551 Tasting Notes
Everything I’ve had previous from Shang Tea has been wonderful, so I had admittedly high expectations for this even though it was a bonus sample (yay!) and not something I had chosen myself.
I’ve never had honeysuckle blossom in a tea before, so I wasn’t completely certain on what to expect.
The cup is sweet, buttery, vegeta, sweet and slightly nutty. It’s not a honey sweetness, and not really sugary either, but more of a floral-like sweet.
It’s hard to pick out the base because it all kind of blends together to create a really lovely, relaxing cup.
And for fun, this:
is my earliest memory of honeysuckle.
Definitely fruity and punch like, with an emphasis on the orange element. The cinnamon adds a really warming spiced note, as well. I really think there’s a definite amount of nuttiness too.
Like has been pointed out, sweetener perks it up a bit and makes it fruitier. It definitely has a winter-y feel, and with the sweet and spicy ingredients, it definite captures a bit of Christmas in there as well. (I’m just a couple months late).
Thanks for the cup MissB!
I’m really enjoying this SBT. The flavors aren’t as ‘in-your-face’ as some of the other SBT blends I’ve enjoyed, but they’re very good.
The ginger is quite subtle, so if you’re expecting something peppery or strong this isn’t the one for you, but the honey is a little bit stronger and adds almost a sweet thickness to the mouthfeel. I can almost imagine a little bit of syrupyness from it. Both flavors work together very well, and I’ll enjoy my pitcher of this.
I feel super bad I didn’t get to this one and the Oothu Black during the Kickstarter for Just Organic Tea, but I’ve been really kind of failing at life all over the place lately. So there’s that.
There were whole chunks of cinnamon and clove in the little sample, so I was expecting something kinda spicy. Unfortunately with a bit of milk and sugar, I ended up finding this kind of lacking in that area. The pumpkin flavor is tasty; it’s very much like pumpkin pie, but I think if I were to drink this again I would have to double or triple the amount of leaf to hit the amount of flavor and spice I would typically want in a chai.
At a three minute steep this one seems to acquire some notes of stone fruit — primarily nectarine — at the end of the sip. It’s almost like some of the caramel notes present in the shorter steep have morphed into this. The cocoa, while subtle in the short steep, isn’t present at all in a longer one.
I definitely think the shorter steep is for me.
Sometimes stone fruits can taste really artificial and gummy candy like, but this is quite good. It’s sweet and jammy, without crossing the line, basically.
I’m picking up peach and plum with a bit of apricot for sure. Then definitely the bergamot, which isn’t overpowering, but probably enough to turn off those who don’t care for it.
What I’ve like most about the flavored H&S blends I’ve tried is that all of them allow the tea flavor to come through and be a part of the cup. This is no exception. It’s well-flavored but subdued. Really well done, especially for a bagged tea.
This is a great fall/winter cup. It’s warming and spiced and sweet. I can see why it was part of the best sellers group.
It’s just not really for me.
I really think the honeybush base for this was brilliant. It’s a bit spicy in itself and it comes together with the cinnamon and creates a wonderful spiced note, that really does suggest strawberry pie in a way.
It’s the strawberry flavor that is kind of meh, for me. It’s not plasticy or insanely artifical like I’ve had before, but it tastes a bit like freeze dried strawberry (y’know those little strawberry bits in cereal? Like that). It’s not bad, but it’s definitely just a bit off. I know sweet natural tasting strawberry can be done in tea — I’ve had it before — so this is a little bit of a let down.
There’s really no suggestion of a crust, no butter, sugar or pastry flavors, so this is all about the filling, and when that missed the mark a bit it kind of brought the whole cup down for me.
Definitely good, but not as great as I might have been expecting.
I made a second cup of this as a latte, and definitely preferred it that way. The freeze dried quality of the strawberries becomes less pronounced and more desserty.
First impression: There’s a lot of rose petals and big chunks of vanilla bean pod amongst the rooibos.
I’m actually really excited about the amount of vanilla pod in here — there’s probably 3 pieces totalling just over an inch of vanilla bean in the teaspoon of a half of leaf that went in my steeper. As a result, this is easily the creamiest cup of rooibos I’ve ever had.
Despite the amount of rose in the blend, there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of rose flavor. It was balanced and just about right. It adds a floral sweetness to the cup and seems to temper the rooibos some.
Even so there’s definitely a rooibos flavor present, as well, but I’m not finding it strong enough to be offensive, in spite of not caring for rooibos.
I feel weird recommending a rooibos, but this is what I want from a vanilla tea.
Admittedly, I usually lean more towards unroasted oolongs, because I find the flavor profiles cleaner and more identifiably complex, but this might be the roasted oolong to start changing my mind.
As a person who doesn’t necessarily like smoke (and I know there are more of me out there!), smoke or BBQ notes never entered the picture.
In the first steep, there were elements of floral notes, as well as deep vegetal notes — slightly spinach-y, but almost a little darker tastig — all wrapped up in a lovely creamy mouthfeel. The roasted notes came out in the tail of the sip as a nutty, earthy note and that lingered for a while after the sip ended.
In the second steep, the vegetal notes started merging with a rich earthy cocoa note that pretty much dominated the sip. There’s still a lovely creaminess to the cup, but not as much as before. The aftertaste becomes more woodsy and earthy this round, but still has a nice lingering quality.
The third steep is dominantely earthy and woodsy, carrying over the notes from the aftertaste of the second steep and becoming the overall flavor of this one. There are still wonderful cocoa notes unlying this steep as well.
Overall, this was a very tasty and satisfying oolong. Thank you so, so much Geoff and Max from Temple Road for sending this my way.
This looked like a really fluffy delicate golden yunnan, and I’m thrilled that that is exactly what it was! It’s malty with sweet notes of caramel and cocoa that build on your tongue. But it manages to stay delicate and refreshing, with a really clean and crisp finish.
This is pretty much everything I like in a black tea, only lightened and more vibrant. This is something I could see settling into a permanent spot in my cabinet once things get under control.