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Recent Tasting Notes
Holy Bergamot Batman!! hahaha, I saw this as an oolong earl grey, and I just had to have it. I am fascinated with the varieties of Earl Grey because of their diversity. This is definitely a unique one. I brewed this up as my morning cup in my press. The aroma was incredibly strong and refreshing. A sweet floral bergamont filled my tea room. The taste is spectacular. The oolong adds a light base in which the bergamont lies on top of. This is some powerful earl grey since the the bergamot is unaffected by a heady black tea. However, the jasmine was almost absent except for a slight grassy and floral undertone. This brew did the job for the morning cup, and I’m so happy to be able to try another Earl Grey!
Flavors: Bergamot, Buffalo Grass, Smooth
This is an interesting tea. I know I tried it western style before, but I think I was distracted while drinking it so I didn’t write a tasting note. This time I decided to make it in the gaiwan. 4g of leaf in a 100ml gaiwan, and it almost filled it, it’s such a fluffy leaf. The first couple of steeps were 30sec and then 60sec with 80C water. Then I tried 60sec and 30sec with 90C water. I’m still trying to figure this out. :)
The dry leaf smells kind of grassy and musty. Wet leaves smell like, well, wet leaves… like a pile of autumn leaves that has been sitting for a while and starting to decompose. The tea brews up a lovely golden colour.
The mouthfeel is almost syrupy, and there’s a slight nectar sweetness. I spent quite a while sipping and trying to decide what this tastes like, because it’s an odd blend of musty and grassy and slightly floral. Eventually I decided that it reminds me of alfalfa hay that has been sitting in the barn for a while. Like, that aroma when you cut open a new bale of hay and pull off a couple flakes, and you’re slightly jealous of the horse/cow/whatever you’re feeding because it smells so good.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Floral, Grass, Hay, Musty
Finished this one off last night as well; in a timolino. It was reminding me an awful lot of catnip tea – but in a half decent way (I was not a fan of catnip tea). I feel kind of bad I never really wound up using this for any blending, like was intended, but I just wound up liking it a little too much as a straight, herbal blend.
Pretty sure my landlord has an evil, evil sixth sense.
I’ve been curled up on my couch all day with one of the worst migraines I’ve ever had in my whole life; I can only think of one time when my head hurt worse than it does now. I’ve left the couch a total of three times todays; to get advil, to take a hot shower, and to make tea. What’s he doing? FUCKING VACUUMING THE SHAG CARPET ON THE STAIRS AND RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DAMN LIVING ROOM DOOR! Why is it that he only does loud things when I’m either A) hungover or B) have a terrible, terrible headache.
Anyway; this was something I picked out to drink because it “supposedly” helps relieve chronic headaches. I’m not buying it; it’s simply just not doing the trick. Oh well, at least it tastes good.
So I received the Butiki sponsored herbal box this week, and it was such a dramatic influx of tea – most of it I just added to my cupboard under the header “Butiki Sponsored Herbal Blending Box” or something like that, anyway. Some of the things in the box were really clearly labelled from specific companies though, so I’ve added those things into my cupboard separately – such as this tea.
This is one of a few ingredients in the box that I’ve either never had or never had plain; the latter in this case. Before mixing it with anything else, I wanted to try it on its own to know what I’m working with flavour wise. I brewed up about sixteen ounces of this and had half of it hot, and the second half iced. Steeped up this has a very dark, swampy olive green colour. It’s both pretty and kind of intimidating.
Of the hot and iced versions of this, I disliked the hot more than the iced. I found that while it tasted very, very grassy with a bit of sweetness and also a bit of bitterness that the hot version had an almost unpleasant medicinal tint to the flavour.
And on the note of ‘medicinal’ stuff – apparently there are a whole lot of health claims for drinking nettle leaf tea. I want to be really clear that I’m no expert on the health claims here nor do I necessarily believe all of them; and that’s definitely not why I’m drinking this tea. My personal belief is that any ‘health benefits’ I get from tea is a great added bonus, but I completely drink tea for the taste – and I review it for the sense of community, and to learn from other people’s experiences.
The iced version of this was very similar; incredibly grassy with sweet and pleasant bitter notes – however I didn’t taste anything especially medicinal. It was just the taste of very obviously herbal tea. I’d definitely drink this plain again were it iced; I’m not so sure I’d be as willing to try it hot again unless it was sweetened, and I don’t normally sweeten my tea so that’s probably just a safe no on that front.
At least it gave me some good ideas of what to blend this with for my next herbal mix!
If someone blindfolded me and served me this tea I would almost swear it’s a bi luo chun. It is very similar to bi luo chun. It’s a bit fruity, nutty sweetness, vegetal. The dry leaves do not look like bi luo chun though. They’re long and straight.
Tealux or Tealyra as they are called now describes this tea as being grown on a tiny island within Dong Ting Lake. I know bi luo chun is grown around in that area with the fruit trees and maybe that’s why there is something very similar. It is a delicious tea. Would definitely order again.
Flavors: Fruity, Nutty, Sweet, Vegetal
I had these yesterday, so this is from memory. 3 pearls (at about 1g each) in 10oz of boiling water x 3min. So the thing I found most interesting about this was that the brewed tea smelled like chocolate-covered raisins, but the wet tea leaves smelled super earthy. Like, puer level earthiness. The actual flavour of the tea is sort of a combination of both – smooth, earthy, a bit sweet, with raisin and chocolate notes. Yummy, easy to drink. Second steeping at 5min was lighter and a bit less chocolatey, but still good. Third steeping at 8min was slightly-sweet hot water, lol, can’t win ‘em all. :) Overall, this was pretty decent for the price (especially on sale) – I’ll probably restock when these run out.
I’ve been enjoying this tea the last few nights. The lemon myrtle in it is the most pronounced of all the ingredients but I can pick out faint ginger which adds a bit of spicy flavour. There’s goji berries in it that I can see but I’m not sure they are giving it any extra flavour. Lots of lemony flavour from the lemon myrtle in it.
Overall, a pretty decent herbal tea
Flavors: Ginger, Lemon
Nice, easy and yummy! This is a simple flavored tea, and I like how easy it is to brew! I usually use like 6-ish pearls tossed in a pint glass at work. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but daymn it is good! The lychee note is spot on, not artificial to me at all. The black tea takes a back seat, but it does compliment the lychee really well. Like chocolate covered lychees, yasss!
Flavors: Cocoa, Lychee, Malt
It’s not quite the Summer Solstice yet, but the weather is definitely getting warmer! Perhaps that’s why this particular blend really spoke to me today. It’s hard to tell from the description exactly what you’re going to get, so I jumped right in and brewed up a cup. The first thing of note is the size of the fruit pieces contained in this blend. There are whole raspberries, generous slices of freeze-dried strawberry, and large pieces of apple, pineapple and papaya (about 1 inch square.) There are smaller pieces of hibiscus, small flakes of nettle leaves, and a scattering of sunflower blossoms. The blend as a whole is bright and colourful – very summery-looking. It smells quite rich and fruity, rather in the manner of fruit cake.
I used approximately 2 tsp of leaf, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. It’s by no means easy to measure, due to the large leaf size, but I did my best! The resulting liquor is golden brown, and the scent is mildly fruity – I’m picking up blackberry and coconut primarily.
To taste, the raspberry and strawberry are a lot more prominent than I thought they might be. They’re juicy and natural-tasting, sweet initially and then a little tart. The more “tropical” flavours develop in the mid-sip; a lot of coconut, a hint of pineapple, and a slight pepperiness from the papaya. It’s a slightly odd combination, like two halves of two different teas have been unexpectedly brought together. It’s not unpleasant, but the transition from summer berries to tropical fruit is a little jarring. The fruit flavours linger well into the aftertaste, and I can detect a splash of blackberry at this point. It’s tart and a little sour, but again incredibly juicy, and I could see this working well with the initial strawberry/raspberry combination. Somehow, though, it’s not quite what I wanted after the tropical explosion that preceded it.
You can see my full review at: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/04/22/summer-solstice-herbal-tea-tealux/
I’m feeling much better today, and it’s also warm, summery and lovely outside. Time for a tea suited to warm summer days, then! I’m still working my way through a few Tealux samples from my first order, and this one seemed well suited to my mood this afternoon. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a medium brown, and the scent is herbal and a little earthy.
To taste, it’s pretty much tropical fruit all the way! It’s juicy, which I like about Tealux’s fruity blends, and the flavours are fresh and natural tasting. The main flavour to my mind is pineapple, but there’s a hint of orange lurking in the background. It makes me think of tinned mandarins, more than anything. It’s a very sweet, light, delicate orange, and it makes for a good combination with the pineapple.
The second thing that strikes me about the flavour of this one is the yogurt. It emerges mostly in the mid-sip, and adds a slightly sour creaminess to the overall cup. Now that I’ve identified it as yogurt, I know what this tea reminds me of – Butiki’s Mango Lassi. The yogurt here is less prominent, and the fruit flavouring stronger and jucier, but it’s a similar flavour profile.
The rooibos is hanging around a little in the background, but it’s not too much of a bother. A little woody, perhaps, but nothing terrible. There’s a mild pepperiness right at the end of the sip that I would usually attribute to the rooibos also, but this blend contains pink peppercorns, so it could also be that. They don’t add much except a hint of heat right at the end of the sip, so it’s an odd inclusion but not unwelcome.
I can see this one being really good iced in the warmer months ahead, but it’s also pleasant hot. It’s a slice of sunshine ahead of summer!
I had to brew this one 3 separate times in different containers to make sure it tasted/smelt as I was thinking and it wasn’t just some weird contamination. After I had Teavivre’s version of milk oolong I was hooked. So I ordered the 100g of this one. They should have been similar right? Nope. Lol.
This tea reminds me of raisin bread, from the dry leaf through the 2nd brew it’s beautiful warm raisin bread, light on the cinnamon. Once you get through to the 3rd steep is when I got the more familiar ‘milk oolong’ taste – which for me is that kind of indescribable kinda sweet creamy taste that’s wonderful.
It doesn’t compare to the Teavivre version, as in it’s almost a completely different tea, but it’s still worth it to try out!
So last week I showed up on Anlina’s doorstep and was like, “hello, I am a random stranger from the internet, can I come in for tea?”. And then, amazingly, I was invited in for tea! It was awesome. :) Browsing Anlina’s tea stash was really fun, and also made me feel better about the size of my own tea stash (I think my local friends think I have lost my mind, lol). And I came home with samples! And now I have a super-cool real-life tea friend, who unfortunately lives 6hrs away from me. In conclusion, tea friends are great and geography sucks.
We shared a pot of this interesting oolong, which was quite good but totally not what I would have expected. With “99% oxidized” in the name, I was expecting one of those dark oolongs that’s practically a black tea. But it tasted more like a roasted green-ish oolong? Like, lots of toasty flavours but the base seemed kinda vegetal to me, in fact it sort of reminded me of genmaicha? Anyway, it was tasty. :)
This one is soo good! It’s really floral, but sweet. The base is really well rounded, so even if I steep it only a little bit, I get nice flavor, but if I steep it a long time, it’s still nice flavor! I really liked grandpa style steeping with this one. I get see myself going through this small pack quickly and needing to order more.
I’m sick. Kinda. My asthma is going CRAZY.
Icing this tea brings out the coffee flavor more, but it’s not bitter yucky like coffee is. But I can’t really trust my nose or taste buds right now, so what do I know? I put 2 tsp to 20oz water and poured over ice.
I think I’ve decided that I don’t love or hate mate, it’s just so-so.
From the description I really expected more of a coffee flavor. It’s kind of like an interesting tea that’s mixed with weak coffee. Kind of sweet and mellow, but it does have alot of caffeine! Boiling water when steeping definitely brings out more complexity than lower temperature water.
Nutty, and the lime is on the sweet mild side rather than on the tart side, like key lime pie with pistachios. I’m not too familiar with Yerba Mate, but it’s like a funny herbally sweet thing. Maybe a bit ‘off’ to my senses, but not too bad.
They don’t exaggerate the caffeine claims. I was bouncing off the walls.