954 Tasting Notes
I’ve been over caffeinating myself with all this wonderful tea, so I thought I’d seek out a good decaf and maybe sleep a little better at night — so I could wake up refreshed and ready to drink more wonderful tea! This is my second decaf attempt and neither has been what I’d call overly successful. The results have been choices that are serviceable but not very inspiring.
This one has ingredients similar to the Tazo Green Ginger, of which I’m not much of a fan, minus the pear. (Green Ginger has lemongrass in it, though it doesn’t claim a lemon flavor in its description of itself.) I like Ginger Sun better than Green Ginger, mostly because the ginger is milder and tastes more natural to me in Ginger Sun. There’s more sense of balance to it as well, though the green tea is a shadow of itself compared to some other Numi green bagged teas I have tried. You can tell it has been de- somethinged, which is my basic beef with most decaf’d drinks.
So the search continues.
This has a wonderfully fruity lemon/strawberry fragrance in the packet. After steeping, it gives off a dilute version of the same, which is even further diluted in the tasting. As with the Tropical Green, it’s pretty thin.
Which brings me to an observation that applies to all of the flavored green teas from The NecessiTeas that I’ve tried thus far, with the exception of Caramel Dipped Apple and Pineapple Upside Down Cake (which had other things going on with them that caused me not to like them very much). This even applies to Raspberry Jasmine, which I’ve liked the best so far. The flavors are quite subtle. It seems to me this is intentional, because after all, these aren’t herbal blends like Teavana’s Strawberry Lemonade. The tea is supposed to be the main event, and the flavors have to stand aside somewhat to permit the tea to take the spotlight. And yet, my experience of these is that the tea isn’t stepping up. In fact, it’s barely discernible, if at all. I’m starting to think that all of these could be improved simply by basing them on a more flavorful green tea than what’s been used here. But this is to some extent the speculation of a novice, and should be taken for what it’s worth.
In serious sleep deficit today and trying to get work done at home. Among the bonuses of working at home is total access to all tea-making equipment and all recent loose tea deliveries.
I wanted something black to keep me running, so I chose this to sample. And a fine choice it was. Unless I’m very much mistaken, the black tea here is at least in part the same as in the Earl Grey Lavender that I liked so much. It has the same malt/brown sugar/molasses aroma to the dry leaves, a true reproduction of which can be found in the scent of the tea after steeping, only richer, rounder and otherwise more developed.
If there was a crayon in the Crayola box labeled “Tea,” it would be this blend’s quintessential color: a warm mix of golden, brown, orange and red. (No offense to green tea drinkers intended; I’m just gambling that in Crayola nomenclature-speak your drink’s color would be called “Green Tea.”)
As this is my first non-bagged breakfast blend, I can’t compare it to others, but I can say that drinking it for breakfast would make me happy. Drinking it now is making me happy. It’s luscious. Compared to the bagged versions of English breakfast I’ve had, it is downright voluptuous. It’s what Awake wants to be.
Back to work I go with a smile on my face, and a pleasantly astringent sweet aftertaste on my tongue.
I’d been wanting to try a plain rooibos so I could have a frame of reference when evaluating rooibos blends. This is actually pretty tasty on its own. Sweet, with honey and vanilla notes, and a tea-like flavor that is smooth and slightly toasty. I would probably pick a tea over this on most occasions for the flavor, but could see being in the mood for rooibos on its own every once in a while, or substituting it for tea to avoid caffeine if I’m overloaded (the couple of decaf teas I’ve tried haven’t been very good; I don’t like decaf coffee either).
I tried this tonight with one bag of the lime and one bag of Tazo Honeybush. While I don’t think I got the ratio right (it could take even more Honeybush-to-lime), I can see this being a good way of ratcheting up the sweetness of the lime without adding sugar or honey. The Honeybush significantly accentuates the natural after-sweetness of the lime, and makes it even more lime Sweet Tart-like. A fun experiment.
And it gets another little point bump tonight, for showing consistency with the improvement of last night. There’s still a bit of bitterness around the edges, but apart from that it has grown on me some. There’s also the possibility that it just varies from cup to cup depending on the concentration of flavors that makes its way into the spoon with any given scoop. For example, tonight, I’m getting more custard and less pineapple. Last night I got more pineapple, and it was sweeter (likely owing to the pineapple as well).
It does make me want to try other pineapple flavored teas, and it piques my curiosity about The NecessiTeas’ flavored blacks.
Dessert tonight was this pretty little tea; the fifth in my series of flavored green tea samples from The NecessiTeas. In the packet, it smells quite nice. The prevailing aroma is of jasmine, though there’s a berry tang as well. The berry smell becomes more obvious upon steeping, becoming clearly raspberry. Depending upon how the spoon fills up, the raspberry aroma can prevail over the jasmine after brewing, or it can be fairly evenly balanced. The raspberry part of the fragrance is sweet, not at all pungent or artificial smelling.
The tea itself is nice as well. When the dried raspberries reconstitute, they plump up considerably. I ended up with something close to a whole berry floating in my cup. The flavor is delicate, and the raspberry and jasmine are each distinguishable, and nicely blended and balanced. The tea itself is barely noticeable, and not bitter. I’d prefer a bit stronger presence of the tea, but also prefer barely noticeable to bitter (by a lot).
I would not pass this up if I were offered it again, though I think I’d prefer to drink it after a workout and a shower, where something clean and subtle would hit the spot. I’m much more in the chocolate lava cake camp when it comes to dessert than I am the raspberry sorbet.
It’s like a lime Sweet Tart! Yes, it’s definitely tart out of the gate, but surprisingly, I’m tasting a sweetness to it as well that shows up after a few seconds. (And I’m not using any additives.) There’s no bitterness; a big plus. I could see keeping this one on hand for when the mood strikes.
Having discovered that I am not the world’s biggest lemon myrtle fan, I also discovered that dropping a bit of ground cinnamon into this significantly improved the taste in my view. It cuts the soapiness of the lemon myrtle, and boosts the taste of the chamomile a bit. However, it is easy to overdo it and if you do you just get a mouth full of cinnamon.