2229 Tasting Notes
This really could have used some sugar today. In spite of there supposedly being rock sugar in the blend, it is one of the least sweet teas I’ve had. I drank it anyways though!
(Ack! Thought I had reviewed this one properly already, but apparently not. Basically it smells like strawberry baked goods, but the taste is lacking. Even with a 6 minute infusion, I didn’t taste the white tea.)
ETA: Second infusion, with half as much water, and I didn’t record the time/temp: smells delicious, and exactly like the crisp from the apple crisp my friend and I made for Easter. No joke; EXACTLY the same smell. Surprisingly, it tastes a heck of a lot better now too! It is completely cooled, but I’m actually getting appley/strawberry crisp flavours from it. It actually tastes like crisp in a mug! Damn, I wish I had recorded what I did. I steeped it for quite a while, probably over 5 minutes, and I think the temp was actually just under 94C? So I don’t know if it’s using half the water, or having left the tea ball sitting out overnight that is making this taste so much better. I don’t think it’s the cooling – the first time I had it, it had no flavour when it cooled, IIRC. Which was why I didn’t rate it.
Anyways, I’m excited that I got some flavour out of this one! No more sadness about having a 50g bag, and this will no longer be a tea I want to get rid of! There’s something to be said for persistence, I suppose :)
Finishing off a second infusion of this one (my friend had the first). It’s a bit too weak for me, although I can taste hints of mango in the aftertaste. I’m actually wondering if my taste buds are off a tad right now, because I seem to think every single tea I have brewed is weak and a little hot water-tasting. Oh well.
This time, I’m using the sample from LiberTEAS to see how it compares to that from Amanda.
To start, the tea looks different. There are flower(?) pieces, and petals that were definitely not in the other sample. It smells similarly good though, both in dry and steeped form. This version may smell a touch better, but I did enjoy the scent of the not-so-nice tasting cup either.
Tasting this, I’m fairly certain that Amanda got a dud batch!! No soapy flavour whatsoever, but instead a malty black tea with vanilla. Yum! I did taste this flavour in the other sample, but it was masked by that soapiness. A little weak, but I realize that I brewed it in a larger mug than usual and neglected to compensate for that in terms of dry tea. There’s a touch of astringency, so I think that increasing infusion time would lead to Bad Things. I will have to try this again a bit stronger, but this definitely bumps up the rating a fair bit. It’s too weak to hit the list of favourites yet though.
LiberTEAS – was the sample you gave me from the Christmas Sampler or a separately purchased pouch? Did anyone else notice a soapy flavour in their tea from the Christmas Sampler? I’m just curious. Seems a shame that some people may not have experienced the true flavours of this tea.
ETA: Second infusion good as well, also for 3 minutes. Quick note – the cup I left sitting at the office overnight, from the weird batch, actually tasted much better the next day, completely cooled. (Yes, I probably shouldn’t have drank it, but I was curious.) No soapiness, and I could tell it was the same tea, but it definitely was lacking something in comparison to the other batch I have. Oh well!
FYI everyone, I’m taking a brief Steepster hiatus as of now, because I have a ton of work to get done and I’m spending too much time on here (because I love it!) I’ll be logging teas (but after this morning, hopefully not trying new ones), but not responding to comments/messages, etc. Just so nobody thinks I’m ignoring them! I hope to be responsive again on the weekend.
Anyhow! Thought I’d finish up the last black tea from DavidsTea that was sitting in my cupboard untried. I like lychee as a flavour, and have eaten the fruit, although sometimes I find it a bit perfumey. One of my friends really adores some lychee flavoured alcoholic beverage of some sort, which I tried and thought was ok (except I dislike alcohol!)
The dry tea is strongly perfumed with lychee, although thankfully once steeped it’s a bit more muted.
I can’t really taste too much lychee… ok, there it is in the end of the sip. Not bad. The tea tastes rather weak though, in spite of using a generous 1.5 tsp for my mug. The black tea base is noticeable, but would be much better if stronger. I did go with the low end of steeping time to be cautious, due to all my recent black tea woes, but I think that was a mis-step this time. I’ll have to try it again with a longer infusion time.
So, not bad, but too weak for me. Even if brewed stronger, this one will not make the favourites list though.
ETA: Did not make a second cup. It was too perfumey, and I was getting jasmine aromas as well, and my stomach just didn’t want that. I think this will be going into the giveaway pile.
I am not feeling well tonight. While heading home from school/work, I decided to pick up some thai food for supper, which was great; I got home and watched an episode of New Girl while eating my delicious food. However, when I went onto Steepster right after, I was having trouble reading/focussing on the words, and noticed my vision had weird wavy lines in it. They lasted long enough (~25min) to freak me out a tad, and make me somewhat dizzy, but thankfully they did go away (but not before I panicked about having a stroke/brain tumour – I should mention that I was diagnosed with a blood clot in my leg in January, which I initially thought was a charlie horse, so am now hyper-alert about medical issues). Anyways, I am left feeling tired, a little headachy, and a lot pouty. And I have work to do for tomorrow, but no motivation or energy to do it.
SO. In addition to a few re-steeps, I thought spearmint would be a good choice.
The dry tea smells like potent spearmint. Gum, candies, anything. Delicious. Steeped, still spearminty, but more dilute.
Taste-wise it is definitely spearminty (not pepperminty), and it’s good. A bit chloriney though, which is the problem I have with peppermint. I do wish it was a touch stronger; I will add more leaf next time. I think this would be lovely as a latte, or added to a matcha latte. Spearmint matcha latte? Vanilla spearmint matcha latte?
My one irritation is all the leaf bits floating in my cup though. Wish the tea was less crumbly.
Tried this for a second time with boiling water and sadly achieved a pretty similar result to last time. The smell was lovely and promising, but there was a definite gross soapiness in the sip that hid anything tasty. Amanda, I’m wondering if you got a weird batch – you didn’t seem to like it either, yet everyone else is crazy over it. I do also have a sample from LiberTEAS that I will hopefully test out soon so I can compare the two – hoping for a better result!
(P.S. Those of you who I have received tea from, don’t be concerned if you see me acknowledging someone else for a tea you sent me some of – I have a few doubles, but have kept things separate so I know what’s from whom!)
DISCLAIMER: Very old tea. Do not rely on this review to judge this tea or company!
The third of the ancient teas. Dry, this one does have a bit of a fruity smell, different than the mango tea. Somewhat promising, but it’s unlikely to be any different than the first two :P
Steeped, there’s a definite fruity smell as well.
Argh, I let this one cool too much, and all I can taste is cardboardy, astringent black tea. I think there was potential at a warmer temperature, but it’s too late now. I really don’t want this cup. Into the sink you go…
DISCLAIMER: This is very old tea. Please don’t judge this tea or company by this review. (No rating for this reason.)
Due to lack of a tea ball, I figured ‘why not try to use up some of these ancient teas’? So, round 2 of ancient tea. Round 3 coming shortly (well, you see, I also took home one of my mugs, so only have one…. what’s this one-tea-at-a-time thing?!)
This might be the least appetizing of the bunch. The teabag smells like… oldness. Haha. There are also more of this type than either of the others, because I guess I was more enamoured by passion fruit and mango (not too surprising).
The smell of the steeped tea has a bit of light fruitiness. I wouldn’t identify it as pineapple, but it’s definitely different than the mango tea. I’m also smelling some black tea maltiness. I think I do like the black tea base that was used for these blends.
Oh wow! There’s actually some pineapple flavour! At least initially. I was not expecting that. Like, we’re actually talking a flavour that I identify not as mere fruitiness, but pineapple. It is very subtle though, and mostly in the beginning of the sip, before the black tea moreso takes over. Given it’s age, I’m pretty impressed though. Another tea that I’d like to try a fresher version of. I think I might like it :) One more to go…
ETA: Blagh! I let this cool down, had a yogurt, and then finished it, and somehow it tasted like it had developed a fair bit more astringency. Ick. Oh well, it was nice when it was warm!
DISCLAIMER: If you are looking for reviews of this tea prior to purchase, do not read this one. My tea is so old as to be completely non-indicative of the actual tea. Hence the lack of rating, as well.
Ooook, so this is an OLDIE. I mean, it’s probably 10+ years old. And not stored well. I have low expectations (although got some nice fruity mangoey smells just now… perhaps it won’t be as bad as I think?) My mom brought these back for me from Hawaii forever ago, and I drank a few bags’ worth, but that’s it, and have kept them around until now out of guilt. Perhaps if there’s a bit of flavour left, I’ll finally use them up! I have two other flavours as well, Pineapple Waikiki, and Passionfruit Na Pali. The last time I recall trying one of these (a few months ago), I recall much cardboardy flavour… but there was likely oversteeping then too. fingers crossed…
Ok. It smells a bit fruity in the cup now. Just a bit. Flavour-wise, I can definitely taste the black tea, and although somewhat astringent, I feel like it’s a touch malty as well, which is nice. Sadly though, this does not taste much like mango. And sure enough… there is a bit of a cardboardiness as well. No real surprise there.
It’s definitely drinkable, given that I brilliantly only steeped it for 3 and a half minutes, and without additions, even. I’d love to try a fresh batch of this (and the other) teas. I’m probably missing out, given TeaEqualsBliss ’ review & rating below.