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Recent Tasting Notes
The 3rd mug of a 1 oz sample is a bit weak, so I’m trying to decide what to do with it. When I finished the spiced chai I just added apple chai mix, but I don’t know that that would go well with vanilla chai.
I shouldn’t have filled my mug and only made a half a mug or something! If you buy their samples, remember that when making the last mug!
I was confused when I went to add this one; I thought perhaps the website had it’s information mixed up. The description also lists vanilla in this (non-vanilla) chai! But, the ingredients list on the package does say vanilla, so I guess the website is right.
It definitely does not have the smooth vanilla aftertaste of the vanilla chai I drank Tuesday, so if I was going to pick one I’d say that the vanilla instant is the better drink. This one is spicier, but also tastes more of artificial creamer.
Of SBS Tea’s instant chai, I like the apple best… unfortunately that one is on clearance. I guess she’s not going to reblend it. :-( Of the stuff in stock the vanilla is my favorite.
Since I got an email about 20% off from SBS, I decided to splurge and buy some cocoas and instant chais for the office. This one is really delightful.
At first it’s like a normal (instant) chai, but the aftertaste is a very strong vanilla. It still doesn’t compete with a traditionally brewed (stovetop) chai, but for a quick pick-me-up in the office it’s great! I’m definitely getting more of this one!
I purchased the ForLife Curve teacup for work so now I can brew loose leaf teas in the office.
I’m not sure why I bought this one, since I’m not fond of white teas. Sweetened with splenda, it hides the bite that I don’t like in whites.
The pomegrante taste is there, but only slightly. It’s present as a mild “fruit” taste not as a good pomegrante flavor. I should note, though, that’s it’s made with “flavorings” and I’m not good at picking up on “flavorings”.
So I looked on the SBS Teas website and couldn’t find this tea, and my (admittedly half-assed) attempts to locate a description didn’t turn anything up. Oh well. I mean, the name’s fairly self-explanatory, right? Strawberries and Kiwis. Fairly fruity, I should think.
The dry leaves smell strongly of strawberry.
You know how some teas age better than others? It seems that way in my experience; the tin of jasmine tea I bought in Chinatown tasted the same as the day I bought it when sampled several years later, but my favorite Valentine’s blend from Adagio often loses much of its flavor over the course of a year. This ‘Strawberry Kiwi Tropicana’ falls into the latter category; as I drink it hot and fresh I can’t taste anything remotely kiwi. Heck, I can barely taste the strawberry.
As it cools the fruity flavor becomes a little stronger. It’s strawberry, but a tarter, greener berry. It’s like those orange strawberries that just aren’t ripe yet but pickers hide them at the bottom of your box.
It doesn’t taste bad, it’s just pretty meh. I think that’s simply because the flavor’s never strong. I’d rank this at a ‘weak teabag’ level.
For what it’s worth, the image/ingredients list of this tea mentions that there will be dried peach pieces in the tea, and in my bag of it not a peach bit appears.
This was a very vegetable-like peach tea. By this, I guess I mean that while there is a note that would definitely be peachish, it’s not a sweet tea. It reminds me more of an extremely mild asparagus or broccoli, with a bit of peach juice dribbled on the side.
I haven’t tasted a peach tea like this before, so in a way it’s nice. ‘Peach Oolong’ from SBS Teas doesn’t taste like the syrupy sweet tea you get pre-bottled from the major beverage companies (‘enhanced’ with mountains of high fructose corn syrup) or the lighter, fresher flavor found in Adagio’s blends. Trying new flavors is good, right? But it’s not what I was looking for, either. So I feel somewhat disappointed by that.
I generally enjoy minty, candy cane flavored black teas, and this one might just be my favorite of the bunch. There’s something about the flavor that’s just a bit different from other candy cane teas, and I’ve yet to figure out a way to adequately describe it. It’s not that it’s sweeter, it’s not that it’s mintier. This tea does have hunks of actual candy canes in it, so I suspect it’s something the candy canes themselves are imparting. Whatever it is, it makes this tea a favorite with me.
This is a very interesting blend of tea. (Tisane to you herbal-free purists.) Every sip seems to reveal a new flavor. My first sip, when the tea is piping hot, is very creamy. The strong almond flavor makes me think of marzipan. It feels very smooth on the tongue.
As the tea cools, the hibiscus in the blend (nearly invisible at the beginning) grows in strength. It’s as if it floats to the surface, for it remains a top note, the tangy tip of the flavor iceberg. The middle notes are chocolate, that lovely almond, and the hint of something fruity. Perhaps the apple or the pear?
Now that the tea is cold, the blood orange’s citrus tang rises to the surface with the ever stronger hibiscus presence. Interesting.
Finishing up my sample of this because today I am LAZY and it’s instant. How’s that for horrible?
It’s more ginger-root than gingerbread, but otherwise okay. I’m not planning to reorder it, though. I like how easy it is to have chai at work, so I may order some of their other flavors (their cocoa is really good, too). That wouldn’t violate my tea restriction, would it?
“The base teas are Assam and Keemun; the addition of Chinese Lychee tea…and small amounts of Lapsang offer a hint of smokiness.”
HINT of smokiness my @$$! (I felt bad cussing in my review.)
My quest for lychee once again goes awry. This blend sounded like it had the potential to be very interesting, with the fruitiness of lychee and the other black teas to mitigate the terrifying Lapsang Souchong, but unfortunately the smoky flavor dominates the cup.
This will be jumping into that traveling tea box whenever it finally makes its way to me, for sure!
Tastes mostly like spices. There’s a hint of apples in the back, but not much. I’m going to try mixing it with Adagio’s sour apple next and see if I get more of a “apple cider” taste (but probably not, since that would add hibiscus… but that’s the only apple that I have).
It’s not bad, but not outstanding.
(and now I think I’m all caught up)
This is my knockout tea for night-time. When I can’t sleep, I just brew a pot up and by the time I’ve finished my first mug I’m groggy and off to bed.
It’s got a strong herbal flavor; I can really taste the mint and the citrusy lemon but beyond that the flavors all blend together. (That and I’ve never tasted most of the ingredients individually so I couldn’t tell you what they taste like, anyway.)
It’s called ‘Psychic’ because this tisane is supposed to open your mind to higher knowledge, or something, but it’s not an effect I’ve noticed. It gives me very lucid, vivid dreams though. That’s pretty cool.
Made as a “dirty chai” this time – half a cup of coffee, half a cup of hot water.
WOW, the ginger is really coming through this time. All I taste is ginger (and not the sweet gingerbread flavor, but real ginger). This is really peculiar. I know there’s coffee and spices and cream and other stuff there, but I’m not tasting it. The ginger is totally overwhelming it.
So, caffienated tea at night is bad. I was up way too late last night. BUT, my order from SBS Teas arrived, so this morning I rushed through my typical wakeup coffee to try new stuff.
Well, this is… interesting.
The gingerbread flavor is there, as well as the typical chai spice flavor, and the creaminess, and the sweet… all of the flavors I expect… but they just don’t really blend together well.
It certainly was easy to make though.
‘Tricky Treats’ is a Halloween limited edition from SBS Teas. I don’t believe it was available this year, or if it was it came and went so quickly that it’s no longer on the website! That’s rather too bad, as it makes it hard to provide information about the tea, but I’ll try my best.
So in my bag of this blend I can see black tea, flowers (chamomile would be my best guess?) , little chocolate candies, cloves, cinnamon, and candy sprinkles. There’s also random chopped up bits of this and that, but I don’t know them by sight.
This is a sweet tea. It reminds me a little bit of a mild cinnamon candy. There’s the familiar cinnamon tingle, but the blend is more complex, with a rich ‘mulled spice’ flavor that is sweetened with the sugary taste of the multicolored sprinkles.
Side note: I’ve never seen sprinkles in a tea before. First time for everything!
Honestly, I think this blend really captures Halloween. It’s an adult flavor with warm spiciness and just a hint of trick-or-treaters’ candy. Quite yummy.
I probably oversteeped this tea; if it is not oversteeped it may also have been overheated, since the brewing instructions suggest using water in the 150-160 degree range and the water that comes out of our automatic heater is definitely warmer.
My attempt at brewing this Maté Tiramisu tastes like coffee, basically. There’s a bitter note to the brew that I assume comes from leaving the leaves too long, but it’s similar to the bitterness of dark chocolate so maybe it’s supposed to be there. There’s a nuttiness to the flavor as well. I like it well enough, and I think I’ll have to experiment further with this blend and see if I can bring out more of the tiramisu flavor with proper steep times and temperature. But for all that I screwed up, this still tastes OK. It would complement tiramisu or other sweet desserts quite well.
Coffee flavored tea sounds like a weird thing, but it really is quite nice. Basically, it’s like all of the good things about the flavor of coffee without the harshness- think a coffee flavor on the smooth base of tea. In any case, I love this tea- the coffee and cream flavors are both evident, and it produces a lovely after dinner cup.