517 Tasting Notes
Continuing with the chocolate theme today is this one. I decided to try it with some milk this time, which I haven’t done before. I was worried it might cover up some of the heat, but it actually brings it out more! There’s also more of the fruitiness of the pepper this way, and the chocolate gets extremely creamy. This is such a rich cup and it almost tastes like I’m drinking hot chocolate. I may never drink it without milk again!
Flavors: Bell Pepper, Chocolate, Red Fruits, Spicy
Happy Valentine’s Day! I thought this tea was fitting, and it’s also getting a little old by now so I thought I’d better use it up soon. I’ve never quite found its brewing sweet spot, so this time around I tried about 2 tsp/9oz, with a long brewing time (at least five minutes, but likely more).
This is probably as good as this tea gets, and I’ll admit that I don’t hate it. It still doesn’t live up to its name, but the flavors are more or less there. There’s a watery breakfast tea flavor at the beginning, which I think must be my problem with it, and then a deep, dark chocolate flavor. Not bad at all! The aftertaste is rich, and truffly indeed with something reminiscent of raspberry cordial. If only that initial watery boringness would go away this might even make my favorites list. Bumping up the rating, but this is probably as high as it’ll go.
The way this smells is incredible! Peaches just barely ripe and crisp melons. Sadly the taste falls completely flat. It’s slightly bitter and grassy like a badly-processed bagged green—given this with no context, I would not have guessed it was a white. I get a little bit of artificial melon flavor, but the peach is just not there. This isn’t the worst fruit tea I’ve ever had, but it’s not good.
I’ve now had two cups of this as free samples, and I struggled with how to describe it. It’s not a straightforward flavor. After some thought, I think I’ve finally got it: oatmeal with cream and honey. And rooibos. That seems weird for a tea but it’s not actually bad. There may be something raisin-y in here, too. This actually does make me feel better when I’m really off, and considering I had the migraine to end all migraines (well, I wish) yesterday, I needed it this morning.
Wow, this has some low ratings. I’m not really understanding that considering that I’ve now had two cups (one yesterday, made by Peet’s, and one today, made by me) and they have both been reasonably good. The bergamot is on the fruity side, which I always appreciate. I didn’t realize until now that the base tea is Darjeeling, which explains the slightly sweet aftertaste I’m getting out of it. It also does not brew up bitter, which I like. Not bad!
Backlog: I finally figured out what the tea they serve at that Lavazza is: Benjamin’s. Apparently they are based in the Chicago area and are only available wholesale, so cafés and restaurants are the only way to try them. Shame, they are really good!
On to the tea: This smells a lot like ATR’s Brioche, but with more icing. It’s like some kind of sugary, nutty pastry. Yum! The taste is pretty much spot on to a cinnamon roll I had the other day. I’m impressed, and now I’m also kind of hungry.
I got a pack of samples from Mighty Leaf with a recent order from a different company. I’ve gotten packs like this before, so I was expecting the same flavors, but they’re all new to me! I’m excited to try them all.
This one wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice, because orange teas aren’t my thing, but vanilla and jasmine very much are. Also, I’ve gotten hooked on having at least one cup of black tea in a morning. The orange in this is soft, not bitter at all, and it blends well with the vanilla. The jasmine is a scent more than a flavor here, but there is a little bit of a floral aftertaste, and the overall effect is a taste similar to the way vanilla extract smells. I like it much more than I expected.
Tea of the morning, without milk for once. I don’t think I’ve been fair to this without milk before. With milk it’s more caramel-y, but without it’s a deep, fruity, jammy thing. For some reason I’m really feeling purple today: purple nails, purple sweater, purple tea (or the tin, at least!)… Not sure what it means for now, but I am enjoying this cup.
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Jam, Stonefruits
This is by far my favorite of the HiCaf line (that I’ve tried—I’m not a big fan of “breakfast” teas anyway so I doubt that one will make it into my collection anytime soon). It’s balanced well, and despite having the caffeine content of a black tea it feels soothing. I’ve also used it a couple of times to soothe nausea—it is excellent for that.
The tea itself is the nondescript Chinese green Republic of Tea tends to use in their bags, but I don’t mind because the other ingredients suit it so well. The mint is subtle and lightly sweet, and the ginger adds just a little spice in the aftertaste. Nothing is overpowering here and I don’t feel the need to modify this cup at all. For me this is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up!