1691 Tasting Notes
As you may or may not be aware, I battle with respiratory issues. Well, during Thanksgiving my niece had a scented candle burning. It was a light cinnamon something and quite pleasant. Until I got up the next morning. I had a major flare up. Fought it with lots of drugs and anti-biotics. Was feeling pretty good until yesterday. We plugged in a couple air freshener night lights, and a few hours later I could feel it clogging up the lungs. So back on the drugs. I am telling you this so as you gather with family this holiday season that you might think twice before lighting that candle or setting out that potpourri if one of your guests has a weakened system or has asthma.
Anyway, this tea – from a bag. Smells pretty inviting. I have no idea what an actual mango smells like (I’ve led such a sheltered culinary life). This reminds me of peaches but more prickly and with some tartness. If that’s mango, then nailed it. Don’t read the list of ingredients or you’ll just go eeeewwww. OK I’ll tell you – hibiscus, rosehips, and chamomile are in there as well as stevia. (All together now – eeeewwww) The however is that it works here. What I taste is that sweet fruity tartness. It is actually pretty enjoyable. My only complaint is the bitterness in the aftertaste from the stevia. On the other hand, I think it is there to complete the tartness/sweet of the fruit flavor. I would like to try it without the stevia and see for myself if it is necessary.
A new to me company even if they have been around for years. Their website (tea-and-coffee.com) has some 700! different blends. This one smells so calming. I could set this out in a dish and just enjoy the aroma… or I could drink it.
The taste is more subtle than the scent suggested. Based on the ingredients, I was a little concerned it would be a big chai like smack to the senses. Nope. Just like the aroma, this is mainly a pleasant orange tasting tea with the spices filling out the flavor rather than trying to steal the stage.
The flavor kind of goes orange, cinnamon and clove, cardamom, then drifts into the slightest heat from the pink peppercorn. So subtle but a nice touch. It has a sweet lingering aftertaste.
I added sweetener and though it wasn’t needed, it took sweetening in stride. This is a pleasantly cozy cup.
My experience with this tea is a little different than the other reviews. I used 2 tsp as I was making a 12 oz mug. The recommended was 1/2 to 1 tsp per cup. I did use the recommended 175 F (80 C) water and though shooting for 3 minute steep, it ended up 4 because I couldn’t find my strainer.
The glass teapot was a flooded forest of whole leaves. The aroma was a neat spinach. The cup looked like liquid sunshine.
The taste wasn’t anywhere near what I consider bitter. It does have a touch of bite, though overall this is very smooth. Amanda called it, I think, almost brisk. Yes almost brisk, but so easy to sip. Vegetative but to me not grassy. Nicely sweet. There is a sensation (not a taste) like a citrus tartness, late in the sip. What really sets this apart from a Chinese green was the additional note that I interpret as hazelnut.
Mug two at 1 1/2 minutes was very similar to the first. The nondescript vegetative is more seaweed here and there is a touch of mineral. The hazelnut is present but reduced.
This would go 3 rounds, I pretty sure, but I am already at 24 oz so I’m being a quitter.
If you love Chinese green but want something a little different, this Korean green would make a good choice. Also 10% of sales go to aid Korean orphans.
The last of this one for my morning wake up cold milk latte. This natural banana flavored but not quite actual banana in flavor. More candy like. I like it but don’t love it. Maybe I just used too much? It’s another that others rated higher than my opinion.
This leaves only pumpkin pie matcha to finish up my flavored matcha. That may wait. I can’t believe I am going to write this but, you can only have so much pumpkin pie in a one week span and I am already teetering over the line. I must be getting old.
Chai and I are just casual friends. I don’t dislike it. I just never crave it. I have finally come to the conclusion it is because I can’t taste the black tea base. If they left it out, I’m not sure I could tell.
That said, I emptied the cup pretty quickly. The biggest flaw is it contains stevia. It isn’t overly sweet, especially for chai, but enough so as too make adding my preferred sweetener problematic. On the positive side the flavors are all well balanced. The aroma is cinnamon, clove, and cardamon. The taste begins more cardamon, then drifts towards but doesn’t reach banana. Banana? Neat twist. Then things straighten back to a cinnamon, pepper, and ginger end. I do catch faint banana in the aftertaste. I did not catch caramel as promised. Maybe had I added milk. If you let the cup get cool, there are notes of star anise. I did not notice it while hot, but then I like the flavor. If I were a hater it might jump out more.
For chai, not shabby.
I have not left the planet. The last few weeks have simply not been very conducive to tea drinking beyond grabbing RTD bottles from the fridge. Last night on the way to bed I grabbed a cup and a bag of sugar cookie sleigh ride. I love this one anyway, but when you have been tea time deprived this becomes heaven in a cup.