38 Tasting Notes
Accidentally over steeped my tea this morning, oops. This is what happens when you’re at work and people keep wanting to ask you questions… in person, on the phone, over email. Oh well.
Aside from that I love this tea. I’m not typically a rose petal person but there are those mornings when that note is exactly what I’m looking for… and in this tea those petals serve as a great highlight but don’t overwhelm the main flavor profile of chocolate and strawberries.
Ok back to work…
As the last of my teas from DT’s Chocolate gift set, this one was probably the one I was most excited about… and then disappointed in. I had a chance to smell the dry tea previously in store and I knew I had to try some, but since I had been intending on doing an online order right away (I love free samples :D ) so I held off on buying it that day. Instead I found the gift pack and since it was a good deal figured why not. In the end I’m glad I did the gift pack as it was a great way to try a bunch of new teas out without getting tones of leaf, but I really wish this one had come through for me.
Dry this tea smells absolutely delicious; the sweet baked cake aromas combined with the chocolate makes for a wonderful (and powerful) blend, but I don’t get much from the black tea… a few dark notes but they’re quite hidden by the rest of the scent profile.
When steeped the liquor comes out a murky brown-rose color, certainly not red despite the addition of the beetroot powder. And between the chocolate, sprinkles and the powder it’s no surprise that the tea is murky, nor that there is some film on top… To be honest I’m really not sure about the addition of sprinkles in this tea, while it certainly gives it some visual interest (and perhaps a bit of sweetness) I feel that they don’t really add much to the tea (then again I’m not a big fan of sprinkles in general so shrugs). Scent-wise I now get a few more “cake” notes with less sweetness, and I’ve almost lost the chocolate all together, and still no sign of the black tea either.
Now, I will admit that I’ve over leafed this cup since my previous experiences with it have all found a distinct lack of flavor. But even with almost 1.5 times my normal amount it’s still disappointing. The flavor is a weak mix of nondescript cake made from a box and a touch of chocolate with not much else. I’m getting the occasional hit from the black tea now but even at that it just doesn’t stand up to the scent profile of the dry tea. The mouth feel is very light and a touch gritty on the back end of the sip (perhaps from the powder? Not sure on that one.)
Well I think it’s time to give up on this tea, I keep trying thinking maybe I’ll like it at a later date but it just doesn’t seem to be growing on me. Oh well you never know till you try, right? :)
The decorating is done, the presents wrapped and the first few batches of cookies are baked… Time for some tea!
You can’t go wrong with chocolate mint rooibos. I find the mint in this somewhat subltle, it’s there for sure (leaves a nice tingle in my mouth) but as more of an undertone than shining though. This time I found the chocolate a bit darker than usual, not that I mind but it’s just a bit of a different experience.
Tea number two from my Teavivre Taiwan Oolong sample pack (Thanks again Angel!). Having just gotten over a cold I was hesitating to try out something that might be a bit subtle but this is one that I’ve been wanting to try for a while, (I was really interested to see what kind of milk favors and feelings I would get from a non-flavored tea; would it really live up to its name?) and I’m glad I did.
This is a very interesting looking tea, the leaves are loosely rolled into small balls and then dried. There was a very light and fresh scent coming from them, it reminded me of how the mountain meadows smell in early spring, just lovely. And under it all there were hints of something that made me really excited, creamy milk.
For my first steep I tried the recommended minute, which in retrospect was perhaps a little under steeped for my tastes. The liquor came out a very, very, pale yellow green with floral aromatic notes. These notes actually mixed well with the slight under tones of creaminess that I detected. This is a very smooth, mellow flavored tea, and I definitely get the milk notes (wow, I must say that I was really doubtful about that part but they’re defiantly there.) There is no real aftertaste to this tea but an after “feeling” of a coated mouth similar to what I get after drinking actual milk. As it cooled the mouth feel got a bit creamier/thicker without becoming heavy.
The second steeping was in for 2:45 minutes, and the bit of extra time worked out wonderfully. The liquor is a pastel yellow-gold (with just a tinge of green) and it still has that wonderful floral scent though it’s a bit deeper now than in the first steeping. The creamy undertones are still present as well. Flavor wise it’s a very milky and rich feeling tea, and the floral notes help to brighten up the whole thing. It really reminds me of drinking hot milk with wild flower honey, just not as sweet. Absolutely lovely.
For my third, and last, cup I steeped the leaves for 4:30 minutes. This time the liquor came out a pale gold, and while the aroma still has the floral notes they’re subtle this time as compared to the previous steepings. As for the rest, the mouth feel is still creamy but not as rich, nor so I really get the same milk hits as I did previously. That said, the floral notes in this cup have changed and become deeper and a bit more pronounced. I get definite hibiscus favors, and a few almost peachy notes which I find are a really nice way for this tea to finish out on (though I’m sure I could probably do one more steeping of this before all was said and done.)
In the end it was a very luxurious tea, creamy and rich without being heavy. The perfect end to a cold day spent finishing the Christmas decorations.
This tea is one of the first tea’s I ever tried from DT’s… Like “Orange Blossom” it was the sample of the day when I was out in the mall, Boxing Day shopping with my folks. I wasn’t too sure about it back then, but my mother fell in love and bought us both a package. So I took it back home with me, and this last little bit (well I have maybe 2 cups worth yet) has been sitting hidden in my cupboard for quite some time now.
Dry this tea has an “interesting” smell up close. (Now I will say that my mother’s batch actually DID end up rotting, and not just smelling like it so it could be that one of the ingredients just didn’t dry properly? Who knows at this point.) Usually for me I get hits of fig right off the bat with higher notes from the marigold petals. The orange is present but a bit overwhelmed by the burdock root (I found) and the tea itself served as a dark background note but not really anything to write home about. Oh and there was cinnamon in there apparently, I don’t really notice it at all.
When steeped the liquor comes out as a mid-brown color, with a small amount of particulate that settled towards the bottom. The aroma of this infusion was very dark… more so than I’m used to from this tea. The burdock root brings quite an earthiness that I wasn’t expecting and meshes well with the sweet-tang of the fig.
Flavor wise… I still can’t find any of the cinnamon but the orange and marigold help balance out all the deep dark flavors in this tea. It actually matches up well to the scent, earthy dark with a very predominant fig flavor. There is a definite earthiness from the burdock root and the black tea but I find it balances things out pretty well. It does leave a bit of an odd aftertaste though… bitter and a touch off putting but not overly so.
Overall this tea really depended on the kind of mood I was in… there were times when I loved it and times when I wasn’t quite as sure. In the end though I’m glad to have tried it, but it has definitely “ruined” me on fig teas… I’ve not yet found another tea that has managed to stand up to the shear “figginess” of this one. (Though I’m open to suggestions? ;) )
So both myself and my partner are fighting off colds at the moment… time to pull out some tea to help with the sore throats. Lovely orange, with hints of vanilla, this tea is a wonderful way to help us feel a bit better. (my partner added a touch of honey as well)
The one downside of this steeping? It was the end of my bag and so ended up being a touch under leafed.
I got this tea as one of DT’s web specials (back before they restricted the size to the 250g bags); I figured with such a good discount 50g was enough to give another flavored pur’eh a try.
Dry this tea has a very minty smell, it’s not as sharp as I was expecting though, given that it’s peppermint. There’s a definite “crème” aroma that is enhanced by the vanilla bean and the sweetness of the licorice root, but I’m not really getting much from the cinnamon. The pur’eh itself is a very deep note underneath this scent profile, providing a nice base but not being overly there (though I do get hints of warmth, and a few almost chocolaty notes.)
Once steeped the liquor is a deep, dark red-brown and the pur’eh scent really starts to come through… a very dark earthy scent. The peppermint is a bit muted and the licorice root seems to be adding in some darker notes to the scent profile as well. I still don’t get any cinnamon notes and the vanilla scent is quite muddled at this point as well.
Flavor wise… it’s different. The pur’eh is nice, earthy and rich though there’s a bit of a salt flavor that I’m not sure where it’s coming from, it’s not bad just a bit left field for me. The rest of the flavors are all there (barring the ever missing cinnamon) but overall I find it quite muddled, the peppermint is there and does leave a nice tingle in my mouth but the flavor just isn’t clear. While the licorice root… it does interesting things with the pur’eh; in the end I found this to be more of a licorice tea than a mint one.
Well it was worth a shot, but unfortunately this one just didn’t come through for me.
First off, thank you to Angel from Teavivre for the free sample. I got this one as part of the Fall give away that Teavivre did back in September and only now have had the chance to actually sit down and try it at home.
Dry this tea smells slightly floral, but it’s more of a fruit flower scent, with definite hits of honey. There is also a slight vegetal aroma but not so much as to make this tea seem astringent. Overall it’s quite a refreshing scent profile with very little bite.
After a quick rinse I steeped this tea for about a minute, and it gave me a clear orange liquor which smelled like sweet cut alfalfa. This first infusion had a rich, creamy and oh so smooth mouth-feel with a complex flavor profile. Earthy and yet sweet with honey notes. Sweet and yet high fruit notes help bring it all together.
The second steep was 2 minutes long and gave off a pale orange liquor. The aroma profile has become subtle with the honey notes now coming though clearer; it almost reminds me of a clover flower. This infusion has the same rich mouth-feel and creaminess as the previous steeping. Flavor wise I taste honey but it’s not as sweet as before, while the fruit notes have turned citrusy; brighter but still earthy.
My last steeping was 3.5 min long and I ended up with a gold-orange liquor that had very subtle, sweet grass aroma. This last infusion had a lighter mouth-feel but was still creamy and smooth. The flavor profile this time was of subtle honey notes mixed in with a bit of grassiness.
I was really very impressed with this oolong, it was so complex but yet so smooth; a wonderful change from other oolongs that I’ve had in the past.
This tea brings back memories… it marks my first ever foray into the world of loose leaf teas (for all that it’s a herbal blend :D.) Prior to this I had been limiting myself to grocery store tea bag brands (though at the time I had been starting to get pickier about what brands I got.) Then one Saturday afternoon my partner and I were wandering the aisles of one of our local farmers markets and I spotted a tea vendor that we’d walked by numerous times before, but this time I was curious so in we went.
We ended up spending a lot of time there, smelling different teas. The fellow manning the booth came over to give us a hand and after telling him my preferences at the time he suggested this herbal blend as a good one to try “first.” So away I went with a bag of tea… and no ball or tea bags to brew it in… opps… Eventually though I was able to get this brewed and the rest, as they say, is history.
Dry this tea is not only visually appealing, with all the different textures and the splashes of color, but it also smells amazing. I’m not usually one for long ingredient lists but the combination of it all just really works for this tea. Each sniff is just a little bit different from the one before but I can usually pick out the peppermint, chamomile, and spruce needles, which together form an interesting base for this tea. All told it’s probably one of the most well rounded scent profiles I’ve ever experienced in a tea.
The infusion comes out a lovely clear gold and the aroma darkens somewhat though it is still refreshing. To be honest the change in the scent profiles from dry to infused reminds me of going for a hike on a trail leading into the forest, you start out with just a light hint and then once you’re inside the scents “darken”.
And I love the flavor… the chamomile mixes in so well with the peppermint, leaving just that touch of “fresh” in your mouth; and mixing in the pine needles just gives it a bit of pizazz that sets this tea apart. The lavender and strawberry help to sweeten it up significantly, but the infusion does well with some added honey too (back when I first had this tea I couldn’t imagine drinking something unsweetened, it was a running joke that I wanted tea or coffee with my sweetener and milk rather than the other way around… Man how things change :D) As for the rest of the ingredients… as foreshadowed by the scent profiles they all combine to form a complex but compelling mixture where none really stand out per say but the combination just elevates this tea to a whole other level.
In the end this tea served as a grand introduction to a whole other world that I had no idea existed… a world that eventually lead me to Steepster. So with that in mind I raise my cup and wish all of you in the US a Happy Thanksgiving, and for the rest of you(/us) TGIF! :D
I really do enjoy red rooibos teas… there’s just something about them that calls to me, so when I saw that DT’s chocolate gift package contained Mint Chocolate Rooibos I knew immediately that I would have a new favorite. Like really… Mint. Chocolate. Rooibos. Three things that I enjoy in general, never mind as ingredients in a tea, all mixed together in one warm, lovely cup. How could I go wrong??
I couldn’t! :D
Dry this tea isn’t spectacular to look at, the green from the mint faded due to the drying process and it blends in with the rooibos (it’s also broken up quite a bit compared to other DT mint blends that I’ve seen) but the smell… Oh ya. One sniff and you’re surrounded by chocolate minty goodness. The chocolate isn’t a dark aroma (more like a “milk” chocolate) but it blends well with the red rooibos and there’s just enough sweetness from the vanilla to smooth out the sharpness of the peppermint. It all combines to make up a well-rounded, though straightforward, scent profile.
Steeped the liquor comes out a deep red (go figure for a red rooibos :D), nice and clear but with a bit of film on the top, most likely from the chocolate chips and the peppermint oils. It’s not bad, barely noticeable really, but it is there. As for the aroma… I find there’s a bit more depth to it as compared to the dry version. The peppermint steps forward with a bit more sharpness, while the chocolate deepens and takes on more of a “supporting role.” I do loose a bit of the rooibos and vanilla scents, they’re there but just not as much as before the tea infused.
The flavor though… Just one word, YUM! The creaminess of the red rooibos really lifts up the chocolate and peppermint to new heights and serves as a great bridge to blend it all together. I lose out on most of the vanilla at this point though, it certainly helps to sweeten the tea up nicely and support the chocolate but it’s not “present” for me. Speaking of the chocolate, it’s definitely more of a milk chocolate, which is just fine as anything darker would definitely throw off the balance of the infusion.
Yep, it’s a winner for me! Chocolate, peppermint & rooibos. What a combination! I’m actually very glad that DT went with a rooibos blending rather than a black tea variant, I think the darkness inherent in a black tea wouldn’t have worked as well for this tea.