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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m in a bit of a tea funk today. I just can’t decide what I want to drink, nothing seems to be hitting me. However, I was determined to find something—if I get out of the habit of drinking tea every day I find it kind of hard to get back on the horse. So I decided to just go for it and put on water without deciding on a tea. My teapot doesn’t whistle when the water is ready so I have to time it, not the best idea looking back because I ended up with only a few seconds left, frantically digging through my sample bin in search of something. I have well over 100 different teas in there to try but I seriously couldn’t pick out any one that screamed “try me” so I went with a flavor combo I knew I’d love—caramel, chocolate, and hazelnut. This is from my box from LiberTEAS and I’ve actually been meaning to try it for about a week so it seemed like the perfect fit.
This smells a lot like Florence, with a hint of caramel. The dominant flavor for me seems to be chocolate, with the caramel and hazelnut about even. There’s a bit of bitterness as others have noted, but it’s not overpowering and I can definitely handle it. Definitely an enjoyable cup, but I do wish there was less chocolate—Caramel Praline in my mind is just caramel and nuts, and as it is this blend is just a bit too similar to Florence for me. Still glad I had a chance to try it out and it got me back in a “tea mood!”
Ovation teas really has an insane amount of flavor combinations, and it makes it so hard to choose, especially since you can’t order samples. It’s probably because they apparently blend each tea to order, so they don’t make small amounts, but it would be nice if they had some of their standard teas available for samples. But plenty of other companies don’t offer samples either. I had a groupon-style deal for this company and had an impossible time trying to decide what teas to get from their blends, and whether I should go for the custom blend, but ultimately I decided to try a custom blend another time. Blending to order probably means I should wait for the flavors to meld a bit more before trying them, but it’s been about a week since they’ve been blended so I’m going to give them a first try now.
The smell of the dry leaf on this one is great. I get a lot of chocolate, caramel, and nuttiness. Definite yum. It brewed up fairly light in color, and I’m afraid I might have made it a bit weak… I don’t make tea in my small teapot at home all that frequently, and I think I might have overfilled it. Anyway, the aroma of the steeped tea has much less chocolate but more caramel nuttiness, along with a bit of roastiness that almost reminds me of a dark oolong.
The flavor is a little weak, certainly my fault, but what’s there is nice. It’s nutty, chocolatey, and caramelly, with a pretty pleasant black tea backing it up. The nuts are actually hazelnuts (and there are big halves of them in the blend), so it ends up tasting kind of like a caramelly Florence. A good combo! It does seem like there is a hint of bitterness, which is probably coming from the Assam in the base (I’m pretty sure all their black bases are an Assam/Ceylon blend), which isn’t my favorite, but I have been able to make it work in their teas before. I am interested to try this one in another couple of weeks under more normal circumstances and after the flavors have “matured” some more.
Whee! I got new tea in the mail from SimplyJenW today! I couldn’t wait to try this one, so we served it at tea party just an hour after it arrived.
The dry leaves smelled AWESOME! I love that scent. The tea smells sweet and the fig adds a wonderful note that is both a high fruity note but is warm at the same time. I really, really like this! No additions, and I really must finish the pot so I can stop sitting here sniffing it and move on to other things! No additions…this is too good just as it is.
Thank you, Jen!
Hmm. This one is puzzling. I am on my second pot of this, and I really don’t know what to think of it. When I think of figs, I think of something sweet like raisins. Brown sugar, well, I think it should be light in a mapley-type flavor but not quite there. The tea itself smells pretty good, and I do imagine there is some difference between this and the tea base on its own, but I really am not getting much in the way of flavor. Maybe I am just looking for the wrong flavors? I think the other problem is that the way the flavors play with the tea base reminds me of the Metro tea base I don’t like. It is smooth with no bitterness, and really might appeal to someone else. All of this is just my personal take on the tea, but I know I will not be reordering or remaking this one.
Now that I made it sound so good, does anyone want a sample? ;)
Sample from Sil, thanks Sil!
This one got away from me for a minute and it is strong. I’m not getting too much chocolate flavour in the first steep, only in the aftertaste and in the aroma of the liquor. The aftertaste is really quite nice, chocolate and orange.
Really strong base. If it weren’t for the aftertaste I’d think I’m drinking a strong cup or Orange Pekoe. I know that sounds like maybe I have amazing taste memory. I don’t. It’s just that I used to drink a lot of Orange Pekoe. Ok, I used to drink only Orange Pekoe. I never bothered to try other teas, to me tea was tea so just pick up the giant box of Tetley Orange Pekoe and I was set. Ignorant fool, huh?
2nd steep is much nicer. Still no chocolate but easier to drink, lot less strong.
Parameters: 1 perfect measure, 8 oz water just off boiling. 3 minutes. Same temp. and time for 2nd steep.
Good morning! This is another sample from the Traveling Tea Box Pass B! Assam is one of my favorite black teas, so I had to try this tea this morning. I am still limiting myself to 1-2 cups of tea per day or every few days.
I couldn’t detect the scent too much on this one. I think it is because it was in my sample box along with other teas. The scent was a little mixed up. Anyway, the leaves are medium sized, and some are a little wavy shaped. The tea brewed up a nice light brown color. It didn’t need any additives as this wasn’t astringent at all. It has a very slightly sweet taste to it. Everything about this tea is light and airy. The slightly malty flavors come out in this tea. Delicious!
In addition, my electric tea kettle developed some rust at the very bottom edge, so I haven’t been able to use it. Boiling water in the pot that I have makes it taste like metal or teflon yuck. So I have been resorting to microwaving my water GASP. I don’t like it too much. I need to buy a stainless steel pot or a new tea kettle. I’ve been looking into the glass ones, but I am not sure how reliable and durable they are.
thank you kittylovestea for this one in our swaps! So not only did Kitty send along this tea but she was also amazing and sent along a package of jaffa cakes for me to try since they aren’t a thing out here in Canada. Can i just say we are missing out! But i’m also glad because i would eat them all the damn time.
This tea is delicious! Those who have been following know that i love chocolate orange…it’s one of my favourite flavour combinations. This tea is more chocolate than orange but that doesn’t take away from it’s deliciousness :) I like the chocolate in this tea. It’s lacking that weirdly artificial taste that a lot of teas have. I just wish the orange was a weeeee bit stronger. Overall though, looking forward to drinking up more of this! :)
this tea smells amazing! intensely orange and rich chocolate. oh sweet honey pow!
i brewed it at home and brought a new teacup to work to enjoy it in. :) my standard process is, i brew the tea in my timolino, and then pour a few ounces at a time into my desk teacup as i drink. keeps it hot!
i’ve been using a melamine teacup and saucer for months and months. this is because when i came to my current job 3 years ago, i had my favorite thrift store cup and saucer all ready to take with me to my new job, and dropped it on the kitchen floor moments before i stepped out the door. shattered into pieces. first day at a new job in a new city and i was all nerves and anxiety. i was so sad. it was MY CUP! there was nothing special about it and i loved it! so after that i used the blue melamine cup, cuz melamine doesn’t break. hah
(but melamine does tend to stain so if anyone has any advice for removing the stains i’d love to hear it!)(i did try the denture tablets 2 times already but it didn’t seem to make any improvement.)
so hello new cup!
welcome to my desk!
this is a nice smooth chocolatey tea. interestingly enough i still find the scent of the tea, both dry and steeped, to be much stronger than the actual flavor. if i was trying to be critical i might say i wish the orange was stronger i guess? but the orange is great to just add an edge and tone to the airy chocolateness and teaness. it’s not a deep broody chocolate tea, it’s a festive chocolate orangey tea!! great for a sunny morning!
thanks so much Shadowfall for letting me try this!! i’m glad to have more to brew too, cuz this MAY not have been the most accurate brewing i’ve ever done. in which case i will update my notes. whooten whooten!
Additional notes: The tea box is winding down… I think I’ll have enough time to try the other teas before I go to the PO on Wed… so I’m going back to my own tea collection a bit. Basically I wanted to try all of my Ovation teas again since I’ve recently read on some tasting notes that they might be going bad. This one appears the same and the flavor seems the same as I remember EXCEPT this was in a thin bag stored with another thin bag of Harney’s Paris. Both were in one of those big metallic Teavivre pouches and now it seems the fig has absorbed some of the Paris flavors! I didn’t know that was possible but it isn’t a bad thing for this tea. This one is still okay…
I bought some of this from Yssah with Ovation’s sad going out of business sale. thanks! I had a cup a while ago but wanted to wait to review to see what another cup tasted like…pretty much the same! The dry leaves are super black and twisty. There were MANY fig pieces in my infuser, so much that I added more tea leaves. Hopefully all of the fig didn’t find its way in my infuser this time! I steeped for a few minutes (wasn’t paying attention.) I think the only fig I’ve ever had is from those fig newton cookies. I had them at the babysitter’s as a four year old, mostly. Would a four year old like those? I did! Though they wouldn’t have been my cookie of choice. Other people have said they don’t like the dark tasting base with the brown sugar/fig flavors, but I think they are perfect together. I just wish for more of a fig/brown sugar flavor. The black tea base is definitely different but that makes it interesting. I really like strong dark teas, so maybe that is why I like this one. It’s kind of like malty molasses. (One of my favorite teas is even more like molasses— Golden Moon’s Sinharaja.) I think this was my least favorite from the many Ovation teas I tried (around 10?), but I still really like this one.
It’s been a few hours since I arrived back from my long weekend in Eastbourne/Brighton and I’m absolutely knackered (British slang for exhausted). We had a nice time, luckily the weather held for the most part and I even managed to find a gorgeous Crown Derby antique cat to add to my ornament collection (even if it did cost £80 it was worth it).
I got this tea out to pack it as part of a tea exchange and my husband asked where I was hiding the Jaffa Cakes because he could smell them :) This tea has such a strong scent, it’s gorgeous. Fooled him anyway.
In appearance it has good sized orange and chocolate pieces along with large yellow petals and finely chopped black tea leaves.
Once steeped the tea was dark brown in colour with a rich chocolatey aroma.
Flavour is very chocolatey and tastes like a thin/watery cocoa drink. The orange is not strong but subtle citrus and fruit tones are noticeable. Amongst both the orange and the chocolate there are slight velvety, smoky and sweet tones that blend well together and make a delicious chocolate based tea.
This is on the upper end of the scale when it comes to chocolate tea but only reaches average grade for orange tea, purely because it’s overpowered by the chocolate. So what I am getting at is that this is more of a chocolate tea with a hint of orange rather than being a chocolate and orange drink or even an orange and some chocolate drink.
It’s nice and a shame that Ovation closed down so I can’t get any more but I have a feeling it could be fairly easy to replace. Still a nice warm welcome home treat.
I bought some of this from Alphakitty when Ovation had their sad out-of-business sale. thanks alphakitty! I thought I’d have some of this with some lemon meringue pie for breakfast (no judging!:D). It sounded like the perfect combination and it is! The blend has some HUGE blueberries that you can’t really see, since it is the same color as the super black tea leaves. There is also a few flowers and some orange peel. The only way I could think to improve Ovation’s earl grey is to actually have more bergamot. There were a ton of orange peels in my infuser, and I think there was more of an orange flavor than bergamot. There was a hint of blueberry which I’m not sure is from the actual blueberries or flavoring, but it tastes pretty authentic to me. I love the fruitiness mixed with the medium bodied black tea. The black tea is brisk and a bit tough, and the other flavors make it gulpable and thirst quenching. I love this one.. I just wish for more bergamot! I’ll try steeping for less than five minutes next time.
This was a pleasant tea. (Thanks for the sample, Starfevre!)
It seems odd to be saying this, given what Starfevre wrote:
Although I could smell the caramel in the dry leaves, and that was lovely, I couldn’t taste very much caramel. And I couldn’t really detect the vanilla at all. I dunno, maybe it’s my taste buds.
I then tried sweetening it up quite a bit (from 1/4 tsp sugar to 3/4 tsp), and I added a little milk, and that made it better.
It was nice, and I enjoyed it overall, but I really wanted the flavours to be more pronounced.
Mango, Peach, Lavender, Rose, and Black Tea flavors make up this flavor combo and all are present and accounted for. This is very well balanced and quite impressive. It’s sweet, floral, rich, smooth, while still allowing you to taste the black tea base at a medium-strength level of intensity. I like this! It’s a goodie!
Thanks Lariel! I was letting this cool while I was doing yoga and the aroma made my mouth water! It’s very sweet smelling. The flavor is sweet. The black tea base is very bold and very present. The caramel and praline flavors are more in the background and aftertaste. There is a bit of a dark chocolate\coco flavor that is almost as strong as the black tea base. I’m glad I got the chance to try it! Thanks again!