2756 Tasting Notes
This is a backlog from a few days ago. Unfortunately I failed to take good notes about this tea, but I do remember that the flavour was quite reminiscent of creme caramel rooibos teas (which I thoroughly enjoy), although there was a definite sencha flavour that I was able to pick out. However, I decided that although this is good, I’m likely to stick with straight rooibos versions if only for ease of infusion. However, this tea is quite tasty, and I will happily finish off my sample packet (paying close attention to infusion time/temperature!)
I’m so impressed…. I re-steeped the leaves that my roommate and I first used on Sunday morning with breakfast for a fourth time, and I’m still getting a delicious cup of tea! And these leaves have been seriously abused – first off, a normal 1-minute infusion. Then, probably about 5 minutes or so of sitting in a ~70C cup of Chocolate Phoenix Chai. Then another 5+ minutes of Chocolate Phoenix Chai at a hotter temperature. The flavour isn’t super strong, of course, but the rich cocoa-y flavours are unmistakably present, and absolutely delicious. Whoever would have guessed that I’d actually fall for a black tea?!
And since I’m writing this… my roommate felt the exact same way. I gave her the choice between this and Chocolate Phoenix Chai that morning, and she picked this one, saying “this is an unflavoured black? You said, unflavoured?” Needless to say she was quite surprised to find that she really enjoyed it! She’s more of an oolong girl, as I am, but I’m glad to have introduced her to something new!
Finally getting around to trying this one. I guess it didn’t really interest me, as I’ve had a sample of it for quite a while.
The aroma is primarily kind of sweet and nutty; the flavour is much the same. I was initially just going to say that this is sort of a “dry nut” sort of flavour, but it occurred to me that what I’m tasting reminds me of hazelnut coffee! Which gives me a strong desire to sweeten it and add some milk, but I’m too tired for that sort of effort tonight (and have enough left for one more cup, so can try that another day). Although it’s certainly palatable unsweetened (and there’s only a touch of astringency), the thought of making a hazelnutty tea latte far outweighs my desire to drink this straight (and the nuttiness/astringency makes it a bit more drying in the mouth than I’d really like). Better than I expected!
ETA: So I let this one sit overnight, and in the morning when I drank some to help a tickly throat, it tastes remarkably chocolatey! Or at least, I think it was this one, and couldn’t come up with any other teas I’d brewed up that would have been chocolatey. Interesting. Second infusion (5min, close to boiling), I’m primarily getting a kind of chocolatey flavour as well. Nutty chocolate, a bit akin to… Florence?? From H&S? I can’t recall, whichever one is chocolatey and nutty. Definitely better than expected. Enough to bump the rating some. I assume the chocolatey notes aren’t an artifact of my stuffed up nose, as I could taste better earlier today when I had the cold tea.
It seems that I have caught a cold :( so time to bring this tea out as it seems rather appropriate!
The dry tea smells very potently of ginger and lemongrass. The intense ginger is a bit worrisome, as I’m not the biggest fan of strong ginger, it seems that the ginger is tamed a bit after steeping. Also, it smells like DT’s Ginger Pu’erh – shocker, eh?
The flavour is much milder than I anticipated. There’s a bit of a burn from the ginger, but it’s certainly not as strong as the aroma indicated. I can’t really taste much in the way of lemon though (or even lemongrass), although the honeybush provides a nice base.
I personally think that a more apt name for this blend would be ginger honeybush, as that’s about all I can taste. Not bad, however, but probably not a tea I’d go for again. I’d prefer a cup of hot water infused with fresh ginger, lemon juice, and some real honey. (But too lazy to do that now).
ETA: About all I’m getting in the second infusion is a strong gingery tingling in my mouth/throat. Can’t really taste a great deal at this point, but I think I like this infusion better (or perhaps it’s because I can miraculously get some sort of sensation from this one!) Still can’t beat the real deal though, I think.
This one is still seriously delicious. Smooth but present base with an absolutely delicious butterscotchy/caramelly flavour. Another tea I would love to have more of (but need to resist buying!)
Second infusion in less water is still worthwhile, but loses a fair bit of the caramelly flavour. My previous note indicates a third infusion is unnecessary, so I’ll stop there.
Yet another advent calendar sip down! Such progress today!
I honestly don’t recall what my roommate and I initially thought of this tea, but if I recall correctly, we didn’t like it. We did write notes on the back of the advent calendar box (which I ran across tonight, as it happens), so I should definitely check to see what we noted down!
With both the dry and steeped tea, the aroma is coming off as vaguely citrusy, but that’s about all I can pick out.
Flavourwise, now that I know there’s pu’erh in this blend, I suspect we a) didn’t like it and b) the pu’erh was the reason! Now I know what pu’erh is, and what to expect, so I can definitely pick it out here. Luckily it’s not particularly fishy, just has a sort of earthy/mustiness that I associate with pu’erh. I can’t really pick out the oolong at all here, not even in the aftertaste; perhaps it will emerge in later infusions. As for flavouring, a creamy sort of ginger flavour comes out in the aftertaste, which is actually quite pleasant, although it’s rather mild.
I know pu’erh has a multitude of purported health benefits, but I wouldn’t be too likely to pick this tea up again, as there are many other vendors with better pu’erhs that I’d rather drink for the benefits! This one’s pretty so-so; not terrible, but nothing special.
ETA: Bleh, the second infusion (~90C, 5 min) is not to my liking. I think I’m really picky on citrusy-flavoured things, and citrus + pu’erh is not to my liking (nor citrus + green tea, for the most part). No real loss though!
Another sip down from the advent calendar!
By aroma, this one smells exactly like Forever Nuts. I’m not actually certain if I’d be able to tell them apart. It’s a warm, cinnamonny, nutty aroma. Absolutely delicious!
The flavour does differentiate the two, however; Sleigh Ride seems to have some tartness which isn’t present in Forever Nuts, but other than that, it’s apple cinnamon pie with a hint of nuttiness. Really quite tasty, but I prefer the lack of tartness in Forever Nuts.
A great tea to have tried, but another one I won’t be missing! (Although now I’m having wicked cravings for Forever Nuts!)
ETA: Second infusion is weakly appley. Not bad. I could have used more tea, I think, so probably a pretty good result all things considering!
Ok, so apparently I’d already logged this one! Awesome! I’m finishing off the last of the Advent Calendar tin tonight, and remembering that this one is really quite, quite tasty! I wish I had brewed up 52teas’ Melange Rooibos to compare, but I didn’t, and I’m too lazy to bother, so I guess I won’t get to compare the two!
Anyhow, this one’s a perfectly spiced, seemingly nutty (and definitely coconutty!) as well as slightly chocolatey version of chai. No problems with the rooibos base here either; it’s quite mild and not medicinal at all, perhaps it is contributing to the nuttiness. Definitely a chai I’d re-purchase, although I have plenty of other non-caffeinated teas to finish off before I should be buying something else for the evening.
I’d highly recommend this tea to anyone looking for a delicious evening chai without the risk of caffeine!
ETA: Second infusion is still quite good! Perhaps a bit less chocolatey, but still deliciously spicy and lacking in strange flavours coming from the rooibos.
ETA again: Third infusion today was still pretty tasty. I’m very sad that this one’s all gone now! I think a fourth infusion may have been possible, but I have waaaay too many infusers on the go right now, and this one had been sitting around too long at this point.
Gave this one another shot today with breakfast. Even with using more tea, and a longer infusion (which I’ve found really only makes the tea overly spicy), I’m not satisfied with the base of this chai. It’s just too light for me, and too overpowered by the spices. I’m not getting enough chocolate for my liking, either. Perhaps with milk I would be happier, but as is, nope.
So… I tried an experiment. I had also brewed up some Laoshan Black for my roommate, so took the infuser filled with the once-used leaves, and popped it into my still-hot cup for… a little while (a bit longer than I intended as I received an email with some very sad news in it… the secretary in my dep’t had a massive heart attack last night and passed away :( ) Anyhow, the result was quite a bit improved! The chocolatey Laoshan notes complemented the chai so incredibly well, making the cup incredibly delicious! I did recently pick up a sample of the Laoshan Village Chai, and now I’m wondering if that’s essentially what I just made by mixing these two teas together.
So the first cup I tried this way was rather delicious, and a re-steep of first the chai (2nd infusion), then the Laoshan Black (3rd infusion) was also pretty good.
I don’t really want to have to mix all my Laoshan Black in with this chai though, so I still need to work on how best to drink this.
I was pretty sure I hadn’t reviewed this tea… it was one I purchased and drank pre-Steepster and didn’t much care for, so I probably haven’t had it since last December or January or so! This is part of my unofficial “Drink up the old teas!” plan. Also, apologies in advance – I have a bunch of backlogged reviews to get to in a bit! Internet issues earlier and a lack of time led to some unlogged teas – hopefully I remember them all!
This one has always smelled predominantly like somewhat orangey bubble gum. Not my favourite flavour/aroma; I was always hoping this would be more like an orange creamsicle. And when I put the infuser basket into the water today, I was greeted by a rather vomit-like aroma that I don’t recall from having this one previously…. not exactly making this sound appetizing, am I?
Anyways, the unpleasant aroma appeared to have dissipated by the time I went to drink the tea (whew!), and today, for whatever reason, the flavour seems to be much closer to orange creamsicle than I remember! Joy! It’s actually pretty good! Creamy citrus, with a minimum of flavours that could be interpreted as bubble gum. Rooibos fairly quiet in the background, perhaps a little woody, but that’s about it. So I must admit, surprisingly tasty, but not a tea I’d be too likely to pick up again. I won’t have much problem finishing off the rest of my bag though!