141 Tasting Notes
These leaves are so cute. Kinda like the Zhen Qu but not as twisty or as tiny of leaves. And it brews up very dark, I was surprised when I poured it into my cup.
The smell reminds me of the black dragon pearls I have. Taste wise it’s also similar to the pearls, but the taste is a a bit darker. And kinda peppery. And maybe with a bit of woody burny taste to it? And there’s hardly any astringency to this, which is very nice.
And though this is probly blasphemy to someone, but I added a smidge of sugar to it. It didn’t overpower and it helped tone the burny taste down so that it was closer to excellent as opposed to good.
I want to try a second steep on this, since I’d think a tea this dark on the 1st steep would still be good on the second, possibly the third. So I’ll edit with that later.
With the second steeping done, I’d most likely end up ordering this one again in the future. Probly with a sale or something. But it’s definitely on my list.
Edit – So I did a second steeping. Added 1 min, same temp – Very nice. The burny, kinda bitter-esque taste is gone and the tea is very sweet and kinda fruity with a nice black tea taste. A bit weak, but I may have just not steeped it long enough so next time I’ll try maybe 5 minutes instead of the 4:30. Still very little astringency, which is very nice. Gonna try one more steeping.
Edit 2 for first steeping (And to be honest this is more a note for myself where I’ll remember it, but maybe it’ll help someone else.) – Kinda got sucker punched with a spiked headache a bit after drinking it, so I’d guess this has a pretty high caffeine content in it. Normally it doesn’t bother me, but today I had to get a spinal tap and I’m thinking that and this strong tea had something to do with the headache. Drinking some water and kinda chilling out helped. But I’m gonna go lay down completely and see if it goes away.
But in case the tap wasn’t a factor in my sudden headache, just a cautionary note to myself to watch it when making it next. Lol! I’ll put another tasting note up when I make it again and make note of it I got a headache or not from it.
So I wanted something mellow and different but still familiar, so I grabbed this and cut open the bag. The first smell I was hit with was an alcoholic vanilla scent. Kinda like that smell you get when you smell the vanilla in the bottles from the store, but without that sweetness to the scent. So right off I was very doubting of this. But I brewed on.
I always go with the lower suggested steeping time, so this when for 2 min in my ingenuitea before decanting.
Smell wise the brew wasn’t bad. Nice creamy vanilla scent so I took an optimistic sip….and just about spat it back into my cup. Oh! Oh EWW! It tastes like when you lick the measuring spoon after measuring out vanilla extract without really thinking about it, expecting sweet vanilla flavor and only getting a sharp alcohol taste. BLEH! I even tried adding some sugar and I’m sorry to say that I only wasted the sugar.
Maybe the batch I got was very fresh made and the alcohol fumes of whatever flavoring they used didn’t have a chance to air off. But whatever it was, I’m not up for giving this a second chance. So Out Out OUT for this!
I love how the leaves for this look. Like the leaves in Three Friends. Little curls of fuzzy golden rope.
Brews up a dark red color and smells fruity, raisiny maybe? Tasting it, well, for some reason this tastes watered down to me. I can’t understand why since I brewed it with the directions and so far haven’t been led astray. Maybe next time I’ll try a tsp and a half and see if that makes a difference.
I get a nice maltyness from this, and a sweetness which is nice. It’s a little more astringent than I would like, but then I can’t really stand much astringency sometimes. I don’t really get any chocolaty notes from it, but then, I’m horrible at picking out that kind of taste from black teas in my opinion. Added a small bit of sugar since I figure it couldn’t hurt and I get a bit more honey-esque notes (though I don’t know how much of that is just from adding sugar to it).
I’ll try it again with a heavier measuring of tea and see if I get stronger tastes from it. And while I’m glad I tried it, I’m not sure this is one I’d reorder.
So delayed tasting note since I actually had this over the course of the day yesterday. It was the last tea I had while out on vacation and I steeped it twice, then saved the leaves in my ingenuitea and had two more steeps when I got home that night. Lol.
I put about 4 per 8oz in my cup and have easily gotten 4 steeps out of them (I just add a minute each time). I haven’t tried a fifth steep yet, though I did put the leaves in some water and stuck them in the fridge before I went to bed last night to see what happens. Checked this morning and it’s not looking promising since the water is still very clear with only a hint of tea.
The taste is a very strong, black tea taste. Smooth and kinda rich with no astringency that I could tell, which I always love finding a tea with (without? Lol). I guess malty could be used to describe it if I’m using the word correctly, though I don’t really get the cocoa that other people seem to get. Unless that’s actually what I’m tasting, then it doesn’t really taste like what I think cocoa tastes. Lol.
It also makes a great iced tea by just brewing it normally and sticking it in the fridge to cool then adding ice later. I did this with the second and third steeps the first time I made this and it was just as good as the first two were hot.
I’m not really sure how these are supposed to compare with other companies’ black dragon pearls though. I have the black dragon pearls from Tazo, so it’ll be interesting to see how they compare. Maybe I’ll start collecting them from all the companies and have a big brew taste and compare day. Lol.
I think these are pretty good, though a bit expensive for me to potentially keep around to drink. Though I guess I have to take into account the multiple steeps I get from them. In any case, I’d definitely get these again one day.
I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Mostly because many of the teas I’ve gotten from this company I’ve had pretty rotten experiences with.
1st steeping – 4min @190ish- This is a greener oolong than I’m used to having, but it’s not unpleasant. Kinda green tasting but not like an in your face veggies! kind of taste or like I’m chewing on grass or something. Lol. Just fresh and bright. It also has a nice light sweetness, though I’m not getting much in the way of floral taste. Or else it’s there, just very subtle.
2nd steeping – 5min @ 190ish – A bit weaker in overall taste, but still not bad. I probably should have steeped a bit longer. Maybe next time I’ll try steeping it for 5:30 or even 6 min. Probably try both since I have enough. Still greenish and I get a slight peppery taste from it too, which is strange since I’ve never really experienced it. But it’s not that bad either.
I think it’s about all done out at the second steeping since the flavor was very weak. But it was a good tea. I’l definitely finish the rest of what I have and I might even order this one again.
So I decided to give another rooibos a shot. Mostly because I still had a few from an order I’d gotten before I realized that rooibos is not, erm, my cup of tea. Lol.
This is actually the second one I’ve tried since my last ‘I hate rooibos’ tasting note. But I burned my tongue something awful making dinner while the other was steeping, so I have yet to leave a tasting note for that one. It wouldn’t be fair if I can’t really taste it.
Anyway, so this one isn’t that bad. But for the effort, I think I’d just make myself an equivalent black or oolong tea to be honest.
I get a nice caramel taste from this, especially after a bit of sugar. And it’s pretty smooth. It’s not an in your face caramel, but if I didn’t know this was rooibos I’d almost think it was a nice mild black of some sort. I don’t get the awful minty taste I’ve associated with rooibos since the first time I drank an ‘only rooibos’ tea. Maybe that company’s rooibos had an issue or something so now I’m judging all rooibos unfairly.
But in any case, this wasn’t bad and I’d definitely say give it a shot if you’re looking for a caramel-y rooibos. I just won’t reorder it myself since it’s a pain in the butt to clean out of my tea maker. Lol.
I thought this would be a good morning tea to try. And it was a good wake up, but not for the reason I was hoping. This tea was horribly bitter with an almost burnt taste that lingered. Even after putting a half a packet of sugar in this it wasn’t tolerable. I couldn’t get past that taste to find any of the other notes that were supposed to be in this tea. I ended up pouring the whole cup out and dumping the leaves. Maybe I should’ve tried this with milk to cut the harshness but I can’t imagine that milk would’ve made it any better really.
Maybe it’s just me but this tea is definitely not for me.
Can’t remember who I got this from. So apologies & big thanks to whoever it was. Lol!
This tea….Uhhh….It’s very strange to smell it and smell cookies. Like, woah and a strange look kinda strange. I had to poke through the bag to make sure there wasn’t any of those little cookie dough balls like they have in some ice creams. XD When I measured it out, I got a giant whole half of a walnut which I picked out and tossed back in the bag. I have an oral allergy to walnuts, and though I’m not sure what they’d do to me mixed in a tea, I didn’t want to take any chances with a piece that big. (As a note after drinking this my allergy didn’t act up in the slightest that I could tell so I’m guessing whatever unknown walnut pieces that were in here were safe enough.)
Steeped this and then eyed it in apprehension sitting there in my mug. I dunno why but I was feeling very strange about trying it. I mean, liquid cookies? Really? Honestly I like mine solid, dunked in milk thank you very much. But it was there and I wasn’t about to pour it out ‘cause I was being stupid. So I took a sniff – same cookie smell – and a sip.
Another woah moment. Freakin’ chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in a glass! How the heck did they pull this off? And there’s no greasy residue like I got when I tried DavidsTea chocolate cake (Ugh by the way). It’s just….This is…It’s…I’m totally flabbergasted by this tea. Lol!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to have tried this. It was certainly a new experience for me. But as much as I liked it, I’ll probly stick this in the swap bin anyway. I just can’t get over having chocolate chip cookie dough in my tea mug. For me, cookies belong solid off a baking sheet, piled high on a plate on the counter, not liquid flavor in a tea mug. Lol! But I’ll still rate this fairly high since it deserves that at least, just for sheer impressiveness, even if I’m not keeping this for myself.
I might keep a cup’s worth to make for my Mom, if for no other reason than to see the look on her face when she tries it. Bound to be entertaining. XD
…..Now I want to bake cookies. >>;
I’m not really sure what to make of this. Mostly because I’m not really sure how to describe it. Lol.
I keep sipping at it to see if I can figure it out, but my mind draws blank. I guess it’s got a strong malty-ness to it, if I’m figuring what that even means out right. Maybe a bit of woodiness. A strong something taste. Lol.
Strong astringency, especially as it cools.
Bah. I give up! /throws hands in air/ What I do know is that, while it was nice to try, it’s just not for me. I’m just more into fruity/sweet teas in general. Into the swap bin it goes. Lol.