Will rate this when I am able to give it a bit more attention but it reminds me a lot of MF’s 1854 – a soft, gentle, floral tea with very faint EG hints. The taste profile went: rose, jasmine, hint of bergamot, jasmine. Some astringency developed as it continued to cool but overall I did enjoy this tea. Nicely soft and sweet.
894 Tasting Notes
Wow. Seriously, wow. This is sweet. Really sweet. It tastes a bit like eating honeysuckle nectar and chasing it with a bite of thin, newly-sprouted branch. The woody branch bit is fairly similar to the woody/reedy taste from last night’s ginseng oolong. So branch plus the honeysuckle is what I’m guessing Osmanthus tastes like? Anyway, the sweet, light honeysuckle taste is a bit contrary to the green branch taste but at the same time the branch taste grounds the sweetness, keeping it from being too extreme.
The second steep (3:00) has the flavors meshing better so it taste more like a darker floral taste and not quite as sweet. It doesn’t taste anything like rose, but for some reason that’s the comparison that now pops in my mind.
Anyway, I think I prefer last night’s ginseng oolong over this one, but just by a hair or two.
Mmm, I like it. Light, a bit woodsy/reedy, with a hint of something that is almost like licorice. Oh, I just read the company’s notes and it does have licorice in it. So that makes sense! Anyway, I’d totally buy this tea – it’s tasty.
The only other ginseng oolong I’ve had was King’s Oolong, which I also liked. I can’t remember that quite enough to accurately compare but I think this one is a bit milder but perhaps a little rounder flavored? Maybe.
Sorta mixed on this one – it’s got a great, true-to-life orange flavor but the end note and aftertaste is on the edge of icky sour wood with little darts into perfumey. As it cools to lukewarm there is less sour wood so I really just get the tasty orange. But ultimately, there are other flavored rooibos teas out there that don’t have to get so to close to room temp to not have that sour wood taste.
This tea was a gift from my lovely SIL after her trip to Seattle. Given that I am still on my breakfast blend kick, I was pretty excited to try this one! I’ve never been to Seattle but being the land of coffee, I would anticipate any blend made for the city to be a bit stout, maybe a little foggy, too.
When I first sniffed this last night, it smelled liked boiled peanuts. Which was pretty cool ‘cause I’m a Southern girl and do love me some boiled peanuts. But this morning it smelled like straight up Keemun (which is a little disappointing because of my boiled peanut love, but at the same time comforting because I’m not sure if I’d love boiled peanut tea). The first sip, though, was full on Assam. Subsequent sips were predominately Assam-y (with a slight hint of cardboard and fair amount of bake-y) but with a smoothness of a Keemun, though not the smokiness.
The overall taste was something that I could totally associate with Seattle – on the stout end (but not to the point of meanness) and with a nice, dark, fuzzy, comforting taste (I’m calling that one fog, k?). It is somewhat like a smooth and slightly milder Irish Breakfast. If future cups are as tasty as this one, I could totally see myself wanting to keep this in stock.
I’m bumping up the rating of this tea just a bit. Why? Because it’s pretty crave-able (I’ve been thinking about having the last of my sample for days), tastes just like what it should (a big bowl of fresh rice), makes my queasy stomach feel better (stupid allergies) and so tasty that every time I make another steep, I have to go surf Chicago Tea Garden’s website to see what other goodies I need to buy.
Now I just have to decide if I’m going to get 75g or 100g of this…
Keep moving, folks. Nothing to see here. Just a standard Earl Grey with nothing to set it apart from the herd. Let’s keep the flow of traffic going. Life’s too short to drink boring tea. Nothing to see here. ::waves with a little traffic baton:: Let’s keep it moving.
Smells very berry-like, which is kind of confusing. And wood, which makes it kind of unpleasant because it is almost hitting that sour wood thing. The taste is woody – sweet, bordering on sour wood. (Huh, it’s apparently not just a rooibos thing then.) Actually, I take that back, it is the just aftertaste that is bordering on rotten-sweet (and that lessens when I take big sips). The rest of the taste is a nice, plain wood. I don’t pick up any of the cedar or orange or leather notes the tasting notes mention. Just wood. Well, maybe a faint hint of bright citrus note that makes it more fresh, sanded wood and not just a tree limb. It’s not all that complex tasting (at least not to me) but it isn’t flat tasting either. Fairly straightforward and… well, honestly? Kinda plain.
A while back, the husband and I got a food dehydrator to make jerky. (The husband makes seriously awesome venison jerky.) When we first got it, we went a little dehydrator-crazy. If it was edible, we’d try to dehydrate it. Some of our experiments were more successful than others (I highly suggest dehydrated zucchini slices – they are potato-chip-level addictive.) But I knew we had gone too far when we dehydrated watermelon.
The dried watermelon bits were textured like Fruit Roll-Ups (which wasn’t bad) but the taste… it was melon and slightly sweet and very musky. I cannot adequately explain how musky it was. “Extremely” would be an understatement. It was perhaps how licking a male muskox would taste. Obviously, this was very weird to me and I found eating the dried watermelon distracting and unpleasant. After that experience, I decided to retreat back into dehydrating only jerky and zucchini and never think of the watermelon musk disaster again.
Until I drank this tea.
I finished off the last of this sample using a little sugar and half & half. Now, instead of it making me think of a rose tea, it’s sweeter and juicier – more fruit-like – with a light floral/rose finish. Samovar’s Russian Blend has lychee in it and with the additives, I’m finally tasting the sweet fruit taste in this that I get from that blend. I’m bumping this rating up a little because, while it’s a bit too rose for me straight, I’m really loving it all doctored up.
Steeped it after a quick rinse. The smell is softly honeyed. The taste is… delightful. Gently floral and honeyed – not in a light, summery way but more of a dark, wintery, woodsy taste. If I preferred darker oolongs, this would rank pretty high. But I prefer greener oolongs so, while this is tasty, it’s not something I have to have on hand.
This smells like coconut and warm mango juice. It tastes… weird. There’s an almost alcoholic taste but the more I sip, the more I think it is just how the mango juice flavor comes across when hot. It’s very nutty and woody (thankfully not sour woody) but I can’t determine what kind of nut.
As it cools, I get flashes of coconut that override the mango. I definitely like it more once it cools a bit – the flavors blend better and the alcohol taste goes away. This is definitely not as good as their Coconut Custard, but it’s probably one of the best fruity rooibos I’ve had.
I went a little heavier on the leaf so I could finish off this tea, so I shortened the steep time by a hair. The Nilgiri, thick leaf taste is stronger than the first time I had this (but it still lacks the rough edge I associate with Nilgiris) plus I’m getting a pretty heavy honey aftertaste. I sort of like this in spite of my best efforts not to.
I got this tea not because I thought I’d like it, but because I thought that having lemongrass in a cherry tea was weird and that intrigued me.
It smells like tart cherries with a little fake cherry sucker on a wooden stick. The taste is fairly similar to the smell but with a dash of cherry Crème Saver thrown in – you know, those fruit and ‘cream’ candy LifeSavers? (Or were the pink ones strawberry? I dunno, I always got the orange ones.) Anyway, it tastes like that. With a bit of wood, like how a popsicle tastes when you are right up to the wooden stick. But sometimes I pick up some of that sourness that I dislike so in rooibos. So maybe the Crème Saver popsicle is really old and the wood is going bad in spots.
Anyway, I don’t really get the lemongrass. Though if I close my eyes and imagine a bit, I start think it comes through in a kind of fresh top layer the tea seems to have. The Crème Savers certainly didn’t leave that fresh feeling in my mouth.
So yeah, this basically tastes like supermarket candy. On a old stick. Which doesn’t sound that positive, but I will say that I liked the second half of my cup (once it had cooled) more than the first since all the tastes seemed to meld better and become smoother. So it was a fresh, smooth Crème Saver on a stick.
Dropping the rating a lot on this because I just can’t deal with the end astringency. There is an interesting flavor at the start but the nutty bitterness just kills it for me. And it gets worse as it cools. Bleh. I gave it a decent rating at first because it had potential but either all it has is potential or I’m just not… uhm, man?… enough to bring out what it promises.
Angrboda’s enjoyment of this tea made me go for a re-try. For some reason, I remember this tea as more chai-spicy than the simple warm/tingly-spicy it actually is. It’s citrus-y and creamy and light but warm and cuddly at the same time. It’s a good tea but it’s still not quite something I could see myself reaching for regularly. Though I might think differently in the winter due to the spice-cuddles this tea is giving me.
The leaves are ugly and broken with rather long stems poking out. Each time I brew this, I just don’t expect much. But the taste does certainly deliver. Sweet with a faint nectar/floral honey top note and an almost nutty bottom note. Why can’t I remember the tastiness of this tea when I’m not actually sipping it?
I’ve had to drop the rating a little bit on this one, mostly because I followed it up with a fairly mediocre Bao Zhong from Tea from Taiwain and this cup pales in comparison to that one. I still think this is a pretty good tea, but there is a taste which I can’t quite peg – my mind wants to say metallic but it totally isn’t – that just doesn’t hit the right notes with me, even though I enjoy the sweetness of this. Ultimately though, I seem to lean more towards floral sweet over fruit sweet in greener oolongs.
(Looking at the description of this tea, I’m guessing the not-metallic taste is the pineapple note I’m picking up because it has that same teeth-tingling tartness.)
I had this with additives since I wasn’t willing to risk bitter ickiness on my drive to work. It stood up surprisingly well to the half & half and sugar, which I wasn’t anticipating. It was much sturdier and richer than the few Ceylons I’ve had previously. I wasn’t anticipating liking this – Ceylons tend to me a little thin and light-tasting for me – but now I want to give this a try straight because it could end up being really good.
Used a little extra leaf to finish off the sample and that definitely helped this strike a more Keemun note compared to the first time I tried this when it hit quite a few Yunnan notes. There is a tiny hint of sharpness at the end of the sip but I’ve had some Keemuns that were pretty rough so I’m okay with that little bit. Has a nice, earthy, sweet, slightly smoky flavor – not campfire smoky like a lapsang but more someone-in-the-neighborhood-has-a-fire-going smoky. Relatively mild and smooth. Minor bump to the rating.
Wow. Yeah, mate and I? Not gonna mesh. This is kind of like drinking a mint-flavored reed mat. This shows though how sweet Samovar’s Sweet Yerba Mate is. Because this? Not sweet. The tasting notes say bittersweet and I’ll agree. It’s not bitter like an oversteeped tea but there is a certain something to it that made me think of bitterness, maybe in a herbal/nature-y way. Nothing bad, just really unexpected.
I admit it, I made a face when I took the first sip (unexpected, you know). But each sip after that got easier and by the end of my cup, I was okay with this tea. Well, okay-ish. It still tastes like a mint-flavored reed mat but I will say that the mint is quite nice in this – and I’m saying that as a not so big fan of mint. So for those that mesh well with mate, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say this is a pretty tasty one, at least with how the mint blends with it. There’s no raw or rough herbal edge to it. So it’s a very smooth reed mat. I just notice it has eucalyptus in it so that might be contributing to the smooth blend. (And maybe it’ll help me with my stuffy sinuses.)
Anyway, certainly different but likable for a mate. Overall I prefer it more than the Sweet Yerba Mate because this doesn’t make me think of a commune with goats.
I think I put too much sugar but I was a bit groggy when I made this so I consider it a win that nothing else was screwed up with this one. There’s a little nutty bitterness at the end of each sip that leaves a tacky feeling in my mouth, but otherwise this isn’t bad, especially for a tea I got at the grocery store. It’s very nutty and has a pretty decent body to it. Ultimately, though, for grocery store teas I prefer ToH’s Assam more than this blend.
I picked this as a free sample from Chicago Tea Garden, mostly because it just seemed too different not to try. I mean, come on – sticky rice flavored tea! How can I not try it?
This is actually my very first pressed pu-erh. And my first green pu-erh, too. So a whole bunch of first all rolled into one insane smelling tea! And I do mean insane smelling. As soon as I opened the envelope, I instantly smelled freshly-made sticky rice. It’s so weird but kinda awesome.
Anyway, I did a quick rinse and then (since I’m sharing with the husband) poured steeps one and two (both at 30 seconds) into a fair cup, then into glasses. So I don’t know if there is a big difference between the first and second steeps, but it totally smells like a bowl of rice. Which is still kinda awesome.
The taste isn’t as sticky-rice as the smell (though the smell is pretty intense). I get a quick, almost mint or ginseng whooshy tingle at the very front, then a mild almost reed flavor flash, then a sticky or sweet rice fresh taste. The aftertaste is light and very rice-y. Even with the hints of the other flavors, the main taste is very much rice. But rice in a mild, gentle tea way.
I think I could really get behind green pu-erh. It doesn’t have that barnyard, sweet hay, fishy, sweet thickness that is just too much for me that I get from black pu-erh and that makes it much easier for me to drink. This tea is really quite gentle, mild, sweet and rice-y, all attributes and flavors I enjoy. I didn’t know what to think of it at first, but by the end of my cup, I determined that really like this and I would very much enjoy having it in my pantry. I don’t have to go out and get some right now but I’ll be perusing Chicago Tea Garden’s website to see what other goodies I might need to buy when I decide to pick this up.
ETA: Steeps three and four (at CTG’s suggested 45s and 1min) resulted in some light bitterness that really battled with the rice taste, almost covering it (though the bitterness was not overwhelming). It was very disappointing and made me question how much I actually wanted to buy this tea. But I tried again, backing off the steep time (or at least not increasing it like I normally would). Steeps five and six (at 45s and 1min) were much better, back to the original steeps’ sticky-rice-ness. Shorter steep times are this tea’s friend. And I’m back to planning a CTG order.
I’ve been using such short steep times for Japanese greens lately that Rishi’s recommended three to four minutes steep time seems absurdly long. But for my first try of this one, I’ll go by their rules… And based on how this turned out, I’ll only be going by their rules this once. Next time I’ll shorten the steep time because this is bordering on bitter for me.
The flavors – vegetal, thick, pungent with hints of freshness – have a lot of promise, reminding me a lot of O-cha’s Yutaka Midori shincha. Now, I know that YM and kukicha are two different types of tea, but the flavor profiles are very similar. This one, though, doesn’t have the same… well, perfection is the only word I can think of. The flavors are a little muddy and don’t really stand out. Yutaka Midori is crisp and citrusy. This has a fresh hint of citrus but it’s only a hint and a lot of that freshness is covered by too much tartness.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ve been spoiled by Yutaka Midori. But it’s good to be reminded how truly awesome that tea is and why I love it so. On the other hand, this tea will probably taste pretty darn good mid-winter when I have no more green tea and am trying to hold out until shincha comes around again.