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Recent Tasting Notes
I sipped down the sample that Dexter sent me a while back. Made a strong cup with the rest of the leaf and then made it into a latte with lots of sugar. Probably more sugar than I would have normally needed, but I had this right after eating two bowls of Lucky Charms, so my sugar meter is way off.
I think this had lost some flavour due to poor storage on my part, but it was still very tasty.
I’m a little obsessed with cardamom. I’ve been making cardamom ice cream and sampling different chais trying to find one with enough cardamom, so I was very excited for this.
This is straight up cardamom and black. No other notes that I’m detecting, and surprisingly dry on its own. I associate cardamom with sweet and creamy flavours (or some savoury dishes), and so I think my palette was a bit surprised by how this tasted.
With a bit of milk and sugar though, this is bliss. It’s going down a little too easy and I’m almost to the bottom of my cup already. It’s satisfying my cardamom craving very nicely.
I steeped this for four minutes, but I think for my next cup I will just steep the hell out of it, like I usually do with teas that I plan to add milk and sugar to. Get all that cardamom deliciousness into my cup.
Thanks so much to Dexter for sending me this sample!
Flavors: Bitter, Cardamon, Malt
I originally bought this to put in a TTB because it was on someone’s wishlist. Around the time I was bagging it up I had made arrangements to include this in a swap. After bagging one up I dropped the rest of bag on the floor. Not sure if it would be worth buying more of I pinched some off the top of the pile on the floor and tried it. It was so good iced, cheap and I get free shipping, I decided it was worth buying more.
This has been one of my favorite teas to occasionally drink iced this summer and I will get more for the next. Sweet jasmine and black tea
Took a quick look through the other tasting notes/ratings for this tea, and was a little surprised at how others felt about it.
I really like this tea. It’s just yummy. Nice plum, nice oolong base, juicy, not tart, really enjoyable cup.
I’m a fan of flavored oolongs in general, but most of them are done with more of a green base. This oolong is darker and that makes me happy.
Do I LOVE this tea? – no, but we can certainly be friends and I wouldn’t mind always having a little floating around.
I have had this tea twice and loved it both times. Full bodied, balanced, very slightly acidic and sweet, but in a mellow way. I have not tried it with milk – it strikes me as nearly perfect on its own.
Flavors: Tangy, Winter Honey
So it’s summer in the DC region and the humidity outside is around 70%, causing it to feel infinitely hotter than it actually says on the thermometer. Also, you feel like you’re melting.
Enter iced tea. I ordered a sample pack of this sometime last year and had never opened it. But it’s been hot. Hotter than hot. Not quite Qatar-hot, but then Qatar isn’t known for feeling like a sponge… Anyway, it’s been hot, and I have been living off iced tea. And I had just finished my last jug and was looking for something else to brew. This caught my eye and I tore open the pack.
About a 2:1 ratio of tea to sugar. Hot brewed and then stuck in the fridge once it had cooled. It’s absolutely delicious. I will have to buy more of this. Definitely. I love it. The blueberry flavor is definitely there, though it tastes more like flavor than actual blueberries (this is a common complaint on fruit teas). Light, refreshing. YUM.
This is my first hojicha from a sample Dexter3657 sent me. Dry it looks like nothing i’ve ever seen before. It looks like dark bark but has the shape of sencha. I brewed 1 tsp, 185F for 4 min.
It reminds me a bit of the roasted oolongs since there’s no typical green tea flavour. Definitely a roasty toasty tea. Thank-you Dexter for another great sample!
This is from a sample Dexter3569 sent to me ages ago, and that I’m finally sipping down (yet it was already out of my cupboard – bah!) Anyway. Slightly floral, sweet, a bit honey-ish. I remember asking to try this, and now I’m wondering why? Ice wine is a common offering in these parts, and I’ve yet to really love it. I think it’s the concept that got me (ice wine tea? Yes, please) more than the reality of it.
Regardless, this is a sipdown, and I’m always grateful to Miss Dexter for sharing so much with me.
Flavors: Flowers, Honey
Can I get a “Wooo!” This drink I made is making me do that and I haven’t gone “wow” in a while.
I haven’t had chai in a looong time but I bought almond coconut milk yesterday and I have been itching to make a cold drink of sorts with it. As I pondered for a beverage again this afternoon the idea struck me: iced chai latte. Now this might have to do a bit with Oprah — that woman knows how to make money, eh? — because I’ve been going to Starbucks a lot these past few weeks and there’s the giant sign about Oprah and some chai. So maybe my subconscious took a chai battering all these days because it came screaming out this afternoon.
So I dug out this sample from Dexter3657 that came my way during a period when I was interviewing chais for a regular spot and dumped it all in the steeper. Overleafed a little because I knew I’d be going in with ice and milk and after 4 minutes I dumped in some sugar in the raw, ice cubes halfway in a mason jar and then filled half with tea, half with almond coconut milk. Sprinkled on a small pinch of cardamom for good measure, stirred and WOW. I love this. Must make it again. Thank you to Dexter3657 for this oldie but goodie sample.
Ew. Just ew.
I got some of this in a swap with QueenOfTarts. The smell was absolutely overpowering. Sickeningly sweet. HEAVILY scented of grenadine, in a way that makes me think of the sugary syrup that bottled cherries float around with, and I mean in a BAD way. Warning bells ringing before I even started boiling water.
SO I start steeping it. I pour boiling water over the leaves and the syrup smell intensifies. No tea smell that I can tell…at first. About two minutes in, I catch a whiff of black tea. And it smells bitter, pungent and cutting to my nostrils. I worry even more. I just knew I should have used a lower water temp. I pull the leaves out a bit early (about 3min 30) and stir in a touch of sugar. Take a sip. Wait, then take another. Add more sugar. Sip. MORE SUGAR. Sip. SUGAR AND MILK, OH GOD, IS THERE ANY SAVING IT?!
The answer is no. I couldn’t doctor it in any way that made it palatable. I had to dump out the whole cup after unsuccessfully trying to shove it onto my friend. The grenadine flavor was cloyingly sweet, like fruit punch concentrate. The tea base was strong and bitter and unforgivingly in-your-face. I couldn’t take it.
I wasn’t sure if I should even write a review or not. Buuuut I felt guilty.
I might experiment with cold-brewing or try it again at a lower temperature. Then again, that experience was horrific enough to frighten anyone away forever. I don’t know if I have it in me.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to try it QueenOfTarts. I wish I had nicer things to say. ):
’Here’s Hoping’ traveling teabox Round #2 // Tea #11
The dry leaves here is a CTC black tea mixed with longer black leaves, as well as some strawberry leaves. Hmm… I’m not getting any hints of strawberry here at all, but to be fair, I was sipping this while eating raspberries. The black tea also seems a bit mild for being half CTC, but it’s tasty anyway. You can’t really beat these raspberries though, so I’ll blame those.
Steep #1 // just boiled // 3 min
Good Morning Steepster. With having little sleep last night but having to get up early and wait for a parcel re-delivery (which could be here as early as 7am) I’ve been forced to shuffle downstairs and start my day. An Earl Grey is my ‘drug’ of choice for this morning and a cream version sounds perfect, something soothing but with enough kick to stop me being zombie-fied.
New Mexico is a company I consider ordering from as they have reasonable UK shipping rates and sooo many tea blends. Not got around to it yet but it’s always good to try a sample or two before I order.
Raw scent is very perfumed and thick, the bergamot is waxy and the vanilla sweet which is a beautiful contrast.
Tea is medium strength with beautiful vanilla tones (pod ie natural)and the bergamot is waxy but light and sweetened by the vanilla. Also a light toffee style flavour. I bought some sweetener in just in-case but it’s sweet enough without it, husband agrees too.
Not as strong as it smells but it does have a nice level of flavour and it lingers in the mouth nicely.
Glad I made a pot of it this morning, it went down very well. When I eventually get around to doing an order I will get a bit more of this.
This is a very smooth black tea from china (Chinese call it red tea and is considered in high demand). This tea has a pleasant aroma, I can’t really get distinct notes from it, however, this could be drunk by any tea drinker. It does have a very light smokeyness which is pleasant. I like to steep it in a teapot for 7 minutes and add a little sugar.
This was a very pleasant every day cup of tea. It has a settle honey taste but is not bold which I prefer. This has less tannic acid which I also prefer, less bitterness. I steep 1 tsp with boiling water for 5 minutes, there is no bitterness and has a nice honey aroma like much of the Indian teas have. If you like Indian black teas I recommend this.