116 Tasting Notes
So after the horrible luck I’ve been having with teas tonight, I decided on a tea that I’m almost positive I’d like. I mean, you can’t (very rarely) go wrong with vanilla. This was one of the teas I got in the Try-me sampler on my last order.
The smell in the bag reminds me of Love in a Cup, which is great because I love that tea too.
The flavor was very nice. Smooth vanilla taste that increased after I added a bit of sugar. I used 1 1/2 tsp of this, but next time I might try 2 tsp to see if I can get more vanilla taste.
This is one I’d definitely consider reordering next time, unless I find a better vanilla tea before that.
So I actually picked this up at the Chicago Adagio location after the blender of this tea, Cara McGee, had a tea party there during C2E2. I wasn’t there for the party though. I ended up stopping by about a week later and Adagio still had some blends lurking around, so I grabbed this since it sounded interesting and I had been considering buying it online. I wish it had been in the Sherlock sampler set a friend of mine that was there with me ended up picking up, since I would’ve loved to try this first. Or at least smelled it. If I had, I probly wouldn’ve bought this to be honest.
The dry blend smells of cinnamon, cardamom, a hint of coconut, ginger and very faintly either caramel or vanilla. Not so sure on that since everything else is so much stronger, but it’s faintly there. It’s not unpleasant, but definitely makes you (or at least me) proceed with caution. Lol.
The taste, however, doesn’t come close to having all these great smells present. For me, the Thai Chai completely overpowers everything else in this blend. And specifically the ginger is all I taste. Well, cinnamon versus ginger, with the ginger coming out mostly on top. It’s so strong that it actually made me a little ill and I had to pour out the rest of my cup. If I want a ginger tea, I’d rather drink the Shieldmaiden blend I have instead.
It’s not really a bad blend. If you like stronger, spicy-esque flavors, especially ginger, this is the tea for you. If you were looking for something mildly spicy, or something that you can taste the tiger eye or assam melody teas, you might consider trying another blend. It’s definitely not one of my favorites. Swap bin for this one.
So this is actually the second time I’ve made this, but I was so underwhelmed by it the first time I made it that I decided to just toss it back in my untried bin and after awhile, try it again. Lol.
Great pineapple smell in the bag, in a mouthwatering way. So I was pretty excited. And the brewed tea smells pretty pineapple-y also.
But after sipping it, I don’t really get much actual pineapple taste. Maybe I’m expecting too much, but if a tea is labeled pineapple, it should at least be pretty strongly pineapple. Even with sugar added, not much pineapple.
It could also be that this tea was so astringent to me that I couldn’t drink much more than half of it before pouring it out. Even 5ish minutes later my mouth is still all wonky from the astringency.
I’d keep this and finish it out, but that astringency is just too much. Ah well. One day I’ll find a good pineapple tea.
So this second time around I poured my whole bag into a bowl and made sure the teaspoon I got wasn’t heavy on fruit with no tea.
It’s definitely not as tart as it was when I first made it. But I didn’t really get any sort of definite oolong taste from it either. No hint of maple sweetness that I could tell, but I wasn’t really expecting much from that to be honest.
It was just a kinda fruity/berry, lightly tart-ish tea. With sugar it was a bit better, but kinda meh overall.
Going into the swap bin…which I really need to empty out soon. Lol.
So I’ve been looking forward to this tea since I read about it on Verdant’s website. It sounded so good that I almost got a full ounce of this, but managed to contain myself (just in case) and just get two samples of it. I’ve been wanting to make this tea for awhile, but found that I didn’t have enough time to be able to fully appreciate all of the steepings I was bound to get from this, so I kept putting it off. Finally I decided to go for it since I have a late shift for work the next day so I could possibly stay up late if necessary to drink through this. Lol. Originally I was going to use my new gaiwan for it, but Verdant had western style brewing suggestions on the site and I felt kinda lazy.
I used the one tablespoon per cup recommendation (that’s alot of tea, yeesh), which was exactly what I had in my sample packet. Into my ingenutea it went, followed by 205* water. Then to sit and wait. The following steeping opinions I wrote as I made them over the course of a couple hours. (Yes, I was a slow tea drinker tonight.)
1st steep – 205* / 3min – I can understand the wheat bread descriptions since that’s what I first thought when I opened the sample packet. Kind’ve a grain-y, roasty smell. The steeped leaves have the same smell. For the brew, the same roasty flavor, but this is bordering on more of a burnt flavor. Actually I can’t really get past this to find any other flavors. The burnt taste really overpowers everything else for me, which makes me kinda sad. But hopefully it’ll get better in the second steeping.
2nd steep – 205* / 4.5min – Still roasty, but the burnt flavor has died down quite a bit. Don’t get much more than that roasty flavor still.
3rd steep – 205* / 6min – The roasty flavor is gone mostly, not in your face, but kinda chilling in the background. I’m not quite sure what to think of this third brew really. It’s sweet by itself, but I can’t really associate any particular flavor or impression to it. It’s not a weak tea flavored water. It’s more than that but I can’t figure out what. It’s very frustrating actually.
Originally I had done this for 5.5min, but found it watery and dumped it back in the leaves for a bit longer steep, which came out much better tasting, all things considering.
4th steep – 205* / 8min – So I think this is the last steep I can get from this. I probly should’ve stopped at the 3rd, but I couldn’t resist at least trying. After all, it’s only water I’d be using, not like money or my bottled fairies (kudos if you get the reference). This brew is just slightly roasty in an oolong-ish sort of way, but mostly just watery and getting unpleasantly astringent. I actually might just pour this one out since it’s definitely not appealing to drink at this point. If it weren’t so late I might try just dumping the brew back into the leaves and letting it sit awhile longer. But alas, I have to have a cutoff sometime and quarter past 1 in the morning seems as good of one as any. Lol.
My impressions overall are that I don’t think this one is for me just yet. I’ve decided not to leave a rating on this one since I think my dissatisfaction with this tea might be more my own taste than the tea itself, especially since there’s so many other people here that it’s such a big hit with. Normally I’d probly have rated this a 48 or 49 on my own opinion scale (which is at the higher end of my ‘good to try, won’t reorder’ area), but I feel it’d be unfair to potentially bring the rating down because my taste buds are uncooperative. Lol.
I might try my second sample packet later on down the line to see if I can find the nuances of this better. Or I might just try this with cooler, more oolong temperate water and see if that helps. We’ll see, but for now, this isn’t going on my reorder list.
So I wanted something today, but I couldn’t decide which tea. I didn’t really want to drink a tea I have already, but I didn’t really have a taste for most of the new teas I do have. And the ones I did have a taste for were all multiple steep teas and it’s much too late for that.
I had made the Konami Mystery tea from Adagio, but it turned bitter because I think I used too hot of water. So I dumped it and grabbed this one to make instead.
It’s supposed to be fruity, and while I have serious doubts with anything that has so many different ingredients (especially cinnamon & hibiscus) it smelled so good in the store I figured I’d give it a shot. I had gotten a 2oz bag from a bin on the counter for $3.
The dry mix reminds me strongly of cinnamon apple pie and I don’t really get much else unfortunately except fleeting vague other fruit scents. I added about 2ish tsp, closer to 3 tsp really, to a teaball and dropped it in a cup of a little over 8oz of water. Not exactly sure since it was more than how much it’s usually filled, but not quite up to the top. Lol. Steeped for about 5 min.
The brew is a dark red and still smells like cinnamon apples. Taste wise it’s very tart and cinnamon-y. So much so it overpowers everything else. Which is really unfortunate. I had to add almost a full packet of truvia just to be able to drink it, which I’ve never had to do with a tea before. And while it tones down the tartness somewhat, it’s still very tart. Hibiscus strikes again. Really I should’ve know better I guess.
Ah well. It was still nice to try. And as it cools it’s still nice. Makes me think it could be used for a nice fruity cold drink. I might try that with some of what I have left. But this one it definitely going in the swap bin.
I wanted a good solid plain black tea and essentially had a craving for this. Sitting here sipping it, it’s not exactly the tea my mind told me I was craving, but it’s close enough that the craving is sent back to rumble in its cave.
Earthy, with an almost peppery sort of sense to it. Which is weird. Not sure if that’s what I’m getting, but it’s what springs to mind first. A bit more astringent than I remember, but not to the point where I feel like I’ve been chewing cotton.
Did two single serving brews then poured it all in one cup. Added a bit of sugar. Mmmmm. Tasty black tea nummy-ness. Lol.
Oh yeah. Still delicious.
I wanted a fruity tea this morning and I figured this would be a good one. What with all the fruit in it and it smelling just as fruity.
Lots of big chunks of berries when I measured it out, but not much actual tea. I probly should have put it back and stirred the bag up better. That might explain why this was so tart when I went to drink it. All I could taste was tart cranberry water essentially, with no hint of any sort of oolong tea. And since I have no idea what a Saskatoon berry tastes like, forget trying to pick that out. Lol.
I added truvia to this and it helped somewhat with the tartness, but not enough since it was still almost undrinkable to me.
Second steep – same temp – 4 min – weak/watery tasting with that tart/sour overlay.
I’ve held off rating this because I’m pretty sure didn’t get a properly mixed measure out of my bag. It wouldn’t be fair to rate it lower than I might otherwise have rated it if I had actually gotten tea with this. Lol.
I’ll add a rating when I make this again with a better mix…hopefully. In any case, I’ll rate it regardless on if I get the same tart/sour taste out of it. Lol.
Another tea I got from DavidsTea the other day that I had rather high hopes for. While it didn’t completely crash and burn like the other one I tried tonight, it didn’t quite reach what I was expecting.
I didn’t really get any of the honey notes like the description mentions, just earthy/woody, maybe a bit of fruityness (which was strange and I may have imagined it).
I kinda wish I had read the reviews on here so I knew better what I might be getting into, and kinda glad I didn’t since I likely would’ve never bought this if I had. Mainly because I think my tastebuds are just not cut out for Darjeelings and those teas similar to them. I just don’t care for that kinda of musky/woody/earthy sort of taste. Though where I didn’t care at all for the first (and so far only) Darjeeling I’ve had, this tea is just unsimilar enough to a Darjeeling that I find myself finishing my cup and pondering another (or trying a resteep), but similar enough that it could be considered vaguely comparable. Even possibly as an easy introduction step to actual Darjeelings.
It has no astringency or bitterness that I could detect, but then I steeped it for 30 sec less than the minimum recommended temp, and at a slightly cooler temp. (Though I’m not sure how a few degrees really would have made a difference.)
I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t reorder this one, but if I drink enough, the taste may grow on me. But I can at least see myself finishing what I have. Which makes me happy that it wasn’t a complete bust or I’d’ve been really irritated. (I also got cajoled into buying an ounce of this instead of a half ounce.
_ I need a backbone. Lol!)
Edit – Second steep – Same Temp-ish/ 4:30 min – Much like the first but toned down on the woody bite. Stiil a pleasant black tea. Not bad. /Ups the rating just a smidge for that./ Lol.