861 Tasting Notes
Departing from my day of only drinking things I’ve already opened to try this.
I’m so confused, though. There are two Youthberry entries for what looks like the same thing (they’re both white teas with a bunch of other stuff in them including acai berries, mango, pineapple, currants, etc.) and then there are a bunch of other Youthberry combos. I picked this one for my Youthberry note. Mine’s a white tea with all the foregoing stuff plus more in it.
I’m pretty sure I got it as part of the tea of the month club. I was holding the open packet in my hand when the BF walked in and announced he could smell it across the room and he really wanted some of whatever it was.
It’s another of those visually attractive Teavana fruit blends with pieces so big I’m really sort of shooting in the dark on the measurements and leaning toward severe overleafing. In the packet it smells very floral to me, a sort of mostly hibiscus with some rose fragrance.
The liquor is a very light rosy pink. There aroma of the steeped tea smells very hibiscusy, sort of tart-bitter. Rather medicinal and not at all promising.
Fortunately, it doesn’t taste as scary as it smells. In fact, it might be that the tartness really cuts the plantiness that white tea can have—which may explain why I like white grapefruit blends.
Sacrilege, I know, but this is one hibiscus and rose hip blend that doesn’t make me pucker like a fishface and run for the sugar. There’s actually a sugary, dewy sweetness to it at the end of the sip and in the aftertaste. I wouldn’t know an acai berry if it hit me in the face, but perhaps that’s what I’m tasting? With an undercurrent of currant, pardon the expression, that pulls the flavor a little deeper and keeps it from just skidding along the surface.What I’m not tasting or smelling is the mango, pineapple, etc. except in a very general sense, which enables this blend to completely avoid any association with Adagio’s White Tropics. I really like it more than the Shanghai Orchid of yesterday and will jigger the ratings accordingly. Time will tell if it is a restock, but at least it’s one Teavana blend I have that hasn’t been discontinued.
ETA: The BF loves it.
In keeping with the theme of drinking already opened things today, I decided to make this my after lunch tea. Among my green teas this is one of the ones that has been open the longest, so I feel the need to give it special attention.
It continues to be workmanlike Chinese green tea. Pleasant enough but not much of a stand out in a crowd. I like its buttery spinach-like quality and its sweet aftertaste. It’s good after linguine with mushrooms and grilled chicken (my lunch finally showed up).
This was supposed to be my designated commuting tea for as long as it lasts. Today I didn’t commute. No. 1 woke up with a sore throat and stayed home from school so I’m working from home, but I decided to have some of this anyway.
Why? Because hungry. It’s 1:30 and haven’t had lunch yet—I’m waiting for the BF to get back from his run to get soup for the kidlet and some pasta for me—and I’m starving enough that if someone put a jar of peanut butter cups in front of me I’d eat them hand over fist. By this tea, I am trying to fool myself into not being hungry.
I can’t say that part of it is going well, but the tea is good today. Not making my empty tummy hurt, providing a bit of a blood sugar raise through some melting of the chocolate and peanut butter bits into the tea, and otherwise providing an illusion of food. I’m still hungry though…
As part of the project to sip down open sample packets (which is frankly not going all that well because I keep opening more), I’m turning to this one which has been sitting in the “to be drunk soon” sample box since my original note. At least it’s an older open sample, so it fulfills the primary goal of the project better than sipping down something I opened yesterday. Not that this is in a position to be sipped down… yet.
I have a lot of breakfast blends but I haven’t had any in a while? Seems like my order in the morning has gone: Earl Grey, flavored black, another flavored black or an unflavored single tea black. I’m reminded of how much I enjoy good breakfast blends.
This one has the heft of a cup of coffee without an unpleasant throat bite and indeed, rather a smoothness to it. The Darjeeling addition really makes it interesting as it adds both a softness and what I called before a “perkiness” to the flavor.
Very enjoyable morning eye-opener.
Tasting note no. 666. Cue Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.
(The spooky Omen music starts at about 1:48 but you can knock yourself out and listen to the whole thing if you have an hour LOL.)
I had nothing with devil, diablo, diable, satan, lucifer, or such in the name so I decided to go the opposite direction, literally up rather than down. Hence the Temple of Heaven.
After I sampled this in my 31 flavor Golden Moon sampler I gave it a rating of 73 and added it to my order. It’s weird, though. Now I don’t think I’d order something unless I gave it a 75 or higher, and I’d probably only order a few teas ranked in the 70s as there are so many I’ve given more than 80 to.
But that’s easily solved on this one by bumping the rating a few points. I don’t have a lot to compare it to in the gunpowder sphere, but as a green tea, it’s a nice change from the lighter, more vegetal green teas I’ve been having lately. The smokiness, though light by Lapsang and even Keemun standards, is quite enjoyable on a rainy February evening.
I may regret drinking this at 9 p.m., but I was up against the 666 number and I didn’t see this as a first thing in the morning tea. Heh.
Night night all.
We took a vote for an after dinner tisane and this is what won. (I mentioned that raspberry is the BF’s favorite fruit earlier when we tried the Simpson & Vail raspberry flavored black tea.)
There’s an amazing smell in the packet, like a raspberry parfait. It steeps to a reddish orange (I would have expected it to be redder?) and the aroma leads with vanilla and ends with raspberry with only a very slightly discernible rooibos scent.
The flavor has a citrusy tang, and a smoothness from the vanilla. The tang smooths out into raspberry in the finish and the aftertaste. I don’t really taste the rooibos, which makes this a success for me.
My main complaint is I wish the flavor was a bit stronger. It’s fairly light and even slightly watery. Next time I’ll mess with the water/leaf ratio and see if I can get a bit more flavor. If so, I’ll boost the rating. The flavor, such that it is, is very nice.
Sipdown no. 70 for the year 2014.
The thing about this mixture is that it has so many humongoid pieces and you have to use so much to keep it from being too tart to drink that it doesn’t go very far. One 2 oz packet made exactly two pots of tea (approximately 7 servings).
I tried it on the kids tonight. No. 2 said it was too “lemony” by which I think he meant sour. No. 1 said it was good but didn’t really want to drink it.
The BF said that he really liked it and he thought it would be great to have around for sore throats. He claimed to like it better than the Strawberry Lemonade. No. 1 and I both prefer the Strawberry Lemonade. No. 2 abstained from comment.
Since it has been discontinued, it’s not something we can have around for sore throats. I did like it better this time around so I’m bumping the rating. But I doubt I would have reordered it much—two pots to a packet doesn’t really work for me.
When I first opened the packet I was worried this was going to be a repeat of the Adagio White Tropics because there was something in the smell that, while not as cloying and false as the Adagio, still leaned that way—but the more I inhaled, the more I lost that “remembered” smell and got a more typical Teavana fruity smell. It’s similar to what I smell when I stick my nose in many of their fruit blends, but with a much more central melon overtone.
One thing you have to hand to Teavana is that they make their blends very visually interesting. This one is very colorful with big chunks of fruit as well as petals among the leaves.
This steeps to a very light, clear yellow color with an aroma that is sweet, but just when it seems like it might turn toward cloying, a whiff of a fresh (floral?) note breezes in to dispel that impression.
The taste is light, floral, a little sweet. Not unpleasant.
I think I should like this more than I do and I think perhaps I am just not a huge fan of flavored white teas unless the flavor is grapefruit. But that seems too self-limiting. I will
try it again another time and see if I have a different impression.
I do give it points for avoiding the cloying and the planty.
Sipdown no. 69 for the year 2014.
When I drank this yesterday I got interrupted because I was late to pick up No. 1 at an activity. By the time I got back this had cooled quite a bit.
I meant to mention that the dry leaf mixture has a really interesting aspect to the aroma which I would describe as “creamy” though it’s probably more accurate to say it has unexpected depth.
Sipping this at a warmer temperature and a more leisurely pace, I’m enjoying the way the oolong plays off the green tea and the fruit flavors. I can definitely taste the oolong more than the green tea but it has a very round quality to it, no rough edges at all, no pungent champagniness (I am assuming it is a darker Formosa oolong though I really don’t know what kind it is—but I don’t get the sort of creamy floral notes I get from greener oolongs). I also taste it quite a bit in the aftertaste, where it leaves a more typical nutty impression.
A tasty afternoon tea.