172 Tasting Notes
This is a belated review of the last of my Steep City samples from a few months ago. I think this is also my favorite of the samples. I like green rooibos a lot, and I’m always interested in trying blends that use it as a base.
This blend is very fruity – the fruit flavoring is definitely dominant. I can still taste the rooibos, but only barely. Fruit-wise, nothing particular is jumping out at me. Looking at the ingredients, though, papaya and (dried) mango sound about right. I don’t taste any rose (no great loss to me) or passion fruit (more disappointing, since passion fruit is one of my favorite flavors). The blend is also quite sweet. I’m drinking it hot, but I’m sure it would be nice iced as well.
On the whole, the flavor profile is not dissimilar to those of a few other fruity green rooibos blends I can think of (Jardin Sauvage from Lupicia and Sweet Nectar from Sullivan Street Tea and Spice). I won’t be purchasing this at the moment since I’ve got quite a bit of both of those others in stock, but I’ll definitely consider doing so in the future when my supply needs replenishing. Thanks to Steep City Teas for this sample!
This does taste a lot like apple cider! The apple flavor is great, and while I’m not able to pick out the spices individually (aside from the cinnamon) they do come together to create a convincing flavor. This is my first (and, thus far, only) guayusa. The flavor is very earthy – I’ve seen it compared to wet leaves, and (with the caveat that I’ve never actually eaten wet leaves) I’d say that’s an apt description. I don’t think I’d enjoy it plain, necessarily, but it’s pretty good blended with complementary flavors – on this note, I’m quite curious to try Butiki’s Good Morning Sunshine! Just for reference, I’ve been drinking this hot, no add-ins.
I had another cup of Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish this morning – this time with a generous splash of soy milk. The soy does perk it up, and – unsurprisingly – it ups the cream quotient quite a bit. I think this round deserves about a 70, maybe a few points more. However, I’m generally of the school of thought that a good tea should taste – at minimum – decent without add-ins, even if the optimal flavor profile only comes out with milk or sweetener or whatever else. And to me, this tea isn’t quite there. So I’m raising the score a few points, but only a few.
My mom picked some of this up at one of Le Palais des Thes’ NYC shops. This is my first time trying one of their teas, and I’m quite intrigued by the description of this blend in particular. I’ve never had tea flavored with either dates or orange blossom, and I’m quite curious to see how they’ll translate. Plus I love fruity and floral greens, especially iced in the summer.
This tea is quite fruity, in a rather generic way. I’m getting berries more than anything else, I think. I’m not tasting the rose, which is surprising since I usually find rose to be a strong flavor in teas. There’s a faint floral undertone, but it’s one I associate more with the orange blossom than with rose. I don’t taste anything I’d especially identify as date either, although there is a sweetness that is not unreminiscent of dates. I’m also noticing a faint vanilla undertone.
The base is nice – it’s quite light and neutral (in that it’s not too vegetal, seaweed-y, etc.), which is how I like my green bases. I’m not averse to stronger greens on their own, but when combined with fruits or florals (which are the profiles I go for in flavored greens) I find there’s too much of a sweet-savory flavor clash.
This tea reminds me a bit of Mariage Frères’ Bouddha Bleu, although I like this one quite a bit better. Both have strong, somewhat generic fruit flavors and hint at vanilla, but fortunately this combination isn’t translating to bubblegum here the way it does in MF BB.
I’m drinking this iced (brewed hot, then chilled), since it’s too hot to do otherwise at the moment. I’ll certainly be trying it hot when the weather allows though. I’m also thinking this might be a good candidate for cold-brewing.
I love grapefruit, so the idea of grapefruit-flavored tea is very appealing to me. And this is the most grapefruit-y grapefruit tea I’ve tried – not necessarily the strongest, but the flavor is very authentic, and natural. It is a tiny bit bitter, but then so is grapefruit. The green base comes through quite strongly. It’s by no means a bad base, but it’s a bit more vegetal than I’d like in a fruit blend. I’ve only had this one iced (brewed hot, then chilled); I just can’t imagine drinking a grapefruit tea hot.
This is definitely better with a two-minute steep – thanks for the tip, Kittenna!
I am getting a bit of blueberry this time, and the base – while still subpar, and still strong – is at least less overwhelming. While steeping, the tea smells SO strongly of blueberry – I feel like I have a slice of blueberry pie in front of me. Alas, the flavor doesn’t even approach the aroma in terms of blueberry-ness. And I’m still not getting any cream cheese or Danish (aside from that faint chemical aftertaste, which is still there if a bit weaker with the short steep). This cup is drinkable, which is more than I can say for my first attempt at this tea. However, I’m still not impressed. I am raising my score quite a bit, though.
I got this in my swap with moraiwe. I’d been curious about this tea for some time – more because I couldn’t quite imagine what it might taste like than because I thought I’d love it, so it was awesome to be able to try it without having to shell out for two ounces.
This tea smells very fruity – in an artificial way that’s not entirely pleasant – both dry and steeped. However, it doesn’t taste like much. It’s slightly bitter, and I’m getting hardly anything in the way of blueberry, cream cheese, or danish. More than anything, I’m reminded of slightly oversteeped Lipton – the base is thoroughly standard and unimpressive. I can see how it might work reasonably well as a base for a blend with other strong flavors, but said strong flavors are sadly absent in this cup. There is a (faintly chemical-tasting) aftertaste that I can almost convince myself might be cream cheese. Almost.
I brewed it for five minutes, which may have been too long (although the instructions do say to steep for 4-5 minutes, so I feel justified in giving a rating based on this steep). I’ll try this one again with a shorter steep time, but I highly doubt it will become a favorite.