Chi of Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
This was the second choice for my recent Chi of Tea order. I seem to have an odd relationship with vanilla flavoured teas. I really want to like them. Like, really really want to, but the ones I’ve tried so far in my life have all been good, but rather on the somewhat too sweet side of things. I want something a little more subtle than that, so apparently this means that I’ll be trying out vanilla blacks as I come across them.
The leaves and the tea after steeping smell really nice. Radically different from my vanilla black from Whittards of Chelsea. This is darker, more robust, more powerful. More… everything, really. The Whittards positively pales in comparison. The aroma of this one, though, is strongly vanilla. Sweet and sort of raw in smell. I can actually sort of sense the rubber-y, leather-y texture and smell of a fresh vanilla pod (or as fresh as they can get from a Danish supermarket anyway). There’s a funny darkish sweetly side note as well, that is somewhat sharper than the sweet parts of the vanilla aroma. It actually reminds me of a particular sort of licorice sweeties that you can get here in Denmark, in spite of the fact that said sweeties have, to my knowledge, nothing to do with vanilla at all. But they smell exactly like this!
Yes! This is the sort of vanilla tea I want! I’m not getting a mouthful of something super-sweet and relatively artificial; I’m getting a mouthful of tea that tastes like vanilla. It’s… It’s strongly flavoured, strong enough that I wouldn’t be able to point out the origin of the base if I didn’t know what it was, but it doesn’t overpower the tea. It’s more vanilla pod than vanilla-y, really. I think that’s what appeals to me so much.
The cream aspect is there as well. Each sip feels much thicker than it is, as if there has actually been added some sort of dairy product to the cup. Which is something I do only very rarely indeed. It doesn’t really give a flavour on its own that I can find, but it adds significantly to the bigger picture and the experience of the cup.
This is definitely beating Whittards’ vanilla black spectacularly into the ground. I’m very impressed with this, it’s a definite re-purchase. And so far, it’s also my Perfect Vanilla candidate.
I don’t feel entitled to give this a number rating, but I don’t know how to review it without the rating, so please feel free to ignore the number.
This is not my type of tea, but it is probably good for those who like Pu-erh. (I’m fairly particular about what I like in tea——my tastes are not refined, but I am picky.)
This tea has the earthy scent, and also tastes somewhat earthy, which I don’t enjoy. However, it is a somewhat pleasant tea to drink.
I’ve only steeped it once, so far, and I am surprised at how flavorful it is with such a quick steeping. I prefer it with a touch of milk, but no sugar.
The presentation of this tea is my favorite! It is soooo adorable & just seeing the little hearts is enough to cheer up anyone!
So, while this is not at all my type of tea, it would probably be a good choice for people who are interested in Pu-erh teas, or it would make a great gift for tea lovers.
Thanks to Chi of Tea for the sample!
So, Steepsterites! I gave in. I’m a sucker for world wide flat shipping rates, especially when it turns out the actual tea isn’t very expensive either. I was somewhat amused at my order number being so low and containing so many 0s too. :)
Obviously I just received my order today and now have a fair selection of Chi of Tea in my cupboard, including even two bonus samples, one of which looks very interesting and the other… well… pokes it we’ll see. (If nothing else, it’ll be an experience)
I’m starting with this one, because this is the tea that got my attention first. It’s no secret that I’m fond of orange flavoured pu-erh and apparently this means that I find an urge to try everything of the sort that becomes available to me. I’m not a great fan of floral things, however, so there is a bit of head-scratching going on over this combination. Not that I find it a bizarre or strange combination at all; in fact it sounds very plausible to me, but I’m sort of wondering what I’ll think of it, considering the fact that I’m having expectations of both like and dislike. It feels very strange to actually expect ambivalence.
The aroma of the dry leaves is much sweeter than my NBT orange pu-erh. That one is more zest-y, while this one seems a little more fruity. CoT says that there are mandarine notes in it, and I can definitely agree with that. It does lean more towards mandarine than the NBT does. CoT smells sort of like the girly little sister to the NBT. All sweet and well behaved, with dolls and miniature tea sets.
After steeping, the fruit is taking a little more of a background role, letting the flowers come forward. It’s a quite mild aroma, rather discreet, actually. The notes of flowers and the notes of fruit mingle quite well, though, and it smells like a very natural combination at this point. There is a touch of creamyness somewhere in there as well. Just a small bit that makes me think of sweets.
Unfortunately, Little Sister is just a wee bit TOO well behaved, and the first sip put me in mind of a bubble bath. It doesn’t actually taste like soap, but it tastes sort of like a bubble bath might smell. (Yes, I know, I have confused senses!) I had rather hoped that she would be the sort to only be well behaved on the outside, while successfully shifting the blame for all her naughty activities away from herself.
In other words, the flavour is quite floral. There’s still the fruit in there, definitely discernable as a sweet citrus, but it’s so mingled in with the flowers that I can’t really pick it out individually. What little I can tell, however, is that it seems to be staying quite firmly in the mandarin camp.
The tea itself shines through wonderfully. It’s still mostly scenting and flavouring, but underneath I can really feel that there is pu erh, and not just some random unimportant base tea, because there has to be something to base the flavouring on. I like that. I like that it still feels like I’m actually drinking tea and that’s a huge factor in how I form my opinions on flavoured teas, I think. That’s probably why I tend to like more subtly flavoured stuff like many of the Kusmis and such.
It’s hard to form a conclusion here. I’m generally rather pleased with the way this is flavoured and the way it smells and so on and so forth, but I cannot let go of the bubble bath association. I think I come closest to an actual opinion by saying that I like this, but I like the big brother-y orange pu-erh from NBT better, and I think I might be sticking to that one as my standard orange pu-erh.
(Also, one of these days I’m going to have to agree with myself on how to spell puerh!)
Amount: 2 tsp (entire sample)
Water: 2 c boiling water
Tool: my grandmother’s Bee House Ceramic Round Teapot
Steep Time: a little over 3 minutes
Dry Leaf Smell: vanilla
Steeped Tea Smell: vanilla
Flavor: lightly vanilla, full black tea
Aftertaste: astringent, a little bitter
Liquor: opaque dark brown
A basic flavored black tea, I got the vanilla but not really the cream flavor.
I got this as one of the three free samples from Chi of Tea. Dry, the leaves smell very strongly of peach flavouring – it’s quite overpowering.
I used just over one teaspoon for about 200ml water and the colour of the liquor has come out looking good – a gold colour. The taste, unfortunately, is disappointing. The peach is very strong and overwhelms the oolong base. Also, the oolong base seems to lack body and overall is too light.
I’m glad I got to try this but it just isn’t my cup of tea.
These little hearts are too cute!
This is my first pu-erh and I’m a little frightened to try it, I admit, becuase people sometimes say it tastes fishy and smells like wet dog, but you hear others raving about its greatness. So, understandably a little apprehensive.
Anyway, It is a deep gold-red colour and I am definitely picking up the ‘earthy’ scent everyone talks about. I’m suprised by the size of the steeped leaves though – they are fairly large, I would have expected them to be rather small, but even after a 30-second rinse I still have quite a bit of dust in the bottom of my teacup.
First sip. The taste semms to be very earthy and deep and it’s a very savoury tea. I’m not really loving it at this point.
A few sips later. This is growing on me , I think. Yes, definitely. It’s very good and has very little aftertaste which is pleasant.
Alas, I am now at the bottom of my cup. Off I go for another steep…
Extremely strong scents of vanilla and caramel upon opening the package. Once brewed, it was a lovely golden brown in hue. The tastes were as I was led to expect from the initial scents – almost like a roasted vanilla with strong caramel undertones. Sugar would make this tea far too sweet for my taste – I don’t think it is needed at all. This would make an excellent tea to infuse with cream for a creme brulee.
Also, it is flavorful warm as well as cold.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Chi of Tea’s Artisan Heart Shaped Mini Pu-Erh’s are super adorable and cute. The miniature hearts are approximately the diameter of a US quarter, and composed of dry tea leaves tightly compressed into heart shapes. Overall the taste is strong and earthy, a bit like a brisk black tea plus a little sweetness and a distinct smoke and camphor aroma which lends it an appealing character. If you enjoy strong black teas, this would be a great introductory pu-erh tea to try. For pics and full review: http://www.leafjoy.com/2011/02/review-artisan-heart-shaped-mini-pu-erh-chi-of-tea/
Unfortunately this tea scalded my right side and arm last night when my cat decided his catnip toy must be on the ledge of the bathtub where this was resting as I soaked. But, I was able to move beyond that after the pain subsided and pour another cup. This was really nice. The Nilgiri is lovely though I didn’t get a very strong chocolate flavour; if I hadn’t known it was supposed to be there I probably wouldn’t have guessed it. But it made a bold but smooth and enjoyable cup.
This is the last of the samples I received. I must say – I am impressed with these teas! All three have been so good!
I love pu-erh, but I’ve never tried flavored (or blended?) pu-erh before, so I am not sure I have anything to compare with. However, comparison or not, I am greatly enjoying this cup of tea. The orange is prominent, and in harmony with the chrysanthemum which is clearly present as well. The pu-erh base is lighter than I had expected, but that is a good thing, because the earthy pu erh flavor might have overwhelmed this wonderful orange. As it is, the puerh is subtle and pleasing.
I believe I am going to enjoy another couple of cups/infusions of this.
I’m a huge fan of pu-erh. I haven’t been a fan of flavored, especially fruit flavored ones in the past, such as teavanas strawberry slender that they served me once when I asked for pu-erh.. ugh. It was the worst tea I’ve ever had. I do, however, trust Robert ‘s taste for turning me onto pu-erh in the first place so I was interested to try this. I’m only on my first steep, but it’s a delightfully interesting blend of flavors. I think the orange and the pu-erh really work together in this.
Wow! The smell was so good, I could have eaten the leaves with a spoon. Exactly cream and vanilla. The black base is gentle, and the vanilla really shines. This tea reminds me of these little vanilla creme pastries sold at a little bakery near my home. Delicious. Made it with soy milk and a touch of sweetener, second infusion with no additives – both were good.
This was the first sample that I tried from Chi of Tea. I am very fond of Pu-Erh tea and find them to be a treat. I would say for some that Pu-Erh might be an acquired taste. I love it though and would drink it just about everyday. So opening up my samples I gravitated towards this one first. The aroma of the leaves are very rich and cacao like. Which in my experience is the first good sign. First steep: Oh yeah! there’s the dark robust earthy dark as coffee like brew that I love.
And yes the Ink Spots is the true version of this song…..sorry to The King Sisters. Yes an amazing first cup. Reminds me of my favorite Imperial Pu-Erh from Dr. Tea. In my experience with Pu-Erhs after second steep is when it starts to go “orange” and takes on the mushroom like flavor. I’m very impressed that it took me four steeps to get there with this tea. I think this is a fabulous Pu-Erh and I will be sure to order more.
So this is my first experience with an ayurvedic blend so I was excited to try it with my samples from Chi of Tea. I swear yesterday was like Christmas again with my samples, my sweetea package, and another order coming. When I opened up the sample the aroma was invigorating. It reminded me being in a natural food store. I brewed it up and it was quite tasty I could definitely pick out the cardamon, licorice root, sambuca, and the fennel together. The tea almost reminded me of some of the traditional medicinals tisanes, like Gypsy cold care. Only much more potent. I really like this one a lot.
This came as a sample in my order. I am scared of any tea that mentions ginger, but I could smell this through the little sample bag and it smelled INCREDIBLE. Wow. It smells like fresh toasted coconut, not just like coconut flavouring.
And, I can taste the ginger in this. But it really works! The coconut makes it creamy and sweet and the ginger cuts through that a bit making for a really nice balance.Very tropical. I can’t believe I may have found a tea with ginger that I’d actually choose to drink.