’d crave to drink all that often. I have other teas that I’d reach for first for regular drinking, and ones that already take up my ‘special occasions brewing’ preferences. But I’ll definitely enjoy the last cup of this before it goes.