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Recent Tasting Notes
Another new offering from my grocery store’s tea section. It’s bagged but this was a new brand that I haven’t heard of, so I thought I’d give it a try. I picked out this tea because I like almond flavoring… not so huge on almond nuts but the flavoring? Awesome.
When I opened the little foil bag, I was hit by the strong (and delicious) smell of pure amaretto. Just what I had been hoping for! When I took out some tea bags, though, I couldn’t help but think that they looked a bit like they were made of dryer sheets. That’s kind of uncool. Mental note: smell the bags, don’t look at them.
After steeping, the tea is a much more tea-like smelling creation. It smells thick, woodsy, malty and occasionally I get flashes of something that smells similar to dark chocolate or cocoa, but just a flash. And waiting patiently behind this very strong and bold tea smell is my adorable little amaretto. I hope the same is true for the taste.
I don’t have huge experiences with Ceylon, not straight at least, but this taste doesn’t remind me of Adagio’s Ceylon blends (or any other Ceylon-based flavored tea I can think of). It actually reminds me of a CTC that I had from Lupicia a while back – thickly textured, malty, a little bit of sticky sweet. (I just looked it up and I’m thinking about Silonibari BPS, which I believe is an Assam.) The amaretto flavor kind of flits around playfully; sometimes it’s at the beginning of the sip, sometimes the end, sometimes I get it all throughout the sip. It’s definitely taking a back seat to the tea but not so much that it fades away.
I do think the tea might be a wee bit strong for the lighter almond taste, though, because the end taste of the tea is so thick and coating that it seems more working counter to the almond than in conjunction. The almond shows up more when I take multiple sips instead of resting in between. I think resting gives the tea a chance to build up its thick, slightly bitter (in a wet, nutty way) end notes which totally drown out the amaretto. Sip-sip-sipping results in more sweet, light almond.
Overall, not bad but it could use a little something. Since this reminds me so much of Silonibari BPS, which turned to flat, boring cardboard when milk was added, I don’t think I’m brave enough to try it with milk. Mentally, I’ve already decided that would ruin it. But trying it with sugar seems like a good idea…
Ah yes, a good idea. It kills off just enough of the nutty bitter that I’m able to enjoy the almond more. It’s still not overwhelmingly almond, but it’s not distractingly wet-bitter at the end, either. Much better. I also seem to drink it faster which helps with the lack of nutty-bitter aftertaste. Overall, the addition of sugar seems to make the tea/flavoring ratio seem a bit better balanced instead of the big bully of the tea running roughshod all over the sweet, innocent little almond.
As always, it is nice to come across a flavored tea that still lets the tea be the star. I’m not sure that they picked the best leading actor in the tea world, though, but since sugar tempers that a bit, I won’t complain too loudly. Overall, a nice tea… and one with a pretty serious caffeine punch. (Seriously, my hands just started trembling a bit and I only had 6oz. Usually only lots of sencha or a stout Assam give me the shakes. Wowza.)
Amazingly well balanced for a single estate Ceylon tea. Nice combination of light astringency and full, round, sturdy character. It is much like a very good British Breakfast blend, with a taste of sunshine and humidity. From the distinct aroma, to the very last sip, this tea asserts itself as a true Ceylon tea. A nice tea to pair with hearty foods, or good buttery shortbread.
This is a great black tea! It’s strong enough to stand up to milk and sugar, which I’ve been enjoying in the brisk mornings as the weather has been cooling down (it reminds me almost of chai!). It’s a perfect morning tea- just the smell of it is enough to get me out of bed :)
Hmmm. It’s not bad, per se. Highly astringent the way ceylons can be. The leaves must be either a first flush, or something akin to that because it tastes rather “fresh” but has very little depth to it, as Wayne mentioned. The tea is quality though. Very smooth for being bagged and not at all dusty.
Except, well, the maltiness is so minimal that I’m actually not looking forward to finishing the other 19 bags I have left. Atleast it was free! I’ll never turn down a free tea sample if I haven’t tried it before :)
I made Mum a cuppa to. If she doesn’t like it, would anyone else like to try this one? It just isn’t my cup of tea…
This tea is pretty common at coffee shops here in Warsaw, and I had a pot of it this afternoon. For a bagged tea, it was actually pretty tasty. I know for sure that this is a Ceylon base, since the company makes a big deal about how their tea is 100% single-origin Ceylon. The bergamot was strong enough to be the main event, but not overpowering, and overall the flavor was fairly well-balanced.
A nice basic tea, and a decent option when on the go, but once again I’m finding it lacking a certain depth of flavor, as with the bagged Twinings EG I had earlier, though I do think I prefer this one of the two, probably due to the origin differences of the black tea base.
I steeped this first in some water that was sitting out for a while (this is my first pure white tea and I didn’t want to, er, I dunno, burn it?), so the first liquor was subtly sweet and reminded me of Black Needles from DAVIDsTEA.
The second steeping was close to boiling and a much deeper yellowy golden liquor that was very pleasing. I’m trying to savour this one as it’s a bit pricey, but still around $1 per bag is not that bad when you compare it with anything from a take-out joint.
So I have yet to try a Ceylon black tea that I really, really like – I think maybe it’s just one variety that doesn’t have the characteristics I’m looking for in my tea. I prefer a more full-bodied malty taste like Assam, or with some other interesting characteristics like Keemun or Yunnan Gold (Black Needles).
I can’t say it’s bad, but I can’t say I love it either.
I am drinking this one as my afternoon pick me up at work today. It does the job pretty well. If you ever wanted to drink roses, this may be you tea. :) It also reminds me of turkish delight but it doesn’t have any orange or pistachio flavors, maybe it is just the vanilla making the rose taste sweeter.
Normally I get mostly rose from this tea but I have just hit my office jellybean stash and I am getting more of the vanilla notes. I take this tea plain but now I think I may have to experiment with sugar and maybe even milk in the future.
I drank this one last night. It is very fragrant and lovely. The flavor and aroma is mostly rose but is is softened by the vanilla. The vanilla, to me anyway, didn’t really have a distinct note in the tea but didn’t make the tea any less good. I felt very spolied. It is a light tea.
Agree with Veronica that it’s a mood booster… this rose tea is an elegant drink. It smells so fragrant and sweet that no matter how busy you are, you can’t resist the temptation to pause to enjoy it. I feel like a princess as I take a sip, even though I am rushing a report at home in my old pyjamas!!!