Czar Nikolas II
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is the second Czar Nikolas II sample I got from Sara. Looking at the tea itself, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I asked for this one. There are about a million rose petals mixed in with the black leaves, and it smells like a giant rose bomb went off when I open the bag. Ah well, onward!
The steeped tea also smells strongly of rose and not much else. Ick, nope this one’s not for me. It tastes like straight rose black tea. Withholding a rating. :P
Flavors: Malt, Rose
I got this and another Czar Nikolas II tea in my swap with Sara. They sounded interesting and unusual, so I had to give them a try. This tea is a mix of very curly jet black leaves and various flower petals. It’s interesting that this tea says it’s only scented with flowers, because it has a tart, fruity smells like apricot or peach.
Mm, the steeped tea smells very fruity as well. I would describe the aroma as strawberry rhubarb – there’s a strong tart element. Wow, this is an interesting one! There’s definitely an element here that’s very tart, in fact it reminds me of a cross between lemon juice and hibiscus. The base tea is super mellow and somewhat malty. I can taste a hint of peach at the end of the sip. Something about this tea is chalky, and I’m not sure what it is. Overall, a strange and unusual tea.
Flavors: Lemon, Malt, Peach, Tart
I like this tea. It reminds me of Mariage Frères’ Montagne d’Or, but it’s not quite the same. I feel like there’s a little bit of rose and then a sharper element so that it’s not completely mild. Overbrewing doesn’t make it super bitter. I think I might get tired of it after a while if I drank it too often, though.
Tea #29 from HHTTB2
I’ve noticed there were a lot of rose teas in this box. At least three, anyway. That’s three more than I’ve seen in previous boxes at least.
This one has a slightly stronger base than the H&S, and the safflower imparts a little bit of savoriness to the cup. There’s also very naturally sweet, and a little candy-like. It’s pretty heavily flavored, and the aftertaste is quite perfumey. But if you like rose, it’s a very good cup.
Ahhh. Rose teas are so romantic tasting~
Not the greatest night’s sleep last night, and just woke up feeling a little off. You know, when you wake up stressed out for no good reason. It’s all the little things getting to me, I guess. This wasn’t quite the flavor I was hoping for this morning, but I like it and I have a lot of it left so I don’t have to ration. At least the roses are nice and perky.
I’ve been craving this tea all day. When I start craving a tea, it’s officially a top-tier choice. I almost made some this morning and decided to sip down another one instead. Now this hits the spot while I finish watching an old (50’s) film adaptation of Les Miserables. Which is not Russian. But yes. This tea goes well with old movies.
I really wish we had some clear or light-colored cups in the household. I can tell this tea has a really dark, opaque liquor; wish I could see it better.
The big honkin bag of this is my best impulse tea buy to date. I’ll be seeing more of you, Russian grocery store next door to my work.
Gotta love waking up with a headache… bleh. :/ Anyone got any good natural headache remedies? Ibuprofen works about 95% of the time for me, but I’d like to find something that doesn’t involve a blood-thinning pill.
Anyhow, this is such a great tea for a draggy morning. Potent enough to be a little bit of a wake-up Cher-slap, fragrant and rosy enough to be a treat. I still think it tastes like a different era in time. Definitely perking me up, along with my mood.
So after my serendipitous trial of this tea yesterday, I’ve been drinking it for the rest of yesterday and today. I think I shouldn’t overdo this tea, because it’s just distinctive enough I could make myself tired of it if I’m not careful. But still very delicious and brisk!
So yesterday, my day off, was supposed to be my R & R day. Well, until I got an email… there is a local professional (professional-level?) symphony orchestra that I’ve been helping to write program notes for; the lady who normally does it was my really awesome music history professor from college, and she knew I could do them because one of her assignments was to write program notes for the pieces we were covering. Well, the email was an offer for me to officially take over writing program notes, since she was no longer able to do it. Perhaps I should only be mildly excited about this, but I’m thrilled. If I could make a living writing program notes, I would. It’s writing, which I a) majored in and b) am good at (at least, when I try to do it well, not in my Steepster babblings), but it’s writing to help listeners appreciate what they’re hearing, not academic or jargon-y or intimidating. I get to talk about music; I get to research; I get to explain things in ways non-music people can understand and give tidbits of music history knowledge; I get to gush (in a professional and educational manner) about works I love and look for beauty in the ones I don’t; it’s everything I love and why oh why oh why can’t this be a living?
The only downside? First set of notes is due Friday! Aaaaaah!
So there’s a Russian grocery store right next to the store where I work. A few weeks ago while a friend was visiting, I went there for the first time in my 2+ years of working there… which was something the shop owner, who is himself Russian (or at least Russian-speaking), chewed me out for. “Two years?!? Typical American!” You got me, sir. You got me.
Of course, I can’t be in a store with loose-leaf tea without buying some, especially when I have no idea what to expect. So I got this! It’s nothing if not brisk. But it’s not your “typical” brisk black tea. There are these incredibly bright, perfumey notes I can’t identify (rose?) It’s something that I feel like I shouldn’t find pleasant, but somehow, I do. It’s hard to explain, but… it’s like I’m taken to a different time and place. Not to mention it’s a great wake-up tea.
Even though I was hoping I’d enjoy this tea, it truly is an unexpected pleasure!
Another sample to thank Nicole for! This one is wonderful! The dry leaves smelled really tart, and the tea itself had a fresh berry aroma. The flavor is initially very tart with a lemony finish. The aftertaste is of ripe berries with just a wispy hint of cream. With milk and sweetener, it becomes all strawberries and cream with just a little bit of lemon. This tea reminds me of a summer day with fresh strawberries and raspberries and a big dollop of fresh whipped cream. I would definitely order more of this one!
-Dry blend has medium black tea leaves with small orange safflower petals, large yellow sunflower petals and large blue mallow blossoms.
-Dry leaves smell tart and fruity. Tea liquor aroma is of fresh berries.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium reddish brown color.
-Tart berry flavor with a lemony finish. Ripe berry aftertaste with a hint of cream.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. Fresh berry flavor with a hint of lemon. Reminiscent of strawberries and cream.
Another from the HH teabox. I recently had another tea from this company. This one features rose petals. The instructions on the bag say a steep for 5-7 minutes. That seems long to me – so I went for four. The flavor is a BIT rose petaly soapy, but I don’t mind. The black base is nice and there is actually a subtle sweet fruit flavor… maybe strawberries (which makes sense seeing as how it is called “Valentine’s”… that really improves upon the rose. The cup color is very dark but the tea didn’t seem to keep me awake! I might keep a few teaspoons of this and send the rest on its way…
Nicole, thanks again for these samples! There was quite a bit of this one, so I’m glad I like it. The flowers make the leaves interesting too. To me, the flavor is peach. Not the most authentic peach, but I know I’ve mentioned before that I had this really terrible peach tea once and since I like seeing the good in everything, that one terrible peach tea will now make all the others taste better! But the flavor blends really well with the black tea base — they really compliment each other!
Terri, thank you for this tea :)
It is nice to sip to this while listening to Ana Karenina (again).
After sipping, I breathe in and out and nuances i did not notice before were there! A little xylitol brings together the pleasant blend’s flavors and pushes it up to the surface.
Before the bit of sweetener, I thought this is a tea a man will like :) it is robust with a slight floweryness.
But for being robust, it does not have the strength that makes me back off from breakfast teas. This is a good tea to transition my taste buds into those and I imagine I will be liking those bolder teas in the future :)
And thanks for the sugar tip, yall! It is an interesting tea upon second glance. Im glad to have enough for more encounters with this Czar
…and here is the 2nd bubble bath cuppa.
I wanted something that would contrast the other cup, and here it is.
This is a potent black tea with highly fragrant Rose flavor. The last time I drank it was when we were reading “Anna Karenina”, as it was my pick for that book. And now, on to the hard work of taking a bubble bath…