911 Tasting Notes
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.