154 Tasting Notes
1st smell out of the package: smokey. I have to admit that smell made me nervous given my reaction to the Lapsang Souchong. (Which I have not tried the 2nd steeping idea yet.)
Wet smell: Earthy. Slightly leathery aroma, (Which I’ve been told is a good thing with Pu-erh.)
1st taste without sugar: (Yes the 1st taste was with the 1st steeping. GAG. lol) So I pitched it and started boiling water for the 2nd steeping. I steeped it for 1 minute and roughly 30 seconds. Automatically added 4 packets of Apriva sweetener, (Kroger brand of Splenda.) It worked.
I taste an almost creaminess to the tea, I can see how others have gotten a caramel-ish taste in it. I am not wowed at all in this tea, however not about to judge all pu erh by it. I plan on trying out some other ones, (though not willing to yet try the ones with other flavors mixed in, like from Teavana’s)
I would not refuse a cup of this if offered from a friend, though. And now that I finished my cup, I feel mixed, because even though it didn’t wow me, I liked drinking it. How weird is that?! Maybe my palate is changing. That would be great, because I really would love to enjoy traditional teas, though I do not want to give up on my crazy love for flavored tea combos from stores such as Teavana….I don’t think my budget could afford that anyways. Heh.
I got this because I’ve been wanting to add more caffeinated teas to my collection, even though generally speaking I do alot of my tea drinking at night so I stay away from caffeine then unless I want to stay up and do some writing. But with Winter coming up I figure I should have on hand teas that have a pick me up.
I don’t think this will go beyond the 1st box.
1st smell: herbally. lol. Smells pretty much like nearly every other teas out there to me. My sense of smell kinda sucks though.
1st taste: can’t say I am impressed. I mean it is drinkable. But I was hoping that the Yerba Mate would at least help bring me out of the sleeping pill related fog that I’ve been in since waking up. Considering I’ve got an errand to run in a few minutes, I really need the pick me up, even at the risk of not getting to sleep tonight. With it being pretty windy here, due to the fallout of Hurricane Sandy, I need to be really aware.
Yeah! I am a ROT fan again! The last ROT tea that I had was the Pink Lemonade (Sip for the Cure.) over the summer and because of the negative feeling I had from that tea I’ve had a hard time convincing myself to get ROT again. However, I was at Whole Foods (Which is fast becoming one of my favorite non common stores, common referring to Kroger and Meijer where I do the bulk of my grocery shopping.) And of course could NOT keep myself out of the tea aisle, (Was pleased to see they did have a few tins of loose tea, though I didn’t get any.) I love the idea of sweet and spicy. Contrast and Balance, 2 favorite words in my vocabulary, though with tea…balance is the more important one.
Mango Chili-lightly spicy, enough that you notice it, but not intense. So I think that even people who have problems with spicy foods and drinks would not have a problem with this one. (I cannot take alot of spice, though it really depends on what it is. Like for instance, the few times I have tried Chai, it is mostly ok. A lot of Indian food (That I’ve tried so far.) I cannot handle. Anyways, the tea, like most of the bagged tea that I’ve had isn’t as thick as loose leaf tea, but if you just want something that is kind of funky, sweet with just a touch of spice….give this one a shot. Also, I would definitely use this tea as a evening perk. It doesn’t have caffeine (rooibos base.) but it did perk me up a bit this evening.
So yes will be having fun sipping this tea during the Winter Months….I’ve been slowly stocking up, though more on bagged tea (for various reasons it is more convenient for me to get bagged.) Since I do not like driving much in the Winter.
This is again thanks to Angel and the Teavivre crew. smiles
This is a better review than the Lapsang Souchong by a mile! LOL. I had wanted to try a more ‘traditional’ Oolong because I’ve had such limited experience so far, and wanted something to compare teas with an Oolong base to, even teas that have a lot in it. I had a imsomnia filled night so if my wording comes across as odd, that is why. Lack of sleep can make me a little loopy.
1st smell Dry: Sweet and uncomplicated. I can easily picture myself relaxing after a long days work with a cup of this, though long before I go to bed, as the minor caffeine amounts may affect my sleep later that night.
Wet: Even more sweet, and maybe because I was expecting it: Creamy.
1st taste: In reading the reviews for the tea before sipping my cup, I noticed frequent mentions of a buttery taste. Truthfully, the idea kind of repulsed me, even though I have had and do enjoy butter tea. But when I took the 1st sip, without any sweetener, Mmm. Nice. I knew I had to add sweetener….I’m getting resigned to that factor…..lol. So I added one at a time, took a sip so I would make sure not to accidently put to much.
Oh, almost forgot to mention: I do not have any traditional tea items for this, I had thought if I did get to where I really like at least 2 of these samples, then I would start saving up for a nice gaiwan. So instead, I was going to use one of my teapots, but one is ridiculously big, to big for 1 cup, and the other is in the dishwasher. So I used my owl cup and favorite strainer. I put the visual equivalent of what I use for other loose tea, rinsed them, preheated my cup and then boiled more water, and set the top on it. When I took the top off, my 1st thought: (Mind you slightly befuddled due to lack of sleep.) that the leaves had exploded! Then I thought….Ooooo I think I put to many in the cup. So I thought to myself that I’d better do at least 1 more steeping of the leaves, that is if I could stand drinking down the 1st cup.
It isn’t the usual type of tea that I’ve gotten used to, so I don’t think I would choose this one very often. It is sweet, creamy, kind of grassy. I just might decide to buy this in bulk form.
Thanks to the Teavivre gang, especially Angel, for these samples.
When I got up today, (Got up really late.) I wanted to start on the tea tasting of the samples I got yesterday. I was most curious about the Lapsang Souchong so that is what I picked.
Dry smell: strongly smokey, not unappealing, but not appealing either.
Wet smell: more or less the same…though the smell reminded me a little bit of hay.
1st taste: Like many Americans, my palate has been affected by the high content of sugar, but I did try a few sips without putting any in, didn’t want to make it to much of a sacrilege. Alas…I knew by the 3rd sip that if I was to be able to finish the cup I would have to add some sweetener, so I added Apriva, (Kroger version, kind of like Splenda.) I ended up having to add ALOT. Which I really winced over, and still wincing as I am writing this. Wincing because I wanted to enjoy this without having to add anything to it.
Even with the sweetener however….can’t say I really like it. sad face this is NOT reflected on Teavivre, but rather on me and my palate. Hopefully this will be the only tea that I dislike from the group.
I will pretty much be reviewing only 1 a day, as I do not want to complicate the taste test with other teas. And hopefully when I get up each day, so that would be the only taste fresh in my mouth.
Dry Smell: Fruity. Not sickingly sweet, though close to it.
Wet Smell: Pretty much the same.
1st Taste: Sweet tart. Like the candies giving out on halloween. The after tastes: really tart, bitter even, and kind of syrupy, in a medicinal kind of way. I have no experience with Champagne or with Oolong so I couldn’t tell you if it resembled either of those or not. My Kettle’s Setting for Oolong is 190, and Teavana’s suggestion was for 195. I decided to go with the French Press setting at 200, and waited for it come down a little. Maybe next time I’ll try the Oolong setting?
Ok…..I had promised myself that I would drink down the tea that I have before getting any new teas………..Umm yeah that plan worked out great……….NOT! LOL. I went to Teavana’s Wednesday and 4 teas plus a bag of German Rock Sugar. (Teas: this one, Sevenberry Sangria and Strawberry Rose Champagne.)
On to the tea: I actually tried this one last night, so I do not remember all the impressions of the tea, (Tried doing a tasting note last night, but either the site or my computer/internet connection wasn’t letting me, so I gave up after a while.)
Dry: Very fragrant. sweet and earthy. pungent, even.
Wet: Similar, but alittle sweeter.
Taste: Oooo I like! lol. Now I have not tried Jasmine tea by itself so I don’t know what to expect from that. I noticed in other reviews that others mentioned a very little taste of Peaches, despite the name. For me, peach was the 1st thing I tasted. Like a peach punch (a Pow punch, not punch as in juice.) But I liked it, alot. I saw on the review on Teavana’s website for Peach Tranquility, that someone paired it with the Peachberry to get a very peachy tea, so I’m going to give that a shot sometime this weekend.
I am however beginning to get a little bit aggravated with Teavana…..I mean I’ve bought most of my teas from them because they are conveniently nearby, (albeit a few towns over.) and to a certain extent the quality of the teas are better then at the tea shop I started going to back in April. (Plus, that tea shop, I prefer, in trying to save gas. to only go to that shop when I’m in the area every monday to pick up my Grandmother for the afternoon/evening.) So I feel kind of limited where I can go for tea.
But, anyways why I am kind of getting exasperated with Teavana’s is: Smell wise, alot of their teas smell wonderful! But then the taste would be Meh, Blah or outright YUCK! lol. I mean generally speaking, that is just the way it goes sometimes, you win some, lose some. But here is another….I’ve mentioned before on tasting notes that my sweet taste buds seem to be off kilter somehow because I keep having to add way more sweetener then I really feel comfortable with, (Yet if I don’t it’s torture to drink it and yeah I don’t want to go down that route.) Been experimenting with various sweeteners, so I could use less, but that has not worked out. I had thought with the rock sugar that I would finally be able to use a little bit, really make the stuff last….Umm nope! You know how many spoonfuls of that stuff that the tea took before it tastes sweet enough? 8. Of course a lot of it, no matter how much I stirred, sunk to the bottom, so when I got down closer to the bottom it got almost koolaid sweet. It’s technically better then honey, because honey just takes over. Hmmm I wonder if I try melting the sugar in plain hot water 1st, reheat it, and then pour it over the tea leaves? lol. Argh. That would be a pain, plus by then the water would probably be flat. Gnng. So it’s very possible that this might be the only time I will buy the rock sugar, it is just too expensive for it to be such a pain in the ass to work with.
But ending note is: I do definitely like the Peachberry enough that I think I would get it again, maybe even enough that I would get a tin specifically for it.
Ok. I had actually gotten this tea back in early August along with Sun and Cloud Mist. But just now getting around to reviewing it and wanted to have it a couple of times anyways. Being a HP fan, I had to try this tea. I do like licorice and root beer (Have recently let the occasional root beer by A&W back into my diet.) But unfortunately….I do not like this tea. I plan on trying it cold next, if I like it cold, then I might get more. When I 1st opened the pouch, it smelled odd. Not bad…just odd. My 1st taste (without any sugar/sweetener.) was that it tasted flat. When I tried it the times before, it was with Apriva (Kroger version of Splenda.) so decided to try it with regular sugar. Barely made a dent in the flat taste. So I added more. And more. Finally when I decided to add honey it was drinkable, but I tasted more honey then tea. I don’t want to score this one yet til I try it cold.
Rueful laugh and somewhat frustrated sigh This is the 12? tea that I’ve tried from Teavana, and like many of the others, cannot say I am a fan. I got this tea last week, on wednesday, but didn’t get around to making it til today. (Or rather, since I’m writing this at 5:00am, yesterday.) Now, as when I smelled it at the store….OMG it smells divine! and when I smelled it again as I was spooning it into my infuser, MMMMMmmm! When I poured the water in, it kind of smelled alittle odd, but not terrible. As my usual M.O. I automatically put in several packets worth of sugar in, before tasting it. Then tested it, while I still smelled nuttiness, all I could taste was cinnamon, and a very faint after taste of nuts. Which I am not a fan of. I prefer teas that are balanced in their flavors, if there is more then one. Cinnamon you have to be careful with as it can take over! So, while I will do my usual adjusting the temp and steeping time, but I suspect that this will not improve over time. If anyone can recommend a tea that would be a good match for this, preferably a herbal or non caffeine tea that maybe has some fruit in it? I am thinking a slightly intense fruity tea might make it at least an interesting drink that will help me get rid of the tea and help me feel that I havn’t wasted my moola. A note of complaint: I have an variable temp electric kettle, and it has an oolong setting, but the Teavana bag suggested that I use 195, but since I have no setting for that, I picked the one for 200, and when it came to a boil, I waited about 10 seconds then poured. Should I next try the Oolong setting (190.)? and I think it was steeped for 3 minutes, though did not keep as much of a check on the time as I should of.