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Recent Tasting Notes
I just came across this old tasting note that I had intended to post as a review once upon a time, but I didn’t. Unfortunately, I don’t see this tea on Shanti’s website anymore, so I guess it’s no longer available … so I guess I’ll just post a tasting note about it rather than write a full-length review.
I enjoyed this chai. It’s a blend of both black and green teas, and usually when I brew those, I brew it at a lower temperature to accommodate the green tea leaves. The black tea still tasted remarkably full and nicely round even though it was brewed at a low temperature. The spices were peppery but not overly spicy. The basil (Tulsi) notes added a really pleasant dimension of flavor to the cup.
Overall, an enjoyable and delightfully different chai, it’s a shame that it’s not on the website anymore. And since it’s no longer available, I won’t bother with a rating for it.
Backlog:A Really nice alternative to the typical breakfast tea – I don’t usually choose an Oolong tea for a breakfast tea, but this tea tastes very much like ‘breakfast’ to me with the lovely maple notes and the smoky character. There are rich buttery and nutty tones too.
Later infusions offer fewer maple-y notes, but I started to pick up on some peach-y notes and I enjoyed that too. By the fifth and sixth infusions, there were but mere wisps of smoke to the cup, and very little maple-ish flavors, but there were nice nutty notes and peach-y flavors to make up for it.
A really lovely flavored Oolong. Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/05/20/smoked-maple-oolong-tea-from-shanti-tea/
A celebration of spring in a teacup! A smooth, silky Oolong with a light buttery flavor and texture and a sweet, floral tone. The citrus and berry notes complement the Oolong.
It’s a bright, invigorating cup. I love the warm notes of fennel in this. It’s not a strong fennel presence, but just enough snappy warmth and just a hint of licorice adds a nice contrast to the sweet and tangy fruit notes. This one offers several infusions too. Nice!
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/29/spring-fever-oolong-blend-shanti-tea/
this came to me by way of a lovely surprise gift from CelebriTEA. a note in my inbox queried whether her package had arrived…? (what package? i wondered) steepster is a brilliant community and CelebriTEA decided a tea surprise was in order!
i’ve never had any shanti teas before. erring on the side of caution (stupid allergies) CelebriTEA chose a selection of unflavoured brilliance to arrive on my doorstep. this was the first i tried.
confession: often even with tea swaps even if i’m hugely looking forward to a sample i’ll drink it once and wait a bit. even if i buy it myself…. i don’t do back to back servings (i’m a terrible resteeper). i did with this tea!
hint of malt, hint of chocolate, very smooth caffeine kick. ‘refined’ is the word i would choose. a natural sweetness, though i do enjoy a bit of turbinado and cream. if i think really hard possibly light elements akin to citrus? making me think it may be fijian in origin? possibly?
lovely. thank you so much CelebriTEA for thinking of me as i knuckle down in my studies =0).
how can there be so few reviews for this tea? it’s awesome? if you enjoy straight black teas, folks- this is one i would recommend for sure!
Thanks for the sample, MissB! It was the perfect size for my little teapot. :)
SO FLORAL. Wow. And it smells extremely sweet! The daisies are chrysanthemum, I’m pretty sure.
Steeped up with a bit of cream added, it’s a really nice chai! The floral is less in my face, probably toned down by the dairy. It’s nice and sweet, and seems to have a decent balance of flavours.
While this is a tea I do like, I’m not sure I’d get it again just because I’m not sure I’d ever do an order from this company! If I do, it is definitely on my “to buy” list. :)
A seriously yummy rooibos blend. The cardamom and fennel give this a nice warmth. I love the licorice-y note from the fennel. Citrus is noticeable toward the finish.
But the maple is the star of this show. sweet and I love the way it melds with the spices. Really yummy. Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/02/03/red-maple-spice-tisane-shanti-tea/
It would appear that this tea is no longer being sold by Shanti, and that’s a shame because I am really enjoying it. It’s a different approach to chai, offering only cardamom as one of the “usual” suspects in a chai blend (I consider the usual suspects to be cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and ginger … there are other spices used often in chai, but usually these are the four that you find in most chai.) There is anise in this which I love and while it is often found in chai, it’s not as common as the previously four mentioned spices.
But the two of these spices together with the Tulsi offer a warm, gently spiced cup. The spices are strong but they aren’t overwhelming. It presents a nice, cozy-tasting cuppa.
It gets a yum from me, but because it’s no longer offered, I’m not going to bother rating it.
A decent chamomile blend. I like the lemon grass, it adds a bright note to the cup.
Soothing, a gentle sweetness with a hint of tartness. An enjoyable “cozy” cup.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/01/07/lemomila-tisane-shanti-tea/
Sipdown no. 107 of the year 2014. I barely had enough left in this sample for a single cup.
I’m liking this again today, enough to put on the list in case I ever get out of lockdown and order from Shanti again. It’s different from other green teas I’ve had and fills a nice gap in the green tea flavor gamut.
My last Shanti sample. Am I the only person who tries the samples before the actual order? Hehehe.
I don’t think I’ve had a green Darjeeling before. I steeped it as a green tea, though I’m not sure whether that was right. The dry leaves have the Darjeeling sharpness but in a muted sort of way, with an underlying greenish scent.
In the cup, it looks like a green tea—pale yellow, clear liquor. The aroma is very Darjeeling-y, more so than green tea-y. It has the light, clear water scent that sometimes reminds me of water chestnuts as well as that grapey high note that I think is what people mean when they say Muscatel. (I really must get some Muscatel sometime to see what it smells and tastes like.)
It’s a really nice flavor. Very light bodied and fresh in the way a Sauvignon Blanc is but without tasting like one. It is much more smooth and has a slight vegetal undertone. Artichokes, perhaps? A bit of butter.
Sipdown no. 120 of the year 2014. I’m having to do caffeine tonight to get in a daily sipdown… I steeped this one in the gaiwan this time.
Wow. What a difference. It’s like a completely different tea. It must be because of the amount of leaf, because I steeped at a lower temperature (175) and shorter (1 minute) than the first time.
The black tea undercurrent I mentioned in the original note is much more prominent. I’m reminded of the flavor of the green Darjeeling from Shanti, but instead of having the buttery vegetal plus Darjeeling, this one has a fresh, light snowy Darjeeling-y note.
I have a way to go before I feel comfortable that I’m getting silver needle completely right, but I finally feel I’m on the right track at least. Not sure this is the right silver needle for me, though. I have to shop around a bit before I settle down.
I am going to need something comforting after this because I had a disappointment earlier today. I suspected it was coming, because I knew this publisher was in trouble after a merger with another company than seems to have gone awry, but now it’s here. The first magazine to buy one of my speculative stories has announced that it’s releasing all the stories back to the authors. Essentially, they’re shutting down the magazine and all the magazines under the umbrella of this company. My story was supposed to be published (originally) last June, but never was, and then it was supposed to be published sometime before the end of this year. Now it’s been released back to me without seeing publication. It’s rather a saga and I won’t go into it further, but if you’re really interested I posted a note about it on my web site. So sad and disappointing. Such is the world of small presses, apparently.
Another sample I received when I ordered from Shanti a while back.
I love the look of dry silver needle. The leaves look like they’ve been frosted. Dry, they have an interesting spicy scent.
Steeped, the tea smells very lightly sweet and still has a slight spicy note. It produces a very pale yellow clear liquor.
The flavor is extremely delicate. It’s like the freshest water you can imagine, but fresher, with a subtle almost black-tea undercurrent and a finish that carries through that hint of spice in the aroma. The aftertaste is sweet and something else. Floral? But very subtle.
I’m never a hundred percent sure I’m making white teas correctly. Silver needle in particular sometimes seems so lightly flavored I wonder whether I should be tasting more. I went with cooler water and a shorter steep time on this one and I wonder whether I should go a bit longer next time and see what happens.
I should probably just go some place like David’s Tea and ask them to make me a silver needle so I can be sure I’m tasting it the way it was meant to be. Each time I steep a silver needle I have a different reaction to it. It’s hard to come up with a standard to measure against. This rating is somewhat in a vacuum because I think it’s more pleasant than I remember the Adagio being but I haven’t had another silver needle recently enough to do a fair comparison. It’s nice enough, but it’s not something I’d rush to buy.
Sipdown no. 105 of the year 2014.
I did a little more research before I steeped this time. I had been surprised to find steeping instructions for darjeelings at less than boiling water temps. Then I read further and it appears that that is a recommendation for a first flush darjeeling, whereas a higher temp and lower steeping time is recommended for a second flush.
This being a second flush, I decided to up the water temp this time and see what happens.
First off, there’s a big difference in liquor color. The liquor this time is the color of maple syrup. Second, the aroma is different. It’s much more sharp and darjeeling-like, and I think for the first time I really understand the muscatel references. I still haven’t put my hands on an actual muscatel wine (the BF is embarrassed to buy any or for me to buy any given its reputation as a wino wine) but for the first time, I am smelling wine and not just a wine-like aroma. There’s still something that is nutty as well.
The flavor is much richer steeped this way, too. Instead of water chestnuts, I get something that is almost cocoa, definitely musky and woodsy, with a grapey tang. It’s astringent, but not painfully so.
I’m fairly sure this is how I should have steeped it the first time. Bumping the rating slightly.
Another sample that came with my Shanti order of a while back.
In the sample packet the dry leaf doesn’t smell at all like what I expect a Darjeeling to smell like. There’s a chocolaty smell and not much of the expected muscatel. This opens up after steeping to give more of the characteristic grapey fragrance. The liquor is a dark golden yellow.
It has nice, full mouth feel with a fruity-winey flavor and something creamy and mellow about it, sort of like the flavor of water chestnuts.
I didn’t get to enjoy this as I’d planned because I had to leave to take our cats to the vet. I had a bit of it while it was hot, then had to leave the rest in the car in a tumbler. It’s not bad cold, but it’s better hot. I need more time to sit with this. The rating is provisional for now.
Sipdown no. 87 of the year 2014. Terri HarpLady is kicking my butt at sipdowns. ;-) I noticed she’s surpassed the 90 mark today and she is only counting from the last week or so, I think, not from the first of the year as I am. What an inspiration!
This part is me thinking out loud about sipdowns so you can skip this paragraph if you want to read my thoughts on the tisane, most of which are contained in my previous note on this. Part of my slowdown is because I am running short of single serving samples and one-off teabag samples so I now mostly have sample sizes that generate at least two tastings worth and more frequently 3-5 and/or full size tins. This is certainly the case for herbal blends and greens and to some extent blacks and whites. I have a fair number of single serving oolong and pu-erh samples still, but I find myself saving them because pu-erhs in particular intimidate me just a bit and oolongs require savoring. I’m still trying to arrange things so that I have at least one and (if things go well) I hope more than one sipdown a day for the foreseeable future.
The Shanti samples seem to be two-serving samples. Or more accurately, four serving samples. But since the Breville makes a minimum of two servings a go, I get two tastings out of this size of sample.
It seems, if anything, much more savory tonight. Almost brothy, as though there’s some salt in there somewhere. It doesn’t taste like bouillon but it reminds me of it.
Not a wishlist item for me, but interesting to try.
This is a sample I got with my Shanti order a while back, and I believe it may be the first Shanti product I’ve tasted. It being evening, I was looking for something without caffeine, though this may have been a mistake as it is supposedly energizing despite the lack of caffeine.
In the sample packet there’s a sweet cocoa-like aroma which is odd since there’s nothing that should smell like cocoa among the ingredients. The steeped tisane has a savory smell to it which I attribute to the holy basil, sage and pepper. It’s a light brownish orange color.
I expected the flavor to also be savory but it doesn’t strike me that way. There’s still a cocoa-like note but I think it’s the ginger that’s responsible. I’m glad I don’t get a strong licorice taste despite the licorice and fennel in the ingredients. Having had the Upton Holy Basil last night, this is sort of a jazzed up holy basil, with a little more interest going on. I don’t get a strong cardamom flavor, but the ingredient list is similar enough to chai that there’s a sort of faint chai echo to this. I don’t taste the rooibos except in the aftertaste and it’s smooth and lacking enough in the woody department that it isn’t problematic for me.
It’s okay, but it’s not bowling me over. I don’t think I’d buy it, but I’m glad for the chance to taste it.
Holy honking flowers Batman! There are what look like huge daisy heads in this blend, although the ingredient list says Jasmine Flowers. Uh…? Lots of lavender and rose petals too, which scare me a bit as I’m usually a fan of other kinds of tea. I try it anyway. Oh! This is good. Really good! Another sip, and another… this is going down quite nicely, thank you very much. I smell chai more than I can taste it, and it’s a very smooth cup with sweet honeyed cardamom. I think this may be a new favorite. Yep, even I’m surprised.
Thank you to CelebriTEA for this lovely tea gift!
1.5 tsp in 12 oz, with some of the larger blooms removed.
Flavors: Cloves, Flowers, Honey
The catching up thing is going to happen.
This is one of the very best pear flavored teas that I’ve ever tried. It’s sweet and juicy … just like the fruit.
Pears are one of those more delicate tasting fruits that are often difficult to capture in a tea. I think that the white tea was the ideal base here, because the delicate qualities of the white tea allows for the gentle nuances of the fruit to shine through.
The tea tastes gentle, sweet, and slightly earthy. The pear is true to the fruit. Sweet and flavorful.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/12/06/fujian-pear-white-tea-blend-shanti-tea/
Another sample from MissB! I’ve always wanted to try Shanti’s maple teas! All of their teas sound really nice but somehow I never see them around Steepster. Smoky maple though… very promising! Shanti wants you to steep this for 3 minutes at 190 degrees.
Steep #1 // waited 20 minutes after boiling // 3 min
I always associate dark oolongs with charcoal flavor, but not this one! It’s a nuttier base. Sadly, there is only a hint of sweetness from the maple. And really no smoke I can see, but I like my smoky teas SMOKY. I like the idea behind this blend though.. it would be perfect if the flavors were more present, as it’s a nice combination with this oolong base.. maybe even more so than if it were a black tea base. The second steep had less flavor. If I HAD to choose a dark oolong to have in stock in my cupboard, I’d probably go with this one anyway!
I gave it two solid go-arounds, and this tea is just better suited for someone else. Something in the floral aspect of this tea makes my chest feel tight and labored, so I dumped it after a couple of sips. Sorry, tea. I know you were sent to me by CelebriTEA with the best of intentions, and I hope the next person who gets the last little bit enjoys it infinitely more.
From a gift via CelebriTEA. Thank you so much!
I’ll put this out there right now: I’m rarely a fan of florals in my tea, unless perhaps it’s a French tea. They seem to understand how to do them properly, at least to my palate. So, when I smelled this and saw the rose petals, I was… concerned.
So. It smells like oranges and it tastes like orange rose petals. Which could be lovely if you’re into that sort of thing? I’m going to pass.
sipdown! today is a random drinking tea sort of day. mostly, whatever grabs my fancy when i happen to be standing near the kettle. :) MissB was kind enough to send a little of this one my way, for which i am thankful! this is one that i’ve been wanting to try for a while now but keep putting off because i HATE shanti’s website. i hate having to sign in to add things to a cart…i hate that you don’t know whether the tea is in stock or not until you click through to the tea – and they often have a lot of teas not in stock…it’s just not a pleasant experience combines with shipping prices that aren’t great.
Which of course makes me sad because i like supporting Canadian tea shops. So the tea..it’s…kinda bland. There’s a coffee taste hanging out in the background of the cup, but the brew isn’t a smooth blend. I don’t want to say it’s bitter because it wasn’t really but it was slightly dark. The caramel taste is slightly present but not enough for me to say wow. I hope this isn’t what justjames tastes when he drinks caramel flavoured teas lol
Still though, i’m happy to have tried it! thanks missb!
Well, it would seem that Shanti no longer has this tea available on their website.
It was quite lovely, it smells amazing! Lavender and rose made for an extraordinarily fragrant floral tea that was as enjoyable to smell as it was to sip.
Sweet, delicate white tea that was not overpowered by the flowers. Hay-like notes. Not overly floral – a really nice balance of tastes.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/09/02/mamma-mia-white-tea-blend-shanti-tea/