660 Tasting Notes
A couple pre-emptive notes: there are three listings for this tea. I chose this one as it has the most ratings. Also, my sampling is from this year’s batch (I didn’t have the guts to try it last year!) Thankfully I learned the way of chocolate tea. I actually went in yesterday after some Christmas shopping (the earliest I’ve ever started!) to get this and Santa’s Secret but my local store had already sold out of Santa’s Secret and was waiting on stock. I need to try that tea!!! Anyway, the dry smell is chocolate heaven – I don’t smell any chai or tea, really, but chocolate sure delivers. Steeped, the aroma is still dominated by chocolate, but a bit lighter.
The taste is impressive, to this formerly chocolate-tea-hating girl. It’s extremely similar to Read My Lips, minus the mint. Occasionally I think I feel the chili heat a tiny bit in my throat at the end of the sip but it doesn’t really stand out. For those of you that like chocolate tea, this should be a guaranteed winner. Might need to get some more, for those odd days I don’t feel like having mint in my chocolate tea. The black tea base doesn’t come out to play but I feel that it’s very important to the balance of the cup, lending the chocolate some weight and really keeping the base a bit darker – I guess I’m trying to say it’s not too sweet and though the tea doesn’t shine I think it is a VERY important supporting character.
As I continue sipping, I find the impression of chili heat increases over the course of the cup. Still not dominant in the sip itself, but in the back of the throat after swallowing. This is different. I like it. Also, there’s nothing chai about this, but I don’t mind. Really impressed with this one.
Okay. When I first bought this I knew very little about white teas and foolishly assumed it wouldn’t be very different from the black teas I knew and loved. Now, however, I know more. For example, I know that I’m not a huge fan of white tea. It’s too subtle for my tastes and far too fussy in terms of steep temp. and time. However, I am revisiting this one in an effort to give my teas a more even spread.
Used hot water from spigot at work, let it cool 5 minutes, then steeped for 2 or 3 (didn’t do the “flash steep” as it is flavoured and I don’t know if it would work so well.) The flavour is sweet with a hint of under-ripe melon rind. It sort of reminds me of 52Teas Peach Cobbler green which I hated and swapped away. I can drink this, but it still isn’t a favourite, possibly because it seems SO sweet. Might like it more if I removed the dried cantaloupe pieces, but that seems like cheating. Sometimes white and green teas make me feel nauseous, hoping that isn’t the case with this one…I don’t know that I’m ever going to appreciate white teas, at this rate.
EDIT: As with my initial tasting of this tea, I find the smell a little off and I don’t like that. The taste is not objectionable, but the smell sort of brings it down a bit for me
I just lost my post. : (
In sum: This is still delicious. Bought 100 grams of this which stays at home (the beau and I both like it) and the sample stays at work. Reminds me in taste of Joy’s Teaspoon’s Lemon Zest but the mate aspect really makes it stand out. Naturally sweet, but not cloyingly so (I find myself averse to too sweet tea lately). Highy recommended! (Disclaimer: I have no discernible reaction to caffeine and the like, but I’ve hear this one can be pretty “energizing”.)
I know I go through this all the time, but I have found the Saigon Chai sweet spot! I had another 50 g tucked away somewhere and brewed a cup today. Only 2 or 3 minutes to steep and I shook out the dust beforehand. I find this batch has fuller leaf which means less bitterness off the bat. I added a tiny bit (maybe 1/8 tsp) of sugar to my Perfect Tea Mug, and it’s great. For now. Historically, it gets worse as it cools, but I’m hoping this cup holds up better. Raising the rating, for now. Really need to do a proper stovetop chai with this sometime!
Re-visiting this one again today. I’ve been feeling very under-whelmed lately with my tea options at work so I have been bringing in bits and bobs from home. Of course, it doesn’t help that I seem to have no idea what I want, but I persist in my quest nonetheless. This tea is a bit unusual in my cupboard, I don’t think I have any others that feature bamboo and honestly not that many that are strawberry. I remember enjoying it quite a bit during the summer so I am hoping that enjoyment is still there.
Dry, the leaves have an odd smell (almost reminiscent of melon or white tea – I don’t know where I’m getting that from) but there is a strawberry sweet note as well, sort of like strawberry candy. I steeped two heaping teaspoons for 7 or 8 minutes, and the result is a liquor that smells almost exactly like the dry ‘leaf’ – sweet but something off about it.
The taste matches the smell. It’s pretty much like I remember it. Sweet artificial strawberry, with the taste of the bamboo coming through as almost hay or oat-like. Right on the top of the sip I get a note that is almost like dark chocolate which really boggles me. I’m enjoying this at the moment, though I think I might prefer it iced (rare for me). Glad I only bought 50 g, as it doesn’t quite have the lasting impression I hoped for.
Still no spicy note. Bringing down the rating from 93 to 80s.
EDIT: Soooo, I accidentally posted this as Lime Bang – I really meant Lime Gelato. Whatevs! : )
Oh, Lime Gelato, you flirty fool. Today you are lovely and rich with sweetened lime aroma and taste. I think you would make a lovely mixed drink, were I not at work. To be honest, it’s a bit sweet for my mood at the moment, but that could have been from too much ‘leaf’ or too long a steep. I’m really shying away from overly sweet teas at the moment and this is falling into that category, but I am sure that my preference will change again soon. A fault of the drinker, not of the tea!
Wow, is this ever tart today. I used recomended amounts and steep time, and it is very tart. I also noticed rooibos in my cup, possibly for the first time. I hate that discontinued teas disappear from the Davids Tea website as I have no way of confirming the ingredients list now, but I swear I see rooibos. The things I don’t notoce sometimes..
This is so intriguing. I have some experience with unflavoured blacks, but this is a totally different universe. I get a really rich thick liquor, almost brothy. I get what I refer to as cocoa notes, but I don’t know that it is cocoa per se. At first I wasn’t sure what I thought, but it grew on me through the cup. I wanted to use words like grainy and roasty and even malty, but I don’t know if those are associations or just words that got stuck in my head. Won’t rate until I’ve tried it again as this tea demands attention.
The beau pointed out that it has honey notes and I didn’t get that in the tea itself but in the aftertaste. Dark chocolate in the sip (but not at all bitter!) and sweet honey in the aftertaste.
Steeped 3/4 tsp in smallish gaiwan with boilling water for around 3 minutes.
This is part of a sample I purchased from David’s Tea in July when this one came out – and I am finally getting to it! In aroma (both dry and steeped) the juniper berries and mint are the stars of this show. They were actually so potent as to make my eyes water when I brought the tea too close for a sniff. I know that might turn a lot of people off, but I LOVE mint and have a distinct fondness for juniper berries, so this is exciting. I am a little worried about how those elements will work out with the apples but these are all ingredients I love independently.
First sips are a little underwhelming. Hint of something fruity sweet at first, with minty ‘burn’ at the end. Nice, nothing very show-offy about the blend. I wonder if perhaps there aren’t too many ingredients and they are muddling a little bit. I’m definitely enjoying this (especially the coolness of the mint) but I’m not quite as impressed as I’d hoped. I was thinking this might be an okay Mojito replacement, but I don’t think that will work. I’m not sad to have this, but I don’t see the need to buy more. A nice middle of the road tea.
As I get further in the cup I almost wonder if I would like it better sans apples. Although then it’s pretty much just mint and juniper berry. I think this one was meant to be iced, and I imagine that would create a totally different set of flavours altogether. I think this would be great for when I have a cold. I just got over mine, but hopefully I’ll remember to dig it out next time!
(Cooler cup yields stronger apple taste, tempered by Juniper with mint in background. Very strange, especially with the apple sweetness. Very very weird.)
This was one of the 60 plus samples I received in my box of goodies from LiberTeas via Tea Trade. It seems similar to a few chocolate teas I have come to love so I was really looking forward to trying it. Like Fusion Tea Room’s Chocolate Mint Rooibos, this seems to have some fruit pieces in it (I am assuming Apple?) which lend a distinct “natural” sweetness to the blend. I also spy some red peppercorns, though I don’t ‘feel the burn’ so I don’t know how much they are contributing in terms of taste. As for that taste, I get sweet chocolate, with the fruit pieces really standing out on the sip. That said, it is a bit sweet for my tastes but still yummy to taste. Sort of like chocolate covered raisins, only without the raisin. I almost feel it might have done better with a stronger base – I am partial to flavoured blacks – though I can see the advantages of using rooibos with this.
As a fun aside, I am typing this up in outlook as I don’t have time to log in to Steepster at the moment and Outlook doesn’t think that rooibos is a word!