531 Tasting Notes
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!
I’m going to be honest; I don’t trust bagged oolongs. Oolong is The one type of tea I think really needs space to bloom in the cup. That said, this is very good for bagged! It’s my favorite medium-bodied kind, a little bit floral. It’s not quite fruity, but it verges on fruity the way floral flavors sometimes do. There’s also some woody flavors, but they’re not as strong as in some oolongs. That might actually be a good thing for people who are new to this type of tea or who don’t like that kind of flavor. I’m glad I decided to try this one.
Well, I found this amazing little café in one of the buildings on campus. It’s about 2/3 of the way between two of my classes on Friday, so I know where I’ll be going every week. Their tea is great, too (loose leaf? on my campus?!). Sadly, I have no idea what brand it is. The shop itself is an offshoot of Lavazza but their tea looks nothing like what I had. What a mystery! Maybe I’ll ask if I ever catch them at a slow time.
On to the tea: this jasmine green is really good in a subtle way. The jasmine flavor sneaks up on you. It’s a little bit fruity at first, then sweet, with a beautiful floral aftertaste. The green flavor is a steadying presence in the background but never overwhelms; the whole cup is subtle. Utterly delicious (and even better with a lemon bear claw)!
I don’t know what it is about this tea that keeps me coming back. I wouldn’t count it amongst my favorites, per se, but every so often I just crave it. I almost always drink it with milk added, and it reminds me of some kind of creamy berry pie concoction. Even better, it seems to suit any time of day perfectly; for example, I just now had a cup while reading through my psychology homework in my PJs. My rating definitely needs to go up.
Flavors: Berry, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Vanilla
To me this isn’t a chocolate tea at all, but that’s completely okay. Why? Because it tastes like dates and coconut, which might just be better. If you haven’t had date coconut rolls, and you can’t find them near you, this tea is a pretty good approximation. It’s definitely as addictive as they are! I’ll likely be restocking this when it’s gone thanks to my date (and coconut) addiction. Mm.
Well, I did go back and get another box of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride. I like it too much not to. There were two other seasonal teas on sale as well (this one and the gingerbread one), so I grabbed those too.
One thing this has going for it is actual pumpkin in the ingredients list. And I can taste it, too! Very happy about that. Not so happy about the intense fake sweetener taste. This smells like a pumpkin pastry of some kind but tastes like dipping my tongue in a bag of stevia. Hmm. I get the feeling if I brewed this with extra black tea it’d be better. The pumpkin flavor is very nice, but I wish that fake sweetness was gone.
Flavors: Pumpkin, Sweet