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Recent Tasting Notes
I got these teabags for Christmas from my amazing parents who know me too well. I always loved liquorice root as a kid, and this tea sounded amazing.
It smells really good brewed, mainly peppermint with a liquorice background, and that’s how it tastes, too. The peppermint comes through strongly first, then lets the liquorice root come into play a bit more, giving a nice natural liquorice flavour instead of a taste of the mass-produced sweet. However liquorice root is very sweet, and the aftertaste of this is just too sweet for me unfortunately (and I like my teas fairly sweet, too). It hasn’t stopped me from getting through the majority of my teabags already, as it’s the only negative to a good herbal.
I got around it, though! Tonight, I fancied a hot chocolate with a twist, and, whilst I would normally go for a chocolate chai latte, I fancied mint. Sooo, I brewed a cup of this, and added it to cocoa instead of plain water and BAMFT! mint hot chocolate! It’s goooorgeous, and the sweetness means no added sugar! Plus the liquorice aftertaste is still present, giving it a more sophisticated twist. Yummy.
Scheherazade sent me this one. Chai is not really something I’ve ever been particularly fond of, although I’ve sometimes wondered what I’m missing out. The problem with chai is partly that they invariably contain ginger and cinnamon, neither of which are things I’m fond of in tea, but mostly a rather traumatic introduction to it at around age 10. I will tell you what happened.
As a child, I was a scout for many years. At around age 10 or so, my group got new leaders. These were two guys who were… Well. A bit hippie-y in some ways and very correct in other ways. These two traits came together in a common purpose whenever it was time for giving the children some sort of treat. Like when we were camping or the last meeting before the Christmas holidays or what have you. For a child age 10 or so, this sort of occasion is pretty much synonymous with hot chocolate.
BUT GOSH, NO! Hot chocolate, that’s full of sugar! And fat! Very bad for children! Also very very common and boring, let’s put our own personal Eastern spin on things.
Let’s give the children chai instead, what a good idea!
I think they even had their own spice blend for it. Dear scout leaders that I had at around age 10. No, it was not a good idea. It was in fact a totally rubbish idea. We, the children, drank your strange spicy concoction dutifully because it was that or nothing, but I’m willing to wager a rather large amount today that none of the children even knew what chai was and the vast majority of them would most likely much rather have had hot chocolate.
A couple of years later, when we got new leaders again the concept of chai for these special occasions went the way of the dodo right quickly.
So yes, I will definitely claim to have had a rather fraught and difficult introduction to chai in general.
I have never really warmed up to it, although I’ve tried again several times. Now Scheherazade is providing me with another go. It seems a fairly simple one. It has tea, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and cassia, which is also some kind of cinnamon-y spice. So not a complicated one, just the base ingredients that I would associate with chai. It strikes me as being a very good starting point, really.
I made it with half milk and half water. I gave the cup of milk about 90 seconds in the microwave, put in the bag and filled up with boiling water. The milk makes it difficult for me to see when I think it’s done steeping, though. I’m not at all used to milk in tea, but I have learned this much in my adventures with chai; milk is essential.
It smells very nice indeed, actually! All cinnamon-y sweet, but not soapy and nostril-assaulting like cinnamon can sometimes be. Cinnamon sugar and rice porridge cooked with milk. This cup smells pretty much like Christmas.
It tastes quite mild and milky. Possibly I should have used more water and less milk? I plopped the bag back in while drinking though, to see if I could get it to be a bit stronger. I can’t pick up anything in the way of a base here at all, which I’m rather missing. This doesn’t really feel like I’m drinking tea at all. It’s more like warm milk with spices, which in itself is actually also quite nice, but not really what I was hoping for.
The spices are tempered by the milk and not even the ginger is bothering me in this. Ginger is usually my downfall because I don’t much care for the burning sensation. This is a chai that I could actually drink because it’s so mild and unassuming. A true chai fan might find it a bit dull though.
I love how lightly chocolatey this tea is. Seriously, when you smell it you think its going to be super super chocolatey but it isn’t -and I’m actually okay with that. There is a slightly bitter note to this, but bitter in the extremely expensive dark chocolate way. If that makes sense. It is a smooth tea, and (at least to me) tastes just slightly spicy. I’m not a huge fan of of extremely chocolatey teas -I’d rather just have a hot chocolate. But I love this one for just that reason. It doesn’t taste like a poor imitation of hot chocolate, it tastes like a nice tea with a smooth dark chocolate note and slightly (in a good way) bitter undertone.
I enjoyed this more then I thought I would, although probably not enough to repurchase. The rooibos base is a bit more woody then I was expecting, but it blended well with the cinnamon, clove, and orange spicing. It is a bit sweeter then I was expecting, although not necessarily in a bad way. Overall it was a good, enjoyable cup -and it definitely reminded me of winter. I think I might experiment with this one a little bit, I have a feeling that it would taste really good with some of my creamed cinnamon honey from David’s Tea.
Also managed to fit in one of these at work. I’m not sure what the base tea is here, although it’s fairly similar in taste to the Mao Feng I also drank today. I don’t think I’ve ever tried them side by side before, so maybe that’s why I’ve never noticed the similarity. Anyway, the rice here adds a delicious nutty, toasted note. It can verge on the astringent, burnt tasting side if overbrewed, so I was careful to pay attention and was rewarded with a pretty perfect cup of genmaicha. Not something I’d keep around all the time, but definitely nice to revisit!
Drank my two teabags of this at work today. It’s been a busy and fustrating day pretty much in equal measure, so I didn’t get chance to drink a lot. I’m trying to change that — I don’t do myself any favours by becoming dehydrated and headachey — but it all went out of the window with my plans today. Still, I managed two cups of this, so things could be worse. It’s a fairly pleasant green, smooth and very grassy. It’s not the tea I remember from the first time I tried it, but it’s pretty good all the same. Easy to drink, refreshing, and fuss-free because it’s bagged. Just the thing today.
This could best be described as mulled redbush, really. Most of the flavour is of citrus and sweetish spices, and not that much of the taste of the redbush comes through. I usually add honey to this, as I often do to redbush.
My main complaint is, that like most pyramid teabags, it’s overpriced for the amount of tea you get.
Sipdown! From yesterday, this time. Another duo of bags from the pick n’ mix box polished off. I’m getting along with oolong a lot better than I have been in the past. I remember when I actually couldn’t drink this, but not I can quaff it happily and appreciate the flavour. It’s a touch on the mineral side for me, but tolerable. Not my favourite oolong, but then there are very few that have ever made it into the class. A reasonable effort from Teapigs.
Sipdown! Another one from the selection box done and dusted. I’ve reviewed this before, and I don’t really have anything earth shattering to add this time. It’s a nice, fragrant, delicate tea, perfect for afternoon sipping and frazzled nerves. Not one I’d keep around all the time, but nice to come back to every now and then.
I was pleasantly surprised by this tea! I steeped it for 5 minutes and 30 seconds instead of the recommended 3 minutes. The first thing I noticed was the smell, which was horrible. Really really horrible. I almost didn’t drink it, but decided to anyways because I hate things going to waste. And I’m glad I did! Because it tasted MUCH better then it smelt. Genmaicha is one of my all time favorite types of tea, and I find this one particularly enjoyable because it tastes different then most of my other genmaicha teas. I know other people have said that it tastes a bit sweet, but personally I didn’t taste any sweetness. That might be because of how long I steeped it though. I loved the nutty undertone. Overall a very enjoyable tea, I’ve already had five cups of it today. I’ll definitely be repurchasing this one.
I placed a massive order with Teapigs a couple weeks ago, and just got it in the mail a few days ago. Since I’ve been feeling under the weather I decided to try out this tea, as a sweet treat to make myself feel better. Teapigs recommends steeping this tea for only three minutes, but I like my tea on the stronger side, and I usually don’t steep for less then five minutes. I decided to go with four minutes, since I don’t always enjoy licorice root.
Smelling this tea you can definitely smell the peppermint, it is quite strong. However with my first sip I was disappointed because the actual peppermint taste was extremely mild. On the other hand I found the licorice to be perfect, it was nice and flavorful without being too overbearingly strong. This tea did have a bit of a cough syrup sickly sweet undertone, but it wasn’t too bad. I think if I steep it for the recommended three minutes next time that it will fix that problem. I do still wish that the peppermint flavor was stronger though.
Normally I’m not a huge fan of chocolate flavored teas, but this one is definitely the exception. Its a mild chocolate flavor, but in a good way! It doesn’t taste watery, which is a problem I’ve had in the past. It also doesn’t taste fake, which is also a problem I’ve had in the past. Its the perfect hint of chocolate without being too mild or too strong or too fake tasting. But if you’re looking for a tea that will taste as strongly of chocolate as a hot chocolate does, then this isn’t the tea for you.
Sipdown! Another sample from the Teapigs box I was given when I left my last job. I’ve had this one before and really enjoyed it, but it works better in a smaller cup than the one I had to hand. Relatively sweet, caramel flavoured loveliness. The rooibos is quite woody, but tones down well with some milk. I can’t believe this weekend is almost over, but there you go! Sherlock tonight!
One of my leaving presents from my last job was a box of Teapigs, and I’ve just got around to starting them now. The first one I chose was Spiced Winter — it’s seasonally appropriate, after all. It’s one I pretty much always enjoy, too. The red base is slightly woody, but the orange, cinnamon, and clove spicing more or less covers most of that up. The flavours work together in any case, so it’s actually a pretty successful rooibos to my tastes. It’s probably not one I’d look to keep around other than at Christmas, but it’s a nice caffeine free Christmas tea, and beautifully spiced to boot. An enduring Teapigs winter favourite!
Final discovery from the depths of my cupboard. This one was actually rattling around loose, so I’m guessing it probably escaped from the packet at some point. Thank goodness it’s a tea bag!
I purposely under brew this one, as it’s very heavily floral when left. I gave it a scant two minutes in pretty cool water, and now have a cup of light, delicate jasmine tea. I’m happy I found this one, as it suits my mood perfectly this morning! I’ve been appreciating green tea more than is usual for me lately, so maybe my tastes are changing a little. It used to be something I couldn’t tolerate at all, and now I can name more than a few that I really like. Jasmine anything used to be a no for me, because it’s not normal to drink flowers, but in certain guises I don’t mind it now. I think I’ll always be a black tea person on the whole, but there’s space in my life for some of these. Brewed sympathetically, anyway :)