449 Tasting Notes
How odd, I was sure I reviewed this last time I drank it! It certainly made an impression on me, but maybe I just wasn’t up to putting my thoughts into words at the time. This is my first milk oolong and I have to say I really like the style. It’s slightly sweet and undeniably milky with a little bit of earthiness—I’ve never put milk in an oolong before but I imagine this is what it would taste like. It’s an interesting and satisfying cup and I can easily see myself going through a pot of this at a time.
Flavors: Creamy, Earth, Sweet
Having a big cup of this to sip it down, and it’s actually just what I wanted on a rainy afternoon (I just grabbed whatever was in my “use up” pile). This is good, but now I’ve tried the similar Japon by Nina’s I’d say I prefer that one. This has a little too much rice to it and the rest of the flavors are a little muddled. There’s a lot of ingredients and it means there’s a lot going on in this cup. I’m not sure about “autumn leaf pile” (?) like on its page, but this is kind of dry and earthy for a caramel tea. Nice, but maybe just a bit too complicated for my taste.
At this time of year I’m swept up in pumpkin fever just as much as anyone else, so I’m really glad this was my Republic of Tea sample this month. This is actually one of the better offerings I’ve tried from this brand, and I wouldn’t mind buying it if it wasn’t so similar to things I have already. The spices blend perfectly, and while it doesn’t quite manage “pumpkin pie” flavor (I really would love to taste more true pumpkin teas), the effect is perfect for fall.
So far all the Nina’s teas I’ve tried do better at a slightly lower temperature than I’d usually use. This time I brewed this just below boiling, and it worked much better. There’s a lot more peach to it and it mixes well with the apple. I’m upping the rating since this is so juicy; I would definitely consider getting this if there was room in my cabinet.
Another sipdown. I finally got around to cold-brewing this and it smells like fresh raspberry jam. The taste is tart but much fruitier than when I brewed it hot, so I think I’m going to declare this cup a success. The berry flavors really blend well with the base and make a good, balanced cup of tea. This strikes me as a breakfast tea thanks to the astringency, and I can imagine it going really well with pastries in the morning. Yum!
Sipdown! This time around I tried brewing it at a lower temperature just to see how it does, and I think I like it even better than before this way. I taste the toasted rice right away before it blends into the caramel (which is much brighter and sweeter this time around), and the end of the sip is fresh and sweet in a vegetal way. I don’t remember getting the flavor of the base tea before, so it’s an improvement for me. This is absolutely wonderful and I’ll have to think about getting some once I use some other teas up.
I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted this afternoon, so I grabbed the first thing I reached for—this. It’s actually very good. It starts out with a honey-like flavor, which I always love in tea, and the aftertaste is dark and deep but still sweet. The best description I can come up with is grilled fruit. It’s a smooth cup and just what I needed as a pick-me-up today.
At some point I read that roasted teas go well with fatty meals, and since then I’ve found it’s true. This feels like the perfect way to follow up my dinner of bacon, steak, and potatoes—the roasted flavors cut the richness of the bacon fat, and the caramel aftertaste feels like dessert.
The scent of this is almost entirely caramel, with just a little roastiness that makes it feel different from other caramel teas. The beginning of the sip is all genmaicha, to the point that I almost miss the caramel, but then it shows up in a slightly sweet, smooth aftertaste. It’s a really good combination that I wouldn’t have thought of myself and wasn’t sure was going to work, but that’s exactly why I wanted to try it. Thank you NayLynn for surprising me with this one!
This is unlike anything I’ve tried before. There’s a lot of nuttiness and the sesame is surprisingly dark (maybe roasted?) and reminds me almost of coffee beans. The fruit is subtle but adds a richness to the whole thing—I wouldn’t call this fruity or sweet at all, but it’s still noticeable. A very interesting cup! I’m glad I opened this sample first of the ones I have left.