drinking this again this morning since I needed an energy boost. I measured my water temp at around 135 F and thought this was too low but it is bringing out some nice subtleties of the flavor I did not notice before.
1586 Tasting Notes
The smell of vanilla definitely hits you when you open the bag! I am reminded of vanilla ice cream. Organic, Fair Trade Certified tea, a definite bonus in my book.
I brewed this for 4 minutes using the water/leaf ratio that Rishi recommends. The brewed tea is a nice and simple way to start my morning. I drank this with some plain soymilk. The vanilla is still fairly strong in the nose but mild on the palate. The vanilla flavor is most strong in the finish of the tasting. I liked this but I do not think it is going on my list of things I must buy again but I’m also just not sure if vanilla tea is really my “thing”. I got a sample of the H & S Vanilla Black also so it will be interesting to try that one soon to compare.
I forget who suggested this to me but I picked some up today and I am liking it…
I am a big fan of cinnamon and plum flavors together, I have the cinnamon plum tea by Rishi which I also like. This one is sweeter and a little lighter on the hibiscus and has some other things like roasted barley and chicory which bring it down to Earth a bit.
Lately I’ve been reflecting a lot on this tea drinking habit of mine and as much as I like trying a lot of different teas it still makes me cringe when I have to buy tea and tea bags that are all wrapped up in plastic and hermetically sealed like surgical instruments. Have we really become this precious? Tea used to get from China to Russia on the back of a camel and somehow the world managed to carry on.
So thanks to Celestial Seasonings for providing simple no frill teabags and cardboard boxes and keeping some waste out of the landfill. I am coming to the conclusion that I have to find more companies that reflect my values as a person. Or maybe I need to just go to local teashops and buy in bulk and bring in my own containers.
Perhaps I am getting a little nutty but it does help me to enjoy my tea when I’m not also obsessing over my contribution to the gigantic plastic gyre in the Pacific Ocean…. ;-)
I almost didn’t recognize this as a Tevana tea – where’s the pound of dehydrated fruit and spices that’s normally floating around in these things?
In any event I was looking for something this afternoon that was mild and easygoing and this certainly has fit the bill. A nice green oolong, very clean tasting, and vegetal. I am getting a bit of nutty flavor in the finish. A classic tea with a great taste. I would certainly consider purchasing this if I ever place another order with Teavana.
Thanks again to Jenn for sending me a sample of this. I LOVE cinnamon and this tea certainly packs a wallop. It is like drinking red hots candy! Sweet and cinnamony and hot and spicy all at once. Definitely seems like a winner for moi.
A few minutes later: I’m not sure my stomach is going to agree with my assessment of the tea. I am getting nauseated. Are there flames coming out of my ears?? I feel like I need to lie down and have a glass of water, geez! Downgraded a lot for the nausea factor… boo. I do love the taste of this but if it makes me ill, I’m afraid it’s got to go in the yuck category… :(
Now this is really my kind of black tea… malty, smooth, with hints of caramel and yes, sweet potatoes! Not astringent at all, just heavenly! I brewed up a strong cup of this and am quite a happy camper. Thanks to the Steepsterites who recommended it. You can also add me to the list of devoteas. ;-) If you like assams you should give it a try.
Kusmi sampler 2/5 St. Petersburg
With caramel, red fruit and bergamot I am enjoying this quite a lot this morning. It is more mellow and less perfumey, citrusy than the Prince Vladimir of yesterday. Caramel gives it a slightly sweet note. Yes, there is berry here but very subtle. Again, lots of bergamot is not really my favorite thing but the blend here is really quite nice… mmm. I could get used to this! Really quite a nice way to wake up…
I’m not a huge green tea lover but this is definitely one of the nicer ones I have tried lately. I need to write my review since I just finished the sample! It has a wonderful fresh and nutty smell when you open the bag. The tea is super mellow and rich, has a walnut taste and a bit of butter in the finish. I would recommend it without hesitation.
Like a lot of green teas this one is a finicky creature and is easy to ruin if you steep it with water that is too hot or steeping time that is too long. This makes it difficult for me to enjoy at work where I don’t have the benefit of being able to stand around with my timer and thermometer! I was a skeptic but am amazed at how much better my greens are when I keep the water temp. lower & the steeping time short.
I have enjoyed these Laoshan green teas very much, thanks to Verdant for making them available…
Thanks very much to Jenn for sending me a sample of this.
The smell of this tea is just delightful! I am not normally one for floral teas so this may skew my review a little bit. I decided on this as a nice afternoon tea to try. I am very much enjoying this as a relaxing cup of tea. Orange and jasmine flower complement each other pretty well. This is very little girly, and yes, perfume-y but it’s a nice way for me to begin winding down my afternoon. I’d also like to try this as an iced tea…
Finishing up the last bit of it this morning – a very unique flavored oolong from 52 Teas. I hope to see more from them in the future with oolongs.
This is a pretty nice Organic Nilgiri, overall I do not like it quite as much as the one I got from the Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchant at the bulk section in my local Whole Foods. It seems a bit more on the astringent-y, darjeeling-ish side so I had to add soy milk to mellow it out a bit. Probably will try steeping it a little less next time. I am enjoying it this morning but probably will not add to the “must have” list.
Part 1 of a 5 part sampler I got from Kusmi (discovered at the Bi Rite Market in San Francisco). I was pretty excited to find these locally, however they do not carry the large size of the tins in the store, only teabags.
This tea is not for the faint of heart nor the faint of scent. If you hold the tins to your nose you can smell the scent very strongly! Open them up and get a whiff of perfume! yowza…
We picked this particular one to try this morning based on the recommendation of one of the store’s employees. It is a strong and smooth black tea but predominately all you taste here is the spices. Smells very much like root beer! It is such an interesting tea… I am tasting a lot of clove here in addition to citrus and bergamot. The bergamot is nice and subtle and does not provide the same amount of bergamot as an Earl Grey. I am getting a lot of citrus but perhaps not that much vanilla.
I did try steeping it twice, the second steep was weaker and with a lot less perfume and also the citrus flavors are coming though more here so I am not enjoying steep #2 quite as much.
Overall I quite liked this but I suspect I will like a few of the other ones better since I am not a huge fan of grapefruit in tea usually. I also enjoyed this little piece of history on the Kusmi tea company:
I am rather fond of this stuff, yes basically it is a bag of anise, caraway and fennel seeds. This tastes like a cup of liquid licorice so if that’s not your favorite I wouldn’t bother. Probably will order this again if I buy more from TeaGshwendner, it seems to be a soothing after dinner drink.
I knew this would be a very light green tea from the description on the website. Steeped for 90 seconds at 160 degrees, the flavor was definitely too faint. Second steep was around 3 minutes. Definitely more on the floral than vegetal side, slightly buttery but nothing like a milk oolong for instance. Reminds me a little bit of a white tea. This is a pleasant cup and I will have no problems finishing the bag but I doubt it’s something I will need to purchase more of.
This kinda seems like something I would enjoy, but no… at first I thought teabags were to blame but I cut them open and so brewed it like loose leaf tea. There is a strange bitter-sweetness I don’t like here. I checked the box a few times to see if it had stevia, roobois or something of that nature. I think it’s just a bad combination, the licorice is fighting with the other ingredients and the result is a toxic mess that I need to hold my nose to finish drinking…. ewwwww. Just don’t go there!
Right on the heels of my cheap-o experiment comes one that is not so cheap…
I was recommended to try this tea by the shop person in Japantown who assured me that the green tea I’ve been buying at the grocery store is complete crap. :) I’ve had a few senchas but never a kabuse-cha. I did not get the chance to try this out before I bought it (silly me, it was $22 for 90g).
This is probably the most greenish, young and fresh green tea I have ever tried. The leaves are emerald. I really think I will eat this leaf after I am done drinking it… Supposedly this is halfway between a sencha and a gyokuru.
I used about 1 tsp of leaf and steeped at 160 F for 2 minutes in about 6 oz of water (yes, I used a thermometer to double check temp). I drank this out of a glass mug and it brewed up to a nice Chartreuse color (it is neon green, I am not joking).
Second steep – 30 seconds with a slight loss of flavor. Third steep, getting kind of weak. Will probably get 3 steeps out of it.
This is a very mild, very vegetal and soft tea, very much more sweet than bitter. The aroma is a lot like spinach. This is 18,000 times better than the cheap stuff I was drinking. So sadly (for my wallet) the salesperson was right, my brain is practically vibrating now. I will definitely be saving the rest of it for a time when I need a mental boost. This tea is shade grown for two weeks prior to harvest which is supposed to increase the theanine content.
I am trying to not let myself get sucked in to the world of expensive, gourmet tea. Seeking out cheaper alternatives is a must have. I am very impressed with this. I’m not gonna lie to you and tell you I heard angels singing or the earth moved but this is an excellent value for the price ($4.00/oz as of today’s writing).
I steeped it for 2 minutes and used near boiling water with about 2 tsb of leaf and 10 oz of water. The website said to use fairly hot water in order to bring out the flavors. Very pleasant nectarine and peach flavors are coming through here. Not a trace of bitterness at all which can sometimes be a problem with these darker oolongs. Perfect for daily drinking…
Absolutely delicious when cold brewed for 12 hours overnight. If you have a tea like this you need to try it! I am getting notes of sandalwood, bamboo and cherry. Very refreshing.
Another sampler packet from Harney and Sons. Steeped Western style for 3 minutes with boiling water. A little afraid of oversteeping after yesterday’s Kenya experience.
This is delightful. Medium body tea with a definite strong fruity finish, a bit of caramel. Naturally sweet. Comparisons to wine are pretty appropriate for this leaf. Probably more of a spring/summer than a fall/winter tea for me but I am adding it to the Shopping List as something to remember for the future.
Prepared over the stove with traditional Indian manner, cooked with soymilk. My apartment smells great!
This does remind me a lot of hot chocolate and I am finding it tasty enough for my liking. There is lots of cardamom in here and also something slightly pungent (I assume the long pepper). I’m not a huge fan of mate so I’m finding that a bit distracting from the overall blend here. Overall this is very good and it definitely warming the frost from my Saturday morning as well as waking me up. :) I’m not sure I would buy it again but that’s also because I love the more traditional chai flavors.
Received it as a free sample from Harney and Sons in my last order. I am sorry, but the Rishi rooibos chai totally blows this out of the water. It’s way too rooibos-y and not enough spice at all. Not sure I even want to finish the cup.
Another thing I wish I had bought more of. My first experience with Tulsi, the Holy Basil herb of India. I wanted to get this in loose leaf form instead of those teabags you see in stores everywhere. This herb is supposedly an excellent adaptogen and good for stress relief. I am trying to find alternatives to caffeine all the time.
When I look at the picture of the tea on Tao’s website is a light yellow. I did not know how much leaf to use and I brewed this up STRONG! Mine is a dark orange… lol. Wow. It certainly is potent, I will need to scale back next time. Cooling is a very appropriate adjective for this herb. It reminds me of mint. I do not taste a lot of orange in this blend. I believe it is mostly tulsi with a very strong fennel aftertaste. I actually like fennel a lot so this is great for me, but be forewarned. I can see I will need to do more tulsi experiments soon…
According to Tao’s website: “Supporters of Small Organic Tulsi Farmers.
We work only with small-scale Tulsi growers that need
assurance for their harvests. As such, we provide up-front guarantees to purchase their produce and help sell it through a market-education development approach. As we grow, we envision our ability to help more small-scale and marginal Organic farmers in this process. Most Tulsi is still grown conventionally and the transition to Organics is recent. We hope to be among the few Tulsi companies that are in the forefront of this movement”.
Good for them!
Perhaps it is the power of suggestion but I already feel better after my potent tulsi tea…
I like both Nilgiri and Lemon Myrtle so I was pretty sure I would also like this blend from Tao of Tea.
It really doesn’t smell like much when you open the bag. I brewed this for 4 minutes with near boiling water. I think I may have oversteeped it a tad so I will go for slightly less next time. It smells and tastes very lemony but is not too tart. Having only two ingredients helps here I think…. The nilgiri makes a nice counterpart to the lemon. I can’t help but wonder what this would taste like with a darker and more robust black tea. But I am liking this quite a lot, it is pretty tasty and I’m sure it would make a fabulous iced tea as well. I am wishing for some cookies to dunk in this tea. Check this one out if you’re a lemon lover.
Sigh… I am really not a fan of this unfortunately. Do I even like drinks made with ginseng? Probably not. To me it smells like a stinky old root, which is actually what it is. I imagine this is a very good health tonic with ginseng, licorice and apple. It’s a little too much on the sour side with too much stinky root. A little too medicine-y so it will require sugar. If you like ginseng you may want to give this a try. Otherwise I can’t say I recommend it.
Second steep: it is fairly easy to pick out all the apple and ginseng so that’s what I’’m doing. it’s not a total loss. At least I’ll have a nice oolong.