149 Tasting Notes
Rarrgh! The stupid internet ate the review I wrote. /grumbles/ Ah well.
I’ve had a taste for this tea for the past few days, and it’s just as I remember it. Though not as bitter or astringent as I remember, possibly because I used a cooler water temperature this time. Seems to have tempered it a bit, which is nice.
A good vanilla taste with a richness from the chocolate (I think), but mostly it’s vanilla. I don’t get any mango here which is good since I’ve found I’m allergic to any teas heavy in mango. So I just pick out the big chunks in this and I’m good.
Also the rooibos isn’t strong and I don’t get any of the minty taste I’ve come to associate with any rooibos teas I’ve drank recently. Possibly because it isn’t the main tea here and is mixed with a stronger black tea. Whatever is it, it’s just a nice addition and not overpowering.
I’ve been wanting to pick this up for the heck of it and when I saw it on clearance at Target I couldn’t resist picking up a box.
It smells caramelly, though I don’t really get the vanilla that much in the dry smell. Steeped you can definitely smell the caramel but again, not so much the vanilla.
Unfortunately I’m not that impressed with the taste, even with some sugar added. It’s a bit bitter and not too impressive on the taste. Lackluster caramel and a hint of vanilla on the back of the taste. Maybe a lower temp or shorter steep will improve this. I certainly have enough to experiment with. Lol.
I’m glad I tried it and I’ll probly finish the rest of the bags. But I won’t be rebuying it. Most likely this is going to be a tea I’ll keep at work for when I want tea and don’t want to deal with any of my actual good teas. At home I have much better caramel & vanilla teas (Butiki’s Caramel Vanilla Assam to be exact. X3) for when I want a tea like that.
Wasn’t sure what I wanted tonight so I just grabbed this out of the bin.
Not bad overall. I get the peach and an unexpected sweetness overall with my first sip. Then the woodsy/piney flavor on the back taste that’s not as unpleasant as I was thinking it might be.
I found adding sugar to this didn’t really do too much, but then again, I only added a very small bit of sugar because I didn’t want to drown it. I might try some honey next time to see what happens.
2nd steeping – 5 min/Same Temp – Don’t get too much peach or sweetness with the second steeping. It seems to me that the pine/wood taste has gotten stronger, so I’m not sure if this is only a one steep wonder or if I just didn’t let it steep for long enough. I would think being an oolong that it would take to multiple steepings alright. But I’m not overly well versed in the oolong tea world so it’s highly likely I’m probly wrong. Lol.
It’s not a bad tea to keep around. But it’s also one that I’m not sure I would actively crave like I do some of the other’s in my stash. This one’s a possible, but not necessarily at the forefront, reorder.
So I got a small sample of this when the maker Aun Juli offered ‘sampler sets’ of her own. And I adore this tea. I’ve actually made it twice but just realized that I never put up a tasting note.
Unsweetened you can definitely taste the blueberry and kinda the vanilla. But with a bit of sweetener the blueberry becomes way more pronounced and the vanilla comes up a bit better. The cream just kinda adds a smoothness to the entire tea.
No astringency or bitterness. I might try this at a lower temp like Andie did, just to see.
I was completely bummed when Adagio pulled this one along with all of the Tolkien related teas due to a copyright violation with the SCZ company. (Who, if anyone’s interested, has nothing to do with the Tolkien estate. They just made those silly Hobbit cartoon movies ages ago.)
Thankfully this blend is available once more. Aun-Juli rereleased this tea under her own brand of teas ‘Fancy Narwhal’s Fancy Tea for Fancy Folks’ with a blueberry inclusion. You can find it here – http://www.adagio.com/signature_blend/blend.html?blend=46837&SID=2dbb8a5f7bd02cff20c7c97ba3dd08e1
I also just found out that Adagio teas is letting her reopen/repost her Tolkien teas with some revision to the names/labels/etc. so they’re not Tolkien specific. (Which makes sense to me since Tolkien didn’t make up terms like Shieldmaiden or Elevenses). So this blend, along with many of her others, is up again in its originality under the same name, just a different fandom heading ‘Tales and Tea Leaves’ – http://www.adagio.com/signature_blend/group.html?group=2721&SID=1eb52eaf15a99636447ab339f63f7203
Backlogged review from a few days ago so this is probly not going to be very informative. I’ll definitely have to add to this review when I drink it again.
I can’t remember if I brewed according to instructions or tried a lower temp because it was an oolong and I didn’t want it to get bitter. I want to say I followed instructions since I always do when I make a tea for the first time, them adjust accordingly.
Not bitter at all whatever I did. (I know, terribly unhelpful. Sorry.)
I do remember that this was a pretty good tea all things considering. And I also remember thinking that this would be a good one to add some vanilla to, either by blending it with another tea or adding the flavoring directly.
I’d possibly reorder this sometime since I don’t have any bad impressions of it. It’s just I don’t have any strong ones either. Lol. ^^;
So I went through and resorted the teas I’ve tried into more specific bins, splitting them up between stuff I’d reorder/maybe reorder/just finish off. I find myself sorting pretty often, but hopefully this sorting will stay for awhile. Lol. There were a handful of ones left over that I wasn’t sure about, so I just get to retry them all again I guess. Lol. Which worked out since I realized that I never put up a note about some of them and I could now, this one included.
I love the smell of this. I could just put this in bowls around my apartment and let it scent my apartment if I didn’t want to drink it so much. Lol.
I also love the little silver candy balls that they have in this. My Mom used to have these in her baking cupboard (probly still does) and I remember sneaking a few now and then to crunch on when I was younger. She got so annoyed with me but never hid them away like she could have. So I’m very tempted to just pick them out and crunch on them like I used to. But I let them be.
Brewing this up it has the same scent as the dry which is awesome. My first sip I get the apricot pretty strongly, which is very nice. So is the subtle peach and the faint hint of pineapple I get now and then. Especially after I add a smidge of sugar to it. Makes everything pop a bit better.
I was curious so I pointed a flashlight into my teacup and had to grin at the sparkles that I saw there. It reminds me of DavidsTea’s Glitter and Gold that has the same sort of sparkle to their brewed tea.
Definitely one I’d keep in stock because the flavors are so nice together.
Edit – Second Steeping – 4 min/same temp – The second steeping isn’t that bad. A bit weaker, but that’s to be expected. I guess I shouldn’t’ve picked out the big chunk of apricot before doing the second steeping. Lol. Still, not bad for a second steep. I’ve certainly had worse.
So I’m home nursing a bum ankle today, so it’s a tea-splurging day. And this was the first I grabbed out of the pile I set aside.
Got this one recently and I loved the smell of it. Also the ingredients sounded interesting, though I wasn’t sure what half of them should taste like. Lol.
I get cinnamon right off the bat just from smelling it, but not much else. I definitely get the cinnamon in tasting it, maybe hints of something else, but unfortunately the cinnamon is pretty much all I’m tasting from this. I have enough for a cup, possibly two cups, left, so I might try either a longer steep time or more leaf to see what sort of result I get.
I’m glad I tried it, but if all I get is cinnamon next time I make this, this definitely won’t be going in the reorder pile. As it stands now, I probly wouldn’t reorder it at this time.
Edit – Made a second steep (3 min, same temp) of this just ‘cause I figured it wouldn’t hurt. The cinnamon definitely backs off, but lingers around. It’s gotten a bit sour/tart now, maybe from the berries coming through? I added a bit of sugar to tame that and it’s alright. Nothing spectacular or impressive and likely I won’t finish this cup. /shrug/
So I can’t quite remember where I got this from. I’m pretty sure I got it from Momo when she was selling some stuff, but don’t quote me on that. Lol. In any case, I didn’t realize it was rooibos when I got it. And I’ve pretty much determined that I dislike rooibos, so I had some major doubts when I opened the bag.
But it smelled so tasty that I couldn’t resist at least trying it before tossing it in my swap bin. It has the same smell as Davids Red Velvet Cake, which I love, but the rooibos gives it that particular minty-esque smell that I’ve come to associate with rooibos. Which also has the unfortunate side effect of transferring into whatever the tea is, if it’s rooibos heavy.
Anyway, it brewed up a nice reddish color that had the same smell as the dry tea. Without any sweetener it tasted vaguely similar to what it smelled like, kinda cakelike. Like a spice cake maybe. After adding sweetener, the taste was definitely much better, more like cake. But I could definitely tell it was rooibos because of the that dratted minty-ness.
Overall I didn’t mind the taste that much because it enhanced the overall taste of the tea instead of killing it for me. But if I had my choice between this and Red Velvet Cake, I would go for the Red Velvet Cake. Though in a pinch, this would do.