262 Tasting Notes
I’ve been curious to try a violet tea ever since I joined Steepster and realized they existed, and I’m very grateful to Dustin for letting me sample this one! It does, as Dustin says, taste like violet candies, which is about what I expected. And I like violet candies pretty well—not all the time, but once in a while. The violet is strong, but not too strong and perfume-like. I’m just not sure that the base works very well with the intense floral, though—it’s sort of malty and almost chocolatey, and it makes for a weird combination with violet. I think something lighter—some delicate green, or maybe even a white (though I’m not generally fond of those) or a green oolong (same, although Butiki’s lamented Rose Violet Calendula Oolong was wonderful)—would have worked better for me. I’m enjoying my cup pretty well, but I can’t quite get past the discordant notes I’m picking up on.
This is another from my Teavivire sampler. It’s very dark and roasty—just how I like my oolongs. There’s a nice fruity aftertaste; after reading through some of the other reviews, I’m thinking it’s mostly peach. This is quite a smooth tea, and there’s a bit more sweetness than I’d expected too. There are some woodsy notes, and, although I’m never entirely sure what people mean when they talk about oolongs having mineral qualities, I’m guessing those are present as well. I’m really enjoying this; it’s definitely my favorite of the Teavivre oolongs I’ve tried so far. Thanks for letting me try this one, Angel!
Not my favorite caffeine-free chai. The cinnamon is very strong, almost Red Hots-style. I can taste some ginger and (less) clove, but there’s something excessively sweet and slightly artificial going on. There’s not much to say about the tea base—it doesn’t stand up to the spice flavors at all, but I realize you can’t expect too much from decaffeinated tea so I’m trying not to judge too harshly on that point. It’s better with some (soy)milk, but then most chais are. I much prefer Celestial Seasonings’ decaf chai, as far as accessible teabag options go—or, even better, Organic India’s Red Chai Masala for something a little bit different.
I picked up a tin of this tea when I was in San Diego for the weekend a month ago. I grew up in California (and think it’s just about the best place in the world) but hadn’t been back for six(!) years prior to this little jaunt, and of the many, many foodie delights I miss Peet’s Jasmine Lime Cooler comes out pretty high on the list. So, being back in the land of Peet’s, picking one up was pretty high on my list of things to do. And I did. And it was just as wonderful—just as refreshing and sweet and tart and floral—as I remembered.
But this isn’t a review of the Jasmine Lime Cooler. This is, alas, a review of something much less exciting. The tea is smooth and sweet, although I can’t say I’m getting any of the plum mentioned in the official description. The sweetness I’m picking up on is more of the chocolate variety, which, as everyone probably knows by now, is not my most favorite of flavors to encounter in an unflavored black tea. This tea is also lighter on the smoke than I’d expected (and almost nonexistent on the pine), and it doesn’t have that rich red wine quality I’ve gotten with other Keemuns. It makes for a pleasant, if not especially memorable, cup, and I can see it making a nice, gentle introduction to Keemuns for those not inclined toward the bolder stuff.
This tastes JUST like honeydew. The green rooibos hardly comes through, especially when steeped cold. Really exceptional for a rooibos blend. Usually I’m not so crazy about melon-flavored teas—I like melon well enough, but there are lots of fruit flavors I’m more drawn to—but, given that I don’t often find caffeine-free options to get enthused about, I think there’d definitely be a place for this in my stash. It’s too bad this one isn’t available online, and, as others have mentioned, I’m puzzled as to what’s so extra specially Californian about honeydew—do they even grow in CA?
Anyway, I tried it hot and cold-steeped, and I preferred it cold—although it wasn’t bad hot, warm melon is just a hard thing for me to wrap my head around. Thanks very much for letting me try this one, Dustin!
P.S. Does anyone know if this is available in all of the California stores, vs. just the Bay Area ones?
This is a sample I picked up from Nicole_Martin at a meet-up a few months back. It’s okay, but a little too green for me—that floral oolong note is just a little too strong, and there’s not as much roastiness as I’d like. It’s a little bit sweet, more so than most oolongs I’ve had. This is a perfectly good tea; it’s just that the flavor profile doesn’t really match up with my oolong preferences.
This is my first sampling from the extremely generous sample package I received from Angel at Teavivre. If you’ve read enough of my tasting notes, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I tend not to be a huge fan of Chinese blacks. I know they tend to be the favorites here on Steepster, but they just tend to be too heavy on the chocolate and the sweetness and things of that nature that most people love but I, perhaps weirdly, just don’t enjoy very much and lacking in the astringency that I, perhaps even more weirdly, really enjoy in black teas. All that said, I was prepared to pass this tea off as more of the same. I’m pleased to say I was wrong! The smooth, sweet, non-astringent qualities are all present, but it’s delightfully light on the chocolate. There’s a nice full flavor with a sort of fruity undertone, although I couldn’t tell you what kind of fruit—if pressed, I might hazard a guess that it’s some kind of stone fruit? Or maybe not. I can’t say I’m really getting the sweet potato mentioned in other notes. The individual notes aren’t incredibly distinctive, but they certainly come together to make a pleasant cup of tea. It strikes me as uncomplicated and easy to drink, in the best way possible.
Someone left a box of these teabags in my work kitchen today. I adore passion fruit in all forms, so naturally I grabbed a few for sampling. It’s pretty good! I may have steeped it for ever-so-slightly too long, since I neglected to note when I put the teabag in and then got distracted by an email—this is why I try never to try new teas while at work. Anyway, the passion fruit flavor is a bit fainter than I’d like. The base comes through strongly; I’m never good at ID’ing bases but I think it might be a Ceylon or similar. It reminds me of that Paradise iced tea all restaurants used to serve in the ‘90s—I’ve always liked that stuff, so no problem there. I do think I might enjoy this more iced, though; I often do with fruit-flavored teas, just as a personal preference.
I’ve been travelling and offline, and am just getting back into the real world—and my tea stash. This is one that’s been languishing in a box since Butiki’s Black Friday sale, and I thought I should probably get around to trying it. It’s a really nice green—very smooth and fresh-tasting, with some sweetness and light vegetal notes. I tend to enjoy Chinese greens, and this is no exception. It is really quite light—I think next time I’ll try using more leaf, and maybe steeping a bit longer since I prefer my tea to be slightly less delicate. If I can coax just a little bit more flavor out, I could certainly see myself keeping this one around.
This is a solid Earl Grey. The bergamot is strong, which is no problem as far as I’m concerned, and more orange-tasting than most. It pretty much overshadows the base—I can tell it’s strong, and it feels like it’s packing a nice caffeine punch, but it’s hard to discern any particular flavors. Lupicia’s EG is still my favorite, but I find it convenient to have a bagged variety around as well and this fits that slot nicely.