13 Tasting Notes
The leaves are dark green and tightly curled. They have a subtle smell of smoke. Steeped leaves uncurl but not to the fullest. Liquid is of intense amber colour. The smell is again subtly smoked with flowery hints. The taste is mild, there is not much bitterness. There is a light floral aftertaste and a little bit od astringency. This is a simple Oolong on the black tea side, but still pretty mild.
WOW! This tea is a mean badass! It’s drinking liquid pepper! Dry tea looks beautiful, shreds of guayusa with specks of bright red peppers. I can smell cinnamon, and pepper, and sniffing the tea made me sneeze for three or four times immediately! Liquid is of light body, it goes down easily, and the colour is brown. Steeped tea vaguely smells of, but it does not taste like, cinnamon (which I was afraid of – every time I was looking forward to trying some really hot, spicy tea it ended up being all cinnamon-y). You better prepare your throat for a little shock before the first sip. Because you will feel every sip of this tea all the way to your stomach. It’s a non-compromising, full-bodied taste of pure cayenne, slightly dried and refined. It is not insulting to the palate, at least not mine, but I belong to the type of people who are always on the search for ever hotter treat to their tastebuds. The hotness lingers on the palate long after you swallow. This is my first guayusa so I’m not sure what special qualities to appreciate in it; as to caffeine I’m drinking this early in the morning, so we’ll see how much caffein-ized I feel later in the day. I would definitely pair this tea with some food.
Dry leaves look as if they were freshly cut, they are bright green, they smell of fresh green vegetables and grass and they seem so succulent as if one could soak the fresh juice out of them. Tea soup is light greenish-yellow. After 3 minutes’ steep, the smell is unchanged from the dry leaves, very fresh and inviting. The taste is mild, again it feels as if biting into an incredibly succulent apple or pear. But there is a slightly bitter aftertaste. Steeped leaves haven’t lost the pleasant juicy smell and they have uncurled.
This tea actually tasted much better in my sample pouch. That was why I ordered 100g of this tea, but the floral and fruity qualities have quite diminished in this large portion. The leaves are tightly curled and they smell of smoke with a pinch of floral scent. The sample tea was actually pretty sweet, but that too has diminished. So after a first disappointment, right now I’m drinking this tea on the rocks and with honey and it is fine. It reminds me of the original taste. I have steeped 3 mins with 100 Celsius water and then poured it in a cup half-full of ice cubes and a small spoon of honey. Now it’s a dessert. It has the milky aroma, it’s not bitter, and it feels like honeydew on the palate. I shall continue experimenting with hot vs. cold steeping and brewing.
A disappointment. Both mint and green tea in this blend are of low quality. The green component is weedy and damp-smelling, and the mint component is very weak. The refreshing effect of mint lasts only until you drink half of the cup. Do not let it get cold.
The fruitiness is felt only through first couple of sips. It loses scent and savour very fast, and when cold, all that is left on your tastebuds is plain hibiscus.