264 Tasting Notes
So it appears I am on a morning chai kick. Go figure. I think it may also be attributed to the slowness of my cast iron pot to produce boiling water (therefore, I go downstairs and make a chai tea while I wait.. hours.. grr)
Annnnyways. I do like this chai. Having drank the Republic of Tea chai yesterday, I have to say… I enjoyed it a lot more. A lot more.
This is a good enough substitute though. I don’t mind it and I feel like it is rather balanced with the spices. The black tea base is just not that good, and it shows.
Today I boiled up 2 cups of almond milk (unsweetened) and tossed two silk saches. After letting it simmer for a good 10 minutes, I tossed in 2 tsp of brown sugar. I like brown sugar as the I think the molasses makes everything taste better. I can taste it in the chai and it is delicious. Like adding another layer of flavour besides the slightly spicy ginger and lovely cardamom/cinnamon.
Because my roommate works at Starbucks, this is a tea I can drink for free (as she gets either a pound of coffee or a tin of tea per week). Therefore.. I will keep drinking it. I would not buy this though.
This is the second time I have made this into a long simmered chai.
The first time was with all milk and some brown sugar – SO deluxe and very delicious! I did simmer it for a good 30-45 minutes. Liquid gold.
This time I tried it with unsweetened almond milk and just a little bit of condensed milk (It needed to be used). Just a touch of agave and it is brilliant! Not too rich and very satisfying as a morning drink (instead of coffee).
I am very impressed with this tea. It is over…5 years old? And yet it is such a tasty chai! I am in love!… I wish shipping wasn’t so much though for this brand. Phooey. I will have to stalk the site for sales so the shipping doesn’t raise the price of the tea too much.
mmmmMMMmmm Creamy chai heaven.
EDIT: Wait.. I just discovered it was 8.00 bucks shipping. hides credit card
EDIT 2: Wait.. shipping will actually be 17 bucks. I don’t need to hide my credit card after all as that is just too much. Problem 1 solved.. now I just need to find out if they are featured in any shops around here (which is how I managed to get this tea in the first place years ago)
I figured I would have this tea again as it is a great comfort and it is cold today. Where’d the beautiful sun go? I don’t want any more rain.
This time drinking the tea, my water was fully boiling (for over 5 minutes… vs previous experience where it was just under boiling or beginning to boil). I find it now has a bitter edge to it that I am not very partial to.
My second steep (not including the rinse) will go back down to just below boiling. I will report back with more once my water is hot enough. I really need a variable temps kettle. This heating-the-water-by-tea-light is cute, but not very precise and takes a year and a half to come to a boil. I am very open to good kettle suggestions (with a reasonable cost as I am a student).
Edit 2 days later: This is crazy. I keep steeping the leaves at least 4 times per day, and they just keep getting better. This steep was the most buttery rice yet!
Today I went to a little french cafe with my sister and had the most amazing Earl Grey chocolate mousse. An after breakfast treat that incorporated tea!
The leaves of the Golden Bi Luo are really neat- little snails for sure. They smell almost caramelly..
Liquor 1min: I used 2 tsp per 12 oz cup. This produced a nice rich amber color that smells caramelly vanilla smoke. The taste is great as well. Initially, I taste some carmel vanilla malt… which melts around my tongue… much like butter does. Except this is not so much butter as a cream melt. It’s so hard to describe it, but I like it. I like it a lot. I just got a whiff while going in for a sip and it reminded me of delicious beef broth. I don’t know why. The end of the sip definitely has a lingering aftertaste of smokiness.
I do have a love affair with LS’s and Russian Caravans.. so this really pulls at my heart strings.
Subsequent steeps: Delicious.. though I find the vanilla caramel fades rather quick and is replaced by an interesting tanginess that I rarely find. The malty flavour definitely picks up, as well as the smokey presence. Great. I think I liked the initial steeps though. Thank you very much Chicago Tea Garden for this lovely sample!
mmMmm peachy oolong peachy gummie.
This smells just great to me. Pretty leaves too – longer pieces of dark leaves intermixed with some green leaf pieces.
I steeped the tea with approximately 95*C water (my thermometer broke baawwwh) for 2 minutes (about..). I am realizing I should really watch my steeping times and get a thermometer asap, but I’m just enjoying the taste of tea again.
Speaking of taste – YUMMooo This is almost better than watching my neighbours try to mow their giant, steeply slanted hill. .. Back to it – so this tea tastes like absolutely wonderful fuzzy peach juice. I wonder what this would taste like iced? I bet heavenly. It has a very nice color to it as well which reminds me of roasted peaches. Slight creaminess on the tongue, but very subtle. It almost reminds me of peach sorbet.
Personally, I love this tea 100X’s more than Long Life Oolong.. but maybe I should give that one another shot. They seem like they should compete.. both oolongs, both peachy.
It has been a while since I have had my scent up and running for tea reviewing. For this reason, I have been sticking to teas that I have previously drank and have plenty of (mainly lapsang souchong and various oolongs).
It is now time for an official cuppa this. Not in my traditional style though, as I started the tea experience last night with these leaves, and I am now on to my third steep.
Dry: Like sweet earthy wheat. Chestnuts pop into mind as well. Yummmm. Small little balls the color of 60%-70% cocoa chocolate. Aka.. not really milky chocolate color, but a bit.
Liquor: initial 2 steeps (30s): From what I remember (I will obviously do a better review next time), there is a nicely roasted/toasty flavour with a pleasingly sweet aftertaste. I would like to say it would match the sweetness of almost ripe bananas. Not overly sweet – but you still get a little drying effect. It does not taste like bananas, just the mechanism of sweetness is similar. Right down to the slight drying.
3rd steep (1 min): Still nicely toasted. Reminds me of sweet bread that has been browned. Maybe some brown sugar sprinkled on the top and a light spread of butter. I get sweet flashes at the back of my throat and tongue. It is not buttery as I would associate with a milk oolong, but it has a creamy aftertaste that reminds me of it. The tea is definitely drying..But not so much that I am grabbing for water. Maybe I will play with the steeping parameters more. None the less, great cup of tea to come back to =)
I can’t do a full review as my nose is still missing its smelling abilities (silly cold!)
This tea was very mild-mannered I feel. Sweet malty black tea is just about all I can taste at this moment. I have enough to do many reviews so I will have to assess this more when I am able to smell and taste things better.
I now kind of wish I had gotten the russian caravan over this tea. Hmph.. silly. Current rating: 70s
So I went to a funeral coupled with a bit of an adventure to Vancouver over the weekend… which in the end caused me to catch an uber cold from a friend. So after 21 hours of sleep and hot baths I am now able to somewhat function.
Due to my muted sense of smell and taste… I figured this intense tea would kick my tastebuds into action! It wasn’t even enough to do it.. but I definitely appreciated being able to taste licorice and a touch of spicy sweetness. I also really appreciated the fact it has no artificial flavourings in it as I would rather just go with simple and natural ingredients as I try to get over this cold. I wish more of DT’s teas were like this.
I did 1 tsp in 6oz of boiling water… with this method I was able to get at least two steepings per batch.. I definitely had 6 cups of this overall!
This is a perfect tea for anyone who is nursing a cold =)
I decided I would make this into a cold steeped tea.
I find that it is a touch bitter almost… this method definitely did not bring out the creamy aspect – therefore I added some low fat condensed milk and agave. It’s so good it’s stupid. Creamy bergamot deliciousness. I don’t like that I needed to add things – but it’s so good it would please me to drink this instead of an iced coffee on any occasion! Perhaps next time I will hot steep it then ice it as I do miss that creamy flavour and maybe that way it will be sweeter and I wont need to add anything