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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you Marcel Duchamp for a sample of this one in our swap a while back! The blend certainly sounds interesting. The oolong is one of those dark wirey types. I haven’t had one of those in a while. There was about 1 1/2 teaspoons so I went with it. Vintage teaworks suggests 1 tsp, at 195 degrees for 3-4 minutes.
Steep #1 // 9 min after boiling // 3 min steep
The steep color is a light amber. The flavor has cinnamon at the front then is a bit fruity.. it’s supposed to be papaya. I’ve probably never had papaya so to me it is mildly melon, cantaloupe. Then it has a sweetness like some teas are described as ‘maple’. Tasty! THEN I looked at the description in this tea for chardonnay which I have also never had before. The flavor notes for chardonnay are actually spot on for this tea! Copy and pasted: “more common descriptors include pears, butter, toast, melon, butterscotch, and spice.” The pear would be the mild fruity flavor I’m talking about. The tea is also buttery. There is also a mild toastiness from the type of oolong this is. I’ve already noticed the melon. The butterscotch is the maple I’ve noticed and the spice is the cinnamon! WHOA – all of those notes for chardonnay fit this tea! And also I need to drink some chardonnay. Lots of it.
Steep#2 // just boiled // 3 min
This one screams citrus for some reason when the last cup didn’t even hint at it. I guess because the citrus sat around all day mushy for the second steep, as gross as that sounds. But then the cinnamon was stronger so this was an interesting cup! The other flavors were pretty tame, just citrus explosion! Seemed more lemon than orange.
Steep #3 // half a mug // just boiled // 3 min
Another super citrus cup. Did I also mention all the vanilla beans? I love how this one changes so much. Delicious and now its gone!
A sample of this was provided to me by looseTman – much appreciated, since I was pretty curios about these tea’s.
Dry leaf form is long, twisted, with rose petals, and chunks of vanilla bean, papaya and orange peel. The aroma is slightly floral. I don’t generally enjoy floral tea’s, but one never knows unless they try.
After steeping for 4 minutes at about 90 produced a chardonnay coloured brew (no surprises there). The aroma was quite vanilla, but one of the vanilla chunks was quite large.
If I were to try this tea blind-folded I would say it’s all vanilla. I didn’t pick up any of the other spices or fruit flavours that other’s have. I like vanilla, so that is not a problem for me. As a vanilla tea – it’s quite good. But this doesn’t say chardonnay to me.
I have enough of the sample provided to have a couple of more tries to see if I can pull out other flavours.
This is super duper tasty. I was completely terrified when I saw the dry leaves looked wet…yet I sniffed them and they smelled like chai and seemed a bit more oily to the touch than water damp, so I brewed it up anyway. I would totally risk my health for a cup of chai.
I am glad I did, as the sample came from LiberTEAs, and noted the same textural oddity. And I also really enjoyed this. I made it with almond milk and a bit of honey and it was on the milder side, but not in a bad way. Just not a punch-in-the-face of cinnamon and spice that I do often enjoy, but like a break from sometimes.
I had been wanting to try this ever since I heard about it, but I’m really not one to buy big supply of something I haven’t even tasted yet….. Then swoops in ifjuly with a generous sample! That girl, I tell you…. :)
This tea is absolutely amazing…. winey but with spices. I can see myself absolutely loving this in the winter, as the cup in my hands felt like a mulled wine treat.
The pu-erh is so lovely here, and the liquor is beautiful.
I’m so excited that I got to try this one (and still have a bunch for more!)… yay!!
For some time this company and these tea’s have intrigued me, and I wanted really badly to sample the tea’s, but for some reason never placed an order. My opportunity to try a couple of these finally came up in a recent swap.
I’ve had the merlot twice. My first sampling of it yesterday didn’t work out. While the leaf in the bag smelled sweet, it didn’t translate to flavour. That was my fault. I think I over-leafed and water temp was too hot. Yesterday’s cup was disappointing.
I tried again today, and decided to let the water cool a bit longer and used less leaf. I also added a drop or 2 of agave, just to see if that would pull out more flavour. Today’s brew was a lot more flavourful. I definitely got the grape/wine coming as the cup continued to cool down. The problem today was the agave that I thought would help, but in fact made the brew too sweet.
So maybe third time will be the charm, and hopefully tomorrow’s sipdown of this I’ll get it right. I guess I should bust out the thermometer for proper brewing temp and skip the sweetener.
Thanks to looseTman for providing me with a sample.
So I found this in an old word document that was saved to my desk top. It is back from before October 2013.
I received this in round 2 of the Secret Pumpkin swap from Darby. It is also on my shopping list so thanks so much for sending a sample!
I have been trying to post about this tea for a while but have been having trouble, steepster won’t let me log this specific tea for some reason. So here is what I remember.
The dry tea smells very fruity. I immediately thought black currant.
The brewed tea tastes similar to merlot. But not a “real” merlot. It really reminds me of Arbour Mists Blackberry Merlot (read: wine that really tastes like juice). It is sweet but not overly sweet without adding any sweetener. I would say it is a bit disappointing in the sense that is lacks the body and flavor profile of wine, but that said, it tastes enough like merlot to not have to question the description/name of the tea. It is also missing that bit of dryness or astringency that you get with wine. Definitely better as is cools, the sweetness becomes a bit stronger as it cools.
Wow, this is actually very reminiscent of deep red wine! The flavors are unexpected but work together very very well. The cherry gives it the fruity taste, and vanilla rounds it out. I think puerh is perfect for this because the aged flavor gives it the earthy flavor that barrel aging would for wine. Most excellent!
This comes to me courtesy of RogersCK. Thanks for sending me this pleasant and intriguing blend!
This is an orange brew that smells of green grapes. The taste really does remind me of white wine. Admittedly, I am by no means a wine connoisseur. Still, this tastes light, grapey, and almost sparkling. There’s a touch of sweetness during the sip and a gentle tartness at the end.
The apricot that everyone’s talking about comes out for me in the second steep. Juicy, with a more assertively tart finish than earlier. More lemon myrtle than lemon fruit. The third steep tastes about the same, only even juicier. Nom nom nom.
This is my first exposure to Vintage Tea Works. I’m impressed. I look forward to trying more of their teas in the future.
steep 1: 167f, 3 mins 30 secs
steep 2: 182f, 5 mins
steep 3: 194f, 6 mins
I’ve had this chai a few times since I’ve written my original review of it: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/02/13/bourbon-chai-blend-vintage-teaworks/ and I really enjoy this chai.
The “dry” leaf looks wet – as though it has been marinated in honey. The tea smells like bourbon to me (even though there’s no actual bourbon in the tea), perhaps the combination of ingredients evokes thoughts of bourbon.
Sweet and warmly spiced. It’s “spicy” but it’s not a hot type of spice. It’s more like a sweet-spicy kind of spice. The spices are very harmonious in this blend.
A very satisfying chai!
Thank you, LiberTEAS! This is almost certainly one I wouldn’t have found on my own. I’m glad I’ve tried it now, because I really like it.
This brews up the color of a dark white wine and tastes, if not exactly like wine, at least similar enough that the name fits. It’s one where I can’t really identify individual flavors; it blends into one harmonious one that I like. There is undoubtedly some fruitiness and a tang to it, and a floral note that must come from the rose petals. I’ll have to decide whether I want to buy it as I work my way through the rest of the sample.
From the LiberTEAS sampler I bought a while back
Dry, this one actually smelled a lot like potpourrii…and not in a good way. :/
Once steeped, though, it opened up into a deeply coloured and delightful smelling brew. I’m definitely picking up the papaya and cinnamon with a bit of the orange-citrus-rose notes…the oolong base was an amazing choice and really complemented the multi-layered flavours beautifully. It’s damn tasty.
I’m so crap at describing this tea right now – I’m too busy trying to fit my whole face in the mug and just wrap myself up in the smell. :)
…the only complaint I can really come up with is that it gets a little astringent and bitter as it cools. You may want to hustle and drink this one hot.
Thank you to Darby for sharing a bit of this with me! I opened my little sample pouch and went “mmmmmmm”. The dry leaf is also beautiful. The aroma is kind of fruity with light notes of chai. Cherry is very present in this blend and blends very well with the earthy pu erh. There is light cinnamon\clove notes . The vanilla is in the aftertaste and smooths things over. I really liked this blend. Very unique and tasty. Thanks again Darby!
There were comments yesterday (?) about how wonderful swaps are because you get to try teas that you normally wouldn’t choose for yourself. Sometimes you find these amazing teas, because someone else chose it. This is one of those teas.
I don’t drink wine – I’ve had a couple of other “wine” teas and didn’t really care for them. I would never have bought this, asked for a sample of this, I was actually a little hesitant to try it.
WOW this is FANTASTIC. To me it’s not really wine, but it’s sweet and a little grape esque – maybe a little cherry – hint of vanilla – strange, but in a good way. I really really like this. I would order more of this if I had the opportunity – it’s going on the shopping list.
Thank you so much ifjuly for pushing me outside my comfort zone, into an amazing tea.
Yay! I can finally review this! For the longest time, Steepster kept sending me back to the dashboard whenever I tried to log this. So woo!
This tea is fabulous. The flavors are balanced with the white base so I get both (which I really appreciate). And the fruity flavors are lovely! Apricot (and very much apricot and not peach) is in the forefront, but honeysuckle and jasmine also seep through. It’s a very bright combination of flavors, while still being mellow enough to remind me of drinking wine. I definitely get their ‘light and playful’ tag on this one though! In the aftertaste, there the apricot again and then a creamy lemony flavor.
I really like this one, but the price point is mildly offputting. Thanks so much for the chance to taste this, though, momo!
Sil Sample Sipdown
I’ve been hanging on to the last bit of this for awhile, & today was the day. This is my after breakfast tea, kind of a morning dessert, if you will, & I’m enjoying it, to be sure.
The dry leaf is lovely, with little flowers & kind of a purple-red cast to the leaf. Steeped, it is a nice fruity tasting blend. I’ve never drank Merlot, so I have no idea what it tastes like, but this makes for a tasty cup.
This is the first tea I’ve tried from Vintage TeaWorks, & if it is representative of their other teas, I hope to give them a try someday too. Thanks Sil :)
I’ve never drank Merlot. Actually I haven’t had a drink of any alcoholic beverage (or other substance other than tea) in 29 years. So I have no idea what merlot tastes like, but I will say that this is a very tasty fruity tea & doesn’t taste at all like wine to me, which is probably a good thing! :)
Thanks Sil, for sharing this!
I’m not really a fan of Merlot, so while this was a good tea, it didn’t wow me. I definitely got plum and grape from it. I love the purple flower petals, too.
Definitely would have no idea just by drinking this that it has black currant and licorice.
I was able to steep this for 4 minutes with no astringency or bitterness, impressive. It was a very smooth, full bodied tea that went along well with the fruity notes. But it’s just not a wine I go for at all.
So far the Puerh Cabernet has been my favorite, I still have the rooibos pinot noir to try and I do not have any of the green tea one, but maybe I’ll feel compelled to buy it sometime.
Sipdown! What a blah cold, rainy day. No fun.
I said last time I don’t care for chardonnay. I actually had the most fantastic chardonnay at the Ritz Carlton. Probably because it was the Ritz Carlton. When she said it was chardonnay I wanted to be like GET OUT but I didn’t want to get cut off from that wine. I like the description on here: “Chardonnay has a richness and structure that can be world class….when you grab the right bottle.” They did in fact grab the right bottle. And it turns out it’s super cheap. Well then.
So I was glad I had just enough of this to give it one last try.
I was about to say there is flavor contamination, but no, cinnamon is actually in here. It’s kind of overpowering everything else. As it cools, ripe melon is becoming more apparent. It’s more wine reminiscent this time around compared to the first time I drank it.
But it just doesn’t do it for me like a couple of the others. Was still worth trying, and that’s one less row in my spreadsheet, woo!
PS: I’m sorry to everyone about the tea boxes going around, or not so much going around right now. I hate not being able to be in control about things going wrong and it gets to me to have people waiting this soon after they started. I hope they’re found/moving again soon.
I apologize if this is a bunch of nonsense because after I drank it I went out to a bar just to get out and there was the most amazing IPA.
This really tasted more like a papaya rose oolong to me. Then again I try to avoid Chardonnay as much as possible, though I have a general idea of how it tastes. This to me tasted far better than Chardonnay and it was very delicious with the pumpkin cheesecake bars I made. I ended up also making a maple apple pie because my mom accidentally baked her pecan pie’s crust, and if any had been left when we got back, I would have drank it with a small slice of that pie.
I would definitely have avoided this tea just based on how I associate Chardonnay with this horrible oak taste, but this is far better than any Chardonnay I’ve had. Like I said, strongly papaya and rose, with a little vanilla. Not bad, but not my favorite so far of the Vintage Teaworks teas. Again though not the kind of wine I normally go for so don’t take my word on it.
Tea down! I decided this had to be cold brewed, but when trying to put the lid back on, it wouldn’t stay down. Next thing I know, I’m giving it one more try held in my hand when pop! goes the bottom. Tea falls. I wonder what on earth just happened. Not to fear, most of the tea was saved, and Vintage TeaWorks is so awesome they are sending me a new tube. They changed them too, mine has a plastic lens bottom and they are now metal like the inside of the top. Yay! And they answered really quickly. I feel silly now that I remember it chipped my nail polish the first time. It’s actually one of my favorite tins to have on display even if it apparently doesn’t get along with me.
So…onto cold brewing. I guess it was in there for 15 hours? It’s very, very apricot scented. It does smell like Riesling but more exciting.
I was not too big of a fan of this when I first tried it, which I believe was hot. This cold brew is fantastic. It’s fruity and floral. I like how the honeysuckle has most definitely come out too, becoming stronger as it warms back up from the fridge.
Only problem is I am slightly finding the lemongrass to still be really strong, at least when I have a refilled, cold glass. It starts off really apricot flavored but gets into the strong lemongrass territory where it tastes like fruit loops.
Still tasty anyway!
This tea smells SO GOOD.
On the other hand (hurr hurr, literally?) I am not a fan of the packaging. Chipped my nail polish on three nails trying to get it open. It’s okay because I need to change it up but it was still sad.
Riesling is my favorite wine…at least if it’s on the dry side. Though if it’s a tea I don’t care!
This is very apricot with nice floral notes too. It seems actually really more flavorful then I was imagining it was going to be.
I’m glad this is a small amount because I’m not sure I like it too much, which pains me to say because this was pretty pricey for me compared to other teas I’ve bought lately, coming in at nearly a dollar a cup.
Maybe if I resteep it later, it will taste more like I was expecting. We shall see!
Second steep is very heavy on the lemongrass in that fruit loopy way. I may next time only steep the first cup for 2 minutes instead of the recommended 3.