1911 Tasting Notes
I had been so into using samples lately that I forgot that I had ordered this tea but never tried it. This was one a blend from Sanctuary that I hadn’t seen before other places (although a quick search yields this one also being sold by Praise Tea), and I like cranberries and roses, so I thought I would take the risk. By risk I mean I have tried some of the other flavored blends they offer from other vendors, and I haven’t been crazy about them.
The dry leaf on this one smells like fake fruit flavored candy and cough drops, which is pretty typical for low- to mid-quality flavored teas, especially greens. I suppose it also smells like cranberries, but in a weird way. I went with a 2 minute steep since they recommended 1-2min, and I’m glad I did. Maybe I should go with 1 min. The steeped tea also has that weird cranberry smell that is really familiar but I can’t place it. It doesn’t smell like cranberry sauce or cranberry juice, but maybe a little like dried cranberries? I don’t know, it has a kind of fake feeling to it. Maybe it’s the cranberry combined with the rose that’s making it odd? The rose doesn’t really stick out individually, but if I think about it I can parse it out of the flavor. The end of the sip has a pleasant, light sweetness followed by a tartness that lingers in my mouth and is very reminiscent of having eaten a dried cranberry.
I dunno, maybe it’s just that as much as I like cranberries, cranberry tea is not my thing (I haven’t had one before), or maybe it’s the cran/rose combo, but as much as I do have a sense of eating dried cranberries, I also have a slight medicinal aftertaste as well. And I think part of it is that a lot of fake fruit flavoring just ends up tasting like fake cherry flavoring to me, which I am not a fan of. Yeah, somehow this does come out tasting like cherry candy. Bleh. It might just be a thing with me because others have tried the Praise Tea version and enjoyed it; I think I am getting super picky about my flavorings, especially the fruit ones. I guess that’s a good thing, but it does mean I am amassing a collection of 2oz pouches of teas I don’t want to drink. :P
The first time I tried this tea I thought the dry leaf smelled like molasses covered grains. This time when I stuck my nose in, I got the impression of chocolate extract or a chocolate liqueur… basically the distilled essence of chocolate. I love that the leaf on this tea is so long and twisted and way more whole leaf than you usually see in a flavored tea.
Mmm, this blend is sooo delicious. The blend of the chocolate and the base tea is just fantastic. The chocolate flavor is intense but in no way does it steamroll over the tea base; no, it just brings out the chocolatey notes in it, and caramel and honey notes definitely come out to support the chocolate flavor. It reminds me of eating a chocolate caramel, kind of. Or the scent of being in a city with a chocolate factory. It’s different enough from a hot cocoa or chocolate bar that it doesn’t seem like watery cocoa. This is probably my favorite straight chocolate tea so far, and it’s definitely going on my must have list!
This is a sample I hadn’t even opened yet… I still have a number from thepuriTea to try. I thought it would be nice to go back to a TGY after a myriad of other green oolongs recently. The dry leaf on this one smells very green leafy, like grass and alfalfa hay, without much other dimension to it. Fortunately once steeped the aroma really develops; it’s very floral, magnolia-ish.
I was pleasantly surprised by this one; honestly I wasn’t expecting much based on other reviews and my experiences so far with their oolongs, so I guess it worked out. It’s definitely floral, but I do get some nice buttery, honey-y notes in it. Granted, they’re pretty light, but they’re there. They definitely come out more as it cools way down. Not my fave TGY, but an enjoyable cup of tea all the same.
I got this tea a while ago in my envelope-o’-tea from TeaEqualsBliss. Thanks! When I looked this one up I was surprised to see that Golden Lily is also known as Jin Xuan, which in turn is also known sometimes as “milk” oolong. I have tried two Jin Xuans from Tea from Taiwan, so I’m really interested in how this one turns out!
The dry leaf smells like a fairly straightforward floral green oolong. Steeped, the aroma is pretty different than anything else I’ve come across… there’s some high top note I can’t quite place. It’s almost fruity, but not quite. The tea also has a fresh “green” scent to it, and some low, almost hiding nutty notes. I didn’t quite know what to make of this tea at first, but I think I like it! It’s not quite what I was expecting, I guess. It’s a bit floral, a bit buttery, a bit nutty, a bit vegetal. I get some honey-ish notes as well. They all come together in a way that kind of reminds me of Gardens of Anxi from Verdant Teas. I think I might drop the steep time to 2 minutes next time to see how it fares because there’s a hint of overcooked tea leaf in here. Otherwise it’s pretty tasty! It’s also pretty different from the two Jin Xuans I tried from Tea from Taiwan, and I like this one better. Thanks so much TeaEqualsBliss, I’m glad I got to try this one!
I wanted to try and expunge some old samples this morning, but most of my samples are really contain more than one cup (so there won’t be any expunging today I don’t think). This one is like the sample that never ends! I think I still have more than one cup left after using tea for this one.
Well, it’s still a pretty tasty tea. Chocolate and coconut; now I’m wondering how this compares to Harney’s new(ish) Soho Blend, which is also chocolate and coconut. Also, as my mind is wandering while drinking this tea I am thinking about how it would taste with a pinch of almond tea in it… kind of like almond joy in a cup! That should be a way to enliven my next cup. I enjoy this tea but it’s not something I reach for; I certainly don’t crave it, hence it’s taking forever for me to get through the sample!
Man, I think I still didn’t get enough leaf with this tea. This cup is tasty but very light. I steeped it for 3 minutes because after 2 it just seemed way too light, and it’s clearly a tea that is pretty forgiving as far as steep times go because it has no hint of bitterness or overcooking. Maybe I’ll have to break down and actually weigh this one to make sure I’m getting enough leaf in.
Happy Year of the Dragon! Maybe I’ll celebrate with some Jasmine Dragon Pearls later today. But right now I need a tea to really perk me up because I am feeling mega blah this morning. Nasty, rainy weather, nonstop sneezing… I want to go back to bed. But I’m at work, so that’s not happening. :P
I can really smell all the citrus fruits in the dry leaf today… orange and grapefruit and lemon, along with the bergamot and creamy vanilla. I’m assessing this one to order with my groupon for this company to fill the current Earl Grey Cream hole in my cupboard. Ok, it’s not quite hole yet because I still have a small amount of my Earl Grey Cream from ESP Emporium, which I enjoy, but I might like this one better.
This is a really nice Earl Grey Cream. Citrusy and creamy, no bitterness or astringency. This would probably be a good one to keep around.
Had this one this morning with milk and maple syrup to sweeten. Almost all my maple syrup collected at the bottom of the pot so the last cup was really sweet! I’m afraid I didn’t get a ton of pancake flavor from this even sweetened, but it was at least a tasty pot of tea.
First snowstorm of the season! And only the second snow we’ve had at all… pretty abnormal for this time of year in NY. I like the snow so I am pleased it has decided to show up this winter. Also it means tons of birds at our bird feeders! It’s been relatively warm up to this point, and lots of other food was available so it was slow going. Not today!
I made this one with milk and sugar, which is just about the only way I can drink 52teas blacks. Now I get lots of pumpkin flavor and a little spice. No cheesecake flavor to speak of, really. Still, I will definitely be able to drink the rest of this tea like this.