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Recent Tasting Notes
Used the last of my leaves for my morning cup. I ordered a tin of Tiger Assam from A&D, so I thought it would be wise to make space in my pantry.
This is a good Assam. It has the taste of fresh baked bread with lots of crust. I almost always take it with milk and sugar (like today), and I can sip it mindlessly while still enjoying. It’s not mind blowing or anything, but it is nice and steady.
Woke up with a sore throat and feeling rather achey all over. Good times. I’m sipping on this hoping it will help my throat a bit. The blueberry is really strong today. I don’t remember it being this strong in previous cups. Not that I’m complaining. In fact, I’m really liking it.
I’m close to the bottom of my tin of this, and I wasn’t planning on restocking it until summer. Now I’m thinking it might be worth it to keep some on hand.
Oh, this is really good today. Lots of chocolate but a good amount of spice, too. I added frothed milk and some honey which made it that much nicer. Love a good chai.
I bought this tea because I was running low on my fresh TGY from Verdant, and wanted to find one I could use as a daily drinker (I love Verdant’s, but unless it’s on sale like when I bought it I tend to only drink it occasionally.) I brewed this at the same time and temperature I give all my oolongs when I’m first trying them, ~185 for 30 seconds, increasing by 5 seconds each steep. This tea is not bad, though not as subtle and complex as Verdant’s. Its floral taste is a bit stronger than I imagined, so I might tone down the steeping time next time I brew this. It seems to be a decent daily drinker, but will by no means replace Verdant’s as my fancier TGY.
I was somewhat excited to see that my local Wegman’s had more many more oolongs than last time I went. I had some moderate success with my previous teas there and as a lover of oolongs decided to try out their Wuyi oolong. I brewed this gungfu style. I would like to note that this tea was extremely inexpensive. The flavor of the tea was dry and somewhat earthy, not exactly what I was expecting. It was nothing phenomenal, but not bad. There was very little mouthfeel. I brewed this 4 times before I stopped. I probably could have gotten more steeps out of it, but I was not inspired to continue. This may brew well western style. This is by no means a bad tea, especially for its price. I may use this as a daily drinker, or if I ever get into the habit, one that I drink in the morning.
I wrote a note for this, but Steepster ate it. sigh Short version…
This is a very nice tea. Lovely amber color with the smell of dry grass and flowers. The muscatel flavor is faint at first, but it becomes more pronounced as the tea cools. It’s crisp and clean at the finish which I found really refreshing. The second stepping was much like the first with perhaps a bit more of a grapey flavor throughout the sip.
I’m super happy Wegman’s is carrying this! I think this is the tea I’ll serve with dessert at our Thanksgiving meal.
Two steepings, 4 min each, 190 deg F. First steeping tasted nutty, second steep tasted earthy and more full bodied. Steepings after the second yielded tasteless results. This is a dark Ti Guan Yin that needs a lot of room for leaves to unfurl.
I definitely need a kick to get me going this morning, and this tea proved to be up to the task. Sweetened it with a bit of honey. I also made a cup for my daughter to enjoy on her bus ride to school. She sent me a text thanking me for buying awesome tea. :)
Finally drank the last cup. I think I was too critical before, this is just a really really finicky tea. You’ve got to do it just right. Apparently 3 minutes at 175 with 1 tbsp and an extra pinch for a mug is the right recipe. Not only was the jasmine just right, but the tea itself was extremely pleasant, with a subtle but sweet taste and that wonderful, almost minty aftertaste I wish every cup had. Only rated so low because of how picky the tea is about how it’s treated.
Lowered temp and steep time to try to curb the bitterness. It worked, but I was left with a watery cup. Fragrant, but barely a hint of flavor.
Used less leaf and a shorter steep this time. The aroma was less overpowering, but still a head-ache inducing smokiness reminiscent of swallowing a cigarette. No subtlety. This is a full-on assault to the face.
Pretty dull for a TGY, some bitterness I never worked my way around… maybe a longer rinse is in order. Also a very mineral taste. It’s interesting, but not exciting. Pleasant enough to keep drinking, but maybe not worth the price.
Got this hoping it would be a cheaper way to satisfy a jasmine craving. It’s a bit bitter at first, though gives way to a smooth cup with a hint of astringency. It’s not very good, but does deliver a nice kick of jasmine. Don’t think I’ll buy again.
Too much leaf or steeped too long. Even with flash rinse far too aromatic and left a burnt taste on the tongue.
I made this tea in a single cup brewing basket with a teaspoonful and a quarter of the tea. The brew was chartreuse and opaque which I wasn’t expecting, and the smell was fruity and citrusy. It has a very mild astringent flavor which could probably be corrected by changing the steep time and temperature. The flavor does not reflect the smell of the tea and is slightly grassy. It was enjoyable, but I would want to experiment with the steeping instructions a little bit.
I had three steepings of this gungfu style, with times of 30, 30, and 45 seconds. I enjoyed the lightly sweet and toasty flavors this had. I’ve heard the sweet described as a caramel flavor, but I would have to disagree. This was my first experience with Wegman’s tea, and for a grocery store tea, I was pleasantly surprised.
Drama, drama, drama. School hasn’t even started yet (we have one more week), and already there’s been tears from my daughter who’s entering eighth grade. She and her friends are working it out, but I have to say this is the part of school I enjoy the least. Junior high girls trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in is the stuff of nightmares. I remember being there myself, but it’s just as tough to watch your kid navigate the junior high years! All of that to say I’m drinking this tea to give myself a little break before going to see how my daughter and her friends are fairing. As much as possible I’d like them to work it out on their own.
I’m liking this chai more and more. It’s wonderfully sweet and spicy, and while there is chocolate it blends with the tea very well. This works for me since I’m not a big chocolate tea fan. I hope Wegman’s keeps this version of this tea for awhile. I like it much more than their previous version. The spice is much more noticeable now, and there seems to be more of the base tea. That, along with the chunks of chocolate, makes this one a keeper.
Maybe I’ll resteep the leaves before wading back into the fray… :)
Today I am reviewing a tea by Wegmans, one of my grocery stores that sadly is not in the Midwest, so I have to get my friends to send me the teas I love so much. This tea is a new one to me, Apple Pie Chai Rooibos Herb Tea. It is made from Rooibos, Apple Pieces, Hibiscus Flowers, Rosehips, Orange Peel, Orange Lemongrass, Cinnamon Chips, Alfalfa Leaves, and Natural flavors of some sort. I have to admit other than the Rooibos, Apple, and Cinnamon those ingredients do not immediately bring pie to mind, and why do people insist on putting Lemongrass with Rooibos? I never enjoy that combination, but I am always willing to try a new tea!
The aroma of the dried leaves is pretty potent! One of those teas that on first sniff it feels similar to a smack in the face (I swear that is not a bad thing) The first thing you notice is the earthy and slightly alien aroma of the Rooibos. I say slightly alien because I have never run into anything that I can compare it to, Rooibos smells like Rooibos! I love it too, I find myself frequently just sniffing the Rooibos for a while before I get around to drinking it. The next thing you notice is the green, tartness of the Lemongrass. I almost want to use this tea as an air freshener or some sort of Victorian fainting remedy, it is very refreshing.
The aroma of the tea is much more mellow, the Lemongrass and Rooibos calm down and you get to smell some of the other ingredients. Rosehips, oranges, and cinnamon are the main smells that accompany the Rooibos/Lemongrass blend. The aroma is very tart and earthy.
The flavor took a little getting used to! I was expecting apples and spice with earthy notes from the name, but the taste is nothing like apples, spice, or chai. Instead it is very tart, slightly bitter, and not exactly pleasant. It was at this moment my mom (who got the 2nd brew of this tea) came in the room announcing how much she loves it. I gave her a look and tasted her cup and was amazed. It is a completely different tasting tea!! Now don’t get me wrong, I have had plenty of teas that taste different on the 2nd or 3rd brewing (greens taste more vegetal or oolongs taste more floral) but never have I had a tea taste like a completely different tea.
So let’s go for take two on the flavor of this tea! So there is where the apples and cinnamon were hiding!! On the second brew the flavor is much more mellow and quite delicious. First you get the subtle earthiness and sweetness of the Rooibos, then the flavor of apples and cinnamon, and lastly the tartness of the rosehips and green of the lemongrass.
I am not really sure I can recommend this tea. On the one hand the second and third brews are delicious, but the first brew is probably only good if you like really tart teas. So I leave that up to your discretion. I personally wish that it had less lemongrass, but I really don’t like lemongrass (or lemons for that matter) in my tea. Will I be drinking this again, sure…though I might just dump the first brew down the drain.
The aroma of lavender overpowers the aroma of the sencha with the fresh leaves, it is sad but I love the smell of lavender and am a sucker for anything lavender flavored.
The brewed tea has more of the bright green aroma of the sencha which blends well with the lavender. The color is also a really lovely light green.
The taste is somewhat evocative of pine needles and the smell of grass. It is wonderful, very clean and green! This is one of my favorite floral greens from Wegmans, I think the taste is just so unique and yummy