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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
Thanks to TeaEqualsBliss for this one!
When I first got into loose leaf I didn’t think I would ever appreciate tea bags again! But, they do have their place. I don’t like brewing up my favorite loose leaf when I’m heading out the door, for example, because then I forget to put the leaves in the fridge to brew later. And that’s very sad. That’s where tea bags come in!
I’ve never had tulsi before and I’m really enjoying this blend. It starts out minty, then lemony, then gingery, and then finishes off with cinnamon and pepper. I am a big fan of cinnamon! And pepper. This would be the perfect beverage for a sore throat or stuffy nose. It’s rainy here today, which is welcome relief from the heat, and it’s perfect tea weather. Mmmmmmm. I think in the future I would like to try more tulsi!
-Regular teabag without a string.
-Teabag smells like tangy fruit. Tea liquor smells strongly of almond with sweet cherries.
-Tea liquor is a dark, thick brown.
-Nutty base with an almost grainy flavor. Very faint bitter cherry finish.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Poor tea. Almost spicy. Looks and tastes almost like coffee. Bitter, lingering finish.
I’m sending a bag of this in some of the mini swaps I am doing! Totally forgot to officially log (thought I did) so I will now :)
With all the tarty and fruity ingredients in this – All I can really smell is the Chamomile…which I find rather strange…that I can pick that aroma out above the rest.
The taste is primarily Chamomile, too. It helps shade the hibiscus. But I’m usually not fond of either ingredient on it’s own. I can only really taste a LITTLE HINT of orange…not so much the cranberry and I just keep coming back to that chamomile. I’m thankful the other ingredients are overly tart and VERY grateful that the hibiscus isn’t screaming that the top of their lungs, too! I was hoping for more cranberry and orange combo and less (or no Chamomile). So there are quite a few pros and cons in this one for me, I guess. It doesn’t taste bad but it’s not one of the preferred Davidson’s offering in my opinion – for my palate that is.
This tulsi blend is a total staple in my tea cabinet, and at the prices available online, a total steal. You have no excuse not to have a bag full of tulsi in your kitchen! Right now I am sipping on tulsi I steeped with some lemon balm from the garden, and a little squeeze of extra lemon! I usually mix in some other things with my tulsi, because it is kind of plain by itself, and flavor lends itself exceptionally well to blends. You can drink it by itself, though – it has a smooth, mellow herbal character with notes akin to mint, clove, maybe a hint of pepper with most of the bite taken out.
The leaves and bits are fairly finely cut, but my usual tea strainers handle it just fine. If I’m drinking it straight, I usually use a heaping teaspoon per 8 oz. and steep for up five minutes. If I leave it in longer (some say the longer you steep the more you’ll get out of it), a bit of dull bitterness starts to come through.
I usually try to rate teas based on the quality of their flavor without any added mix-ins, but I have to give this herb extra points because of its fabulous medicinal/tonic properties. Tulsi promotes an overall sense of wellbeing, particularly mentally. It’s soothing and balancing. Great in times of stress, or for every day.
I love the balance, stress relief, and general sense of well being I get when I drink tulsi. While tulsi’s smooth minty-clovey herbal flavor is vert agreeable by itself, it’s not flat-out delicious. However, it lends itself exceptionally well to blending with other herbs or teas.
While at home I prefer to mix up my own tulsi blends, I actually bought a bunch of this particular “signature blend” to have some tulsi on hand when I’m over at my boyfriend’s place. I’m happy with my choice. He likes this tisane too, though to him it just tastes like tea. :)
The tulsi is still at the heart of the “signature” blend, but it’s blended with a cooling dose of mint, brightened up front by the lemony taste of lemon myrtle, and deepened in the lower register by a warming spicy flavor, mostly the ginger with a lingering bite of pepper especially prominent in the aftertaste. The contrast of the warm spice with the cooling mint might sound a bit odd, but it makes perfect sense tied together by the tulsi and lemon!
This is another very generous sample from Sandy. Dodge really likes this one. I suspect she loves the hibiscus.
It’s pretty tart. I think I pick up the rosehips and hibiscus with hints of orange. This is the love child of lemonade and koolaid. The rooibos can’t compete with the above superpowers. It’s smooth and heavier feeling so perhaps the chamomile is trying to make a good showing.
I have held off on reviewing this because I just did not know what to say.
It is not a bad tasting tea.
I see others have reviewed this and reported it to be bitter or have strange flavors.
I have not found that, in fact I wish it did have more character.
It just kind of tastes like a very weakly brewed black tea.
It does not smell like an Oolong, and certainly has no Oolong flavors.
I have tried different brewing temps and times and also have tried increasing the amount of tea-to-cup ratio to no avail.
It is just a pleasant reddish-brown colored liquid that tastes remotely like weak tea water.
I see no reason to purchase this tea again in my future.
This one was sent to me in the big box from LiberTEAS I got a while ago and I haven’t gotten around to trying it until recently. I had this one right before I went into my HUGE Vermont Youth Orchestra audition (I auditioned to get into the top group which I REALLLLY want because I’m not challenged enough anywhere else, I bombed the audition but they know me from previous years plus I have good credentials, so fingers crossed!) to help calm me down. I can’t really say if it worked or not because I was still nervous, but I don’t actually really know the effects of tulsi that well because I haven’t had too much of it.
When I went to put this one in a mug, the bag was stuck to the wrapper, so I had to tug to get it out and in the process, the bag ripped open so I was forced to put a whole bunch of little leaves in my strainer travel mug (which almost all coincidentally escaped, but it was okay because it’s an herbal) and brew it that way. So I guess this is half bagged/half loose leaf tea :P I don’t remember a whole lot about this because I didn’t write anything down but it was pretty good, though the floaties made it REALLLY strong. It had a definite spice note to it with a little bit of a lemony hint floating around. All in all pretty good but I would like to try it in a smaller mug without a lot of floaties! :P
To say that this smells like potpourri is an understatement. This made me incredibly nervous. That, and Dylan mentioned that the other Davidson’s tea they have is actually being used as potpourri…
That said, I actually like this. It kind of tastes like unsweetened Kool Aid, which should probably be disgusting, but really just isn’t in this case.
Some other suggestions from Amazon comments (I believe) were to cut this with more hibiscus. That would be insane.
Next time I try this, I’m going to add a little sugar and put it over ice.
Don’t be put off by the really, really intense orange peel smell and that you really can’t taste the rooibos. This is still tasty.
I was excited to try an orange spice since my fiance really enjoys it. We bought a pound of it off of amazon to our disappointment.
I had a hard time picking up the orange flavor. There was a bitterness that may have been orange peel. I also picked up a candy taste for lack of a better term. Like the old christmas candy in the paper bags with out the peppermint. I failed to pick up any spice in it.
Backlog! My partner and I had a pot of this yesterday (picked from the teas I recieved from LiberTEAS), and she was so amazed by the vivid colour. It reminded me a bit of fruit punch, haha! The tea itself was a bit tart, but extremely flavourful, which was to be expected from the extremely strong smell. I might have liked it better to taste the orange flavours more, but my partner insists that this should be one that I buy again – she loves it!
I sun brewed a big jug of this today and iced it, and let me say that plain ol’ green rooibos is a must-try for iced tea this summer. It’s crisp, light and extremely refreshing with a little bit of a natural fruity flavor. To make things even better, this stuff is CHEAP. I paid around twelve dollars for a full pound on Amazon. Great iced tea for summer.
Still great. Light, very crisp, refreshing, fruity and sweet. It’s invigorating in it’s freshness. This is the perfect tea for getting into the spring mood. I don’t know why anyone buys plain red/green rooibos from anywhere other than Davidson’s. It’s organic, I got a full pound for around twelve dollars, and it’s delicious. Now I will sit and wait for the mail in hopes that my Fusion Tea Room samples come today…
Being a fan of the more common red rooibos and wanting to broaden my horizons, I picked up a pound of this stuff on Amazon for around twelve dollars. There was no way I could pass up such a good deal, especially on an organic product. Upon opening the product, it looked a bit different than I had imagined. It wasn’t entirely green, there were red and straw colored pieces throughout, and it was finer than I had imagined. I took a whiff of the freshly opened bag and immediately I was reminded of hay, but that wasn’t a bad thing. It was an earthy smell, but in a pleasant and comforting way with notes of sweetness. So without hesitation, I brewed it up. I used two heaping tablespoons for twelve ounces of water. The color of the infusion, to my surprise, was not green at all. It was a bold and striking amber, and something about it called me in. I took my first sip, and it didn’t take long for my mind to process the flavors it was encountering. It was light and crisp, mild and refreshing. The biggest element to the flavor was definitely that of a sort of sweet hay. Along with this, I tasted just a little bit of the red rooibos flavor I was accustomed to. The finish reminded me of grass and a mild, mellow green tea. All this may sound a bit strange, but boy was it good. I’m at the time of year where it’s starting to get really cold and the days are shorter, and this time of year always brings my moods down. But this beverage provided a great warmth and comfort, everything about it reminded me of summer in the countryside. I pictured the sun shining after a light rain, feeling its soothing warmth on my body, inhaling the newly purified air and the scent of fresh cut grass. This proved to be just what I needed. It was soothing, delicate, crisp, and refreshing. I imagine it would be great iced, and it will make a good substitute for those nights when I’m craving green tea but need to get to bed soon. I encourage any curious minds to pick some up and try it, especially if you need something that won’t stimulate you – but will lift your spirits right up.
Wasn’t expecting much as it sounded close to a Yogi branded tea, except I don’t like the flavor profile of Yogi teas (way too heavy on licorice root), and it definitely sounds Christmas-y with its stated flavor profile.
Brewed this square teabag as I do with all other black teabags, boiling water, 3 minutes steeping time, and then I let it cool down a little bit before taking a sip. The first steeping produced a very nice brownish orange tinted liquid and the flavor profile is surprisingly balanced. The most prominent flavors are the clove and nutmeg. It’s really hard to discern the other spices in the blend, but that’s not a bad thing. It usually means that the flavors have been balanced for the most part for me.
Drinking this tea, it goes down smooth without any assaults on your throat or taste buds while still providing excellent flavor, which is an outstanding achievement for any spiced tea, much less a bagged tea. Definitely surprised me and I was more than happy to resteep the teabag for a second cup.
The second steeping produced a light amber-straw colored liquid and the black tea flavor was noticeably absent. The spices took center stage for this round, but for some, that’s not a bad thing. There’s a definite aftertaste of clove swirling around in the back of your mouth after a few gulps from the second steeping.
I rather enjoyed this one, but I’d stick with only steeping the teabags once. Wouldn’t mind drinking this one during the winter months. If you’re looking for a Christmas bagged tea, I have no problem recommending this tea or Republic of Tea’s Comfort & Joy tea (its closest comparison for me).
I do not like rooibos. I do not like it in a box, I do not like it with a fox. I do not like it in a house, I do not like it with a mouse. I do not like rooibos. And you can’t make me.
That being said, my mom purchased a big ole box of this from Amazon so I swiped a few bags just to try. Because sometimes I like to torture myself with tea.
Tonight, I’m in desperate need of something tea-like. I’ve been out of the house all day and only got one cup in this morning. This makes my tongue is sad. But it’s too late to have something caffeinated and my Zojirushi is on 208°. So sure, let’s have some rooibos torture!
I think this smells fairly gross, like sweet and rotting wood. Which means it smells like a fairly normal rooibos, as I think they all smell like rotting wood. Par for the course there.
The taste, though? It’s not bad. And that’s coming from me, someone who thinks most rooibos also tastes like rotting wood. But no, I didn’t gag or even make a face while drinking this. I even drank the whole cup!
Of course, I’m not sure if that really speaks to how tasty this tea is (or isn’t) because the lack of face-making was mostly due to the fact that this is actually rather bland. Most of the sip tastes like heavy and wet and that’s about it. There’s a little sweet, almost-but-not-quite-rotting wood aftertaste which is by far the most flavorful thing about the cup (also the most unpleasant for me). Oddly, that aftertaste makes me think a bit of perfume, which is weird and not all that pleasant but hey, it’s in the aftertaste so whatever. Slurping brings some dry-wood notes to the sip but it’s still fairly mild. The texture’s a bit thick and silky with no slurping (it tries to be a little astringent with slurping) so that’s kind of pleasant.
Verdict: It’s not really all that torturous. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this actually tastes good, but it’s very drinkable and, for me, that’s pretty huge. I can’t say that rooibos-liking people would like this because it might be too bland? Or perhaps blandness is a positive attribute for all rooibos drinkers, not just me. But I think fellow rooibos-haters could probably get down a cup of this one with little problems.
It has a very authentic cherry flavor and the dried honey adds just the right bit of sweetness and flavor. You can defiantly taste the chamomile and it blends with the cherry flavor quite nice. The box says it has toasted almonds, I can smell a hit of almonds but I can’t really taste it. Overall it’s a nice tea, easy to drink I might buy it again.
This smells amazing, dry. The beau picked it out to drink on our return from the Market and I acquiesced. Then I looked it up..uh oh. Rosehips? Hibiscus? Chamomile? Herm. This is one the 60+ teas (yes, sixty!) that I recieved in my box of wonder that I purchased from LiberTeas via TeaTrade. It’s been so warm the last few weeks that I’ve only been drinking tea at work, and none of these are there so this is the first one I’ve broken into.
Back to the tea. Ever since I read a tasting note on here (don’t remember whose) about squeezing steeped rosehips and having them ooze, just thinking about it makes me a little queasy. I already have a tenuous relationship with hibiscus and hate chamomile, but I am hoping the delicious sweet orange dry smell really translates in the taste.
The liquor is very red (hibiscus) and the steeped aroma is unusual. Tart and dry, with an oatmeal-ish edge, according to the beau. I’m fairly certain the odd scent I keep getting is the chamomile mixing with all the other powerful ingredients. There is no echo here of the dry aroma, this is a whole different beast.
First sips are a relief. The hibiscus isn’t overwhelming and the chamomile is there but not dominant. I don’t get any orange or cranberry though, which is a let down. As it cools, the chamomile takes over. Bleck. I appreciate the chance to try this one, but I think I will try to move the rest of my sample along to a friend. Either that or convince the beau to drink as he DOES get orange and doesn’t get chamomile.
These are the ingredients I can taste…and in that order. We are about 50/50 for liking the ingredients BUT I will say the Cranberry and Orange are quite nice. I think I would prefer this one iced…but then again I have found I can tolerate Hibiscus a tad more in a cold drink over a hot one. Not too shabby!