Chi of Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
Wow! This is really good. It’s the first darker oolong I’ve been so drawn to. Dry it smelled like dry wood (actually it reminded me of my grandmother’s wicker furniture), and the liquor came out quite dark so I was worried. But it’s really clean-tasting, with a hint of floral. Astringent but not at all bitter. Really smooth and pleasant. Also, the huge leathery leaves are really cool!
I made a large pot of this to relax with this morning. I think it was an excellent choice. Although I really like this tea, I don’t think it is one that I could actually drink that often – I have to be in the right mood for it. One thing I noticed this morning is that while it was very hot, the smoke was extremely strong and I didn’t get any other notes, though as it cooled a little bit, it got that underlying sweetness which makes me love this tea. It is so suprising that such a harsh, savoury tea has that sweet note.
We are continuing with Sample Week and after nearly forgetting it yesterday, I’m starting early today. :)
Today’s choice is a yellow tea, and I’m not very experienced with the type. I remember having had one relatively recently, but I can’t recall what it was that made it ‘yellow’ other than a process to make it less something than green teas. Grassy, I think. I can’t recall which tea it was either or even where it came from. I can’t even remember what I thought of it other than I found it fairly nice. But wether that was 60 points worth of nice or 95 points worth of nice, I have no idea.
Which is just as well because it means I can assess this one on its own merits, seeing as I still have very little idea of what to expect. Chi of Tea is another one of those companies that I’ve had a good experience with so far. I’ve liked what I have tried from them, some more than others of course, and shopping with them has been completely without problems. And they USED TO HAVE the best vanilla tea I’ve ever met. (If you’re looking, Chi of Tea, that’s a great big hint there!)
Now, this one has the same sort of aroma as the one I had yesterday. Yellowish green is the colour, my brain says. The Chinese colour. It’s thick and buttery, slightly salty and grassy and with an almost sticky quality to it. It’s the sort of aroma that gets into the nostrils and then clings on for dear life. A sort of ‘after-smell’ if you will. :)
It’s not the sort of aroma that would lead you to believe you were about to have a sip of something refreshing, and at first taste you find that it is indeed a quite buttery cup. As mentioned yesterday it takes a lot of butteryness before I think it’s properly buttery, butteryness not necessarily being a wished for quality, and this one is getting closer to it than the green tea I had yesterday, although it’s still not quite there. I do get that feeling of the palate going sort of round, but it could definitely be a lot worse.
If it hadn’t been for the fact that the flavour experience is twofold here, it probably would be. That round buttery note is one part. The other part is cleaner and crisper. It’s like a single clear-sounding little bell striking out in a murky, silent darkness. A very small sound but still heard far and wide. I like this note a lot better than the former. It tastes like hay and spring and it leaves a cool, almost minty aftertaste. which doesn’t seem to be turning sour. It just goes on and on being there, being minty, refreshing me and making me think I have nice breath as a result.
That freshness is what really makes the deal for me and seals the score. It’s not something for me to invest in, but it’s very pleasant to get to try. It’s rare for me to find a tea so awesome that I must keep it around always and have it NOT be one of the darker types of tea.
I generally don’t like black currants, but received this in a Chi of Tea order ages ago, unearthed it today and decided to try it. The dry scent is suprisingly nice – quite sweet and fruity. I can see lots of blackcurrant pieces in the leaf. The smell of the steeped tea isn’t very pleasant. I can’t find anything I don’t like about it, but something about it is a little off. This doesn’t translate to the flavour, though, and it tastes much more like the dry scent – sweet and black curranty. The black currant isn’t overdone, which is good, because I can still taste the body and depth of the nilgiri base.
I am really loving my samples of this, and wish I had more. It comes out so incredibly dark after just two minutes steeping, it looks like coffee. But it’s incredibly smooth to the point I couldn’t imagine putting milk in it even though it is my morning tea today. It tastes a little minerally, and subtly sweet.
This is my first lapsang souchong! I have always been hesitant to try them because they smell sort of intimidating. But I’m glad I got the courage to try this one! The dry leaf scent was VERY smoky. Steeped, it wasn’t as strongly smoky as I had feared. The taste is incredible – the smoke was very prominent but I do get the sweetness Angrboda talks about under that.
Got around to drinking some herbal stuff, this was from the memorial day sale.. $2 of 1oz! And what, do I see there’s saffron inside? STEAL! Anyways, drinking this hot. Plenty of a mix inside as it seems. It smells like stride gum. Literally. Orange colour, slightly tart citrus and minty and maybe a slight floral quality to it. I like it, and at this price was certainly worth throwing in with my order, hell I might even get more next time. I think this might even be good cold. For those of you worrying, the hibiscus doesn’t really overpower here, it’s been awhile since I had the urge to have a herbal tea, this one didn’t disappoint.
This was the third free sample I got with my last Chi of Tea order. I’m glad I didn’t order this – it really is not for me. I just don’t like Chi of Teas orange flavouring. It is sort of powdery and artificial. The orange in this blend was very dominant and although the ginger and oolong were present, they seemed to almost be an afterthought. I definitely wouldn’t purchase this.
Another free sample from Chi of Tea with my last order. This is very perfumed – I could smell it strongly through the packet. It smells sort of like rose flavour turkish delight. It tastes pretty similar to the dry scent – very sweet, rosey flavour. But it is so strong it comes across as a little artificial. I steeped for 2.5 minutes – perhaps if I steeped a little longer the sencha minght come through a little more?
I was a little worried that this would taste overwhelmingly of mint, because dry, mint is all I can really smell. I made this as a chai tea latte and suprisingly the mint wasn’t dominant! The spices are warming, but the mint (which appears right on the back of the sip) is cooling. It is a strange sensation! Suprisingly good!
Chi of Tea sent me a free sample of this with my last order. The noni leaf (I assume it is the noni leaf) is HUGE! The rest of the sample is made up of quite finely ground herbs and whole berries.
The dry tisane smells like sage, I don’t get much of the other herbs – I can smell them, but only together, I couldn’t pick out any individual scent other than the sage. Dry, it looks really good – very vivid green herbs against the bright red berries. The taste is unremarkable, though. It has a very mild flavour and although I get a nice juicy note from the berries somewhere near the front of the sip, there isn’t much to back it up. It is quite flavourless, really.
I love how refreshing this one is! It’s my first green oolong, that I can recall, and while the base tea is delicious and crisp, it’s the orange and ginger awesomeness I love! Each sip is refreshing and delicious, crisp and citrusy. Can’t wait to try this one iced! I agree that the ginger is subtle, it enhances the citrus orange. But it’s refreshing and taste bud pleasing. A new cupboard essential!
This is a sample I received with my order, I decided that I need to dispatch this one as fast as possible as it smells like perfume, and literally was changing the smell of all the teas around it! I’ve had rosebuds with green tea before with some degree of success but it has never smelled as strong as this! In fact, when i opened up the package I received from Chi of Tea, this was the only smell I got.
Tea appearance is broken sencha pieces, safflowers and rose petals, and some rosehips i think. It tastes literally like perfume. I don’t taste anything but rose, with a sweet aftertaste. I’m sure there is someone out there that would like something like this, but this is fringe undrinkable. I don’t think adding sweetener will help, it’s already pretty sweet. I don’t see this working as an iced tea either. Again, there are ways to get rose and green tea to work nicely, but not when it smells and taste like perfume. (You might ask, well how do you know what perfume taste like?) I’ll leave that to you to figure out :)
I like flavored black teas when they are done right. Unfortunately, I’ve tasted many inferior flavored teas that have an artificial twang to them, or which have so much flavoring the taste of the black tea is obscured.
I’m happy to report that Vanilla Bean Cream is an example of a flavored black done right. I brewed this for four minutes, and the flavors all came out beautifully. I can taste the tea and the vanilla — the cream note seems to add another layer of richness to the tea drinking experience. This is a rich, flavorful vanilla black. It would make for a delicious ice cream. It’s not overly sweet, though. It’s bold and strong without being harsh or bitter.
I’ll be interested to see how well the flavors hold up through a second steeping, but for now, I am impressed.
Well. I love rose scents (and am always worried this will make me smell like a little old lady), but was a bit hesitant with this one. Opening up the packet, the tea did smell rather perfumey. But, I thought it might be a nice and soothing cup after my first time in the gym in months. And, well, it does taste like I’m drinking rosewater. It’s strange for me. Not unpleasant, but as though something’s made it to my mouth that isn’t meant to be in there. I can’t really taste the sencha through the strong floral flavour. I suppose I’m just not accustomed to this!
Help, I’m suffering from internetshop-initis! I’ve had an A C Perch’s order come in recently and now a Chi of Tea order as well. I couldn’t help it. It was like the mouse jumped me and twisted my arm or something. And it gets worse. The Chi of Tea order? Two things of substance. One a stock-up of the Keemun and the other a smaller pouch of Lapsang Souchong, because I’m always moderately interested in sampling a good LS. That doesn’t sound so bad until we come to the actual unpacking and putting away of new loot, and finding in the Bits’n’Bops Basket one half pouch of Chi of Tea LS that I had clear forgotten I had. I could lie and say I was stocking up, but that would be all too easy to see through as neither the quantity of the new pouch nor the old one corroborates the story. Let mocking commence.
So I confessed to the boyfriend and was indeed mocked. “You have bought so much tea,” he said, “that you’ve tried everything in the world and are now starting in on the second circuit.”
All in all, I got off easy.
Anyway, with the Chi of Tea order was also the three random samples, which has led me to consider when exactly it is one can say to have won the Sample Lottery. Is it when you get samples of something good you’ve tried before and know for absolute fact you’ll enjoy, or is it when you get something you wouldn’t otherwise have considered and have never tried before? My personal jury is still out on the issue.
At any rate, I got some good samples. Two tried, tested and true and one new one which I considered when making the order but ultimately decided to wait with and think it over.
This was one of the Triple Ts. It’s funny, this one actually. I have a pouch of them and everytime I’ve made an order I’ve received three more hearts in a sample. They’re quite nice so I’m not complaining, but it puts me in an amusing situation where it seems like the more I drink, the more of it I’ve got. (This is because I haven’t had it often, mainly around the times when I’ve received an order)
I was afraid today’s brew, first steep very nearly forgotten, was going to be ridiculously strong. It’s possibly that I’ve managed to put my tastebuds in a coma with throat lozenges (am still apparently attempting to expel own respiratory system via oral orifice), but it strikes me as incredibly smoooooooooth today.
It has that honeyed note on the finish that I’ve described before. A rather interesting note of strongly flavoured honey. I know it’s just a pseudo-note, that honey, but it still feels really nice in a throat that is quite sore from repeated expelling of air in a forceful manner.
You know, every time I have one of these I wonder why I don’t have one more often. I suspect it has to do with the fact that whenever I do have one, it keeps me in tea for the rest of the day.