703 Tasting Notes
This tea tricked and impressed me. I received it yesterday as one of four free samples from The Tea Merchant – thank you! It came wrapped up in brown tissue paper with a golden wax seal. LOVED that. I steeped up a cuppa this darjeeling this afternoon and must admit it’s my first darjeeling. While I love black teas, I have not experienced a darjeeling yet so I didn’t know what I was in for. The aroma was a bit musty and reminded me of barns and animals – not in a negative way, but in a hay-ish sort of way. No poo smell, I swear.
Steeped for three minutes, I have a surprisingly light orangeish liquor which shares the aroma of the dry leaf, but more refined somehow. It’s like the dry aroma was a fuzzy picture and the steeped liquor is it’s sharper cousin. The taste is impressive – again, it’s clearly a black tea but really good quality. It’s smooth and has a hint of astringency underneath the tea. I find it hard to describe, other than black tea. My words are failing me today.. EDIT: After reading other reviews, malty totally fits what I am getting here. It’s very malty – I don’t know what muscatel means, really, so I can’t speak to that but it reminds me of rich beer, almost.
I must say that I thought the leaves were a bit small for a pure tea and I expected that to translate into more bitterness, but it doesn’t seem to have. I expected fuller leaf, but this doesn’t suffer for the breakage that is there. Solid black tea – not my favourite, but certainly would make a good standard black in the cupboard.
This is another sample I received from Della Terra Teas after winning their Facebook giveaway – Thank you to Della Terra Teas! See my note for Caramel Cappuccino Crunch for info on shipping (if interested.) This tisane suffered a lot from the smell contamination, but I think it’s mostly back to normal now. I must say I don’t smell strawberries or kiwi but instead some vague indeterminate berry aroma. I get a hint of cinnamon (which is weird!) and I can smell the hibiscus in the dry leaf. Steeped for approximately 5 minutes, the liquor is a vibrant red/pink from the hibiscus and the aroma still has that hint of something I can’t place.
First sips are surprising. I don’t know if this needed more leaf or more time, but the flavour is very mild and unassuming. What flavour I get is lightly sweet (hibiscus is not nearly as present as I had feared). Again, I don’t get strawberry or kiwi. Just something vaguely fruity – and that strange note I couldn’t place from the aroma is still there in the taste. I am thinking it might be lingering smell contamination from the chocolate puerh, as there is nothing in the ingredient list to suggest this flavour.
Unfortunately, this is another one that I am glad to have sampled but would not keep in my cupboard. Strawberries are my favourite berry and I am continually looking out for a tea that can accurately replicate their flavour. This one doesn’t even come close so it’s a bit of a letdown. I think this might stand a better rating under a different name (berry melange or something like that). Expecting strawberries and/or kiwi just leaves me a bit disappointed. Sorry!
EDIT: After reading Sil’s tasting note, I’m thinking I might cold brew the other half of my sample and see if that has a better flavour. It can make a huge difference in the taste of fruity teas, so I’ll try to get to that. : )
I received this and a Strawberry Kiwi Fusion sample from Della Terra Teas on Friday after winning their Facebook giveaway recently. Amazingly, the tea arrived in Nova Scotia only a week after they sent it, which is a Canada Post miracle. Unfortunately there was some serious smell contamination from a bonus sample of Chocolate Chai Puerh they threw in, so I left the three teas to air out over the weekend. All that aside, Thank you to Della Terra teas for the samples! Winning things is always exciting!
I wanted a cup of hot chocolate today as it is sub-Arctic at work, but I couldn’t find any anywhere. Drat! So, I turned to this one as a good substitute, with less calories. Win! I gave it about 8 minutes to steep, which yielded a dark amber liquor, with the aroma of a rooibos based cappuccino. It does smell like cappuccino (coffee, sweet, cream) but the rooibos aroma is very present too. There is a bit of a bitter note at the end that is more reminiscent of coffee, but I’m hoping that isn’t included in the flavour (I hate coffee but tend to enjoy sweet frou frou cappuccinos the odd time I get them).
The first sips are a bit thin and a bit bitter. Not bitter in the way that tea can be, but more a hint of roasted coffee. I am a little surprised at the flavour, though I don’t know why because it tasted like it smells. Maybe I somehow anticipated the taste of a cappuccino, which would be hard to do without adding all the fat and sugar! :) I wish this had a touch more caramel flavour as that is the real selling point for me. There were a couple little squares in there which I can’t seem to find now so I assume they melted in? Either that or they disappeared!
Cumulatively, I enjoyed this, but it didn’t present the depth of flavour I was hoping for. Maybe if I doubled up on ‘leaf’ it would be a different story, but I’m worried about emphasising the dark bitter note too much. I’m such a wuss. Anyway, brilliant in theory but not quite for me in practice. Thanks again, Della Terra Teas!
So, I gave in and splurged on matcha. We got 50 grams of this at Davids, and also picked up their matcha starter set so we have an adorable bowl and whisk. I am not a green tea fan so I was very hesitant, but wanted to know if I like matcha before committing to a Red Leaf Tea order for flavoured matcha, which I am strongly considering. The dry smell of this is very green, but not offensive. I was pleasantly surprised that though it didn’t smell appealing, it wasn’t off-putting. Once I sifted it, added some water and started mixing the smell took on stronger vegetal tones, and a hint of seaweedy earthiness. That was less appealing, but still worth giving it a shot. We did a thinner matcha to avoid and strong bitterness and it was actually pretty decent on it’s own. The beau and I agreed we preferred some sweetening, so we added one of my new grapefruit agave sticks. With that, it was perfect. The slight grapefruit taste masked the vegetal nature of the green tea and added enough sweetness to cut the bitterness but also left the matcha flavour very present. I would call this a matcha success – though I would prefer flavoured matchas to plain. The beau likes it quite a bit and is very excited. I was very impressed at how easy it was to whisk, though that was partially due to the sifting, I assume. I had no clumps and it stayed integrated very well. We only did about 1/3 of the bowl to share between us, but this isn’t the sort of thing I would like to have a lot of at once, I get the impression it has the potential to give me an upset tummy.
This one surprised me. I had been wanting to try it (Hello – kiwi?!?!) but was hesitant as it’s a green tea. We grabbed it to go as the iced tea of the day yesterday and I must say it was good. It was quite weak, which was only hampered by the additional ice they added (anyone else notice how little tea volume you get with the TotD?) but I really enjoyed it. The green tea was not present at all, but there was the taste of something definitely kiwi. Worth playing around with to try to increase the strength but I managed to resist the urge. For now. : )
Booze! This smells and tastes of booze. The beau and I got one as iced tea of the day then went right back in to pick some up to add gin to on occasion. How can this be so boozy? Aside from that, it was quite refreshing. Not too tart, not at all sweet. A lovely mix – almost like a kick-butt lemonade.
This was very nice! I can no longer recall if I received this is in my box of teas from LiberTeas or if a friend game it to me for my birthday, but the beau and I finally did this up today. Unfortunately, our electric kettle which heats the water to your desired temp chose to die today, so we had to wing it in terms of temp. The bloom opened really beautifully, I had a grand time trying to photograph it through the teapot. The tea itself is really unassuming, lovely flavour with no bitterness at all. I found it really refreshing hot and also after it had cooled off a bit. We intend to do another steep of it later on – blooming teas really have a lot to offer!
This wasn’t the most attractive bloom I’ve ever seen (there were 2 or 3 smallish white flowers – I presume jasmine flowers?), but all blooming teas are a treat to behold, and I am very impressed with the way the flavour held up (as I find that can be a bit of a disappointment on occasion). Loved it!
I got a sample of this back n March and am finally giving it a go. I am steeping it up in my perfect tea mug for around 3/4 minutes-ish. I love citrus teas BUT find they are usually not done well, so I am eternally on the search for a good one. I am not a fan of green teas in general but find they do work well for citrus, so I hope I don’t regret this decision.
The dry aroma is very sharp, like the zest of a clementine, tangerine or other sweet orange-like fruit. The steeped liquor is much more muted, with more of a green tea aroma than anything else. by that, i mean sweet hay or grass. Fields after the rain, that sort of thing. : )
In terms of taste, the citrus is not very forward. It is nicely disguised in the background of the green tea and is actually really pleasant. I would like a bit more citrus, but this really works. Especially to the idea of a tangerine tea, since there is the sweetness from the green. Definitely suitable but not a re-buy.
PS – The beau is now the fiancee. After eight years, we’re now “official.” I’m so excited! Now to plan and pay for (what we hope to be) a small intimate country wedding. We shall see..
This is the second of the samples I received from Peony Tea S while they were testing shipping to Canada – Thank you! I have never had a yellow tea before, so this is a very new experience for me. The dry aroma put me in mind of delicate teas such as whites and greens, but the “leaves” were quite unusual. They were covered in a downy fuzz and looked almost like really thin pussy willows. They unfurled a bit during the inital steep and have more of a leaf shape now but they are clearly still buds.
Since I am at work I steeped this western style in my perfect tea mug. I gave it approximately 3 minutes to steep, which yields a lightly peachy coloured liquor. The aroma is reminiscent of sweet hay but it is a very light aroma, I had to hover over the cup to pick it up. First sips are mild but very tasty. It is very fresh tasting, and has a cumulative effect, with the flavour seeming more bold with every sip. There is no bitterness (which I like, even if I may have been a bit light on leaf) but a very light sweetness that is unassuming but refreshing.
This does remind me in some ways of greens (but lighter) and whites (but stronger) but not quite the same as either. There is a light, natural sweetness here, it reminds me a bit of fruit but without any bold flavour assocaitons. Maybe like the rind of watermelon, but not bitter? This is a weird thing for me, but I think this would be excellent iced. I don’t enjoy iced tea typically but this is so refreshing, it would be excellent on a hot summer day.
I didn’t really anticipate enjoying this one as much as I do, but it is lovely to have a new flavour in my tea cupboard, especially one that surprises as well as this. I really look forward to trying this at home with my gaiwan. Thanks again, Peony Tea!