498 Tasting Notes
I have been craving an orange black lately, so I reached for this sample we got in a swap. I was unfortunately disappointed. It was an overwhelmingly average black tea with a faint hint of bitter orange peel at the tail end of the sip. Sadface. This calls for a gaiwan of something wonderful.
Someone from the Toronto Tea Party shared a sample of this with me (Tina? Adrienne? I don’t even know any more.) and I finally got around to trying it. First thing I got hit with was the orange, a very sweet and creamy orange, but with the heavy aftertaste I get from most rooibos teas. Tasty experiment, but I don’t think I’ll reach for it again.
I am consistently impressed by the quality of the Tea Haus’s black teas. They do not give into the temptation of using a lower-quality black just because the blend is stuffed with other goodies.
That said, this was definitely an interesting drinking experience – and I think a part of that is becasue it took me six hours to finish one travel mug of it at work. At first, when still almost-boiling, it was overwhelming in both scent and flavour, with a lot of sweetness from the apple and a bit of zip from the lemon, and the underlying ginger fuzziness. As it cooled, it lost a lot of that sweetness and gained kind of a leafy taste. I’m not sure exactly how to explain it, but it was floral without being sweet, more like a very earthy herbal. Strangely, it reminded me of DT’s Chocolate Rocket when it begins to cool. It was definitely an odd drinking experience. I wouldn’t say it’s unpleasant, but I also wouldn’t say it was delicious. It was just . . . odd. I must mull this over another cuppa.
Yummy! My mistake with this one was, unfortunately, making an herbal to take to work when I needed a mate-infused matcha. I agree with TinaS in that it is very similar to my beloved Ginger Sparkle; it has the same sweet tingle from the ginger and other parts of the blend, but this tea definitely has a strong streak of sweet/tart limeade. Very, very tasty. I don’t know yet if I’ll restock, but it’s a good caffeine-free alternative to my Sparkle.
I am developing such a love for ginger in my tea, and this is one of the best examples I’ve had yet. The black ceylon base is a very full-bodied flavour that’s also very soothing and mellow. The ginger adds a warm sweet fuzz to the top of that, not sharp or fizzy like I’ve experienced before. I am very, very happy to have more of this to explore.
Even though it was a green tea tasting, after exclaiming over the Ola’a tea, also from Hawaii, the wonderful Stefanie prepared this oolong for us, as it is also of Hawaiian origin. This is a tea that was meant to be prepared gong fu style: slowly, with great respect, and with as many resteeps as possible.
It starts as a dark vegetal flavour, mellowing into a sweet note that’s between floral and fruity. Tina described it as being like jasmine without the actual jasmine. There’s also a spicy note on top of the sweet, of nutmeg or cardamom. This is a tea that can be sipped a hundred tips and taste of a hundred different things. We lingered over our cups and it was like watching clouds, calling out everything you saw – this one looks like a bunny, that one tastes like a chai.
Again, I was very lucky to be able to try this special offering. Drink Hawaiian tea!