2221 Tasting Notes
And thanks again, Indigobloom! I’m trying to get through a bunch of samples before my new orders arrive :D
I’m a touch worried that this one will taste similar to the Mango Mango Rooibos, or have the strange flavour of green yerba mate that I’m not sure I’ve acquired a taste for yet.
Oh, not bad. Tastes a little smoky, sweet. Mango is hard to pick up but is present. Actually, I’m wondering if this sat too close to the lapsang souchong, since I can’t think that this one would have smoky notes in it normally…
Either way, not bad, but wouldn’t rank in my favourites either.
Another sample from the very generous Indigobloom!
Ok, this one’s a bit strange. Definitely tasting the medicinal qualities of the rooibos, which I’m not particularly fond of. There’s some fruitiness to it, an overtone of mango, but that’s really all I’m getting. Nice concept but poor execution, imo. I don’t think I’ll bother with a second infusion because I suspect it will just taste of rooibos.
Comparing this one to Oh Canada tonight.
Definitely much creamier/richer in aroma.
Perhaps a result of brewing it stronger (although I thought I used a similar amount of leaf, 2tsp, and an identically sized and filled cup), but this one is definitely richer and creamier in flavour as well. It’s sweet and with a lovely sweet aftertaste that, when compared to Oh Canada, makes me think buttercream more than maple.
The biggest downside to this tea is the one I noticed last time – that the sprinkles make the cup scummy and waxy up the sides as it cools (because of course I like my teas warm, not hot). It’s a little gross. But the flavour is definitely better with this one. So, I guess I should be glad that it’s sticking around on the wall, because if I had to choose, I’d go for this one over Oh Canada. Which is convenient as I still have a couple cups worth of this one left, and none of Oh Canada :)
ETA: Second infusion in half the water was good.
4:21am, perfect time for a comparison of Oh Canada and Birthday Cake… right?
Side by side, it’s apparent that Birthday Cake is much creamier and less mapley, at least by aroma.
I think I brewed this one a touch too weak tonight – used about 2tsp of leaf (the rest of my sample), but probably too much water. However, still tastes sweet and mapley, and the rooibos only shows through slightly. The aftertaste is rich and mapley.
Compared to Birthday Cake, however, it tastes quite thin and definitely doesn’t have the same richness. Certainly not bad, but for a dessert-treat tea I need the richest, creamiest cup I can get.
ETA: Second infusion in half the water also tasty :)
The concept of an oolong chai intrigues me, but I’m a bit apprehensive of whether or not I’ll enjoy it. I love straight tieguanyins, and I love chai (craving 52teas Mayan Chocolate Chai right now), but together? I’m not so sure. And the first sip does nothing to figure that out. It’s sweet, sweeter than I anticipated, and I think there’s a bit of oolong aftertaste. The smell is quite strongly of cinnamon/ginger, and it carries over into the flavour. But, something doesn’t seem quite right. The chai spicing isn’t quite right for me, I don’t think, and the oolong isn’t giving the tea enough body. Maybe I should have steeped it longer? The sweetness is also throwing me a bit – it’s a little too close to the sweet aftertaste of licorice, which I dislike. Maybe if I added some milk it would turn into something tastier?’
Bleh, worth the experiment for curiousity’s sake, but not a tea I really want to drink again. There are many, many other chais out there (a bunch of which are in my cupboard) that I greatly prefer, and although an oolong instead of black base sounded kind of neat, it ended up being so weak in the background that it’s almost like spiced water, if you understand what I’m saying, which is… weird.
Another tea that’s gonna be up for swapsies as soon as I get my act together and compile a list. I’m sure someone’s curious to try it :D And hey – they may even like it!
Thanks to Fusion Tea Room for this incredibly generous sample!
I have to admit, I wasn’t super stoked about this one – I don’t recall whether I requested it specifically, but it’s been a while, and citrusy greens and I have not been getting along terribly well. However, most were from DavidsTea, so I shouldn’t give up on them entirely until I try some from other companies! So I opened up the package to give some away to Indigobloom… and was pleasantly surprised by the smell of the dry tea. Not just citrus, but there’s something a little perfumey, fruity, and delicious-smelling in there too. Makes my mouth water. Steeped, it smells lightly of citrus. (Did I mention I put a giant orange slice and papaya chunk in my infuser?!)
Well, it definitely tastes like it smells dry (this is a GOOD thing!) And I seem to be getting a creamy/nutty green tea aftertaste, which is wonderful. The taste is nicely fruity, with no specific fruit taking over, everything just blends together. Although there is lemongrass in the mix, it also blends seamlessly in with everything else. There’s absolutely no astringency; I’d be tempted to both use more leaf and try a longer infusion to make this a bit stronger.
I think it would be interesting to ice/cold-brew this one for a refreshing fruity iced tea. I probably don’t have enough leaf to do too much playing around, but hopefully can get around to trying it that way!
ETA: Second infusion still has some flavour, but not enough. I should have used half the water. Oh well!
Tonight’s random tea sample courtesy of LiberTEAS :D
I selected this sample tonight by the laborious method of sticking my hand into the sample box and grabbing a pouch. I actually had to do this twice, because I told myself ‘no blacks’, and of course the first one I grabbed was some coconutty black of some sort. So here we are! A straight green sounded lovely for tonight.
No appreciable smells either dry or steeped.
Interesting – this is not what I was expecting. The tea is sweet and maybe a little nutty, but not at all vegetal. I guess I’ve become so accustomed to that flavour that it surprises me when it isn’t present. There’s a bit of green tea aftertaste, but it’s very subtle. I’m thinking I should have gone with a three minute infusion after all. For some reason I feel like I’m catching a bit of flavour that makes me think “stale”, but it may just be that I’m associating a certain flavour I’m tasting with something I tasted in another, older tea and attributed to staleness.
I’ll have to see how this one fares on a second infusion, but although it’s pleasant and nicely astringency-free, I don’t think it’s quite my sort of green tea – boiled veggie/seaweedy/grassy flavours seem to be more up my alley.
ETA: Second infusion, 175F/3min, is rather bleh. Some astringency, and similar flavours to the last cup. Still a nice aftertaste though.
It occurred to me tonight that for whatever reason (ok, it’s because I have too much tea), I hadn’t yet made it through all my samples from Teavivre! So since I was craving oolong (and dessert), it seemed like a perfect tea to try. I used the whole, sticky package in my tiny glass teapot.
First infusion (~boiling/1:15)
Honey-sweet, with a lovely round, sweet oolong aftertaste. There’s just a hint of astringency coming through at the end – glad I didn’t steep it any longer. The sweetness is reminiscent of the honey flavour I got with Treasuregreen’s Emerald (Silver). I’m really enjoying this infusion! It is perhaps a touch on the light side, but that’s ok.
Second infusion (~boiling/2 min):
Definitely moving into a woody flavour here. Perhaps that’s the astringency – I hadn’t meant to steep it this long but was trying to multitask. The sweetness is gone, but I didn’t expect it to last for a second infusion. Aftertaste is lightly oolong. This isn’t bad, but it’s not what I was expecting.
I’m a bit disappointed – after the amazing first cup, I was expecting something a little better for the second. I do have another package of this one, so perhaps will try some different parameters – perhaps a shorter first infusion and similarly short second infusion would help. I can’t recall what the price is, but it’s hard for me to justify purchasing an oolong that really is only capable of one amazing infusion. Even though it really was so very delicious…
Thanks for the sample, Teavivre!
ETA: I just finished off the last of my second infusion, and feel like I need to revise my previous opinion, as I wonder if my tastebuds were tainted by either the first infusion or the chocolate bar I ate… the last sip was actually quite good! Yes, there was astringency, but chalk that one up to my error. I got a lovely honey oolong aftertaste, and aside from the astringency, it was actually quite nice. I still think it might be a bit pricey of a tea, but I may actually try a third infusion now. Also bumping the rating.
ETA again: Third infusion, boiling-ish water for about 1:45, is kind of woody/dark/nutty, as late steepings of oolongs tend to be for me. Not bad, and still that oolong aftertaste. Overall, I’d have to say that this is a perfectly fine oolong, but not one for me.
Cold-brewed the rest of my sample and confirmed that this tea definitely needs to be part of my iced tea collection for the summer if at all possible. The cherry tartness is so well-balanced by the other fruity flavours and like with Tropicalia, there’s nothing weird going on, so if artificial flavours were involved, they were cleverly done (and as long as I can’t taste artificial-ness, I don’t really care). Not as sweet as Tropicalia (but I think I used too much tea with that one, definitely making it a “juice tea”, in the words of Indigobloom.)
Thanks again Amanda for introducing me to this tea :)