706 Tasting Notes
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!
Some of my tea friends have probably learned by now that I have a tendency to have a lot of love for a tea at first – only to have my feelings wither over time. It’s terrible. This tea, however, defies my usual tendencies. This tea is still fabulous to me. I love the fuzziness from the mate, the sweetness rocking out all over the place. It’s good hot or cool (room temperature) which is really saying something for me. It is a treat!
Revisiting this in an attempt to clear out some more tea. There is still enough left for 3 or 4 cups of tea, which is sort of annoying because I’m still not super fond. I steeped it at a lower temp this time which helped cut the green tea flavour, but this still isn’t right for me. It is shockingly like an apple pie, but the green tea is blechy and the hint of cinnamon is just not quite right. There is an aftertaste to the sip which I don’t appreciate and actually find hard to describe. It’s almost plasticky or chemically? It almost acts like pie crust taste, but then there is something off about it. I think this one is at it’s best while hot and if I can’t drink it within 15 minutes or so, I should just stay away. Oh well, at least it’ll be over soon! : )
This may just be the best smelling tisane of my whole life. The beau and I steeped up a pot of this in the afternoon, enjoying another generous sample from Teavivre. The dry smell is fabulous – strongly blueberry, hint of tart and a hint of something raisin-y behind that. If I could smell only one fruity thing the rest of my life I would choose this. If this were jam, I would eat it by the spoonful. Oh man, it smells like jam!
I steeped 4 heaping tsp. in 12ish oz of boiling water for about 8 minutes, basically following the Teavivre directions. Lately I have found ymself pulling away from fruit based teas, but berry tisanes still hold a place in my heart, and this one smells like the queen of them all. Oh man, am I excited.
The brewed liquor has a tart smell from the roselle, but there is still distinctly jammy blueberry and raisin underneath that. The first sips are very tart, so we added a drop of honey and that made this lovely. The tartness is there, but it is muted a bit by the honey and the blueberry flavour becomes more rich. It still reminds me of jam and has a lovely aftertaste – this is a treat! I look forward to enjoying the rest of this sample, and likely will be ordering it at some point in the future.
EDIT: Made a second steep (10 minutes) and that was really good – the tartness was totally gone, and though the berry flavour was obviously light, it was naturally sweet and deicious, like over-ripe berries. Loving the lighter second steep to go with the bold first!
This sample was provided to me by Angel from Teavivre approximately 1 to 2 months ago. My apologies in the delay before tasting, life got away with me. I’ve decided to do all my initial reviews on these teas following package directions. Though I would not ordinarily steep an oolong in boiling water for 1 to 3 minutes, I will give it the old college try, and hopefully post an additional note at another time with my usual parameters. For the tasting, I am using my gaiwan with one sample packet and sharing with the beau in our little double walled teacups.
Dry leaves smell sweet, and remind me of hay and grass. The beau proclaims them earthy but as in “of the earth” not dirt. : )
First steep: One minute, boiling water. The liquor is pale yellow with a hint of green, not nearly as deep as I feared. The smell is very vegetal, my first thoughts are boiled spinach and leafy greens. This does not appeal to me, but I’ll give it a shot – once it’s cool enough to drink! The leaves have opened a LOT and are very pretty in my gaiwan. As it cools the boiled greens aroma fades (yay) and the taste is surprising. There is an aspect of green vegetalness (ya, I said vegetalness, what of it? :D) but this is really nice. I am not a green tea drinker and tend to prefer oolongs that are more like black teas, but this is really pleasant. Surprisingly sweet and rich. There is a floral aspect which is very present in the taste, but not overwhelmingly. Reminds me of a few flowering teas I have tried and enjoyed. I’m impressed! The beau, on the other hand, says “it’s kinda plain”. Well.
Second steep: 2 minutes, boiling water. The liquor is much darker this time ‘round though the smell is fairly similar. Let it cool so I don’t burn my tongue and the taste is actually quite vegetal with a hint of bitterness. Jumping up to 2 minutes was clearly too much for me, I should have stuck at 1.5 for now. For an experienced oolong drinker the bold vegetal aspect of this might be appealing, but it is a bit too much for an oolong novice such as myself. Ah well, it’s my own fault! The beau proclaims that this steep is better and he likes it more. He has a recently discovered love for green tea, so this makes sense.
I think I will take a break now to prepare lunch and add any notes about further infusions later on, if I think of it. I have only tried 3 or 4 different Tie Guan Yins now, so I barely know what I am talking about but I found this to be really present and quite bold. Though I feared the boiling water, I think that is what maintained the strength of flavour.