2756 Tasting Notes
Crazy. Three teas I’m the first to review! Perhaps I should see which others I can be first at reviewing, too! :P
This tea is composed of these adorable little stars that during steeping, swell up into mini flower-like things. So cute! It’s also nice and easy to measure out the appropriate amount, which is convenient.
I’m not getting much aroma from the tea, if anything just a bit of sweetness. The flavour is a sweet, light green tea, not really like any I’ve had before. The sweetness is kind of caramelly and delicious, which is quite nice, but the biggest bonus here is how incredibly smooth the tea is. No astringency or bitterness at all. Unfortunately, I’m tasting just a touch of what’s coming off as soapiness here; it shouldn’t be the cup nor the infuser, as the infuser previously held Spring Twist and was not washed with soap in between, likewise with the cup. It’s not terribly strong though. I do wish the tea was a bit stronger, so next time will probably try 7 stars instead of 5 in my ~8-10 oz. cup.
Definitely a tea with potential, but it has no chance against the two Butiki oolongs I tried recently, which were amazing.
Woah, another Butiki tea that I’m the first at reviewing?! Strange!
Anyhow, in the mood for an oolong tonight. Had some fun making rice krispie squares with the boy tonight (oh, what an adventure! He topped them with not only M&Ms, but butterscotch chips, and then chocolate “drizzle” (AKA blobs). And somewhere in there we thought it would a good idea to put the squares under the broiler to melt the butterscotch chips, and ended up toasting the whole thing… oh boy!) and now am trying to pack quickly for our weekend at “the cottage”! Hopefully fun! Either way, it all meant I wanted an oolong. Yep.
Sorry Stacy – I completely forgot about the updated brew parameters you sent me, so just went with what was on the bag (I tested it though and definitely didn’t screw up, so no worries)! Anyways, in the bag, this smells fairly nondescript. By aroma I probably would have thought it was a vegetal green, or green oolong.
Brewed up, there’s a bit of a sweetish smell, no, more than a bit, and it’s also a bit oolongy. A little green, a little toasty.
The flavour of this one though? AMAZING, GUYS! Rich and honey-sweet, with perhaps a hint of toastiness, yet a green oolong sort of quality to it too. It reminds me of the Gui Fei Oolong I had from Butiki a couple days back, at least in terms of the type of sweetness, but it’s lighter here, and the woody dark oolong flavour is notably absent. This is another one, though, where I’m nearly at the bottom of my cup before even finishing my review, which is a very good sign. At a four minute infusion, there’s just a hint of an astringent, drying characteristic at the end of the sip, enough to make me contemplate trying a slightly shorter infusion, although if it were to cost me in sweetness, it wouldn’t be worth it.
Anyways! I’m no oolong expert or anything, but this one’s another delicious, no-fuss oolong, in my opinion. While Verdant’s darker oolongs are definitely amazing, I find them to be a touch more finicky when brewing, which is not a problem here.
Also to note: I probably used more than the 1 tsp of tea recommended here. Probably closer to 1.5 tsp. So, fewer cups from the small bag, but that’s ok. Still far cheaper than a beverage from Starbucks, or Tim Hortons, even!
Er…. so when I pulled the infuser basket out of this one, the aroma I got made me think of tomato. Like, tomato soup. Or V8 juice. Very strange. It makes me quite apprehensive to try this tea…
Circumstances resulted in this tea completely cooling before I got to try it, oops. It still smells like a herby, brothy tomato soup. So strange. The flavour is… like sweet-ish, herby tomato water. Uh oh got this impression in my head and it won’t go away! I can recognize some cinnamon in the flavour, but that’s about all that I can pick out.
Oh man. Totally just realized that it smells vaguely like autoclaved contaminated LB medium (for those of you in sciencey fields)! Combined with V8-containing media that was used in a lab down the hall from mine once upon a time. That was not a good association to have made. I think I’m doomed with this cup. I did drink it; it’s palatable, but not a tea I think I’d want to drink again. I see it has been discontinued though, so I guess people won’t be drinking it again!
I was a bit skeptical of the five minute infusion time with this one, but went with it… hopefully it won’t bite me! I used ~1.5tsp in ~8oz. water. The aroma is of a light, creamy-ish chai. Of course, I have the second infusion of the potent Coconut Chai from Zhena’s Gypsy Tea sitting next to me, so it’s difficult to say if it’s truly a light aroma, or just comparatively.
First impression is that this is quite a light chai, perhaps ever watery. However, the spices kick in a bit after the initial sip to help things along. I can definitely taste the creaminess in the tea, whether from the coconut or flavouring, and it’s enjoyable. I must say, this tea is growing on me the more I sip it. It definitely doesn’t need milk or sweetener (I don’t think it would hold up to milk, personally), and that’s a big plus in my book.
Overall, it’s a reasonable chai, and I’m happy enough to be drinking it, but especially after the other aforementioned chai incarnation, it probably won’t win a spot in my tea cupboard (and by cupboard we mean assorted collection of cardboard boxes stashed under my desk so the boyfriend doesn’t think I’m a total crazy!)
I’m wishing that I had ordered the mate or rooibos version of this tea, just for curiousity. However, I did not, and I’m on an indefinite tea-purchase hiatus since I have not been drinking much tea at all lately, and may not do so until this darn Masters degree has been completed.
ETA: Drank the rest after it had cooled, and this is not a weak chai, for sure! Not super strong, but definitely has a spicy kick. I read the other reviews, and can see where the coconut isn’t outstandingly obvious, however I do believe that the creaminess in this tea that makes it drinkable without sweetener/milk is in part due to the coconut. I could be wrong, but I don’t drink too many chais straight as I find the spices simply too overwhelming, with a base that’s too astringent. Not a problem, here!
Absolutely delicious. My roommate (who is leaving me in two days :( ) wanted to have tea with me tonight, so I was scouring my rooibos/honeybush blends and came across this one. Too precious to let her have a cup of it, but I had some myself (she had Alpine Punch and loved it, so I don’t feel bad!)
Why on earth do I have this rated so low?! Dessert in low-cal beverage form!
Sample courtesy of Indigobloom! Brewed this one up last night, forgot about it, drank it today, thought it was a pretty tasty chai, and not one requiring additions, as I find many do! Glad I have a bunch of this as I will thoroughly enjoy it! Full review next time, when I’m not 47 mins past my new bedtime, and when I’m actually drinking it fresh!
ETA: Second infusion remains quite potent. Yum.
Finally getting around to a sample from Sil! Thanks for letting me try this one! (Backlog from Tuesday morning.)
The aroma is deliciously malty and cocoa-y, reminiscent of Laoshan Black (not exactly surprising, of course). The brew is quite light, and quite delicious! Primarily, I’m tasting the bready, malty, cocoa-y notes of the Laoshan Black, but it’s definitely a lighter on these notes than if it was straight Laoshan Black. I can’t really identify much else, though. The silky-smooth, thick texture of the tea is also quite appealing.
The second infusion (2 min at ~96C) is a bit sweeter and still cocoa-y and light, although I’m catching just a bit of astringency at the end. However, this is still a cup that I think I could drink quite happily in the morning – neither my stomach nor tastebuds seem to like astringent or bitter teas in the morning, so this would be perfect! Perhaps I’ll get to a third infusion tomorrow – I feel like the leaves definitely aren’t done yet.
Brewed this one up this morning, but honestly can’t say too much about it, as I apparently didn’t drink it until just now (and green tea does not retain flavour terribly well). All I can say is that it’s a tasty green beany/vegetal sort of green, just what I love!
I re-steeped the leaves tonight, for 2.5 min at ~180F, and am getting a somewhat bitter yet surprisingly palatable, caramel-ish brew. Once I figured out what it was, I actually started to enjoy it! (I couldn’t remember what was in all the cups I brought up tonight.) Looking forward to a proper review and cup of this one in the future!
Stacy was kind enough to pass along with my last order a sample of the Watermelon Dragonwell that she concocted prior to the creation of Watermelon Xylophone, as I was quite interested in the idea!
The aroma of this one dry was a bit difficult to discern, as the packet was located next to the packet of Cider Guayasa (which smells absurdly good!), so that’s all I could smell. However, once out of the packet I could smell a bit of sweet fruitiness.
Unfortunately, as is typical of me, I brewed up a bunch of teas and forgot about them for a couple hours, so this one is cold now… however I’m rather enjoying it! The dragonwell is light and a kind of green beany flavour, but I can still taste a melony flavour lurking in the background, and unlike with Watermelon Xylophone, it’s coming off a bit more like watermelon than cantaloupe! It’s been recommended that this tea be tried with some rock sugar to bring out the watermelon, so attempt #2 will involve that, but I wanted to taste it on its on first. I’m intrigued by the idea of blends with green teas that lean more heavily toward vegetal as opposed to seaweedy/brothy notes, and this one seems to indicate that it would be possible and tasty to make such a blend! I think the tea would definitely be better with stronger flavouring, but as that wasn’t really an option, it was probably best to go with a white tea, but I enjoy this regardless.
Thanks so much for the sample, Stacy!
Wow, this is better than I expected! The rooibos is nicely tamed, and I’m tasting some banana, but less chocolate than I would like (although it is definitely there!) If you’re looking for a desserty tea, this would probably fit the bill, but it’s not quite as banana-y or chocolatey as the name would suggest. Getting a bit of throat scratchiness from the rooibos though, which seems to be a common issue with me. This is a nice blend for the evening, but not something I’d stock up on.