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Recent Tasting Notes
I have been filling my thermos with this before my hellish Tuesdays (classes from 11.30AM-9.30-10.00PM, thankfully finals are next week) for a few weeks now. This tea is also what helped me survive process for applying to my first graduate school one down three to go. This is not as smokey as I would prefer, but for casual sipping throughout the day it is more than adequate. The pine smoke is there in smell but weakens once brewed, however the woody element from the pine is there full force.
We usually hang out on this night. I mean, I see her other nights, later on in the week but tonight is, well, in my mind tonight is our night. Its usually a movie, one that I think she should watch or vice versa. She always sits to my right on the couch. Sometimes she’s lying down, curled up in a ball of comfy sweatpants and a big hoodie. Sometimes she puts her feet under my leg because her feet get cold. Sometimes I think about telling her all those things I want to say but can’t. Won’t. Shouldn’t.
Yet, here I am, lying on my back, computer propped up against my thigh which is crossed over the other, a mug of tea resting on my chest just under my nose. Here I am, inhaling Jasmine Silver Needle as my fingers flutter around the keyboard. Here I am, alone with my tea.
Not that big of a deal, really. She’s sick; a legitimate excuse. I just wanted to see her tonight, that’s all. Its fine. Gave me an excuse to write about tea.
Its was too late to drink a green or an oolong so I pulled my neglected little Jasmine SN pouch out. I’ve been avoiding it for a reason: I know I won’t dig it as much as most people do. It just doesn’t make any sense to me to mess with my SN taste I like so much.
Actually, its kind of cool, the exactness of the process. The leaves have to be plucked in April and then stored until August, which is the time the jasmine is harvested. The jasmine has to be picked at twilight because that’s when the flower buds begin to open up. After three hours of resting, they’ve opened the entire way and their temperature has cooled enough to be mixed with the tea. There’s more behind it, how many layers, how many times fresh jasmine flowers can be added, etc. but I won’t bore you (if I haven’t already).
The color. Its got that SN color I adore. I steeped for shorter than recommended because, well, that’s what I do: the color is lighter and the taste cleaner. Faint, golden yellow with the slightest, I mean slightest, tinge of peach. Its not pink or orange. There’s just a dark-peach hue that is barely recognizable.
There’s that hushed, almost muted woodiness that I look for in SN. But the jasmine adds another layer of airiness to an already feathery, soft mouthfeel…and I don’t know if I like it. The jasmine doesn’t linger and it doesn’t overpower. It doesn’t do anything wrong. In fact, its great. Its really great. Its damn near beautiful. This is a smooth, light, clean, refreshing up of tea. Its calming and just tastes nice. I just don’t care for it. I get it. I do. I can see why people love this stuff. Its a great tea. Just not for me.
Its actually one of the few teas that I can say is the perfect cup for enjoying alone.
Just wish I wasn’t doing it.
Wow, for the first time my basement room is warmer than the rest of the house and I don’t have the heat on that high. I went upstairs to make a cup of tea and ended up shivering. So this tea came out and I decided to brew it a little differently.
Since I like this best with milk in it, I put an extra teaspoon of tea in my french press and brewed it for an extra minute. Then I added a splash of vanilla almond milk. The chocolate is a little more prominent while the spices are downplayed. I think this would be best brewed double strong with milk and I’m going to use the rest of the remaining leaf for my next cup when I have it.
Not a bad chocolate chai once you figure out how you like to drink it.
I decided to see if I was right about this tea making a good morning tea. I think I need to steep it a couple more minutes before I add the milk to make it a great morning tea.
I took some time to actually smell it and it does smell like a chocolate cookie and associating chocolate cookies with breakfast makes me happy.
I couldn’t help myself from diving into this tea today. It was cold and it has been drizzling off and on all day today. Thankfully the wind has died down. Only a couple of tree limbs have fallen to the ground with no damage.
I brewed this for four minutes and poured it into my Tardis mug with no additions to try out. It smells good. I don’t remember it smelling overwhelmingly like chocolate but it made me smile. I tried the tea and with no additions, it doesn’t really taste like much. I mostly could taste the tea and it was a middle of the road tea.
Unsatisfied, I decided that since traditional chai is made with milk then I needed to try this with milk before deciding if I liked it or not. I am so glad I did! When the milk was added both the chocolate and a pepper note jumped out at me. The chocolate was bordering a darker chocolate and the pepper note was closer to a red chili pepper than anything else. It was good and satisfying. I think this would make a very good early morning tea.
Thank you Veronica for sending me this tea to try!
The edges of all the trees are brushed with red and orange. I can see the wind trickling through the leaves, each branch nods slowly and calmly. There’s no better sound than a Fall breeze whispering through the leaves of an open window.
Well, maybe one other sound. But she’s not going to call and I won’t hear her voice, so a calm breeze, an open window and tea is going to get me through this.
The large leaves of this look similar to potpourri for some reason. There’s an airiness to the smell, faint and clean. Its sweet and soft.
My third steep warranted this write up. Initially, I was surprised at how little there was to the liquor itself. It was delicate to the point of me questioning if I had screwed something up. I read some other reviews and decided to have a few more cups. Glad I did. The floral sweetness comes out as the leaves expand and release their delicacy. There’s a woodsy note to ponder on but its not overpowering. It’s not too much of anything. In fact, I’m starting to appreciate white teas for what they don’t do.
This tea is shy. Its whispering. Maybe a little too soft for me but I like what its saying.
Another tea from last night. To be honest, my hopes were not high with this one. It smelled too much like rooibos and nothing like apple or cinnamon. I made sure to put a few more apple pieces into my infuser, and I let it steep for six minutes.
The tea was sweet and pleasant, and while it tasted nothing like apple pie it was entirely drinkable. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it tasted like. There was just a general sweetness with the taste of the rooibos underneath.
Not my favorite, but I can see my daughter really liking it.
There was a time when I could drink caffiene any time and still sleep like a baby. Apparently those days are over, so I’m drinking more tisanes in the evening. Since I am not a fan of decaf coffee I have stayed away from decaf teas, but I might give those a try as well. At any rate, I bought a few new herbals and tisanes and gave a couple a try last night.
I really wanted to like this one, but I’m just not feelin’ it. There was a bitterness that tasted like the pith of an orange rather than the peel. The strength of it made my jaw clench. I added a bit of sugar, and, while it did bring out more of the orange flavor, the bitterness was still there. I checked out the ingredients: orange peel, apples, rosehips, hibiscus, cranberry, rooibos, and natural flavor. Maybe it was the cranberry that did me in?
I can’t see myself drinking this one, so if anyone would like to try it let me know. It’s not a bad tisane, it’s just not for me.
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… :)
So, I’m thinking this tea was reblended. It’s spicier than I remember. That’s not to say that it’s spicy, but it’s definitely more balanced between the tea, spice, and chocolate than what I previously had. The chocolate in this tea is great. The pieces of chocolate are nice and big, so once the tea has steeped there is no doubt that it’s a chocolate chai.
Bumping my rating up a bit. This was quite a bit better than the last time I had this tea.
I love the smell of this. The smell is strong (really, really strong) and reminds me of a chocolate cinnamon cake that I used to enjoy at a little coffee house in Utah. The taste is significantly more mellow than the smell of the dry tea, but it is still good. Warm and spicy with with taste of chocolate from start to finish.
This tea might stop me from snitching my some of my son’s M&Ms. Maybe.