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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea was ok. I usually like Rooibos tea, and I have an extremely sweet tooth, so I was excited to try this tea from my sample box that I received for Christmas. I firstly tried the tea without milk. There was a distinct lack of sweetness in the tea, which I found odd considering it’s supposed to be a crème caramel flavoured tea. I then added milk and was still disappointed. Although the taste was slightly creamier, the tea itself still wasn’t as sweet as I would like and, to me, didn’t taste like a crème caramel at all. My housemate tried my tea, and she has less of a sweet tooth than myself, and she disagreed with me, saying it did taste like a crème caramel, so I suppose it’s all up to personal preference!
I’m pleased how fresh this tea looks. It’s a lovely silvery-green, unlike some I’ve had recently, and it really is just silver needle. When brewed, the liquor is really, really pale. I didn’t think anything was actually happening at first, but obviously it was as the taste is there.
As I’ve come to expect from unflavoured whites, this is very light and delicate in taste. It’s a perfect spring/summer tea. Easy to drink and refreshing even when hot (or warm, considering I let the water cool substantially). It’s mildly grassy, maybe very slighty floral. This is one of those white teas that reminds me why I like them so much in the first place. Flavoured might be more interesting sometimes, but a plain white this good can be just as inspiring.
Opened my final box of this today. Once it’s finished, I won’t be buying any more for a while. Not because it’s not a nice earl gray, because it is. Just because I’ve had far too much of it recently. 14 more cups to go…
I’m going to be brave and give this a try today. The first time I tried it, which was a good few years ago now, I could hardly finish the cup. This kind of oolong still isn’t really my thing, but it came with a gift pack (the ultimate, no less) so I feel I really ought to give it a second chance.
The dry leaves in the packet give off that typical oolong scent — kind of earthy and slightly mineral. It’s a scent that used to turn my stomach, but I understand it a bit more now. I gave it three minutes in water I’d let cool a little, and the liquor is now a pale yellow. It smells the same as it does dry, which isn’t hugely encouraging considering I’m very picky about oolongs. It’s this exact scent that I dislike, yet it’s hard to accurately describe. Adagio Wuyi Oolong was the same, and I had to ditch the rest of my sample of that as I just couldn’t face it.
I shouldn’t judge before I’ve tried, though. The first sip isn’t too bad. Maybe because I’ve gone lightly with the brew time and temparature, or maybe just because it’s a more delicate tasting tea than I was expecting. It has a faint mineral taste, and a more prominent grassiness, rather like a mild green tea. I can’t exactly claim to like it, but it’s okay. I’ll be able to finish this cup, and the rest of the box, anyway.
I think my relationship with oolong is going to be a bit hit and miss. I loved the milk oolong I tried, and I’ve got a couple more of those in my stash to try now. The idea of flavoured oolong appeals, too, and the same goes for those. I would like to determine what my preferences are when it comes to oolong, so I’m going to keep trying. While drinkable, though, this clearly isn’t it.
I remember when Teapigs used to claim that this tea would stay green, and not turn a muddy brown like every other mint tea going. I can’t remember whether it was ever true, but it certainly isn’t now. Swampy it is. It at least smells fresh, though, and is very strongly minty.
To taste, this is one of the more pleasant mint teas I’ve tried so far. There’s never all that much between them, but I suppose this one has quite large leaves still, so it doesn’t become over strong too quickly. I gave this about three minutes, and was rewarded with a cooling, refreshing, definitely minty tea, but without the resemblances to toothpaste and mouthwash that can sometimes prevail.
I always find drinking mint tea an interesting experience, as it’s both hot and cold at the same time. On a moderately warm spring day, though, it’s quite a welcome sensation. Peppermint tea (and by this I only mean the herbal, rather than blends that include mint) will never be top of my list of favourites, probably because I’ve disliked so many of them. As they go, though, this is by no means a bad one. It’s not outright stunning (can a mint tea really be that anyway?), but it’s certainly better than average.
A sipdown to end the working week. I’m glad, in a way, because I was getting a little tired of the green murkiness this tea added to my morning routine. It’s definitely flavoured for me from now on!
200th tasting note, by the way. I suppose it’s a significant one in that I have come to an understanding about my relationship with Yerba Mate. The journey of discovery goes on!
I’m drinking the remainder of Monday’s cold-brew of this at work today. I usually have hot tea at work, but it’s so hot in my reception area that I knew last night I’d need a cold drink today. This tea actually belongs to my mum, so it’s not in my cupboard. I drank it iced once or twice when I had my own box, but I’ve never tried it cold-brewed before. I actually think this is the best way to drink this tea. The berry flavours come out really well, and it doesn’t taste over much of hibiscus, which it’s certainly guilty of when brewed hot. A light, refreshing berry delight! Just the thing!
Sipdown! Drank the last four of these as lattes this weekend, and was reminded how much I love it brewed this way. It’ll definitely be making a reappearance in my cupboard come winter!
I wasn’t feeling great last night, so I went for my ultimate comfort tea for a pre-bedtime drink. I’ve just recovered from a cold, but I think it might be coming back again, somehow. Anyway, I always find this tea warming and reassuring. I was too tired to make a latte, so I just brewed this as I normally would a black tea with a hefty dose of milk added. The slight heat from the chili helped to soothe my throat, and the combination of the spices and warm milk helped me to feel all warm and cosy again. For me, this really is comfort in a cup.
I’ve been drinking one of these every morning at work, and I do feel it helps to boost my energy levels a little over the course of the morning. I’m really not a morning person, so I need all the help I can get not to be a grouchy monster. This goes some way towards achieving that, so it’s a welcome addition to my daily tea rotation. I’m not over keen on the flavour, but I can’t fault its effect!
I will admit, I’m flagging this afternoon. On the hunt for an energy boost, I decided to try these Yerba Mate teabags, which I stuck in my desk drawer earlier in the week. I always approach them with trepidation for some reason, I guess unflavoured, mate is not my favourite thing in the world. Possibly that’s something to do with the faintly green tinged yellow liquor this one produces. I’m odd about colours and food sometimes. Thankfully, I had a pleasant experience with 52Teas Malted ChocoMate last week, so I’m feeling encouraged about this. Sort of.
Brewed, it has the familiar, tell-tale mate scent. I didn’t like it the first time I tried mate, but I can appreciate now that it smells a bit like coffee. It’s a sort of toasted scent. Not terribly off-putting in itself, but unusual when it comes to tea.
Unfortunately, I’m still not a fan of the taste. I’m not even sure what it is about it that I dislike. There’s just something a bit…swampy, or musty, about it. I can almost convince myself that this is an unusual kind of coffee, which is how I psych myself up to drink it plain, but it’s not something I really like. I can get behind the benefits that it has – especially if it’s going to help me to wake up – but flavoured is going to be the way forward for me here. I just need something to take the edge off its inherent oddness!
Many Thanks to Tea Sipper’s Traveling Tea Box for this tea!
I was Home Alone and had a Grand Plan to throw caution to the wind and drink a caffeinated tea in the evening so I could stay up and read The Hound of the Baskervilles late into the night under a blanket with my cat. Wild times. I made this one because I love chai :) and I had a single bag from TSTTB.
It was not the most distinctive chai I’ve ever had, but it was very good! There was nothing to dislike about it. Nice spices, nice tea base, good with a little honey and milk.
You know what happened though, don’t you? Yes, I fell asleep reading around 9pm, woke up at 2 am and tossed and turned because of the caffeine! This happens Every Time, yet every couple of months I do this thinking I’m going to stay up during the right part of the night rather than the wrong part of the night. Sigh.
I’ve got one more cup of the loose-leaf version of this left, but it’s not a sipdown because I’ve got a box of the bagged version still to go. No worries, though, because it’s one I almost always enjoy. I say almost always because I managed to oversteep this today (I only went back to my desk to get a spoon, and ended up being buttonholed by a visitor…). Anyway, for some reason, I got a foody kind of note from it, which wasn’t 100% pleasant. That’s not my usual experience with this tea, though.
In a way, I wish this was a sipdown. I’m heartily tempted to buy more tea, and I have too much already (and more in the post…) The trials of life :)
Bleurgh. I have a stinking cold just as I’m spending the weekend at a friend’s hen party- typical! This is just what I needed to perk me up before I venture out. Not too much ginger & a good citrusy kick to drag me into the land of the living!
i received this tea in my swap with Scheherazade and busted it out at work today since i had not a whole lot of time for anything! To be fair i did end up steeping this for like 10+ minutes by accident but i don’t think it suffered for it. This is a pretty sweet tea. I didn’t get a chance to try it with milk, but it’s like eating a piece of chocolate cake. It’s not going to be my favourite tea but it’s pretty decent if you’re looking for that absolutely chocolatey sweet tea!
Gotta keep on keepin’ on. Della order arrived, but may not get put into my cupboard if only because it’s a shared order so I may hold off on opening them up so they stay fresher longer until we are able to make plans to get together.
I am really liking this tea as a tasty alternative to loose leaf at work.
mmmmm thank you Scheherazade for this one! It was a bit overpowering in terms of smell when i opened up the swap, but luckily it didn’t manage to contaminate the other samples that were along for the ride. :)
I tried this one tonight and overall it’s a very pleasant chai. I’m not getting overly spicey from it, but it’s different enough from the other chai’s that i like to possibly warrant having more of this around in future. I also have another bag that i can try later this week to see how it goes if i let it steep for even longer. :)
Thank you KittyLovesTea for this!
Dry, the leaves have an appealing roasty, chocolaty aroma. Steeping, it smells almost as if there’s a cake in the oven!
I tasted it at 3 minutes and there was a definite cacao flavor with a sweet aftertaste, but I left it in for another 2 minutes to see if it would enhance it at all. It seems only the black tea flavors were strengthened, and now unfortunately the chocolate is a bit lost. 3 minutes seems to be the sweet spot for this one.
Added 1/2 teaspoon sugar: astringency is toned down, but the chocolate isn’t much more prominent.
Added soymilk: even less astringency, but chocolate flavor is still quite subtle.
Overall, I think it has promise – it’s like a deluxe version of the black breakfast teas I have every morning. I’m a big fan of roasty/baked flavors, which this tea has in spades. Luckily for me I have several more servings of this to play around with :)
Had another of these today, as a sort of joyous farewell to winter. Just straight, with a little bit of milk. The chilli and clove come out most prominently when it’s brewed this way, I think. I’m not a huge fan of clove, so I generally prefer this as a latte, but it’s good all the same. Nice, warming hit of chilli. Good stuff.
Sipdown! Finished this off today. Good, strong, everyday black (as ever), see previous notes for more detail. This’ll be taking a break from my cupboard now while I work on some of my other straight blacks. It’ll be back, though. No doubt about that!
I have terrible backache today, so I’m mostly drinking this. It’s just one of those teas I find comforting when I feel off colour. I’m actually getting close to a sipdown on this, with only a few more day’s worth to go. Probably because I’ve been digging into it so heavily today. Still, tea is for enjoying, and this is just the thing at the moment.
Like Yumchaa’s Caramel Sweetheart, this one definetly benefits from a good stir. That I have discovered. I have, somewhat distrubingly, started using two bags of this in a big cup. Possibly I should eat some real chocolate, rather than trying to recreate it in a drink. At least it’s Easter Sunday…there’s a chocolate rabbit with my name on it that I think would go rather well with another cup of this :)
This was actually my first tea of the day this morning. I woke up with a bit of a sore throat, and a craving for Chilli Chai. The warmth was wonderfully soothing. Great stuff. Now all I wish is that it would stop being so cold and/or snowing. It’s supposed to be spring, yo!
Okay, so I thought I was going to try another Yumchaa this morning, but as I was picking through my stash, my gaze fell on this, and I knew that my plans had changed. It might be March, but it’s still snowing here, so while I’d like to be thinking about nice teas for spring and summer, I’m still well into my chai lattes.
I like an adventurous chai, and this is one of my favourites. Assam base, cardamom pods, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, and flakes of chilli. They’re all in evidence in each bag. The cardamom pods are particularly huge, and I can definetly pick out the red chilli flakes and some seeds. If something is going to be spicy, I don’t want it to be spicy by halves, so this pleases me immensely.
The scent of chai is one of the things I love most about it, and this one is no exception. The ginger is immediately obvious, as is the creamy sweetness of the vanilla, and the more dessert-like spiciness of the cinnamon. There’s also something very slightly floral about it, and something that’s reminding me a little of curry. Certainly intriguing.
I’m drinking this as a latte this time, so I’ve added a lot of warmed, frothy milk after brewing for about 7 minutes. Notwithstanding, the flavours come out beautifully. I find the vanilla most obvious in the initial sip, I think because the milk highlights the sweet creaminess of it and brings it to the forefront. Next come the cinnamon, ginger and cardamom, and the finally the tounge-tingling chilli in the aftertaste. I like how changeable this tea can be. I know, for example, that this flavour-profile is unique to its creation as a latte. If I were drinking it black, or just as tea with milk, different ingredients would dominate and the whole taste experience would be completely different.
I find this a versatile, adaptable, exciting tea which can ebe brewed to match many (or any!) of my moods. The first time I tried it was with trepidation, but we’ve become firm friends in the intervening years. Chilli Chai, I love you!