Going to my happy place with some comfort tea.
767 Tasting Notes
This is the first time I have had this one. It is the bagged version. I don’t know, it seems kind of thin. I was expecting big bold and malty. The aftertaste is kind of fruity. It is a bit drying. It does remind me of Charleston Plantation black tea.
I had two cups of this bagged tea with my scrambled egg, sausage gravy & biscuit at Steak N Shake. I deeply love and appreciate beautifully complex teas. That said, I have a soft spot for the inexpensive basic comfort tea. This one does a great job in that regard. Today it had a light amount of malt and maybe it was the food combination but I swear I was getting hints of smoke. This has become like family so I’m upping the rating.
Got this one from Tommy The Toad long ago. Went back and read my notes because I thought I had learned something new, only to discover I had just forgotten I already figured it out. Yeah, I’m confused too. Back on point, this is really good if you forget the brewing instructions and just go with a one minute steep. Going longer or using too much leaf results in an overpowering dark oolong cup. Short steep this is balanced. The orange is more of an orange Crush flavor than fresh orange but I like Crush so it works.
I read the reviews before posting. I am sure I had to have done something wrong. This smells really good. The taste was just muted. Like all the flavors cancelled each other out. Shoot. I love peach teas. Long lingering aftertaste so maybe it is just my taste buds today. I will retry. It was much more flavorful once cold. Thanks Nicole I will try this again. No rating yet.
I have been up since three. I could barely keep my eyes open at work. A friend battled colon cancer for a year and was declared cancer free. Now they say he has a spot on his lung and we are waiting for results. Two weeks from today I will be laid off forcing me into retirement with no insurance and less than half the income. I have no new job prospects on the horizon so I am having a little trouble with Fear Not. As gmathis said the other day, I know how the story ends, but can’t we just skip a few chapters?
I went to my drawer for a little comfort. I was looking for Golden Monkey black tea. When I saw this one I realized I haven’t had it in a long time. It was a great choice. While waiting for the water to heat I started noticing the leaf smell. It is like wheat and malt. Such a nice scent. The cup is so smooth. It is heavily malted with light cocoa notes. I notice today it is even slightly peppery. The malt and cocoa linger long after the sip is gone. It’s funny, not that long ago I had no idea what people meant when they said a tea was malty. I guess it is because I had never tried a tea like this before.
I am more impressed with this today by far than when I first tried it. This I believe is the least expensive version of Dian Hong that TeaVivre sells. I should check that before I say it I guess. Anyway, I think originally I thought it would taste more sweet potato and honey like Golden Tips. You tone those flavors way down into the background and crank the malt and you have this tea. The slight amount of rough edges at the back of the sip I think would even appeal to coffee drinkers. If you enjoy Chinese black tea and would like an everyday affordable version this would do nicely.
Thank you TeaVivre for helping to take my mind off the troubles of the day. Upping the rating.
Day two with the same leaf. When I put the chunk in the press yesterday it sure looked like whole leaves. Today I see almost entirely small broken pieces. I steeped cup 4 for a minute and a half. The brew is darker than the first cup but no where near as dark as the 2nd and 3rd. This tastes very bland today. I have to work way to hard to catch much of anything. I have only had three hours sleep. This is not going to do. I am done with it. The rating stands from yesterday’s tasting. On to the next.
Interesting. When I had this today I did not realize it was the same one Cody had such a foul experience with. I did notice how easily the chunk separated. I used my usual western method – half the sample and 12oz water. I used 1/2oz to wake up the leaf but decided not to pour off. Added the rest of the water and steeped 1 minute. The brew was Tetley tea colored – basically looked like tea. It smelled like shu poo. The taste reminded me first of grape leaves then an old fallen tree in the woods. Then it was like an old leather jacket – not the horse tack I normally notice. It had rough edges like bark in the throat. I liked it.
The second cup at 30 seconds was darker and smoother. More refined leather and some kind of fruity and spicy notes.
Third at 30 seconds continued on even smoother and very sweet.
That’s all I had time for today. Definitely a different (and better) experience than Cody. I thought this was pretty good.
I didn’t have time to post yesterday. It’s just as well, I was in a blue mood. The highlight early in the day was this tea. Last time I used waaaayyyy to much leaf. This time I went with the web site directions of 1 tsp per cup. The dark roasted oolong blend most excellently with the white and dark chocolate curls. The second cup was even more chocolaty. I could also taste floral oolong notes in the aftertaste. The third cup had more of a plant taste along with the chocolate. Did I mention the chocolate?
I am torn on this one. It is very bright metallic (aluminum) tasting at times to the point sweetener barely calms it down. On the other hand it has a smoky layer underneath and is developing leather horsey notes. At times it smells green then it smells barnyard. I think a while longer in storage and this will be a nice one. Of course I don’t have the experience to know that. No rating. I drank on it all day and couldn’t decide.
Maybe the lightest touch of vanilla I have had in a vanilla tea. I liked that – most are overdone. The decaf base is very light bodied. For an evening tea that makes sense. I like it. Thanks Nicole.
I see cardamom listed as an ingredient every now and then but usually with a bunch of other ingredients so I really had no idea what it tasted like. It is kind of like ginger and clove had a kid and maybe sprinkled it with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. It is sweet. It is not exactly perfumey, but more like soapy. I think I like it. I certainly would not turn down a cup. Not sure I would buy a box. I like the Ceylon base. Thanks Brett.
Short version (Steepster ate the long one) – subdued hot spice apple cider. Not a bold cup but just enough for my tastes. The cinnamon made it. It reminds me of the Durkee tins that made me sneeze as a kid when I sprinkled it on toast. I didn’t sneeze today but I did smile. I will buy this tisane if I see it in town. Thanks Brett.
This is dust in a paper bag. The bergamot is freeze dried. I’m supposed to hate it. I don’t. Is it really worthy of a 90? I guess only to me. This has been a staple in my tea drawer for years. It shall remain so for more.
I sum this up with a story. A co-worker enters my office and asks, “What’s that smell?”
“Smell? What Smell?”
“It smells like old house in here.”
The smoke really makes and sets this apart from the rest of the shengs I’ve tried.
Finally had the time to try this one. I added a scoop of leaf to the press and added water. The awesome chocolate (I know ‘cause I picked some out and ate it) melted fast. I looked at the remaining leaf and thought oh that’s not enough. I added more. I forgot this is oolong. It expands. So, my press runneth over with leaf. Not really but it was a lot of leaf.
I didn’t care for the first cup. The taste was heavy on the roasted oolong. The chocolate was light in comparison. It was probably because I used too much leaf or because the three minute steep is too long.
The second cup at two minutes was really good. The oolong to chocolate balance is excellent.
The third cup was a little lighter but similar to the second. Now that the roastedness has calmed down I can taste the floral oolong in the aftertaste.
Watch your steep time on the first cup and this is pretty tasty.
I love Dian Hong. The leaf smells malty and that is not lost in the cup. The main flavor is browned cocoa. There is a little roastiness in the background that gives it the browned note. The second cup shifts gears. The first cup flavors step back and allow straw and horse tack to come into play! These are not heavy notes like in puerh but they were definitely there. Third cup changes again – very sweet and the taste is milk chocolate with fruit notes. I really liked this one.
I have a love hate thing with Tazo. I really want to like them because they are so easily obtainable. Usually I just don’t care for them. Sometimes they are way over-blended but sometimes it may not be Tazo’s fault. In all the years I have been trying them I have had exactly one cup of Earl Grey that was fresh enough I could taste bergamot. I live in a tea deprived wasteland. Thank God for the Internet.
Lotus is one of the few I always enjoy. Yeah, the green tea is generic, the flavoring may or may not be authentic and most of the reviews are less favorable than mine. I don’t care I like it anyway. This is a sip down.
I hardly ever drink chai. I don’t hate it. I just never crave it. This one makes me think Constant Comment light. I like CC so I am OK with that. This has a touch of pepperiness. Don’t hate it. Don’t love it. It’s chai.
Seriously? The rest of you thought this ok at best. I found the hibiscus to be just a background filler note. The main flavors were pomegranate, strawberry, and lemon. I didn’t really notice the chamomile or apple. I did add sweetener and that may make the flavor difference. Anyway, I liked it.
Sip down. This tea, more than any other, changed my view of black (red) tea. Up to the time I tried this one, my experience with black tea was the usual Twinings and flavored tea bag fare. This beautiful tea took me places on my tea journey I didn’t even know existed – from sweet potato to malt and on to honey. Today I am even catching mild pepper notes. It re-steeps multiple times with ease. What a truly amazing tea.
Wow, this was like a punch in the face. After it melted the paint off the walls I noticed a fruity taste. It smelled malty but I didn’t notice it in the taste. This is what I thought Irish Breakfast was supposed to taste like. Yeah! Thanks ashmanra. I couldn’t drink this often but I like it.
Thanks to ashmanra my assam journey takes another step. According to wikepedia – so you know it has to be true ;) Irish Breakfast teas are traditionally 100% Assam blends. This is slightly malty in smell and taste. There was something else going on in the background that reminded me more of a hazel nut tea my wife drinks than it does the fruitiness of yesterday’s A Southern Season IB. Not bitter at 3 minute steep but a a little drying. I think this one would hurt me if I drank too much on an empty stomach. At least that is the excuse I used to grab the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies I had with it. Good tea and good cookies!
The other reviews were only luke warm on this. I LOVED it. I am a major fan of gojiberry. The addition of mango is a good choice. These two combined with the sencha make this taste a bit orange in mid sip. I bet this is awesome iced. 6 months from now I may care about that.