99 Tasting Notes
Oh my god. This smells so damn good. Assam, cocoa, berries, faint hint of all spice, honey – but the mild light kind.
Plain – Oh my gosh, this is good. If I were having it plain, I’d reduce the steeping time as there’s a bit too much astringency for my liking. Rich cocoa notes and honey, still getting a hint of red berries. Gorgeous.
w/ Milk – Wow. What a delicious creamy cup. So so good. I must get more of this. Permanent addition to the house.
w/ Sugar – cuts the astringency that was too much for me, nicely. Delicious!
w/ Milk & Sugar – MMmmmMMmmmm! So good.
This. This is the type of black tea I love having in my house. One that is versatile and tastes fantastic any which way, for whatever mood I’m in, and so that I can serve it to guests who adjust to their preference – knowing that it will come out great.
Just making a note that this is the organic version, just in case this title comes in both organic and non-organic.
Flavors: Berries, Cocoa, Honey, Raspberry
Mmmmmm…this has a heady chocolate assam aroma.
plain – would steep for 3 mins if having plain, astringency present but much less than anticipated, similar levels to Darjeeling. Very light floral undertone. Malty.
w/ sugar – astringency enhanced by sugar. prefer without
w milk – astringency still present, creamy malty deliciousness.
with milk and sugar – still good, but prefer without sugar.
My sample is gone, otherwise I would retry at 3 minutes.
Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Malt
Interesting smell – complex.
Light dried fruit like flavour. As I get towards the bottom of the cup I get orchid and violet.
It’s good, and very complex. A lot is happening in this cup.
Sadly there’s a note that I can’t quite pin down, that I’m not the biggest fan of personally. Had that not been present, I would love this tea since I’m a big fan of complexity.
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Orchid, Violet
I have been trying to submit this note since yesterday, but Steepster keeps showing continual “saving” without progression. I got into the habit of copying and pasting notes until I was sure they went through after Steepster would randomly “eat” tasting notes a couple years back, but haven’t seen anything since. Is this normal? Or Holiday traffic?
First of all, this sample is quite old. I found it hiding in a drawer.
Dry scent is super strong chocolate and orange. This made me a bit hesitant, as I like chocolate, and I like orange, but the melding of the two has never pleased me for some reason. Shame. The next strongest scents are then pepper, clove, cinnamon, cardamom. I may also be picking up on some ginger. The orange peel chunks are as big as my thumbnail!
I had this with milk, and the 5 minute suggested steeping time causes it to not be as strong as I would like (I experienced this also with Zen’s Masala chai [which was excellent by the way], so tacking on an extra minute, minute and a half fixed it right up). Zen suggests making this like a normal black tea as “boiling Chocolate Chai in a pot with milk results in an undesirable taste”. I normally find Zen’s steeping instructions bang on, so I heeded Kenneth’s warning.
Clove is the dominant flavour, followed by cinnamon. The chocolate note is there, although not very strong. I get the chocolate note stronger in the upper back of my mouth as an aftertaste after a few sips. There’s a citrus freshness that cuts through the creamyness, but the orange doesn’t present as strong as I thought it would given the dry scent.
I wouldn’t keep this in my cupboard, but it may be because the sample is pretty old and I have been spoiled by trying the Masala Chai earlier this week; http://steepster.com/Starfish/posts/278781 It was just so darn good!
Flavors: Cardamon, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Orange, Orange Zest, Pepper
I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this, it’s my favorite tea!A proper review will have to wait, as I’m currently giving it a little funeral. My gift this year was a cute mug, so I thought there was no better tea to christen it with. This was my last teaspoon.
RIP Caramel Vanilla Assam.
Mmmmmm. You will be so incredibly missed. Such a shame Stacey is shutting up shop – she is the most talented tea blender/sorceress I’ve ever come across, but I wish her the best in her future endeavors.
I am getting a group together to split costs of a reblend of this(and she has ever so generously offered up some of her private reserved assam so we will have the original base), so give me a shout below if you’re interested.
Flavors: Caramel, Honey, Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla
Dry leaf smells great; vegetal and sweet.
The liquor is a light, vibrant green. Aroma of sweet baby asparagus and hay. Wow. This is really good. It’s like a sweeter version of sencha. But calling it sweet isn’t quite right, as it’s still savoury. It’s hard to describe. This tea starts on a sweet delicate note, and then quickly crescendos with a strong (but it’s not a “loud” kind of strong, it’s more of a depth?) sencha flavour, before rounding down with punctuated mellow notes of grass, baby jasmine and umami.
Also, I read online that a lot of people eat the leaves, so I tried that tentatively (As a small child I also tried eating a rabbit dropping after my father convinced me it was a raisin. It was not a raisin. Granted that is neither here nor there, but will hopefully serve as an amusement at my expense). Leaf report: I think there was some water left in with the leaves, so they’re a bit bitter. But I enjoyed the texture and if I had Ponzu on hand to add to them, I bet they’d be quite yum!
Flavors: Asparagus, Hay, Jasmine, Sweet, warm grass, Umami
This was a typical decent Mao Feng, nothing out of the ordinary to report.
This tea became even better after the first resteep – so in future I would probably abandon western style and favor an eastern approach to wake up the leaves. A gongfu session with this would be wonderful.
Flavors: Chestnut, Mineral
My first cup of this is the quick and dirty western way, because I’m pretty tuckered today. I’ve saved enough of the sample that I will be able to do the traditional brewing method as well.
The picture of this tea is an exact representation, there’s heaps of spices. I had a taste of the full strength version before pouring milk into it, and it was amazing (too strong sans milk thought). Now that i’ve added sugar and milk, it’s lovely. Now knowing what I do, I would have extended my steeping time (which is what Zen recommends, and I always find them to be so bang on about steeping times and methods that it’s almost unsettling. Does Kenneth have a camera in my house, to see exactly how I like my tea? I wouldn’t be surprised) by a couple of minutes. I cut it off at 4:30min as there is/was a decent amount of the ctc base tea in it, and I didn’t want it getting too astringent. I needn’t have worried.
Alright, despite how tired I am, my curiositea (oh bad tea puns! how I enjoy you…) got the better of me, and I’ve prepared a cup on the stove.
It was delicious this way too, but I think I need more practise at stovetop brewing. Okay, I know I do. I scalded the milk. Twice. Lesson learned, do not prepare stovetop tea while tired and distractible.
I’m planning on continuing my search for my perfect chai (and knowing me, I’ll end up with 3 of them), but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is what I settle down with.
Omg you guys, I suck! I fully intended to catch up on my logging, but I fell off the map. And now it’s almost summer here in New Zealand, and thus a lack of hot tea drinking. Our winter was milder than usual as well, so I didn’t drink even a quarter of the normal amount.
There’s a huge storm going on outside, so I’ve pulled down my samples box and picked one at random.
Plain – Yum! Base doesn’t overshadow the flavour. This is great!
With milk and sugar – pretty damn good!
With just milk – I prefer it straight, definitely still good though. Takes milk well.
Plain, with sugar – Good! The sweet and slightly sour notes are bouncing off each other, it’s interesting. I’m also picking up on something that tastes faintly like saffron?
Overall, I was impressed! I always love when there’s a tea I equally enjoy several different ways.
Flavors: Blood orange, Citrus Zest, Saffron