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Recent Tasting Notes
From the queue (which is currently 23 pages and 30something posts)
I have ‘write a post for the Steepster queue’ on my todo list today. I wanted a cup of tea but wasn’t certain what I wanted specifically, so I did a lucky draw in the box of untried things. This is what I won.
It actually serves a dual purpose, because I’m trying to teach myself to also remember to have some of my non-black things, so it’s a new untried thing and it’s also my daily non-black blend. (The Sleepytime before bed doesn’t count here)
MissB shared this one with me, and I can’t say I’ve ever heard of the brand before. Interesting! It also has a lot of unknown things to me in it. I think I’ve had something with goji berries before, but I can’t recall what I thought they tasted like. I don’t think I’ve had eucalyptus in tea before, or dragon fruit either. (I get Cabin Pressure associations here; Arthur discovering that he’s allergic to dragon fruit. “GWAGON FWOO!” LOL!)
Apparently this is blended according to the principle of Feng Shui with five elements and five colours and stuff. I don’t know anything about that really. All I know is, it isn’t supposed to have hibiscus in it, but the brew still comes out a suspiciously pink colour.
This colour for me always bodes ill. It’s a very ominous sign indeed.
I’ve studied the ingredients list but I can’t determine what I think is responsible for it, but I expect it’s probably dragon fruit, as I recall those to be quite pink. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten one.
It smells like hot juice. I’m not sure if an aroma can be tart as such, but it smells like something that makes me expect tartness. This could of course also be due to the unfortunate associations I have with this particular colour. There’s also something in the aroma which is sort of leafy-spicy. No, not spicy. Herb-y, I think. Cooking herbs and fruit juice is what I’m getting here.
Alright, we can’t keep putting it off, even though the colour does frighten me a bit.
I know there aren’t any hibiscus in the blend but as it had the colour of hibiscus it’s difficult for me to not expect that tell-tale taste of blood that I get from even a small amount of hibiscus. Obviously I didn’t get that flavour, because there isn’t any, but even now after sipping, I still can’t feel entirely safe with this blend. That flavour and that colour together seems to be hard-wired into my brain.
I’m trying my very best not to let it distract me and focus on what I am actually tasting. Again, just like the aroma, I have to say cooking herbs and fruit juice. It’s very fruity this stuff, especially the apple. Apple, orange peel and lemon grass are the three primary things I can taste. Eucalyptus, something which has a very strong flavour in lozenges and similar, doesn’t seem to want to make an appearance at all. I still couldn’t tell you what I think of dragon fruit or goji berries either.
There’s a brief hint of something just when I swallow that reminds of the Sleepytime blends from Celestial Seasonings. I think that’s must be either blackberry leaf or nettle leaf, or likely a combination of the two.
This blend is far more pleasant than initial appearance made me believe, but I wouldn’t say it was anything particularly special to me.
I had a cup of this last night in hopes it would make it easier for me to stay awake. It didn’t quite work, but at least it tasted good.
This cup was more mate and cherry flavor than before, with less of the chocolatey notes I noticed before. The fruit was very accurate and overall it was a really nice cup. I think this is one that varies in flavor based on what you get in the teaspoon because of how much is in the mix.
Another from MissB’s sale! I’m feeling like dessert teas tonight and this is great. It smells mostly like cherry and coconut in the bag, but once it’s brewed up that completely changes. It’s creamy, fruity, and throughout the sip there’s the taste of extremely rich dark chocolate. I love it!
Finally tried this again, after it sitting in my cupboard for a few months. There’s definitely a strong key lime smell and flavor, with less pineapple than before. It does taste creamy, instead of feel creamy; I would have preferred both. It’s still really tasty, and I do get both pie and key lime out of this, with little out of the base other than to fully flesh it out in the background. I like it…. just missing something for me to LOVE it.
Oversteeped it slightly, however I’ve now learned this is just not the cuppa for me. Smells strongly of cherry prior to steeping, and while it’s delicately flavored, I get zero cake or cream or anything that I associate with Black Forest Cake. It was also über bitter, so I dumped it. :(
Wasn’t sure what to think of this tea, as it’s been in my cupboard for a few months now, and I’m totally blanking out on my last experiences with it. So, fresh palate it is!
There’s a lot going on in this cup – 8 ounces of water, 2 tsp of tea, steeped for about 10 minutes. The colour is dark brown, similar to many black teas, although the flavour is very different. I’m getting a fair amount of different flavours in here: raisin, carrot, lemongrass, tart apple, something herbal I yet to taste otherwise. A dark berry in there too somewhere. It’s juicy yet subtle if that makes any sense, and I think I understand more now why it’s called Secret Garden – it makes me think of the wonderful book by the same name that I read as a child.
First, a caveat: I oversteeped this. I forgot I as I was putting my youngest to bed that I had boiled the water and gotten a small cup ready to drink. Recommended steep time is 2-4 minutes; I steeped for close to six. Argh!
And so, I’m going to give it a bit of leeway here, because I think I did the tea wrong, in a way. It does smell very key lime-ish out of the bag, and more so after steeping. My first sips were a bit astringent, so I added Truvia. Holy moly! A sweet, tart, key lime tea here, with a hint of the base peeking through. I can definitely tell there’s pineapple in here as well, although I think it was supposed to take a bit less of a front seat in this blend, it’s likely due to my oversteeping. And then the creaminess, which is more in flavor than feel… usually I like teas with the yogurt stuff in them (bits?) and this is no exception.
I’ll have to brew more another day to really try this out, because I am getting something floral and off-putting at the end of the sip, underneath the lime/pineapple sweet and sour.
I wanted something decaf this afternoon as my sleep schedule is completely out of whack – and this is (again) what fell on me from tea cupboard #2.
Out of the bag, this tea smells interestingly – lots going on. Something fruity and dry, lemon-y and floral, and other things I couldn’t quite place. Drinking it is a similar experience for me… there’s a lot going on here. Something mildly floral supports a berry of some sort. There’s a tart apple lower in the mix (comes out more with Truvia) and something granular I’m gapping on as to what it is. A hint of eucalyptus in there too, but that one I feel more than I taste – like inhaling vaborub or something similar, I can feel my chest expanding. Zero flavor that I’m getting out of it though.
This is an unusual cup of tea, and really fun to drink in that I can pick out all these different variations. I think it’s a “love” tea for someone else though. I’ve got a few cups left if anyone wants to try it?
This definitely smells like Christmas in the bag, which surprised me a bit that I’d have such a strong association to childhood memories and a smell. Orange, cloves, cinnamon, cardamon and apple all came through easily, making me excited to try it!
Steeped, it smells like black tea, orange and cardamom. I’m okay with that, if a bit surprised. Sipping it too hot seems to give me zero taste yet again, however cooled it’s quite lovely. Mostly cardamom with a hint of orange in there at the end, and something drying, possibly the cloves. There’s something else in there I’m missing though, and it’s intriguing. Something herbal and light.
I wanted something spicy today, and I could’ve used something more chili-like, however this is still a very pleasant cup.
EDIT: I’ve pegged it now! This smell just like the scented oranges my Mom used to make during the holidays with me and my sister: fresh oranges pierced with cloves, and left out for the month.
Okay Spiced Fantasy, it’s time to wow me.
Dry, this smells lovely, like a fruity chai with a strong pepperyness. Steeped, it’s more fruit than chai, and the pepper smell comes out more. My first sip, as per usual, was too hot, and I only tasted rooibos. After I let it cool a bit, it’s definitely an unusual tea. There’s some almond in there, with pepper still, and a bit of coriander. Fruit still lingers (plum, maybe? hard to place) and orange notes. The spice tingles the back of my throat slightly, and I love it.
Sweetened with Truvia, it’s the orange that pops, followed by only faint spices and still the tingle. Is it cakey? I’m missing that, however it is smooth. I could drink this often.
Second massive cup (I drink from 2c mugs), and this time it’s quite different now that it’s cooled. I have to wonder if it’s my tastebuds/sense of smell, or if it’s really the tea.
Now, I get a very strong apple flavor, along with the same tartness mentioned earlier in the last cup. Almost sour, almost puckeringly so. Very dry. This time, it’s just the tea; I’ll leave the sweetener for another time, as it’s definitely sweet enough now. I’d say this is mostly apple and hibiscus at this point, which is okay if those were the only ingredients.
Again though, I feel harsh here. Maybe it’s just the cold.
I’m going to hold off on rating this until my tastebuds and smell return to full force. Fingers crossed that that’s tomorrow! :)
A huge list of ingredients here made me think this was what I should try out this evening, in the hopes of giving my immune system a kick in the pants to get to healthy again. I smelled zero anything dry, and steeped it smells like rooibos to me – how odd, considering this is just an herbal blend.
All I’m really getting is tartness here, enough that I’m puckering up a bit at the end of the sip. It’s quite dry, which is okay by me, I just thought there would be a lot more sweetness considering how much fruit there is. Adding some Truvia made this much more complex and interesting: definitely some lemongrass and orange, as well as a floral note, and lots of apple/fruit flavors. Much more enjoyable.
EDIT: This is another of those really heavy teas; 2tsp per cup, I always make a liter at a time (4 cups), which almost emptied out the 50g I ordered. There’s probably enough left to share a cup or two in a swap.
My LuxBerry order came in this morning, strangely in two separate bubble envelopes – I’m assuming because then they’d fit through the notorious Canada Post mailer slot that, if too big, increases the cost of mailing exponentially. This was the tea that kept on calling to me… even though it’s ambitious, to say the least. Okay, I’m throwing caution to the wind and having some green and mate tea at 4pm. Living on the edge!
I should note that I’m sick, so my sense of taste and smell are a bit off. I should just stick with my known favorites, and yet… this is new tea, dammit!
Opening the bag brought a strong, natural cherry scent, which concerned me somewhat. Steeped, it smells similarly, with a hint of cakeyness. Tasting it, I’m just getting black tea again. I really want to love this tea, so I add some Truvia. Uh oh, now the cherry is coming back after the sip, and it’s both astrigent and, dare I say, chemical-tasting. Which is odd considering there’s only natural flavoring in here. I get where the ‘cake’ bit comes from, as there is a cake-y mouthfeel.
Gr. I should just stick with the cold herbals until I stop coughing. :( Going to hold off on the rating until I feel better, or until my daughter gives me her opinion.
EDIT: My teenage daughter says, “Yep, it kinda tastes like cherry. I like the other one (Cinnamon Star) much more.”
When I realized I could no longer get the green tea with coconut and ginger at White August Tea (they closed) I went searching for a similar tea. That’s when I came upon LuxBerry Tea. This tea is FANTASTIC! Drink it hot… drink it iced…both are great. It’s a chinese sencha green tea. I’ve always had Japanese sencha. I found that this Chinese sencha was just as light and smooth, but not quite as naturally sweet. I liked that, because though I like coconut tea, I don’t want it taste fake or sweetened. This one has a lovely creamy coconut flavor with a nice background of ginger. The ginger has a bit more bite when the tea is hot, than when iced. I highly recommend this tea!
Wow this is actually pretty fabulous. It reminds me of having desert and coffee( or some dark rich bitter tea )all at once and would probably be fabulous with cream ( something I never add to tea ).
The dry leaf smells of cinnamon and cloves and raisins and is scattered with sliced almonds, raisins, and pieces of dried apple. After 2.5 minutes it brews up to a nice fragrant copper coloured brew that smells a bit like apple crisp taken right out of the oven. It tastes of a buttery, spicy, apple pastry with the flavour sweetened and deepened by the raisins and with the cinnamon and cloves balanced nicely. The tea underneath is a nice slightly bitter Assam that has a hint of biscuit and cocoa with a medium mouth feel and a light astringency that helps to bring a sense of pie crust to the blend. The tea also has a nice dose of caffeine. All though the flavouring has a sense of the richness of a buttery crust the tea is not creamy. It re-steeps decently well. A touch of sugar really helps to make the fruit pop in this tea. Quite a nice desert tea.
This tea in a some ways reminds me of starburst orange candies and orange milkshakes and a little bit of childhood. It makes a nice creamy orange rooibos honeybush blend for someone who wants one that is neither tart, overly sweet, or that is not a chai.
The tea brews up to a beautiful peachy deep orange tone. With an orange, vanilla and peach scent over a slightly powdery sweet tone from the base.
The flavour is a nice blend of fruit and vanilla. Orange is the top note followed by peach settled in vanilla. The base is pretty well hidden by the flavouring. The vanilla makes the tea taste fairly creamy and the peach acts to sweeten the tea and temper any tartness and bitterness from the orange. The vanilla is nice, it is not syrupy nor is it a cool vanilla. There is a faint powdery aftertaste from base, but it is not medicinal and is partially hidden by the tang of orange peel. The aftertaste is of creamy orange. The tea re-steeps pretty well. It looses most of the vanilla but the fruity tones remain strong. This tea would probably be really nice with cream or milk and might make nice popsicles in the summer as it tastes pretty nice when cooler. When cooler the peach comes out a little more.
Altogether this was a nice introduction to LuxBerry Teas for me. It is much more a fruit tea than you would expect from its name.