198 Tasting Notes
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.
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!