526 Tasting Notes
I’m bumping up the rating for this one a little because I’m getting more nuance this time around beyond “strong, black tea.” It has a warm baked bread and honey flavor that I missed last time. There’s also more astringency than last time, but the tea is so delicious that I can look past it. Overall, I feel like most of the Verdant black teas I’ve had have the same sort overall feelings and flavors. This is definitely not a bad thing in my book because I love them! Too bad I seem to always be running out of them when they’re out of stock on the website, eek!
I met up with a friend in Cambridge today, so I used it as an excuse to stop by Tealuxe! Today, I tried iced pear & green tea with bubbles. First off, the tea was just okay. I could definitely taste the pear flavor and a light green tea. However, the tea somehow came off perfume-y and weak at the same time. The bubbles were sweet and chewy, but that didn’t make up for the weak tea itself. I’m finding that with the fruity teas at Tealuxe, they tend to be a bit on the perfume-y side, so I need to be more selective when I go back!
Sipdown (119)! Ok, so after seeing posts about almond milk both here on Steepster and on other sites, I decided to go for it and buy unsweetened vanilla almond milk. First, I tasted the milk on its own, and I don’t think I’m a fan. It tastes kind of weak. Maybe because it’s unsweetened? Anyhow, I mixed this matcha in there and shook it about to see if I liked it better than matcha in regular milk. It still wasn’t really my style. The matcha had a sharp, grassy/seaweedy flavor that was matched with an artificial sweetness from the cheesecake flavoring. Not my favorite combo by far. At least now I can read others’ tasting notes about flavored matchas and not feel too sad that I’m missing out.
Backlog from this morning. I didn’t have the best experience with this tea today, but that is definitely not the tea’s fault. First off, it suddenly started getting humid, so I was already a bit uncomfortable and sticky by the time I got to school. And also my straight teas never taste quite as good in my tumbler. Anyway, it helped give me the energy I needed to get through the day, and just for that, I am grateful. So sad that I’m running out of this one!
I cold brewed this for the first time with 2 tsp in my water bottle for a bit too long (prob over 12 hours). At the first sip, it really reminded me of Peach Snapple Iced Tea except without the crazy amount of sugar that they put in there. As I kept drinking, though, the peach flavor did come off a little medicinal-tasting, but not too strongly. Anyway, it was a nice fruity tea where I could still strongly taste the black tea base. Not bad!
Sipdown (120)! My internet died and I lost my tasting note, so I’ll keep this short and simple. I cold brewed the rest of what I had for 6-7 hours in the fridge. If I had to do it again, I would reduce the time and/or leaf/water ratio because it did come off a bit strong. The cold brew brought out a wooden note that wasn’t so distinct when I had it hot. I think I preferred it hot over cold brewed, but it was definitely an interesting experiment! Thanks again to bluebelle for the sample!
Hmm, this tea was not really doing it for me today. Maybe I just need to take a break from oolongs for a bit. I was getting that weird damp taste that I tasted in some other oolongs. It’s strange because they’re all stored in separate, dry, dark places, so I don’t think it’s contamination from something around them. Well, I have enough to keep trying, which is the good news!
So I decided a while ago after joining Steepster and discovering so many cool tea companies to order from online that money spent at Teavana would be much better spent elsewhere. However, I did have a free Starbucks reward, so I went into Teavana to get a free ounce of this tea. It was odd because the employees were all circling me like vultures until I mentioned that I wanted to use my free reward. Then it seemed like their mission was to get me out of the store as soon as possible. Yet another odd Teavana experience to add to the books.
Anyway, the dry leaf smells kind of grassy, and just typical green oolong-smelling. After a quick rinse, I started to realize that it has that damp smell and taste that I previously smelled/tasted with one of Teavivre’s popular oolongs. It’s not exactly my favorite flavor, so I was not enamored with this tea. Also, the spent leaves smelled a bit like spinach, which was not coming across in the tea itself to me. Overall, my odd in-store experience kind of carried over to an odd tea that wasn’t really my style. At least I squeezed a free ounce out of them! And I will definitely be playing around with the rest of it to see if I can hit the sweet spot.
As I mentioned in previous tasting notes, this tea as a hot tea didn’t impress me much. However, as a cold brew, it was pretty refreshing, so I cold brewed it again. This time, I didn’t leave it in the fridge for more than maybe 8 hours or so, which prevented the bitterness I tasted last time. It’s a refreshing, though a bit generic-tasting, iced green tea.
This tea is very different from the last time that I had it. The first main difference was that as soon as it started steeping, it smelled very smoky, almost tobacco-like, which I did not detect at all last time. The seaweed flavor that I remember from last time was still there, but only came after an initial smoky taste. Both times, though, I’m confused about where the “dark chocolate” is supposed to be in this tea. I’m lowering my rating because of the smokiness, but this is definitely unlike any other oolong that I’ve ever had. Thanks bluebelle for letting me try this!
Edit: Oh, and this is a sipdown (121)!