1689 Tasting Notes
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.
Teabook is a monthly subscription service. What I think is cool and different about it is the tea is in individual serving envelops. The November box that I sampled has 9 dragonwell labelled green, 9 wild black tea / Dian Hong labelled red, and 1 honey sweet green labelled special collection. Also in the first box is a double walled 10 oz glass tumbler. The idea here is to use an individual packet with the tumbler for grandpa style sipping throughout the day.
That’s a cool idea. How does it work in reality? Pretty well once you get the hang of it.
Having never used a double walled tumbler I heated the water appropriately for the dragonwell. Emptied a packet into the tumbler. Poured in the water, replaced the lid and waited for the steep. Opened the lid and burned my lips. Ouch. Safety tip: Leave lid off so it can cool to safe drinking temp. I’m a weenie when it comes to really hot drinks. I like them cool. The tumbler holds the heat well once the lid is in place.
The dragonwell aroma from the tumbler was very inviting. I was afraid the vessel would hide the scent. It actually seemed to concentrate it. Leaving the leaf in the tumbler made for a strong taste but it was not bitter. There is a metal screen in the top to keep the leaf in the tumbler.
Today I am having the red tea (Dian Hong). The dry aroma out of the envelop is just what one wants from Dian Hong. Wonderfully fresh. Having learned my lesson, I left the lid off while it steeped. The brew color is a nice caramel. The leaf sank to the bottom so not sure the screen is so much necessary with this one. The scent is honey malty caramel. The taste is sweet potato and honey with a touch of malt. There is no bitterness. My wife just walked in the room and asked what I was cooking. She said the tea smelled like I was baking something. Yep, delicious tea.
I haven’t made it to the special collection tea yet.
Based on this one month’s box, I would recommend Teabook if you are into subscription services. I do not know if the subscription cost includes shipping.