2088 Tasting Notes
Split a package of this one with Sil, as I had previously had a sample from momo which I absolutely loved (I still have the other half of the sample left; I saved it so I could try it side by side with this batch, since I’ve seen mixed reviews).
Anyhow, unfortunately this tea also had an “off” aroma to it. And no, it’s not my nose or anything, as I can taste smell/everything just fine. It’s just the tea :( Unlike the genmaicha blends, however, it’s more of an alcoholic chocolate aroma, and though somewhat undesirable, considerably less unpleasant than the chloriney aroma I was getting from those blends.
Flavour-wise, this tea is better than I expected (given that I went into this feeling like something was quite off). The tea is somewhat sweet, and I’m kind of getting a bit of malty chocolate flavour… but it does not mesh at all with my recollection of the previous blend of this tea, which tasted like milk chocolate. There is certainly no milk chocolate flavour here.
Anyways, I’ll give this another shot side-by-side with my remaining sample just to make sure I’m not totally crazy, but… I’m pretty unimpressed :( Luckily, my sniffs of the other 52teas’ blends that I picked up around the same time were ok, because this and S’mores Genmaicha (and Browncoat Genmaicha) are pretty huge misses for me.
Letting the rating stand for the moment, but if I were to rate this new blend, it would be about a 35-40.
Bleh. So, I’m torn as to whether my issue is with the genmaicha, or 52teas’ cacao nibs/chocolate flavouring, which must have changed, because I’ve never previously had problems. This packet had the same “off” smell as Browncoat Genmaicha and Marshmallow Treat, although it was definitely more similar to BG. It’s almost a chloriney aroma, and it’s really offputting to me (and I don’t quite get how nobody else is picking up on such things :/)
So, brewed up, yeah, this one still has the off aroma. And the flavour? Bleh, I’m actually really not much enjoying this. I can’t breathe in while the cup is near my nose, otherwise I gag a bit, and there’s a bitterness in the flavour that’s not working for me (and my brewing parameters should be just fine). I can taste the chocolate… ish… but there’s a chemically flavour, and I can’t taste the genmaicha, or any lapsang souchong whatsoever. I am honestly completely confused as to why I seem to be the only person disliking these blends, when I know I love Marshmallow Treat, and I previously have tried Cherry Cheesecake Genmaicha, which was also delicious. I have Chocolate Malt Honeybush on standby as well, because it also has a really off aroma (which is why I’m uncertain as to whether it’s the cacao nibs/chocolate flavouring or the genmaicha… or both).
So, this is better than Browncoat Genmaicha, but… I really do not like it, which really, really sucks. I guess I’ll try it again later…. and then maybe swap it away to all you Steepsters who seem to enjoy it.
ETA: Opened up my package today to let it air out a bit, as was recommended. I am no longer smelling the chloriney smell (although I am sick, so take that with a grain of salt), and therefore it does smell somewhat appetizing to me. I will leave it to sit open overnight and perhaps give it a shot tomorrow. I need to dig out my package of Browncoat Genmaicha and try the same thing, because it was definitely worse. (Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha and Chocolate Malt HB will be getting the same treatment).
So as soon as this was reblended, I immediately snagged three pouches (though not all for me), and this past weekend, I was finally united with them! Upon opening one of the packages to split it up between the girls and I, I noticed a funky aroma. It did not smell like the Marshmallow Treat that I was used to… something was off. This has been the case with both of 52teas’ genmaicha blends that I’ve tried recently – something is just off. Browncoat Genmaicha was undrinkable because of it, and the Banana Cheesecake one was not great either. Anyhow, Sil was kind enough to let me have the remainder of her bag (from the previous reblend) in exchange for the new reblend, so in case my picky tastebuds didn’t like it, at least I had some of the “good” version to drink.
So yes. I was left with a single full packet of this new reblend, and with much apprehension, I decided to brew it up tonight. There was a similar odd flavour from the packet, but with some “airing out”, it seemed to dissipate a bit, and I brewed up a cup. Thankfully, I get to report that this tea, although not quite the same as my other packet of MT, is okay. The vanilla is stronger (possibly because this is quite freshly blended), and I’m getting a teensy bit of bitterness from the toasted rice (doesn’t happen with the other blend), but other than that, it tastes fairly similar, and I can breathe a sigh of relief. This will likely be the packet I take from for my travel mug, and I’ll leave the others for evening cups. I am wondering, though, if the genmaicha base was changed, because there’s definitely something different about all these teas. I have S’mores Genmaicha “on deck”, and am hoping that I like it, as I have an entire pouch of it as well.
Thanks to Sil for a sample of this one (via Azzrian, I see!)
Opening up the tin, I got a whiff of something rather floral, yet still fruity. Not really plum, to me, but I figured I’d try it anyways. So I wasn’t expecting too much of the tea, which was probably for the best! I have yet to have a tea that really comes off to me as “plum”, and although this is probably the closest I’ve tasted, it still falls much more into the realm of “generic fruit” than plum. Thankfully, though, it isn’t particularly floral, and as well, it is quite smooth, so even though it doesn’t taste like plums, it’s actually quite a pleasant tea to drink! I might try overleafing a bit next time to see if I can coax out a bit more flavour (although I’m a bit worried about making it bitter by doing that).
ETA: Tasty re-steep with similar flavour profile.
NOM NOM NOM. Iced this this morning, and had a sip a little while ago. Sooooooo good. The cherry really pops. I will admit that I used like 12g for 2 cups, which is totally unsustainable and really expensive, but oh well. It’s yummy.
(Oh, and this was a kinda sorta sipdown, in that I finished off one bag. Still have another 50g though :) )
Cold-brewed some of this last night (I’m a hot cup away from a sipdown now! Hurrah!) but I fear that my batch has gone “off”. My tastebuds don’t quite remember how this one used to taste, but the aroma from my tin (yes, it’s one of the very few I actually have in a tin!) is quite pungent and sharp… in a lemony sort of way. So it didn’t smell bad, but didn’t smell as I remembered either. Same deal with the flavour – it’s very tart and lemony, like the lemongrass is taking over or something. I have probably had this stuff for about a year, so it’s entirely possible that something has happened to it. I’ll pick up some more eventually! And… I’m totally still going to drink it. I just may need to make a sugar syrup or something…
I’m making fabulous progress on cold-brewing teas! I think my previous problem used to be the hassle of filtering everything, and then it would no longer be cold but lukewarm, etc. etc. And now with my bombilla, I get to drink icy cold deliciousness straight from the fridge whenever I want it! I’m actually just leaving my bombilla in a cup in there so I can have a sip whenever I want. Such a great purchase.
Anyways! Cold-brewed this one strong a couple nights ago, drank it last night/this morning. Quite tasty. A bit sweet, a bit tart, and kind of melony. I’d consider restocking it for iced tea in the future, although of course I have way too many other cold-brewing options to really pick up more.
Ok, so I bought way more of this than I needed… I picked it up to cold brew, and think I only did that once last summer! Anyhow, I’m on a mission to drink up the 200+ grams I purchased. So, I decided to cold brew some last night! I heavily leafed a 2-cup glass (perhaps 10g+?) and filled it with water.
Although it’s not hot here, I was crazy thirsty when I got home from sorting food at the local food bank (just for a short bit though), so pulled this out, popped my bombilla in, and it was perfect. I have sensitive teeth, so enjoy drinking cold beverages with a straw, so it was perfect! I sucked back the whole thing in about a minute :D I did put a bit of water with the remains to see if I could get any more flavour, but I doubt it.
Anyways, it was quite tasty. Pineappley, coconutty, a bit tart, and generally fruity. There is a “flavouring” aftertaste that I don’t care for though, so I’m going to lower my rating a bit, but I do still quite like it. Time to get back into cold-brewing!
So, pretty much Sil (and Stacy!) are awesome, because I get to try “Sil’s version” of this tea, which is just chocolate orange assam.
This tea pretty much smells like a dark chocolate Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Absolutely perfect. However, teas don’t always taste as they smell, and chocolate orange seems to be a particularly difficult flavour. This one though?? OMG OMG OMG!!! This is by FAR the best chocolate orange tea I’ve had. It tastes like a liquid chocolate orange. There is even sweetness in this… not that it’s a sweet tea, but there is a sweetness to it. Ahh. It’s like orange hot chocolate minus the calories.
I kind of regret drinking this without my boyfriend around – maybe this tea he would have liked?
Anyways… I really think that this should become a new tea on the website… this is amazing. It would be getting a rating of 95+ from me, but I can’t do that here because my rating here is for the real version of this tea, which has a different base, and marshmallow. This is my perfect Orange Chocolate tea, no question. Thanks so much for sharing, Sil!
ETA: Second infusion is less chocolatey, but still has delicious orange flavour. I’m getting serious raisin notes in the aftertaste though, which kind of doesn’t go with the whole chocolate orange theme (but I love the flavour, so don’t care!) I didn’t get them in the first infusion, so they were likely masked by the flavouring then (and it’s only in the aftertaste that they are appearing now).
Sipdown! Finishing off the last of this custom blend from Missy and Dylan. I’m fairly sure that it has lost some flavour since the last time I drank it, but it’s really not too bad. Chamomile and mint, along with a bit of fruity tartness is about all that I’m picking up on right now. Actually, checking the blend ingredients – I’m pretty sure that it’s the lemongrass I’m picking up on. Really not tasting much strawberry at all here, so either that flavour wasn’t particularly strong to begin with, or it has sadly dissipated.
Either way, this is tasty… although perhaps I should have let it sit until I actually was intending to go to bed. I kind of slept all day today… I’m on a terrible sleeping schedule right now…