3120 Tasting Notes
Thanks Indigobloom for letting me thief a bit of this before I hand it off to you!
So from the description, I’m expecting pretty much a black currant-flavoured tea. Which have been rather hit or miss for me – Jane Austen Mafia from Adagio was quite good, although it also has a creaminess, but I dislike 52teas’ blends containing black currant.
The flavour of the cup is more on the side of the 52teas’ flavouring, somewhat candy-like but less artificial. Definitely kind of perfumey, which I don’t think gooseberries actually are. (Funny observation: I think last time I ate gooseberries, they were rather tart, so my mouth is currently watering like crazy in anticipation of eating tart fruits, even though I know the tea will be nothing like that! I should note that this also is more of a ‘dilute-the-tartness’ thing, than an ‘om-nom-nom’ thing. Silly salivary glands!)
The flavour of the cup is milder than I anticipated. Not very fruity at all. The “gooseberry/black currant” flavour is there, as is the perfuminess, but they’re quite mild. This is definitely not an in-your-face flavoured tea!
Certainly not my cup of tea, but I imagine it may be for those who like this sort of fruitiness!
Although I chose to order this as part of one of my Try Me packs, it never seemed to grab me as a tea I wanted to try until tonight, when I decided it was high time for a bit more progress on my new teas (yeah, the ones I received while here, hahahahaha).
I cannot believe how incredibly delicious this tea smells! Like the sweet, caramelized sugar crust around the edges of a pineapple upside-down cake that I used to break off and eat (and get in trouble over). I didn’t want the rest of the cake, just that part! Anyways, this tea smells like that. Dry and brewed. It’s incredibly strong, and soooo intoxicating!
Unfortunately, the flavour doesn’t quite live up to the aroma. When the tea was still warm, there was a strong flat/cardboardy/stale note right after the initial sip, which then faded into delicious caramelized sugar flavours and perhaps a hint of fruitiness (I really taste no pineapple here, to be honest). I found the stale flavour quite disconcerting – it was almost as if I was just tasting the black base, quite weak and stale, before the flavouring hit my tongue. This phenomenon has happened to me before, and it seems to be unique to flavoured teas (so it makes me think it’s something do with flavouring in some way). Either way, the tea has now cooled, and this flatness no longer makes an appearance, it’s just delicious caramelly goodness.
I’m a bit disappointed that I can’t really pick out any pineapple here, but the strong caramelly flavours will make this a great one for the travel mug (although I only have enough for one serving left!)
When I opened the bag of this tea, I was greeted with the most amazing pear smell. I had been expecting ginger to predominate (given that S&V has a pear black, and ginger is first in the name here), however given that one of my “quests” is to find a great pear tea, it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest if this was more pear than ginger!
The aroma of the brewed cup is true to the dry tea… and crazily enough, so is the flavour!! (I say crazily enough because how often does the flavour actually match the aroma?! Not nearly enough, IMO.) Ohhhhh man, this one is good, guys! If you like sweet pears? BUY THIS TEA!! The tea leaves a lingering pear-flavoured sweetness in your mouth which is absolutely divine. I’ve gotta admit that my hopes have been far exceeded here, and the likelihood of me placing another order from S&V in the far-too-near future are rising. I’ll admit that it’s a little on the perfumey side, but then again, so are pears. The perfuminess does remind me a little bit of the Violet tea I just drank, so perhaps it’s a flavouring component.
Oh… and there’s no discernible ginger here. So if you’re looking for ginger pear, I suggest you either add your own, or buy a different tea.
ETA: Prior to the second infusion, I sniffed the infuser basket and definitely smelled ginger, which also was noticeable in the brewed tea alongside the pear. My guess is that a) the strong pear flavouring masks the ginger in the first infusion and b) perhaps the ginger needs a bit more time to infuse into the cup?? Either way, this second infusion, in half the water, was quite pleasant!
So apparently I’m the first person to review this tea!
Anyhow, the aroma is very…. interesting. It smells almost soapy, but not, just more in the sense that the aroma is one that one would more likely associate with bath products as opposed to tea. Flavourwise it’s flowery and sweet (not sugary, though), and I suppose, “spring-y” as the description mentions. Quite an interesting aroma. My lack of palate training is definitely hurting me here! The black tea base is fairly unassuming, strong enough to back the violet flavour well, but not interfering with the flavouring. There’s also very little astringency at the recommended infusion time of 3 minutes.
Overall, probably not a tea I’d re-purchase, but certainly one that has helped to satiate my curiousity as to what “violet flavour” tastes/smells like!
ETA: Second infusion is pretty similar.
Wow, does this tea ever smell potent! It’s rich, strong, caramelly goodness to the max! Almost too intense! Brewed up, it still smells much the same. The aroma is coming off as a bit artificial to me, to be honest, but hopefully that converts to delicious flavours?
Hmm. Well, there’s definitely no shortage of flavour here! However, I’m having a difficult time relating it to creme brulee. The predominant flavour (and aroma) is intense caramelized sugar, which is backed by what is oddly coming off to me as a bit of a cardboardy flavour (which I actually think is the custard). I realize that sounds unappetizing, but that’s how it’s coming off to me. How custard and cardboard are alike, I’m not sure, but I can imagine I’m tasting either when I take a sip! Consequently, I’m not sure whether I love this tea or just like it, but this is certainly enjoyable! And at 3 minutes, there’s a minimum of astringency, which is quite nice.
I suppose I shall see how this does in my travel mug, but I’m excited for another caramelly flavoured black. This is not as good as 52teas’ Cashew Turtle, but the abundance of flavour will probably make it a treat to discover in my mug in the morning (because by the time I get to drinking my teas, I can never remember what’s in each mug!)
Ehm…. this one’s just a liiiiiiittle too weird for me. And my mom. I knew as soon as I opened my (thankfully) sample packet that it was not going to be my thing. It smells quite spicy, and a weird sort of savoury that doesn’t appeal to me. Can’t say I’ve ever had sage in a tea, so that could be part of it, although there are a few “new-in-tea”-to-me ingredients lurking in here.
My mom thought it tasted much like drinking liquid turkey stuffing. She thought perhaps it would taste good consumed alongside a turkey meal. I… thought it tasted less spicy and less strange than it smelled, but… definitely savoury, and rather weird.
Both of us did agree that the aftertaste is quite pleasant, once you get past the sipping and swallowing stages! I think it may be the ginger that leaves a nice spicy aftertaste.
I think I can get why people mix this with a pu’erh or something, but I just don’t think this is something that’s going to appeal to me in any form. Just too strange.
Yay, my S&V order finally arrived today!!! Naturally, I had to immediately get started on trying the new teas! I picked this one to start, as we were heading out shopping, so I had to travel mug it and thought it would hold up.
The dry tea smells a bit cinnamony and chocolatey, and a bit… cakey, which I suppose could be brownie. Brewed up, I recall it being ok although somewhat astringent while hot, but once it had cooled to lukewarm and sat for about 3 hours, I liked it a lot more! I will have to properly review a first infusion in the future. My mom tasted a sip and did not like it at all (thankfully we had made up Butiki’s Strawberry Oolong (which she adores!) in her mug). She doesn’t like chocolate in teas, apparently.
I’ve just brewed up the second infusion in half the water (3 min, boiling) and it smells much like a cinnamony baked good. Not really any discernible chocolate, but it’s pretty tasty! A bit astringent (so maybe 2:30 would have been preferable), but it tastes very much to me like the inside of a cinnamon bun, where there’s cinnamon in/on the bun part but not really any stickiness or icing.
I think this will work nicely as a morning thermos tea for me! That seems to be the best use of flavoured blacks for me, while the more delicate teas are best drank in the evening from a mug :)
This is pretty good! Very much like Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong, although it tastes a little more “flavoured”. Basically, you can taste the delicious pouchong base with toasty notes of coconut and as it says in the description, a nice hit of floral from the base tea as well. IMO it’s a bit less subtle than Coconut Pouchong, but perhaps I used more leaf here. My mom likes coconut pouchong (but I didn’t really want to leave my whole package here), and she seems to like this one as well, so I’m leaving the rest of my pouch here.
Thanks to Zen Tea for this sample! It’s nice to know that I can get a good coconut oolong from a Canadian company!
Mmm, I can certainly taste the bao zhong here! DELICIOUS! But the pineapple flavour is unfortunately too light for me to enjoy it as such. I’m getting floral, slightly fruity notes at the end of the sip, which must be the pineapple (along with a bit of aroma). We just had a fresh pineapple for dessert this evening; I should have saved a touch of the juice and infused a bit here!
Either way, I think we should all be thankful that Stacy didn’t decide to put hibiscus in here to make the tea tart!! Hahahahaha.
ETA: Second infusion in half the water (same brewing parameters) is a slightly fruity pouchong. Definitely worth it, but the flavouring is pretty much absent.