Bleh. So one of the lids of my travel mugs does not smell good, and unfortunately, this tea was affected by it. I swapped lids with a different mug (that had been emptied) to try and curb the problem, but the damage was already done… what should have been a nice, malty black tea tastes like something crawled into it and died (ok, I’m exaggerating, it’s not that bad, there’s just a bit of an off-flavour… just enough to make me want to dump this out. I need to pick up denture tablets ASAP!)
1657 Tasting Notes
Yum – I actually quite enjoy this tea! I’ll have to try it via regular cup method, but it was a treat to tote around in one of my mugs. Unfortunately it seems I didn’t get around to drinking much of it prior – only three mugs made it over to where I was watching The Final Four (or sleeping, more accurately), and this wasn’t one of them. It’s still good though! So I’m drinking it now.
(Btw, sad times, my boyfriend needed Louisiana to lose to come in tied for third in his pool, or for Syracuse to win for him to win overall… clearly neither happened. Sigh!)
Tasted rather floral when I had this on the weekend, and until I realized what it was, I was kind of confused. Delicious once I put things together though (sometimes I can’t remember which teas I’ve brewed up in my five mugs, or even if I can, sometimes I can’t tell which tea is in which mug. Thought this was Lupicia’s ‘Fantasy’ for about half an hour.) Anyways, drank most of this en route to a Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday. Bad decision (drinking the tea, I mean), as we then ended up sitting for 45 minutes or so in traffic, inching along slowly while my tummy was filled with tea… haha.
More travel mug deliciousness. This tea is definitely best drank fairly quickly after infusion, as most vegetal greens seem to be, but I still quite enjoyed it about 12 hours later. The flavour had changed a little (not that I recall how it changed), but it was quite tasty!
Super quick notes. Another double sipdown here; used up my sample from CHAroma plus the last of my first bag. So, 789, woooo.
Delicious in the travel mug, although after sitting for less than a day, it developed a bit of a soapy flavour. Quite strange. Not objectionable enough to dump, though. Still lovelovelove the old version of this blend…
Finally got through the last of what had been cold-brewing in the fridge for a few days. Yum. Definitely would consider picking this up again for cold brews, although I think I may use so much tea for my cold-brewing to make it rather expensive. Oh well!
I am on a SIPDOWN ROLL this morning, people! And it’s barely 9am, though I’ve been up since 5am (so weird…) So… 793!
Anyways! Thanks to Indigobloom for a sample of this matcha. I’m pretty sure it’s robust flavouring, regular grade.
So when I opened up my little plastic container of this, I got a really odd smell. Yes, it was a bit like espresso… but to be honest, it smelled rather savoury, and quite odd. Like, stewed tomatoes + espresso? I don’t even know. Had I not been planning to mix this up with other matches in a massive chocolate almond milk latte, I might have tossed it, but I didn’t, in the hopes that the weird flavours might be masked. I did try a sip of it just straight (it was terrible, but it was also VERY STRONG), and then another mixed with some chocolate almond milk, which was also a bit ick. So in conclusion, I don’t think I’d ever pick this up for myself.
But yes. As I said, this matcha did not get to be by itself in my latte. Nope, it got the last of my Madagascar Vanilla matcha (that’s right, this is a DOUBLE SIPDOWN! 792!!!!), as well as a generous amount of caramel matcha. I got a bit overzealous with those two, and so I think this might be the most potent matcha latte EVER… yeah, it might have close to 2 tbsp in about 2 cups of liquid. Haha whoops.
Anyways, with all the other flavours mixed in, it tastes much more like caramel espresso than weirdness, so I will happily enjoy this throughout the day (yeah, if I drank it all now I think there’s a good probability of caffeine overdose).
Sipdown! 795! Thanks to Indigobloom for this one :)
The cherry aroma/flavour of this tea remind me a lot of Cherry Blossom by DavidsTea, minus the floral. Which means I actually kind of like it, because I do like that sort of cherry flavour. Unlike the other reviewers, I’m neither getting Monk’s Blend nor cough syrup from this at all, which is great. Instead, I’m getting more of a tartish yet slightly sweet cherry flavour. The base tea is smooth and unobtrusive, which makes it quite good. I’m still not entirely certain that I’d want to drink too much of this (flavoured black pickiness), but it’s a fairly tasty treat this afternoon!
(Just checked the tea description… fig?! Not tasting that at all here…)
Yum. Managed to sweeten this one perfectly today so it’s just sweet enough to be noticeable, but doesn’t overpower anything, so I can taste the delicious fruitiness alongside the smoke. I do so love lapsang blends with milk and sweetener – otherwise I can find them a tad harsh. I think I prefer other smoky blends to this one, but it’s still quite good (and better/more interesting than drinking a straight lapsang with milk/sweetener).
Finally getting to one of my samples from CHAroma! Sorry for taking so long! (It will continue to be this way, haha.)
This is an individually-wrapped teabag, and when I opened the package, I got a wonderful aroma of crispy green apples. It reminded me a lot of Ume Vert, which is strange… I would have thought that they’d be two totally different things. The big difference though? This one actually tastes like green apple!! In fact, this is the best green apple tea that I’ve ever encountered! It could stand to be a little more tart, IMO, but… this is good. The base tea is also pretty good – very smooth and not too… “sencha-y” or generic-gross-flavoured-green-base-tasting. I also think that a bit of sweetener would really make this one tasty, as apple are meant to have some sweetness, and there isn’t any here at all. The one negative here is that I’m getting just the slightest hint of play-dough aroma/flavour just at the beginning of the sip, but that’s something I’ve begun to associate with tea age, so that may be all it is.
This is one tea that I may look at picking up at some point, because this was quite enjoyable! Thanks so much for sharing this with me, CHAroma :)
I will miss this tea! Again today, I’m wanting to sweeten it (I guess I’m just craving sweet today). Sooooo tasty.
I’ve heard about this tea so many times on Steepster that I have been dying to try a sample for a while, and whatshesaid indulged me :)
Unfortunately, however, consumed in the presence of other caramelly teas, I’m finding this one to be lacking and almost flavourless. I also may have understeeped, so it’s a good thing that I was given enough to make a second cup! I’ll give it another shot sometime in the future, and write a better tasting note then!
Thanks for the sample, whatshesaid!
Bleh, this one smelled/tastes a little bit soapy. I think we can blame coconut age here, as is irritatingly typical. The soapiness did go away a bit as the tea cooled, but I think this tea may be a bit of a write-off. Sigh. I shall try it again another day though!
Thanks momo for sending me some of this :D And sorry for the short tasting note… gotta run!
So, thanks to Sil I get to give this another shot. The first time I tried it, it was pretty much a bitter mess. This time I can definitely smell blueberry, which is promising – I don’t recall smelling it much at all last time.
Unfortunately, this time, it’s bitter/astringent too. I was all good and followed the instructions to the letter; 1/2 tsp of tea, 8 oz. water, 160F. Ok, I lied a bit – it said to steep for 5 min and I only let it go for 4. But yeah… still not working for me. I think there’s enough left for one more cup, so I might try a 2-minute infusion with that one.
Anyways, I didn’t want to dump the cup, because there was definitely some tasty blueberry flavour lurking in there, so I dumped in some honey (yeah, I seem to be sweetening things a lot today! But that dilute honey I’m using makes it very easy to avoid oversweetening, which is convenient). The honey takes the astringent edge off a bit and makes this much more drinkable, which is nice because the blueberry flavour is pretty tasty. Clearly still going to have to work on figuring this tea out though… not that I think I’d ever order it myself, sadly, because it’s too finicky for me!
Fiiiiinaally I am drinking tea at an appropriate time to sample this one (aka not late at night). Like all those other caffeinated teas are any better. Riiight.
Anyways! Dry, this one smells really deliciously like honeydew melon, which is about the only thing that led me to pick this one up, since I don’t really seem to be a fan of mate or guayusa. Steeped, it smells similar, and… omg… it actually truly tastes like honeydew!!! I am impressed. There’s a bit of an… earthy flavour in here as well, which is probably the mate, but it all works quite well. The tea is sweet enough not to require additions either, which is pretty awesome. Again with the grumpy stomach bit, so this isn’t as satisfying as it could be, but I’m pretty pleased. I bet this would be tasty iced like Cantaloupe & Cream (that is, cold-brewed, warmed a bit, and sweetened slightly).
ETA: Tasty re-steep in half the water, left for eons (idk, 10 mins?)
Yummmmmmm. I still like this one, yes yes I do. Burnt caramel deliciousness. My stomach’s grumping a bit right now about how all it’s getting is flavoured water when it really wants something with substance, so that’s affecting my enjoyment of this tea, but I do so love the flavour. Thanks to Sil’s pregnant friend for letting me have some more of this :D
Thanks to Sil for a sample of this one, and not making me share in a purchase :P Also, sipdown! 796 :D
Dominant opinion of this one? SQUASH! Yes, it reminds me a fair bit of the Kagoshima Black I had from Tealux recently. Which… is not necessarily bad, but it means I am not the biggest fan of this tea, which I completely expected. It’s a little astringent, but I think I did overleaf a touch. Probably not a tea I’d have again by choice. I think I may milk & honey this one up in a couple minutes, because I would feel bad dumping it (and I’m curious as to whether it retains the squash flavour when extras are added).
I’ll refrain from rating this one as I’m not a fan of this type of straight black, and I don’t feel that my low rating (around 33) would be indicative of anything other than the fact that I don’t care for this type of tea.
ETA: Ahaha, so I thoroughly doctored this one up with milk/honey/brown sugar, and it totally tastes like sweetened squash. Or like, sweet potato with brown sugar.
Tried cold-brewing this one a day or two ago, and am drinking it now. While the cold-brew was certainly successful (as in, the resulting brew tastes like Cantaloupe & Cream), I don’t like it like this. I particularly disliked it unsweetened, which is interesting, because I don’t think I’ve ever sweetened this tea when I’ve had it hot. Anyways, that led to me pouring in a minimal amount of diluted honey (I had this bright idea back when I was a bit sicker to pour hot water into my crusty jar of honey to get the last of it out, so now everything I sweeten will get diluted honey until it’s gone, haha) and… I still didn’t like it, at least not when it was ice cold. I’ve let it warm up a bit (I don’t know what temperature it is, certainly still cold, but not quite fridge cold) and it is now much better. I’m still not entirely sure that I’d repeat this experiment, but the way it is now, I’m rather enjoying it, so the answer is probably “yes”. I think I used… ~ 3tsp for 8 oz? So double strength? Even if it costs more, I’d rather have a flavourful drink that a diluted one. Just my opinion. I’m not overly frugal in that regard.
Sipdown! 797. Thanks to Nina’s Paris for a sample of this tea!
The aroma is absolutely delicious. Juicy red fruits/berries; I can’t quite pick everything out, but there’s tartness and fruity deliciousness in abundance. Flavourwise, however? Ooooh, a bit bitter. I only gave it 2.5 minutes, but should have only given it 2, I think. The fruity flavours are still there, but muted a bit by the strength of the base. My bad – I should have learned by now that French teas seem to require a light touch in terms of steeping time, especially since I’m not a black tea person to begin with.
Ooh. I’ve been sitting here about 30 seconds post-sip, and I’m getting a glorious raspberry flavour lingering. Yum!! And on the sip, if I concentrate on ignoring the black tea, I’m tasting red apple?! and raspberry. I actually rather like the flavouring in this tea, to be honest… perhaps I should go doctor up this cup with a bit of milk and sweetener (or maybe just sweetener) and see if that helps at all. I actually am wondering whether I perhaps used too little water for my cup, instead of oversteeping, as it’s occurring to me that the base isn’t really all that astringent/bitter, just strong. Hrrrrrrm.
Welp. Anyways, I’ll update if/when I do anything to this tea. I’m up super early this morning because I was totally wiped out yesterday (still experiencing pain/muscle spasms from tetanus shot, and MMR injection site is red and swollen) and crashed absurdly early, yeah, we’re talking like 6pm… and therefore I woke up at 4:30am. Long day ahead! I’m still convinced that it’s Saturday already… rambles
ETA: Mixed in some diluted honey to sweeten this, and… meh. Didn’t improve it as I had hoped. I’d be willing to give this one another shot in the future though, because I did enjoy the fruit flavouring! Didn’t try re-steeping this one (I didn’t recall deciding 100% not to, but I’m down to two infusers sitting with used tea leaves in them, and one is Laoshan Bilochun Green, and I’m not entirely certain what the other is…)
Thanks to Sil for saving the last little bit of this one to try (originally from Lala!). Also, sipdown! 798.
So this tea? Super, super potent! It smells like a tropical candy, and I can’t quite figure out which fruits are comprising this tropical aroma. I see guava listed, but it’s really not guava for me. Passionfruit, perhaps?
Anyhow, I opted to steep this as a green (though I don’t recall how long I infused for… I intended 2 min, but I think it may have gotten 2.5). The flavour is just as tropical-flavoured as the aroma, which is certainly nice (and not usually what happens with such delicious-smelling teas). I can’t taste the green tea at all. However, even though this tea is definitely quite tropical, I’m not quite sure I like it. There’s a bit of an odd, almost smoky flavour in the background (black tea?) and I feel like it could really use some sugar in order to taste “right”, as in, all these tropical flavours without any real sweetness to speak of is throwing me off.
Overall, certainly an interesting tea, but I’m glad all I had was enough for a cup, because my curiousity has been thoroughly satisfied. Thanks Lala and Sil!
ETA: Second infusion (in my totally awesome forest bubble cups from DT that I bought a few weeks ago to match my teapot!) was quite similar and still quite fruity. That smoky flavour was still there making things a bit odd for me so yeah, I’m happy to have just had a single cup of this!
Another sample from whatshesaid :D Thanks!
So I can definitely see what everyone means about the wet-looking leaf… that is really odd. It’s weird to scoop it up too, because it’s kind of stickyish, almost. Anyhow, this blend smells pretty good, definitely malty and tasty. The aroma from the brewed cup is very much like malted chocolate balls, which I am SO SAD I haven’t had any of in ages, because I failed to purchase myself any malt eggs. Boy do I love malt eggs.
Anyways. While the smell is pretty good, the flavour definitely leaves something to be desired. Yes, I taste maltiness, but I expected more chocolate, especially since a) I saw chocolate chips in there, and b) Della Terra is usually reasonably good about making blends taste chocolatey, even if it’s a bit fake-chocolatey sometimes. There also isn’t any sweetness to this blend, really, which makes me sad, especially after having my cup of Blueberry Crumble! I think I will try my second cup of this with some sweetener, as I feel like that may make a world of difference here, but I’m certainly not unhappy that I didn’t purchase this blend, because I don’t like to have blends around that don’t taste great without sugar!
ETA: Added diluted honey to the last of my cup to sweeten it, and it was much preferable that way. Tasted much more like malt balls. I did successfully re-steep this one, but don’t entirely remember how it was. Decent enough that I drank and didn’t dump it! Didn’t sweeten it, either.
Another thanks to whatshesaid for a tasty Della Terra sample. Of course, I forgot that I requested this one, so there’s a Try Me size’s worth on order for me currently, but I somehow don’t think I’ll have a problem with that… because this is good!! It reminds me a lot of Pineapple Upside Down Cake in the intense caramelly flavouring (which works perfectly as the brown sugar in crisp topping), but I’m definitely tasting blueberry in here as well, and it’s soooooo good. Not quite as good as DavidsTea’s Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble, but pretty good. Again I’m having trouble tasting it fully due to a blocked nose, but I can tell that it’s really delicious. I meant to steep this for only 2 minutes, but it accidentally got closer to 4, whoops, although that doesn’t seem to have had any negative impact whatsoever.
You know, this kind of tastes like a blend of Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Double Berry Burst, which is totally ok because I like both! Thanks again, whatshesaid!
ETA: This re-steeps well a second time, as I expected. Really tasty. Leaves still had a bit of aroma after that, but I have plenty of other teas to drink, so I didn’t go for a third.
Sipdown! 799. Again because the rest goes to Sil. Muahahahahahahaha. Two can play this game!
I think I’m a bigger fan of the Joy’s Teaspoon version of this (Creamsicle), as it’s definitely creamier and has a better (fakey) orange flavour (which is what I want in a creamsicle tea!). Orange Blossom is definitely more on the realistic side of orange, and when I smelled it earlier, prior to my nose being all blocked up again, it was definitely more strongly/sharply orange, and there was really no cream to speak of. For some reason though, something bugs me about both of these blends (as in, I find them difficult to drink), and I don’t know whether it’s the base, or something about the flavouring. Strange. Ah well, probably won’t ever see this one again!
I know I don’t have too much of this one, and figured I should try to get to it before it’s been sitting around too long, hence a cup today! I went looking for brewing instructions this time, but strangely, the page on the Verdant website didn’t list any. So I just went with somewhat default green parameters, although I unfortunately oversteeped (which is annoying, because I know that vegetal greens are really much tastier with about 1-minute infusions, not closer to 3, even if it doesn’t ruin them). So yeah, this one got about 3 minutes. Oops. It’s not bad, but I’m finding it a bit watery right now (probably a “me” thing, not a tea thing) so it’s less enjoyable than it was the first time. I’m also missing the beany/rock sugary deliciousness that gets hidden with a too-long infusion. Sigh.