563 Tasting Notes
Tea #49 from HHTTB2
Visually, there’s a lot going on in the dry blend. Big, plump blueberries and chunks of lemon rind . And quite a bit of both. I don’t really smell the smoke in the blend, but that could be a product of it’s travels in a giant cardboard box. Who knows. What I do smell is lemon/citrus.
Once I brewed this up? Oh. There’s the smoke.
It’s not like lapsang smoke, where’s it’s like getting thwumped with a burning log. (Or the whole fire dempending on the Lapsang, I suppose). But it’s definitely got some Keemun-esque smoke going on here. It pretty much overpowers all the other elements in the cup.
With sugar added in, I get something that reminds me of a lemon rubbed charred chicken breast. Better, but still not terribly good. I taste a slight blueberriness in the back of the sip. So now I have charred lemon chicken with blueberry compote. Not exactly what I was hoping for.
And back into the giant cardboard box it goes.
Tea #48 from HHTTB2
This cup brews up the brightest spring green I’ve ever seen. (It is almost exactly this: http://bit.ly/1aDM5S5 color.) So it looks a little weird and out of place in my blue snowman mug. But whatever.
Genmaicha is like ye old standby tea in our house. When neither Fiance nor I know what we feel like drinking? Genmaicha. That said, we usually have a bit of it floating around. (As an aside, I’ve been cooking with it lately too. Makes an excellent soba noodle broth. Nom.) And genmai + matcha has been my more recent go-to in those situations. So I’m always excited to try some more!
There’s no bitterness in my cup, and the flavor is warming, roasty, and flavorful, but I wish there was more sweet, grassy green veggie flavor in here. I think the matcha flavor comes through better in Den’s version. American Tea Room makes a pretty solid Genmaimatcha, too. This one misses some of the brothy notes I get from those too.
If you go to genmaicha for primarily the roasty rice notes, though, this is definitely a cup to consider.
Tea #47 from HHTTB2
I am so insanely addicted to the TV show Once Upon a Time lately. Like. I can’t stop watching this. It’s like the illegitimate offspring of daytime TV and Disney.
But anyway. This tea.
I made it as I do most chai (when I don’t feel like dirtying a pot). So a tsp of sugar, 6oz milk, 1 tsp tea/2 oz water at the below time and temp.
But man. I wish I had known this had Lapsang in it. I probably would have passed it over.
When hot, I just couldn’t kill the smoke note. It was like a BBQ on the back of my tongue everytime I swallowed. Urk.
As the tea started cooling, the smokyness lessened and it bacame a slightly chocolatey, creamy cinnamon chai basically. That’s more s’more-y for sure!
I’ll skip rating, as I know that Lapsang isn’t at all to my taste. But I think I would have enjoyed this without it in there.
Tea #45 from HHTTB2
This tea reminds me of a lot of other teas, but doesn’t match any of them exactly.
-The floral, fruity highlights of a Darjeeling. But they’re much deeper.
-The sweetness of a Yunnan, only not as pronounced or refined.
-The maltiness of an Assam, only not quite as thick on the tongue.
-And the slight roasiness of Keemun, but comes across more earthy than smoky.
So, despite my brain’s inability to place this tea, it’s very, very good. The flavors are well-rounded and balanced and it’s smooth. There’s a slight drying on my tongue, but no bitterness or anything of that sort.
Tea #44 from HHTTB2
A rather subdued EG flavor. I was expecting more punchiness from the bergamot. The cream part was played well, a nutty vanilla flavor that was both rich and smooth. Thankfully, I didn’t get much flavor in the way of coconut. I feel that would have been out of place here. I do think that’s where the nutty depth came from in the vanilla, though. Not an exceptional tea, but not bad either. Definitely a middle of the road kind of EGC.
Tea #43 from HHTTB2
Pft. Delicately spiced. Liars.
The hibiscus is strong in this tea, but surprisingly not offputting. It doesn’t have the mustiness and copperiness that sometimes comes with it. The tea is tart, but with fruity sweetness.
I like this a good deal more than I was expecting. Probably because it tastes like mulled wine.
Tea #42 from HHTTB2
This tea, once steeped, manages to smell both sweet and savory simultaneously. It actually smells a lot like the Egyptian Licorice tea from Yogi, but slightly deeper and more full. I think it’s the ginger and orange in both blends coming through, but it’s kind of weird.
They taste nothing alike though. The taste here is spicy and vanillay with a little orange. Definitely a rich, sweet blend. There’s also a roasted brothiness here, too. Like the other two Verdant blends, there’s a lot going on in the cup and it’s not necessarily something I like.
Tea #41 from HHTTB2
The berry and honey flavors are definitely strong enough in here to cover the base rooibos flavor. It’s sweet and jammy, and it definitely has a thickish honey feeling on the tongue.
And while the primary woodchip rooibos flavor isn’t really present, unfortunately, it does seem like the more medicinal flavors in the rooibos are bleeding through and pairing with the berry to make something that is definitely reminiscent of cough medicine. I’m not 100% on which is the worse flavor yet.
Tea #40 from HHTTB2
The leaves are quite small and broken, so I was unsure they’d stand up to a 6 minute infusion time as was recommended. So I erred on the side of caution, so keep in mind my review is for the tea at the parameters below.
This is the least rose-flavored of the three rose teas I’ve tried in the box. But it’s still quite good.
The primary flavor that comes through is the white base, which is delicate with fresh hay and apricot notes. The rose adds a definitely rose flavor as well as a gentle sweetness. It’s not nearly as immersive as other rose teas I’ve had, but good for those who enjoy the flavors of rose, but can find it overwhelming.