13 Tasting Notes
Overall impression: A delicious pu-erh with just the right amount of mango flavor to make it special.
Packaging: Zip-lock foil pack with a clear front; steeping instructions on label
Dry scent: delicately fruity; can easily recognize mango
Cup size: I light-leafed this, as is my wont, but 2 tsp. in my 14 oz cafe cup brewed a LOT of tea!
1st steep: 2 min (approx). I did not rinse this but the brew was very clear; mango scent more delicate, but still definitely there; lovely amber color; taste smooth with a creamy mouthfeel. (Yes, I’m actually learning to use that word!) I kept thinking I tasted the marigold petals as well, giving it a slightly vegetal taste and added complexity. I like to try flavored teas with and without sweetener, but had my first mug of this one half consumed before I could bring myself to add anything to it. Truvia sweetened the brew, but did not really add anything to it as it’s fine on its own.
2nd steep: Color still dark amber. Mango scent and taste somewhat reduced, but still a very nice pu-erh tea. Very satisfying, even when I left about 8 oz. in my cup overnight and finished it cold in the morning — the mango is even more pronounced in the cooled tea.
Add’l steeps: 3rd steep was still a nice dark amber but quite weak (still nice enough to drink, though!), and I retired the spent leaves to my houseplants. Still, 42 oz. from 2 tsp. of tea is impressive.
Would I buy this again? Yes
I’m not too good at writing these tasting notes, as I find myself rather intimidated by everyone else’s tea erudition — so I guess I’ll just take the redneck route…
This was yummy-smelling right out of the package, if a bit strongly of black tea — which, of course, is what it is. (The art alone on those packages is drool-inducing!) Unsweetened the tea was okay; I could definitely taste the coconut — but with a li’l bit of Coffee-Mate French Vanilla it was truly dessert.
I only used a heaping teaspoon for a 12-oz. cup and the second steep was, as expected, rather light. Next time I’ll use more tea. I’m still getting the hang of the steep time vs. amount of leaf thing.
This is delicious! I got 3 good 16 oz. mugs from a single steep of approximately 2.5 teaspoons of tea — which is a lot more than I usually get; I was surprised. (The last steep was noticeably weaker, but still flavorful.) Sweetened with stevia and served hot, I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Being only familiar with matcha powder (Teavana) for my lattes I was a bit hesitant to try anything else, but finding good prices on SA’s sencha, genmaicha and hojicha powders I figured it was worth the risk. I found the sencha powder darker and more bitter than my matcha but am relieved to discover that it tastes just fine in my lattes (tea powder, skim milk, sugar-free Torani syrup). The taste is different, but just as good. (I’m tempted to say “almost as good”, but that may well be because I’m so used to the taste of the matcha.) Obviously a slightly coarser grind than what I’m used to, as it doesn’t clump in the sifter and exhibits a bit of a chalky(?) feel in the mouth towards the bottom of the cup. I don’t know how good this might be prepared traditionally, but in a sweetened latte it’s definitely acceptable.
I was all set to break free from Teavana — and then I tried this. Wonderful bouquet, although I don’t notice much sage. The orange, pineapple and lavender are pronounced, though, and absolutely delicious together. I’m usually not much for herbals, but the Teavana shop at the mall ensnared me with their sugar-laden brew. Now, at home and with a minimum of sweetening, this tisane is even better. (I think all that sugar actually masked most of the flavor.) Drinking it hot, but I would assume this would also be great iced.
Nice blend. Smells of ginger and fruit. Goes down smooth. but leaves a bit of a ginger “zing” aftertaste. Drank this with a little stevia. May also try it iced, or with milk as a chai — or even as an iced chai. Tasty!
As I related in my notes for Milk Chocolate Caramel, the Smokey Mountain sTEAp sample made its presence known immediately upon opening the envelope. I waited several days to try each tea, but couldn’t resist giving this one an occasional sniff; it smelled SO good! After a few days the strong smokey smell subsided somewhat (sorry about the blatant alliteration… well… no, not really…), but the tea still smelled wonderful.
First steep (3 minutes): Odor still lovely campfire smokey, but not overpoweringly so. Taste has a bit of astringency (bitterness?), but it’s not unpleasant. Perhaps I should have given it a rinse, or perhaps it’s just the chicory. I generally like the odor of Lapsang Souchong better than the taste, but can’t recall ever having tried it in a blend. (I’ve lived a sheltered tea life.) This has a good, comforting taste; nicer and definitely more interesting than the straight Lapsang Souchongs I’ve had previously.
Second steep (4 minutes): I’ve never sweetened this type of tea, but while waiting for my kettle to reheat I idly took a sniff of the wet tea leaves in my infuser and was surprised to note some sweetness, so I decided to experiment and added a wee bit of stevia to my second cup in the hope that it might bring out some of the vanilla and/or cocoa. This resulted in a sweeter smokey taste, but the smoke still dominated (which is fine, as that’s what I love about LS tea!). I might add that it tasted suprisingly good with a bit of sweetener; something I would have doubted.
In conclusion, I can honestly say I liked this a lot and it’s going on my Shopping List. (I just received a sample order of Russian Caravan from another company expecting it to be mainly Lapsang Souchong but, to my disappointment, it contains not even a hint of smokiness. I can see I have a lot to learn about tea.)
This tea arrived as a small zip-lok sample, along with a sample of Smokey Mountain sTEAp. I immediately took a whiff of both teas and didn’t get much of any scent from this one, but thought that it might have been overwhelmed by its Smokey Mountain sTEAp travelling companion so I let it rest for a few days.
First steep (4 minutes): I smell mostly black tea with a hint of honey-like sweetness. Taste is pleasant, but pretty much a smooth, mellow black tea. (I’m unfamiliar with Assam teas, but this is nice.)
I don’t really taste vanilla, or caramel, or cocoa. I checked my spice rack for fenugreek but alas, I have none; so I can’t say whether I taste any or not.
Second steep (6 minutes): I added a touch of stevia (blend) to this, as I find that sweetener often helps bring out the flavors in dessert teas. The smell is faintly caramelly now, but still no smell or taste of what I would consider to be cocoa — although I realize these nuances can be extremely subtle.
To me it’s a pleasant, mellow tea with an interesting taste, but as a dessert tea I think I’d choose something else.