264 Tasting Notes
I think this one might be a bit too heavy on the “spicy cinnamon”, which is the first ingredient listed on my canister- even before the black tea. When I open this container I am immediately hit with a blast of the stuff- sadly, it didn’t make my allergies go away and reminded me of walking into a crafts store.
I think with some little candy hearts in here this could easily be re-branded as a Valentines Day “red hots” tea. As for me, I’m not particularly into it. The cinnamon is so strong that it overpowers the rest of the ingredients, so I don’t get any of the typical complexity of a good chai. I particularly am sad to be missing the taste of the orange peel.
Because of the heavy cinnamon I’m not quite sure what to do with the rest of this- dilute it by mixing it with another chai and risk ruining that chai? Bring it to my department and leave it by the hot water cooler (am thinking yes)? Making it into a bath tea and soaking in it? Cinnamon is stimulating and warming after all, and helps with muscle aches.
Er, maybe I’ll just bring it to my department. Unless someone out there wants to swap me some pu-ehr or nifty oolong blend for this. I know some of you really like strong cinnamon and the “red hots” tea blends out there.
I’m not trying to lose weight, but this sounded delicious so I was excited to try it. This one definitely is rocking the fruits at the expense of the tea taste. I’m getting that annoying tartness that berries and hibiscus (my arch-nemesis) bring, and that I so deeply hate. And then there’s the spearmint underneath it, making the whole thing a bit like berry gum.*
But, oddly I don’t hate the overall taste (just… some of it?) I simply don’t really care if I ever drink it again. I mean, if it melted my stomach chub into oblivion as I sipped that’d be one thing. But on the basis of flavor? Not a winner.
Sad to not find any pu-ehr or oolong in this at all. I think the hibiscus and mint stomped them into oblivion. I’ll have to have some pu-ehr later to make up for this one.
*Ha- I never read other reviews before posting my own and am amused to see that others got the “berry gum” thing from this too. Spearmint = gum.
Jim shared this one with me, as I’m currently on a pu-ehr kick. I can’t pretend that I have an amazing palette for pu-ehrs though; mostly they either taste properly rich and dark, or stale and light to me. This one is in the “deliciously rich” category. It’s cold and rainy here in Houston today, and this one really hits the spot. It’s definitely got more depth to it than some of the flavored pu-ehrs I’ve been drinking lately. When I hear people haven’t tried pu-ehr, I’m tempted to point them toward ones like this, that are just great teas without anything risky going on in them.
Yum yum. Cavey. (This is the 3rd steeping of this)
I love flavored pu-ehrs, but I keep going back and forth on this one. Slenderness aside, the dark musty taste of the pu-ehr is an interesting pairing with the tart sweetness of strawberry. I’m currently drinking this in a tea travel mug, so it’s getting the longest steeping of its life, and this is magnifying both tastes to an intensity that I’m not sure I find appealing. The pu-ehr in this blend also verges on tasting a bit darker than most I’ve tried.
I’ve decided that the strawberry in here tastes strongly like freeze-dried strawberries usually taste; have you ever tried those “Just Strawberries” in the plastic containers, sold at many grocery stores? Or, Trader Joe’s used to have freeze-dried strawberries. It’s a little tarter and less sweet than a fresh strawberry.
Pu-ehr is a relaxing taste to me in general, but the strawberry almost turns it into a dessert tea. I think I’d like to try this at a Teavana store, brewed freshly and fresh from the bin so I could really decide whether I think this combo works. I’d consider buying this one, as I got it in a swap.
I first tried this tea about 5 years ago, when living in Chicago. Now, my brother-in-law regularly brings it to Christmas gatherings because he knows I like it.
And I do like it- the almondy sweetness complements the sencha well. But today I am getting something soapy in here too. It’s strong enough that I am wondering if I somehow got soap on my cup rim. Or perfume.
Am trying to push past this to the delicious almond. I’m even having this with almond biscotti-like cookies. Could it be the orange blossom that can get perfumey?
As you may be able to tell, this one is very inconsistent for me. I wouldn’t pounce on the pouch every year in December if it always tasted perfumey/soapy.
All of this said, when this one’s good it’s absolutely wonderful- the perfect holiday dessert tea. So I still recommend it.
I actually really like this one!
I’m not always the biggest fan of mate- I don’t think it tastes like coffee and tend not to appreciate blends that try to convince me that it does. I’ve been confused about the whole “mate latte” trend at coffee/tea houses.
But now I want someone who’s good at making lattes to make me one with this- because it’s just screaming for foamed milk.
My first cup I just had with water, but I’m trying it now with some steamed vanilla soy milk (I think I used too much and made it too weak- oops)
Anyway, vanilla and mint are a great combination, and while mate doesn’t have a stimulating affect on me, it’s pleasant enough in this blend that, well, I don’t mind that it’s there. Keeps this from being an (after dinner) dessert tea though- I don’t want to risk being stimulated right before bedtime.
I think all tea shops should stock this one to make me lattes with. Yumyum.
The description, which states that in many ways this could be a straight up pu’ehr, is totally spot-on. The flavoring is really subtle, and don’t let the elderberry scare you away if you’re a bit wary of berries in tea, as I am. The berry is certainly as mild as the other flavor components- yay, no kool-aid taste. This seems to be a decent pu’ehr, and the flavoring softens it a bit, and sweetens it too.
Second steeping is actually even less flavored and more straight pu’ehr.
I’m so into flavored pu-ehrs lately… open to anyone who wants to swap me one of these for just about anything.
My mom got me a groupon for this company’s tea sampler for Christmas. The address on the groupon was in a town very close to where my parents live, and so on the 27th or so we all popped on over there and tried to find it. To… no avail. Apparently the address on the groupon was the location of a farmer’s market where they occasionally sell their wares. Alas for us, it was 40 degrees and raining as we puttered around.
Fortunately, I was able to cash this groupon online, and if we’d read the groupon more carefully we’d all have probably realized that was the intent.
I ordered the chai sampler, the specifics of which are subject to change- and I imagine due to the volume of groupon holders, I ended up with Redbush chai instead of the “rooibos cacao chai” I’d been psyched about. Plus, my tins were maybe half full of tea.
But when I smelled this, all was forgiven. It’s really an exceptional chai. I haven’t had one that tastes this good with just a 5 minute water brew in a long time. I thought the Tea Gschwendner version was awesome, but this makes the top of my list. There are whole aniseeds in it for peet’s sake.
A seriously brilliant, warming, and spicy winter drink.
Whole Foods had all of the RoT holiday teas on super clearance today, so I nabbed a couple of tins. This one I had only tried once, and it’s actually good for a fruit tea. They managed not to get the awful taste of kool-aid or awful red fruit in the resultant brew despite it being a plum tea. I’m glad they held back; the tea itself looks about the same color as an oolong. I’d definitely call the spice blend “holiday” inspired as well. It winds up tasting a bit like holiday potpourri smells, without being cloying or perfumey.
Overall, I think they did this quite well, and though it’ll never be a favorite, it’s a pleasant cup.