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Recent Tasting Notes
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!
This one is very similar to the Cranberry Orange Iced that I reviewed earlier this week, the main differences are that: 1) this is a loose leaf blend; and 2) the loose leaf blend (this) has rooibos in it in addition to the other ingredients. The bagged varieties do not list rooibos as one of their ingredients.
It’s hard to say if that really makes all that much difference, because right now, what I am tasting primarily is hibiscus, cranberry and orange. I don’t know that I taste much from the rooibos. Perhaps as I continue to sip it, the flavors will develop somewhat. Even so, and even though this is a hibiscus-y tea in taste and texture, I am finding it rather enjoyable. The cranberry and orange flavors really rescue it from what might otherwise be a too-much-hibiscus-in-it blend.
At first I thought this was somewhat relaxing but it does have a kick of spice to it…followed up with a subtle minty finish. After really trying to pick out the individual ingredients I could taste the Tulsi, Pepper, Ginger, and Peppermint but they worked well together. This signature Tulsi Blend seems to make my mouth water – a nice characteristic considering the ingredient combo! Thumbs up!
I was a bit scared to try this tisane, but I finally summoned up the courage to steep a cup. I steeped it for just 4 minutes, and the result is surprisingly good. The hibiscus is not thick or syrupy or even very tart. The cinnamon saves this blend, in my opinion, giving it enough heat to give a nice contrast to the tart tones of the hibiscus and the faint minty notes of the Tulsi (I would have like the Tulsi to be a bit more expressive in this blend), and the bright, sweet flavors of the citrus. It is a pleasant cup – tastier than I expected it to be. It isn’t my favorite tulsi blend, but I don’t hate it, either.
The tulsi and chamomile were an odd pair here. At first, it started out slightly bitter and sour and there was a strong grassiness. The subtle flavor of the chamomile was lost.
As the cup cooled, it took on a more mellow and slightly sweet flavor. The fragrance of the chamomile was never very strong, but over time you could at least tell it was there.
This was OK for a bagged tisane, but I’ve had some really good chamomile lately so I’m biased.
This Tulsi tisane by Davidson’s is an unadulterated blend of the three varieties of holy basil that make up their Tulsi line.
The fragrance is a minty oregano that takes on a subtle lemon essence once steeped. The flavor is similar to a mint and lemongrass blend but there’s an underlying herbal and pepper base. The flavor quickly dissipates with no lingering aftertaste.
This was OK, but I think the Tulsi provides a better foundation for the addition of more full-flavored spices.
I just received a sample of each of the six tisanes of Davidson’s Tulsi herbal line. Tulsi, or holy basil, is highlighted in each and is accompanied by a different group of complimentary herbs.
Signature Blend smells strongly of ginger and mint out of the package, but once steeped, lemon from the myrtle becomes prominent. The flavor is really interesting. Up front, there’s a bit of a battle between the mint and the lemon. The finish is warm from the ginger and cinnamon with a final burst from the black pepper. This is another great one for fighting cold; either outside or in your own head.
I don’t have a lot of experience with holy basil so I can’t speak to the quality. I’m hoping that I’ll come to recognize this component more as I work my way through the rest of the samples.
Darjeeling greens are tough to beat. This one is no exception. It’s light, citrusy (mandarin-like) with echoes of “Chinese sencha” in its overall flavor impression. I just wish I knew more about it. Davidson’s website isn’t the easiest to navigate. That said, a very subtle but very tasty green without the vegetal lean of some…unless you like that sorta thing.
I’m new to loose leaf teas and this is one of the first I tried (1 lbs = A LOT of tea). I had some trouble at first trying to find the right brewing time/temperature, but I’d say around 5 minutes for the first steep at around 165-170 degrees. If the water is too hot, you’ll damage/burn the leaves. It has a nice, sweet taste to it with a little vegetal flavor, but nothing as strong as green tea. I’ll keep looking for good white teas, but I think this was a good choice to start with.
I don’t want to spend more time than I have to. I have loved the products I’ve tried from Davidson’s so far, but this was beyond reproach. It was in their holiday herbal section, and very little was said as to ingredients other than cinnamon, orange peel, hibiscus, and lemon myrtle. The result? Pure horror. Spicy swamp water. I didn’t even last five sips. Of course, my “actual” formal review will be a tad kinder and go into more specifics…but as it stands, this is the worst tea I’ve had in a very long time. “Hint of cinnamon”, my tea cup’s arse.
In hindsight – after I write the company about the ingredients used – I will revisit this to see if I hate it as much as I elaborated above. ’Til then, this stands as a “blegh”.