2661 Tasting Notes
I decided to poke about in my sample box from LiberTEAS tonight, and ran across a few 52teas that I hadn’t yet tried. Of course, since I’m trying to sample them all, I had to get started!
Steeped, this smells delicious, creamy and limey and amazing. Exactly like key lime pie!! The dry tea smells similar, but not as strong. How on earth did I wait so long to try this??!
Mmmm, and it’s pretty tasty. Smooth and creamy with tangy lime. I feel like it tastes just a touch oversteeped, so I’ll reduce the time for the next attempt (I think there’s enough for two more cups!!!) This is really quite tasty though. If it was still around, I’m 95% certain I’d be purchasing a packet for myself! Mmmmmmm… On second thought regarding the apparent oversteeping, I’m wondering if the touch of bitterness is actually from the lemon/lime flavouring? Lemon/lime peel kind of have that same flavour, so that could be it. Hard to tell; I haven’t ever had kukicha before to know if it oversteeps quickly or not. I feel like this would be fabulous cold, but don’t think I want to try it like that, since flavours get muted and there’s no re-steeping.
Another thought just occurred to me – this reminds me of DavidsTea’s Lime Gelato. I should brew some up to compare; it would be nice to have a substitute!
ETA: Second infusion is mellower and creamy (3 min, 175F). Quite enjoyable.
Trying this one again! It smells a lot like strawberry jam to me, which I said last time.
Yum, way better this time! No soapy flavour. Light tangy sweet strawberry jam. A bit too light on the flavour, so maybe I’ll use more tea next time.
ETA: Also, does not re-steep well.
The cinnamon/apple aroma from this tea is a fair bit more powerful than that from Hot Toboggan, although I’m not really getting any crust aroma… but the flavour is a different story. Immediately upon sipping, I tasted pie crust, followed by cinnamon… and just a bit of apple. Whaa?? The apple is so prominent in the aroma, where could it possibly have gone in the flavour?! It does seem to come out a bit later, but it’s really not as strong as I would have liked. There’s also a bit of astringency in this one. By far, this one reads more like an unsweetened apple cider, as I remarked before, than apple pie.
Given the choice, I think I’d choose Hot Toboggan, as my cup of that is gentler and more appley, and I think there’s potential to brew it a bit stronger. However, if I still have some of this around when we make it back into fall/winter weather, I’ll brew it up and sweeten it instead of using cider powder + apple juice :)
ETA: Third infusion would have been more successful on the same day, and with attention paid to steeping time. That said, not bad.
I picked this one up in the good old days, and by that I mean the time when people thought coming home with ten different samples from DavidsTea was ridiculous! If only they knew then… Anyways, I remember being told that this one was supposed to taste like a caramel apple, and although I found it ok, I don’t remember it being a favourite by far. I had it earmarked to do a quick comparison to DT’s Mom’s Apple Pie, so figured tonight was as good a night as any! Sadly, neither of these is a sipdown; there’s still one cup left of this one, and lots of the other.
It’s funny, I took a sniff of this one, and could have sworn it was Mom’s Apple Pie! That’s how it smells, like warmed cinnamon apples with a bit of crust. And really, flavourwise, it tastes rather like the aroma. A bit heavy on the crust (which is probably the… almonds??), but definitely like apple pie. I’m not getting any caramel, so wouldn’t call it caramel apple, but the light cinnamon and fruitiness combined with a really distinct buttery crust flavour is 100% apple pie. The only problem is that it’s kind of weak. I suppose the tea is over 6 months old, but it has been stored properly, so maybe my leaf/water ratio is just a bit off, or maybe it needed that extra three minutes that I so cautiously didn’t give it. On second thought, I see the package directions indicate using 1.25 tsp, and I used a generous 1.5, so maybe it’s just meant to be on the weak side. This is nice though, and the aroma is very soothing.
ETA: Third infusion a day and a half later is heavy on cinnamon aroma (but not flavour), and mostly tastes nutty. Not bad. This one’s growing on me, but I probably won’t ever see it again since it’s online exclusive, and I don’t want 50g of it!
Ok, this one’s not really one of the teas on my list to drink down, but it is a new sample I bought to try, and I thought a comparison of it against Ever Green could be worthwhile, since they both contain berries…. yeah, I’m trying too hard to justify it, aren’t I?
Anyways, I made this one and now I’m going to drink it. Strangely, the dry tea smells like an alcoholic berry. Like a berry that just got home from the bar and really needs to sleep it off. But seriously, I’m getting a weird smell along with the blueberries; perhaps it’s the juniper?? I don’t like juniper, and it unsurprisingly reminds me of gin, which I also dislike, so maybe that’s what I’m smelling? (Awww… gin reminds me of some of my hometown friends, one of which I will be seeing in a couple weeks, the other of which I may see then as well, unless he has already moved to Europe for his studies… sad times.)
The aroma is much more like blueberries (and pomegranate??) and therefore moreso like DT’s Blueberry Jam once steeped, so perhaps it’s even a flavouring oil/alcohol sort of thing I’m smelling in the dry tea. Although it appears that I have also oversteeped this cup a touch (bah, seriously, I cannot get DT’s blacks steeped correctly! Three minutes is too short for many, then I try four for some and they’re still too weak, then I try four for others and it’s already too long. Sheesh), it reminds me a great deal of berry juice. Maybe a pomegranate-blueberry blend. Something pseudo-healthy. There is acai powder in here, so it’s possible I’m confusing pomegranate and acai, since I don’t actually have a clear idea of the flavour of the latter since I’ve only had it in juice blends before. So actually, aside from the astringency, this reminds me a great deal of juice. Unfortunately, I’m not a huge fan of such juices for whatever reason, so this tea is only ok for me.
Second infusion (can’t recall parameters) was also astringent, and got dumped because my stomach can’t deal with that tonight.
I don’t think I gave this tea a fair shot the first time I drank it; I know I didn’t re-steep it, and I feel like I may have been preoccupied while drinking it, so it needs a second try! Also, I remember finding it rather pleasant, so why not? (Or maybe I should have saved it for the day where I get to have my second try of all the nasty rose-flavoured teas I have…. ewwwwwwwww).
Dry, the tea smells predominantly of berries, and maybe with a hint of sea lettuce, which is pretty much how I described it the first time. Steeped, the aroma is still of berries, and I could be convinced that it’s a blueberry/cranberry mix. I have to admit that the flavour is somewhat unremarkable. It’s quite pleasant, but I’m having a tough time catching all of the crazy flavours that are supposed to be in here (and there’s clearly caraway and mustard seed in the blend). Mostly, it just tastes like a light, fruity berry tea to me. It does taste a bit different, but not enough for me to figure anything out. Oh – enough sipping, and I have finally encountered caraway and perhaps mustard. I think the sea lettuce is just blending with the green tea too well for me to pick it up. In a battle of berry-flavoured blends (as in, comparing this one to Organic Super Berry), I prefer this one because there’s no astringency. I really don’t like astringent blacks; they upset my stomach.
I am going to be good and re-steep at least once before I eat the tantalizing berries. I’m really terrible when there’s fruit in blends…
ETA: Second infusion (82C/4min) is similarly sweet/juicy/berry-like, with hints of the caraway and mustard showing up at the end of the sip, if at all. I ate the steeped fruit after this infusion, and there was a ton of flavour left!! So this tea probably could have gone for numerous additional infusions. Yum.
Sipdown! Yay! I have a bit of fondness for this tea because it was one of the first I tried, sent to me as a sample package for Christmas from my aunt. I finished that package, not liking it a great deal, but then bought a bit more and changed my mind a bit. This tea has quite a nutty aroma both dry and steeped, although the banana comes out during the infusion, making the aroma quite appealing, to me at least! The flavour is definitely reminiscent of banana walnut bread, as others have mentioned. Unfortunately, today I must have oversteeped the tea and it’s rather unpleasantly bitter :(
I think this is a good tea for nut lovers and those who enjoy flavoured blacks that are neither particularly sweet nor fruity yet don’t taste like a straight tea. Personally, I do prefer blacks with cream, caramel, vanilla (actually… this could taste great with a few of those flavours added! Has Frank ever done a caramel-glazed banana nut bread tea??)
I decided it was time to clean up my DavidsTea stash. Drink up the second cup of samples I don’t like (to give them a second chance), and categorize things a little. So here’s the first attempt!
I didn’t like Mango Diablo the first time I tried it, mostly due to the sweet pepper taste which I loathe, although I did feel it met the mark in terms of a mangoey, spicy green. I brewed up only a half cup (so I don’t have to suffer through it too much if it’s as I remember), and so I can send the final cup’s worth off to Amanda (so this is pretty much a sipdown). I wish I could refer to my previous note while writing this one, but apparently Steepster is down right now, so I’m stuck writing this in Word. Sigh.
The aroma is sweet from the mangoes and spicy from the chili pepper threads. There must be a hint of a bell pepper-ish aroma coming out too, because I don’t enjoy this smell. Upon sipping, there’s first a bit of a sweet taste before BAM! the chili spice hits you. I actually quite enjoy this spice level, but would greatly prefer it mixed with chocolate. Really, in my opinion, it’s not all that spicy, but I can see some people objecting (even though it’s explicitly stated that this blend is spicy!) The mango does blend in nicely, and the green tea lurks in the background, clearly offering a base for what would otherwise be a watery tea, but not really coming out in the flavour.
Like I thought earlier, I personally think this blend is a success. I just hate bell peppers and feel like I can taste them in here, which makes me dislike the tea.
[Hey, on the plus side, since I’m writing this in Word, nobody has to sit through my repeated ‘ETA’s as I re-steep teas, because I’m just tacking them on in here! Always a positive side to everything…]
Second infusion, 82C/5 min almost smells a touchy perfumey, like roses. Which makes me gag a bit, because my stomach is already a bit irritated with me for whatever reason, and I have been poking around samples all evening to figure out what all I have, and of course I’ve opened multiple rose-scented packets… ick. Anyhow, the spice is here at about the same degree as previously, although the mango flavour is a little lighter, and there’s perhaps more icky bell pepper flavour. Decent re-steep, in my opinion. But I don’t want to drink any more of this, so that’s it for me!
This oolong teabag was sent to me by Azzrian… but I’m 95% certain it’s not a green oolong. It steeped up pretty dark, and smells more like genmaicha, but could also be a darker oolong.
Oh dear. I thought 3 minutes would be appropriate but I think it’s oversteeped :( I suppose it should have occurred to me that it’s a teabag, and therefore will infuse stronger/more quickly! Blah. I think I have another one of these left, so will have to try again later. The flavour (minus the astringency/bitterness) isn’t bad though; kind of sweet/nutty/toasty.
And thus concludes Round 1 of plowing through all the tea samples I have left to try! A good number of hits, and the misses are because that’s all I had left to try! :)
Second-last tea I have yet to sample from Amanda! This can only be better than the yuck from Adagio I just tasted (and spit back out).
Steeped, there is almost no smell. I had smelled a bit of mintiness in the teabag itself, but either the cup has cooled off too much to emit an aroma, or there isn’t really one.
I steeped this one for a conservative 2 minutes, considering that it was a white. The predominant flavour I’m getting is mintiness, which is a bit bleh to me, and then I can almost imagine I taste cucumber after the mint fades a touch. … Ooh! There’s actually a really lovely aftertaste here. Almost caramelly, probably a bit of white tea.
So this one’s definitely a bust because of the mint, which I hoped would be a little more subdued in favour of cucumber and/or lime, but I’m pleasantly surprised at the lingering taste this one leaves! So if I gulp a bit down while holding my nose, this is actually not so bad!! Hahaha :D
Thanks for passing some of this along, Amanda! My only regret is that I didn’t read the ingredient list fully before requesting it… sigh! Mint and I just aren’t best buds.