23 Tasting Notes

91

THE RUNDOWN
1) Pre-Taste: I remember trying this tea when I initially got the sampler pack and loving it (but not reviewing it here). My tastebuds are a little more in tune now so we’ll see what happens. I’m switching up my swetening profile to one packet of Stevia in the Raw. And I’ve begun infusing as opposed to bagging/sachets.
2) First Taste: Before I taste there’s a big bouquet of caramel, vanilla, and a hint of chocolate. The chai spice is faint but not fake-smelling. I can also tell there’s no sucralose (Splenda) in there, which is pleasing. When I taste, this dark chocolate actually comes through first, which is good since the base is a chocolate chai. A nice aftertaste and mouthfeel and again – I can’t stress this enough – so pleasant to taste more tea and not sucralose.
3) Second Taste: I can taste the cinnamon bark! This is amazing tea. And not too sweet to make it scream “after-dinner” or dessert tea (like most of the chocolate teas I’ve had). There’s a hint of the caramel too, almost like there’s a vanilla-caramel (like Tahitian caramels you might buy at a gourmet candy store). The only thing I don’t get coming though is the ginger. Maybe my sample is a bit ginger-light.
4) Final Thought: So far, this tea and The Heir are the two tins I would buy right now (since I’m reviewing from a sampler stash) and stay stocked on. I’m glad I finally tried them again with a less strong sweetener and a no nonsense brewing system. I’d really like to try all her Wizarding World and Whovian blends to see what I like. I’m excited to try my final sample of the Wizarding sampler soon and I’ll probably get a tin of The Saviour soon.

Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Spices, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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61

THE RUNDOWN
1) Pre-taste: Good steep. 3 minutes and it ran clear. Lots of great scents coming from this. As for color, it’s dark but not too dark.
2) First taste: Good mouthfeel, not great. There’s a muddled cinnamon confused with the chocolatey flavor. And as with her other almond oolong blend, I’m missing the almond or it’s very quiet.
3) Second taste: It’s warming, without any added “mulling” type spice like clove, which is nice. I guess I expected a little more from the cinnamon and the cocoa nibs because right now I get Irish breakfast, I get a hint of the malty assam, but not much in the way of the food flavors.
4) Final thought: You know, this smelled great before I brewed it, as loose. And when I brewed it smelled great too. But scent isn’t everything. Maybe the proportions in my sample were off, but the leaf scent didn’t represent the taste adequately. I liked the warming taste of it, but I wish it had more of a punch of the food flavors.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Malt, Spices

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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61

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63

THE RUNDOWN
I just had to retype this whole thing so I’m going to make this brief cause I am p-o’ed.
1) First Taste: Definitely tasting caramel, apple, cinnamon. Like an apple pie scented candle, except not as artificial.
2) Second Taste: My friend says she tastes the almond, but I don’t. I get the cardamom and clove on the second go around though.
3) Final Thought: Yummy, but I wouldn’t recommend unless I knew someone who liked apple pie flavors. Very much a dessert tea, so I would drink again but not stock it.

Flavors: Almond, Apple, Caramel, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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63

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78

THE RUNDOWN
1) I’ve had some of Kristina’s teas in the past but never reviewed them here. It’s exciting to have an infuser finally and have the opportunity to drink them properly. The color of this tea is GORGEOUS. Just beautiful the way the green and rooibos teas make this honey color. Smells amazing too.
2) First Taste: It’s such a mild flavor, despite all the ingredients. Great mouthfeel. The green is highly present and the rooibos is the aftertaste. The bergamot is more or less the scent but not the taste.
3) Second Taste: I am tasting a bit more of rooibos this time, but DEFINITELY the peppermint, which I didn’t get too much of the first time around. Also the peels, which are present in the mouthfeel and the aftertaste. This is a really great blend.
4) Final Thought: While I don’t love that there are still smal leaves left at the bottom, I can’t exactly blame that on the tea. I really love the blend: it’s mild, flavorful, and not at all over-pungent. I would definitely recommend (and maybe even stock).

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Orange, Peppermint, Rooibos

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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24

THE RUNDOWN
1) First impression: it smells sugary sweet, almost like dried fruit. There’s a bit of “old” in there too, but probably because we’ve had this tea for an age. Nice color.
2) First taste: Hmm. I definitely taste the artificial apricot. It’s not altogether unpleasant, but not like having actually fruit pieces. It’s also a bit dusty. Maybe this was a bad idea.
3) Second taste: Okay, so it’s kind of like a piece of apricot you dehydrated fell behind the toaster oven a got a bit dusty. Like, it still tastes like apricot: the peel, the flesh, the sweetness…but there’s also…like dirt on it. Ugh, bag teas are the worst.
4) Final thought: Don’t get me wrong, I don’t drink bags unless they’re a gift or they are free, but I still won’t be drinking anymore of this. Maybe I can pawn it off on someone who actually drinks decaf. What’s the point of decaf tea anyway?

Flavors: Apricot, Dried Fruit, Dust, Sugar

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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7
drank Spiced Chai by Bigelow
23 tasting notes

THE RUNDOWN
1) Free teabag at the chiropractor. But because some people say I don’t give bagged tea enough credit, here goes. Smells like cloves, mud, and dirt.
2) First Taste: Yup, definitely cloves. The whole things tastes like someone went a little hard on the muddling spices at the company christmas party. A bit of imitation vanilla there too. At least it’s warm.
3) Second Taste: I can barely taste tea, and this is supposed to be Chai? No way. There’s a bit of nutmeg too, but not in a good way. Almost an acidic taste too.
4) Final Thought: I won’t be drinking this again. And lord knows I’ll stick to my feelings on Bigelow and Lipton until I turn red. No thanks

Flavors: Cloves, Dirt, Mud, Nutmeg, Vanilla

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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95

THE RUNDOWN
1) I can’t drink this tea straight. I’m still acclimating to assams for their malty bitterness. I added one Splenda and about a tbsp of unsweetened almond milk. I tried brewing today for 6 minutes at boiling to see how it would affect brewing in cup. Great aroma and great color, as always. This is my morning cuppa.
2) First Taste: Wow. What a taste this rich nutty blend has. I call them tea grounds because they’re so tiny (and so caffeinated) but I love how they bloom as they brew. I get nutty, vanilla, caramel, salty, and a bit of earthiness.
3) Second Taste: Fantastic mouthfeel. I get a bit more bitterness this time around. And I can smell some of that saltiness. I’m still getting that earthiness but maybe a bit less.
4) Final Thought: If you like strong rich teas, you really have to try this tea. It’s sort of famous for its strength (someone once told me it’s twice as strong as regular drip coffee) and that makes it the perfect wake-up juice. And best of all – it tastes incredible. I never go without having this in my cupboard.

Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Earth, Nutty, Salty, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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90

THE RUNDOWN
[Please note: I recently lived on this tea for a weekend so my review is not happening live, but post-taste.]
1) IIRC the lovely team at Teavana cafes steep this for 4 minutes in the cup. I drank it lightly sweetened with their Perfectea syrup (though I’m not sure of how much was added). I am guessing the measure is 2 tbsp/4 tsp to that 12 oz cup but I could be wrong.
2) Upon first taste, you aren’t overwhelmed by the peppermint, but it’s definitely the first thing you taste. It didn’t even taste like a rooibos at first – but a desser peppermint tea.
3) The redness of the rooibos comes through on the second taste. At this point I don’t taste a ton of white chocolate but that’s okay since white chocolate isn’t really chocolate at all. I love the fullness and sweetness of this tea. They could call it peppermint rooibos and I’d be okay with that.
4) In short, I need to add this tea to my home cupboard (especially since I don’t live next to a Teavana like I was last week). If you’ve never had rooibos, this wouldn’t be my first recommendation, but it would be if you’re a fan of sweeter dessert teas or rooibos teas in general. Try it, you’ll like it.

Flavors: Peppermint, Red Fruits, White Chocolate

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Profile

Bio

Travelling the world, one sip at a time.

A guide to my brewing:
At home and on the go, I typically infuse in a DavidsTea Travel Mug (16 oz) or use DavidsTea drawstring filters. I’m hoping to use home infusers and proper teapots soon (especially since I got a new kettle).

A guide to my ratings:
0-19 – Didn’t like the tea/would tell others to avoid.
20-40 – Didn’t like the tea, but would not avoid it.
41-60 – On the fence about the tea. Might try again.
61-70 – Would drink again, but wouldn’t stock it.
71-80 – Will try again and might recommend.
81-90 – A good tea. Would recommend and stock.
91-100 – A favorite/perfect tea. Highly recommend..
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What I’m looking for: advice on infusers, teapots, and recommendations on teas I’ve never tried. Hoping to study new teas to me: whites, floral & food infusions, flowering, cake pu’erh, guayusa, honeybush, yerba maté. Basically not your basic black (my comfort zone).
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About my Cupboard:
I’m using the cupboard to keep note of my current tea stock and add to it accordingly when shopping or tasting. If I added every tea I’ve ever had to my cupboard it wouldn’t be an honest representation of me as a tea drinker.

Location

New York, NY

Website

http://about.me/jennlevine

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