1280 Tasting Notes
Thank you so much MissB! I’ve always wanted to try this one! Chocolate chili chai is always one of my ideal blends. YOWZA this is hot stuff though! The chili is really hiding in this blend…sneaks up on you! I’d definitely suggest not going over a teaspoon. (I went with a teaspoon and a half.) I like that this is actually spicy though. I just should have went with a teaspoon. I love that there are multiple chocolate elements here, including cocoa shells that I recently discovered in a Herbal Infusions blend (also thanks to MissB!) I think most chocolate teas should use these cocoa shells. They are very effective for chocolate flavor. I just wish there was more chocolate flavor. It must be hiding under all that spice! The second cup was very spicy too. I would even recommend getting some of Herbal Infusions cocoa shells, using maybe 3/4 teaspoon of the chili chai and then adding HI’s cocoa to cut down the heat and add more chocolate. This is comparable to 52Teas Mayan Chocolate Chai but I think they just use cocoa nibs. If Bluebird would just use a tastier black tea base, most of their blends would be perfect! It showcases the flavors well enough though.
Thanks for selling a sample of this, TeaTiff! Adagio’s Vanilla is my favorite vanilla tea, so this should be good paired with Earl Grey. I’m not sure I’ve tried Adagio’s EG before if it weren’t mixed in a blend. It’s also got the cream blend in it, which I wish I could also try on its own. There are orange peel pieces here too.
Steep #1 // just boiled // 2 1/2 min
A lovely EG – it isn’t the best but it isn’t the worst. It might be a nice one for those who don’t like a lot of bergamot. But to me, the bergamot is just a touch too light, as well as the vanilla/cream. The black tea compliments the flavor well. The second steep was lighter, a bit weaker. If this were the only EG that existed, I wouldn’t be complaining. There are so many nice ones out there though! The flavor of the second steep was lower.
Another lovely sample from Teavivre! thank you! They would certainly be my go-to for stocking up on keemuns. However, the three I’ve tried aren’t as smoky as I expect keemuns to be. I don’t know what happened to Teavivre’s steep instructions cheat sheet/ site I had. It seems like they are on the page for each tea but it already confuses me since it says 17 ounces for western brewing. I know my mug isn’t that big! Teavivre suggests 194 degrees, 1-2 teaspoons, 2-5 minute steep time.
Steep #1 // 10 min after boiling // 2 min
The leaves smell like a dry field of grass. I used 1 3/4 teaspoons for this steep… probably shouldn’t have though! I’d go with one or 1 1/2 next time. The leaves are cut smaller, so this cup was a tiny bit astringent. Before sipping, the fragrance from the mug was like a tasty pastry. I haven’t had a cup of tea that smelled like that before! The cup is very deep red in color. The flavor is very nice! Not at all smoky, but it’s like dark chocolate, much like Teavivre’s premium Hao Ya, but not as much chocolate. There is also a lovely underlying flavor of deep sugarless plum that I just love.
Steep #2 // 8 minutes after boiling // 3 min steep
This cup was nice but the first steep had a lovely depth of flavor that this one didn’t have as much. The plum is missing. There is a lighter fruity flavor, I can’t tell what it reminds me of. In my opinion the Keemun Grade 1 is very similar to the Premium Hao Ya Keemun and both are slightly better than the Organic Superfine Keemun. But with Teavivre’s amazing sample program, it’s very easy for each tea lover to try all of them before finding their favorite. I love the first two I mentioned, I will try the remainder of my samples to see which I love more and the keemun I choose will DEFINITELY be a cupboard staple.
Thank you DigniTea for a sample of this! Sticky rice pu-erh is one of my favorite types of pu-erhs! I was able to try a similar pu-erh once before and I’ve been wishing I have it in stock. Now that I think of it, which flavors wouldn’t go well with pu-erh?
Steep #1 // 3 min after boiling // 2 min
A deep dark cup, of course, it’s a ripened pu-erh. This really seems like a pu-erh for those new to pu-erh or think they really don’t like them. The flavor isn’t distinctively pu-erh – it’s deep like a cup of coffee but it doesn’t have those pu-erh flavors that seem to scare people away. I love the sticky rice flavor, but it seemed this flavor was much stronger in the other pu-erh I tried. It’s a lovely flavor though – sweet, roasty rice. It must be the flavor I was craving today since I also made a microwave rice krispie treat with a marshmallow and rice krispies in a bowl. Hey, it ain’t gourmet but good enough!
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 min
The rice fragrance is just floating through the room! So good! This cup is deeper as the leaves unravel. I really love this tea.
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 min
These cups could keep going with the same flavor quality. Delicious. Exactly the same as the last cup. The rating would be higher if the rice flavor were higher, but it does stay consistent through all steeps. If I had a list of only 20 teas to fill my cupboard one day (currently it’s a mess of samples), I think a sticky rice pu-erh would be a necessity.
TeaTiff sent this along with some teas I bought. thank you! After seeing the Steepster rating, I kind of thought it would be worse than this. Maybe they changed the blend? First of all, there are apple chunks in a pear tea? I guess the flavoring makes it “pear”. But there isn’t much pear here. It tastes sort of chemically and odd/off. It also reminds me of that cucumber tea they have, so maybe it’s just the white tea itself. The white tea could be worse… at least it isn’t one of the fuzzy white teas. Not a favorite, but I appreciate trying it!
thanks for another sample, Miss B! This blend sounds as heavenly as the name. Green & white tea, pineapple, and lovely tiny yellow roses! The taste is nice, though the first steep seemed like it could have more flavor.. probably the fault of the temp and the steep time. But the white & green tea makes a unique yet mild enough base for the creamy flavor with the pineapple. I can’t really taste roses, but they sure look lovely. The second steep had more pineapple! Very nice.
Steep #1// 30 min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // 25 min after boiling // 3 min
I was lucky to get a sample of this one! Thanks Red Leaf Tea!
Steep #1 // water cooled a half hour
Opening the package, it smells EXACTLY LIKE eggnog! How do they do it? HOW DO THEY DO ITTT? Wow. I couldn’t even tell the difference by the scent blindfolded. The flavor is the same way – so much like eggnog! Eggy and with the eggnog spices! I am amazed. I’d say this is the most accurate matcha flavor from Red Leaf of the few I’ve tried. All on their lovely fresh green matcha. I had major focus while reading after drinking this as well. I can’t wait to try it with milk….
Steep#2 // warm milk latte
Somehow with milk, this kind of tastes a bit less like eggnog than with water, which is just a testament to how much this actually tastes like eggnog. It still tastes very much like eggnog with milk… you just get more of the flavor showing through the water. It’s amazing magic. So delicious. It has a natural sweetness. It seems like sugar is in this one, but there isn’t. I’d prefer this over eggnog any day! One of my favorites from Red Leaf.
Dexter3657 sent me some of this one in that awesome package a while back! thank you! I added quite a bit of leaves to the mug… after three minutes it actually wasn’t an explosion of hibiscus, therefore this herbal is great just for that. A standard fruity blend. Very punchy and there was a flavor to it that reminded me of syrup, so it actually IS probably punchy. Quite good!
Retry! I had this one a few days ago and I was convinced that I did something wrong, since this hardly tasted like the best oolong on Steepster. Jamie Groth from Mandala commented on my tasting notes that I really didn’t have the right temp and even did an experiment on water cooling which was extremely helpful (thank you!) as I had been waiting way too long for the water to cool for every tea I was having. (I don’t have a temp setting kettle – just a boil-all-the-way kettle). It’s good to know now! To be fair, there wasn’t really any instructions for western brewing on the site for this tea- I checked. In the comments, Jamie Groth suggested 1 tsp for 8 ounces at 195 degrees. I had a teaspoon left, but not a heaping teaspoon!
Steep #1 // exactly 10 mins after cooling // 2 min
I had waited 30-35 for the water to cool last time! 20-25 minutes too long! The experiment said water cooled to 195 degrees after about 10 minutes. Yes, there are different variables with my set-up but this has to be way more accurate than 20-25 minutes later. The flavor difference is noticeable!! Even before sipping, I can actually tell the difference with scent of the tea in the cup. This is definitely milk oolong this time, when the last cup didn’t even taste like any kind of oolong. The tanginess is even missing this time. Creamy, milky, sweet, a little fruity. HUGE difference.
Steep #2 // 8 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min
This cup is pure butter! It’s like it’s melted butter, in taste and smoothness. I can’t believe this is the same tea I had a few days ago. Such a difference! Hints of peach as well. This steep is even better than the last one. It just goes to show that tea is so sensitive to all variables. I’m definitely raising my rating for this (from a 61!). It’s up there with some of my favorite oolongs, but I don’t agree that this is the best oolong all together. If any other tea shops want to correct me on my tea brewing mistakes in the future, I’m all for listening!
Another one from MissB! Thanks yet again! I was craving a wintery tea since you know… it was snowing today. Gah, almost April. It ended up being a perfect choice, even though at the first scent of the dry leaves it tasted a little like potpourri. The taste is much better. I really like the ingredients in this one: apple, cinnamon, vanilla and almond. Sounds delicious! I didn’t really see many apple pieces, and it may just be flavoring mostly. But the cinnamon was both spicy and sweet (I think the cinnamon was making it smell like potpourri.) The black tea wasn’t super strong… which is fine since I’d rather enjoy the ingredients in this. I liked the hints of vanilla and almond. The apple would just be in wispy sips halfway down the mug for some reason. This blend just screams autumn and winter and apple desserts. I will savor the last couple of teaspoons!