958 Tasting Notes
I haven’t had honeybush before, but after this I definitely want to have it again! It’s a very interesting flavor. Subtle, sweet, and slightly grassy, but the dominant note is definitely a somewhat dilute honey flavor.
The bag smells like apricots (!) and it brews to a dark apricot orange color. The aroma is of honey, with a fruity tang to it.
I made this at work, and I am guessing it would be even better at home with better water. It will be interesting to try different types for comparison.
I actually didn’t read the ingredients (or the subtitle) of this before I tried it or I might have been scared off from my last lemon myrtle experience, the soapy memory of which I can still, unfortunately, bring to mind pretty quickly along with a strong urge to rinse my mouth and spit. But as I’d speculated, lemon myrtle seems much more suited to blending into other ingredients where it can be balanced by other flavors. I actually like chamomile, though I have to be in the mood for it, and this was a nice balance between chamomile and a lemony flavor. If I let my mind wander to the thought, I could sort of taste soap in the lemon myrtle in this, too, so I tried to steer my mind from that. It’s sad that one negative experience can have such influence, as the last thing I really want to do while sipping tea before bedtime is have to think about what not to think about….
Another tea drunk at work under less than optimal brewing conditions.
The aroma is subtle, a sort of toasty/fruity melange. The color is beautiful — deep red, almost wine-like.
I agree that the hibiscus and rose hips are too heavy in this blend. They dominate and make the tea too tart. The raspberry/strawberry flavor is there, but you have to get past the hibiscus and rose hips to get to it. The darjeeling is a nice backdrop. I am really liking darjeeling and I haven’t even had a fine loose version yet.
Trying this at work today, so no control over water temp or water quality. It comes of out a spigot that sticks out of the drip coffee maker with a little red plastic flipper doo-dah at the top that looks like it should flip back but actually flips forward. Many of you probably know of what I speak.
I don’t have a lot of chai experience to compare this to, but this is a pretty spicy, bite-the-tongue flavor that has a kick to it and stays with for a while. I’m getting a lot of cinnamon in the aroma and the flavor but not much else in the way of spices that I can distinguish. At approximately 3 minutes of steeping time I got very little tea flavor as well, but bumping it up to 5, I can detect a malty flavor competing with the cinnamon.
After drinking the full leaf version back to back with the non-full leaf version, I can say there is a significant difference in the balance between the tea/bergamot flavors. The full leaf version has much more black tea flavor, similar to the flavor of Awake, and the bergamot isn’t center stage. It’s better as a tea, but I’m not sure it’s better as an Earl Grey.
I got this as a sample when I ordered the Rooibos Lemon Chiffon. I came very close to picking another sample (which they let you do) because I am not big on white chocolate for two reasons. The first is because of a news item I read a number of years ago to the effect that although there are quality control requirements and standards imposed by law concerning ingredients of brown chocolates, there are none on whites. (Whether this is true or not I have no idea, but it influenced my feelings about white chocolate. Essentially, I try to make it a rule not to eat something if I have no idea what’s in it.) The second is just based on taste. I love chocolate, but white chocolate doesn’t have the same flavor. It’s just close enough to seem like it might be the same, but it’s a tease that way — and I always feel a bit let down after I eat it because I’m expecting that true chocolate flavor. If only I could change my expectations, then maybe I could appreciate it for what it is. But life is short, so given the choice I’d always choose a brown chocolate over a white.
The smell upon opening the bag is pretty strongly of a liqueur. I thought perhaps it was Amaretto, but reading the ingredients it’s more likely Frangelico. The aroma opens up some after steeping and some more chocolatey notes come through along with a suggestion of something buttery.
The flavor is also buttery and nutty. It isn’t exactly what I think of when I think of toffee, but I can see the resemblance. And there’s a sweet, subtle fudginess to the taste which I suppose is the white chocolate. I suspect if the white chocolate flavor was more pronounced I wouldn’t like it as much. All in all, it’s pretty nice, and I can see it growing on me over time. It’s something I should probably reserve for dessert given the sugar content.
Actually, between this and the cinnamon latte I had earlier, I am pretty close to having the sugar shakes…. so I think I’ll go bounce off the walls for a while now….
I was just at Border’s and my son wanted a hot chocolate, so while he had that I decided to give this a try. I have never had a latte of any sort before, so this was a new experience and I didn’t really expect to like it. I was surprised! It was almost like having a hot chocolate, but instead of chocolate, the main flavor was a gentle cinnamon. It was creamy and sweet, but not overly sweet. The vanilla could have made it annoyingly so had it been any stronger, but it was just a hint. I really didn’t notice the tea much, but that was probably what made it enjoyable — I imagine the same thing with a coffee backdrop would have been overpowering to the other flavors. Though I likely won’t have this on a regular basis, I would definitely have it again.
Cofftea and Angrboda’s notes about this one made me really eager to break open my box and give it a try. And man, am I glad I did. This one is a delightful sensuous experience on so many levels.
The bags do have an amazing smell. It starts as gingerbready, and not the vaguely spicy smell of ginger snaps or even the bready smell of gingerbread men (or women :-)), but a really deep, rich smell, like a fresh gingerbread loaf right out of the oven. Then it moves to something more chocolatey, with a dab of vanilla dropped in; the best I can come up with to describe it is that it’s the smell of how chocolate mousse tastes.
The tea is about as dark brown as it gets and I can’t see the bottom of the cup. The aroma is not quite as striking as it was dry, but still very pleasing. The taste is unique and complex. I taste mainly the chocolate and the spices, but there’s also an almost coffee-like note that sits on the tongue.
One of the things I find most enjoyable about it is its texture. The package uses the adjective velvety. I’m not sure what part of the experience that is supposed to apply to but for me it is how it feels in my mouth — soft, a little slick, and with substance to it, almost like a broth, and quite comforting.
Overall, a very satisfying experience and one I expect I’ll go back to again and again.
Yum. Just… yum. I could stop there, but I’m much too verbose. ;-)
As wombatgirl said, the dry rooibos mixture does smell amazing. Sugary, lemony, creamy. Like a bowl full of icing. It’s amazing to me that that smell even exists in a context other than icing and makes me that much more awestruck by the artisanry involved in creating something like this. Also amazing is that this smell comes from something this color since it really seems like it should come from something colored pale yellow. The dry rooibos mixture is a pretty, almost chestnut color as is the liquor. I find the color/flavor thing pretty interesting and sneaky, like the chocolately flavor in red velvet cake.
The taste is similar to the smell, though the lemon isn’t quite as strong to me. The “chiffon” part, the sugar/cream duo, is more pronounced, whereas both were equally present with the lemon in the the aroma triumvirate. I haven’t tasted “plain” rooibos and only one other flavored version so I don’t really know what part of this taste could be attributable to the rooibos itself. But whatever it is, it works.
This is not the substitute I was looking for in my search for the perfect lemon herbal, but it’s enjoyable in its own right. I love it when I’m looking for something and have something particular in mind, and in the process surprise myself by discovering something else that is an unexpected delight. So while this isn’t the perfect lemon, it’s a stand up lemon chiffon. I can see it going into rotation as dessert, for evenings when something fruity and on the lighter side than, oh say, chocolate or caramel, is warranted.
I’m giving this another try with the last of the sample so that I can write about it as I’m tasting it. I marginally oversteeped this time around because I was in the other room when the timer went off, and it is also possible I may have used too much myrtle in this brew, which I strongly advise against. The tartness is there, but on a second go it isn’t quite as I initially described. It’s sort of a sour mixed with a slight bitter, and there’s something else I’m tasting that I can only describe as a soapy flavor. In any case, it is pretty unpleasant. In this case, stronger definitely is not better.