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Recent Tasting Notes
Sipdown! And thanks to MissB(?) for a sample of this tea! I’m not sure exactly what it’s flavoured with, but my first impression was that it was kind of like a gingerbread green? A bit spicy, basically. It was certainly an interesting tea to try, though probably not one I need to try again.
Thank you MissB for sharing! This is an alright cup. I am a fan of pineapple and that is certainly present here. There is also another flavor, which I am guessing is the ginseng that is sort of just there and neither adds or detracts from the cup. At the end of the day though, this is on a green base and I’m just not a lover of of green teas. Still, it’s always fun to try something new.
A friend gave this to me as a birthday gift!
I want pink and gold sparkles to burst out of the canister every time I open it. The dry leaf smell is sooooo pretty! It’s sweetly candied in a way that is more delightful than sickening, with mildly toasted/buttery notes to round it out. And the bright yellow flowers in look like ribbons nestled among the tea leaves! One of my favorite teas, definitely. It conjures up images of cake and delicate cutlery, hahaha.
Flavors: Butter, Candy, Sweet, Toasted
I found this tea on display as i wandered through Harrod’s in London on my most recent trip. I was blown away by the actual scent that permeated from the canister as soon as the seal was broken. They use giant canisters of loose leaves to measure your purchase. It was amazing! The citrus scent of bergamot is definitely amazing for the Earl Grey lovers! Its not super strong to the point of being overwhelming, and plays nicely with the black tea that is such a great star in this blend. I have used the leaves through 3 runs in my Breville, and they are still as strong and pronounced as the first cup! I am really amazed by the amount of flavor, and this may need to become one of my regulars, great tea!!
Flavors: Bergamot, Spices
another from missB this one has pineapple in it…and as result, was a much tastier option for me versus paris singapore but still just wasn’t cutting it for me. LIkely the result of the “green” of the tea. I’m fairly particular about my green teas…most are not up my alley. Still though, for people who like green teas, this is a nice one.
Final Count yesterday: 69
Grabbed a 100g bag of this from Harrods in London just because of the smell. It made me think of Victoria, BC in the spring when the city is pink with cherry blossoms. This tea smells like that: fresh, sweet cherry, and a touch floral. Drinking it isn’t as amazing sadly… There’s a sight bitter and dry aspect to the tea that tells me the base green isn’t great. I knew I shouldn’t go for a green, but the smell… Oh God the smell!
As I don’t have a variable kettle while traveling, I used boiling water cooled 17 minutes, and steeped for two minutes. Had to add a touch of sweetener to make the cherry flavor pop even a little bit.
Also, no ingredients listed, but was told in store (and they triple checked) that it’s only a cherry flavor used.
Flavors: Bitter, Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Drying, Hay
A refreshing minty tea that is heavy on the spearmint with just a hint of creamy vanilla. I found a canister on sale at Dean & Deluca for 50% off, which is a bargain for the quality of the product. I probably wouldn’t have purchased it at full retail price ($30 USD) but at $15 for three ounces of lovely tea, I’m very satisfied.
Flavors: Spearmint, Vanilla
So in accordance with a suggestion that was made to me a few months back when I asked about TWG Teas, I decided that instead of asking for opinions on the company, I’d stick my neck out and try their tea myself.
I went for a breakfast tea within the price range of below 7 USD / 50g. There were four: London Breakfast, Mediterranean Breakfast, Royal Breakfast, and… forgot the last one. Anyway, the Mediterranean had whole leaves, beautiful things. However, and this might be my tea noob nose, but I couldn’t tell the difference between it and the other three. This one stood out, in a very good way. The smell was… very sweet. In retrospect, it might remind me of Heart of the Old Tree, but a lot mellower.
When I asked about that, the clerk said it was a blend – Chocolate, apparently – and that it was popular with the ladies because of that. While I really liked the look of the whole leaf Mediterranean breakfast, the intoxicating scent of this broken leaf blend won the day.
I bought a pack – the tea parlour felt like I stepped back in time. They used a balancing scale with cylindrical metal weights to measure it. When I commented offhandedly about the use of such “ancient” equipment, my dad told me that these weights are actually more accurate than digital scales or something. I dunno. He’s a doctor. Maybe he knows. I asked about filters because it was broken up and I was worried they’d get past the spoon I use to filter my whole leaf teas. Offered to sell me a reusable cotton one for ~5 bucks, but I decided against it. Figured I’d use a kitchen strainer.
In any case, I steeped it up. Used the Chinese eyeballing method (because dedicated tea thermometers are probably expensive) and set it to “fish eye-sized”. Set my tea timer to 2:30, but between walking from the kitchen counter to the PC and typing in the URL on my browser, I’m betting it took another 30 seconds.
Quarter teaspoon of tea.
Poured myself two cups (one with milk, one pure).
Pure: It has that marvellous scent, still strong. Sort of… roasted, now that I think about it. Roasted chocolate, then? Zero astringency. Rolling it around my tongue, very smooth. Again, zero astringency. I might even call it… dare I say, flat? Did I do something wrong? Still, it’s rather interesting. The lack of astringency is very interesting, if strange…
Ah, no, there it is. Just a mild, barely noticeable drying, only with the cup almost empty.
Second cup is darker, came from the lower half of the pot. Put in some milk, maybe a tsp. Comes off as very caramel-ish now… almost like drinking evaporated milk. It’s funny to say this, but apparently the tea was overpowered by the milk?
I’m guessing it’s probably because I have a habit of stingily using less than half a teaspoon of tea for a whole 350ml teapot.
Still, I think I’ll have it without milk, unless I start using full doses.
Overall a little flat, but I think that’s because I use much less tea than recommended, and steep for less time. Give it a try anyway.
Flavors: Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Roasted, Sweet
This is really lovely, as TWG always is. I like to consider this tea a ‘green tea’ version of the usual black chai masala. It’s spicy and yet tempered with a sophisticated sense of restraint that makes the blend smooth and not as punchy; I think its name is very apt. Great to wake up to if you don’t like teas that kick you between the teeth.
I can’t find any mention of this tea online! My husband went to Korea and visited one of the Seoul TWG shops for me. I had asked him to pick up London Breakfast, but all they had left was a tiny amount at the bottom of the tin (and I’m learning it’s not anywhere near as lovely when it isn’t fresh) so the ladies sold him this as a similar substitute. This tastes nothing like LB, but it is a nice breakfast tea with cream and sugar. I tried it plain and I found it unpalatable, but with the additions it is nice. I don’t know what the cost was, but I’m sure I have had breakfast teas that were as lovely if not more, for a lower cost, that were easier to get. I’ll likely go through this slowly and not reorder unless I have some sort of epiphany with this tea.
Have you ever had a honey flavored candy? This tea tastes like a faint floral version of that. The aroma is lovely and a little stronger than the taste. I’m having it with a little cream and sugar which I think I prefer over having it plain. I’m not really tasting the black base at all. I don’t know that this will become a favorite, but I’m sure I will enjoy what I have. Big thanks to my hubby for picking this up for me in Korea! (He’ll never read this, but it’s out there anyway)
This is the second Chai I splurged on. I prefer this one to the Black Chai right now. It’s like a combination of Davids Tea Pure Chai and TAZO chai lattes. What would take it to the next level is if it had more spice to it. I find the chai I’ve tried so far by TWG have been slightly unbalanced. They have been spiced, but not spicey. I like a little bite in my chai. I’m not sure how to accomplish this in the tea but, it is a good candidate. One thing I need to do is brew these teas for less time. I will evaluate it next time I have it.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Spices
I had this tea upon visiting Urban Tea Merchant. I’d never had a milk oolong before, but I’ve seen enough tasting notes on various other bands to see that there is something special about it.
I only had the first steeping, but it was smooth. So smooth! I got the creamy taste as well. It goes down easily and isn’t overly powerful or fragrant. When you smell the dried version, it smells of kind of a sweet and sour milk, not buttermilk necessarily, but maybe something you might smell while enjoying bubble tea? Maybe condensed milk?
I enjoyed it and it’s going on my wishlist. If anyone has any brands of milk tea they would recommend please let me know.
Flavors: Creamy, Milk
The quest for Black Chai tea continues.
Bought this along with two other TWG teas yesterday when I was downtown. I steeped this too long and it was bitter and astringent. The ginger really comes through though. This is definitely a tea that is better with milk and sugar to enhance the spices that are in the blend. Right now it’s not on their website because it’s a new tea so I can’t even get the info on it. I will give a better review of this tea when I steep it properly.
At first sniff it smells like ginger, with spices in the background. I am not getting that sweet, spicy smell that I usually like in a chai. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t buy this based on smell when I was in the store. They made me a sample of it and I didn’t mind the taste of it (it was served straight, so not my usual preference for black tea.)
It has promise!
Steeped at 175 for 3 minutes and poured over ice!
I’m liking this cup! The ginger is there, but is mellow. I still don’t get the juicy orchards, but the tea in the background is really well balanced. There is something a little more in the immediate after sip, but I can’t put it into words. I think I’m going to become well acquainted with this tea as the weather heats up!
After reading the description, I’m not sure why I chose this tea. I do like ginger. Maybe it was the combo of different types of teas? Maybe I’ll never know what I was thinking. I ended up steeping it at a low temp for a short period to avoid bitterness from the green and white tea, but not all of the leaves uncurled.
The ginger is odd here! Usually I find ginger to be a very bright high flavor, but it has a lot of depth to it here. My brain first thinks smokey and then I realize there is no smoke flavor. Adding sugar makes the ginger a little more crisp, but doesn’t do anything other than that. Cream really doesn’t add to it either. I get a hint of a hearty black tea that I didn’t taste before. It isn’t a bad tea, it just isn’t meeting my ever rising bar of expectations. I might try it cold steeped before I totally give up on it.
Overall, Istanbul is kind of boring. I think I might spend my weekends elsewhere.
- edit * Second steeping at 195 for 3min is better. Ginger seems a little perkier. Still not wowing me.
First sip was a little green and bitter. I couldn’t make out the flavors at all. The subsequent sips are much better! I get the green base mixed with the strawberries first and then the mint comes in at the back and rides out the aftertaste. I don’t think I have ever had strawberries and mint, which is why this tea sounded so intriguing. Adding sugar really amps up the berry flavors! It is almost floral at the front of the sip, then I get sweet berries, then more floral and mint in the aftertaste. I must try this cold brewed and iced sometime! I bet the mint would perk up quite a bit! So far I like this!
Cold brew is the way to go on this! I cold brewed the tea bag overnight with some sugar added in (a little too much sugar) and it is way better than it was hot. The pineapple flavor really comes out nicely, but there is still that dirt/ginseng flavor. Don’t think I’m a ginseng hater, I like it and it’s alkaline taste, but it is a little odd mixed in a fruity tea. It blends okay with the pineapple at the beginning of the sip, but the aftertaste is all ginseng and reminds me of when I was younger and would get the liquid ginseng shots from some of the Asian markets near where I worked. I loved the little bottles they came in. As I get closer to the bottom of this cup, the ginseng seems to fade or maybe my brain is just muting it out, but the pineapple is more prominent and that is nice. I like this a lot better now! I still don’t feel like it is something I’d pick out and buy, but I’m glad to have tried it.
I was sniffing this tea bag while waiting for the kettle to heat up and was trying to pin the familiar scent. Pineapple. It smells like pineapple candies I used to have when I was young. It still smells faintly of that once steeped and the pineapple comes out well in the flavor. I first get the pineapple flavor and when that trails off at the end of the sip, the ginseng creeps in and tastes a little like alkaline desert dirt, which is oddly nostalgic this time of year with the big burn in the desert coming up and all my friends who build the city posting that they are off to the playa already. Even so, it’s an odd aftertaste that I’m not exactly at peace with. Adding sugar perks up the pineapple, but also amplifies the ginseng, which isn’t what I was hoping for. Adding cream changes the whole thing again! Pineapple at the front of the sip is gone, but creeps in a little at the very end leaving just a suggestion of pineapple and the ginseng is really muted. I don’t get any berries in this like the description says. This tea is interesting, it makes me consider trying more pineapple teas in the future, but I certainly wouldn’t follow it to the check out lane and invite it home with me.