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Recent Tasting Notes
Herbal Cranberry Orange – Davidson’s – 2/11/2014
This is a very pretty blend but as I opened up the bag to spoon some into my Finium brew basket, I caught the definite scent of rooibos, which I hadn’t guessed was in this blend. Also hibiscus, which I’m not all that fond of. The tartness is too much sometimes. Most of the time. Such an awful filler ingredient.
I put a bit of sweetener in because that tends to tame the hibiscus a little bit. The dripping liquid from the brew basket looks red but I can’t tell because my cup is black on the inside and outside. I should really get a glass mug for work but I haven’t found one that’s 16-18oz that I like. Not that I’ve looked very hard.
Drinking this…definitely the tartness of the hibiscus right up front, scratchiness in the throat from the rooibos that I can feel but not exactly taste, and the slightly different tartness of the cranberry and every so slight bit of orange in the middle and the chamomile comes out right at the end of the sip and in the aftertaste. I could have identified the chamomile with my eyes closed because that flavour is so distinctive. Mostly this tastes like hibiscus-y fruit juice with a chamomile aftertaste. Not something I’ve ever looked for but it’s nice enough. I would drink it again if offered and I wouldn’t even make the yuck face.
You guys, I am so so so tired. My cold is making my brain fog and it’s taken me an hour to write this note. I’m getting minimal work done at work and there’s 5 hours left (I suppose to get more work done, we’ll see). I’m stuck with a mystery problem in my data file in a why will you do this when you won’t do this that’s almost exactly the same kind of problem. Frustrating.
This is my 500th tasting note.
Tea #18 from the Here’s Hoping TTB
So this tea is made up mostly of things on my list of things I hate in tea, but surprisingly, I didn’t end up hating the tea. That’s a pretty high praise considering this gives you the double whammy of orange and hibiscus, my #2 and #3 on the I hate list. The hibiscus doesn’t completely take over, it adds a bit of tartness letting the cranberry and orange shine. I can taste a little bit of the chamomile and I really wish the flavor from it was a little stronger. I didn’t even know there was rooibos in this until I read the ingredients, I couldn’t taste it at all.
Personally, I think this smells better than it tastes, but that is only because I really don’t enjoy the ingredients. It did help with my sore throat, so I’m glad that I decided not to let my hate of all things orange prevent me from trying it.
Hmm. Just… hmm. This tea was so promising. The scent is really something—an orange aroma so intense it almost smells spiced, and the rich berry scent of what I thought were cranberries… until I saw the hibiscus petals. Uh-oh. I was just not certain about this anymore, and it turned out, I was right. There is just something about hibiscus that takes over other fruit flavors. It wants to be the star of the show, and it has the capability. It isn’t a bad flavor, I just feel like I’ve tasted this tea before, having had other teas with dried fruit and hibiscus. It doesn’t seem to matter what the fruit is: the hibiscus overpowers it. And then I come here and learn that it ALSO has rosehips in it. Man, those cranberries never stood a chance. And the orange… I might be able to taste a little, every few sips. But no more than that. Oh, well.
Another from TeaboxB! A little worried about the hibiscus but it wasn’t too bad. It was kind of like juice… that tasted a bit like vitamins. But the cranberries and oranges were tasty. Not too much flavor from the chamomile. This one was supposed to have rooibos in it, but it has probably settled in the bottom of the pouch. I actually expected more tart/bitter especially as I added more than two teaspoons to the mug. Must be expectations from previous hibiscus attacks I’ve had. I definitely have never had two teas with chamomile in the same day! I don’t think I’ve had chamomile before today in about a year…or two. Not terrible anyway!
Thank you, Shelley_Lorraine, for this sample! With the school year ending tomorrow, I’ve desperately needed all my sleep lately, and that’s led to us experimenting with different herbals. I enjoyed trying another member of that group, and an organic one at that!
I didn’t measure the sample, but it looked about the right size for my 24-oz teapot, so I tossed it all in and steeped it for 8 minutes. My quick before-additive sip was very tart, so I dumped in 3 spoonfuls of Sugar in the Raw and served it up.
With the title’s focus, I was a little surprised how prevalent the chamomile is – It didn’t sing a solo, but the orange and cranberry backup singers were more distant than I would have expected. I think I’ll grab another cup, sit back, and watch the husband make dinner. Ahhh… now that’s a way to end a hectic day!
Aw, gee, it’s awful! A super tart/bitter cup of all-encompacing blech.
I wasn’t too motivated to try this one in the first place because herbals, and especially chamomile aren’t really my thing. I don’t hate them, I just prefer tea. However, the whole point of the mystery swap was to force me into trying teas I might otherwise pass by and, cheetah_pita, you did an excellent job of picking them for me! haha.
Cranberry and orange, though, is a combination that I am fond of, so I thought that maybe they would help to make this tea good. Unfortunately, I can’t really notice flavors while I’m recovering from the tarty bitterness. By the time it passes, all I can taste is the chamomile.
Having a rough morning and this really helped cheer me up today. I had the tea-bagged sampler packet from Davidson’s “Classic Tea Sampler”. I’m a regular drinker of Barry’s Irish Tea and this is a weaker version of that (tea bag to tea bag version). Moderate smell from the assam portion and that aroma quickens your pulse just inhaling it after steeping.
Great flavor while drinking, and this doesn’t have any aftertaste when steeped properly. I’m going to do a back to back with Barry’s today and determine which will be my new “everyday” loose leaf irish breakfast.
One of my first reviews. I had the teabagged version from their sampler set. Since my “base” for green tea is Tazo Green Tea Tips (I haven’t had any better), I’d say this is on par with that. They both have a slightly fuzzy on tongue aftertaste, but are clean and not bitter. The smell is superior off of the Davidson’s Imperial Green with a slight grassy smell on top of a rich wholesome vapor. I could drink it every day and it is a superior VALUE compared to Tazo (way better price per cup buying teabags or loose leaf bulk), but since my work provides Tazo Green Tips for free, it’s not good enough to get me to change.
State at time of drink: No additives, porcelain cup and around 170 degrees at time of consumption.
this was pretty tasty. Vanilla and creamy, a touch spicy. No sugar and it was pretty sweet all by itself.
I’d have it again, if I can get past the oh so mild fake taste. Looking at the ingredients, there is something artificial in there, so that could be it?
Anyhow, I know I have a bunch of emails to answer but I am sooo tired after a super long day. In a good way. Kindof.
There is a new tea shop in town, and they are hiring! I might work there. In fact, I pulled a “try me” shift today, and it was fun. There are tons of details to work out but I’m pretty excited. and nervous, as I don’t know if that is what I really want.
On a positive note, the product is absolutely amazing. I’ll never drink down the rest of my stash if I get the job. Seriously, it’s the Mariage Freres of Canada. Dang good stuff, and I’d get it freeeeeeee
Edit: Thanks a bunch to whoever sent this!! It’s bagged, so ended up in my random bagged basket. Ooops!! :/
Huh. I was afraid to try this because of the hibiscus but it’s really not bad! I wouldn’t mind trying a version of cinnamon/hibiscus/tulsi that was a little more amped up, as in, a loose leaf version. :) The addition of lemon peel and orange peel adds a nice citrus note; thankfully it’s not too citrusy and not too tart either.
This is the last of the tea bags TeaEqualsBliss sent me; thank you very much!!
I don’t have a whole lot of experience with tulsi, it’s one of the many things I’d like to try a whole bunch of but I don’t exactly have money to throw around on 20 different tulsi blends! Or the cupboard space. I think this actually might be my first tulsi, but I’m not sure, I feel like I’ve had it in another blend before. Probably just because the flavors are familiar! Honestly, part of me was expecting it to taste like Thai basil, which would actually be pretty cool. I wonder if there are any blends that use it as an ingredient?
The other herbs are what come through most for me, it’s very minty to the point where when I sniff it, I’d swear it was a pure peppermint blend. But when you drink it there’s a nice bright hint of lemon, warmth from the cinnamon, and a little kick from the pepper and ginger. I’m not sure if the spices are complimenting or masking the tusli, but lemon/citrus isn’t actually an ingredient so I suppose that’s where it is peeking through. This reminds me a bit of Sleepytime, very calming and soothing. I’d probably be amazing for sick, lazy days!
I bought this from the English Tea Store during their free shipping promo, although you can buy it directly from Davidson’s if you are so inclined. My box from ETS was completely brutalized in transit, but I’ll discuss that further in a later post.
The tea is packaged inside a rather cheap, re-sealable ziploc-type bag, which is then placed inside a pressboard/cardboard pouch-shaped box. This is a 63 gram box. If you buy larger sizes from Davidson’s, perhaps they have better packaging.
I’m wondering if the packaging is a factor in the fact that the dry tea has almost no aroma at all. I had to practically ingest this in my nose to get even a faint scent of anything. This Assam-Ceylon blend brews a coppery brown cup. The ratio of Assam to Ceylon is good-more Assam than Ceylon. This is malty, but a bit bland and boring for an Irish Breakfast. It’s not very brisk or robust at all. I think I am going to call the company and see if I can get a production date, because I have a feeling this may have been on a shelf in a warehouse for entirely too long. It’s not stale or bitter, but it is uneventful. If I’m going with Irish Breakfast, I am in the mood (or NEED) something lively and bold and this just isn’t it at all.
EDIT-I just got off the phone with a very nice rep from Davidson’s and apparently the tea was produced in January (by them). Of course, the Assam and Ceylon must be 2011 harvests-but they shouldn’t be so weak so fast. Not sure how ETS stored this, but I am inclined to call this blend “Irish Breakfast for Wimps.” Of course, I am sure that even wimps enjoy good flavor-and there’s not lots of flavor here. Disappointing.