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Recent Tasting Notes
Finally tried the final tea from the Herbal Retreat sampler…
I saved the one I was least looking forward to for last; oops. It’s wasn’t actually bad, although like my intuition told me it would be it probably is my least favourite though. Or, at the very least, tied for my least favourite with Blueberry Merlot.
It’s actually of no fault of the tea itself though; it’s pretty well genuinely everything as advertised. All three titular flavours are featured in the sip, and actually in pretty even amounts. I’d say that the kiwi is definitely more of a natural flavour than the lime, which is more candy like, but both are clearly present. As far as fruit flavour goes, I also got a sort of apple like note. Not actually green apples like one would probably assume though. Despite the sweetness of the apple, the cup had a tartness to it that comes from both kiwi and lime definitely being more acidic fruits. The ginger wasn’t all that present until the finish, where it was definitely a more in your face flavour with a spicy kick/tickle.
Honestly, not a BAD cup. It’s just that I’m REALLY not a ginger fan, and then I kind of am of mixed thought when it comes to the fruit; don’t love ‘em and don’t hate ‘em. So, that’s not a lot for the tea to really build upon.
Made a pot of this one while just lying back and watching Pride and Prejudice. I sure do love me some Mr. Darcy…
This was pretty good; I think that both the apricot and the amaretto are very clearly present in the cup and the two are a pretty solid pairing as well. The apricot presents at the top of the sip and is sweet, lively and juicy as well as just a little bit peachy. While it tastes somewhat natural, there is a bit of candy like sweetness to it as well. The amaretto isn’t nearly as strong as the apricot but that sweet, marzipan/almond like sweetness makes for a great nutty undertone and refreshing, sweet finish. This does use rooibos, and I did find I could taste it a little in the finish but I didn’t mind it that much either.
Two of my favourite drinks at the moment are Amaretto Sours and Apricot Sours so I bet that you could probably make a pretty good “mocktail” version of the two of those if you just brewed up and then chilled a concentrate of this and just mixed it with a little sweet and sour mix. It’d probably be really lovely.
Anywho, I’d say this is probably my favourite from the herbal sampler thus far!
This is a queued tasting note.
So, I’m gonna try and work through my queue of tasting notes today but I also made a bet with a coworker that I couldn’t watch the complete first season of Mr. Robot in one day and I have to prove him wrong and binge the shit out of this; so I think I’m just gonna work on writing three or four notes in between each episode as a bit of a break. Really liking the show so far, though! Rami Malek is bae.
This cold brew was solid though; I think I liked it just a touch better than the hot brew because it was a little less sour/tart which made for a smoother drink. The cherry notes were very sweet and vibrant although not super natural tasting. The apple notes were also still very strong. One thing that was quite different, though, was how strong the raspberry notes were. I don’t remember really observing them at all with the hot brew but they’re just as intense as the cherry notes in this cold brew – and I actually think they drastically improve the tea and give it more depth/make the tisane more interesting as a whole.
From the Herbal Retreat sampler.
This was the one tea in the sampler that I was the most low key excited for. I say low key, because in my head I knew all of the reasons that logically this would be a bad blend (too much hibiscus and cherry things often tasting very tart or medicinal) but I was still holding out hope that it would surprise me and be quite tasty.
I drank this one hot; a gamble, I know. It was surprisingly ok but I would’t go as far as saying great. There’s a weird, sparkling effervescence and freshness to the aroma as well as the taste. It’s something that’s honestly a little more of a feeling rather than a flavour, but it really makes me think that this would be very well suited as a tea pop where the fizzyness of the carbonation would kind of bring the liquor a little more to life. As it stands, the flavour was still kind of tea from all of the hibiscus in the blend but still had a nice cherry sweetness as well as a beautiful sweet, red apple note that kept cropping up and a very faint berry undertone that I suppose would be the raspberry? The semi tartness and fruity sweetness on top of that enchanting effervescence reminded me of some kind of cherry fizzy candy the whole time I was drinking this.
Also, I can’t put my finger on which tea/tisane I’m thinking of, but there’s definitely something about this one which reminds me of another blend. The entire cup left me with a feeling of flavour deja vu.
Midday cuppa that I had forgot I’d made, so I drank it at that weird lukewarm/just about room temperature state. I hate tea at that temperature. Hot? Yes. Cold? Yes. But room temp… ugh.
More orange than anything else. Very little mint in general, and that’s kind of all I have to say about that. Song accompaniment for when I drank said lukewarm tea:
I’m kind of really into the idea of pairing tea and music, right now…
- More mojito than marmalade
- The spearmint is crisp and refreshing, and doesn’t overwhelm the cup
- Though there’s no denying the orange flavour…
- It’s just that it’s not sweet enough/“jammy” like marmalade should be
- Taste of the rooibos is present, but light and in the background
- Tasty; and great for late at night!
- Like a ‘discount’/Off Brand Cocteau (from August Uncommon)
- Or Midsummer Night’s Dream (from DAVIDsTEA)
Finishing this one off hot tonight while I watch a movie with the boyfriend…
I’ve just noticed, but a lot of the teas in Tea Forte’s Herbal Retreat sampler are alcohol themed, aren’t they? Like, four out of five. What’s up with that?
Anyway; this actually does taste a little better hot than it did cold brewed. I think that’s because I was able to control the brew time a little better and I strained out the leaf before this could get too sour/tart. That said, it is still a very tart drink with these under ripe blueberry notes that really pop and not necessarily in the nicest way. Also, as a hot brew, the flavour of the sage is actually very present and I think I’m liking the pairing a little less the second time around.
So; to conclude… Aspects of this are definitely negative, but it is a little better overall. Not by a whole lot, though.
So I found myself in Chapters earlier this week because I needed to pick up a birthday present for my brother, who turned 18 on Friday. That’s never a good spot to be in when you’re both a tea addict and a book lover.
In addition to the D&D starter set I bought him, I also wound up getting a Flavor Bible (I feel like it’ll be a great tool when it comes to tea and food pairings, but also making cocktails, potentially blending teas, and just cooking in general) and another tea related book. And, I snagged myself the “Herbal Retreat” sampler from Tea Forte because I’ve been drinking a lot of herbal tea this summer in between late night cuppas and pitchers of cold brews. Plus, this is a sampler and that seemed like a better idea to me than committing to 50g-100g of one kind of tea prior to sampling it.
- Cold Brew
- Very tart/sour blueberry notes dominate
- Lacking sweetness; and I think it would benefit from it
- I CAN taste the sage A LOT in the finish
- I think it was a weird choice to pair with such sour fruit
- But it keeps this from being a hibby overload
- With a pinch of sugar, this would probably be great soda
Flavors: Blueberry, Herbaceous, Hibiscus, Rosehips, Sage, Sour, Tart
This is a delightful tea if brewed to your taste. Less leaf and a short steep will result in a light honey and grapefruit scented green tea. A longer steep and more leaf can result in a syrupy mouth feel or a bitter brew. Some experimentation required to match your tast.
Flavors: Grapefruit, Honey
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox – Round #5 – Tea #55
A single serving taken from the teabox before it was sent. Not much to say about this one. I like the idea of coconut chai. The scent of the dry leaves was lovely dessert-like coconut but the flavor just isn’t great. There is a tangy, oldness to the coconut. I don’t know how because it certainly didn’t smell like old coconut and the packaging couldn’t be better. Then the black tea itself seemed too light to be the base of chai. The spices also took a backseat, so the whole cup was almost only not-good coconut. Always up for trying teas anyway!
Also… I’ve been drinking a billion coconut teas lately. I guess because I know they get old the fastest?
Not my favorite-ever Earl Grey tea, but much better than the worst I’ve ever had. It steeps SUPER strong so you don’t need much to get a caffeine hit. The bergamot flavor tastes a little fake to me, though I couldn’t explain why…but the tin it came in does include “natural flavors” in the ingredients.
Flavors: Bergamot, Black Currant
Sipdown! One of hopefully many in the near future as I have now made a list of ~20 teas that I need to sipdown before I can buy more. I have my eye of August Uncommon Tea’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection but I just can’t justify it until I’ve drastically reduced my current stores (especially with the Canadian dollar being so low). Hopefully this whole postal strike ordeal will be over by then.
On to the actually tea. It’s okay, but just okay. There’s a hint of milk chocolate and maybe a suggestion of something floral, but overall I’d say it just comes across as a weak, cheap breakfast tea. Going to lower my rating on it, as it really is nothing special.
I’m kind of surprised by the poor ratings for this one as I found it rather nice, though admittedly I didn’t brew it strong. Not a hugely intense flavour—slightly floral and smooth. There’s a hint of chocolate here but it doesn’t exactly scream it. There was a slight bitterness that might have been unpleasant had I brewed it longer, but at 3 minutes it was fine.
I can’t stop drinking this tea! Truly addicting and has a great aroma and flavor. One of the best teas I have had in a long while. I bought the single steeps and loose tea and can’t seem to get enough of it!! The tea has a wonderfully subtle sweet finish that lingers on the back of the tongue for a long time. Keeps me going back to kitchen and making more and more :)