224 Tasting Notes
So I actually got this a few months ago when I had to pick up a lovebird mug for Dinosara from a local Davids. I got a whole bunch of little amounts of a handful of teas to try, put them away in my ‘to try’ bin, then promptly forgot about them due to trying to drink other stuff down, being generally off tea, and having a tea box or two cross my path. I just rediscovered them when I went through all of my teas recently to weed out what I’m not going to drink. (I’ll probly figure out selling mystery boxes for all of that since I have as much tea as I want to get rid of as I’m planning on keeping. Lol!)
So I figure I’d better start drinking some of these and this was first up.
Dry in the package it’s chocolate and shelled nuts, or maybe just nut shells and cocoa nibs. It’s strong and has a strange other smell to it. Kinda alcohol-y, but not really alcohol.
Brewed scent is kinda bitter chocolate with nuts.
Taste wise the first thing I think of is that its trying too hard to be a chocolate nut tea. And that this was completely wasted as an oolong. I’ll bet it would’ve been much better as a black because I can’t tell this is tea. It could be an herbal for all the tea I taste in it. With a black tea base, I’m sure something would have gotten through at least.
It’s kinda bitter-ish but not actually bitter. And I get chocolate, but more roasted chocolate than creamy chocolate. And a strange sweetness after the sip, like I added sugar, but I know I didn’t at all yet. And definitely nutty. But no trace of any discernible oolong to it.
I’ll probly finish what I have, or maybe swap it away. But I’m glad I was able to get a small amount from the store instead of the 1.5 (or whatever) from the website.
Flavors: Chocolate, Nuts
Last Tea of the Traveling Tea Box C Round 2
Planning on sending this box off tomorrow. Technically I had one more to try (52 teas’ Cotton Candy), but I wasn’t really in the right mindset to try a white tea, so I’ll have to pass. Lol.
But I did get his one a shot before it went.
Kinda orangey/spicy in the package. Since I couldn’t really find any sort of ‘how to brew’ instructions, I just did 1 tsp @ 195* for 3 min. Seemed to work out alright.
Mainly I get oranges from the smell, and cloves from the taste. At first I was trying to figure out the spice. Not cinnamon, or anise, or cardamon…..Cloves! Mainly because I remember biting into one during an Easter dinner from the ham. Bleh. That was unpleasant but the taste in this tea wasn’t. It was pretty good and definitely different. Adding a bit of Truvia toned down the cloves just a bit, which made it better. But I really didn’t get much of any other sort of flavor from the tea. Though to be honest, I wasn’t really sure what sort of flavors to expect when I tried it excepting maybe oranges. Lol.
Not bad to try, but not one I’ll search out to order.
Tea #11 from Traveling Tea Box C Round 2
I’m always on the lookout for a good vanilla black tea. So far top of my list is Cafe Vanilla by Della Terra, but I’m not opposed to trying others. So I couldn’t pass this one up.
The scent in the bag isn’t ‘in your face’ vanilla, but it’s there. It’s kinda more subtle/muted, though I don’t know if that’s because of whatever flavorings they used or just because it’s down to the last 3ish tsp in the bag. Lol.
As much as I wanted to make a giant mug of this in anticipation of awesome vanilla-ness, I restrained myself to just 1 tsp for 8oz to save it for someone else to try.
Brew smell wise it’s vanilla-y, but you can tell the black base through it so that it’s kinda just lingering there. Taste wise, well, it’s certainly not an assertive vanilla taste. I definitely get more of the base than I do of the vanilla, though it’s there lingering around the edges. I’m almost wondering if I underleafed this since there’s a watery-ness to it.
A bit of truvia brings out the vanilla a smidge more, but I didn’t want to add too much since I didn’t want the sweetness right now.
It’s also been sitting a bit on a heating plate (one of those cup warmers) and it’s gotten a touch bitter. Not quite undrinkable, but just about, which is unfortunate.
So I guess I haven’t found a new fav vanilla tea. The search goes on. Lol!
Tea #10 from Traveling Tea Box C Round 2
One of the two white teas that I picked to try (the other is Cotton Candy and I may pass on that one in the end) mainly because I’m, well, I don’t exactly dislike white teas. I’ve just never found them to be strong enough flavor wise. They’re too delicate for my heavy handed palate apparently. Lol.
This tea had a mostly ginger scent in the bag with a light pear-ness.
Steeped I get more pear than ginger from the scent. It’s pretty balanced between the two with the taste. Pear in the forefront with a pleasant poke from the ginger. Though honestly the one reason I can tell this is a white tea is just from a lack of any sort of characteristic of another type, I can’t really tell any sort of particular nuance from the white tea specifically.
It’s not bad unsweetened, but sweetening it doesn’t really do too much to it. Lol. I’d bet this would be pretty good as iced tea, though I don’t really have any intention of buying myself some to put that to the test. Lol!
Tea #9 from Traveling Tea Box C Round 2
So to be honest, I’m pretty against most Teavana teas. I don’t care for the tea themselves since they’re usually very little actual tea, filled with fillers and sugars and whatnot. Not to mention their sales practices are usually pretty deplorable.
But this was in the box and I figured what the hell. It certaintly smelled good. Kinda nutty, chocolaty, roasty.
While brewing I got a very similar to coffee smell, which nearly made me pour it out since I detest coffee. But I let it steep and after letting it sit a few minutes, the coffee smell mostly dissipated to more acceptable level (almost nonexistent). Not I get sort of a chocolaty, nuttyish, orangy(?) sort of smell. Taste wise I get a watery chocolate with a strange overnote of something. Probly the mate. And it’s vaguely coffee-esque. I guess all the nuts that’re supposed to be in here kinda give it a nuttyness, but it’s mostly watery chocolate with that strange overlay. Better with some truvia, which gives the chocolate a bit more ‘umph’.
Though it is better than any of the other Teavana teas I’ve tried, I’m still generally unimpressed. There’s other teas that I would rather spend the time and money on honestly. Though I’m glad I tried it since it was something different.
Tea #8 from the Traveling Tea Box C Round 2
I actually had this last night, but I got caught up with playing Diablo so I didn’t remember to put up a tasting note. Honestly I shouldn’t’ve had any tea last night since it was really late (past midnight), but I really wanted a cup of tea. Lol!
This one smelled pretty good in the package and didn’t seem like one I would have to think on the flavors too much, so I figured it was a good one to just sip while distracted.
And it was. I was really surprised. It did have a cake-y sort of feel to it, lightly spiced and pretty good. Good enough that I’m considering ordering some from the company for myself. Lol. I did have to add quite a bit of sugar to it, though to be fair I was using brown rock sugar and I find that I always have to add more to that than my normal truvia. Without the sugar it was kinda just a hot, cinnamon tasting beverage. Lol. Sugar made it seem more like a cake-y tea.
But definitely a tea that I could consider drinking now and then.
Tea #7 from the Traveling Tea Box C Round 2
Yes, this is the second TTB for the night. More will come soon. I’m planning on doing a cram of TTB teas in the next few days since I realized that I’ve had this box nearly a week and still have a pile of teas to try. /shakes fist at work/ I’ve already weeded out a few that I was just kinda interested in trying but won’t lose sleep if I don’t Lol.
Smelling the brew reminds me of genmatcha with that roasted rice sort of smell. But really giving it a good whiff and thinking about it it turns into a buttery caramel smell. Maybe salted caramel.
Tastewise I get hay. Sweet, clean, but hay nonetheless. And watery. Maybe I needed to use more than a tsp for the 8oz? Dunno. Vaguely get something that could be caramel. But definitely not what the smell would imply.
Adding a bit of truvia made it sweeter, toned the hay down a bit so it’s more background and not foreground, and kinda made the caramel come up better. But it’s still weak so I’m inclined to believe I underleafed this one.
But drinking this makes me curious about other hojicha. Since it’s a green I wasn’t that interested in trying it. But it seems like it’s closer to a roasted oolong in taste, so I might consider giving others a shot.
This one however, was just so so and not something I’d order.
Tea #6 from the Traveling Tea Box C Round 2
I’ve wanted to try this since I saw it on the website and was thrilled there was a smidge left in this box. Just a smidge since there was just about a tsp full in the bag. So I used a smidge of 6oz of water since normally the measure is 1.5 tsp/8 oz.
I really don’t get the milkshake part, but I definitely smell the pumpkin in the brew. Like I have pumpkin puree in my cup instead of tea. Lol. I had a bunch of pumpkin flakes that I shook out of the cracks of the package, so that may be why it’s so strongly pumpkin.
Tastewise I definitely get the pumpkin, but that’s about it. It’s actually kinda bitter and astringent otherwise, so I wonder if the water I used was a bit too hot (177ish instead of 170) or I steeped it too long? Sugar doesn’t really help and if I added any more it would defeat the purpose of having tea and not just sugar water or soda. Lol!
Kinda disappointing, but again, that may be because of user error and not actually the tea. But I dislike the pumpkin-ness of it enough that I wouldn’t really be interested in ordering/swapping for it to try again.
Tea #5 from the Traveling Tea Box C Round 2
There wasn’t too much left of this one, just about a tsp and a half ish, so I made a larger cup than I usually do when sampling stuff from one of these boxes.
Brewed it has a honey and peachy/fruity smell to it. Taste wise it’s kinda just meh. It’s vaguely fruity tasting though nothing that jumps out, and the honey is there ish, but not in a sweet way. Just sort of in a ’here’s a honey taste’ sort of way.
Adding some truvia doesn’t really make anything else stand out, it just gives the current flavors a bit of a base to stand on.
If I had ordered this myself, I wouldn’t have necessarily been disappointed in it and I would’ve drank through it, but it wouldn’t have been one I would reorder. As it is, I’m glad I tried it first from the box. ^^
Tea #4 from Traveling Tea Box C Round 2
This was to make up for the bleh that I got from the s’mores genmatcha. It smells fruity enough though I’m a bit daunted by the hibiscus in the blend. I’m not sure if the tea that I’m trying is different, or they just don’t list the entire ingredients list. The ones listed for this tea here are certaintly different from the ones listed on the package. I’m not entirely sure if I should edit the list here or not since the one on Steepster is what it says on SerendipiTea’s website.
Not too bad of a brew, though the hibiscus makes it tart like I was worried about, but it thankfully doesn’t take over. Mostly I get nice blueberry smell and taste with a tart hibiscus poke. I had to add a bit more Truvia than I usually do to get it drinkable though. I’m not sure if the slight mouth puckering that I’m getting after a sip it astringency on the part of the tea, or a side effect of the hibiscus. I tend to avoid blends with hibiscus since I don’t have very good experience with them. I enjoyed this, but not really enough to want to have it again or even order it.