2221 Tasting Notes
I am trying to concentrate on catching up with posts on here… but I’m having trouble because the amazing smell of birthday cake is sooooo distracting! I can’t believe how delicious this one smells! I really had low expectations for it, but the aroma is intoxicating. Sweet and mapley vanilla, perhaps? VERY sweet. So sweet that just sniffing this makes my tastebuds think they’ve had dessert. Gah. Pleasepleaseplease let this taste as good as it smells, because then I’ll have another wonderful go-to dessert rooibos for those nights (or days) when I want something disgustingly sweet, not just hinting at it. Steep faster, delicious-smelling tea! (Side note: I’m moderately concerned that I may have steeped this one too hot – in my excitement to get it going, I grabbed my cup out of the microwave with boiling water in it, and plunged my filter basket in, which caused it to go all fizzy and bubbly and boiling. I probably should have given in 30s or so…)
Review pending the stupid tea cooling down! ARGH!
Ok! Finally get to try it! It’s not bad; the initial part of the sip is kind of strong (probably my fault – I was not skimpy on the dry tisane!) and rooibos-y, but the aftertaste is sweet vanilla-y maple. I have to agree with everyone else that it’s kind of sickly sweet… but I’m kind of in the mood for it right now. I’m definitely not getting ‘birthday cake’… but I don’t like birthday cake anyhow, so that’s not exactly an issue.
Overall not a bad rooibos, but not good enough to bump Alpine Punch or other tasty ones. It’s just a bit one-note for me, and I want more than that. But the sample will definitely get finished in the evenings as a yummy dessert tea!
Quickly, a note before I dash home!
Mostly smells and tastes like orange peel. I am not really getting any strawberry, or scone. A bit of astringency; clearly I oversteeped (thought so). I’ll re-evaluate when it cools, but I don’t think I’m terribly fond of this one.
Thank you LiberTEAS for this sample :)
ETA: Second steep this morning is funky. Into the garbage it goes.
Er… I just realized that I buggered this one up! I definitely steeped it in boiling water (or whatever temperature boiling water drops to when poured into a mug), because for some reason I had black tea on the brain. Surprisingly though, I thought it was just fine in spite of that. Just a touch of astringency at the end of the sip, and really, it was hardly noticeable and not bothersome. Anyways, I guess I’ll try it again at the proper temperature in the future!
The dry leaf smells like creamy banana coconut with what smells to me like a black tea base. Steeped, I’m getting a baked goods-banana scent, which is good.
Trying this one hot, I thought it tasted much like Monkey Fart (the banana is the same), but as it cooled I enjoyed it more. I’m not entirely sure that it tastes like banana cream pie to me… but I’m actually not certain that I’ve ever even had banana cream pie, so that probably wouldn’t be a fair judgment! I drank it during a seminar though, so can’t recall everything I tasted, but it looks like another tea that I’m happy to have tried but fine with not having again once my sample is gone. (Btw, thanks to LiberTEAS for this sample!)
(The second infusion seems to be reasonably tasty too, although it has yet to cool enough for me to get the full range of flavours. Worth that second cup though, I think!)
To celebrate having gone to bed at a decent hour AND having woken up on time (in spite of the fact that I’ve done nothing productive since then), I decided to have a nice cup of black tea! And what better to have than a surprise sample given to me by Azzrian: the Naughty Vicar!
The dry tea smells a bit fruity and rich. Mmmm.
Steeped, it smells exactly like some sort of familiar candy! Perhaps sour berry gummy candies? The $0.05 ones? I can’t quite place it, but it is SO familiar. And yay, it tastes true to the aroma! Not sweet, but it tastes like those candies, backed by a light black base (it might have been stronger had I steeped it longer than 3 minutes, but I’m SO wary of oversteeping right now).
This is pretty good! Not a tea I’d rush to go out and buy myself, but I doubt I’ll have any difficulty finishing it. Thanks Azzrian!
Went to pick up the new teas that I’ve yet to try, and a pitcher of this was sitting iced on the counter. I requested a sample, and the girl pulls out two to-go cups and pours my roommate and I full glasses; apparently she was about to throw it out anyhow! Bonus :)
However…. we tried it and it was awfully tart unsweetened. There was the tasty flowery flavour I remember from when I brewed it hot, but also a great deal of tartness as well as a bit of a bitter aftertaste. Oh hibiscus :( We used to be friends.
Brought it home and sweetened the crap out of it with agave, as my stomach didn’t want a tart drink right now, and it improved greatly, although still had some bitterness coming out, which was a bit yucky. Oh well! Perhaps I’ll finish the rest of my packet off this way. Luckily I only have ~16g minus a cup’s worth left?
Another tea I’m finally trying!
The aroma of this one is SO delicious. Both the dry and steeped tea have this wonderful floral, rose petaly, juicy aroma that makes me drool (or as close as I am willing to get while in my office with other people).
Hmm, I steeped this one for only 4 minutes, but I’m getting a distinctly unpleasant oversteeped flavour from it. What is with me and screwing up teas lately?! It’s still drinkable, but bleech. Also, the floral aroma that I enjoyed so much is appearing in my mouth… and although I like smelling flowers, I’m not a big fan of eating them! Yes, definitely too floral in flavour for me.
Well, looks like another bust (my wallet says: thank goodness!). Another tea I’m happy to have tried, but will not be picking up again.
Finally trying this one! My first guayasa :) Brief not because I should really be working….
The dry tea smells almost earthy, and quite fruity. Yum.
Steeped, it smells peachy and fruity. So far so good!
This tastes better than I was expecting! I’m not a fan of candied papaya, so was wary of it in a tea, but this is pretty good! It tastes kind of earthy and green, a little bit bitter, and lightly fruity – I would go with peachy. We’ll see what sort of effect the caffeination has on me shortly…
Either way, a very pleasant tea! Probably something I’d pick up again only for the stimulant effect, though, as flavour-wise there are other teas I prefer.
ETA: Second cup, steeped for ages, is not really impressive. Weak and just a bit sweet. Not worth it. I don’t know if guayasa is one that doesn’t re-steep well?
Since I’m awake at a silly hour and intend to go back to sleep (yeah, I’ve actually already slept for 6h, woot!) and I wanted tea, I decided a rooibos was my best bet. It was a toss-up between some Tropical Tea Co. samples and this one, but for whatever reason, the berries won out!
The dry tea smells fruity and a bit tart (probably because of the giant cranberry), and I’m getting a touch of “rooibos” smell.
Steeped, I can definitely tell it’s a rooibos. There’s that almost-mintiness, and maybe a hint of fruit flavour. Only just realized that I steeped a cup’s worth in a >1 cup mug… oops.
Ok, this actually tastes better than I was expecting! I’m getting berry flavours alongside the less-potent-than-I-thought rooibos, which I would really prefer not to taste. It is kind of weak though, but that’s to be expected (and rather unfortunate, since I like my teas strong). If I use my imagination, I can taste the blackberry in this cup (there was a huge whole blackberry), but the cranberry isn’t terribly apparent, probably because there were only a couple teeny pieces this time. I expect my next cup will be the reverse, as I saved the large cranberry and a small blackberry chunk for it.
I’ll have to try it stronger next time, and although this isn’t a tea I would have picked up myself, I’m happy to tick off another of 52teas offerings in my tealog! Thanks for the sample, Amanda!
Somewhat regretting my decision to go with the Western-style instructions on this one, with 5 long infusions, but really, I was too tired to go through a series of short infusions today.
First infusion (205F/3min)
Smells floral and sweet, almost like honey. But gah! This does not taste good! Super strong, astringent, and somewhat bitter. Yuck :( Definitely regretting the long infusion times now :( It’s really unpleasant, but I can taste that it’s delicious underneath.
Second infusion (208F/3min)
Crap, more of the same. I can’t even drink it. This is so disappointing. I can taste a flavour shift but I can’t handle the astringency and bitterness.
Third infusion (208F/3min)
Again, I can taste a change in flavours but it’s so astringent/bitter I can’t handle it.
Fourth infusion (205F/3min)
Similar to the third.
Fifth infusion (202F/4min)
I might be able to drink this one…. but it’s still astringent and bitter.
:( I am bummed. All that effort for nothing (and on an expensive tea too), and I have no idea what I did wrong. I weighed out 5g of leaf (as instructed), used filtered water, measured water temperatures, and timed my infusions, and I’m going to have to throw out at least 4 of 5 infusions. This may be one of the worst tea experiences I’ve had :( The bitterness is lingering in my mouth even now and it is so unpleasant. Moral of the story I guess is to start with gongfu-style brewing, or at least infusions of 25-30s, not 3 min even if the instructions say to use that infusion time…
ETA: How can nobody else have had the same experience as I just did? Reading the tasting notes, someone even steeped it for 5 minutes! My infusions are disgusting; I can’t imagine anyone actually enjoying them.