545 Tasting Notes
Woke up wanting Malted ChocoMate again yesterday morning after just having had it yesterday. Yes, I’m happy to have more of it! Today it was even more malty and delicious than yesterday. Don’t know what I did differently. But yum! I had the first cup with breakfast (buttered wheat cinnamon raisin toast and a berry Greek yogurt) and the second cup directly afterward.
2nd steep: 10 mins.
Well, there is no entry for this tisane yet so I’ve created one to be a place holder for my tealog then I’ll move it once there is one.
Last night I needed more chocolate tea and I have quite a bit of it now so I might as well indulge as I want to. It had gotten later before I made a cup so I chose this one as the sole honeybush blend in the box.
The smell was strongly raspberry with dark chocolate and there were dried raspberry arils and chocolate nibs mixed in with the honeybush chips. Steeped, the tisane smelled even more strongly of bright raspberry and less of chocolate. The taste at first was a bright candy-like raspberry with a bit of chocolate. As the cup cool, the raspberry turned into a rich syrupy or jammy raspberry and the dark chocolate came out more. It was ever better.
I drank the first cup while finishing up watching the documentary Love Etc. that I’d started that morning. I drank the second cup at my desk in the study after that. It was a lighter weaker version but still good.
I’m rating this tisane a 74 (right in the middle of my good range, 70-80) because it’s solidly good.
2nd steep: 10 mins.
Oh Malted ChocoMate, I’m so glad you’re back in my life again. You were one of my favorite teas from the 2010 Xmas sampler and now you’ve returned again in the Valentines Day sampler.
The mate leaves? chips? smell distinctly malted with a touch of chocolate scent. The mate pieces definitely aren’t leaves but they also aren’t chips in the way that rooibos or honeybush are. Whatever you’d call them, the mate pieces are a dark dark brown with chocolate nubs mixed in.
Steeped, the mate is a dark sable brown and smells mostly malty with only a touch of chocolate scent. The taste is a more even balance of chocolate and malt and oh so good. This is a tea that I sometimes wake up in the morning wanting and I’m glad to have it in my possession again.
I drank the first cup with breakfast (buttered wheat cinnamon raisin toast and a date fig greek yogurt) while watching the beginning of the documentary Love Etc which I’d DVRed off the Oprah channel. The second cup was lighter in flavor but still very tasty and I took that one into the study with me to drink at my desk.
I’m rating this mate a 83 (middle of my great range, 80-90).
2nd steep: 10 mins.
After finishing my mug of hojicha in the study last night, I really wanted another cup of tea right away. None of my non-caffeinated bagged teas were catching my interest so I chose this one. I steeped it a minute less than usual and still enjoyed a very nice cup. This tea isn’t a favorite but it’s always very pleasant to have. I resteeped the tisane earlier today when my throat was bothering me and added a bit of honey. I forgot to take the basket out so it steeped awhile but tasted just fine.
2nd steep: a long time.
Hello Steepsterians! Long time, no see.
(The explanation: Christmas 2010, I ended up with a lot of rough tasting “notes” jotted down on slips of paper that I hadn’t entered on to Steepster. This continued on and on with briefly writing down my thoughts in my moleskine or typing out an actual tealog posting in a wordpad file AND dating everything with the intention of backlogging it up on to Steepster and having a complete catalog of my tea drinking for the past year plus. However, I have slowly come to the realization that this isn’t likely to actually get done (anytime soon) and I miss posting my tasting notes so I’ve scrapped the idea of getting my tealog up-to-date and I’m starting posting again as of February with the teas I drink going forward. I hate to not post the completed tasting notes that I’ve written but I’m a bit of a completionist so I’d end up frantically trying to post everything if I did.)
And now, on to the tea. I picked this up on sale at Earth Fare awhile back not knowing what it was but thinking a roasted green tea sounded like it could be good. I decided to try it yesterday night with Korean leftovers because the regular girl at the Korean place asked me if I wanted a hot tea awhile back on a cold night and has since given me tea with Asian characters and sometimes some English on the tags (twice genmaicha, once oolong) and since the genmaicha, as a toasted rice tea, went well with the Korean, my thinking was that a roasted green tea would as well. And it did.
Just taking the plastic wrapping off of the box of tea, I could already smell the toasty roastiness of it. Steeping instructions recommended 2-5 minutes so I settled on 3:30 for my first try and was quite surprised to find the tea had come out so dark considering the genmaicha has come out a lighter brown and I had expected them to be similar. The toasty roast smell of the steeped tea was lighter than the smell of the bag had been. The taste was much stronger than I expected but still good and tasted pretty much like you’d expect something like this would. Next time I’ll either steep this for less time or use a bigger mug, possibly both, as I’m sure I’ll enjoy this tea more when it’s less strong.
I’m rating this tea a 52 to start – a nice bagged tea. I think it will creep up a few points once I get the steeping time and water quantity adjusted more to my tastes.
For the fifth tea of Christmas, Frank gave to us Chocolate Mint Flavored Black Tea.
When I opened this sample packet, at first I got alcohol, followed quickly by mint – real strong mint ~cough, cough ~, then chocolate – dark chocolate. I do have to say that Frank nailed the smell on this blend. I’ll confess that I’m not a chocolate mint fan at all. The husband is and occasionally I’ll want a spoonful or two of his ice cream. The dark tea leaves have visible chocolate bits and bits of mint leaves.
Steeped, the tea still smells distinctively of chocolate mint and is a color that we’ll call standard tea color. I did a butt load of dishes while and after this tea had steeped so it was not piping hot when I first tried it. The taste is mint tea with dark chocolate. This is good, but definitely not a favorite of mine. I’ll have to see what the husband thinks when he tries it. As I finish drinking this tea, I decide a like it a bit more and raise my initial rating five points. I definitely get the Thin Mint comparison that others have made. I did not attempt a second steep because I did not want anymore chocolate mint at that time.
I’m rating this tea a 67, which is on the high end of my nice range (60-70).
I made this stronger than usual per not checking Steepster for my usually steeping time and apparently having forgotten it. Well, I do have too many teas to remember everything. As usual, this is my go-to tea when my tummy hurts or I’m feeling vaguely under the weather and, as usual, I felt better after drinking it. =) Possible placebo effect, but who cares so long as it works.
For the fourth tea of Christmas, Frank gave to us Sheri’s Blend.
I opened the sample packet and smelled sweet, fruity – maybe peach, candy. Sheri’s Blend has the pretty autumn colors of orange brown rooibos, dark yellow flower petals, and dark brown chunks of apricot. This is one of Frank’s rooibos/honeybush blends I wanted to try.
Steeping, Sheri’s Blend smells nicely of stone fruits and sweetness. The liquid is a medium orangey brown. The first sips have more of an apricot feel than taste. As it cools some, the juiciness of the fruit comes out more. The cinnamon is like a faint dusting. This tea is lovely but more muted than Frank’s other blends. It would make a good companion for reading on a cold evening.
I tried a second steep and it was mostly apricot fruity warm water. I am finding I don’t mind drinking these though, even if they aren’t nearly as flavorful as the first mug.
I’m rating this tisane a 76, which is in the middle of my good range (70-80).
2nd steep: 12 min.
I mixed the last small bits of leaf of this one with A&D’s EG. It balanced the overly bergamoty EG without adding bitterness.
This tea has been my go-to when I’ve wanted a better quality cup of standard black tea. It mixed well with honey when my throat was sore. It’s also the first A&D tea that I’ve finished off the tin of now.
Would I buy this again?
3 – maybe. This tea was a limited number release which is sold out so that’s a moot point. But it was a good reliable tea and while I likely wouldn’t go out of my way to order it specifically, it might be something I’d throw in an order if I were ordering other things.
2nd steep: 5 min.