660 Tasting Notes
I’ve been trying to make this tasting note since yesterday (and this tea for a year!) – the Steepster Gods have not been kind to me. Anyway, I have some of this still from a year ago, though I wish I didn’t. I sent the beau off with the tin to drink at work and I am trying to use what’s left in the bag at mine. This was purchased before I realized that you could buy less than 100 grams of something, so I’ve got an awful lot of it.
Remembering that this is a bitter tea, I steeped it for only a minute in less than boiling water and even threw in a bit of sugar (maybe 1/8 teaspoon) in advance because I am at switchboard and away from the kitchens. Under these conditions, it was tolerable but too sweet so I put the leaves back in for 30 seconds or so. Unfortunately, a tonne of loose “leaves” (aka powder) fell into the tea from my fine infuser while I was doing that, even though I shook out the infuser vigorously – I forgot to mention but this is one seriously broken up tea. I assume that is what contributes to it’s bitterness.
Anyway, after the extra steeping it was bitter. Too bitter to drink. I threw out yet another mug of this blasted tea which I have never managed to make well. Even low temps, less leaf, adding sugar, shaking the powder out and short steeping times aren’t enough to redeem this bad boy. Rating seriously decreased because I know better now!
The beau has been dying to brew some of this up, so I figured we’d give it a go. The first thing I noticed was a lot of “scum” on the top, likely from the chocolate, sprinkles and freeze dried ice cream. Neat idea, but not so attractive in practice. However, I have had a couple DT teas like this, and I’m not worried. The smell is yummy but very sweet – sweet is where my fear comes in here. I rarely sweeten my tea, and it bothers me that this one has stevia built in.
This one is really sweet. Very sweet. Some sips I enjoyed, where most I felt like I was drowning in sugar. Not quite the tea for me, though the idea was interesting. I could sort of see where ice cream cake was coming from, but it was sweeter than ice cream, if that makes sense. When I think of ice cream cake, I think of Dairy Queen cakes, and yummy fudge crumble in the middle with vanilla on the top, chocolate on the bottom and whipped cream icing. MMMM! Also, I did get an alcohol smell from the dry leaf – what does that? Is that the stevia leaf? Personally, I find it a little unsettling, though I have no problem with alcohol. Just not quite my thing.
I got this sample from Joy’s Teaspoon with an order I placed more than a year ago or so at this point. At that time I did not drink chcolate in tea. I thought it was an abomination – but I’ve finally learned my lesson. So, I dug this out and embraced the lovely milk chocolate aromas from the dried (and steeped!) leaf. It smells sweet and appetizing but there is a hint of bitterness in the aroma. I find that even now some chocolate teas (such as DT’s Chocolate Chili Chai) are unappealing and even make me feel nauseous. We shall see how this one holds up – so far, all is promising. For the record, a co-worker just arrived in the switchboard office that I cover from 1 to 2 and said it smells like chocolate – so mmuch so that she thought I was having a hot chocolate, not a flavoured tea.
First sips are not as sweet as the aroma would lead me to believe. There is a bold chocolate flavour, which actually combines the creaminess of milk chocolate and a slight hint of bitterness from dark chocolate. The taste changes on my tongue, but has a very pleasant lingering flavour. The initial sip is darker than the rest, I find. It’s very rich and decadent, though a bit too dark and bitter initially.
I must confess that I have no fondness for dark chocolate. I like the adulterated milky stuff – with sweet Cadbury being my favourite of the commercial brands. I was hoping this would be like DT’s Read My Lips, sans mint, but it’s a different beast. A little more adult and not quite my thing, unfortunately.
Finishing this up today I get a different taste than before. I steeped for about 10 minutes and get a creaminess behind the chocolate and rooibos notes that really suggests the neapolitan flavour. I still don’t get vanilla or strawberry, but as I said in my last note, I find chocolate always takes over.
I did shake the dust out of my infuser this time, though an annoying amount has fallen into my mug. It’s a good thing this is a rooibos, otherwise it would be undrinkable. I am getting a sharp taste of the rooibos in the back of my throat, and for once I almost understand what people mean when they say a mintiness. I must confess I am not found of this strong rooibos presence, but it’s completely my fault. Nice to see another sample finished!
Re-visiting this one today – unfortunately the smell isn’t at all pleasant. Initial aroma is kind of sour smelling and had a sharp scent that reminded me of vomit. It had me wondering if what I initially thought were almond slices might not be shaved coconut. Hopefully they really are almonds. According to my tasting note I found this solidly okay last time, let’s hope this is the same.
The taste is not nearly as objectionable as the smell, but it’s not really helping to dissuade me from my new conviction that this has coconut, not almonds. The initial sip is alright, but the aftertaste is sort of bothering me. As it cools it becomes more palatable, and bigger gulps are actually kind of nice. There is a sweetness, reminiscent of desserts. Almost reminds me of baklava, which is very weird. As I keep sipping I think I get a cinnamon taste in here, but a sweet one. This tea certainly is full of mysteries!
This one came to be as part of the enormous box of samples I purchased from LiberTeas months ago. The smell is very faint, but creamy and a hint of chocolate. Ordinarily I shake the “powder” out of my infuser before steeping (I hate floaties in my cup!) but as I was doing that with this one I came to the conclusion that I might be shaking out the flavourings, which would be pretty dumb. So, I am doing it with all the dust (and there’s a lot of it). Since there’s no proper tea in here, I hope that won’t be a problem.
Steeped, the aroma has a chickory note and reminds me of stale milk chocolate – you know when it gets old and turns white-ish. The liquor is a deep brown and quite fragrant. I’m really just getting the chocolate aspect of neapolitan, so far at least. I find that even in the ice cream though, that’s what happens. The vanilla and strawberry ( my favourites!) get buried beneath the chocolate.
The flavour is fairly bland, possibly because of age/storage. I get a hint of old chocolate, but it isn’t very assertive and if I were blind testing this I might not have got it right. I didn’t get any strawberry at all, and a sense of vanilla could only be present in a slight creaminess. Nothing objectionable at all, but certainly nothing special. I’ve got enough for another cup worth and I think I’ll take it to work to use up.
Eight months later, here I am trying to finish up my sample of this tea. I do have a fondness for some aspects of this tea, but it is just so sweet. I am getting a very strong juice flavour here, with no tea peeking out anywhere. If there were no cost to factor in, this would be high 70s for fruity drinkability. When you factor in the cost, though….this tea just doesn’t deliver. I’ve learned the hard way about most of the DT ‘white tea’ blends, it just took a while for the lesson to sink in. One more cuppa this and we’re through! It;s good to make room, my tea shelf needs serious turnover!
ps – This reminds me quite a bit of the new Spring tea: Daydreamer, which I just tried the other day. I use the term “new” quite loosely though, a lot of the recent blends seem to just be re-creations or gimicks. I think I’m falling way out of love with DT ! : ( Anyway, the faux mango flavouring really makes the two almost indistinguishable. Accordingly, I get a hint of Tim Horton’s peach juice in this one too. Plus, it has pineapple built right in! (my theory being that pineapple juice is what pushes Daydreamer over the edge into peach juice territory).
This is another example of my past tea indulgences. I tried one cuppa in store about 6 months ago and then bought 100 grams of it. Of course, since then I have made approximately 0 cups and have bought probably 50 more teas. I’m glad I have finally learned to buy in moderation, but I wish that lesson had been imparted earlier.
So, for my second sup of this – this is pretty good. I’m not as fond of it as I was the first time (but then, I never am). I find the first few sips to be very bold with a hint of smoke from the chickory and the roasted mate. The flavour improves as it cools a bit, and I get more of a sweeter dark chocolate with an aftertaste of raspberry. It smells and tastes like decadent chocolate treats. There is a very bold flavour that remains on the end of the sip – this, I like. Powerful. I’ve lowered the rating slightly, but this is still a very nice tea. One of the DT successes, in my books!
A side note about mate: I’ve learned that I really prefer the roasted stuff to the green. If you’re wary of mate due to ‘grassiness’ give the roasted stuff a try!
To me, this tastes just like another Canadian classic: Tim Hortons peach juice. I used to drink that stuff as a kid when my mparents went in for coffee (my Mum worked at a Timmie’s when I was very small and my Dad hung out with the bikers in front of the store). The only thing this needs to totally bring me back to childhood is a Tim Treat. Yup, a Tim Treat. Take a donut, add a mountain of whipped cream and stick a sugar candy face on there – BAM! I just liked the whipped cream and sugar, even then I knew that the donuts were big trouble : )
I will be fair and say that I sipped some pineapple juice before having this and it is likely affecting my judgment, but it took all 10 grams to make a pot of this so I likely won’t be trying it again. I don’t think there is anything remarkable about it (other than the similiarity to sugary drinks of my youth) and I would be happy living with a couple other flavoured greens I’ve gotten from DT over the years. I will be fair and say that this smells amazing in store – very enticing. That is what made the beau buy 10 g of this and another 10 of Strawberry Ginger, even though we both know better than to fall for the seasonal tea hype anymore. I need DT to come out with a good rick black tea. Preferably a well sourced pure tea, but a good caramelly black tea would work too. Mmm.
Anyway, this gets a smily face for reminding me of simpler times – though it should cost as much as peach juice would – this isn’t worth the cost.
After another crazy week, the beau and I are sitting down to finally try this sample from Teavivre – Thank you Angel! We are off to visit my grandmother in an hour or so, so we’re just slipping this one in before we continue the madness that this week has been.
The dry leaf smells decadent. It smells very rich, I find it has a chocolate characteristic and it instantly brings to mind the Golden Snail from Harney and Sons (which I have only a small amount of and am hoarding because it has been out of stock for months and months). I might want to try these side by side at some point and see if it’s just memory playing tricks on me. I steeped this for 3 minutes at 85 degrees (package specifications) with one sample package (approx. 2 teaspoons). The leaf has a surprising number of tips, it’s very attractive, even if the leaves are perhaps a bit more crushed than I might prefer. That could be due to shipping, storage, etc.
Steeped liquor is a golden amber, a little paler than I expected, but still with a bold aroma. I find the smell is very similar to the dry leaf – bold, rich, chocolatey. I hope I’m not the only one getting chocolate! (a side note, to be fair: I’ve been in the mood for a beautiful pure black tea that has chocolate notes for weeks – the thought that this one has been sitting idly by while I rushed about makes me cringe. I’m in love with the aroma, so far!)
First sips really match the aroma. So far this is a very consistant tea. This is bold. I do get chocolate in the taste, dark chocolate with a hint of something that could be considered bitter but doesn’t make me pucker. There is a sweetness in the middle of the sip which tapers off to the richness I am experiencing in the chocolate notes. Right now, this is heaven! I think there might be a tiny hint of astringency, as my lips are feeling a tiny bit dry, but there is nothing that tastes bitter or drying. Who knows, maybe this is my lips trying to wake up. : )
General consensus: yum. Very yum. Hopefully I can eke out a re-steep before we leave and see if these leaves can go the extra mile. This is definitely a tea that I am going to want to have on hand and will definitey go on my teavivre order once I’ve tried the rest of my samples. Mmmm!
I can’t believe how many people assume that all tea tastes llike bagged orange pekoe. While I can appreciate the place for bagged OP, I find it so hard to explain to someone just how delicious all teas (and especially black teas) can be. There is so much variety out there – so much more!