243 Tasting Notes
It’s Tuesday – that means I get my favorite bottled tea today. =)
Nothing new to update about it, just that I now have three people at work hooked on the stuff. We are going to get some cases of it so we can expand the horizons as NewLeaf actually has quite a few flavors.
I should start this review by saying I drink this just about every day – I do not post it every day, because honestly, not that much changes about it, hot brew, minimal time (I can tell when it is done by sight and smell now, I rarely time it), no additives. There are a few reasons I have it everyday. 1. I bought 16 ounces of this right off the bat after the first time I tried it, as I said, obsessed with green tea and this is no exception. 2. Those 16 ounces are taking surprisingly long to get through because you do not need more than one scoop, and you get 3 perfect infusions out of it.
I decided to post today because, I made a variation on my usual brew and I think it worked out very nicely. I brewed this one differently, I made it in my travel mug, one scoop of tea and added cold water, no additives. That has relaxed on my desk and patiently waited a solid 5 hours for me to drink it. I am enjoying it now. The tea has a light aroma. It is very vegetal in flavor and has a slightly bitter bite at the end of it. This does not concern me, I do not mind the bitter, if you do mind the bitter, I suggest a much shorter infusion.
As I said, I no longer time the infusions on this tea, I typically do what I like to call “flash infusions” (less than one minute). I use the normal amount of tea (one scoop), no additives, hot water and infuse til the tea is slightly green, 45 seconds – 1 minute and that seems to work beautifully, for a light, refreshing and slightly sweet tea with a little bit of vegetal in the middle.
Tried to have a cup of this today, because I thought it would help me to feel better. Unfortunately, I let it steep WAY too long and it was undrinkable. Do not let this steep too long, it will be very bad.
Typical Steep: 2-3 minutes
Over Steep: ANYTHING after three minutes.
Happy Monday Steepsterites! I know I am definitely suffering from “a case of the Mondays” or maybe I am getting sick from the annoyingly fall weather we have been having here in NJ. It is hot during the day (like need the air conditioning and a fan) and then cold at night (as pile on as many blankets and cats as you have to keep warm). That mixed with my hectic work and activity schedule means I am run down. I asked for some honey for one of my many other teas from my co-worker and was offered a bag of this to try and help. How could I refuse? I have never had this and might as well get a tasting note out of it.
Well I have never had “camomile” – I have had chamomile, but never on it’s own, always with green or black tea as an additive for soothing and comfort, never just straight.
The tea bag has literally no aroma. Nothing. I put it in my mug and poured some hot water over and waited. I allowed the bag to infuse for 5 minutes. Slightly grassy aroma, something like weeds and flowers on a warm spring day when all the flowers are blooming and you are overwhelmed with pollen. The flavor: Blech. This tastes like nothing. That’s not true, it tastes like something, I don’t know what, but not what I pictured. Leave the bag in the tea for another 5 minutes (10 minutes total). Now I am getting the grassy flavor, a little like the dandelions or other random flowers – nothing I would call tea (then again, I should not call it tea, it is herbal tea, meaning no actual tea). It is however soothing and calming, the throat pain is melting away, good, but the taste, I am going to have trouble drinking the rest of this…
Have no fear! I got honey for a reason, added a teaspoon to my tea. Now it tastes like warm honey followed immediately by the floral-grass taste. This is not much better, but just enough that I should be able to finish my mug, as for any energy from this, that is not going to happen, but as long as I feel better…
I will hold out on an actual rating because I do not like this, this is not something I would normally drink, but all of my senses might not be 100% either. Furthermore, if it actually soothes and calms and I feel better it would get a higher rating because it did what was advertised, so until then, enjoy!
I am sorry about this – I have made this confusing. I couldn’t believe this was not on here, and then AFTER I submitted the tea entry, I realized why it was not in here…“Chamomile” is spelled differently (from everywhere else I have ever seen it) as “Camomile” There is already an entry.
I do not know how to delete this Tea Entry…Sorry again.
See my actual tasting note under the correctly entered tea – Pure Camomile.
I usually save this tea as my dessert tea because I like it with half and half – I think that the half and half adds something; a creamy, smooth, almost savory taste blended well with this sweet nutty tea. However, I ignored my usual standards yesterday and had this first thing in the morning!
No real updates about it, nothing overwhelmingly new.
Inspired by reviews read early in the morning, I decided to do my blasphemous cold-brew for this Milk Oolong. The sample pack contains two individual servings like the others, so if it goes awry, I can try again later. The scent of the dried tea is very light, a slight creaminess, a hint of fruit – strawberry maybe, and a toasty oolong aroma.
As I said, blasphemous: full serving of tea, no additives, ¼ cup hot water, rest cold water, infusion time 3 hours before I got to it. The brew is similar in aroma. The taste is creamy and slightly nutty with a fruity and sweet end-note.
This was all in my travel mug, so I actually got the chance to brew up another cup using these leaves. I was surprised that after such a long infusion this morning, I could STILL get flavor out of these leaves. All hot water this time, again, no additives, infusion 5 minutes. This time, I drank the tea hot, it still have the nutty and creamy flavor and the strawberry finishing note, but the sweetness had subsided. So as the tea was cooler and infused longer it got sweeter – NOT more bitter, very nice.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable tea, the next purchase I make from thepuriTea will have to include more of this…
Backlogging from Saturday.
Saturday was a rough day, the in-laws were in town, so much cleaning and preparation had to be done. While it was in progress, disaster struck, early in the morning when I was putting away dishes and accidently smashed my favorite Coconut Beehouse Teapot. I’d probably move on, get another replica but there would be a 10 minute period there where I would just be inconsolable. I had to get to the nearest Teavana ASAP to get a replacement.
The nearest locale is relatively new, and unfamiliar with me and my tea addiction, trying to upsell and sample me everything in the store, I quickly located the nearest and most uninterested Teavana worker, told her exactly what I needed – the teapot on the tip-top shelf and a cup of tea. I chose Utopian Jewel, I wanted oolong and fruit and something to celebrate my success at finding my teapot and to calm the nerves from the adventure this morning.
Unfortunately, this was not quite what I remembered. I asked for it iced and slightly sweetened with the Rock sugar. The tea is light, though unfamiliar, it is more tart and bitter than I remembered; maybe the “slightly sweetened” is different from what I get at my other Teavanas. Oh well. The fruit: raspberries, strawberries and apples, will of course be a bit tart with this, probably why Teavana suggests blending it with another, mild and sweeter tea, which I refused. However, the large raisins and the malty aroma would suggest that slightly sweet, should be sweet enough. Again, oh well. I have no regrets about the tea, you would expect that fruit power house to be tart, especially when you read the description (just now) and find out there is also carrot and beet.
Now, I wonder how this would be blended with another tea, maybe a white or green tea, something a little floral and crisp and clean…I will have to finish more of my stash before I find out.
As I sit at my desk for a few minutes pondering the next part of my day, Pandora Radio – which always plays what I want to hear – blasts “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” by CCR – why yes, I have, as it is pouring now, as it was for my entire commute and will probably continue to do so all day…good thing I had some of this tea to keep me going.
There were surprisingly few leaves in my sample, you do not need a lot of tea when making Jasmine tea, but I tend to over do it for some reason. As I said, the sample had fewer than I would normally use, so I infused longer. Hot, 6 minutes, no additives. The aroma is faint, slightly sweet, jasmine in lukewarm weather, it smells fabulous. The flavor is so light and delicate it is perfect. As I said, I usually aim for stronger and more Jasmine flavor when brewing my Jasmine tea, but this really hit the spot and brightened my otherwise drab day.
Backlogging from yesterday.
Yesterday, I decided to crack into my sample set from thepuriTea. I have to say, that I ordered this one last week when they had the sampler set with the pot and mug. The samples come in little cardboard pouches that contain two individual servings of the tea, so you can try it at least twice. I added on quite a few more samples and accessories and the savings was astronomical (insert sales pitch here)…onto the tea…
The dried tea is fragrant, oh man, is it fragrant, it smells very strongly of passion fruit – a sweet, almost sickening, slightly floral, very fruity and intensely tropical with a very natural honey/nectar smell. I do not think I have ever smelled a passion fruit that smells this fragrant, but it is not overpowering, it smells delicious. The tea smells so sweet I decide to not add anything to it, no real shock there, but I also cut my infusion time for black tea – this one I brewed hot for three minutes (no additives as I said).
The fresh brew mimics the aroma of the dried leaves. This liquor is shockingly dark, I know it is a black tea, but this is apparently a strong black tea, and strong at an abbreviated brew time. The tea continues to taste how it smells, sweet and rich, with no additives. I do not remember too many fruit flavored black teas in my many reviews, but this one stands out and will continue to do so. I plan to use the second half of my sample as an iced tea, but I also have the rest of the flavored black tea collection from thepuriTea, I will let you know how those go.