412 Tasting Notes
I’ve been on the hunt for a good catch-all “helps keep you healthy and also works well when you aren’t” type cold/congestion tea. I’ve always used Stash White Christmas in bags—when I’m REALLY bedridden the last thing I want is to fuss with loose leaf, I admit—and plan to keep doing so, but I’ve wanted some other options with extra ingredients for a while now. Contenders include Adagio Foxtrot, Verdant Winter Sage Spa Blend, Verdant Holy Basil Spa Blend, and now this. It happened to be available relatively cheaply on Amazon with free Prime shipping, and I was trying to find something about that ballpark price range so they’d ship an add-on item, so. My first Samovar tea (bummed a lot of the best sounding ones rated on Steepster appear to no longer be available online). I was taking a risk but I already know I like ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, and licorice root, and those were all congestion and sore throat ingredients I was hoping for and was having a hard time finding together in a single tea (I wanted that, for simplicity’s sake). Plus, Samovar seems like a good quality brand to hang your hat on. And yay, I do like this. Not sure this would be everyone’s cup of tea (ha) but if you use lemongrass, turmeric, and ginger a lot in cooking like I do and don’t mind licorice root in other teas it’s probably a good bet you won’t hate it. I find it very comforting now that it’s become abruptly cold and relatively dry (for Memphis). Very soothing and as much like soup as tea in that it’s pretty savory. Nice. I’m glad I have it in my wellness arsenal now. With this killing so many ingredient birds with one stone, and my peppermint ginger teas (Stash and Verdant), I’m good to go on my entire wish/checklist of immunity/soothing ingredients aside from elderberry (garlic was the other one, but I knew I’d want that as fresh slices I add myself to a tea…and that would work wonderfully with this one!).
Delicious. I love how Butiki took that characteristic rooibos smell and taste and made it an advantage, not a distraction or thing to be merely tolerated when you want a flavored hot drink past 6pm (personally I don’t mind it but I can’t say I’ve ever enjoyed its qualities for their own sake before either). I had never thought about how rooibos has the capacity to smell kind of graham cracker-y, and then I noticed it while it was steeping and thought “brilliant!” The coconut and cream flavors come out in the middle and end of the experience. This is one of those “so eerily accurate” Butikis. It’s all gone now but I keep running my tongue over my mouth and it feels like there’s a layer of creamy, coconutty flavor and texture still coating it, like fresh whipped cream. Yum!
I’ve had a long day—we did a (for us) super hurried mini-trip to a friend’s wedding in San Diego (I’d never been to CA before!), left after work Friday night, taco hunting and poking around thrift shops and the fantastic wedding (at the nature center full of creatures like the coconut crab, zillions of sharks, rays, eels, an alligator tortoise, etc., and wonderful music and decorations and homemade vows and delicious food like empanadas and proper tacos and grilled scallions and Pimm’s cups, a photobooth with goofy props…and nicest of all, great people to meet and converse with over dinner) Saturday, headed to the airport today at 5am for the flight back (nearly missing it due to a lot of snowballed mishaps big and small…we ran past gates like the Home Alone mom, pretty embarassing), got in and have spent the rest of the afternoon and evening catching up with the weekend’s normal chores and duties. Memphis greeted us with truly fall-like weather (the heater turned on, oh happy day for this ex-Northeasterner), which has me pleased but my husband worryingly sniffly, hrm. Finally sitting down and relaxing now—still got to finish doing dishes and then I can take a nice hot shower and go to bed. This was just the surprise treat I needed.
Had on the flight home from San Diego this morning at 6:30, a flight we came within 5 minutes of missing (!!!!!!!!!). It was the tea option for the beverage service. I was expecting much worse honestly. For a grocery store bagged ceylon you could do much worse I’m sure. Though now I do feel a bit like Morrissey, har har.
This tea smells unbelievable dry and steeping—it has hints of the same intense treatiness as Brioche (though less yeasty bakery, granted), with this roasted nuttiness (sesame, yum) and smokiness and fig mix that is just heavenly (kinda like part Toasted Fig and part Coco-Loco), and that “Chinese tea perfume” element. Also, I must be imagining it but somehow I also get a faint impression of fennel/anise/licorice root, very subtle. Dang. I keep thinking I should be able to get by with only one or maybe two of ATR’s decadent flavored blends but the list of “must restock”s just keeps growing (Brioche, Coco-Loco, Tangier, Toasted Fig, Romanoff, now this…and that doesn’t include Nirvana Green, Coconut Oolong, and the floral EG takes like Victoria and Anastasia, or the Earl Grey Rooibos and Choco-late, ack). The taste isn’t as good as the smell, which happens a lot with ATR flavored teas hot, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it grows on me (I was initially disappointed with Tangier and Toasted Fig for not tasting as intense as the smell, but then adjusted my expectations and now I really enjoy them). I like how the fruit flavor once the tea cools a little really has that dimension figs and dates uniquely possess of tasting intensely/“narrowly” jammy/sugary, honeyish, but somehow in a puckery sort of way. It captures the mouthfeel of figs, that eventual mouth-drying aspect. Like tannins in wine. I think for many Steepsters this unusual astringency might not be welcome, so heads up.
This is rather lovely, fresh tasting, not musty like dry rose tends toward. Smells delicious and pretty, and tastes pretty good too, if light (it should be though—lightness fits the profile here). It’s sweet and the cherry is definitely present in smell and taste—the aroma alone somehow evokes juiciness and rose gardens. The tea starts out sweet and the tart balance gently comes in, never overwhelming. The lightly sweet-tart juicy fruit elements mix beautifully with the floral. The sencha flavor is definitely not a star; it’s in the background, but it gives the blend a satisfying, astringent heft and likely contributes to the fresh green impression. This is a girly tea. Wonder how it’d be with gin; so many floral cocktails are kind of icky perfume-tasting but this is so fresh and light and sweet, I’m curious. EDIT: And upon further reflection, I think this was so good and so cocktail-flavor-friendly it’d be worth seeing if I could infuse vodka with it. If it worked and the vodka smelled and somewhat tasted like it, wow, that would be fantastic.
Had this a day or so ago, forgot to log. Definitely tastes like a medicinal tisane, but not bad for one. Beats Theraflu!
Definitely one of the better chocolate teas I’ve tried—I don’t know why chocolate is so hard to get right with tea. Dark, intense chocolate seems especially tricky, but this does a decent job. It smells deep dark chocolate-y, but tastes more like milk chocolate, and is very smooth. For some reason I feel like I can smell a whiff of mint, like it’s a dark peppermint patty or those Andes after dinner mints. No idea why, but it’s quite pleasant. Excellent for PMS jonesing, I reckon. This and Raspberry Chocolate Bark have been lovely introductions to Teajo’s dessert teas.
Impressed there’s actually some kick to this; after my disappointing venture into chili chocolate tea years ago with David’s I tend to just assume anything with that combo won’t come close to being as good as the real thing. This is surprisingly astringent (which I generally don’t mind, but doesn’t seem to jive with the flavors involved). Not bad, I could drink this again, but I have so many teas I love way more I doubt I’ll ever reorder.
This is OK, but a bit weak for my tastes. Or rather, it feels like something’s missing. I appreciate there’s no alcohol burn to the vanilla; it’s smooth and gentle and comes off as pretty authentic. Just wish the tea tasted as good as it smells. The tea base, while being present which is a relief, seems like one I’m not crazy about—not terrible but not my favorite sort. Ceylon maybe? Makes me wonder if this has the potential to go the way of so many Culinary Tea flavored blacks, where cold steeped proved much more delicious. I’m noticing as it cools to merely warm it tastes better already…also tempted to try this with some almond or rice milk.
Love this herbal, reminds me a bit of the bagged Stash White Christmas I use as a cheap and easy comfort whenever I get a cold, but of course better, fresher (much less gingery too, which means I still need my White Christmas for those sick days!). I’m thinking more and more it’s probably worth it to stock up on Ginger Sage Winter Spa Blend and this one for the looming cold and flu season (I can feel my throat and lungs getting a bit ehhh in the cooling but still humid Memphis weather—people have been known to still get tuberculosis here!—and we’re flying next weekend and something about air travel in the cold months has historically always signaled disaster for my immune system). And for when I feel better, the site mention of making a concentrated shot of this to add to things like honeyed club soda or gin and tonics sounds appealing indeed.