300 Tasting Notes
This one is so good. It really does taste like blackberry juice, not straight-up hibiscus like so many fruity tisanes, and while I could do with the elderflower being a little stronger I can occasionally catch a hint of that floral goodness on the end of the sip. I love this iced, and I’m going to be sad when I use up my box. If only it were available in the US—I know it’s on Amazon, but I don’t shop there and even if I did it appears to be going for something crazy like $20/box. Please please please add this blend to your US distribution list, Taylors of Harrogate!
This was one of my first true tea loves, way back when I picked it up from a Lupicia shop in San Francisco in the summer of 2008 on my last day (probably ever for the rest of my life, the way things are looking now) as a resident of the beautiful Bay Area. Luscious raspberry syrup with a crisp green base and a hint of that honey whole-wheat pretzel goodness from the green rooibos, plus a whole lot of sentimental value. I was so sad when Lupicia discontinued Haru Poro Poro, and I will never stop hoping for them to bring it back (though now that it’s been gone for, what, five years[?!] my hopes are a bit diminished).
This one is so good! The oolong base is not too oolong-y, neither super green and floral nor especially dark and roasty, and the raspberry is just right, almost like my dear lamented Haru Poro Poro from Lupicia. It is a little syrupy (though never artificial), but that’s no bad thing in my book—a good raspberry syrup is one of life’s great joys, IMO. I’ve prepared this a bunch of different ways, both hot and cold, but I think it’s at its very best cold-steeped and iced. I only wish this one was easier to get ahold of here in the States, since I don’t think I’ll make it back to Denmark any time in the foreseeable future.
As part of my mission to sip down my ancient samples, I thought I’d take advantage of what looks to be the last day of even remotely fall-like weather here for a while and try this one out. Despite its age, this is pretty pleasant—the apple is pretty faint (though that could be age-related), though, and spice-wise the cinnamon and cloves really dominate. The base is kind of eh, but you can’t really expect much more than that from US Twinings. I don’t think this is something I’ll purchase, though it has gotten me intrigued re: the possibility of a truly great apple cider chai.
This is a nice fruity blend, though I wish I could detect the individual flavors—I just get a generic, if pleasant, fruitiness. I also feel like the fruit flavorings could be a little more assertive, but then I always like my flavors super bold. As it is, the fruits and the smooth, slightly malty base are pretty evenly balanced. I love fruity teas of all stripes, but in general I find these sorts of flavorings work better for me with green (or even oolong) bases than with black, and nice as this blend is it’s no exception to that rule.
This is a nice light black tea. It’s got just a little bit of astringency and some pleasing stone fruit undertones. Not one of those teas that hits you over the head with its bold flavors, but makes for a really pleasant cup. I don’t drink Ceylon very often—when I go for black teas, I’m usually drawn to bold, malty Assams or, on the other hand, astringent, floral Darjeelings—but this blend has me thinking I shouldn’t be so quick to overlook it as the boring middle-ground option.
Sipping down another old sample of unknown origin. This is a very nice, very smooth chai. The spices are nicely balanced, both amongst themselves and with the (Assam?) base. I tend to go for super spicy chais, heavy on the ginger, and this is a little bit milder than that, but nonetheless it’s a blend I wouldn’t mind adding to my collection at some point.
This is an old sample—so old I forget who shared it with me. I was excited for this one, since I’ve enjoyed the blends I’ve tried from Organic India in the past and because I love mango. As it turns out, though, that’s the one note that I’m not getting from this blend. It’s mostly tulsi, which I like quite a bit, with the rooibos coming in as a fairly distant second—and it’s the good kind of rooibos, not the nasty tobacco-tasting stuff. I can detect the chamomile, but it’s not overwhelming. While I’m sure I’ll buy from Organic India again—I find tulsi makes for a nice caffeine-free option—I probably won’t go for this particular blend just because the mango flavoring seems not to add anything much to the experience.
I got a sample of this one with my Lupicia newsletter a while back and am just now getting around to trying it. And, fan of Indian teas that I am, I’m finding it a really pleasant blend. It’s a very smooth blend—as a Darjeeling lover who can’t get enough of that hit of astringency, I might even say it’s a little too smooth and could benefit from a bit more of a kick. For that reason, I don’t think this’ll necessarily be something I’ll purchase next time I place an order with Lupicia, but I certainly wouldn’t be averse to drinking it again should another sample come my way.
This is one of my favorites from MF, though it doesn’t seem to get much attention. The ginger is just right (for this ginger lover, anyway), and the rose is lovely. It doesn’t have that excessively perfume-y quality some rose teas have; it reminds me more of fresh rose petals than anything else. The base is nice and smooth, too.