Tavalon TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Sipdown no. 57 of the year 2016 (no. 268 total).
I think I am off mint flavored black teas. Chocolate mint still interests me, but plain or predominantly mint flavored black teas lately have not done much for me.
I had the last of this hot so I could rate it, but it was mostly a cold tea choice for me. And I liked it marginally better than the Purity as a cold tea.
The same is true of it hot. I like it marginally better than the Purity, which didn’t have enough ginger to make it interesting and which might as well not have been a black tea as I could not taste the tea base at all.
This one doesn’t have the ginger, and it is still mostly mint, but there’s a tawny undercurrent to it both in aroma and flavor that I am guessing is what the black tea contributes to the mix. It’s not awful, it’s just not doing much for me. I think I’m to the point where if I want to drink something mint flavored I’d go with a tisane, or maybe a Moroccan mint green mix.
I made a batch of this cold and it makes a pretty good cold mint tea. It’s similar to the Tavalon Purity in that I don’t really taste the black tea. It’s just sort of a backdrop for the mint, which gives it a bit more heft than a pure mint tisane would have, if that makes sense. Like the Purity, it also delivers a lot of mint leaf into the iced tea as they are slippery little devils and evade the strainer.
The main difference between this and the Tavalon Purity, besides the hint of ginger which this doesn’t have, is that this one has some serious astringency.
Which is a downside, in my book, for an iced tea. The last thing I really want to feel after drinking iced tea is that I need to drink water to rehydrate my mouth and throat.
Sipdown no. 46 of 2016 (no. 257 total).
The thing the BF and no. 1 have has made its way to me. I had wanted to break open some new teas this weekend but since I couldn’t taste them at this point I decided against it.
This is good, it’s just more mint than ginger or tea by a lot so not overly interesting.
I made this once last week but didn’t pay attention so I couldn’t write a note. Then for a change of pace, I made a pitcher of it cold.
It was really quite good cold, except that some of the mint leaves are small enough to be able to slide through my strainer, so it was leafier than other cold brews. So much so that no. 1 asked if it was ok to drink the leaves.
As a hot tea, it is heavy on the mint, light on the ginger, and ultra light on the tea. Mostly what I see, taste and smell, is mint. I can taste the effect of the ginger. I say effect because it’s more a cutting into the wall of mint than a flavor unto itself. I don’t taste black tea at all.
So I’m torn here because the flavor is very minty, and its a nice mint. Not a mouth full of dirt or bitter as some mints can be. And it tastes natural, not like a Tums. On the other hand, I hoped there would be more to it. Ginger and mint together can be a really nice blend, but the ginger isn’t strong enough here. And I can see why the other reviewer said they don’t really consider it a black tea so much as an herbal.
So balancing out the very nice mint with the disappointment on other fronts, I’m giving it a low very good.
Flavors: Ginger, Mint
Sipdown no. 38 of 2016 (no. 249 total).
As I predicted, this ended up dominating the cold tea category for the last few steepings. It’s tasty enough cold, and since I didn’t find it interesting enough as an oolong to work with over multiple steeps, it suited the purpose well.
The last batch is now doing its cold brew thing in the fridge. I was a couple of spoons short so I added two spoons of Kusmi darjeeling to round it out. Wonder what that will do.
Tried this hot today, steeped Western style.
I know I’ve had peach oolongs before. I remember having the Adagio and not being a fan. This is better than I remembered the Adagio being, both in terms of the peach flavor, which is not juicy, but rather floral and subtle, and the underlying tea’s flavor which I expect is a better quality dark oolong.
It has a clear, dark apricot liquor and a pleasant, mildy peachy aroma. The tea has a smoothness to it, which makes it more pleasant than the sharp notes of some flavored dark oolongs.
Flavored oolong is so hit or miss for me. I’ve liked a few, but I’ve felt pretty meh or worse about most of the ones I’ve tried. I don’t see spending time trying to make this perfect. I don’t love it enough for that, and I expect I won’t even try it in the gaiwan. I’ve sort of come to the conclusion that with the exception of jasmine oolongs, it’s really not worth the trouble to do anything other than Western in the Breville.
The BF likes this cold quite a bit. I think most of the remainder of this second container will be dedicated to cold brew.
Flavors: Peach, Wood
Somehow I have two containers of this. Not sure why. I think I must have ordered one and then got another one through the tea of the month club. I likely ordered it because the BF is a big peach fan.
I was looking around for things to try in cold brew, and because I had so much of this I thought I might give it a shot.
I dunno. The peach is fine as far as it goes. It’s a light, almost floral peachiness, not a juicy, fruity peachiness. But the tea, at least cold, is a rather single note dark oolong, heavy on the woodsy. It makes a decent cold tea, but I hope that when I get around to trying it hot, that will reveal more depth and complexity.
Flavors: Peach, Wood
The more I drink this tea, the more I like it. I’ve always liked chamomile tea for medicinal purposes, but I never liked it enough to just drink it. This chamomile based tea, also has cranberry and sour cherry, which give it just enough interest that I could drink it anytime. And because it is caffeine free, I really can drink it anytime.
Flavors: Cherry, Cranberry
Here’s Hoping traveling teabox – Round 3
The instructions call for 2 tsp per 8oz which a bit high, but I followed it best I could and used 3tsp for my 12oz mug.
Unsweetened, it tastes vaguely fruity, but I can’t really place the fruit. The green tea isn’t bitter and it’s slightly smooth. Sweetened, I’m getting apricot and pineapple. It’s quite pleasant, but it reminds me of a lot of other tropical fruity greens on the market.
’Here’s Hoping’ traveling teabox Round #2 // Tea #13
This one turned out very nice, even though I accidentally steeped it for around four minutes. Not bitter at all. The green tea was tasty, but the fruit flavor was difficult to guess. The description just says “soft fruits” so I have no idea what that means. haha. At times it tasted like cucumber, mild pickle, cantaloupe. At least it was always some sort of produce! Maybe it’s my fault, since it steeped for four minutes.
Steep # 1 // 30 min after boiling // 4 min
From the Here’s Hoping Traveling Tea Box #2
It’s an apricot green tea! I love apricots, but finding a good apricot flavor in a tea ain’t easy. Tavalon did a great job with this one. The tea is really juicy, sweet, and taste like a perfectly ripe apricot rather than a jam or jelly. This is a tea that’s begging to be iced, and it’s going on my shopping list so I can do just that.
Sipdown no. 154 of the year 2014.
Honestly, I don’t care enough about this tea to try to perfect steeping parameters for it. It was decent, but not special when I tried in the gaiwan, and I tried it several times. I dumped what was left (about 6 grams) into the Breville and made it according to Tavalon’s instructions—180 degrees, 4 minutes.
This didn’t make it any more or less remarkable than it was in the gaiwan using a lower temperature. Fortunately, it isn’t planty, so I give it higher than usual white peony marks for that, and this time a slight floral note is coming out high above some slight woodiness.
But I strongly suspect white peony and I simply aren’t meant to be unless it is operating as the base for a nicely flavored white tea.
Steeping in the gaiwan brings out a bit more flavor, and this one doesn’t have the rather nasty dead plant taste that I’ve had from white peony before, but the flavor is still fairly elusive to me. I get something sort of darjeeling-y from this, but much lighter, like a pastel version of darjeeling.
I have yet to taste a white peony that really knocks my socks off and I’m starting to wonder whether as a genre, it just isn’t the tea for me unless it’s the base for a nicely done flavored white. I’m torn on how to rate this because it’s better than some other white peonies I’ve tried, but on an absolute scale it’s not as flavorful and enjoyable as some other teas I’ve rated in the 70s. So take that into consideration when interpreting the rating.
It was perhaps a mistake to drink this after the Tropical Peony. I steeped it using the same time and temp I did for that one and avoided any unpleasant plantiness but I also didn’t get a lot of flavor out of it.
I’m also annoyed because I broke one of my glass mugs from Adagio in the process of getting ready to taste this one, and cut my finger trying to get the glass chips out of the sink. I’m also having to deal with a small tantrum on no. 1’s part. He has a piano contest coming up in two weeks and he’d rather watch television than practice. The afternoon isn’t shaping up well.
I should try this in the gaiwan and see if that helps. Not rating for now.