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620 Tasting Notes
Now, I’ve managed to go my whole life without ever having a tea classed as an English Breakfast, so I’ve got nothing for comparison. So far, in my experience with plain blacks I prefer Chinese ones for their innate sweetness and general deliciousness. This tea has more of a hearty flavour, with none of the sweetness I find in the China blacks. It’s not bitter, it’s just definitely more plain.
I can see how this would be more of a “wake me up” tea, if tea worked for me like that. However, caffeine, etc seem to have no effect on me so I just drink what I want when I want it. I think this tea would be more of a “buck up and get through it” sort of tea for me. I’m not sure that I’ll re-stock it when it’s gone as nothing about it leaps out for me, but it is a change from my currently beloved China blacks. A perfectly respectable tea, and one of the cheapest in my neighbourhood, if cost factors in. ($4.50 for 50 g)
I am officially impressed with this tea. I had a cup this morning, steeped for around 2.5 minutes and I thought it was delicious. no bitterness at all, just a lovely naturally sweet black tea. I made a second cup from the same leaves this afternoon and forgot to take the leaves out for ten minutes. I hoped it might be okay, since it was the second steep, and it is! There is the slightest hint of bitterness this time, more in the “aftersip” than anything else, but definitely palatable, and nearly as enjoyable as the first. I appreciate any tea that can handle my forgetfulness…
How did it take me so long to realize I love unflavoured black teas??
Smelled this at the market today and fell madly in love. The wine smell is so authentic that when I gave it to the beau (without telling him what it was) his first guess was wine. I don’t know that I get pear or berries, but I do get a deliciously sweet fruity wine scent. I’ve unfortunately not yet had an ice wine so I can’t speak to it’s authenticity on that front, but it definitely smells like a wine.
The Tea Brewery (unfrotunately) doesn’t list any information about their teas or steeping parameters on their website or the packaging. Accordingly, I made it up. It looks and acts like a black tea, so we boiled the water. I gave mine about 3 minutes of steeping, and the beau kept his closer to five. The liquor is rich and dark, a deep wine red in the pot and a reddish amber in my mug. The smell is similar to that of the dry leaves: fruit, wine. Delicious!
First sips match the smell wonderfully. No bitterness, no tea taste at all, in fact. It’s like drinking wine, only without the alcohol tinge. This really captures some of my favourite aspects of sweeter wines…Unsurprisingly, I love wine. I have no real taste for it though, and happily drink the $10 bottles from the NSLC. For times when I oughtn’t “drink” (aka during the work day!), this tea will be a lovely source of comfort…Wonder if I could succesfully drink it from a wine glass?
As the cup cools I start to get shadows of the tea taste, but that is not a problem. It is a wonderful merging of wine and tea…a real treat on this rainy evening.
Oh man…Oh MAN! This is fantastic. These strawberries really are blazing (but not in a spicy way!)…I get a totally authentic strawberry tastes, complete with the occasional tinge of bitterness that strawberries have. I don’t know where that’s coming from – the bamboo, maybe? Either way, I am extremely impressed. My disclaimer is that I got this in store, and they used the proper amount of tea by their standards. I try to stretch out my tea, so I usually use one perfect teaspoon to two big mugs, but this tea would not work that way, I don’t think. Definitely use at least one solid teaspoon to a mug. I think I will be buying some of this, because when I decide I want a real strawberry flavour, (but no berries are to be found) this will be where I turn. Hoping it’s as light as it looks, because I definitely want this in my repertoire.
Okay, so I’ve steeped this at work and obviously under imperfect conditions. However, I have, to the best of my knowledge, steeped this for just under three minutes and the water was hot, but definitely NOT boiling. The dry leaf smell is extremely mild…I was smelling a number of black teas yesterday and this was the faintest every time.
Steeped, I get an initial sweet black tea smell, something I am finding typical of China blacks, but underneath that I actually get a hint of bitter/hoppy/malty scent. Almost as if it were burnt or over-steeped, but I don’t think so. I hope not, at least!
First sips retain that sweetness I get in the smell. It’s almost as if this tea has been sweetened, but it has no additives. It doesn’t quite have the honey touch I found in the Borengajuli I had yesterday afternoon, it is more of a sugar sweetness. I’m actually astonished that a plain tea can be so sweet!
As it cools/I get deeper into the cup I am getting more hints of the “over-steeped” flavour, which I think is actually termed as astringency. In general though, this is a sweet and surprisingly juicy cup, reminiscent of some mild fruit flavoured blacks I own. It is very similar to my memory of Sawadee’s Borengajuli, I’ll have to do a side by side testing someday.
The taste echo is a little more bitter than I would like, so I think maybe 30 seconds less steep time would do a world of good for my preferences, but this is really nice. Pricier than I would prefer (100g for $12 = 1oz for $3.40), but definitely nice. I’ll be picking up some of David’s Tea’s black teas tonight so I’ll have something to compare to.
Bought 26 grams of this last weekend. Finally gave it a go this morning as the beau and I both woke up stuffy and have been fighting half-colds for a few weeks. I was taken in by the dry smell…I am a mint nut, so this seemed right up my alley. Steeped, it’s less exciting smelling. I don’t really like lemon and mint combined, so I don’t know what I was thinking when I got this.
The flavour was, to me, largely lemongrass with a hint of mint. I couldn’t distinguish any other ingredients. I like all the things that are in this, but together they don’t make anything impressive. I will use what I have, but I have no motivation to get more. I find DT lately has had a lot of less than impressive teas for me. I don’t know if I am trying things that aren’t really my “cuppa tea” or if there have just been less than stellar selections. Anyway, this is decent enough, but no superstar. Much like Some Velvet Morning…
Had a cup of this in store today while perusing the selection of unflavoured black teas. I found it to be a delicious sweet tea, but with no sweetener added. It had a natural sweetness akin to a touch of honey. My cup was perhaps slightly oversteeped to my tastes, but I didn’t find an over-bearing bitter texture. I am more of a 2 or 3 minute steep for my black tea kinda girl, but Mie Mie recommends 5 minutes for blacks. I picked up a tin to bring home, as well as a tin of the Keemun Panda to try out. This was an exciting find!
Aha! Give it only 2 or 3 minutes to steep, and you’re set. I’ve also switched to using my T-Sacs for this tea, as it is very fine and I don’t like when particles escape my strainer and keep steeping. The shorter steep time combined with the more efficient steep method have made a very yummy cuppa chai. I also tossed in a bit of milk to make it more like the warm comforting chai I wanted. Under these parameters, my rating goes back up. It’s a good chai, but it’s finnicky.
This one, my friend, can be classed as a disappointment. The beau and I were interested in it for a long time, but always seemed to get something else instead. Last weekend I took the plunge and got some…For some reason, I remember having a chat with a sales clerk nearly a year ago, and they said it was similar to detox. Well, I love DT’s detox, so I was excited.
Unfortunately, that was a lie! This tea is very mild and meek, with only an orange peel flavour being discernible for me. It reminds me of Kyoto Cosmo, but with less powerful flavours. There is also another David’s Tea I’ve had that reminds me of Kyoto Cosmo, but I can’t remember which anymore. Anyway, David’s Tea, step up your game!
Second steep lacked the nice floral sweetness and green tea flavour I felt I experienced in the first, but it did reveal that mint! Not strong…mild enough for even the beau to enjoy, but I liked it. Doesn’t seem nearly as good (quality-wise) as the Sawadeee blooming teas I have enjoyed, but these were a steal and definitely an enjoyable time. I don’t know if I will do a third steep as the bloom opened entirely on number one and isn’t really flavouring up as I might have hoped. We’ll see!
You know what? I really like this tea. It’s sweet, it’s yummy, it’s tea. Goes a little bitter sometimes, but I find it really sweet otherwise. Nothing leaps out at me though…
I’ve been thinking very seriously about my changing tea tastes recently and realized that I am ready to enjoy plain black teas. I have none, so now I need to buy tea (oh, what a chore!) to test them out. I think I don’t have the energy to go through the hassle of shipping, so I’ll be sticking local on this quest…likely to hurt my chances, but more convenient. David’s Tea has a couple I will try, and I am hoping that Sawadee or The Tea Brewery will have some good ones. I have no idea what I’m looking for, but it should be a good adventure. Maybe I will even become brave enough to try Lapsang!
This is a solid blooming tea. The first steep did not reveal much if anything by way of mint flavour, but there was a deliciously sweet floral flavour throughout. My blooming experiences are limited, but I’ve enjoyed them all so far, leading me to think I like floral teas, and just maybe like straight green and black tea. Hoping the second steep reveals the mint flavour!
Thought I’d give this a go in store today on the merit of it’s awesome dry smell. The sales clerk assured me that the coconut was not there in taste, so I bought a cup. I did not finish the cup. Got 1/3 of the way in…Couldn’t take it, even with sugar. It was just a cinnamon and hibiscus assault on my mouth. I rarely dislike a tea that strongly, but this was just a horrible mistake. One thing I do not appreciate about buying a cup in store is that you’re sort of left on your own with steep time. Mine steeped while I paid for it, etc…I like the handy little timer that you get at other stores, such as (my local!) Sawadee. Anyway, if you’re fond of cinnamon and hibiscus you might like this tea. I was overpowered.
I received a sample of this with my one and only Harney order a few months back. It had been sitting in my drawer at work waiting for me to pay attention and today I decided to. I love mint, I love lemon, but I am very concerned about the two of them together. The dry smell is all mint, and honestly, the bag looks like it just has mint in it. What form is the lemon supposed to be taking? Am I confused?
The liquor is once again all mint in smell – Smells very much like any other mint teabag. When I’m desperate for a quick mint, I tend to turn to my $2 box of 24 from Superstore since I find that most mint teas are created equal, at least when it comes to bagged. The liquor is a swampy looking greenish brown. It is in a blue cup, to be fair, but it’s ugly looking. : )
First sips are…unimpressive. I get an initially mild mint taste, more like flavoured water than tea. I find the strength grows as it sits on my tongue, but that’s not a quality of the tea. As I go on, I get more of a lemonish hit at first, which turns to mint but it always has a watered down feel. A thinness of flavour, if that makes sense. For what this costs on the Harney website, I’m quite disappointed. This seems like something I could find in a grocery store under a no-name brand for much less. And maybe with stronger flavour. It’s not bad, per se, but there’s nothing impressive about it. Not an exciting cuppa for the Royal Wedding day. Though i did have some delicious Detox for breakfast…
What lemon flavour I do get is a bit bitter, as well. Not sour, but more like the taste of a lemon rind (if you’ve had the misfortune to taste one). This is not my friend.
This is one of the teas I was unsure about when i ordered…green and I have issues sometimes. It makes me queasy occasionally (no clue why) and it always seems like too much work. Ironically, when I’m at work it’s one of the easiest, since the water is nowhere near boiling and I can just take it from the spout.
Anyway. I tried to give this a good shake because I could see lots of mint at the bottom and lots of tea at the top. I got a good mix in the end, and I see some sticks in there, but some pretty large leaves as well. I can smell the mint and vanilla mix more than anything in the dry and steeped tea. It makes a mouthwash sort of smell, but luckily not a mouthwash taste.
I find it brisk and refreshing, leaving my mouth cool but not too sharp. I don’t get any green tea taste, it must be hiding under the bold mint and the creamy vanilla. It’s definitely nice, since I love mint, but I don’t love this tea necessarily. Yet. Silly green tea. I’m having a weird week with teas. I’m sick so I think that is affecting all my perceptions, even though I can still taste properly, my general unwell feelings affect my judgment.
EDIT: (Over)Steep #2 brings out more hints of green tea flavour, but this is still predominantly mint. THe flavour has thinned out a bit, but is still a comforting cuppa minty goodness. I am getting a hint of the mouthwash flavour I associate with 52Teas Mintastic…I think it is the spearmint they use, maybe.
Sadly, this one did not blow me away. I made some of this for my breakfast tea…It tasted better than it smelled dry (I wasn’t getting any apricot smell…I didn’t really smell much at all, really. It wasn’t like rooibos or apricot or cinnamon, but weird). Steeped, I got some of that apricot flavour, but didn’t find it to be very strong. I didn’t get any cinnamon, so it was just a decent and drinkable but mildly disappointing cup of apricot-ish rooibos.
My 52Teas order arrived yesterday, and I made a pot of this to try out. The smell in the bag was wonderful strawberry sweetness, like candy or strawberries with a lot of sugar. Steeped, the smell diminished somewhat and I personally found the flavours surprisingly muted. i got a hint of something I would call cinnamon (is there any in there? I hope so…) and would have liked a but more strawberry flavour to go with the dry smell. I think next time I’ll steep for longer and see how it goes. I also totally missed out on the pie flavours. I’ll try harder next time : )
Dear Saigon Chai,
Just a quick note to thank you for your loyal service. After the bad brew last week I was worried we weren’t to be friends anymore, but that was a false judgment. Today, you are delicious as usual, and a refreshing cup of hearty cinnamon based chai. I don’t appreciate your crumbly nature before steeping, but you do turn into a lovely brew if I drink you in a reasonable time frame. That said, I would appreciate less powderiness, as it is tricky to keep you from over-steeping and getting bitter.
Keep on keeping on,
EDIT – I’m sorry to do this to you, Saigon Chai, but you keep going gross as you cool. I’ve had to lower your rating. Now you need a bit of sugar and there’s nothing around to help with that. Naughty!
So, it’s administrative assistants appreciation week at work, and we get treats. Today was a coffee/tea break from Pete’s Frootique, and I snagged a bagged chai from Twinings, I’m always wary of bagged greens, and that was all that was left at the time. On the plus side, I got gruit and muffins!
I’ve already burned my tongue on this poor thing, but it’s definitely a decent bagged chai. I find it better than the (mediocre at best) PC brand bagged chai, but they just never capture the deliciousness of proper chai for me. This’ll do, but I’d rather my 52teas order arrived so I could have some of my Extra Bold Masala Chai instead.
That said, it’s nice to be treated at work! Thanks, work!
Resteep from…yesterday? The day before? Still delicious, but lacks the oomph of the first steep. I miss those bold juniper berries.
I steeped for nearly ten minutes today accidentally, and got a wonderful sweet baked apple flavour. As I near the bottom the tin, the compponents seem to be more and more apple…there is only one large orange piece left! I’m quite glad I’ve warmed up to this wonderful wintry tisane…
Dear Lady Grey,
I’m so sorry for always thinking I don’t like you. I don’t know what it is, but when your beautiful scent and taste aren’t right in front of me, I forget your wonders. Instead, I associate you with dusty dry bergamot, and your terrible husband, Earl Grey. I don’t know why he and I don’t get along, but you, my Lady, are a pleasure. Thank you for your faux lemon/faux froot loop taste and your conveniently packaged teabags. Forgive me my forgetful nature, and try not to hold a grudge when I inevitably think (once again) that I don’t love you. I do. I swear.
PS – You really are best enjoyed at a 2 to 3 minute steep time. Who doesn’t love a quick Lady? ; )
Love. This is one of my first David’s Tea loves and it still holds strong. I love the juniper, the lemongrass, the whole thing. If you don’t like gin, avoid.