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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Any time I pop by Wegman’s, even for “just a few snacks”, I can’t help but drop through the loose leaf tea aisle…especially when visiting with my parents! The Wegman’s nearest to their house is stocked with 3-4 times the tea of mine (my guess is due to the large Asian population there?).
Anyway, on my most recent trip, I stocked up on some delicious Blueberry Green, added a little Earl Grey to my collection (as I pretty often crave it in the mornings and evenings now)…and of course, couldn’t resist the new seasonal teas they had out. I thought it was kind of odd that they’d just now offer a tropical flavor when summer is at its tail end, but had no complaints and decided to give Tropical Black a try! A little over 50 cents got me enough tea for 2-3 small steepings in my yixing, and I left pleased.
The dry leaves smell tantalizing; not so much ‘tropical’, but very fruity with a soft citrus scent, underlined with the earthy smell of the black tea. 3 minutes at just-below-boiling water seemed to make the perfect brew, and whereas the fruit was the dominating scent of the dry and wet leaves, the taste took a backseat once brewed. The black tea is slightly acidic (but not unpleasantly), and the fruit is the second flavor detected that leaves behind a trace of tanginess. This would probably be a great tea to serve iced in the summer, or made as sun tea! It’s one of those that I don’t mind taking forever to drink, as its profile seems to change throughout the cooling process.
Overall, I’d consider this as a repeat buy, but probably not in large quantities unless I was making iced tea. It’s a nice, light-hearted treat when taking a break from the (sometimes) seriousness of high quality tea.
I was quite surprised by this tea! I wasn’t expecting much for a Wegman’s brand loose leaf that involved matcha, but this is one I always keep stocked on my shelf along with some more top shelf teas.
Any time I remove the lid, I HAVE to take a big whiff. The smell is quite deep and creamy, and not at all ‘dry’, with lots of vegetal fragrance to go along. While it’s not a ‘true’ match experience, I absolutely love having the powder mixed in. The result is a wonderful ‘any time of day’ tea that has the lovely grassy taste that just barely comes in second to the creamy, substantial matcha.
I had some genmaimatcha from Wegman’s also laying around, and tried experimenting with blending the two – with fantastic results! So, admittedly, my jar of Sencha/Matcha has been combined with its rice-inclusive sibling. Overall, just great for the price!
Once upon a time, I thought cheap, generic tea bags were good stuff. Then, I began dabbling in the art of loose leaf, by way of my local Wegman’s. The few selections there became my new tea heaven, and couldn’t imagine much better! After making my way into high-quality loose leaf, there are only a select few teas that I still drive all the way there to enjoy. The Masala Chai is one of them.
After I was introduced to better tea, I came back to the Masala expecting disappointment…but had none. I have bought more expensive, well-known chai that seems very underwhelming compared to this. I consider it a perfectly balanced chai, the black tea base being slightly masked by the VERY potent spices. This tea has a real kick to it, and is just divine when mixed with a little sweetened condensed milk, or made as a latte. I truly miss having this tea every day I’m without it.