121 Tasting Notes
With my sample bag, I first made this iced with rock sugar and it was quite good. Well, I just made this hot with rock sugar and a little half-and-half, and WOW!!!! This is so delicious! Very tasty. I even made a little weaker than it should be because I ran out of leaves (I think I used about 3.5 teaspoons for ~14oz, whereas the instructed amount would have been 4 /heaping/ teaspoons per 16oz). When I had it iced I thought it was good but wasn’t going to buy it again (Steve thought it was worth buying again), but after trying it hot I think this might become a regular purchase.
This was majorly disappointing. With a name like “Aztec Fire,” it’s reasonable to expect this to have a spicy taste. Instead, it just tasted like weak chocolate-water. (And I’d rather have hot chocolate, which tastes much, much better.) Steve and I each had about three servings of this (one serving is ~16oz for us) before we got to the bottom of the sample bag, and shockingly, we finally got a little bit of spice (I guess it settled at the bottom). However, even that still wasn’t enough to redeem the tea. Serious disappointment.
I made this as an iced tea two nights ago and drank it yesterday, so my memory of preparation won’t be great. I used 4 teaspoons for 32oz of water and I added 2 teaspoons of rock sugar to the leaves. I put it in the fridge overnight. (I think I might have also resteeped the leaves for a second cup, but my memory of how I made this is blurred with the three other iced teas I’ve made over the past four nights…)
The first sip was “WHOA!” delicious. The hazelnut flavor is quite strong and I liked it. It reminded me of the International Delight hazelnut flavored coffee creamer that I would occasionally have 5+ years ago (before I realized I don’t like my coffee sweetened). It also had a creamy taste, despite no added cream. While it was quite tasty, I preferred Adagio’s Honeybush Mango to this one (as did Steve, who has been having each of the iced teas of the past few days with me).
I didn’t follow the preparation instructions fully for my first time trying this tea. The instructions are “two heaping teaspoons” per cup and I had already used most of the sample I’d received to make an iced tea last night (which I haven’t tried yet), so I only had enough for two teaspoons for roughly 11-12oz of water. I also steeped it for about 7 minutes instead of 5 (by accident). I added one teaspoon of rock sugar prior to the water and a little half-and-half.
I didn’t like the first sip, which I think is because I wasn’t ready for the taste… I don’t drink black teas very often and I’d forgotten this is black. But then I remembered that this is masala chai and I recognized that it tasted very similar to the amazing chai I had in Zhongdiang, China and the masala chai I occasionally have in Indian restaurants and then I enjoyed it much more. (Thanks, brain, for changing taste based on perception. Good ole’ top-down processing.) I don’t know if I would buy this again. It’s good, but not as good as the masala chais I’ve had at restaurants. However, I didn’t follow the preparation instructions so this may not have been the best experience.
I made this as an iced tea in two ways (the second was a re-steep). First I made 32oz (4 teaspoons) with 4 teaspoons of rock sugar. (I prefer my iced teas a little sweet). I steeped it for 90 minutes, let it sit out for about 30 minutes, and then put it in the fridge overnight.
The leaves still had an INCREDIBLE aroma (oh my goodness… The smell is amazing) so I thought I might as well give re-steeping a shot. I put about ~20-25oz over the used leaves (without adding more sugar), steeped for 9 minutes, sat at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes, and then put it in the fridge overnight in a separate glass.
Original steep: Very tasty! The clove taste was quite strong, which was good but it meant that I didn’t really taste much else beside the clove. The sugar was a nice addition and I would make it with sugar again.
Re-steep: This was still pretty good (not sweet at all), but again clover was the main taste.
I might buy this one again. While it was good, it wasn’t quite as good as some of my favorites.
I just received the Honeybush Sampler from Adagio Tea, which includes this one. We’re having a heat wave and I was in the mood for iced tea, so I made 32oz yesterday (4 teaspoons) and put it in the freezer immediately afterward for 30 minutes (I was impatient…). I had a sip when it was still hot, and it was okay. Because of my impatience, I had to add ice (which watered it down) and it was slightly better cold than it was hot, but it was still only okay…
…until I made another batch last night with the addition of rock sugar (4 teaspoons). This time I was patient and let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before putting it in the fridge overnight. WOW!!! What a difference the sugar made. I love Teavana’s rock sugar because it enhances the flavor rather than tasting like added sweetener. This was incredible and was possibly the best iced tea I’ve made up to this point. Next time I might put in a little less sugar, but overall I am pretty happy with this as an iced tea.
This tea smells better than it tastes. It was one of the first teas I bought when I started getting into loose leaf (thanks to Teavana, whose friendly employees brightened my mood after an idiot mall cop had dampened it, lured me in one memorable day in December 2011). When the Teavana employees did their famous “waving the lid to send the aroma your way” tactic, the smell was like heaven. The best comparison aroma I could think of was french toast with syrup.
Sadly, it did not taste as good as it smelled (and I could hold it under my nose for hours). It was pretty plain without additions. Rock sugar helped bring out some flavor that matched the aroma, and a little bit of half-and-half helped more. However, there are other cream-and-sugar teas that I enjoy more and the disparity between taste and smell made this one just too disappointing. I bought this two or three times, but I won’t be buying it again. Actually, I think I gave up on this one when I discovered Teavana’s Toasted Nut Brulee, which actually tasted as good as this one smelled.
This tea has just the right amount of ginger spiciness. I like it both with and without sugar and cream. The coconut is occasionally detectable (it’s not overly strong); cinnamon is the stronger flavor. While it was good, I probably won’t buy it again because there are too many other teas I like more.