1520 Tasting Notes
Additional notes: Having this one again so soon! I really love it. Crow Kettle sent me enough for a few more cups!! I love the cocoa powder in it. It really is a nice deep black tea, deep chocolate flavor, without actually getting astringent. I really love the variety of my tea collection. If I’m craving chocolate, I’ve got chocolate teas, craving banana, I’ve got banana teas. This one just happens to have both.
Thank you Momo for sending a pouch of this from your last sale! I needed some more genmaicha (I think?) The package says to boil this one but that would be ridiculous, since it is green. So I waited a while for the water to cool and steeped for a minute. It passes the roasty toasty tasty test! Plenty of popped rice and matcha makes the cup a fresh green color. The cup was gone in no time. I should have boiled more water right after I poured the first cup. The second cup was just as good! Really, all the matcha genmaichas I’ve had seem to be pretty similar… I wonder if the suppliers are the same. Luckily, I mostly just have samples of a few anyway.
Yep, another Della Terra sample. I swear there are only a couple left around here I haven’t tried. I have no idea why I bought this one, since I have the chocolate strawberry. BUT if I am remembering right, I think I like this one more. It has an ICE CREAM flavor to it. At some point I tried some astronaut ice cream (freeze dried) and if that isn’t what is here, then there should be some tea blends that use a ton of freeze dried ice cream. I think this blend is an equal balance: black tea, ice cream, strawberry, chocolate. Nothing out shines the other ingredients. I wish the root beer float had this much ice cream flavor. I love this one!
Another Della Terra sample! I guess I just noticed these blends like to have chocolate in them as well as the other ingredients (caramel, peanut butter in another one). At this point, the chocolate just seems to be distracting from the other flavors. Just like the peanut butter blend, this one didn’t seem to be much different to me than just a chocolate blend. But maybe I’m not getting an evenly distributed scoop in my infuser or something. This seemed like a chocolate only blend to me. So sad! I think the coconut added a creaminess that isn’t usually in the other DT chocolate blends, if that helps. So for not accomplishing what the name of this tea is, this gets a lower rating from me. But maybe my sample wasn’t blended well enough.
I bought this in Rachel’s awesome sale — thanks again! I don’t really understand the dislike that others have for yerba mate… I happen to love it. I think it’s all in how it’s brewed though. I waited a while for the water to cool and steeped 2-3 minutes. The flavor is sweet and earthy and for some reason has a silky consistency. I also noticed pine before I read that in the description. I couldn’t tell ya what kukicha is (apparently twigs) but this is nice. There was a peppermint yerba mate sample in with the other Samovar samples (there are a few in one pouch), so this one has a peppermint flavor. Now the second steep was another story. I brewed it too hot and too long (just boiled, a few minutes) and the flavor was a little too tangy, bitter, astringent. The first cup was deliciousness. The second cup needed a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. I kind of already supposed that yerba mate should not be boiled, but I started thinking of what a caffeine kick black/yerba mate blends would be.
Future self, future reference: low temp, low time
Another generous sample (recent) from Teavivre… thanks so much! I’m so amazed that Teavivre’s packages get to the US so fast from China. This sample pouch had a chunk of the edge of a pu-erh cake. I haven’t had any pu-erh that is actually from a giant cake yet, so that’s fun. The leaves are mostly black with a few golden twists… which is fitting since this tea is from Yunnan. The fragrance of the dry leaves are very unique… it reminds me of something familiar, maybe cloves?
Steep #1// A few minutes after boiling // 30 seconds //
The flavor is sweet and what it reminds me of most is apple or chamomile. I certainly haven’t had a pu-erh like this before! I don’t think I’d even guess it was a pu-erh in a blind taste test. I’d probably guess chamomile. A bit like cedar too. It’s very intriguing.
Steep #2// A few minutes after boiling // 1 min //
The flavor here is tougher than last time. I think the chamomile/apple flavor is mostly gone to be left with the usual light pu-erh. But I think 1 min was a bit too long. I should have went for 45 seconds. The flavor is a little bit too tangy and even more like cedar. I think I might like the darker/ tougher pu-erhs better somehow. But this one is still very good.
Steep#3 // Just boiled // 65 seconds //
I probably shouldn’t have steeped it this long again. The flavor is much the same again. I’m not sure I know enough about pu-erh to say much about this one, or even if it should taste the way I’m tasting it. I think next time note to self: Steep 30 seconds each time, since I liked the first cup the best: not so tangy and woody (though I guess that makes sense since these are leaves.)
Another good one from Teavivre, but I don’t think I’ve tried enough pu-erh to be an expert yet. I certainly don’t love pu-erh as much as my delicious black teas though.
Thank you for allowing me to try this one, Dinosara! My favorite apple teas have a green base, since they usually taste like an apple pastry &/or dumpling with the butteriness of the green tea. The ingredients just seem perfect together. Pistachios, almonds, roses, apple. I really love nutty teas. Opening the bag, the apple is most noticeable and it is a very nice refreshing, crisp, apple scent, almost a bit too much like the Jolly Rancher. The flavor after letting the water cool a while and steep for two minutes is also refreshing. The apple might not be entirely authentic, but there are some gross fake apple teas out there. This one tastes like a fresh green apple. There are slight notes of the pistachio and the rose, but I really wish there was more flavor to those. Really, the great apple flavor with the buttery sencha is so nice anyway, the rest is just bonus.
Looking at the Teavivre site, I’ve realized that I may have steeped many of their teas wrong. Sometimes it calls for 2-4 teaspoons. Usually the sample packages mention the time and temp but not the teaspoons. And back when I got these samples, I only had the dipper infusers that would only hold one teaspoon anyway. So if I have any of the previous samples from Teavivre left, I plan on steeping them properly soon!
This one actually calls for 3-4 teaspoons and I must have only used one back in the day. But from what I remember, the flavor isn’t much different now. It’s weird that some of Teavivre’s black teas are supposed to be steeped at 185 degrees but some of the oolongs are boiled. This one is a Fujian oolong, so I associate this with a charcoal flavor. And this one has that flavor the most, rather than a floral or a vegetal oolong. But I’ve had another Fujian oolong before and it literally was like drinking a cup of charcoal. This one is much more delicate, as most of Teavivre’s teas are. I prefer my fruity, floral and vegetal oolongs to dark oolongs, but this one isn’t so dark so I don’t mind it!
First steep: boiled: 45 seconds Second steep: boiled: 1 min 30