Definitely need to swap out some finicky work teas (like this one) for some more reliable black blends. This one isn’t bad today, but is so much better with more attention paid to steeping time and temperature. Have missed it though!!
1692 Tasting Notes
First tea I’ve had at work in a long time! And I brewed it perfectly. Heavenly!
Bubble burst… back to regularly scheduled programming…
Anyhow, I cold-brewed this one a few days ago in my massive tea cold-brewing fest. I’m pretty sure this one got the 30 seconds of hot water followed by cold water treatment (although it was less of a dilution as the volume was smaller, so the water was probably still warm going into the fridge).
The resulting flavour is a light, fruity chai with a lovely creaminess. It’s actually really delicious, to be honest. I’m not sure I would have thought to ice a chai, but it works very well, especially because the white tea is providing absolutely no astringency. I wasn’t fond of this one hot, but brewed a little stronger and iced, it is quite fabulous! Looks like this will be another that I’ll be icing all summer until it’s gone!
Thanks to Angel & Teavivre for my wonderful second batch of samples, which generously included this one which I requested specifically since everyone here has been raving about it!
Like the Fengqing Black Dragon Pearls, this tea smelled quite deliciously chocolatey when I opened up the package. It may have leaned a touch moreso towards malty/yeasty, but there was definitely chocolate there. I probably used about 2 tsp for 8 or 10 oz. water.
The result is pretty tasty, very little astringency, a rich, malty, hay-y flavour with chocolatey flavours emerging more slowly. I stupidly finished the other cup of tea before even trying this one (clearly not in the right state of mind for tasting tea right now. Not at all.) but I think I preferred the pearls :)
ETA: Very interesting second infusion, especially after just drinking that of the Fengqing Dragon Pearls! I can’t really taste much of anything chocolatey, but there’s a surprising sweetness! No astringency even though I think it was steeped a good deal longer than the pearls. I think this is a black tea I could actually drink regularly with no additions (along with the pearls, the Laoshan Black…. I see a trend here!)
Oh man. I can’t even write a proper tasting note right now because I totally just asked out a guy that I met yesterday, and am pretty much freaking out about it… (Mostly that he won’t respond… but also that he will…. gah!!) This is new territory for me…
So, uh, anyhow…. I really think I should have stuck to a rooibos/herbal tonight since I’m already really wound up, but I had brought this tea and my sample of Bailin Gong Fu Black downstairs on Friday night to try, but didn’t get around to it, and really wanted to experience the chocolatiness that everyone else has been! Thank you to Teavivre for the opportunity to taste and review this tea!
I used 5 pearls in my infuser, and the temperature probably wasn’t as close to boiling as it should have been, but oh well. The aroma when I cut open the packet was incredibly chocolatey and delicious – kind of crazy (hey, matches my mood!)
The tea tastes malty and chocolatey, perhaps a little less chocolatey than expected, but still quite good. I’m getting almost a yeasty-ish, bready note that I don’t remember finding quite as strong in Verdant’s chocolatey blacks, but it’s not bothersome. The tea is a little weak though, in my opinion, and I’m not sure if that’s because I should have steeped it longer (I went with three minutes), used more pearls, or because I added a bit of cold water after it was done steeping to cool it down a bit so I could drink it sooner (I should say here that I steeped it in less than 8 oz. water to begin with by accident, and the addition wouldn’t have put it over that). I’d be very curious to compare it directly to the Laoshan Black, but I only have a cup’s worth of that one left and don’t want to waste it on a night of comparisons.
… (I so don’t even know what to do with myself right now!)
ETA: This tea held up to a second infusion quite well! Still chocolatey and pleasing. I’m not sure how long I steeped it, but it could have been slightly too long, as there’s a bit of astringency. Still good though.
ETA again: Third infusion, a couple(?) days later, still has enough flavour to be enjoyable, although I do admit I steeped it in a smaller volume of water. I can’t recall now if I went for 3 or 4 minutes, but there’s no astringency this time, just maltiness with flourishes of cocoa every now and again. Really quite pleasant. This tea has definitely made the short-list for teas to buy when my stash is a bit smaller! (And I haven’t checked the price, but I think it is affordable?)
In spite of the fact that I have drank this delicious matcha at least four times, I have yet to write a proper review for it, so now’s the time!
When I first received this matcha, for some strange reason when I smelled it, all I could think of was strawberry. I don’t know what exactly triggered that, but today when I opened the packet it definitely smelled like vanilla to me, although not quite the vanilla I had expected when ordering the matcha (I had expected more of a strong vanilla extract aroma/flavour, and this isn’t quite like that, although it is clearly vanilla-y). Brewed up, that same vanilla aroma is there, and it translates wonderfully to the flavour, combining beautifully with the vegetal matcha flavour. Although I like this matcha flavoured as is, Red Leaf Tea also offers different strengths of flavouring, and I’m curious to try this one a little bit stronger to see if it can make it any better (is that possible?!)
My favourite way to drink this (and any) matcha is as a cold (not iced) almond milk latte, made by dissolving (or technically, resuspending) the matcha in a bit of hot regular milk, mixing in the matcha, and then topping up the glass with almond milk from the fridge. Hence, a cold but not an iced drink, which is usually what I’m craving, as I have sensitive teeth :D Due to the vanilla flavour, unlike with other straight matchas I’ve tried, I don’t find that it’s necessary to add a ton of additional sweetener since I’m using a slightly sweet version of almond milk (TrueAlmond Original), and that adds enough sweetness. For a treat though, a few squirts of agave nectar make this absolutely decadent.
Another plus of this matcha is that the flavouring helps to mask some of the natural bitterness present in matcha, which is probably another reason I can drink it with less sweetener. That’s not to say there isn’t bitterness here (I tasted a bit of the dry matcha for curiousity… not a good idea!) but it isn’t as prominent as I’ve tasted in the past.
Given the health benefits of matcha, I’m super excited to try more of Red Leaf Tea’s flavoured matchas as I start to drink more cold lattes to beat the summer heat! Anyone curious to try this matcha can purchase it here http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/madagascar-vanilla-matcha.html (and I would highly recommend doing so!)
Because Amanda tried this iced…. I decided I would too!
I steeped 1 tbsp and a bit of this one in ~200F water for 30s before mixing it up with the rest of two cups of cold water.
When I was straining it earlier, I caught a good whiff of grape, but I’m not getting that from the cup anymore. Strange.
The flavour is actually a surprisingly pleasant raisiny-concord grapey flavour. Yum! It’s like summery grape juice without all the sweet. It’s still a pretty big stretch to call this a wine tea, in my opinion, but I kind of like it this way! I think I would perhaps use a bit more tea next time just to make it a touch stronger, but it’s ok as is. To be honest… this actually tastes much more like a black currant tea than the Black Currant Bai Mu Dan I just drank. And whether or not they’re present here, I’m not getting a sense of strong artificial flavouring that turns me off.
I still intend to give this tea another shot hot, but I’d be happy drinking it this way all summer. Rating bump.
In spite of sitting here freezing, I continue to try new iced teas from my fridge. Consequence of steeping seven at a time :D This one was 1.5 tsp of leaf in one cup of cold water for 24 or 48 hours.
This one still smells off to me. Now, I don’t know whether I just don’t like black currants or something, but the fruit smell here is just very artificial for me. Artificial and perfumey. For some weird reason, I’m thinking play dough?!
The taste is fairly similar to the aroma, so I’m still not a big fan. I think I could drink this more easily as an iced than hot tea, but I don’t much care for it either way. I am finally getting a bit of what reads to me as ‘real’ berry flavour in the aftertaste, but there’s too much artificial for me to enjoy it. If anyone wants a swap sample of this, let me know…
So I’m pretty sure this one’s actually KSM and not Strawberry Lemonade…. :D
Same cold-brewing method, 1 tbsp leaf in 2 cups water, left in the fridge for 24 or 48 hours.
The aroma here is a bit candy-ish, without the tartness of Strawberry Lemonade. I remember that as not being my favourite thing about this tea, but we’ll see how it works iced.
Ok… this is much better iced than cold. I’m really not sure I’d call it ‘Kiwi Strawberry Margarita’, something like ‘Fruity Candy Deliciousness’ would suit just as well. I almost feel like it could use a touch more flavour, so perhaps I’d use a little more leaf next time. I think I’ll be using up the rest of this one in cold brews, which is great. I’m glad I’m finding a few teas that work really well cold-brewed, without weird off-flavours, as I was finding an abundance of previously! Bumping the rating as an iced tea.
Oh – after a few sips, I think I’m getting kiwi in the aftertaste. Yum :)
(Side note: My house is not warm enough for me to be drinking this much iced tea! I’m getting chills! I should really save these guys for tomorrow, when I’m heading out to the beach for some tubing in a water-filled gorge! Woooooo!)
Ok, so I brewed up both this and Strawberry Kiwi Margarita Bai Mu Dan in the fridge yesterday… in identical cups. I cleverly positioned my tea packets on the counter based on fridge location…. and then my roommate decided to “clean”, and shoved the packets into a straight line. NOOOOOOOOO. These both looked identical! I was worried I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart, but I think I have it straight…
Anyhow, this was a straight cold-brew of 1 tbsp of tea in 2 cups water, in the fridge for… I don’t remember! Either 24 or 48 hours. (What’s happening to my brain?!)
The smell is tart and fruity… exactly what I was hoping for/expecting! And the flavour is pretty darn good. It tastes like an unsweetened strawberry lemonade. Screw having this one hot – it’s ALL going to be iced! Although I do see I rated it high as a hot tea too. Maybe I’ll have to pick up another pouch… but I read that there are only 2 left? GAHHHHHH!!!! Dilemma.
Anyhow, Frank, gotta say this one’s a huge iced tea winner for me. This is fabulous. I’d choose this over a sweetened iced tea any day (yes, I’m drinking this without sugar and it’s amazing.) It’s just a perfect blend of lemony and fruit, with a lovely lingering aftertaste. I can’t really taste the white tea a great deal, but I think I’m catching it a bit in the aftertaste. Yum.
Ok…. the sample I have of this is clearly too old to fairly be rating, but I’ll write a tasting note anyhow. My guess as to its age is perhaps 3+ years, and although it was in an sealed, unopened packet, green teas do not have that sort of longevity. Shame on me.
Anyways, it’s worth a shot! I used 2 tsp of leaf to coax at least some flavour out (since I have a sample bag that’s maybe about 6-8 tsp worth, I can try again if that’s too little/too much). The leaf looks like that of a dragonwell, but unlike the picture here, it simply looks old and tired. Somewhat like the Rishi leaf from yesterday, although that turned out to be just fine.
Although the instructions indicated a 25-30s infusion, I gave it a whole minute because I really didn’t think that would be long enough.
The resulting brew is light in colour (darkening a bit as it sits), and the aroma is really strange. I want to call is a brothy sort of umami (I learned about umami in my cheese tasting panel, which sadly ended today, but it was a fun experience!). I haven’t really had teas with this sort of brothy aroma… it’s kind of throwing me. There is a hint of “tea” in there though, but I have to wonder if there wasn’t some contamination going on. Which brings me to a story of a different packet of tea I had that I brewed up, and it tasted like smoked salmon! My cousin informed me that it was probably stored to close to… my smoked salmon… (legit, my aunt sent smoked salmon with the tea), but I really wasn’t sure. Fast forward to now, and I think I may have been unwittingly tasting a pu’erh or lapsang souchong :D The things you learn! I still have the packet, but can’t read the writing on it quite, but you can be sure I’ll be sampling it again, although it’s another 1.5 years older now, hahahaha.
Ummm, but I digress. I’m sorry, apparently I’m “chatty” today, which is probably a procrastination technique to get out of inputting the sheets of data sitting accusingly next to me (I was supposed to do it yesterday). (See, here I go again! Shut up, girl!)
So the tea! The strangely umami/broth-y scented tea! Actually tastes better than I would have expected, given its age. I can believe that in its day, it was a fine tasting dragonwell. It actually does taste like one, just not with any particular strength. There’s a hint of the characteristic rock sugar flavour, and the crisp-cooked veggie flavour, but they aren’t terribly strong. Yet that said, it does taste like green tea, and it is enjoyable! In fact, in a pinch I could probably drink it to satisfy a craving for Verdant’s dragonwell, although I wouldn’t be nearly as satisfied.
I expect one of the places I’ll really notice a difference is in re-steeping; while I can get 3 good infusions from Verdant’s leaves, the Rishi version from yesterday gave me one for sure and a potentially good second infusion (I probably just let it sit too long), and I’m not sure these leaves have anything left in them now, although I will give it a shot for curiousity’s sake.
Anyhow, I’m glad this one wasn’t a complete failure. I decided last night that I really need to get going on my oldest tea samples, so this was a start on that :)
ETA: Er… whoops. The re-steep got 13 minutes, and tastes seaweedy and astringent. Ah well!
Starting into the spoils of my recent swap with Mercuryhime! My package was filled with oolongs (ok, there was other stuff, but I guess the oolongs really caught my eye), so I’m going to start off with two of them! Perfect evening tea.
The dry tea has a delicious milky scent to it, not as strong as DavidsTea’s milk oolong, but very much along the same lines, so I’m excited for what I’m expecting to be a milky oolong! The flavour is maintained during/after steeping as well.
I don’t know if it’s because I just ate a bunch of salad and have some lingering flavours (bitterness?) in my mouth or something, but I’m getting quite a bit of rock sugary sweetness from the tea. Very much reminiscent of the dragonwell I just had. The aroma is more along the lines of an oolong though, and the taste is a bit…. richer, almost. This isn’t quite what I was expecting, to be honest, but I do still like it! The more I drink, the more I’m getting the classic oolong aftertaste that I love, so I clearly didn’t accidently switch my cups around (sometimes I really start to wonder!) I’m also starting to get just a hint of a floral taste.
This tea is definitely one I would drink again if offered, but I’ve sampled other green oolongs that I prefer, so wouldn’t bother picking this one out specifically.
Thanks for passing some of this one along, Mercuryhime! :D
ETA: Second infusion the next day, 94C/4min, is definitely oolongy and yum. It may actually be a touch oversteeped, but I can live with that. I’ll try for an additional infusion later this evening. Apologies about continually bumping my note to the top of everyone’s dashboard feed… :(
ETA again: Apparently I don’t learn. Accidently left the third infusion for 6 minutes. Definitely oversteeped. Bleh.
… if this isn’t an oolong, and a milk oolong at that, I’d be shocked. But, what it is or isn’t is really not important… the important part is the flavour!!
This one’s another one from Mercuryhime, so thanks again for gifting me with all these oolongs! I looked and it was technically only five oolong samples, but… mmmmm :D :D
The aroma here is classic milk oolong, to me. And the flavour is spot on for being a milk oolong. Not as intense as DavidsTea’s version, but definitely the same sort of flavour. Oh man…. this is fabulous. I wonder what the pricing on this one is… if they think it’s a green, perhaps it’s cheaper than a milk oolong…. Anyhow, the delicious milkiness melds wonderfully with a bit of rock sugary sweetness and a fabulous oolong flavour.
Mercuryhime – your swap package couldn’t have arrived at a better time, as I’m pretty sure I finished the last of my Quangzhou Milk Oolong from DavidsTea off with the cup of it I had a week or so ago. How nice is it not to have to go purchase something to satisfy a craving! And it looks like I have enough left for at least two more cups, if not a third if I’m stingy :D I do prefer a stronger milky flavour, but I’d pick this one up again to satisfy a milk oolong craving. Yum.
ETA: Oh man, this is heavenly. HEAVENLY. Second infusion (next day), 94C/4min is absolutely wonderful. Not only is it creamy milk oolong goodness, I am getting a sort of caramelly flavour as well. Seriously…. I am going to have to acquire some of this. Maybe there will be a Steepster out there who makes a mass order of this one and spreads it around. I didn’t look closely at their shipping policy/costs, but ordering one tea to ship to Canada is not likely worthwhile in the slightest.
ETA again: Third infusion, same parameters, same yum, although maybe a bit weaker. Reminiscent of sweetened condensed milk, without the sweet.
Third sample from LiberTEAS… at which point I will now be switching to my new samples from Mercuryhime! Canada Post has been giving me lots of love these past couple months… it’s great! And luckily the rain stopped long enough for me to go out and retrieve the soggy newspaper and the non-soggy box of tea, otherwise I wouldn’t have had it until tomorrow! The horror!
Anyhow, this is the tea of today’s three that I’m least excited about. Straight blacks still aren’t really my thing, other than a couple amazing ones from Verdant, so I’m a little apprehensive.
The aroma is… fruitily pungent? I don’t know how one would describe the flavour of a fairly standard black tea, which is how this smells to me. (Really, I should try a bunch of straight teas so I can associate flavours with say, yunnan, fujian, assam like Angrboda and other people do, but I have yet to bother with something like that).
The flavour follows, although is actually better than I had expected. There’s that round sort of fruitiness and only the slightest bit of astringency (which I’m finding is expected in black teas to some degree, so I’ll deal with it as long as it’s bearable). Really not bad at all. Not something I would choose to drink as I need more interesting flavours to drink a black tea straight, but I suspect those who like black tea would quite enjoy this, with breakfast or otherwise. I imagine it takes milk and sugar well too, although I don’t feel the need to try that.
Thanks for the sample of this one, LiberTEAS!
Ok! Another sample from LiberTEAS! I’m doing this review “blind”, meaning that I have no idea what the flavouring is supposed to be here, if the tea is flavoured beyond the smattering of sprinkles that are obvious. I think it’s kind of fun to try and figure things out before looking at what it’s actually supposed to be.
The aroma of this tea reminds me a great deal of DavidsTea’s Birthday Cake, although that one is a rooibos and this is a black. It’s an almost sickly sweet sort of aroma (which I find appealing, haha), and I can just barely catch a hint of the black base. I don’t know whether it’s the sprinkles that give the tea the sweet aroma, or flavouring.
Even at only three minutes of steeping (ok, 3:07, but who’s counting!), I’m getting a bitter flavour at the end of the sip. I can taste some sweetness, but it’s quite mild, and a bit overshadowed by this strange bitterness. Blech. This tea definitely has nothing on DT’s cake teas. They’re not even in the same league. I might add some milk and sugar here just to make it palatable, but this definitely is one flavoured black I don’t feel the need to have again.
Ok, cheating now and reading some notes… of course I would read that LiberTEAS found it to be verging on bitter with a 2.5 minute infusion! Haha. Maybe next time I try it it will be better. I am definitely getting vanilla-y and possible maple-y notes; as I said, it is reminiscent of Birthday Cake, which has those same flavours, but the change in base tea alters the flavours a bit, which are then further overshadowed by bitterness. Ah well. Not bad, but not a tea I’d choose for myself :)
Inspired by TeaEqualsBliss, I decided it was time to randomly choose some more teas from my box from LiberTeas! So this is the first of three teas… which I’m drinking while sitting through a series of wicked thunderstorms. (While I was on the bus home, there was a simultaneous crack of thunder/flash of lightning so loud that I thought perhaps we had been hit. It wasn’t us, but must have been extremely close. Scary. As I write this, downpour #3 is occurring. #1 had pea-sized hail; hoping that was all we’ll see of that…)
The only dragonwell I really remember having is Verdant’s, and I’m sure I’ve been spoiled by it, so I have to say that by contrast, the leaves of this tea look a little dull and broken. Luckily, as soon as they were in the water, I was getting a delicious fresh green, rock sugary scent that did make me think of the teas from Verdant, so all hope is not lost!
The flavour appears to be much the same as well, although perhaps not quite as strong. I’m pleased about this similarity in flavour, because that means that I Like Dragonwell. And now I want to run upstairs and grab any dragonwell samples I can find and see if they taste similar! I did just get one from Teavivre….
Anyways, to specifically describe the flavour, it is a little bit vegetal, with some rock sugar sweetness poking through. The sort of vegetal here (and in Verdant’s dragonwells) is almost a sort of crisp-cooked veggie, where some of the raw flavour has been cooked away, but it’s still crunchy. Snow peas or asparagus come to mind here, but it’s probably more the former as there isn’t a sulfury flavour or aroma. There’s only the barest hint of astringency here, and I’m only noticing it as I’m finishing the cup, so perhaps it’s because some little leafy pieces snuck through my brewing basket(?)
Mmmm, either way this is a good cup. I prefer Verdant’s version probably because it’s a little greener and sweeter, but this one is likely a good bit cheaper. Doesn’t matter for a while anyhow, because I have quite a bit from various sources to drink up before I even contemplate another purchase!
ETA: Second infusion (I have no idea of the parameters, whoops) was only consumed once cold, so it’s unfair to judge it (it wasn’t great). The leaves seemed pretty aromaless and spent afterward, so that’s as far as I went. I suspect the second infusion, drank in a more timely manner, would have been just fine, so I’d take this tea to two again next time.
So the last 1.5 tsp of this one from Azzrian got the cold-brewing treatment today, since I happened to encounter it while poking around for teas to brew up and wasn’t the biggest fan of it hot. This one got the same treatment as Strawberry Pancake; 30 seconds in 82C water followed by dilution with cold water and being stuck in the fridge for about 7 hours. Half the water, though.
This one’s actually better than I expected! A nice refreshing, fruity green. I’m primarily picking up on mango flavours and maybe a bit of citrus (apparently neither flavour is in this blend… I could be convinced that I’m tasting peach, but have difficulty believing there’s watermelon or kiwi here). One plus is that the flavouring doesn’t taste so artificial as it does in some blends. Similar to Strawberry Pancake, there’s a bit of astringency here, but it’s not quite as bothersome. I wonder if the fact that it got 30s at 180F instead of the recommended 167F influenced that. The green tea here is coming off slightly seaweedy as well, but it’s pretty mild.
Anyhow, not too sad to see this one go, and I think cold-brewing it made it a bit tastier than I remember it being hot.
So today was another disgustingly hot day (although not as hot in Guelph as Toronto, lucky me!), and the brief time I spent outside spurred me to attempt seven…. yes, seven cold-brewing experiments today! Clearly I’m not going to drink them all now (especially since most are in two-cup volumes), but I’m thirsty and felt like getting started.
First up is this one (all but one are 52teas… I was just in that kinda mood, and if I drink them down, I can buy more!! Right?)
Hot-brewed 1 slightly heaped tbsp of this in about 1/2 cup of ~82C water for 30 seconds, then topped up two cups with cold water and stuck it in the fridge for about 7(?) hours. I’m getting the lovely aroma even from the cold brew, so am pretty excited!
Ok, the flavour is not bad, but I don’t think my brewing method was great. I’m picking up on more astringency/bitterness than I’d really like (it’s not horrible, just tastes oversteeped), alongside the delicious strawberry flavour (which is more in the aftertaste, and definitely screams ‘added flavouring’ to me, not that I really care). The green tea is kind of masked by the astringency, but is somewhat seaweedy and nutty. Overall, it’s quite drinkable, but not a “success” in my books. No worries though, because this is one I enjoy hot anyhow! I just opted to cold-brew every 52teas packet I’d purchased that I thought appropriate (e.g. not Malted ChocoMate or Mayan Chocolate Chai), and so this one got it’s turn too. I’ll probably try this one again either with a straight cold brew or by cooling off a hot-brewed cup.
Couldn’t play the guessing game for this one since the name kind of gives it away…. I think this is the last of my six Harney & Sons samples from Alphakitty – thanks!
Anyways, I brewed this one up prior to realize quite how much my cold was affecting me. I could smell a delicious chocolatey flavour in the brewed tea though, so hopefully I can at least taste a bit of it so it’s not a waste!
A further sniffing of my cup is giving me a strong association to Bounty bars! Yum! And by some sort of miracle, I can actually taste this flavour, too! This is fabulous! Seriously…. this is probably the first chocolate coconut tea I’ve had, and this is way better than I could have imagined! It’s like drinking a Bounty bar without the huge overdose of sugar! And I’m so thrilled that for whatever reason, I can actually taste it!!
Off-topic – I just received my second sample pack from Teavivre!!! It is absolutely jammed full! Crossing my fingers to get better soon more than ever (although I might cave and try something anyhow).
Back to the tea… with a four minute infusion, the black base here is not producing any astringency or bitterness, so I’d be tempted to increase the infusion time a touch to see if I can intensify the flavours at all, although this is pretty darn good as is. I’ll have to try a second infusion with the leaves – based on the success I had with the other three H&S flavoured blacks I’ve tried, I’m expecting at least one good additional infusion.
Soooo based on the success I’ve been having with H&S blends, I think my next swap(s) are going to be aimed at trying more of them! Out of the six I’ve tried, all were good, and I would probably purchase four of them… and that’s saying something! Thanks so much for passing along so many, Alphakitty! Next up are the rest of the samples you and everyone else has sent (and the new ones from Teavivre! Woooo!!)
I’ve had this sitting around for ages, so figured the “morning” would be a good time to try it. Still sick though, so this is probably not the best time to be drinking new teas…. oh well. Although my friend/office-mate raves about this tea and tells me that she absolutely loves to mix it with otherwise non-caffeinated herbals, I’ve been wary to try it as citrus flavoured blends and unroasted mates have not been appealing to me lately.
Anyhow! I got a nice refreshing lemony citrus aroma when removing the infuser basket from my mug, which smelled better than I was expecting.
Unfortunately, this cold is obviously influencing my ability to taste things right now. I can kind of taste the lemony flavour if I try, and I can tell that the mate has a flavour, but I can’t quite taste it, although I can perceive that the tea is pretty strong. This clearly isn’t a case of poor flavouring, but a case of stuffy nose. Sigh.
Oh well, a dud of a tasting note. I think I can see how this would work well with herbals though. Interested to try it when I can actually taste properly again!
Read too many notes about chocolatey black teas tonight, so indulged with my second last cup of this. I’m hoping I can hold off on another Verdant order until I’ve finished a few more things…
Anyways, I used the same parameters as last time and it’s a delicious cup. A bit on the weak side because I think I used a bit too much water (or possibly a side effect of my current cold-like illness), but it’s still pretty tasty. Same deal with the second infusion, for 3 min. It looks like I may yet be a black tea convert!
Another winner in the cold-brewing experiments! As with Tokyo, I somewhat followed ScottTeaMan ’s suggestions and brewed 1 heaping tbsp in hot water for 30 seconds (I used 175F water) then poured that into a larger cup filled with cold/cool water, and it ended up brewing in the fridge for probably 36 or so hours.
The result was a creamy, lemongrassy brew with much less green tea flavour than Tokyo. Initially, I definitely preferred it as there was much more flavour, and the creaminess was quite delicious, however something I found interesting was that as the two teas warmed up, Tokyo became more delicious, and Bangkok started tasting a little funky. I’m not sure what it was. Not an off-flavour, more like a warmed-up-tea strangeness. So this is definitely one to finish off while it’s still cold, as I did really enjoy it that way, and Tokyo can be allowed to sit a bit longer if need be.
(It’s funny, I only even managed to discover this because I forced myself not to drink all the tea on the way to my destination and to save some for the way back… it was so good I wanted to drink it all right away!)
So this is another tea to add to the future purchase pile, and another ratings increase here as well.
I almost forgot to log this today!! Whoops.
So I have to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has been talking about icing/cold-steeping Tokyo and Bangkok, because I tried both today and they were absolutely wonderful, probably the best cold-steeped teas I’ve had yet!
I somewhat followed ScottTeaMan ’s suggestions and brewed 1 heaping tbsp in hot water for 30 seconds (I used 175F water) then poured that into a larger cup filled with cold/cool water, and it ended up brewing in the fridge for probably 36 or so hours.
The resulting brew was so delicious. Initially, the primary flavour I was getting was a seaweedy green tea, which I liked well enough, especially as it was followed by a lovely caramelly aftertaste. As the tea started to warm up a bit (I brought it on my 3 hour drive to get the Absolute Last Batch of Asparagus today), the sesame appeared and the caramel flavour intensified a bit. Truly, it was lovely, and there were no off-flavours.
I may need to acquire some more of this in the near future. I definitely need to raise the rating; this was so much better cold-brewed than it was hot, although it wasn’t bad hot either. Yay for a cold-brewing success!
The smell reminds me of pu’erh, not that I’m terribly experienced with them however! I think it’s mostly an earthiness that I’m getting, along with a bit of fruitiness.
The flavour unfortunately just isn’t doing it for me. All I’m getting is an earthy sort of taste with a touch of sweetness and maybe a suggestion of fruit, which I’m not finding terribly appealing. Ok… a few more sips in and the sweet fruity flavour has intensified a bit and I’m finding it more pleasant, and less earthy. I should temper all this with the fact that I do have a cold and although I can still taste things, it’s entirely possibly that things are a little wonky.
Anyways, I think I have one more guayasa in my stash to try (also from Butiki), but it may just be that guayasa is not for me. Perhaps a bit mixed into a different herbal tea would work better for me if this actually gives me a caffeine kick (kiiind of hoping not, since it’s 10:30pm), but I’ll try that later. I think I might prefer the flavouring in this one to the only other guayasa I’ve tried, DavidsTea’s Jungle Ju Ju, but neither is something I’m likely ever to crave.
ETA: I removed my rating from this, because it’s probably not fair to judge this tea since I appear to not be fond of guayasa itself. Personally, I’d give it a rating of 63, but for people who do enjoy guayasa I imagine that this is a fabulously flavoured version of it more deserving of a rating in the 80s.