I was excited for this tea because it smelled like maple when dry, albeit slightly artificial. Unfortunately, the taste was very medicinal and reminded me of paint thinner. Maybe I just got a bad bag, because I enjoy a lot of Mlesna’s other teas. I may give this another chance in the future just to see.
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In theory, black tea and vanilla should marry and compliment each other beautifully, provided that neither overwhelms the other. Some time ago, I bought a tin of Harney and Sons decaffeinated Vanilla Comorro and was enjoying a mug of this each night before bed. I started looking around for another vanilla tea due to the lack of retailers in Sydney that sell H&S tea – none of which sell the loose leaf refills – and I have always found decaffeinated teas to lack a real depth of flavour. First stop was Mlesna, if only for the little wooden box that it comes in.
Does natural vanilla actually have a scent? I can only detect the merest hint of a ‘vanilla’ smell but then the tea base is very strong. One whiff of the tea, I can immediately determine the tea base to be Ceylon tea from the Uva region. This is confirmed after steeping two teaspoons in about 400mls for four minutes (although I’m going to end up with egg on my face if I’m wrong).
With a splash of soy milk, this brews an enjoyable pale liquor with a nice spicy aftertaste and aroma. It takes several mouthfuls to really grasp the vanilla taste. The spiciness comes from both the vanilla and the tea itself. The flavouring doesn’t have an artificial or surface taste to it, and there is a real depth of flavour, so I’m guessing that the flavouring is wholly or predominantly natural and doesn’t overwhelm the taste of the tea.
Now the bad news. The remaining cups of tea from the teapot are consumed black. Unfortunately, the tea base is very poor quality and bitter and the vanilla taste and aroma are completely lost in the brew. My favourite cup at the moment is a Ceylon Pettiagalla so the issue is solely to do with the quality of the tea base. To enjoy black, it needs a more subtle and better quality tea base and a slightly stronger vanilla flavouring.
Still enjoyable with milk, but the search continues for the perfect vanilla tea.
I’m new to Steepster and writing reviews but I’ve lurked for a while (usually when deciding whether or not to purchase yet another box of some obscure tea for my collection) but thought it was a good time to start and this tea is as good as any for my first review.
I purchased this about a month ago and really enjoyed my first few cups. Soursop is one of those things that has lurked on the periphery of my consciousness for several years without ever trying it. I tended to confuse breadfruit, durian, jack fruit and soursop but I was vaguely aware of a similarity of taste and appearance. Soursop doesn’t have the repugnant aroma that durian does, but there is an immediate sweet – arguably, a sickly sweet – scent and this is present in the tea.
This was steeped with water off the boil, two teaspoons of loose leaf tea in approximately 400 mls of water for just over four minutes and then left for a few minutes to cool and for the flavours to develop. I haven’t yet experimented with different times and ratios, rather I used my default method of brewing tea. The tea is a light amber, and the tea base is medium strength, slightly bitter but with very little astringency. The immediate taste is the black tea with the strong sweetness of the soursop becoming evident after a few moments. It is similar in taste to Juicy Fruit (jackfruit is the alleged “secret ingredient” in the gum) but unlike JF the tea doesn’t loose it’s flavour after 30 seconds . . . There is a slight citrus ‘tang’ to each mouthful as well.
In all honesty, I really only bought this for the dinky little wooden boxes that the Mlesna teas come in, and also for the novelty of soursop but really liked this tea. I don’t think I would enjoy it with milk and it definitely doesn’t need sugar. It will make a nice iced tea as well so I will have to experiment with that at some point this summer. It is very similar to the Mlesna Blue Lady blend and I’ll post a review when I brew it next. I understand that Mlesna go by the name of Metropolitan Tea Company in the US and Canada but I haven’t seen Soursop tea of any brand outside of Australia and South East Asia.
Overall, I would give it a high score with a few points taken off for the slightly bitter tea base. This is not an every day tea – in the last month I’ve had it on about a four or five occasions – and I can’t imagine it would be a special occasion tea as the tea base is slightly bitter and the flavouring is not exactly “refined” but it’s a nice addition to a well stocked tea cabinet when you want something a little different especially if you have a somewhat jaded palate. I wouldn’t serve it with food as again the flavouring is too strong, except for maybe junk food, etc.
So, that’s my first review. How did I do? ;)
Not bad not bad at all!
I’m at a friends house and ended up not wanting the tea I brought so defaulted to bagged cranberry ceylon. I’m surprised, based on the reviews, I expected this to be terrible.
The tartness of the cranberry really comes through, along with that slight bitterness but not in an astringent oversteeped way.
I could really get used to this. Super tasty!
This is a very interesting take on Earl Grey. It’s clearly the classic flavours, but much more fragrant. I tend to brew it black with only a little leaf for a few minutes as a very refreshing pick-me-up. The other way is to brew it for 5 minutes with a fair amount of leaf, then have it with milk. This gives a good smoky Earl Grey and is excellent in the morning.
I was really disappointed by this tea. I bought it in a fit of homesickness – I’m very far from my native Vermont, and when I saw it in a Russian mall I thought it was too good to be true! It came in the coolest tin, too (UVM green and gold!) so I figured it would be worth an impulse buy. But I’ve been so disappointed! I’ve really tried to make this tea work – experimenting with steeping times, water temperatures… even cold steeping it! But nothing seems to make it taste good. Like Jillian said, it’s got a really weird, synthetic flavor to it that makes the whole thing taste frankly kind of gross.
This is the first time I’ve had a really bad experience with loose leaf tea… but I suppose it had to happen eventually!
This nice wooden box I bought in a japanese store about this premium sencha its something to talk about. As my nose detected the smell of the Sencha i knew it was a quality tea, the smell is something to remember, a little spicy and a little sweet, has that perfect sense of humor the green teas have, the mixture.
I had bad experiences with other normal sencha teas that taste too much to seaweed or it dont taste at all, but in this case, it was great. In the aroma you can perfectly smell that characteristic thing of all sencha and when you try it i promise it would be a green tea that will warm your soul a little :) i reccomend it.
Made a big pot this morning specifically for the purpose of icing down after an afternoon of pending yard work. My tin is beginning to remind me of the widow’s jar of flour (if you’re a prophet Elijah fan, you’ll get it :) … every time I think I’m getting to the last scoop, there’s just enough for one more…
I really enjoyed this one. The tastes mixed together just right and mmmm….so yummy. I love vanilla, and the grenadine made it perfect. Definitely need to buy more.
I don’t think I steeped this long enough, but it was still tasty! We picked up a couple single bags of this to try a Monk’s Blend before we invested in some looseleaf, but I enjoyed the light vanilla flavour of it.
This is definitely in your face flavoured tea – but a nice one. Ceylon tea, very nice base, strong but not bitter or tanninic and a lot of flavour. The flavouring does not seem too artificial to my tastebuds, though I am on expert on cranberry. It reminded me in strength and character of some russian brand (no idea which, packaging was in Cyrillic) flavoured teas, though perhaps this was nicer.
Lighter, fruitier teas get shoved to the back of the cabinet during the coldest weather, but it’s time for the Monk to see the light of day again.
This tail-end of a pound is ancient…seriously, easily four years old…but the grenadine-vanilla bounce (can’t call it a kick…it’s sort of like dropping cotton balls on a table, it’s so gentle) is still there, even without doubling up on the leaf.
My thoughtful and creative gift-giving husband saw to it I had about 3 bulk ounces each of German chamomile, Oregon peppermint, and lavender for experimenting and blending.
So I tried a teaspoonful of the lavender with my old standby Monk’s Blend. May have to work with the proportions a little, but it tones down the grenadine sweetness a little and — well, tastes a little like a purple Crayola. (Not that I ever actually ate one during my formative years.)
But then again, if you’re a sucker for blank paper and a brand new box of pointy crayons….
Anyway, it’s pleasant and purple and I’m feeling decidedly relaxed and Christmas pudding-y.
Just a comfy old favorite to match my Saturday morning-at-the-writing-desk ratty jeans and baggy Mizzou sweatshirt. The grenadine scent this morning makes me think of fruitcake…which makes me hungry for fruitcake…which makes me shake my head because if I’m that ADD this early in the morning, it’s going to be a LONG way to 1200 words….
A mere hint of what it says it is. I received this as a sample in a tea order and it was in an open sleeve, so I can’t really judge.
Well, at least I THINK it was Monk’s blend … I have room for just one biscuit tin of teabags on my desk, and I had made some little fill-it-yourself sachets and stuck them in a baggie and they filtered down to the bottom of the tin and I’m not sure how long they were there. Some cheapie mint foil bags have seemed to permeate the whole mess …
…but if it was what it was, despite gross neglect and mistreatment, the aroma was still quite pleasant and it was a gentle little un-tea for a cloudy lunch hour.
…and the moral to this little cautionary tale is…