It’s good as a breakfast tea, not too astringent or malty, very light, definitely agree on Darjeeling taste (which is understandable given it’s an English Breakfast). Has a pleasant aftertaste too.
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It seems like the name of the tea dictates it’s taste quite a lot, it sure tastes young. It is a simple pu-erh. It’s bitterness is a little less refined than other pu-erhs I tried, it doesn’t have many complex notes and it didn’t have much of an aftertaste for me except for standard bitterness. All in all it’s an easy drinking tea and by far not a bad pu-erh, just a little too plain for my personal liking.
I was pondering for the longest time what this tea steeped smelled like to me and the best I came up with is lemony briar lollipop with a hint of black tea. Regardless of what it truly is it smells amazing, as a morning tea it just hits the spot.
It has very mild bitterness almost zesty. It’s a full flavored bold tea, yet not at all over-powering. There are very obvious grapefruit notes in it. Everything about this tea screams citrus to me, yet in a very subtle elegant way. It’s not so much of a taste that is citrusy, the tea rather wakes those tastes up in your mouth as you drink it.
Amazing tea, I will definitely check out more Darjeelings thanks to this one.
I would say it’s a good breakfast or all-day-round tea, it’s not overly complex, very light pleasant taste (I noticed a bit of a hay note to it) while drinking with a bit of astringent aftertaste, slightly bitter. I am not very knowledgeable of orange pekoes, it seems like they are supposed to be clean and easy drinking, I can definitely agree that this tea falls under this description. Not my cup of tea, pardon the pun, it lacks boldness and complexity to me. Verdict – something you’d drink as an all day tea, not to savor.
Pu-erh is not for your average orange pekoe tea drinker nor is Scottish Caramel Toffee Pu Erh for your purist aged tea drinker. This however is a great cup and a great way finish an excellent meal. Sweet toffee notes permeate the hardiness of the Pu-erh and with a little milk and one bag of sugar in the raw it was unique and satisfying.
No notes yet.
Well, both the dry leaf and the liqueur smell strongly – deliciously! almost overpoweringly- of caramel. Upon sipping, the subtler earthy flavor of puerh is almost a relief. This is really tasty, and the caramel flavor has persisted through all 4 steeps I’ve tried so far. It’s getting weaker by the 4th, but I’ll likely try one more. I’m pleased and impressed.
Huh. This tastes like I stirred in a big spoonful of honey! It’s a very herbal-tea taste; I wouldn’t have said it had any tea-tea in it at all. It’s a very nice herbal tea, though, fruity without being tart, with the occasional tantalizing peppery note. I think I want more!
There was actually enough of this sample to use in my 12oz tetsubin pot! I still had to dump it into a filter though. Note: padded envelopes are marvelous things and not all that expensive either. The added cost is worth it’s weight in first impressions and customer satisfaction. Powdered tea, unless you ordered matcha, is not generally what a customer wants in their samples.
Anyway, back to the tea.
When I first poured the water into the pot there was a nice aroma of rose. By the time it had been steeping for 5 minutes it smelled like spinach, bitter spinach. I didn’t realize something could smell bitter. The color of the liquid was a dull olive-yellow. Thinking it couldn’t possibly be as odd as it smelled I took a small sip…
OMG what IS THAT!? D:
VERY bitter/acrid with a background of rancid greens. Like spinach that has been left to sit in the fridge for months upon months until the smell became so overwhelming that someone had to clean the fridge out before the stuff started it’s own eco-system. I was only able to make out the rancid greens flavor on the second sip though. Yes, I took a second sip. In the interests of a full review. If this had all the proven medical qualities of cold medicine I might drink a full cup, but only because I absolutely detest cold medicine and this stuff doesn’t linger on the palate.
I got a sample of this from Herbal Infusions, though it looks like several other companies carry the same blend. It’s very pleasant, especially since I don’t have a stock Earl Grey at the moment; this is a sweeter, more flowery EG. Steeping for a full five minutes, there’s very little astringency – enough to be noticeable, but not enough to require milk or sugar (though I’m sure this would be delicious iced and sweetened). It might be a battle between this and the “Earl Grey Creme” blends when I have to choose for my next order…
This is the last of my free Herbal Infusions samples. And it poses something of a dilemma because if I’m reading the description correctly, it could be either a black tea or an oolong depending on what they send you? Or is it a mix of black tea and oolong? No idea.
I honestly can’t tell by looking at it either. A good bit of the volume of the sample is fruit chunks, and of the leaves I see, some could be stevia. I haven’t seen a stevia leaf except in the picture I just googled, so I am not sure. The leaves that look like tea are a medium brown and could be either black or a v. oxidized oolong. I’m going to use boiling water just because I’m feeling lazy today.
The mixture smells fruity, mostly a nonspecific non-citrus fruit scent. Apple and apricot primarily. There is some spiciness as well, which I have found in a number of samples from Herbal Infusions and which leads me to believe it is more likely this is primarily a black tea base, since that’s mostly what my samples were.
After steeping, there is a very fruity aroma. Mostly apple, maybe some pineapple. The taste is sweet and fruity, with a dominant apple flavor. The tea base is what keeps this from tasting like a very lightly flavored fruit punch.
It’s fun to drink something with this name, and it’s flavorful, but I tried it mostly because I liked the name and with the expectation ahead of time that it wouldn’t likely become a favorite. And I was right.
Almost at the end of my Herbal Infusions samples. I don’t know if they’re even offering this tea anymore. I went to the web site to see what was listed in the ingredients and all they have there now when I search the site is Caramel Cherry Cheesecake, and I’m pretty sure that’s not the same as this.
So I have to guess at the ingredients. There are some yellow and red petals in among the dark brown tea leaves, I’m gonna say jasmine and maybe some hibiscus. The leaves certainly smell like they have some hibiscus in them to me. They have an indeterminate cherry/berry aroma. I don’t smell cheesecake or anything creamy or otherwise suggestive of it.
Steeped, it smells more cherry like and there is a hint of something that could be cheesecake, though to me it’s a more generic cream/vanilla note. The taste is, however, mysteriously suggestive of cherry and cake, though more shortcake than cheesecake.
It’s nice, and I’d drink it again, but like the Ontario Ice Wine it doesn’t bowl me over.
My last sample from Herbal Infusions! While tasting this, I was mentally comparing it to Orange U Slim which is currently my go-to oolong. This one however was extremely small and broken up, which may have been from the shipping. There were no noticeable orange pieces in my sample and the dry leaf didn’t necessarily smell orange like at all either. 1st infusion, 3 minutes: The brewed tea has a harsh orange smell that reminds me of cleaner. You can taste a slight orange taste, but it is pretty harsh. I added milk and honey which made it a bit smoother and sweeter, but unfortunately this tea did not deliver the yummy biscuit notes that I love from Orange U Slim’s first and second infusion. 2nd infusion, 4 minutes: This infusion is very weak and watered down, it could be the size of my sample, but I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t get a decent 2nd infusion from this oolong. There was a bitterness that developed as the tea cooled and I didn’t finish the cup. Overall, this tea is unimpressive.
I wasn’t familiar with Ontario Ice Wine, I just requested the sample because it sounded interesting.
But as I’m wont to do, I satisfied my curiousity about Ontario Ice Wine by looking it up. Here’s some information, for the also-curious:
This was the tiniest of the little samples, not even enough for half a cup. Its leaves look like fairly basic, plain black tea leaves but the smell is very distinctive. A sweet, wine/grape scent, like a dessert wine (which, having read the article at the above link, I now know isn’t surprising). Not having had Ice Wine, I must liken it to something I have had. Sauterne?
The aroma of the steeped tea is grapier, or perhaps raisinier than it is winey, and it’s sweet. It has something else going on as well. Dates? And also seems to have a floral note. The color is orange/brown and on the light side.
There is a dusky, wine taste to the tea, but it isn’t as sweet as the aroma would lead one to expect. I enjoyed it, but it isn’t a stand out for me.
Knowing I had another caffeinated evening requirement (since I needed to stay up to watch The Biggest Loser) I tried my sample of this tonight after dinner.
There were some pretty cream colored flower petals among the dark brownish leaves, though I could not smell jasmine. I did smell some wonderful smells, though. Vanilla, brown sugar, and yes, maple syrup.
The liquor was a light brown/orange color with a sweet aroma of vanilla/maple syrup. There was also a whiff of something else, something really interesting. It reminded me of incense, though it has been so long since I burned any I can’t remember what kind. Sandalwood maybe? In any case, I really enjoyed it. Made me feel all Bohemian, like I should be wearing a long, diaphanous Indian-print skirt, sandals, big hoop earrings and a peace sign medallion on a leather thong around my neck.
There was something silky smooth about the mouth feel, as if the mapleness was actually emanating from a few dollops of syrup dropped into the tea. It tasted much better than I’d expected for some reason. Vanilla and sweetness, and if I closed my eyes, I could almost taste waffles with syrup and whipped cream.
I wish I could tell you more about the tea itself, but as with the other tiny Herbal Infusions samples, it’s a bit of a tease. I wasn’t easy to get a handle on the tea flavor before reaching the bottom of the half cup brew.
I can see buying more of this to play around with it a bit more and decide if it was just the right taste at the right time, or more than that.
This sounded like it had potential for a dessert option so I threw caffeine caution to the wind (I plan on staying up to watch 24 tonight anyway, so might as well). Dry leaves smell vaguely like Frango mints, and look like the black/green interspersion of mint with black tea.
The aroma of the steeped tea is odd. It’s got mint, it’s got chocolate, but they’re not mixing particularly well. There’s a sort of strange, spicy warm plastic smell to it. The liquor is a reddish orange, but the sample was pretty small so it may be a little weaker in color than it would be were it a full cup with appropriately measured leaves.
The tea tastes like a mint tea to which has been added a little bit of melted baking chocolate, which is to say the chocolate is not at all sweet. I like the taste, but I think it could be improved with a little lactose to sweeten it up. The chocolate and mint steal the show here. I was just getting the beginnings of the tea’s taste right when my cup ranneth out.
I think this shows enough promise to merit trying it again, unless I should happen to run across a chocolate mint in the interim that knocks my socks off.
Since I drank the Design a Tea Ice Wine tea yesterday I decided to give this a try today since the flavors of the other were fresh in my memory. The liquor was a lovely deep red. However, though it smelled very much like the Design a Tea version it wasn’t nearly as flavorful. It was slightly bitter, not as sweet and there was only the slightest hint of muscatel.
Another sample from Herbal Infusions! I brewed this up for 2 minutes and the tea is the color of lemon lime gatorade. Okay, it is a green tea, so that isn’t so surprising. The strawberry aroma is heavy and sweet in both the dry leaf and resulting tea. This tea imparts a sweetness on the tip of the tongue that lingers as the baked crust quality passes and morphs into the green tea base. For fun I added a tiny amount of clover honey. Turned out okay, but the tea definitely didn’t need it.
I just had a nice nap with my youngest, and needed something to clear the cobwebs after waking up. So, another mini-sample. This one was enough for about half a cup. I made it in a small cup but even so I may have added a bit too much water. The liquor was light orange/brown and I suspect it ought to have been darker.
There wasn’t much smell to it until it was infused, and then it gave off a very nice apple/cinnamon aroma which does remind me of apple pie filling. I don’t smell crust. There’s a current of malt/sugar underneath from the tea.
The apple and cinnamon is present in the flavor (no crust there either). I don’t taste much tea, but I suspect that this would be tasty if the tea base had a stronger presence. If I had it to do over again I would have used even less water and attempted to brew this stronger. 205 is usually enough for blacks for me, but maybe a bit hotter would make the flavor come out more as well.
No notes yet.
I’m in the mood for chai. Simply because it’s near me. Funny, but when it’s near me, I’m in the mood for chai.
This was actually on the big side as far as my (free, thanks!) Herbal Infusions samples have gone. It’s enough for 1+ cups of tea. But it isn’t quite half a tablespoon, so I’m leery of trying to make it on the stovetop. Instead, I’m planning to steep like a black tea and then add some milk/sweetener.
The vanilla note in the dry leaf mixture is striking and very appealing. The others in the stable of chai spices smell like their comforting selves.
Once made into chai, this has an interesting note that stands out in both the aroma and the taste. It’s not vanilla, it’s something else. Time to take a look at the ingredients and try to figure out what it is. Here they are, according to the web site: Premium black tea, calendula petals, chopped and powdered ginger, cardamon, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, natural flavors
I’m thinking it must be either a flavor added by the calendula petals, or coriander that I’m tasting because those are the only two ingredients that don’t seem necessarily common to most of the other chais I have tasted. I suppose it could also be vanilla, on second thought. Though it’s not the vanilla flavor I’ve experienced in other teas. It’s almost fig-like.
Notice something else about those ingredients? I suppose one of the natural flavors is vanilla, because there isn’t anything else identified as vanilla in the mix.
So here’s where I’m coming out. It’s better than the Numi chais I’ve tasted because the spices are stronger and hold up to milk (and the black pepper probably single handedly accomplishes that and is missing from the Numi). It’s about on a par with the Tazo chai, maybe slightly better, and perhaps would be significantly better if prepared via stovetop method. But as prepared today, it’s not as interesting a mix of flavors as the Golden Moon pu erh chai I had earlier today and it’s not as smooth and near perfect as Samovar’s. Good, with perhaps a potential for greatness.