704 Tasting Notes
This day is no good. While working at reception this morning (never my favourite part of the day) a netbook was stolen from under my nose. Kind of a big deal, to me at least. At that point, I was ready to go home, but no, I have to stay and put in more time at reception, switchboard, etc. Fine. I get to switchboard after taking half a lunch (worked the other half because my true job was hectic) and accidentally over-steep my tea. For ten minutes. This is my first try of this tea and it smells so divine in the bag that I was hoping it would correct my wobbly day. Here’s hoping it is exceptionally forgiving..
My cup has two beautiful goji berries that smell fabulous. SO fabulous. And they’re pretty! And there’s no hibiscus! (Over)steeped, it still smells good but not as intense as when it was dry. First sips are a relief. I definitely don’t think this is at it’s maximum potential, but it is still very tasty. Surprisingly mild and unassuming at first, and with a delicious goji berry taste left at the end of the sip. No discernible green tea, really, but I can tell that there is a bit of burnt something in there, nullifying my wonderful gojis. I think I will hold off on a numerical rating and proper review until I can do this again properly, but for now let me say that I am impressed. If I had to rate this cup, it would get a 75, but since I know I screwed up (again!) I won’t punish what I think might just be an excellent tea.
Yet another sample from Fusion Tea Room – Thanks! In the bag, this smells divine. A mix of fuzzy peaches and Tim Horton’s Peach Juice, which I adored as a child. Not quite authentically peachy (I just had one, actually) but definitely a strong peach association, just a hint sweeter. Steeped for three minutes, this tea yields very large leaves, a few bits of lemon rind and a twig. Twig aside, it looks delightful and smells just like peach juice, a little less sugary though.
First sips are peachy, but mild. Not as bold in flavor as the aroma suggested. I’m not getting any discernible green tea yet but I imagine that will pop up as it cools. Personally, I don’t mind the lack of green tea taste as I’m not always a huge fan. This is definitely peachy, but in an unassuming sort of way, pleasant to taste and enjoy. I don’t think I have a peach tea yet that is so approachable. It’s not bogged down by unnecessary flavours, it is mostly just peach with a hint of green tea base. I am really enjoying this one!
Ps – I was right. As it cools, I am getting more of the green taste, but this particular cup at least is very unassuming. The tea is just there to hold up and highlight the peach – which still reminds me of peach juice, but for adults! And without sugar… : )
Continued thanks to Fusion Tea Room for this sample. This is one of the ones that I was very excited to try, as it smells divine in the package. Sweet citrus goodness, sort of like clementines. I was a little concerned about the licorice, but (in aroma at least) it worked with the citrus.
Steeped, it has lost a lot of the sweet citrus aroma and makes a dark brew. Unfortunately, I can taste the licorice a bit too strongly in this for my taste. I get licorice, then citrus, then a very bold smoky flavour that I didn’t expect – possibly from the roasted mate? Unfortunately, despite my high hopes, this blend is another one that isn’t quite right for me. I still haven’t come to accept smoke notes in my tea, and this is really hanging around in the aftertaste.
As the cup cools, I get more citrus but also more smoke. I don’t think I’m going to finish this one. : ( Now hoping that Peach Citrus Green from Fusion Tea Room will be more up my citrus loving alley. I still can’t believe how strong the smoky mate taste was in this, that is something I haven’t tasted yet in any of the mate blends (I’ve tried about a half dozen.)
Continuing on my mate and chocolate streaks, I figured I would give this a try today. However, this was a tea from Fusion Tea Room that I was afraid to try. Though I have really come around on chocolate or cocoa in tea, I still hate coconut. So much so that I actually picked out all the coconut pieces from this tea, so as to minimize any potential coconut flavour. Accordingly, I assume that my cup of this tea tastes at least a little different than it is supposed to.
I also learned that this one really needs to steep to the upper limit of the parameters, either that or it makes a weaker cup than the other Fusion Tea Room blends I have tried. I get a hint of cocoa and a (stronger) hint of cinnamon (is there any in there??) but not a whole lot else. For me, this would be improved with a stronger chocolate taste, and possibly more mate/no rooibos. This one is a bit of a miss for me. Drinkable, though a bit bland. As the cup cools I get more and more cinnamon…which, unfortunately, I am not enjoying. Thanks for the sample, Fusion, but this one was not for me.
Wow, looking at everyone else’s comments I am sorry to rain on the parade. The cinnamon really didn’t work for me, and in this cup at least, that was all I tasted. Maybe the coconut I removed was vital to the overall taste, in which case this is definitely not the tea for me. Oh well!
There are definitely ‘rinds of orange’ in here…you can smell them in the dry bag and taste them (albeit tempered by the spice) in the steeped brew. For a bagged tea, this is kind of nice. Nothing special about it, but drinkable and easy to pop in a cup at work if my Perfect Tea Mug is dirty. Fairly nondescript, though I do enjoy the orange. Reminds me of Christmas at home, as my mother heats our leftover clementine peels on the stove to make everything smell orangey. Almost reminiscent of a really orangey gingerbread. Man, I want gingerbread!
This just really isn’t spectacular. At least, not for me. I actually have even more of it now because the DT near me was celebrating it’s first birthday over the weekend and giving out goody bags with a sample of this and Green Seduction. We ended up with three of them (I wanted the tins!) but that also means three more cups of Creme Brulee to drink.
I find the smell really unappetizing, though luckily the flavour is a little better than the aroma. At first I get a slight hint of caramel but mostly end up with a sugary icing-esque flavour. It’s definitely not memorable and for me, sadly, not all that enjoyable either. I think I might mix a bit of it with something more interesting so I can power through however many grams I have left. I believe MaddHatter recommended a mix with Oh Canada, which I might try, except I like Oh Canada! : )
EDIT: I think part of my problem with this one is that it somehow gives me a coconut sort of a vibe. Oy.
THanks again to Fusion Tea Room for yet another glorious sample. I never used to be a fan of chocolate in tea, but have gone on a kick lately so this seems suitable. The smell in the bag is chocolate chocolate chocolate…with a hint of mint and sweetness from the apple. With the inclusion of yogurt, this almost has the aroma (and taste) of chocolate covered raisins.
The apple lends a sweetness to the tea, mixing with the chocolate to make a surprisingly sweet and rich flavour – Honestly, I didn’t expect it to work so well. I find Fusion Tea Room puts apple in unusual combinations, and so far it has worked out every time. I know that I wouldn’t think of apple and chocolate, though it does lend a flavour similar to chocolate covered raisins. The star of the show for me in this one is totally the chocolate though. I wish the mint were stronger in this blend, but that is something that I could easily remedy by adding some extra mint of my own.
I’ve got to say, I’m impressed. This is one I would definitely consider getting more of if I place an order with Fusion. It shares qualities with the Read My Lips that I (now) love from David’s Tea, but the yogurt and apple really push it over the top. Even cold (as the bottom of this cup was by the time I got to it) this is a rich tasting tea with a thick mouthfeel. Mmm!
Edit to add: I know that I have used the word sweet a lot in my Fusion Tea reviews, but honestly, they are. I was given a sampler of various dessert style teas and they are all just so…sweet! : )
Thanks again to Fusion Tea Room for this sample. This is the first Tulsi I have tried, so I am not sure what to look for there, but I ended up with a sweet liquor, fairly applish with a hint of cinnamon which actually worked nicely to give the impression of baked apples and/or pears. As with the Mango Mate from Fusion Tea Room, this brewed a very sweet pot of tea and would make a wonerful dessert treat. I believe it will make a very strong second steep which I might try later on, unless I want to move on to something else. I picked up quite a bit on the pineapple pieces in the tea, and I believe they are what leant the brew such a sweet fruit taste.
I got more apple in this tea than pear, but it was almost like a candied or sugared apple. If anyone else would take apples, cut them up and mix them in cinnamon sugar as a child, it’s almost like that. I don’t know who created that snack, by the way. Here, take this sweet fruit then add sugar! Brilliant! : )
When I first read about this tea, it sounded like a Zing Me substitute. When I smelled it, I was convinced. The staffer at my local DT also agrees. This is Zing Me, minus ginger and with the addition of yogurt, which I love. It lends a creaminess that put me in mind of a peach Campino hard candy, if anyone remembers those. I really enjoy it, and think that it is an acceptable Zing Me substitute. Also, it seems to be really hard to over-steep as this one was in the cup for at least 7 minutes and didn’t get bitter at all. After one sip, I bought 50 grams to take home. Yup.
Continuing on the mate learning curve, I’ve opted to try this sample from Fusion tea room. They sent me four of their flavoured mates, and I am excited to try them all. In the bag, this has a strong (though slightly artificial) mango aroma. Very ripe and sweet smelling. While steeping, the liquor is a vibrant yellow and the smell is still enticingly mango wafting through the apartment. The beau comments that it “looks like pear” and I think I also get a smell that is a bit like extremely ripe pears. Well done, beau!
For my Canadian friends, the mango smell is reminiscent of David’s Tea’s Mango Madness, which I quite enjoyed. When I get very close to the cup, I get a buttery almost coconut sort of smell. That worries me a bit, but it still smells more like mango than anything else. I’m not all that clear on what mate smells/tastes like yet as I’ve only had it flavoured, but nothing stands out that might be mate.
First sips are sweet mango. Not just ripe mango, but it tastes as if sugar has been added. There is no bitterness and nothing I can define as mate, this just really tastes like mango tea. As the cup cooled I found it seemed more and more sweet until it was a bit sweeter than I’d like, but I don’t know what contributed that. This was more mango flavoured than anything I’ve had before. Nice to have tried, but I don’t think I’ll buy more. Continued to learn that mate doesn’t give me an energy boost as I am strongly considering a nap right now. But at least I had yummy tea!