Silk Road

Recent Tasting Notes

80
drank Summer Escape by Silk Road
2339 tasting notes

Tea of the mid-morning. This is a sipdown for me, even though it was only a mini-tin I got at Silk Road last year when I went to Victoria for vacation. For some reason it’s taken me that long to finish it. This is a decent black tea that has a mango/lychee flavor with a hint of jasmine. I wouldn’t say it’s been a huge favorite of mine, but I have enjoyed drinking it.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

This may be one of my favorites. I love both mint and lavender in my teas, so both together is great! The lemongrass is barely noticeable. The peppermint is what I really taste, especially right after the first sip. It leaves a minty taste in my mouth, which is wonderful!

Preparation
2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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GCTTB3

Sipdown!

I kept the very last of this tea for myself when it came around in the GCCTB3. The nice thing is that it was such a small amount of leaf – just under 2 tsp – that’s the perfect candidate for a quick and easy sipdown.

I’m glad I got to try a little for free, as this tea smells OK but tastes unusual. I’ve noticed sometimes a “curly” roasted flavour in some green teas that I don’t like, and this tea exhibits that characteristic. There’s the scent of the cherry, but underneath it is something more tart that I’m not too fond of. I’m just wondering if it’s the sensation of tartness itself I’m responding to, though, as another tea that made me feel this way was rhubarb-flavoured, which is another tart plant.

Anyways, hooray for easy sipdowns!

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90
drank Lychee Fruit by Silk Road
108 tasting notes

(This one turned into quite the monster post, so if you just want to read the bit about the tea jump down to “begin tea log”)

First post in forever I know… It’s been a busy couple of months; coordinating weekend sessions, upgrades and new projects at work, the usual medical fun… Oh and let’s not forget the best one of all, a “surprise” special assessment (for those of you don’t both live in Canada and in a condo/strata location; a special assessment can be levied when there is work that needs to be done to the common property (roofing, siding, pavement, etc) whose cost is greater than that budgeted in the maintenance/reserve fund. Extra costs are then levied through the use of a special assessment to the strata owners (in this case myself and my partner) to cover the extra expenses. Fun times… Not).

On the plus side we just got back from a 12 day vacation (planned just over a year a go now, so we’ve been looking forward to it for a while :D) and we had a blast! Did 5 days out in Portland, OR and then another 7 on Vancouver Island. Which, incidentally, is what prompted this post; as while we were in downtown Victoria we stopped by Silk Road Teas. (great place! I highly recommend anyone passing though the area to take a look at it!)

While there I couldn’t help myself and picked up a few “mini-tins” of teas to try. One being this one. I had my first Lychee tea experience a few months back, it wasn’t bad but I had been hoping for something less “in your face” than the one that I tried. So with hesitant hope I took a quick sniff of the sample for this tea and decided yep I’m gonna give it a shot!

begin tea log
The best part about this tea for me is that it contains just two “simple” ingredients: Chinese black tea, and lychee extract… That’s it, no artificial flavors or anything, so right off the bat I had great expectations. The scent of the tea helped to back up those expectations; sweet and fruity with just a slight floral note, the lychee was pleasantly there but not overwhelmingly so. In fact I got some good hits from the black tea, which let the dark, rich malty notes counter balance the bright super sweet ones of the lychee.

Once steeped the liquor was dark caramel brown in color and clear. The scent remained subtle but still presented some lovely lychee aromatics, sweet and almost floral but like in the dry scent, not overly so; and unlike the previous lychee tea that I tried not it was not perfume like or cloying. The darker notes from the black tea nicely complemented the lychee notes.

The flavor in this is quite interesting, the sweet bright notes from the lychee really work well with the malty notes from the Chinese black tea. There’s no bitterness or astringency and the flavor is well balanced. The finish of the sip is where the lychee really shines through but it doesn’t hang heavily at all. The mouthfeel is warm, rich and creamy, it almost coats my mouth.

I have to say that I really, really like this tea; sweet and fruity, yet dark and malty at the same time, it just really speaks to me. I definitely consider this to be an indulgent tea, for those times when I’m looking for something special.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Golden Phoenix by Silk Road
1 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Citrus

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 25 OZ / 750 ML

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75
drank Velvet Potion by Silk Road
940 tasting notes

Weekend Sipdown #6

I do wish the chocolate was a smidgen stronger here, but I have no real complaints. It has a hot chocolate vibe going on, although it’s still obvious above all that this is tea. I like the dark, bittersweet cocoa note, and how smooth it is…a satisfying chilly day treat!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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80
drank Peach Paradise by Silk Road
940 tasting notes

Weekend Sipdown #5

This one was utterly delightful today. It’s not been a warm day, for summer, but the juicy, fresh scent and flavour of peach contributed some much-needed sunshine all by itself! Peach teas are usually hit and miss for me, particularly when the peach flavouring is artificial tasting and very strong. No worries here — it’s like drinking peach juice! The slightly citrussy base ceylon is perfect here, creating a fruity, satisfying cup! Very enjoyable.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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Got new meds from a doctor at the local youth clinic yesterday, and unlike the ones the walk-in clinic gave me a week and a half prior, these ones don’t make everything taste like rusty metal, so I can actually ENJOY my tea!

Sadly, I taste absolutely zero peach in this. It’s a sweet, lightly floral black. Nothing to really write home about.

I’ll finish what I have, but it won’t be a restock. I prefer the Royal Abkhazi and Victoria 150 Anniversary blends better when I want sweet and floral.

OMGsrsly

That’s too bad. This one sounds pretty nice. Yay for new meds, though. :)

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80
drank Peach Paradise by Silk Road
940 tasting notes

A sample from ashleyelizabeth, and another delicious tea from Silk Road. The dry leaf smells deliciously peachy, and this translates well into the flavour. I gave 1.25tsp of leaf anout 3.5 minutes in boiling water. The result is a medium brown liquor, and I added a splash of milk.

The peach here is obviously the main attraction, and it tastes remarkably true to life. Sweet, mellow, juicy, fuzzy — it’s as close to eating an actual peach as I imagine it’s possible to get in a hot drink! The ceylon base provides the ideal background — it has a slight natural citrussyness of its own, and isn’t at all overpowering. It just provides a pleasant, smooth base upon which the peach flavour can float happily. A perfect summer tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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75
drank Velvet Potion by Silk Road
940 tasting notes

A sample from ashleyelizabeth Surprisingly, the most difficult thing about this one was opening the tin! I had to prise it off with a spoon handle. Having achieved that much, I gave 1.25 tsp of leaf 3 minutes in boiling water. The dry leaf is quite a pale brown, and covered in spice dust — it looks chocolatey and wonderful!

To taste, this is rather like a spiced, mild hot chocolate. The chocolate itself is a dry, almost dusty cacao flavour, and it’s fairly weak. It’s deliciously creamy, though, especially with a touch of milk added — the vanilla really shines here! The real star, though, is the spicing. Cinnamon is the strongest flavour, but I also get hints of cardamom and maybe ginger. It doesn’t taste at all chai-like, though — it just makes for a very pleasant combination with the chocolate and vanilla, rather like an exotic truffle! This isn’t the most chocolatey tea around, but as a blend it’s lovely to drink. A great early evening treat.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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68
drank Royal Abkhazi by Silk Road
496 tasting notes

Polished the rest of my sample off last night, still got zero bergamot. I couldn’t even tell what I was supposed to be tasting! Weird.

Pleasant enough, thanks again OMGsrsly!

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68
drank Royal Abkhazi by Silk Road
496 tasting notes

Another sample from OMGsrsly!

I followed her directions and used 1tsp for my very large mug, and I hadn’t read any reviews so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I took a sip and noticed a mildly flavored tea on top of a slightly malty black base, but I couldn’t put my finger on the flavor, I found it really really faint.

After reading the description of the tea I can pick out a VERY weak bergamot undertone.
If this is supposed to taste like a cream of earl grey tea with the vanilla, I’m not getting it at all.

Maybe an extra tsp would have given me the flavor I was after. I did enjoy the malty base as a unique background to an EG.

I will try again later with a resteep of more tea and less water!

Thanks for the sample, OMGsrsly!

OMGsrsly

Aren’t those instructions weird? Yet that’s how I started with loose leaf tea. :) I’m pretty sure I gave you enough to do 1tsp per 1 cup of water as well.

whatshesaid

Yes, you did give me enough to do 1tsp per cup, so I’m going to try that next! :)
Thanks!!

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73

I got this tea as a swap from TeaBrat (thank you :)). She even included the cute little sample tin it came in. Dry, the tea is a mixture of dark and light green dry, flaky leaves of various sizes. There are also dried jasmine buds along with a few loose petals. It has a slightly musty, light vegetal scent with hints of sweet hay or straw; there is also a mild jasmine aroma. I brewed it for 2 minutes in 175 degree water.

The brewed tea has a generic “green tea” smell with some jasmine and a little bit of woodiness. The taste is similar – the green tea is vegetal, woody, and quite astringent with a lingering bitterness in the background. The level of the jasmine is quite nice; it’s easy to find but does not overpower the tea itself. Overall, I find this to be a pleasant tea, especially with a touch of honey to counteract the slight bitterness.

Flavors: Jasmine, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Classic Big Red Robe by Silk Road
1422 tasting notes

I made this to bring to work this morning.

Ugh.

Objectively I do like the smell and the flavour of these roasted oolongs, but it was just too much. Which is interesting because a lapsang souchong is generally fine in the morning.

I think this one needs to be relegated to shorter steeps at home and not in a travel mug. I also think I should focus on the super green and floral oolongs, as I seem to like them a lot more.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Amariel

I like BRR.

OMGsrsly

I’ve had others that were better. This is a very light, very roasted tea. If it had more body, or gave me less of an oolong-drunk, I might appreciate it more. :)

Amariel

I prefer Oriental Beauty of BRR, to be honest.

OMGsrsly

(I did a second steep and tried adding cream. Nope. That was a bad idea.)

Amariel

Boo to bad ideas. They often start out as good ideas in disguise.

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drank Golden Phoenix by Silk Road
1422 tasting notes

I made this in my not-a-Timolino and brought it to work today. Ahh, the memories. I used to drink this “Grandfather Style” at an old job. Just kept refilling my mug all day.

It’s essentially a cinnamon puerh, with some citrus. In this case, it’s grapefruit although I think the peels might be orange? IDK.

It’s good. I like it.

Preparation
1 tsp 13 OZ / 384 ML

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84
drank Snow Apple Spice by Silk Road
171 tasting notes

Sipdown! I’m doing better at them… it is hard though.

I really like this one the first cup I had. I was in a bit of a hurry this morning when I steeped it, but did pay attention to temperature and time. I’m not sure what was different, but I didn’t like it as well this time around. I’m thinking that with my being in a hurry I should have picked something more basic and not fruity. I don’t think I was in the mindset to embrace what I was drinking.

If this ever came my way again, or if I ever decided to order from Silk Road, I would probably try this again because I liked it so much the first time. I do think I would make sure I drank it when I had time to savor it and might even save it for the Fall season as it would be awesome then. Thanks EvaGrimm for sharing some of this with me!

Flavors: Apple

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84
drank Royal Abkhazi by Silk Road
1933 tasting notes

I’ve finally gotten through all the Verdant Blends club blends (save one herbal) that I’m going to try, which means I’ve finally gotten through my cupboard for reals. And this is a sipdown of my sample from OMGsrsly, so I’m actually below 120 (momentarily).

Even though the recommended steep parameters have a much lower leaf to water ratio than normal, this tea is just as tasty steeped to my normal ratio too. No bitterness, no astringency. The base is somewhat different (not sure what it is), but it’s pleasant and robust without being too overwhelming or bitter. There is perhaps less vanilla when steeped at full strength; I have to admit I forgot this was supposed to be an Earl Grey Cream of sorts. But it is tasty anyway, and a nice way to start the day.

Flavors: Bergamot, Malt, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70
drank Japanese Sour Cherry by Silk Road
315 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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84
drank Royal Abkhazi by Silk Road
1933 tasting notes

I had to skip a few teas in my cupboard chronology that were herbals and/or at home, so that brings us to this sample from OMGsrsly. I looked at my past note and bumped by tea amount to 1.5tsp for 12oz fo water today.

I definitely like this ratio better (who would have thought I would like it stronger?). There’s no bitterness to this so I could possibly even go to my normal ratio (2tsp per 12oz); maybe I’ll try it next time. But in any case this is a pretty tasty cup of tea. I think it’s the (unknown) base tea that makes this tea so unique. It tastes like bergamot and vanilla, but it also has some interesting other elements. I think the bergamot and vanilla are a little more subtle in this cup than the last one… the extra leaf is bringing the base out. It’s not a highly flavored tea. The base has a maltiness, and something else I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s a good blend, and definitely a nice change up from a typical EGC.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
OMGsrsly

:) I started my tea drinking with Silk Road, and was pretty shocked when I found out that most tea companies recommend 1 tsp per 6-8 oz, not 1 tsp per 16. :D

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86
drank Vanilla Plantation by Silk Road
1267 tasting notes

Queued post, written March 26th 2014

This is one of the two vanilla blacks that Sil gave me a sample of for Christmas in a surprise card. Wasn’t that nice of her? She spoils me, that woman does. I’m rewarding myself with it now, having conducted my first ever lemon bar experiment. It’s cooling in the tin now and smells very very promising. (If you are curious, this is the recipe I used: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/696634/lemon-bars) Of course Husband, who loves all things lemon in any way, shape or form, will now suspect I’m trying to curry favour. Especially since there are still two whole lemons left (reduced price for three lemons, needed four, so bought six) which indicates a lemon surprise pudding in his not too distant future. I shall have to convince him that I really truly haven’t actually been a bad dog at all today. Truth is, we’re almost out of biscuits and since I didn’t know what sort to bake that didn’t need a rolling pin (I must buy a new rolling pin!) I thought I’d attempt something a little alternative.

Anywho. This tea. My reward. Yes, I reward myself for having done something that is fun. That’s perfectly normal behaviour, isn’t it?

This smells very vanilla-y. Lying around in a ziplock bag probably hasn’t done it any favours, so with this sort of strength to the aroma, I suspect it might have been as strongly aromatic as the Fru P one back when it was brand new.

The flavour is not as strong as Fru P, though, although it’s clearly vanilla-y. The base strikes me as quite tannin-y, so that makes a big difference. At first I thought that this one was assam. It has that malty, cardboard-y feel to it and a great deal of raisin notes.

I’ve always felt that assam works wonderfully as a vanilla flavoured base, so I’m very much in favour of this. I think actually that it’s that raisin note that makes it work so well for me. It makes it more… cake-y. As it turns out this base was actually a ceylon, and now I’m wondering where abouts on Sri Lanka it was grown to make it so assam-y. I don’t know what base Fru P uses (I’d be surprised if she knows it), but it’s definitely not this one.

I enjoy the assam-y notes of this base. I can close my eyes and pretend it is assam, and I like the balance between base and flavouring.

Sil

glad it was a nice cup for you :)

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drank Sublime by Silk Road
581 tasting notes

Tea from MissB!

Ahh lemongrass. I still don’t know if I like it or hate it. It’s just… there.
Well, it smells very much like lemongrass, and steeping as well.
Well, pretty much LEMONGRASS.

Herbal and no caffeine so I’m good :)

Preparation
2 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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78
drank Japanese Sour Cherry by Silk Road
1114 tasting notes

Hm. This is the second time I’ve had this? I’m obviously feeling a bit off to have completely forgotten. Regardless, made with 2 tsp/8 oz, this truly is a silky cherry tea, with zero medicinal flavor that I normally associate with any cherry flavorings. Upping the rating slightly because it’s better than my original 72.

Thanks OMGsrlsy for sharing, this was a lovely sipdown today!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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74
drank Chocolate Panda by Silk Road
1114 tasting notes

This is very different than what I was expecting. When I hear Chocolate Panda, I think chocolate, maybe a touch of mint. What I’m getting is a silky licorice with some… honeyed chalky chocolate? Totally drinkable, just really different from that I expected.

Janelle you rock for getting this off my wishlist by sharing some with me. Thank you!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88
drank Sublime by Silk Road
1422 tasting notes

Sipdown (currently 271, but I need to package up and send out a bunch of teas, and also share some stuff with my brother).

Like. Will buy again. :) Just need to get over to Victoria, which isn’t going to happen until after I move and settle in.

CrowKettle

Or you just need someone in Victoria to send some over.. :)

OMGsrsly

But… visiting is more fun. More shopping, more socializing, more sushi. :)

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