2244 Tasting Notes
Odd, so the smell of this one steeped is absolutely screaming fresh, slightly underripe banana to me. Which is delicious, but not mango lassi. Admittedly, that’s the association I’m making with the flavour as well. I’m getting maybe a touch, oh yes, there it is, of cardamom, and lots of banana flavour. The rooibos is present but not overwhelmingly obvious, which is definitely a bonus.
I saw some mango chunks in the dry tea – maybe I missed getting one into my cup. Either way, I have lots left to try again and tease out a more mango-y flavour!
Thanks to Stacy of Butiki Teas for sending a sample pack of this tea (and a few others!) along with my recent order. Great to try some teas that I’ve been eyeing but have been wary of due to ingredients (e.g. this one has star anise, but I’m looking for a great pear tea!)
Steeped, the tea smells… perfumey. Not really all that pear-y. It tastes similar, in my opinion. There’s some flavour, but it’s not terribly strong, nor does it taste how I expected. Certainly not objectionable, but just a flavour I’m completely indifferent to. I can maybe taste a hint of the star anise, and it’s not bothersome, but to me personally, there’s nothing terribly special about it. (On the positive side, at least I don’t feel like I lost out by not ordering a pouch of this one!)
ETA: 180F/far too long – Eep, I’m smelling the licorice/anise now. Oh yuck… that is pretty much all I taste. Down the drain you go. Definitely not regretting only getting a sample of this one. And I’m very thankful the sample was just one cup’s worth, so I don’t have a bunch left to feel guilty about!
Wow, does this tea ever look wonderful in the bag! Huge pieces of dried raspberry, lots of chocolate… mmmmm.
Steeped, it smells like a chocolatey black tea. I’m really hoping the raspberry comes out, because I’m not getting too much in the aroma!
..oh man! This is good! I can definitely taste both raspberry and chocolate, although neither is overpowering, and I can taste a great, just slightly astringent black base supporting both flavours. It’s also almost… creamy, in a sense, which helps reduce the tiny bit of astringency. I wish I could taste a touch more raspberry, but I have to say that this is far beyond the similar chocolate/fruit flavoured blacks from DavidsTea. Really delicious. I’m not hugely into these sort of flavoured teas for the everyday, so probably won’t pick any up, but would definitely recommend this to to those who like to start off (or end) their day with a fruity, chocolatey, delicious tea.
Thanks again to Stacy for this sample!
ETA: Re-steep is very light. No astringency, but perhaps a longer infusion would be better. There are some cocoa notes and a hint of raspberry, but that’s it. Still will finish it, however.
This is the first sample of a few very generous ones sent to me by Amy oh! I was super curious about this different-sounding tea. And the potential that it tastes like an Indian dessert? I’m in!
The dry tea definitely smells weird. Not off-putting weird, like the Pina Colada I had from Adagio, just an unconventional sort of weird. Spicy-ish and spiced, and I could perhaps liken it to a spiced dessert. I’m really not sure what all I’m smelling. Steeped, I’m getting a spiced baked goodsy sort of aroma.
Woah, so interesting! Butter truffles? I think not. Interestingly savoury-spicy tea? Definitely! I can pick out the pepper and coriander, mainly, and am getting a buttery creaminess at the end of the sip which is quite nice. This tea really throws you for a loop though, being so savoury. I’m reminded of Verdant’s Elderberry Pu’er that I drank a couple days ago. Not necessarily due to flavour similarity, just due to the savoury flavours one wouldn’t necessarily associate with tea. I can also taste the black tea base in the background and it’s pretty good.
Overall definitely worth a cup, and I’ll probably drink it again a few times (Amy sent a ton! :P) Thanks again for the sample!
ETA: Second infusion is definitely more spice than tea. Probably not worth it (although the spicing is the same, it needs more of the base IMO).
Cold-brewed 10g of this in about 500mL of water, and it’s pretty good (but could be a bit stronger). This works out to $1.20 per “cup”, which I suppose is rather expensive… oh well! I also discovered that I should have mixed it, as it was sweeter at the bottom than the top (I cold-brew in a cup and then pour through a strainer.) Whoops :D
Darn… computer died and I lost the tasting note I’d written up.
Anyways, I picked this tea up as part of the ‘Explore Kenya’ sampler pack, which I bought on a whim – my Masters project is focused on health-beneficial phytochemicals in asparagus, which include flavonoids (which is what the anthocyanins that make this tea purple are a subset of), so ever since I began my project my interest in foods containing such things has been piqued.
Visually, this tea didn’t look particularly purple to me – it looked more blackish. I’ll have to look more closely under better lighting though. The steep temperature seemed awfully low, but I went with it, and stuck to the lower end of the time range, which gave me a cup of lightish yellow/amber liquor (that’s the best I can do – it’s in a green cup!).
It tastes much like green tea to me, with a bit of an mild astringency showing up briefly (but it’s very mild). It’s a touch sweet, and has a definite tea aftertaste, kind of green/oolongy (like I said in a previous post – perhaps they’re actually all the same, and I just associate it with the tea I’m drinking at the time!) Good, certainly, but nothing particularly special. I would have been more intrigued if the liquor had come out purple :D However, I would love to know if there’s a greater health benefit associated with drinking this tea… one of the professors on my advisory committee did some research on antioxidants in green tea; maybe I should look things up/ask him!
ETA: 175F/way too long, for the second infusion. Tastes… rather like a black tea, actually. Can’t believe that it’s so lacking in astringency though, given that it seriously must have steeped for about 10 minutes or more. There’s some but it’s quite bearable. I will have to try a proper second (third, fourth?) infusion the next time.
Ahhhh, reunited at last. This is delicious, as I remember. Light, but deliciously creamy with a juicy cantaloupe flavour and wonderful lingering aftertaste of white tea and creamy cantaloupe. This is an absolute must-try for melon lovers.
Ohh… my cup’s gone already :( Guess I better go re-steep… good thing I have a glorious 2 oz. of this one now :D
So guess what greeted me when I came downstairs this morning…… my huge Butiki order had arrived bright and early!! It’s seriously some sort of miracle – she sent it out on Friday, there was a national holiday in Canada on Monday, yet I still managed to get it on Wednesday. Unbelievable (well…. except that I’m totally drinking this tea right now!)
So on with the review!
The brewed tea smells like a delightful combination of buttery oolong and sweet concord grape juice, although the grape is fairly subtle. Taste-wise it’s subtly grapey with a lovely oolong aftertaste. Upon a few sips, both flavours strengthen quite nicely. The grape definitely does not overpower the delicate flavour of the oolong, which is exactly the way I like it! Not sure I’ve ever met a tea that so accurately tastes like it is supposed to (except perhaps for Cantaloupe & Cream) – my problem with most flavoured oolongs is a lack of oolong flavour, or at least aftertaste, which kind of defeats the purpose of using an oolong base, for me. So big, big points for that, and now I’m super excited to try the Strawberry Oolong as well! That will have to wait for a while though – so many other things!
(Side note: as I have been swallowing this tea, I noticed that my throat is sore! Not scratchy-sore, but lump-in-throat sore, which is sometimes a precursor to sickness (or the result of crying, but no tears yet for me today, so it isn’t that). Really hoping I’m not headed for a cold…)
ETA: Second infusion (175F/4:15) is pretty much the same. Yum. Glad the grape flavour is lingering through this infusion.
ETA again: Third infusion (175-180/~4min) still has grape flavour!! And oolong, but that’s perhaps disappearing a bit more. I used about half the water for this infusion.
ETA: Fourth infusion (175-180/infinite) is grapey and has some astringency (not surprising). I think this one can get to four good infusions, as long as the leaves are removed a touch sooner… they have been floating around in my cup for about an hour – oops! Oolonginess very limited in this infusion, sadly.
Now this one’s a teabag courtesy of one of my roommates (who is away for the summer).
Brewed aroma here is definitely more fakey-cherry. Cherry cough syrup-y?
Flavourwise, I’m again getting a similar sort of sweetness. It comes up a bit sooner though, and doesn’t linger as long, so it’s much more bearable. The hibiscus is also done reasonably well in this blend, with the tartness not overwhelming everything, even though this steep is just as epically long as the other. I’d have to say that the Tea Forte version, comparing them side by side, has a more tart berry sort of flavour, whereas this one is more of a sweet berry flavour. Both blends have the tartness of hibiscus of course, but the berry flavour itself is different.
I have to say, both definitely have their merits – I’m more familiar with Celestial Seasonings, so their ‘zinger’ blends typically taste “right” to me, but the Tea Forte version was interesting and different. The sweet aftertaste would therefore probably be the only reason I’d pick one (CS) over the other (TF), in general.
Fun experiment – I’m definitely almost asleep now.