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Recent Tasting Notes
Huzzah! My package from Angrboda arrived today, thank you so much! Husband brought it in with the mail. I was surprised I didn’t have to sign for it and thus was expecting the bell to ring. This is probably a very good thing today, as the toddler is sick and clingy and has been napping on me most of the day. As such, as much as I want to tear open the packet of Verdant’s Taiwanese Orchid Oolong that I requested the swap for, there is just no way I will be brewing gongfu style tonight.
So other surprise samples! When I saw the back of this packet I immediately thought rooibos, I turned it around and read “black blend”, I opened it up to smell definitely black and rooibos and I noticed little petals of cornflower, perhaps with bergamot then? Now I am not overly fond of rooibos, though my experience with them is really limited to Teavana, I tried a straight red rooibos in their Care in Every Leaf Equal Trade gift set, but mostly it is just overly flavored blends. I have also thought at times that I may be allergic to rooibos, ironic as I want to turn to it for allergy relief, but could be any other number of ingredients Teavana uses in most of their tea.
But anywho this tea, I chose this tea as I have a headache tonight and wanted something slightly desert like, but not fruity, this fits the bill. The leaf itself doesn’t smell all that appealing to me, but I don’t care for the smell of straight rooibos, so I ignored it. I did a shorter steep that I would normally for a black blend, only a minute but it smelled good, actually really really good, hey there is smoke in here and pine/juniper (and this was my reaction before looking up the tea). I had a brief moment of worry that the smoke might be too much for the head, but it actually behaves itself quite well.
Taste wise, I do quite like this despite the rooibos, its my kind of blend actually. I’ve been reading descriptions of pu’erh online and anything that says pine, cedar, smoke etc. gets my attention, my longing attention. It’s the same things I look for in perfume and alcohol. Whatever fruit that is in here is very subtle and hard to distinguish, I think I’ve only had lychee once, in a goji berry white blend, but it rounds things out interestingly with the smoke. There is even a buttery note! So yes, I am enjoying it tonight, but I’m unlikely to ever buy a blend with rooibos in it.
Thank you again Angrboda I look forward to trying the Raspberry Oolong with my son when he feels better. Raspberry and oolong are his favorites and I had actually thought of requesting this one from you, but didn’t notice it on your page until the day you sent out the package, so am very pleased you have the foresight to include it! And of course I’m dying to try the orchid oolong ;)
EMPTY THAT BOX! Okay, this one isn’t at all used up because it’s a large sample. But if I have a large sample that I decide I don’t like, I have given myself permission to not hope that I change my mind and just toss it. Packrat-ing should only be taken so far.
This is one of those really old ones, but I do know who sent me this. It came from Pamela Dax Dean and I know this because it’s her own blend, so it’s the most likely source. It’s a blend of black tea and rooibos and I saw some kind of dried fruit bit in it, and it’s been lying around for ages because of the rooibos. It looks like at least a fifty fifty mix of tea and rooibos and I had to give the sample bag a real good shake to get them properly remixed again.
Since we have recently discovered that I can actually tolerate flavoured rooibos a lot better than I thought, and in some instances have even come to enjoy it, I thought it was time to give this one a go. Enough with the fear, it’s just a blended tea. Empty that box! and all that.
I have to say I don’t find the aroma super-encouraging. It’s definitely very lychee-ish, but I’m not sure I think lychee and rooibos are really two aromas that suits one another all that well. The result is somewhat sour to me. There’s also something prickly in here that reminds me to a disturbing degree of ginger. Hopefully that’s a coincidence, because ginger is one of those things that I can’t really have. It’s fine in food because it’s rarely a strong flavour in food, but in drink it usually is. At least in my experience.
GAH! I’d forgotten it was the first wednesday in May and warning-siren testing time! I do this every year! My little heart is all a-quiver. Of course they started the siren just as I was sipping too.
Anyway, to my pleasant surprise, while I do find the flavour ginger-y, I don’t find it SUPER-ginger-y. Quite spicy, but not grimace-inducing. I can also pick up that lychee, but the mixed base of rooibos and black tea is eluding me somewhat. It’s only when I’m looking specifically for it. Mostly it’s rooibos which adds to the spicyness, and then a touch of black tea later on and towards the end of the sip adding a foundation note to the mix.
I don’t know. I don’t dislike it, so there’s no need to toss it. I’m just not all that fond of it either. Middle of the scale-ish, this one. Sorry, Pamela