Well, these leaves aren’t purple and the steep color isn’t purple, so I have no idea where the purple comes from. The steep color is really a light brown. The leaves in the infuser look even blacker than they did dry… very glossy & delectable looking! This is kind of like the charcoal tasting oolong I had the other day, but the taste of this one is better and more complex. I can actually tell this is an oolong. It’s a very full flavor and apparently this has a lot of caffeine. Tealux has a caffeine meter on their packaging and this one is higher than most of the teas I’ve tried from them. The second steep isn’t as tasty as the first one… it tastes more like charcoal. It reminded me of a less-nice campfire with something burning in it that isn’t very good to sit around. Yikes! I’ve tried a few dark oolongs the past few weeks and I don’t think I’m liking them very much. The first cup would get a higher rating though.
577 Tasting Notes
Thanks KittyLovesTea for sending this one! Somehow steeping at boiling for ten minutes, the flavor somehow still isn’t chai enough for me. It seems like there is a spice missing or something. The cinnamon definitely should have been more present, as I was seeing large pieces in the tea bag. I like the mix of black tea and spices, I just wish the flavor had been a bit sweeter or something. Not bad chai. just not the best.
This is one of the last few samples I received from Momo months ago that I have yet to write tasting notes for. Thanks, Momo! I waited for the water to cool a while. I’m going to start doing flavor checks on all my 52s after about 35 seconds, since I learned that lesson with Boo-berry cotton candy! If it still doesn’t have flavor, I’ll try it at 45 seconds, etc. The flavor in this one was mild after 35 seconds, so I went up to a minute, when I could taste more of the genmaicha but even less of the flavor. I wouldn’t call this cherry OR cheesecake, but there is a lovely sweet flavor that makes this cup addicting. There is only a tiny hint of cherry or the sweetness that would indicate cheesecake. The second cup I steeped for another minute, and there was still only that hint of sweet.
I got this as a sample with my Element order a while back. It’s older now and it wasn’t in a very airtight package to begin with. My two teaspoon sample just looked like regular green tea. No hibiscus was supposed to be here at least but there were rosehips mentioned. Nothing in the ingredients about pomegranate, but raspberry! I’d rather have the raspberry. The taste is not as fresh as it might have been some months back. (Though my nose is a bit stuffy right now.) I am getting some raspberry hints! The green tea isn’t very good but maybe I steeped it too long (four minutes).
Another one from Tealux! Opening the bag, it smelled like cantaloupe for some reason. The taste, I swear, is just like Butiki’s Cantaloupe & Cream. I’d swear it contaminated this but Tealux’s packaging is really good.. and the Cantaloupe was nowhere near this one. In a blind taste test, I would guess the Butiki. Tealux actually makes an effort to put pumpkin in their tea, so I appreciate that (the best pumpkin is Della Terra’s Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie… they put pie filling in). I guess there is a hint of squashy vegetableness. This has spices in it too. The idea of a spicy pumpkin rooibos sounds delicious… this one just tastes like cantaloupe.
I wanted to try this one when I saw it on Fusionteas.com and Azzrian was kind enough to supply a sample (probably without knowing I wanted to try it!) thank you! I’ve never had a black/ oolong/ green hybrid before (I guess you could call it a fusion). To me, the blend looks like mostly black tea, unless the oolong is super dark. There are also some jasmine flowers. This has a fragrance the same as the flavor: a nice juicy peach. I really like this blend and the idea of everything that is blended in it. Peach, jasmine, oolong, black tea. I’d really like to try more oolong/black blends. Fusion is always amazing! I really want to try the blends they came up with a few months ago… very inventive!
Well, I funny story with this one. I actually had this tea few days before Nicole kindly sent some to me (thank so much!) except it was called Tealux ‘Honey Pistachio Biscotti’. So it’s the same blend with different sellers and different names. I could tell right away by the name, the look of the tea, and the descriptions of the ingredients. haha. I find both blends are missing the promised pistachios! I don’t see any in the picture of the Kally, but I do see one right in the forefront of the Tealux! Maybe they float to the bottom of the bag. (Some nice pistachio blends are SpecialTeas Vienna Winter Green and Fusion’s Pistachio Lime Mate, Butiki’s Pistachio Ice Cream). So I can’t really say much more about this one that I didn’t say about the Tealux. Both are mild flavored black teas that are sweet tasting, with yummy looking almonds. I’m not sure how much it tastes like biscotti. But it’s pretty good. It has a bit of a drying mouth affect though. BOTH blends have misleading descriptions… it seems more like almonds and coconut to me rather than pistachios and biscotti. So I wonder if all of Kally’s teas are the same as Tealux’s or if they have multiple different sources? I’ve seen another almond tea that has more than a few brands with the same blend. I’ve got two of them (Teavana and American Tea Room) and I just saw another one yesterday. Who are the original blenders and why don’t THEY sell their own blends? It’s interesting!
ETA: I shook up the Tealux two ounce upside down thinking the pistachios would float to the opening where I could see them when I opened the bag. Nope. No pistachios.
Azzrian, thanks for a sample of this one! I was worried I was going to burn this one, so I may have let the water cool a bit too much! I steeped for a minute thirty. I thought white teas were not my favorite (meaning: least favorite) but WOW I like this one! It has a very sweet flavor. It’s surprising! The flavor is almost like a less fruity cantaloupe. It has a very full flavor for a white tea and I didn’t even steep it that long. The second steep tastes the same. I should really stop typing that out every time, since it is usually the case for most teas, but I know others don’t steep more than once. Sometimes the second steep is BETTER. This is probably my favorite white tea, even though I might have been avoiding them in the past, so I haven’t had many of them.
Thanks so much for sending this one, Starfevre! This tea is bad news… because I’ve loved every Adagio I’ve tried. It definitely isn’t just bad teas with a gimmick that you can blend them… they are really good teas! This one is SO aptly named! It leaves smell like chocolate chips, pouring out the tea just fills the air with chocolate. The flavor is amazing, deep, dark and chocolatey, though it does dry the mouth a bit. There is a hint of coconut. It’s like a sweeter coffee… or it reminds me of the Della Terra cappuccino blend (so uh… maybe it reminds me of cappuccino??) The flavor certainly IS sweet and bitter in the best possible way. The steep color even looks like a cup of coffee. You’d be able to fool me, since I’ve barely ever drank coffee. This one seems more like coffee than tea! The second steep is just as delicious (though a bit less coffee like).
Thank you so much for this one, Nicole! Only Nicole and I have reviewed this one so far? Hmm. Yunnan is my new favorite… but I’m not sure if there is a strict flavor difference between the golden yunnan and the black yunnan. After steeping for four-five minutes, this one is medium bodied. It tastes more like a ploughed field of hay (in that delightful tea-like way) than anything chocolatey. It has a tiny bit of maltiness to it, but the flavor isn’t dark and deep enough to have too much of a malty flavor. Are these the differences between golden and black yunnans? I don’t know. I just found out today that not all yunnans are golden. The steep color is a lovely shade of amber, after all!
The second steep at boiling for six minutes was certainly more like my favorite tea flavor.. deeper, chocolatey and maltier. So you can certainly tailor this (or any tea, really) to your tastes. So the first cup had the lightness of a darjeeling, but the second had a much stronger flavor. I like the differences! And I guess I answered my own question.. the black yunnan can certainly still be deep and malty — it’s all in the time and temp.
An earl grey jasmine oolong! Yes, I wanted to try it! I waited for the boil to cool down and steeped for three minutes. The oolong is very dark but I’m not tasting it very much. The bergamot tastes nicer than it smells… it’s pretty strong! (It must have been time for my earl grey fix.) Though there are tiny jasmine flowers in the blend, I’m not smelling or tasting them. It’s been a problem before with other teas. Maybe it’s me or maybe it is because the bergamot is so strong. The second cup was just as bergamoty. I’ve had better tasting bergamot teas but some of those are really really good. This one is good if you just strictly want earl grey… you really can’t taste the base since it isn’t a black tea. It seems strictly bergamot.. I just wish it was a better one. It’s interesting.
Thanks so much, CharlotteZero for this one! For some reason I assumed with this being a chai, that the yerba mate would be roasted. I can tell pouring the water and it turning a lovely shade of sea foam green that it is not roasted. I’m glad I didn’t use boiling water then, or it would have burnt the yerba mate. I taste tested after brewing for five minutes, but I thought it needed some more and brewed another five. I’m also not sure how the spices can be their best if I didn’t use boiling water. It’s a conundrum… use boiled water and you ruin the yerba mate. Use cooled water and the spices aren’t as pronounced. I don’t know. I like this, but I could be wrong… it seemed there was some stevia here. Not the Celestial Seasonings pumpkin ridiculous level of stevia though! A good yerba mate and some nice spices, but I kept noticing that stevia.
thanks so much Naturestealeaf.com for the samples! Always appreciated! I LOVE their Chocolate Midnight Black tea, and this one has the same chocolate shavings, so I thought I’d try this one too. I steeped for 3-4 minutes. Looking at the cup, it looks so creamy from the chocolate shavings that it looks like I added cream or milk! Peeking in my infuser, the many white and dark chocolate shavings are now melted, so the second cup should be like a normal oolong. The oolong leaves are so dark, you’d think it would taste like a dark oolong. This one doesn’t, though it is hard to describe… it’s a lighter flavored oolong with the sweetness from the chocolate. It seems more white chocolate than dark.
Second steep // 4 mins at boiling // This steep was better! It seemed like all of the white chocolate was gone in the first cup (but I could have swore all the dark chocolate seemed like it was gone too when I looked in the infuser) but in this steep, the chocolate and oolong have melded together into a better flavor. It seems darker somehow and a better match. I don’t know what happened… the boiling water? The leaves opening up more? It seeming less like cream from the white chocolate? Hmm. It’s also odd that this oolong doesn’t have the flavor of any other oolong I’ve had. It’s doesn’t taste roasted, peachy, floral or vegetal, though I guess it did have a vegetal flavor for a second in the first steep. I mean, I had a roasted oolong a couple days ago that tasted like charcoal, and this one doesn’t taste like that. I’ll have to try some more later. It definitely doesn’t taste like the Tiekuanyin that is also delicious from Nature’s. This blend doesn’t come close to the perfection that is Chocolate Midnight Black… but give both of them a try!
This was a free sample with my order. I knew just from the ingredients list that this was the same source as Zen’s blend. There is no way there could be a coincidence of that exact list of ingredients. I steeped at boiling for six minutes. The taste is great, though I’m not sure if I’m confusing the sweetness of the orange or something else for stevia. It might be the orange and one of the leaves. I tasted the lemongrass, and although there was a large hibiscus piece, the hibiscus flavor was perfect in this cup. This is probably nothing I would have ordered myself, with all those great blends over on Tealux.ca but this was GOOD. A very nice herbal.. probably one of the best herbals I’ve had.
I’ve been on a new-to-me tea spree, since I need to get a better handle on what might go in tea boxes. I’m kind of missing my favorites! Opening my sample bag, the smell of this one is DIVINE. oh wow. This is a roasted yerba mate mixed with black tea. I can see chocolate chips and little cinnamon pieces in the blend. There is also supposed to be vanilla! I don’t know why the package says this has zero caffiene since it is both a black tea AND yerba mate. After a four minute steep, I’m thinking this could be one of my favorites from Tealux. It’s a nice roasty, earthy, rustic flavor (I love roasted yerba mates). The other flavors aren’t extremely pronounced, but you get hints of chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon. It reminds me of Fusion’s Chocolate Mate but that one tastes slightly more like a barbeque. haha. I could easily order two ounces of this one!
This is what I’m talking about for a morning tea! Thanks so much, Azzrian! After steeping for five minutes, I get a burnt bittersweet chocolate flavor. SO GOOD. I’m starting to wonder if this sort of flavor is just what caffeine tastes like, if that is possible. Chocolate = caffeine. Black tea = caffeine. I have no idea. This is so brisk (without being bitter or astringent). Complex, dark and delicious! Teas like this one remind me of how boring coffee is. I don’t think anyone stocks up on varieties of coffee like they do tea. I’d rather have OPTIONS… a different tea every morning! This went perfectly with the S’mores I had for breakfast…. I know, I know. I didn’t know what else to have this morning. Blame it on the perfect pairing with the tea. And I’m having a salad for lunch, so it’s okay!
I was craving a nice oolong and I’m pretty sure Verdant has nice oolongs. So thank you to Azzrian for sending this one! I really appreciate it! Just the color of this tea alone reminds me of summer — a lovely green, like the grass buried under all that snow. The smell of the leaves is promising very sweet and vegetal! I steeped for 25 seconds but after a taste, I didn’t think it had enough flavor, so I went for ten more. The taste matches the fragrance! Very sweet, creamy and vegetal… not floral or peachy… yet. I haven’t really mastered how to “rinse” leaves yet, so the leaves might have left the tea with a tiny bit of tanginess because of that. If this isn’t a creamy milk oolong, I bet the milk oolong that Verdant could find would be crazy good.
Second steep // 35 seconds // This cup is less creamy and more fruity and floral. The vegetal flavor is gone. I’ll never stop being amazed at how the flavor of oolongs can change.
Third steep// 45 seconds at boiling // I think this one may have overdone the time/ temp so I would suggest not steeping this long! The flavor was there, I just feel like I ruined it. Many Verdant teas really don’t need that long.
I like this one, but I think I liked the other Verdant oolong that I’ve tried better — Mi Lan Xiang Phoenix Mountain Dancong, unless I just entirely ruined this one. I think the first steep was the best because it was the creamiest!
DATES!! Tealux has such interesting blends, this one has dates as a base. I’d love to try any and all teas with dates, since I tried 52Teas Date Nut Muffin blend and loved it (though that may also be the walnuts that I love in that blend.) I thought I’d try a bit of my sample of this one while reading my book about Afghanistan. Seemed appropriate — they mentioned dates a few pages ago. Sadly, I just read about the head of the family locking fruit in a cupboard because the rest of his family wasn’t allowed to eat any fruit. Cruel! Fruit is one of my favorite things.
The picture of this one just looks delicious. I taste tested this one as I was infusing, but suddenly at ten minutes the hibiscus overpowered the rest of the blend. I’m slowly learning the longer you steep hibiscus, the worse it gets. But I wanted the flavor of the dates as much as possible! Next time, I can’t steep that long. I peeked in the infuser post-steep there are actually a ton of dark raisins in the blend too. I guess the raisins and dates had a similar coating so they looked alike. I’m not sure how much flavor the raisins actually give to the tea… Also, where does the vanilla in this name come from? Definitely no vanilla here. I couldn’t see any strawberries in my infuser either. The dates are very sweet. Mixed with hibiscus, it is reminding me of a very sweet cranberry. I wish the flavor of hibiscus was as great as the steep color — a nice magenta. The hibiscus is bearable in this blend… probably because of the sweetness of the dates. I wouldn’t mind buying more of this. It would be one of the few hibiscus blends I could like. Stop ruining teas, hibiscus! I wouldn’t mind just the flavor of dates…
I had to try this one! The yunnan base from Nature’s Tea Leaf is one of my favorites (though the flavor profile does seem like it would be a better match for their perfect Chocolate Midnight Black). The picture makes it look like there are only orange slices in this, but they are cinnamon chunks! I let the water cool too long when I noticed the cinnamon chunks when I was pouring this into my infuser. Cinnamon tastes best with boiling water. My bag didn’t have too many oranges, but I’m okay with that! Rather than have apple pieces, the tea is actually infused with apple flavor. After four minutes steeping, this certainly tastes like cider! I do wish the apple flavor was sweeter, otherwise the black tea itself would make it taste more like some kind of apple dessert — like one of those whole apples wrapped in a pastry and baked. I’d compare the apple flavoring to Della Terra’s Caramel Candy Apple, but not the other apple teas I’ve tried from DT — just that one. (I guess they use different apple flavors?) The yunnan wasn’t terribly pronounced here… as I suspected, it really fits with the chocolate blend. It’s still great though! The second steep was ALL cloves! No apple, no cinnamon, no black tea. It was very weird, and I had it at boiling this time. I don’t think I’ll steep this twice the next time. I can’t believe there is a black tea that doesn’t hold to two steeps…. unless you really really like cloves! I liked the first steep anyway. (I’ll just go for one steep longer than four minutes next time.) It’s a nice spicy apple blend that would be great on an autumn or winter day. However, I could drink their Chocolate Midnight black tea EVERY day of the year.
Thanks for this one, Starfevre! With all the great tea companies out there, zentealife.com quickly became one of my favorites. I’d love to try all of their blends. A very nice herbal here! It’s a big and interesting list of ingredients. And it just looks delicious and healthy with big orange pieces. Definitely need those oranges in the winter.. that might be why! After steeping for ten minutes, I could have swore the first thing that hit me was rosemary, but that isn’t actually listed in the ingredients. There are too many other things here to guess what it might be. The flavor is refreshing while not being too tart (it seems to have the right amount of hibiscus, at least in this cup, just a hint.) Otherwise, I can taste orange and lemongrass. I’m not sure why it’s called grapefruit, since there doesn’t seem to be any in the blend. (That’s fine with me though!) Overall, a really nice combination with the right ratios of things. A fresh, bright and tasty cup! Another great tea from Zen.
Thanks Azzrian! Another tea from your generous package! (Also, I had some of the chocolates today and they were DELICIOUS. I’ve never had those before and I’ll be looking for them in the future!)
The name of this one seems odd to me.. like a suicidal pact or something. Yikes! I thought I’d save it for Valentine’s Day, but I already said some other tea would be perfect for that, I just can’t remember which tea… I am surprised this one is called a darjeeling. It really doesn’t have that darjeeling flavor that is my idea of a darjeeling. The steep color looks like a bright red rooibos! The flavor has TINY hints of something sweet like marshmallow, cherry, malty, and chocolately at the end of the sip. Otherwise, it’s a nice medium bodied black flavor with a bit of that black tea kick. So I guess it could be Valentine’s Day tea! I love this one!
Another one from Nicole! Thanks so much — it’s very appreciated! This one sounds interesting! It looks really delicious too — very dark leaves for an oolong with hints of red.
First steep —waited around 10 minutes for the water to cool. Then I would infuse for 20 seconds, take the infuser out, sip a bit of it, and then steep for another 20 seconds. I did that until I got to two and a half minutes. Somehow, the flavor stayed consistent. I wasn’t finding the magic in this cup like others have found. There is like a light charcoal flavor and fragrance. I wasn’t finding the apple or anything else fruity that others have mentioned. There really wasn’t any typical oolong flavors here. There is something oaty and vegetal about it. It also dries the mouth a bit. It’s a tough one to describe.
Second steep — I used just boiled water and steeped for one minute. I couldn’t taste test right away — the water was too hot! But it tastes exactly the same as the first cup.
I can’t really tell if this is a tea that you should steep for around 15 seconds or minutes. It seems to taste the same either way. The Mountain site wasn’t too helpful either! I don’t dislike this one, I just think I’m missing something!
thanks Nicole for sending this one! I think you found a better home for a bit of this, because it might be my favorite darjeeling. (Though I’m a bit confused on if this tea is from 2001 or 2011 as the label on my tea says 2011… if it is from 2001, this tea has aged wonderfully! I steeped this for five minutes after it had cooled a bit. The leaves have unraveled to a nice mahogany color. I complained on my last darjeeling tea review that I didn’t like the usual darjeeling flavor. This one is very unique! It kind of tastes like a darjeeling, an oolong, and a deeper black tea all at the same time. One sip it will taste like an oolong and the next it will taste like a maltier black tea. Interesting! At first I thought I was just tasting cream because I was eating banana soymilk oatmeal with the tea (that reminds me of a banana cream pie), but now it tastes kind of spicy. I really like this one!
Thanks for including this one in our trade, Starfevre! I was hoping there wouldn’t be so much hibiscus in this one. I steeped it for 10 minutes (which I know makes the hibiscus taste even more tart, but otherwise I wouldn’t get any flavor at all.) Yeah, it was pretty tart and sour. There was a piece of strawberry I saw in the infuser, and there were hints of that, but the hibiscus just drowns everything else out. Gah, hibiscus. I’ll try taking some of it out of the infuser before I steep it next time. ALL of it doesn’t need to be in here, Adagio!