697 Tasting Notes
This smells amazing, dry. The beau picked it out to drink on our return from the Market and I acquiesced. Then I looked it up..uh oh. Rosehips? Hibiscus? Chamomile? Herm. This is one the 60+ teas (yes, sixty!) that I recieved in my box of wonder that I purchased from LiberTeas via TeaTrade. It’s been so warm the last few weeks that I’ve only been drinking tea at work, and none of these are there so this is the first one I’ve broken into.
Back to the tea. Ever since I read a tasting note on here (don’t remember whose) about squeezing steeped rosehips and having them ooze, just thinking about it makes me a little queasy. I already have a tenuous relationship with hibiscus and hate chamomile, but I am hoping the delicious sweet orange dry smell really translates in the taste.
The liquor is very red (hibiscus) and the steeped aroma is unusual. Tart and dry, with an oatmeal-ish edge, according to the beau. I’m fairly certain the odd scent I keep getting is the chamomile mixing with all the other powerful ingredients. There is no echo here of the dry aroma, this is a whole different beast.
First sips are a relief. The hibiscus isn’t overwhelming and the chamomile is there but not dominant. I don’t get any orange or cranberry though, which is a let down. As it cools, the chamomile takes over. Bleck. I appreciate the chance to try this one, but I think I will try to move the rest of my sample along to a friend. Either that or convince the beau to drink as he DOES get orange and doesn’t get chamomile.
Firstly, thank you to Tea Licious for having sent me this sample months ago. Secondly, I’m sorry Tea Licious, that I took so long to get to this sample. I’m terrible for that, on occasion.
This one is surprisingly pleasant. I don’t have much experience with Ceylons, so I am not sure of the nuances, but it is a wholly drinkable (and enjoyable!) black tea, if a little forgettable. I know this may be blasphemy, but it doesn’t seem terribly diffferent from my bagged Bigelow Ceylon (which I enjoy!). I get something approaching plum or raisin on the end of the sip, quite a sweet taste left in my mouth almost as if I had added a drop of honey. I could imagine this being a wonderful way to convert bagged black tea drinkers to the wonders of loose leaf. It almost has a hint of astringency, but it hasn’t developed any bitter impressions. I imagine it would easily take milk and sugar without being totally washed out, but I think it is fine as is.
The aroma of this as it is steeping blew me away. I was convinced before tasting that it would be THE apple tea for me. I steeped it three minutes and leaned in closer for a better sniff. Hmm. Not good. Up close, this doesn’t smell nearly as good as the tantalizing apple aromas that waft out of the pot. I’m not much of a green tea person, so I was a little concerned about the green tea base, and I think that is what I am picking up on in my “up close sniff”.
First sips echo my recent thoughts. I get apple, certainly, but I get a bit more green tea taste than I would prefer. I found it reminiscent of Baked Apple from the last winter collection, which it took me time to enjoy so hopefully this will grow on me as well. I have 26 grams to learn to love, for now. It also reminds me of the dreaded chamomile apple bagged Twinings that I bought a few months back, and that is NOT a taste association I ever want again. Drinking that made me nauseous.
As it cooled, I got more pastry aspect, though I noted that it could use a bit more cinnamon to round out the apple pie aspect. I considered blending some with a vanilla tea to give it an ‘a la mode’ aspect…this is something I might try later on. The beau made a second steep this morning with breakfast that I didn’t try but he reported that he liked it better the second time and found it had more pie aspect.
While there is always the strong possibility of my mis-steeping it (no temp. gage or thermometer in our house!) this leaves a little something to be desired, for now. As I reported to the beau, I’m on the fence about this one. It has the potential to be great, but it hasn’t shone yet.
I’ve figured out what it reminds me of: Ruby Red from Joy’s Teaspoon. Which I love and have 6 ounces of. This isn’t quite as strong in flavour as the Ruby Red (though I suspect that has to do with the dried fruit, which I have learned to carefuly spread out) but is still fairly potent and very sweetly flavoured. I enjoy this, but when it is all gone I won’t be getting any more. There is almost a pseudo smoke note in the middle of the sip, but I suspect that is the rooibos. I have had this small amount for quite some time, and look forward to finishing it off and de-cupboarding it after one more cuppa. I’ve become quite fond of the idea of de-cupboarding lately, although I never seem to finish any teas. I should get to work! : )
I know there is nothing new about the fact that this tea is tasty, but I am enjoying it so much right now that I figured I might as well log it. My only disappointment with this tea is that it frequently seems to be rather thin, likely because it is a decaf tea. The vanilla flavour is still more caramel than coconut, and though it could be stronger it is a lovely mild tea, not one I really focus on but good to wile away the afternoon at work (though I’d rather have another afternoon at home with a good book!)
Enjoying a surprisingly strong second steep of this today. It is not as tart as yesterday (less hibiscus) and I find the blueberry flavour is more out to play. The sage is still fairly strong, but supportive of the blueberry.
Also, unrelated but I have noticed today that my tea has been bothering the heartburn I have been enduring for a few days. Has anyone else ever noticed this? I’m assuming it’s a reaction to the hot liquid rather than anything else. Stupid heartburn, making me question my tea…
This smells HEAVENLY. I am a blueberry fan, and this smells like sweet ripe juicy berries…even like cooked bluieberry pie, where all you can smell is sugar and blueberries! If I concentrate deeply I get a hint of what must be the sage, but this is mostly just a blueberry assault on the nose. If it tastes like it smells, this might be one I actually keep on hand.
Steeped, that sage really comes out to play, in the smell at least. There is stil a definite blueberry aroma going on, but that sage is surprisingly bold. Honestly, I’m a little concerned about the sage business, I don’t know that I’ve experienced it in a tea before.
First sips are tart blueberry, with the sage hiding under the taste and a sweeper blueberry flavour on the aftertaste. It’s surprisingly complex over the course of the sip. I really enjoy the aftertaste of juicy blueberries, but wish that the tart aspect up front were diminished. This is definitely enjoyable and one that I think I will keep an eye out for, but wouldn’t make a special order for (mostly because I have “too much tea”). I don’t get any alcohol or medicinal taste in this which is, at this point, a huge relief. Thumbs up!
This was a highly awaited sample. When I opened it, it was crushed as finely as my Apricot Amaretto of yesterday, but again I don’t know if that speaks to the quality of the rooibos or the dangers of shipping. This one smells very strongly of oranges (more like the peel than the juice) and mint. I am very very excited!
I accidentally steeped this about 10 minutes and I have a very dark brown brew. The smell is primarily orange peel (you know, but a little juicy) and almost comes off as an orange scented cleanser. I don’t really smell the mint anymore, which is rather disappointing. First sips are vaguely orangey, with a mint aftertaste (but still very gentle). The orange is still more on the cleanser/rind than sweet or juicy, but it is mixing well with the rooibos (which I don’t pick up on at all) and the hint of mint.
I am pre-disposed to liking this, but I am impressed. This one is right up my alley, flavour-wise and actually delivers on the tastes promised. A stronger mint taste would be nice, but there is enough there to reflect an orangey Mojito. Also, I’m slow, I know, but what is with this sampler and the Booze names? Only Kiwi Lime GInger misses out on the alcohol title. I bet it feels rejected because of it. Anyway, I won’t be buying this one either, but I am glad to have tried it. Now all I have left is the Blueberry Merlot.
(In reading others tasting notes, I saw something I totally missed on my own, but really notice now that it has been suggested: this really is quite “jammy”. There is a thicker mouthfeel that lends to the impression of maramalade. Impressive!)
Backlog: I got a box of this from an aunt for my birthday. She knows I’m a tea lover, so she gets me some different bagged teas on occasion. I have had the canned drink before, but try to avoid things like that in general so I don’t remember it very well. This morning I steeped up a hot mug of this with breakfast, and I was surprised. It was very mild and unassuming, unlikely to force itself on you as a favourite but definitely a drinkable bagged green tea. I am not much for iced tea, but I am going to do some up iced at some point and see how I feel about that. It’s one of those teas that I don’t see myself reaching for, but would be nice to have kicking around at work or for making the odd iced tea if I feel like it. Far better than the Tetley bagged greens I have had before.
Lots of dust, weird smell. I’ve gotta say, I’m feeling uneasy about this. I had been drinking these in the order of what I expected to like (least to most). Maybe I was wrong. Dry, I get an odd smell, almost alcoholic or possibly even like hand sanitizer. I can smell something definitely amaretto-esque, but not in any sort of pleasant way. I forget how much I hate amaretto…There is no discernible apricot smell, it is all booze. I’m worried.
The rooibos/honeybush are very fine, almost pulverized, though this might have been a fault of their travels to get to me. It’s definitely some of the finest (read: dusty and falling through my filter) I’ve had. Steeped, it smells a little less boozy, but I must say that they have accurately captured the amaretto scent. Still no apricot though.
First sips are fairly accurate to the smell. There is a tinge of medicinal/alochol based flavour at the end of the sip that I’m not too wild about, but otherwise the taste is fairly unassuming. As I said before, they’ve captured the amaretto flavour well, but there is still no apricot to be found anywhere. Since I quite like apricots and don’t like amaretto, I was hoping it would be the reverse.
I’m going to rate this at 70 for amaretto accuracy, but still factor in my concerns about the aftertaste and lack of apricot. I’m quite pleased to have the flavour profile as strong as the smell, that’s rare in Tea Forte teas I have tried in the past. Once again, I can drink this but I wouldn’t buy it. I would consider gifting it though…