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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve been kind of ho-hum about this tea, but I have to say that today’s cup was really nice. There were the floral notes with the muscatel flavor following at the end of the sip which had been my normal experience with this tea. Today, however, there was also a silkiness to the tea that made it so delightful.
I think the reason for the change is that my water was cooler than usual when I poured it onto the leaves. I’d turned my kettle off and then was distracted for five or so minutes before I poured the water and began brewing the tea. A very serendipitous turn of events that had me practically swooning over my cup.
I may tape a note to my tea tin reminding me to always let the water cool for a few minutes for this particular tea. Come to think of it, I may need to go brew myself another cup right now just to make sure… you know… for science. ;-)
So I went to Wegmans today again for soup supplies, and couldn’t resist going down the tea aisle (also, have I mentioned that they sell Republic of Tea cheaper than World Market AND their own online shop – most of the cans are $7.99 or $8.99 – awesome). Sorry, side note.
This is basically Davidstea Forever Nuts which is pretty awesome. BUT it’s only marginally cheaper than the Davidstea version. Davidstea FN is $3.835/ounce for lower quantities and then $3.451/ounce for the larger quantities (plus you get the free tin) and the Wegmans version is $3.125/ounce. Still cheaper, but not as significant as some of their whites or green teas, for example.
Either way, I heard this was seasonal, but the tin at my store didn’t have the seasonal label so that makes me think it’s going to be part of the regular collection which is awesome, and it won’t make me feel guilty about drinking my Tiesta Tea version (and also won’t be nearly as frustrating if they don’t have that sale again this year, though I hope they do!).
Anyway, rambling aside (nm there’s more). I’m about to have 3 free Starbucks rewards and I want to pick expensive good Teavana tea for my rewards. Any recommendations?
Oh right, 3tsp+ sweetener
I have so far managed to not be pranked by anyone, which is good, I doubt my delicate constitution could handle it! Well, that is not entirely true, I was pretty viciously pranked while playing Minecraft today. Minding my own business in a fenced in garden in the middle of the day, I was visited by everyone’s favorite green explosive. Of course I assumed I was safe so I took this moment to sip some tea, from behind me came a Sssss BOOM and I died, spilling the contents of my inventory all over the nice new hole in the middle of my garden, and of course the contents of my teacup all over myself. Who knew Creepers were such vicious landscape critics?
Today’s tea is Chocolate Chai by Wegman’s Grocer, a delightful grocery store that has a self serve tea counter that, when I lived in Pennsylvania, I visited quite often. Sadly they do not have an ‘order online’ option so the only way to get their tea is to pester my friends who live back home to send me some. This blend is a mix of chocolate chai and tropical chai, with Black Tea, Coconut, Chocolate Chunks, Vanilla Bean, Cardamon, and Cinnamon. The aroma is a happy dance of sweet chocolate, rich spices, and nutty coconut. It reminds me a bit of xocolatl but with coconut and the earthiness of black tea. This tea smells delicious.
Giving the chocolaty tea a steeping (goodbye really huge chunks of chocolate) the aroma of the leaves is as expected, intensely chocolaty. There is also rich malty notes and nutty coconut, it is very sweet and the spices make my nose tingle. The liquid without the leaves is very sweet chocolate with a hint of coconut and a finish of spices. The chocolate is sweet and creamy, like sniffing hot chocolate rather than dark chocolate.
Tasting the tea is going to be a treat, I can just tell as I am adding the customary cream and sugar to the chai. The taste is malty and chocolaty with a gentle kick of cinnamon. It moves on from the initial malt and chocolate to rich buttery coconut, it also gives the mouthfeel an oily quality. The spices do not overwhelm, it feels more like a cardamon caress and a cinnamon whisper, I can swear that there is pepper and a hint of ginger though it is not listed in the ingredients. This is a great balanced chai that has a really interesting flair, coconut and chocolate really go well together and in chai.
Flavors: Chocolate, Coconut, Malt
The weather has turned cold again, so I thought a nice chai would be a good way to start the day. To make it a little more special, and to tempt my daughter to the kitchen table, I added homemade cinnamon vanilla syrup to our cups instead of honey or regular sugar. It was an absolute stroke of brilliance on my part. It took the tea to a whole new level. The chai I use is pretty light on the cinnamon, so the additional spice in the syrup didn’t mess up the balance of spices in the tea. The vanilla lended a smoothness that turned this into a new tea in the best possible way. I’ll definitely add this syrup to our chai -and probably many other teas – from now on.
It’s been months since I’ve had this one because I automatically reach for O’Sullivan’s Favourite when I think of Irish Breakfast. That’s a shame because this is a very solid tea. There is a nice maltiness and the flavor of good bread. It is a bit thick reminding me of coffee (a good thing in my opinion). Of course it takes milk and sugar like a dream. A very nice offering overall, and one that should find its way into my teapot far more often.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Leather, Malt
I tried it once, and it’s the smell that puts me off. It smells exactly like swampwater. I did a little research and tried to give it another shot—I rinsed the leaves as instructed, even discarded my first infusion and infused it once again—to no avail. This tea, while it may be good for you, smells awful. I simply cannot enjoy it.
This is another tea I picked up in my recent Wegmans haul. It’s very reasonably priced ($39.99 per pound) and the tin that was at my local store had extra large leaves; not broken up dusty leaves. One of the things I like about the bulk tea is that you can be extra certain that your leaves are in peak condition!
Anyway, it’s super light so even filling up a good third of the bag, only resulted in just under an ounce which cost… $1 – pretty awesome!
This is a nice slightly buttery white tea with hints of peach. You definitely get peach in the aroma and a little in the taste, a hint of sweetener brought it out a bit more. It’s not bitter though I did err on the side of caution and only used 175 degree water. Really really nice and I can see myself repurchasing when I finish the sample I have.
It works to about the same price as the Adagio version but you don’t have to buy boatloads of tea to get free shipping, a major plus!
So in a moment of procrastination, I stepped foot in the closest Wegmans to my house (about 30 miles). I haven’t been to Wegmans since college and now I have an appreciation for the vast tea display and I have some disposable income. This is a dangerous combination.
I love that it’s kind of like do your own Davidstea. There are tins on a wall, a little shelf with a scale, scoops and brown resealable bags and you can buy as little or as much as you’d like.
This immediately caught my eye and when I opened up the tin, it looked a lot like Davidstea Stormy Night. It smelled a lot like Davidstea Stormy Night, the ingredients looked a lot like Davidstea Stormy Night. Could it be a replacement for my discontinued tea?!
It’s definitely not the same tea as the chocolate chunks are different, but it does taste almost exactly the same, if not spot on. They sell it for $39.99 per pound, about $2.50 per ounce. Not as cheap as the price I paid for Stormy Night ($14.50 when Davidstea was running that crazy sale last summer for 8.8oz/250 grams) but the fact that it’s not discontinued and doesn’t have to be shipped from Canada (if it ever came back) is certainly a plus. Also, I somehow doubt I’d manage to get it for $14.50 again.
So if you liked Stormy Night and you have a Wegmans nearby or someone that is willing to ship it (raises hand), I highly recommend Wegmans Chocolate Chai.
After coming home, I realized there is another location a mere 8 miles away, doof!
Well, this is pretty basic and somewhat uninspiring stuff but I don’t want to drink anything awesome or, god forbid, new, as I wouldn’t be able to taste it right today anyway.
The base tea is pretty astringent and I don’t get very much of the vegetal notes that are usually in a sencha. I am guessing they are covered up by lavender. It is not, all in all, an unpleasant combination. The lavender is either that strong or I am regaining the sense of taste again ;D Because I can most definitely taste it… and taste it.
I am kind of indifferent to the flavor (or scent) of lavender but I have noticed that it does relax me. Perhaps I should look for some awesome herbal bleds with lavender in it?
This White Tea is a great bargain! It steeps a bit darker and has a bit more flavor than silver needle tea. The quality seems very good and is also organic. It’s a great choice when your running low on the top shelf silver needle teas but still want a white tea
Thank you to whoever sent me this! I gave up trying to keep track of who sent me what because they just get mixed together D:
The aroma is soft with light coconut notes. Mmm.. The white tea is surprisingly the dominate flavor. Sweet and slightly fruity. The coconut is in the aftertaste and kind of lingers on the tongue. It’s a very light tasting tea but it reminds me of relaxing on a beach with the hot sun and a small tropical breeze. This tea is what the breeze would smell like.
I was almost out, so I picked up some more of this last night. As soon as my daughter saw me pouring it into a tin she asked if we could have it as our morning tea, so this is my tea of the morning. The blueberry flavor is sooo good, and it’s nice to have a lighter cuppa to start off the day every now and then.
(Review of the decaffeinated variety) I can barely taste the tea, and I usually prepare this tea with reasonably hot water. Normally, decaffeinated varieties pale in great comparison with the caffeinated versions of the teas-known for being much more robust in taste.
Anyways, I think all the Wegman’s Just Teas are fairly good, as long as you’re not buying the decaffeinated versions.
It is a very satisfactory chai, although kind of generic… It has just enough spice to it to call it ‘chai’ but not much of anything else to make it stand out. Still pretty good for a grocery store acquisition. I just realized though that this is the only loose chai that I have right now in my ‘cupboard’ (countertop of a dishwasher more like it). An excuse for some tea shopping… NO!
Today has been a chill day, and I do not just mean it is freezing cold and we are under a Winter Storm Warning (oh please, please let us get snow!!) Today I have spent mostly relaxing before the inevitable onslaught of holiday cheer. I spent the day working on a massive castle in Minecraft, so far I have the outer walls and part of the turrets complete, it will be my biggest build yet. Plus my shoulders and wrists needed a break before I get back to finishing all the crafty gifts I need to make. All this holiday business puts me in the mood for Spring, so it is time for a Springtime tea from the annals of my notebook.
Sakura Sencha from Wegman’s Food Market (originally by Ito En) is a Japanese treat evoking the delicate blossoms of spring, blending Kagoshima Sencha and Sakura blossoms. The aroma is tart and sweet with an undertone of fairly mild vegetal and a touch of grass. The sakura blossoms add a gentle floral tone with a touch of citrusy fruit that reminds me a bit of dragonfruit. The aroma is very much so reminiscent of springtime blending new growth and flower blossoms, overall the aroma is very delicate.
Once brewed the aroma, while still being fairly delicate, increases the intensity. Not only is there the floral aroma but now I notice notes of cherries and freshly mown hay and it blends wonderfully with the aroma of the sakura blossoms. The liquid has a sweet, fruity aroma with undertones of freshly mown hay and a hint of almonds. The aroma is still delicate and fairly enticing.
The flavor is sweet and floral with notes of almond and cherries. The mouthfeel is smooth and the aftertaste is that of fresh grass. This is probably one of the few times I will offer advice like this, but do not follow the directions on the website/tin. I found that if I brewed the tea at 175 degrees it turned out a bit bitter, very much so the flavor of a tea brewed at the wrong temperature. I brewed the tea again at a lower temperature (150 degrees) and all the bitterness was gone and I was left with a smooth and pleasant tea. As the tea cools the sakura flavor becomes stronger and the tea becomes sweeter, it is a wonderful reminder of springtime and perfect for a relaxing sipping experience.
I should note there is a slight chance that I might miss a few days posting a blog in the upcoming week. There are a lot of very social events I am supposed to attend and being an introvert these things kinda wear me out. Hopefully I will have a blog out everyday but if not, now you know why. Happy Holidays!
My morning cup. Nice, easy to sip, and it’s keeping me warm. While this isn’t my favorite Darjeeling I’d never turn down a cup if it was offered. I find this has a lot more floral notes and far fewer toasty ones than other Darjeeling blends making it taste more like a first flush Darjeeling though I doubt it is.
You know… I really wish this was about half the price. It’s nothing special, but if it were cheaper, it’d easily be my go-to oolong for daily drinking. It’s got a lot of flavor when brewed right, even if it’s not a very special flavor. It stays strong on the second steep, too, which is a great quality. If only it were cheaper!