2244 Tasting Notes
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.
No notes yet. Add one?
Another sample from LiberTEAS!
Quick note because I should really get to sleep…
The brewed tea smells just slightly fruity, although I’ve let it cool so perhaps it was stronger before.
Definitely not missing out on tasting the white tea here! I’m not tasting as much fruit as I would have liked though. There’s some astringency, but I can handle it with a white tea.
Probably not going to be my favourite fruit/white blend, but nice to try just the same. I’ll hold off rating until I try it again warm.
Another smoky tea to try! It’s probably a bad idea to be drinking so much black tea so late at night… oh well…
This is another very generous sample from Azzrian! Another tea I wanted to try before gambling and ordering.
The steeped tea smells somewhat smoky and sweet; not really smelling maple or bacon, perhaps they’ll be more apparent once I drink it.
Hmmm, the flavour is a bit different than I was expecting. A somewhat smoky, barely sweet black tea, with a fair bit of astringency. Darn, I must have steeped it too long. I did add a pinch of salt as has ben recommended, but am not getting anything resembling maple, or even bacon really. I think I might try adding some maple syrup and a bit more salt the next time, to see if that improves the flavour. Also might keep the infusion down to 3 minutes, as I’m really disliking the astringency. I thought four minutes would be low enough, but I guess not.
Thanks again for the sample Azzrian!
So here goes my attempt to try a bunch of 52teas before ordering! This generous sample was sent to me by LiberTEAS in her big box of teas :)
The smell of the tea is majorly smoky. MAJORLY. Not unexpected, and very intriguing! I have yet to try a lapsang souchong, so am not sure what I’ll think of it.
Steeped, it’s just SMOKY smelling. So interesting. Really like liquid campfire! I wonder if it gets into your clothes the same way…?
The taste is very smoky, slightly sweet, and perhaps there’s some chocolate, but I can’t really taste it specifically.
I think this would be better if there was more chocolate. I do like the smokiness, and can see myself craving that flavour if I was in the mood, but there’s a similar flavour in the Mayan Chocolate Chai, so I think that would suffice :)
Another sample from Azzrian!
Dry, there wasn’t a ton of smell to this tea, but once steeped, holy strawberries! It smells ridiculously delicious!
And the taste?? Equally delicious. Fruity strawberry backed by black tea. I have no idea what ‘zabaglione’ is though. The only thing I’m not much caring for is the astringency I’m getting from the black tea. It’s a little overwhelming; perhaps I should try a 3 minute infusion instead.
So although delicious, it hasn’t hit the ranks of Mayan Chocolate Chai yet… I think that might be difficult!
ETA: As the tea cooled, I liked it more – some more fruitiness and creaminess came out. Yum! However, the second steep is pretty weak. Probably wouldn’t bother a second time unless I was really in the mood (or perhaps if the first infusion was only 3 minutes, the second would be better).