Wissotzky TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
My mother loves buying bagged chai. Regular or decaf, standard or with unusual add-ins like tulsi or rose—they all seem to make their way into our kitchen. Some are surprisingly good, like Wissotzky’s Rose Chai. I tried that blend before the Masala Chai, and it gave me high hopes for this version. But as it turns out, this tea is only passable. The spices aren’t very strong or distinctive, and the base is… unsubtle. It’s not incredibly flavorful, but it does make its presence known and it’s good that weird grassy note that Indian black teas occasionally have. Much improved by the addition of soy milk, as most chais are, but I’ll be sticking with the rose chai in the future as far as Wissotzky goes. Totally irrelevant to more or less everything and certainly not a reason to buy, but I do like the packaging.
This was one of the relatively few teas I could drink during Passover. Alas, it contributed to my chometz-deprived crankiness.
The dry leaf has a very chemical strawberry smell. The brew smells the same, perhaps slightly less chemical-ish. It is, unsurprisingly, red. That’s because this tea would be more aptly called “Creamy Hibiscus”. I don’t automatically hate hibiscus, but I don’t like how hibiscus often overwhelms any other flavors in the blend. Thankfully, this can be made more palatable by brewing it along with a bag of Wissotzky Cinnamon Magic. The cinnamon in that tea can actually stand up to the hibiscus in this one and add a little complexity to the cup.
I had to look up what Panna Cotta is. Apparently it is a gelatinous dessert. As a vegetarian, I have never and am unlikely to ever taste it. So I can’t speak to the presence/quality of the panna cotta taste. All I can tell you is that there’s some creamy aspect in here that I imagine is supposed to be the panna cotta.
Another tea bag sip down though I have many more to do, I intended to sample them all day but I have an urge to break out my cat kyusu and have some Sencha. For now at least I can have green tea, little compromise.
The tea soup is dark red brown in colour with a sweet fruit scent, berry like but not specific. It is sweet and rather artificial but not too bad.
Flavour is mild yet sweet with a rich berry zing. A little sour but the sweetness counteracts that for the most part and though I can’t taste passionfruit per say it’s at least generically fruity non the less. I can’t taste any green tea at all yet I like that this contains some. It sort of tastes like warm summer berry cordial but not quite as sweet.
It’s an alright tea for a pre bag, I would have it again but wouldn’t buy it in.
Of course it took me until the last two bags to figure out how to make this taste like more than just cinnamon water. The trick is to use 2 teabags/8 oz and steep it for at least 10 minutes. Suddenly the cinnamon kick is backed by a lovely juiciness. Hibiscus, apple, and a hint of tanginess. The cinnamon is still strong and it definitely lingers sharply. I really wish I had figured out sooner how to brew this properly. Oh well. sipdown
So once again I find the Wissotzky Signature Collection Imperial Earl Grey to be better than the competition. In today’s steep-off that was Mighty Leaf Organic Earl Grey.
The Wissotzky is much smoother, can be imbibed without cream (though I doused it anyway, to drink alongside the MIghty Leaf), and overall I was reaching for this glass and emptied it long before the Mighty Leaf. What further proof need there be?
A factor which some would find irrelevant, but which has aesthetic significance for me is that the Mighty Leaf sachets, which are simple rectangular sacks, look droopy and depressed, while the Wissotzky tetrahedrons (often referred to as “pyramids”, but they are really tetrahedrons, it seems to me…) are much more attractive and convey a polished image. Does the shape of the sachet affect the final brew? It might, I suppose, if the surface area of a tetrahedron offers better infusion of the tea. Not sure whether that is true, but I do very much prefer the appearance of the tetrahedrons!
Which self-proclaimed Imperial Earl Grey sachet reigns supreme? That is the question which sherapop set out to answer into today’s steep-off between Wissotzky Signature Collection Imperial Earl Grey and Harney & Sons Historic Royal Palaces Earl Grey Imperial.
The Wissotzky is good. The Harney & Sons is good. The scent of the dried sachets remind me in both cases of men’s cologne! So, yes, there’s a lot of bergamot going on here. (FYI: bergamot is a component of 33% of all perfumes!). In terms of appearance, the colorful cornflowers add a bit of visual interest to the Wissotzky sachet, but the tea leaves are quite a bit more broken up than those in the Harney & Sons sachet.
In terms of black tea base, Wissotzky features a blend of Ceylon teas, while Harney & Sons features a blend of China and Indian teas. The color of the two liquors is virtually indistinguishable: dark amber. With light cream, the two appear nearly identical: caramel-colored lusciousness. The scent of the two brews is very similar as well.
As is the taste!
While drinking some other gnarled knots earlier today, I was reminded of this surprisingly good grocery-store offering from Wissotzky: Timeless Green, from the Signature Collection.
The dried leaves are gnarled and compact, highly scented and somewhat redolent of floral greens, though the scent in this case comes directly from the tea leaves, it seems.
It’s really very good. The flavor of the golden-green liquor is quite robust, so one must be in the mood for a hearty green, but there is no bitterness to this brew whatsoever. I’m increasing my rating!
Today I more closely observed the brewing liquor of a Wissotzky Timeless Green Tea sachet and discovered that the initial color is pale green, and after a couple of minutes of steeping it becomes more golden. One change to today’s brew was that I used slightly hotter water than last time. I kept the steep time short, but I had to wait a couple more minutes before imbibing because the liquid was still too hot.
The flavor ended up being very good, as before. I still hope to find out what the identity of this China green is, but I have yet to receive a reply to my question from the folks at Wissotzky…
second infusion: as before, I brewed two separate glasses of Timeless Green, and then later reinfused the sachets. The second round was good once again and fairly strong with a flavor close to the first infusion. Hopefully the caffeine was removed in the first infusion… on verra…
I enjoyed another glass of Wissotzky Timeless Green Tea again today, prepared from the full leaf sachet (not a filter bag). This is one of the best grocery store greens I’ve encountered.
The liquor is gold veering ever-so-slightly green, and the taste is rich and satisfying. I’m still not sure which China green this is as customer service never wrote me back. I continue to believe that it may be Mao Feng. Anyway, it’s good—that’s what really counts!
The sachets are generously stoked with 2.5g of tea which expands to fill the little bag like a fluffy pillow. I’ll have another glass and then reinfuse the bags later today for my post-dinner decaffeinated green.
second infusion: very good. This tea may become a regular rotation sachet for days when I cannot be bothered with a pot.
I had never tried anything from Wissotzky Tea, so I decided to pick up a couple of boxes at the grocery store. First up is Timeless Green Tea. This is a part of the signature collection, which features pyramidal sachets and full leaf teas. The appearance of the dark green tea is a bit gnarled and reminds me of a couple of the loose leaf Mao Fengs I’ve tried recently.
The liquor is pale yellow moving toward very light brown (not green), and the flavor is of cooked vegetables. This is a good tea. I’ll have another cup and reinfuse the sachets later today. I have sent the company an email inquiring as to the identity of the tea, but it definitely evokes memories of some Mao Fengs, and also a couple of the terroir greens I have been tasting of late. This is a good tea, especially for the price and the ready availability—at the grocery store, in the same aisle as Lipton!
So far so good for Wissotzky—at least for the Signature Collection sachets!
Waaah. They seem to have reblended this. The creaminess just isn’t here anymore. Now it just tastes like a basic lemon rooibos. A yummy and natural-tasting lemon rooibos, but not the special amazing creamy awesome lemon that I adored in this blend before. Even adding rice milk doesn’t help. And of course I now have a ridiculous quantity of it because I stocked up. I’m actually dropping my rating a few points based on the changed flavor. Nothing stays the same forever, I suppose.
Eep! Things are a bit busy right now and I haven’t had much time for Steepster. I miss y’all though! Here’s another one of my backlogs from when I went on vacation.
August 30, 2014
I’m so happy to have this on hand again! I bought two boxes to bring home, but I couldn’t wait. I just had to open it up and have a cup. This is my happy tea. So creamy and soothing. Gently lemony. Perfect as a dessert tea or just a desert oasis when things get hectic. I’d love to have this in my regular rotation.
The smell of this one punches you in the face as soon as the bag opens. Equal parts cream and lemon, and strong. Brewed, this reminds me of Della Terra’s Lemon Chiffon. The creaminess is more of an undertone here though. It’s not as cakey. Basically this tea tastes exactly like its name. Except the flavor is lemon, not lemongrass. I like it. As evidenced by the fact that I just got it tonight and have already had three cups.
Sipdown #73, another tea from Sil & Kaylee. Thanks girls!
You know, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like this one, I mean, plain old Rooibos? I’m not always a fan of rooibos blends, but actually this is pretty good! By itself, it has a light almost bready kind of taste, with a hint of cinnamon. Who knew?
This reminds me of Butiki’s Cider Guayusa, minus the guayusa. The flavoring’s spot-on for cider. There’s mostly apple with a hint of cinnamon, and not much sweetness. As far as apple tisanes go I think I prefer the ones that mimic more of a sour fresh apple flavor, but for what it is this is a very pleasant tisane and one I certainly wouldn’t mind drinking again.
This really tastes like passion fruit! Passion fruit is one of my favorite flavors, and it doesn’t show up in teas or tisanes all that often so I was pleased when my mother brought a bag of this back from Israel for me. The hibiscus had me slightly concerned, but while it is present it’s only strong enough to add some pleasant (and accurate, passion fruit-wise) tartness. I’m not really picking up on the mango, but I can live with that. This is one of the nicest caffeine-free options I’ve tried lately, and it’s certainly something I’d like to pick up more of when I’ve made some progress working through my current stash. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by most of the Wissotzky teas and tisanes I’ve tried so far; they’ve almost all been a cut above the average bagged grocery option.
Almost done my sample!!
I’ve been trying to sip down as many teas as possible lately, because I have a bunch of stuff incoming from Butiki and Lupicia. Plus the tea festival is coming up so I expect I’ll end up collecting a bunch there as well.
If I could just find some time to organize my stash, I have a feeling things would go much more smoothly!
This was just what I needed today. Yum. Very lemony, in an herbal sort of way. It feels cleansing.
The spices are nicely blended with the lemongrass to create a cooling and refreshing taste that I think would do well iced.
Also, I didn’t do this as a latte but it had that feel to it even though I only added a bit of milk!