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Recent Tasting Notes
Like cteresa said, Yumchaa doesn’t tend to make actually bad teas, but this one isn’t quite my thing. (ha! Avoided a pun there.) It is, however, that got a bunch of my former colleagues into tea. I took my jar of Enchanted Forest to work because I wasn’t that into it and thought it might work as a work tea (you know, when I have something else to think about other than tea), and I made it for everyone and they were quite wow-ed. Then again, they didn’t have any idea that tea could be awesome. I do enjoy being a tea evangelist…
Anyway, it’s a perfectly fine tea. It smells nice, rather sweet. It tastes like berries. I’m not even sure which ones, since there’s so many in there. I think blueberries or blackberries, maybe? And then I feel like I can tell there’s cream in there, since there’s a kind of smooth quality to it, not sour. I don’t really know what else to say, really. There it is.
Btw, Dammann’s Souffle Fleuri has similar ingredients but tastes rather different and I liked it better. Feel free to mosey over to that review if you’d like :)
Flavors: Blackberry, Blueberry, Cream
This tea just didn’t work for me. It’s one of those that smells amazing – like hot cider – but just doesn’t do much for me flavour-wise. I steeped it at work, though, which means I couldn’t watch the temperature as precisely, and did 3 minutes as I usually do for flavoured greens. It was just kind of like slightly flavoured water. Eh. It’s quite possible that I just did it wrong, but I can’t be bothered buying it just to give it another chance. Sorry tea.
I seem to keep going up and down with my perception of Yumchaa teas. I first thought they weren’t that impressive, but then I decided I liked a number of them a lot (Ginseng Guardian, Red Christmas, Red Chai, Chelsea Chai, Enchanted Forest), and then I decided I was really quite disappointed in a lot of them (Wanderlust, the whites don’t really blow my mind, Caramel Sweetheart, the Earl Greys are ok but not that special – though a few friends love it, Blueberry Hill didn’t really live up to its reputation, neither did Regent’s Park).
And then I went and developed an aversion to both the Chai-y rooiboses, which about halfs my chosen Yumchaa teas. And Enchanted Forest doesn’t seem as enchanting as it first did. So yeah… I think I may be over Yumchaa. Too many other teas in the ‘pond’, especially with all the ‘free shipping for orders over…’ options :)
This tea reminds me of Pleine Lune’s (Mariage Freres) poor cousin. I get what it’s trying to do, but it doesn’t quite do it well enough. I think I’ve been spoiled by better teas – and I’m glad :) Especially since I just had one sample of this one, so I can instead spend my money on, oh, so many other yummy teas….
Time this sample saw the inside of my teapot. I find it mildly amusing that the Yumchaa website says this one tastes like “Warm Thoughts”. Interesting….
Ingredients: Pai Mu Tan, Blackberries, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Mint
So far it looks like your average Pai Mu Tan, though somewhat broken down and dry looking. So perhaps not the best of quality but frankly this one is all about the taste and I cannot judge that without trying it.
Flavour is mild, picking up sweet berries with a touch of nutmeg being somewhat dry…though I often find Pai Mu Tan nutty and dry by itself anyway. Also in the after taste I detect an extremely mild hint of mint (hey that rhymes). On the whole it’s quite crystal clear tasting and it’s sweetness is very appealing. The more I drink the stronger the mint becomes.
I actually liked this more than I thought I would, it’s not a favourite but it is very easy to drink and that makes it a delight. Sometimes I just want something sweet and chuggable, this fits that slot.
Flavors: Berries, Nuts, Spices, Sweet
I’m sad to say that I seem to be ‘getting over’ this tea. I still see how it is objectively tasty, if there is such a thing, but it’s just not working out for me anymore. I have gotten tired of it, I think, and it’s sad, because it was great while it lasted. I think it’s the rooibos and the anis that got to me in the end. I may just have to go back to black chais. Or maybe I could find a honeybush chai… now that would be something.
One of my two favourite rooiboses. I don’t actually seem to like rooibos much, but this one is utterly lovely as a latte, with a generous dose of milk and some sugar. Kind of like a cookie in a cup. It’s similar to Yumchaa’s red chai, but sweeter and less strongly anise-y. I like anise, but it can overpower other flavours. I think they should just re-name this tea and make it a year-long offering. It’s yummy.
Somehow it took me ages to try this tea, and I finally did last week. I’ve pretty much been sipping it since. At first sip, I just tasted mint, but a more subtle, gentle mint than in a pure mint tea (I’m guessing that’s because of the green tea). And then the spices sort of come in ‘from the background’, almost like an aftertaste but not quite. It adds up to a very soothing yet rather subtly complex tea. Also – it’s a perfect cake tea, especially for non-chocolatey cake. The tea makes the cake better, and the cake makes the tea even more perfect than it already is. Yup, I like this one a lot.
This was a bonus from my swap with Scheherazade! Thanks for the extra treat, Sarah.
I was a little anxious after reading reviews of this tea because I’m no fan of licorice and aniseed! Though I think I may have ended up with some of the bottom of the barrel here, as this was just a mildly spiced rooibos. Delicious with a splash of vanilla soy.
Thank you Scheherazade for this tea.
It has strong clove and aniseed flavours and as I sip it really is does remind me of Christmas. Though it’s not my favourite of flavours I still find myself enjoying it. I think it works well with the Rooibos base, keeps it light and with some sweetness. Besides the clove and aniseed I can taste cinnamon and pepper but the other ingredients are very subtle and I can’t really detect them specifically.
Not a bad blend at all, very Christmas appropriate.
I nabbed this from Momo’s teabox when I had it – it had one teaspoon left! The ingredients in this one had so many berries! I thought it would be amazing! I didn’t see any berries in this teaspoon, just something that looked like hibiscus. uh oh. After a long water cool and a 2 1/2 -3 min steep, the flavor isn’t very berry-like but also isn’t very hibiscus-like. It’s a nice buttery green tea mostly, with a tangy flavor that I wouldn’t call astringency but maybe its a hint of rhubarb or hibiscus. I wish there were BERRIES though. I really like the green tea though.. but it’s gone now!
A personal favourite. Comes together very nicely if you go for a shorter steep time (2-3 minutes), which allows some more subtle flavours. A longer steep brews far stronger, but also gives an overpowering mango taste.
Yumchaa recommend pouring a little cold water on the leaves beforehand, which seems to work well. Also found that this tea attracts a metallic taste if the water is boiled in certain kettles, so watch out for that, if it tastes metallic on the teeth.
I’m still drinking this one. It’s probably one of the oldest teas I have left, and it languishes at work most of the time. It’s not that I don’t like it…most of the times I drink it, I’m reminded of how much I DO like it. I think sometimes I find it a little thick and cloying — the base is white peony, and fairly heavily floral, and the blackberry flavouring is quite tart. The nutmeg adds another layer of sweetness. There is supposed to be mint, which might help to take the edge of some of the sweetness, but it’s not really coming out in the flavour anymore. Perhaps because it’s a little on the old side now. Hopefully I’ll finish this one off relatively soon. It’s just a little too sweet for my tastes, these days, and has probably seen better days itself.
Something about this one isn’t entirely agreeing with me this morning. I think I oversteeped it a bit because I got distracted, and it turned out rather sweet and cloying. A shame, because usually I enjoy this one.
I’m still trying to work out whether I’m in control of my job, or whether my job’s in control of me. I have a feeling it might be the latter. I’m trying not to let it get to me, but it is. Sadly and truly. Breathe in. Breathe out.
I haven’t had a cup of Om in a long, long time. This is despite the fact that I brought it to work ages ago (before I last changed jobs) in an attempt to drink it more often. I guess it just wasn’t wintery enough for the last few months, although I’m starting to look towards spring a bit more now. Spring and white tea go together. Although the ingredients sound an odd combination at first glance, this actually makes for a lovely mid-morning cup on a warm day. I’d forgotten how pleasantly light and refreshing it could be. Today I’m getting mostly blackberry and nutmeg, with just the tiniest hint of cooling mint in the aftertaste. No cinnamon to speak of. This is definitely one I need to remember to pick out more often!
I thought this one would be weird, and it is. At first. The initial sip is just odd…the cinnamon and nutmeg mix together with the backberry and hit you all at once, and then a coolness from the mint comes in. It’s such an offbeat combination, and the flavours really don’t combine well all at once. They separate out in the aftertaste, though, which is what made me pause for a moment before saying outright that I hate it. After the initial shock, the blackberry comes right to the fore; it’s sweet, juicy, very slightly tart. The cinnamon and the nutmeg have faded by this point, so it’s really just the coolness of the mint that lingers. Blackberry and mint are a good combination, so that’s really okay. The pai mu tan is hard to pick out underneath all of the strong flavours, but it’s hard to tell whether an alternative base would have faired any better. This is an odd tea, make no mistake. I can see myself getting used to it, though, in time.
Right. Today I am endeavouring to stay calm. I will not let my job dictate how I feel.
Starting the day with a cup of Red Christmas, which will soon be a sipdown. I like it, although probably not so much that I’d seek out another bag next year. 100g over the last two has been enough of this one for the foreseeable future. It makes for a pleasant cup, but it’s not overwhelmingly different from all of the other cinnamon teas out there. Particularly at Christmas. It’s a good rooibos, though — not too woody or overpowering in its own right, and delicious with milk.
I actually bought this last year, as I knew I’d be looking for a tea like this by now, and as it’s limited edition, it’s not usually available to buy quite yet. It’s a great christmas tea, though. The ginger and cinnamon are the most prominent flavours for me. I like Starbucks’ Gingerbread Latte, so it’s probably not much of a surprise that I like the flavouring here too. I can detect a hint of aniseed, which I don’t mind as a flavour, and the pepper comes out mostly as a warmth at the back of the mouth. There’s a slight nuttiness from the almond, but no chocolate to speak of. That’s fine, because there’s enough going on as it is.
I did think twice about this before buying, as so many “christmas” teas just taste completely overwhelming. I like this one, though. The ingredients combine well, and make for a well-rounded taste that really is reminiscent of christmas. Wonderful work, Yumchaa!