1094 Tasting Notes
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!
Thank you DigniTea for some of this one! Such amazing flavor combinations in the description!
Steep #1// just boiled // 2 1/2 min
Definitely smells like cherry while I’m pouring the water, but not exactly actual cherry. That is mostly the flavor as well. The other fruits seem to be lost. Not really caramel either. I have a problem with the base here, for the same reason I have a problem with the 52Teas base. They both taste the same and I don’t like it… which is odd since the 52Teas is not Ceylon. But they taste the same to me. Sadly, this base alone kind of ruins this tea for me (and probably most of Dammann) and the flavors don’t really end up being what the description promises.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
This cup surprisingly still has some flavor left and somehow the black tea itself is more in the background. Not a terrible tea but I don’t think it’s for me. The base isn’t for me. It seems like this sort of description just sets you up for a disappointing flavor. I can’t love everything (and I’m kind of glad I don’t – too much tea I couldn’t live without!)
Thanks so much, DigniTea! Excited to try a couple Mandala teas! I tried to follow Mandala’s instructions as closely as possible (1-2 teaspoons, 208 degrees, rinse, 1 min steep increasing to 3-5 min steep). The leaves look like a golden Yunnan.
Steep #1 // 4 min after boiling // rinse & 1 1/2 – 2 min steep
I tried to split the sample I had, so I went with 1 1/2 teaspoons of leaves. Someone at Mandala was kind enough to experiment with waiting for water to cool after boiling and taking temperatures. It definitely gave me a better idea with water temps, even if the conditions (kettle, air temp, etc) isn’t exactly the same. Either way, I was letting the water cool way too long for EVERY tea. To get to 208 degrees, I really should have waited only two minutes after boiling, but somehow it went to four. I’m not fast enough! So the temp was probably really around 205. ANYWAY: The flavor is lovely! I feel like these types of teas embody three distinct flavors: honey, squash/sweet potato and dark chocolate. It depends on the leaves what represents itself more. This one is pure squash and hints of honey. It reminds me of one of my favorites: cutting an acorn squash in half and roasting it in the oven with brown sugar & butter. The body of the tea itself is lighter (though the steep color reminded me of root beer), so the chocolate notes are not as easy to detect… they are present in the background. But sometimes it’s nice just to have the squash notes. I’m very impressed that all three flavors are in this cup, since sometimes it can just be honey flavored if the leaves are mostly yellow, or just dark chocolate.
Steep #2 // 2 min after boiling // 4 min steep
Mandala also suggests that one of the steeps is 3-5 minutes long. This results in a darker, deeper cup – yet not at all astringent. It’s closer to chocolate but not quite. The squashiness is less, but honey remains. It’s a completely different cup altogether. A nice cup, but I think the first is better. I should have had another steep in between these two with a three minute steep. I think that’s why Mandala suggests a one minute steep and then a 3-5 minute steep at the end… the lovely differences the leaves present.
Thanks so much TeaTiff for selling some teas! I couldn’t resist! A few always perfect-for-me Adagio teas. I woke up thinking of an assam just like this one! I’ve never even had this tea before and it was perfect for my craving. The one tea that would have been perfect in my entire collection!
Steep #1 // 2 min after boiling // 3 min
SUCH a delicious cup! Malty, a tiny bit brisk, hints of dark chocolate. Everything an assam should be. I feel like there could have been a bit more chewiness or robustness of flavor, but that could probably be arranged with a minute longer steep or some more leaves (used a teaspoon).
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Another nice cup, but weaker than the last, when the last cup already had the problem. But as I said, it’s the amount of leaves or the time I steeped. I love this tea. Adagio is just usually perfect for me. Gorgeous teas all the time, all the time. Adagio might not be for everyone but they are for ME. If I could only order from one tea company for the rest of my life, Adagio would very well be in the running. And they have all of those fandom blends to support my nerdy love of all the things.
Another one from Dexter3657! thanks so much! I think I liked this one more than others if the Steepster rating says anything, even though I probably shouldn’t have, since this is usually the sort of tea I don’t really like. One teaspoon, a few minutes after boiling, for two minutes. It tastes like a hojicha mixed with a Fujian tea, with the charcoal flavors, also a tiny bit like Laoshan Black. (I really shouldn’t be comparing it to that one all the time, as I realize not everyone has tried that one. And even different harvests would make a difference.) So it is certainly an odd mix of flavors here. I don’t need a ton of teas like this in my collection, but I will certainly enjoy the remainder of this sample whenever I would like a tea like this.
Additional notes: TeaGuys had a sale which I almost bought from. I realized they have the same supplier as Fusion Teas! I love their blends! Sadly though, I thought Fusion actually blended their teas. But no… there is my beloved Pistachio Lime Mate in the list for TeaGuys. Seeing that FOUR ounce tin of this one in the cart I didn’t buy, I had to have from my stash this morning. Man there are a ton of caramel pieces in this pouch! (I think I was complaining there wasn’t enough caramel before. I even tried one out of the bag – pretty tasty!) When the leaves are steeped, it looks like there are different types of leaves here though. This remains one of my favorite pu-erhs.
A sample from Rachel’s sale a while ago – sheesh should I be trying these faster! This is exactly the tea I wanted at that moment and exactly how I wished it would taste. I’m not even sure how I knew what black currants tasted like but this is it. The blend has plenty of flavor – fruity, sweet yet tart… a bit like cranberry but not really. All on a nice white tea. Bai Mu Dan is my favorite white tea I think. There is plenty tea left in this sample and I’m surprised it still tastes so nice.