1454 Tasting Notes
Thank you GoodLifeTea.com for another round of surprise samples! There are a couple I wanted to try just based on the names that recall some of my favorite teas and those were the couple I happened to receive. This tea IS like the other one, but to me it seems slightly different. There is an uncanny resemblance though. The black tea base is very nice with the flavors, though tough to describe as the flavors are so nice. It looks as gorgeous as it tastes with the dark red color of the mug. With the first steep there is mainly a very bright flavor at the front that shifts between lemon, orange, bergamot. Then there is a lovely berry flavor coming through, with a sweetness that sometimes seems like pastry, butter or vanilla. The second steep somehow seems to have MORE of these flavors. It’s like a bergamot berry pastry. I will say though that the Hot Cinnamon Spice that was sent along with this one seemed to give it a cinnamon flavor, so my tasting wasn’t as accurate as it should have been… even though I knew that was going to happen and removed Hot Cinnamon Spice from the others as soon as I got the samples. A REALLY delicious blend though. I’m not sure how they got this one so close to the other tea, as I think the black teas are different. I won’t say which one is better as I think it depends on a ton of different factors.
Steep #1 // few min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #9
This one actually does taste like red velvet cake, even if it uses some artificial to get there. But artificial and accurate is a good thing. It has a sweet syrupy flavor going on. The black tea itself is quite light though. The beets didn’t really make my cup redder than any black tea. The chocolate adds just a hint of chocolate, just like an actual red velvet. I like the flavor here, as it certainly fits the “cake tea” craving, probably more than most others I’ve tried.
Steep #1 // just boiled // 3-4min
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #8
The leaves have a reddish hint to them and they look chopped apart while not quite being CTC tea leaf size. I’m accustomed to any nilgiri tea having a much lighter flavor. This one isn’t so light! It has some substance, a breadiness, while still having a juicy flavor that hints to cherry. It’s nice! Maybe the smaller tea leaf gives this more flavor, rather than the typical longer leaf of nilgiri.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // few min after boiling // 3-4 min
Steep #2 // half mug // just boiled // 4 min
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #7
Oh, happy to try this blend! It looks to be yabao which I don’t particularly love mixed with a black tea… I have no idea what else, but it seems like some spices. I used around two teaspoons, a few minutes after boiling for 3-4 minutes. The color of the cup is a very light brown. Really, I thought there would be more flavor than what there is. First, there is an odd flavor, I can’t tell from what… maybe the yabao. The black tea itself doesn’t give much flavor at all, certainly no smokiness. Otherwise, the flavor tastes faintly like a spice cake. I don’t hate the blend, but I wouldn’t care to keep it around. Maybe Verdant’s blends would get better reception if anyone actually knew what was in them. The blends are never on their website, the ingredients aren’t labeled on the bag, and really, the only hints are what Steepster accumulates on the tea pages for these Verdant blends.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // few min after boiling // 3-4 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 min
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #6
I thought I’d give this one a try! The leaves are long and dusty black, kind of folded in on itself. I risked the odd steep suggestions and went with two teaspoons at boiling for ten minutes! It was supposed to be 7-8 min but I accidentally went over. This worked out well. No astringency at all. A lovely black tea – malty, raisiny, bready, sweet. Everything I love in a delicious black tea. The second steep was nice as well. I hope someone else gives this tea a chance.. there is a little left in the box!
Steep #1 // few minutes after boiling // 10 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 8 min
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #5
This one is interesting… I love when there are some unique teas in teaboxes that only one person on Steepster owns. It seems to be like yerba mate or guayusa but from Florida? I’m not sure! It’s tasty though. I wouldn’t say it taste exactly like yerba mate or guayusa, maybe somewhere in the middle. I might try the plain blend included in the teabox to be sure, since this one was also mixed with lavender, coconut and rooibos. The yaupon seemed to take center stage with hints of lavender. Not really any coconut but I’m not sure if any was in the infuser and the rooibos seemed like it just made the color of the cup red. Also different from the yerba mate and guayusa I usually brew, the yaupon didn’t mind the boiling water (no astringency). Very interesting!
Steep #1 // few min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Additional notes: Having this one again, I think I liked it better than before but it’s such an odd blend to wrap my head around! It seems to smooth together, it just took me another try to see it. This time the first cup was better than the second though. Having peppermint with a headache helps always though… and watching Supernatural makes everything better too. Raising the rating on this one from 77.
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #4
Not usually one to try Teavana unless there is something intriguing about the blend. In this case: figs. There is also a bunch of other fruits. The white tea isn’t a white tea I’ve seen before – it’s very black. But the color of the mug after steeping is a light yellow. It certainly had a lovely floral/fig/fruity fragrance both with the dry blend and the exact same scent was coming from the mug after steeping. The flavor is okay, but somehow it tastes like fake sugars. As it cools it gets worse. I liked the fragrance anyway. I won’t make a bunch of other comments about Teavana here. :D
Steep #1 // just boiled // 3 min
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #3
Wow, this is a surprise from RoT. I like this one! Somehow this is an agreeable decaf. I couldn’t even tell – the black tea doesn’t have a lot of flavor but it also doesn’t have an odd flavor. I’m suspicious that it actually IS decaf… I wish whomever added it to the teabox could confirm! Maybe it was mislabeled? The blackberry flavor is full and ripe. If it’s artificial, I don’t care. It’s delicious. I sipped this with some strawberry &blueberry shortcake (that was my dinner). I REALLY like blackberry shortcake so the tea worked out well. Triple berry! I’m glad I gave this one a try.
Steep #1 // just boiled // 4-5 min
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #2
After making the list of teas, it looks like there are 30 teas I want to try and a few I can remove for later. Somehow the teabox arrived before I set up the next shipping order! I was much better with that last time. Round four signups are in the discussions if anyone is interested (in the US).
This tea certainly requires some work… the stars look hand tied together! Into my infuser went two of the stars that are about the size of a dime and a teaspoon of the black tea. I can appreciate that there is a vanilla black tea base with the stars, since the stars themselves don’t seem to add much flavor, even steeped at a few minutes after boiling. The black tea base has a lighter brew color, but it somehow looks syrupy before tasting and actually is more syrupy in texture! I love vanilla teas and this one is lovely. Very smooth. The second steep is almost the same as the first. So happy to try this one!
Steep #1 // few min after boiling // 3-4 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min