252 Tasting Notes
This reminds me a lot of Paradise Tropical Tea, that fruity iced tea restaurants always used to serve (and maybe still do), but with a green base. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given the name. I like that stuff a lot, and I like this too. It’s got that generic tropical fruit flavor – I’m not able to pull out particular notes, although the pineapple and mango I see others mentioning seem reasonable. The flavoring is quite strong – and also quite floral, even verging on perfumey. I don’t mind this, but I know it’s not to everyone’s taste.
The bancha works nicely as a base, I think; it stands up reasonably well to the flavoring. I cold-steeped this – I can’t imagine drinking a tea with this flavor profile hot. I may have steeped it for too long – I wasn’t keeping track, but probably something like 9 or 10 hours – and there is some astringency, but I think that’s entirely my fault. This came in my happy bag in January, and it’s easily my favorite of the bunch.
I got a sample of this in my swap with moraiwe. It’s malty and cocoa-y – it reminds me a teensy bit of Laoshan Black, but with less roastiness and, I think, a bit less body. It resteeps very nicely. This is clearly a high-quality tea, and I did enjoy trying it, but I’m beginning to wonder if maybe Chinese blacks are just not my thing. I’ve only started exploring this genre of tea relatively recently, and while I can see why these deep, intense teas with strong cocoa notes appeal to so many people they’re not quite what I’m looking for (most of the time, anyway – I could see myself enjoying a tea like this on occasion, for a change from my usual lineup, and I also wonder if I might enjoy teas with these sorts of profiles a bit more in the winter). The only black teas I’ve really loved have been Darjeelings, and this is kind of like the anti-Darjeeling. I’m definitely not done experimenting with Chinese black tea, though – I know it’s a huge category, and there may be something I’ll adore out there.
I’m drinking a glass of this cold-steeped right now, and I’m liking it much better this way – the strawberry flavor comes out more, plus I just think teas with these sorts of profiles (fruity greens or green oolongs) lend themselves to icing. The strawberry’s a bit more candyish this way – it’s reminding me of strawberry gummies – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I still don’t like this one quite as much as Butiki’s lychee oolong, but I’m really enjoying it prepared this way.
My second Butiki oolong of the weekend! Yesterday’s was the Lychee Oolong, which was a resounding success. This one, not as much. It still made for an entirely pleasant cup, but the vibrancy and accuracy of flavor that so impressed me with the lychee just weren’t there.
The dry leaf smells a bit like fresh strawberries, which is unusual: most strawberry teas seem to smell and taste like, at best, cooked strawberries or strawberry jam, and, at worst, like strawberry candies. It’s quite delicate, but it’s there.
Once the tea has steeped, though, it’s pretty much pure oolong. The base is light, green, fresh, faintly vegetal – totally non-objectionable, but still, I don’t really love this oolong – it’s fine as a base for a strong flavor (lychee!), but doesn’t entirely stand up on its own. There are some fruity or perhaps floral undertones, and a bit of an underripe-berry aftertaste, but they’re quite faint. This is, unsurprisingly, doubly true of the second steep.
I’m going to have to try this again with more leaf, or maybe as a cold steep, since the flavor combination seems just right for iced tea.
Shelley_Lorraine was kind enough to send me a sample of this in our (semi)-recent swap – it’s taking me ages to get through those samples (and others I’ve swapped for in the past several months) because more often than not it’s been too hot for me to want tea that is not iced. But it’s really cooled off in the past week, so I’ve been trying to get some quality tea sessions in this weekend.
Anyway, to the tea… I’m not a big eater of macarons, but I wouldn’t say this tea is particularly reminiscent of them. It does taste faintly almondy, but only faintly. This is a relief to me, as I haven’t been too fond of nut- (and especially almond-)flavored teas in the past. Here, the almond is more hinted at than anything else.
I’m struggling to say what this tea does taste like – I see apple is listed as an ingredient, so maybe that? Yes, I think it might be apple – it’s more the way I imagine apple blossoms might taste, if that makes sense; it’s delicate and floral in a way apples themselves usually aren’t, quite.
I have no idea what amaranth (the last ingredient) tastes like, so I can’t say how that might be playing into the flavor. The base is nice and smooth and plays well – no, plays exquisitely – with the other flavors.
I feel like I’m not doing justice to the overall flavor profile – maybe the amaranth is the missing link, or maybe I just lack the requisite tea vocabulary – but it’s just delicious.
This is why swaps are the best. I never would’ve tried this tea otherwise – it doesn’t have the flavor profile I usually go for, while I like macarons okay I’m not crazy about them, I was very disappointed by the only MF tea I’d tried previously, the price to order (not to mention shipping from France) is rather exorbitant, etc. etc. – but I love it. And I want more. Not sure how or when that’s going to happen, but someday this tea will be mine! It’s also gotten me curious about the rest of the Héritage Gourmand line.
For my own future reference: I made this with 1 teaspoon of tea/1 cup boiling water.
This tastes JUST like lychee. Very, very impressive tea-blending – I don’t know how Stacy does it, but she makes by far the most true-to-life fruit flavored teas I’ve ever tasted ( going by this and the Cantaloupe & Cream, anyway).
The oolong here is rather faint; I’m not sure if this is how it’s supposed to be or if I might have (very slightly) underleafed.
I drank this hot, but I think I’m going to try it iced next time. It’s so light and refreshing; I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be even more awesome when chilled.
This is one of my favorite fruit-flavored greens, and my favorite blend from Republic of Tea. I’ve been drinking it for a few years but haven’t attempted to review it until just now. I’m struggling to put the flavor into words – I don’t know that I’ve ever actually tasted a black raspberry, so I can’t say how this tea measures up on that front. I can say that it’s almost more floral than fruity, in the way that fresh red raspberries sometimes are. It’s deep, but also delicate. It’s very, very slightly sweet; there’s no tartness whatsoever. The tea base is, thankfully, not at all vegetal; when slightly over-steeped it develops a faint hint of smokiness that complements the black raspberry flavoring surprisingly well.
I went through a big RoT phase several years back and tried most of their fruity green offerings. This was, by far, my favorite. Many of their flavors were disappointingly weak and/or loaded with hibiscus (which I don’t actually dislike as an ingredient; I just find it a poor stand-in for raspberry or pomegranate or whatever else – it only ever really tastes like itself, I think).
I’ve only ever had this one iced (brewed hot, then chilled), as that’s how I tend to prefer most fruit-flavored greens. Now that I’m thinking of it, this also seems like a good candidate for cold-steeping…
As others have noted, these teabags smell amazing – the aroma’s very strong on the jasmine, but it’s pleasingly natural. The flavor’s not quite as strong. However, the jasmine is still prominent (a good thing, in my opinion). And again, it’s quite natural – there are no soapy or perfume-y notes here, thankfully.
The green base is smooth and neutral. There’s no bitterness or astringency, and it’s not at all vegetal or grassy. There’s nothing distinctive about it, but it serves its purpose just fine.
This is a very good option for a bagged (and affordable) jasmine green and a solid option for a jasmine green in general. It’s not the best I’ve had, but, as an unabashed jasmine lover, I’m finding it quite enjoyable.
I picked this up at an Indian market a few weekends ago – I love cardamom and the box wasn’t expensive, so I thought it’d be worth a try. The base is your usual CTC Assam, and it doesn’t taste like much of anything. It’s slightly bitter, but that’s about all I’m getting. So maybe it’s actually a bit worse than your usual CTC Assam. The cardamom flavor is strong, but the cardamom and the base don’t come together particularly well. Plain, the tea is barely drinkable. Fortunately, though, it’s much improved by a generous splash of soymilk. I suppose that’s to be expected for a chai, which this (sort of) is. I’m enjoying it reasonably well this way, and I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble finishing off the box. But it’s not something I’ll be buying again – I’d be interested to try a similar tea made with a (much) higher-quality base, but I’m not sure I wouldn’t prefer a full-on chai for those times when I’m in the mood for spice tea.