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Recent Tasting Notes
Another from my trade with Cameron B
This smells SO AMAZING OMG OMG OMG. Everything in the package smelled like Jasmine. It was like I opened a perfume bottle instead of a tea pouch.
I couldn’t get over how amazing it smelled. This was my first time with pearls and they were so CUTE. I am a geek I know, but I just freaked out over how cute they were.
I brewed this up at 175 degrees and 2 minutes and it smelled amazing the whole time. I poured a softly greenish tea in my cup (had to use one of the glass mugs for this one so I could see its color) and sweetened it a little after a testing sip. The sip was tasty but I like my tea sweet.. so sugar went in, but just a teaspoon. I sipped again and my mouth was happy. Green tea, tasty and delicious… No astringency or bitters. WOW! First time I’ve ever had a green tea I didn’t at least hate in some direction.
Well the flavor was nice and I sipped it warm for a while. The only issue I had was when it cooled all the way, I couldn’t finish it. Why? Because my brain was saying “This is perfume. Why are you drinking perfume? Stop drinking perfume, you’re going to be ill. This is PERFUME DAMNIT NOT TEA!” and I couldn’t win the argument. Only a few tablespoons made it to that stage tho. When it cools it really does smell just like Jasmine perfume and to make this worse, I actually wear a Jasmine Perfume most days >_< So I’m quite familiar with that scent and my brain was really sure I was drinking perfume haha. :)
I kept expecting a bad taste to appear because I kept thinking of drinking perfume.
It was not tho. It was always sweet and delicious and the Jasmine flavor was so floral and so VIVID. I couldn’t believe how bright the flavor was.
I like this. I may well need to seek some of this out. Thank you so much for sending this Cameron! I really enjoyed it ^^
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Jasmine, Perfume, Sweet
SSTTB: Pick #12
This is the second Mint Chai that I drank today as a direct comparison with Whispering Pines’ Peppermint Chai. Like I said in the tasting note for that one, the two were really, really dissimilar.
Unlike the WP blend – this one didn’t really feel like a Chai at all. Instead this one seemed to be much more about the smooth creamy vanilla mint flavour which perfectly fit the earthy Pu’Erh. The Pu’Erh base in this kinda reminded me of clay a little bit, and then the Vanilla/Mint due (which was pretty evenly balanced) sweetened it up a bit and kept it from feeling gritty or unpleasant. As far as the “Chai” element, in this one the most that I picked up on was the cinnamon in it which almost made it feel Christmas-y to me? For whatever reason.
Both were really good, just in different ways. However, I think that I liked Whispering Pines’ version better even though it was more Chai like, the reason for that being that I liked the weird Halva flavour I experienced with it because of the unexpected nostalgia. It was a tea that made me experience something other than the tea, and it’s kinda hard for this one to compete with that.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clay, Cream, Mint, Vanilla
I’ve had this (sealed) tin for a year or two, but when I first opened it the smell was as strong as if it had been blended yesterday. The black leaves appear to be almost be oiled – I’m not sure if that’s the oil of bergamot or if that’s their natural appearance.
The bergamot is strong in both scent and flavour almost to the point of being unpleasantly pungent when I tried drinking the tea without milk. With the addition of milk it’s much better, but the bergamot is still a bit strong for my preferences. It brings to mind Adagio’s Earl Grey Bravo though this is a bit smoother and more refined than that one. I seem to be having difficulty finding jut the right earl grey – most of the ones I’ve tries either go too light on the bergamot or add too much.
I made my friend who does not particularly like tea try this with me after I had purchased my first electric tea kettle (and splurged on tea to try with it) and he loved it and ended up drinking more than me, probably around three cups.
When I grabbed it in the store I could smell it through the box already. It smelt delicious, like freshly baked blueberry muffins. As soon as I got home I had to try it. I picked it over the other five flavors of tea I had bought that day. I was NOT disappointed.
It tasted exactly like it had smelt, but also had a hint of almost black tea too it. The blueberry sent was amazing, and the taste matched it perfectly. I am no tea expert, and my experience in trying rooibos is lacking, so I cannot comment on that much, but the flavor did not disappoint.
I know for a fact this is going to become one of my favorite teas in my collection and will be a reoccurring purchase for me!
I was craving some more hot green tea, but it was so hot that I opted for this Rishi Citron Green iced. Then it dawned on me: why not see how this tastes hot, before cooling it down?
Turns out that the hot brew is very tasty! This may be the most economical way to drink Rishi, since the iced tea bags pack a generous 10 grams, and they produce a beautiful liter of iced tea plus two nice glasses of hot. The first glass was from the first infusion, but then I resubmerged the bag in another glass of hot water, and I must say that it tastes as good as the first. This suggests that I should try a third, and I shall…
I don’t usually go for flavored green teas, but this one has a very good green tea base and some nice jasmine, in addition to the lemon grass (which fortunately is smooth, not strident here) and citrus oils.
I’m definitely increasing my rating of this tea. I do believe that I prefer it hot!
Flavors: Citrus, Jasmine
It looks as though the recipe for Rishi Citron Green may have changed. There is definitely no rooibos in this box! I prepared a quart-sized bag using the cold brew method, left to infuse in the refrigerator overnight.
To be honest, I was pessimistic because of the overwhelming scent of the dried tea, which was basically lemongrass, lemongrass, lemongrass. Fortunately, the iced tea tastes quite a bit more balanced. There are some other gentle citrus flavors mingling with a real jasmine green tea base. Not bad at all, though the lemongrass does dominate.
(Blazing New Rating #75)
I found the most exciting new coffee/tea shop ever!!!!! I drove by a shop about 3 miles from my house and noticed a new sign…. The Blue Box Cafe. I say to my self… Oh, how funny? Like Doctor Who. But then I go, sure it is… here in Elgin. Well guess what, it is a Doctor Who themed tea/coffee shop!!! Doctor Who and Tea… what could be better! This looks like my new obsession!
Well my cup of tea could have been better. Not much flavor, no bergamot. But they have other loose leaf teas, so I’ll try some more.
They have a nice selection of pastry, salads and sandwiches. Nothing looked Weight Watchers friendly, but I think I’ll find something I can eat without so many calories.I’m sure I’ll find my way there, frequently! :D
This is a fun little tea – it’s a leaf hopper, and I always find those fascinating. This one is a nice balance between dark oolong (nutty, roasty, but not too mineral) and the honey sweetness of the hopper influence. Really happy to have had the chance to try this one. Thank you Ubacat for sending this my way.
Undaunted by my recent lapse, I have donned my Blazing New Rating cap and brewed up another tea new to me: Rishi Peach Blossom.
Once again, I am impressed by a Rishi tea. This one boasts a combination of White Peony from Fujian and Silver Needle from Yunnan along with various essences, including citrus and jasmine, along with natural peach flavor.
Judging by the appearance of the dried leaves, there is much more White Peony than Silver Needle in this blend, but the brewed liquor is very smooth and tastes a lot fancier than your typical flavored White Peony, many of which are evidently of lower quality than this one, which is organic.
The liquor is bright yellow, to my surprise, and I can taste the orange oil in the background, especially after having read that it is there. Actually, I’m now on the second infusion, and it may be that the orange has become more dominant than the peach. The scent of the dried leaves was very, very peachy, but by now the liquor seems just as much about orange if not more than about peach.
I have not had that many peach-flavored teas, but I am impressed by the quality of the underlying white tea in this Rishi blend. I’ll probably try a third infusion tonight, as the spent leaves are still rather fragrant.
(Blazing New Rating #68)
Flavors: Orange, Peach
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Flavors: Floral, Honeydew, Sweet, Vegetal
Trying this one cold brewed this evening – since it’s the weekend, I’m not too worried about having caffeine this late. I used a teaspoon of pearls for 8 ounces of water and left it to brew in the fridge for six hours.
The floral is just way too strong for me when this is cold. I can’t taste anything but jasmine! I think I may try this again and just use a very short steep time, maybe two or three hours. Or I may try it hot brewed and then chilled. Ideas for tomorrow! :)
So this is my second jasmine pearl tea (the first being free sample from Yezi). I wish I could taste them both side-by-side, but without that option, I think I like this one a little better. The little pearls are tightly rolled and about a quarter inch in diameter. The smell of the dry tea is amazing – such a strong and sweet jasmine aroma. It smells like actual flowers, not like a perfume, which is a very good sign. The directions say to use a tablespoon (!) of tea per 8 ounces of water, so this is what I did. I think in the future I could definitely get away with using less per cup.
The brewed tea smells very jasminey, though definitely not as strongly as the dry (thank goodness). I can also catch a hint of a sweet, vegetal green tea behind the jasmine. I really enjoy the taste of this tea. The jasmine flavor is prominent and it’s definitely the star, but I can also taste the sweet and mellow green tea base. It came out a tiny bit bitter for me, but I think using less tea or maybe a tiny bit shorter steep would eliminate this. The aftertaste is very floral. I found this was delicious with just half a teaspoon of sugar – it seemed to round out the jasmine flavor.
Flavors: Jasmine, Sweet, Vegetal
First time I tried it it was like: ouch, that is a strong bergamot taste. I added some milk and I started to enjoy it more and more. It’s perfect for mornings like 6.am or so…Later then that, I prefer having the earl grey of Dammann Frere. I have always been faithful to the dammann frere taste, but will accept this only for a change once in a while.
What a roller coaster ride this tea has been! Rishi Orange Blossom sounded so exciting to me—I imagined something like a high-quality (Rishi) jasmine green tea, but with the jasmine petals switched out for orange blossoms. How could I, a major white floral maven, resist?
Upon opening the packet, I was shocked to see that the bulk of the dried material was lemongrass, not tea! The scent also smelled like orange oil (not orange blossom) with a hint of jasmine in the background. At this point, I was quite pessimistic.
The brew proved me wrong, however! I was expecting this blend to be completely overwhelmed by the abundant lemon grass. Instead, the golden liquor tasted very similar to a jasmine-scented green tea with a touch of lemon myrtle!
It’s a very pleasant blend, but this is not really an orange blossom tea, in my opinion. It’s more like a perfume tea, with a harmonious mingling of several essences. The green tea base is very much in the background, but it carries the floral scents well. Thank goodness lemongrass does not predominate!
second infusion: perhaps predictably, a reinfusion produced more of a lemongrass taste—almost a tisane!
third infusion: I did not taste this but transferred it to the refrigerator to drink iced. The liquor is still quite bright and strongly redolent of lemongrass…
(Blazing New Rating #35)
My second Rishi experience, Jade Cloud is an organic and fair trade China green which brews up pale yellow with a touch of green.
The scent and appearance of both the dried and the infused leaves remind me very much of Mao Feng, though this tea is identified by Rishi as “Wulu”. The flavor offers some interesting Long Jing facets as well.
A solid offering, and a yummy lunchtime tea! I made a big pot and will be reinfusing the leaves for a post-dinner decaffeinated green.
(Blazing New Rating #15)
Let me put it this way. If I make this tea for you it means a love you, because I hoard this tea like an addict. All it took was one whiff of this tea through the box while I was in the store and I was in love, and I haven’t looked back since.
This is the tea that completely changed my mind about white teas. Its not as delicate as I expected, definitely lighter and lacking the sometimes unpleasant astringency of black teas.
Taste: succulent peaches. Seriously, this tea taste the same as it smells. Juicy, peachy with a hint of citrus. Not all that sweet on its own but requires just the tinest amount of sugar to really enhance its natural peachy flavor.
Liquor: pale gold when steeped in short periods. darker gold/light amber when cold steeped over night in the fridge. The taste remains more or less the same, but picks up a slight bitterness when steeped overnight.
Flavors: Citrus, Peach
(backlog from 5/29/14)
This is my very first tea from Rishi, which seems to have a devoted clientele of fine tea connoisseurs. I’ve been wondering about these teas for a while, but at Whole Foods they seems never to go on sale and seem a bit pricey—for a grocery store tea! Or are they?
The first infusion of Silver Needle Jasmine was a light peach-tinged liquor. According to the box, this blend contains not only jasmine petals, but magnolia as well. However, to me this is nearly a jasmine soliflore experience—a bit like drinking perfume, and I mean that in a positive way! The texture is smooth and silken. Unsurprisingly the tea itself is not contributing much flavor. I rarely get much taste out of white teas, the tofu of the tea world, it seems to me.
second infusion: liquor more yellow than peach and quite pale, with the flavor correspondingly lighter. The spent leaves were a bit stinky, so this will be all for this tea today.
(Blazing New Rating #10)
So my computer died as I was typing my note for this tea. Not good. I got it up and running again, but I think I’ll be computer shopping before too long.
Anyway, this tea is full of amazing coconut yumminess. The coconut combined with the buttery flavor of the oolong and the sweetness of the pineapple, I loved each and every sip. This is sure to be a summer favorite, and I’m already looking forward to a resteep. I can’t wait for my daughter to get home from school. This tea is right up her ally.
Not sure about this one. I like the ginger. It’s got a nice kick, which I enjoy, but the overall taste is a little weak. I brewed according to the directions, and steeped at the high end of the time range,
If I have enough left, I’ll try using 1.5x to 2x the tea per 8 oz next time. I want to like this a little more because I love ginger so much.
’Here’s Hoping’ traveling teabox Round #2 // Tea #37
I knew just by the sight of these leaves that it would be a nice one. It looks like the leaves were picked in an elf forest or something! All twisty and different colors… well, tea colors, not rainbow colors. I’ve tried a couple Earl Lavenders lately, and this is my favorite. All of the elements fit together. The black tea is the perfect base, the lavender is the right strength. I just could have used more bergamot, but what is there adds a lovely brightness. This is the second tea I’ve tried from Rishi this week and I love them! I’m taking the last couple of teaspoons of this out of the teabox.