1178 Tasting Notes
Sipdown no. 20 of 2014. I had a single sachet of this in my work stash.
I know I’ve had flavored black tea with strawberry among the flavors before-Marco Polo comes to mind-and of course I’ve had black tea flavored with vanilla. I’m not sure I’ve had a black tea flavored just with strawberry and vanilla, though.
Strawberry is one of those flavors that I don’t ordinarily seek out because I’ve experienced so many examples of it done badly, starting with Kool Aid when I was a tot. Carol was a pleasant surprise.
The sachet had the same feel and the tea base the same somewhat bakey smell as the Sweet Potato Pie of last week, but with the addition of a very lovely, sweet strawberry note. Once steeped, the bakeyness mellowed and was absent from the taste altogether.
The strawberry flavor is sweet and mild. I thought it was really well done. I can imagine a lot of ways it could have gone wrong. Fakey, medicinal, etc. My impression, though, was of something between fresh and dried strawberry made creamy and mellow by the vanilla.
I’d like to drink it again. It’s going on the shopping list.
A rating of 95 you say? I can explain.
When I first started my tea journey, I started with some bags of this and I really loved it. Today I had to take my car into the shop and on the way in I was thinking-should I buy another box and see whether I really like it as much as I did then? Then, as fate would have it, at the dealership I had to sit in the lobby waiting to talk to the service guy and guess what they had among the refreshments? So of course, I made a cup.
And yes, I still really love this.
I know. It’s something you get in the grocery store. It comes in bags. It’s cheap. And I still love it, in the way I love In-N-Out burger for being the best fast food burger in my area. It’s really good at what it does.
First, it’s VERY lemony. Moreso than probably any other tisane I’ve tasted while trying to find something that was a bit more sophisticated. To me, anyway, there is nothing I can find wrong with this lemon. It’s not soapy, it’s not chemical-y. It reminds me of the lemon in the lemonade at Orange Julius (which I happen to like), that very lemony lemon flavor.
Second, it’s the right mix of tart and sweet, and needs no sweetener to my tongue. So many more expensive tisanes have needed a lot of sweetener or have even been bitter. Not here. If it’s coming out too tart, my guess is it’s too dilute. With the right amount of water, it isn’t.
Third, the hibiscus is not scary. It makes the drink a nice, red color but I can’t taste it. If I could, I would not like this.
Fourth, yes, there’s mint, but I’m not really sure what it does other than to add a sort of heightening of the other flavors. A freshness, if you will.
I still heart I Love Lemon. :-)
Sipdown no. 19 of the year 2014 (a tiny one as there’s almost nothing left in my sample)!
Steepster is angry with me this morning, I think. I can’t “like” anything, get my notices, etc. and when I tried posting this before it disappeared. I hope that’s not an omen for the rest of the day.
I put this one on my shopping list. My problem with Harney & Sons is I have a hard time disliking anything they make. I did honestly want to try to whittle things down, try to make some fine distinctions among their black blends, but I think I have to admit that I’m at the point where I just throw up my hands and say you can never have too many Earl Greys and you can never have too many delicious black blends.
And be grateful that tea takes up less space than shoes.
I wanted to try this on the kids tonight, but they fell asleep before it finished steeping. There’s always tomorrow.
I haven’t had this in a while and I worried that perhaps it would have faded some but looking at my prior note it’s exactly how I remembered it. The key to this one is to double the amount of “leaf” (it’s not really leaf so much as fruit chunks) you’d ordinarily use to get a good, strong flavor. It’s a nice, sweet lemon, with just a hint of strawberry, enough to act as natural sweetener.
I’ll be taking mine to bed with me shortly. I hope there’s a new Castle this week.
Trying this today with a lower steeping time (3 minutes) to see whether that helps bring out the tangerine flavor. Alas, it doesn’t seem to have made a difference with regard to the tangerine, though it does perhaps make the tea a bit lighter overall, which has the effect of making it somewhat less planty. Oh well. I am closing in on sipdown with this one but not quite there yet.
From the Maestro sampler set.
Really beautiful leaves, like a tin full of little ampersands. Not just gold, but a range of colors that ends somewhere with dark green.
I love how Yunnan smells, dry leaf, wet leaf, steeped tea-all of it. This has a rich, smooth malty scent with tangy, champagne-like high notes, but it’s more complex than that. There’s something that’s almost like tobacco, something almost like cocoa. A lot going on.
Peachy-golden in the cup with a wonderful malty-leathery aroma. The flavor is interesting and I wonder whether I should try it with more leaf. It’s not as rich as I expected, but it’s very smooth, and leaves a really pleasant, sweet hay-like aftertaste. Like with the Yunnan gold, I can taste something that I am sure is what is described as pepper, but without the spicy kick of pepper.
I should try this next to the Yunnan Gold some day as I quite liked that one as well, and see how they compare. Since it has been a while and I don’t really remember that one apart from my notes, I’m rating this the same for now as a sort of placeholder.
Another tea I bought way back when but never even got to open before life intervened. The BF was very interested in it this morning, so I opened up the packet.
Wow. The dry leaf smells just like the ice cream tastes-sweet and nutty and buttery, and a good bit of that smell carries over into the steeped tea. The flavor is really true to its name, too. In judging teas like this, I give lots of points for trueness to the name. But it’s clearly tea as well, with a black base that plays nicely. Every now and then it comes to the fore but just enough to wave hello.
What I like best about this is that before I tried it, I thought it would probably need to be sweetened or to have milk added to make the flavor taste like what’s in the ice cream. BUT NO! It’s lovely and sweet enough as is, sans any additional caloric content. (For me, anyway. The kids took a sip and said “needs sugar.”)
Of course, those who snooze lose in the 52 teas game, and this is no longer available. I will have to husband my supply.