3134 Tasting Notes
So few reviews! Sad times :(
Anyhow, this is a nice enough tea. I am still pretty stoked about houjicha-based flavoured teas, and this is no exception. Creamy, toasty houjicha base with some melon flavour. Not as melony as some teas (read: Butiki), but I think too much might cause a clash, anyhow.
Verdict? Tasty but not a favourite. I’m loving the smoothness of the tea, but am somewhat over melon flavouring. Recommended for houjicha and/or melon lovers.
I’m very disappointed that this is out of stock. Because…. this tea is AMAZING. I actually was just going to email Anne personally with my rave review instead of posting it, so I could get more, but then I saw it was out of stock – so have switched my efforts to garnering reblend support instead :D
Anyhow – the review. The oolong base is marvellous – creamy and rich, not a hint of astringency, just amazing deliciousness. The grapfruit flavouring is bang on but not astringent, like I’ve often tasted in grapefruit teas (a reason why I don’t seek them out). The crystallized ginger and oolong combine for an amazing brown sugar flavour that isn’t outright sweet, but adds so much depth here, it’s impressive. The ginger is just at that perfect level where you can taste it, but it’s not sour or overpowering. Everything combines for a level of brown sugary grapefruit oolong perfection.
In short, this is probably the best new tea I’ve tasted in a while, and I’m heartbroken that there aren’t any other reviews on here about it, because that means nobody will know how amazing this tea is! And sadly, I only have a taster pouch so I can’t really even spread the love!
Therefore it clearly needs to be reblended. :D
Made the mistake of trying this AFTER the Mayan Chocolate Chai (sweet and spicy… oops!)
Anyhow, I think this is the best savoury flavoured tea I’ve ever tried. Definite tomato and basil (and a hint of pepper!), though none is so overpowering that one would feel they are drinking a cup of soup instead of a cup of tea. The tea base is nice here – it fills in the background enough to again make clear that this is tea, not soup, but I can’t pick out any flavouring notes distinctly.
Upping the rating because although I probably wouldn’t drink this tea often, it’s very well-executed and a novel flavour experience (and I can truly taste the tomato – which I believe I felt was lacking in my sample of the original blend).
This review is for the new 52teas reblend of this tea. I may still have some of the old version left somewhere, but it’s hard to say.
Anyhow – first impression of the dry leaf was not what I was hoping for. It smells spicy/spiced, but not really like chai. It took me a while to figure out that cayenne pepper is probably what it smells like (maybe a touch of smoke too?)
Brewed up – again, the smell is just spice. While this is of course important for this tea, I’m missing the chai elements. I sampled some unaltered, and still am feeling like some of the “chai” spices (cardamom, ginger, etc.) are not as prominent as I would like – but the cayenne is bang on! Spicy and mouth burny but not too much – so that makes me happy!
I added some milk and sugar (that’s what I used to do to the old version) and I think I can taste the chai spices more, along with the cayenne. Still missing the smoke and chocolate aspects though (but I don’t really recall the chocolate being noticeable in the original).
Overall: I liked the original better, because the mix of cayenne/smoke/chai spices was amazing, and I feel like the chai spices are too subtle here, as is the smoke. The cayenne is perfect though, and with milk, I’m pretty happy with the tea, but I think it could use a bit of tweaking to be more like the original (also – the original was a CTC, which maybe gave it a bit of a different flavour profile?) Rating: 75