162 Tasting Notes
When I was in high school, I used to buy bags of tiny Italian hard candies in different fruit flavors—from Trader Joe’s, I think. Google tells me they’re called Puntini. Anyway, I haven’t seen or even thought about them in ages, but this tea tastes exactly the way I remember one of the berry flavors—probably blackberry, and the best one in my opinion—tasting.
The honey is quite prominent as well, and there’s a generic sort of floral undertone to it all that, as an unabashed floral lover, I’m enjoying quite a bit. I don’t get distinct lavender, which is just as well since that can easily veer into soap territory. The tea base (Ceylon, maybe?) comes through nicely despite the strong flavoring. There is a bit of astringency, which is fine by me.
I like this much more than I expected to, given my (admittedly few) past experiences with Palais des Thes—their teas have struck me as passable but lacklustre, with a bad case of the jumbled (or perhaps muddled would be a better descriptor?) flavor thing I just can’t get into with so many French teas. I’m sure the nostalgia blast isn’t hurting, but even aside from that this is a really lovely blend for those who like florals and don’t mind a bit of astringency. I bet it would also be great iced. Thanks for the sample, Dustin—I’m adding this one to my shopping list!
This tasted weirdly like roasted beets to me. Very earthy, almost dirt-like, and slightly sweet. It was strange. Not good, not bad. Just strange. I’ve never had a tea that made me think of beets before—but why not, if there are teas that taste like squash and sweet potato and spinach (and, according to the flavors dropdown, bok choy and green bell peppers)? This was an interesting one to try, for sure. Thanks for the sample, CharlotteZero!
Fuzzy_Peachkin gave me a sample of this a while back, and while I’ve drunk it a few times it looks like I haven’t written a review yet. This is an okay blend, although I’ll admit it’s not really my kind of thing—I’m not crazy about teas with lots of stuff added in (Iike the chocolate pieces here, or candy sprinkles elsewhere), and the chocolate + orange flavor combination has never been a particular favorite of mine.
Anyway—the pu’erh’s lightly earthy, and it works surprisingly nicely as a background. I’m getting much more chocolate than orange, and while the chocolate flavor is done reasonably well (by comparison with other chocolate teas I’ve tasted) I’m increasingly of the mindset that, for me anyway, it’s just not a great flavor to try to recreate in tea form. I imagine this sample is pretty old—I’ve had it for quite a few months now myself—so that may explain the relative absence of orange flavor. Another thing about this tea is that it’s got that trademark oil slick, which I suppose is a necessary consequence of including actual chocolate bits in a tea. Still, I find it slightly off-putting.
I can see how this might be a good, gentle introduction to pu’erh for a fan of dessert teas. I am less into dessert teas and more into (some, selected) straight pu’erhs, but still, I’m glad to have been able to try this!
First sample from my swap with Dustin! I’d only tried one 52teas blend prior to this one—Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish with the black base—and didn’t care for it at all, mostly because I thought the base tea was just gross. I’m pleased to say I like this one quite a bit better.
I love genmaicha in general and find it relatively hard to mess up, so that’s a point in this tea’s favor going in. Dry and while steeping, the aroma’s all genmaicha—I love that combination of toasty rice and faintly seaweedy sencha, so we’re off to a good start. The initial flavor’s all genmaicha too, but the cherry comes through in the aftertaste. It’s candy cherry—it makes me think of cherry popsicles, actually—but it’s done well; not cough-syrupy at all. The cherry’s on the faint side, and I find I have to really focus on each sip to detect it. I used 1 tsp./8 oz. of water here, so I think I’ll try going a little heavier with the rest of my sample to see if that makes a difference to the strength. It’s by no means bad as is, though. I’m not getting cheesecake (or creaminess), but I think there’s enough going on here as it is.
Cherry and genmaicha doesn’t strike me as a natural combination, but it works pretty well. I still think I prefer straight genmaicha, but I’m glad to have had the chance to try this blend and certainly wouldn’t object to trying it again.
This is my kind of oolong—a little bit roasty, fragrant, sweet, and lightly floral. I don’t get plum initially, but it comes in very nicely in the aftertaste. Just the thing for yet another snowy day. Thanks very much for sharing this with me, CharlotteZero! I wasn’t familiar with Silk Road Teas prior to this swap, but this lovely tea has prompted me to check out their site and I see they have lots of other exciting offerings. Definitely one to keep in mind for a future order.
After three or four hot steeps last weekend, I thought I might as well try cold-brewing the leaves on the chance there was anything left in them. And I’m glad I did. It’s pure rose petal—the way a fresh rose petal actually smells, light and fresh and not at all like the heavy dried-flower perfume rose-flavored teas often turn into. The base is hardly detectable, and I can’t say I mind. If only this is how it tasted all along and not just after a bunch of steeps; it’s much more my sort of thing this way.
I’m working from home today because of the blizzard here in NYC, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to try out a few new teas. Although most of my tea drinking happens at work, I don’t like to try anything for the first time there since I’m not able to be too careful with my parameters.
Anyway, this tea has been sitting forlornly in my box of untried teas for longer than I care to think about… actually, I’m pretty sure I picked it up during Stacy’s birthday sale. This has the usual first flush herbal/grassy thing going on, but it’s not as strong—or as off-putting—here as they are in many Darjeelings I’ve tried.
I’m getting the hint of lemon mentioned in the description, and, I think, also the almond. There is that trademark Darjeeling fruitiness, but it’s nothing I’d especially associate with either peaches (well, perhaps under-ripe, slightly sour ones—and I mean this in the most complimentary way possible) or blackberries, I don’t think. There’s a bit of astringency, which is a plus for me as far as Darjeelings go.
Even though I’m usually not the biggest fan of first flushes, I’m really enjoying this! It’s definitely a tea I’ll consider restocking next time I place a Butiki order.
Another green oolong. Still not my favorite, but I am enjoying the osmanthus flavoring. It’s floral in more of a rose petal way as opposed to the base oolong, which has that green honeysuckle semi-vegetal thing going on. I far prefer the former type of floral to the latter, and I’m finding that the combination of the two makes this far more palatable for me than your usual (straight) green oolong. I’m not sure it’s something I’d feel the need to purchase, but I wouldn’t be averse to drinking it again. I don’t think I’ve ever had osmanthus anything before, and I’m glad to have had the chance to try a new flavor. Thanks to Nicole_Martin for the sample.