616 Tasting Notes
Tea #52 from HHTTB2
It looks like there’s red rooibos in here (and I’m 99% sure that’s what it is), settled at the botton of the baggie, but the ingredients say nothing of the sort. I didn’t get in my teaspoon, but just as a head’s up for the fellow anti-rooibos guild members.
Once steeped up, this smells strongly of berry and cocoa. And the taste is very much currant. The chocolate isn’t really pronounced, but does add an overall depth to the cup. There is definitely rooibos in this blend, because the medicinal taste is absolutely coming through in the latter part of the sip.
I don’t know if the rooibos in this sample baggie from SerendipiTea was a mistake or actually a part of the blend, but to me, it would be so much better without.
Tea #51 from HHTTB2
Aaaand the last tea with rose petals (that I’ll be trying) in the box.
After some Google-fu on this tea, I’m guessing BrewTEAlly Sweet picked this up at the Farmers’ Market, as that seems to be the presence that Our Sweet Earth has. I’ve intended to get more involved with buying from our local Farmer’s Market. But it’s kind of a zoo, and my anxiety doesn’t really fare well in that environment. I don’t feel too guilty, though, as the grocery store we visit often sells local produce too. Anyway. Not really sure about the tea. Either way I’m excited to try it.
This tea has a very strong, smooth vanilla flavor. The rose adds a sweet, very slight floral. And something fruity and a little juicy? Not sure where that came from, but maybe some contamination from the box? It’s actually pretty tasty in here, though. So I’m not complaining.
Not my favorite vanilla tea, but still quite good.
Tea #50 from HHTTB2
This tea totally just looks classy and tastes fancy.
It’s a lightly fruity, definitely floral, with very subtle elements of almond and biscuit/pastry. The base pairs perfectly with the more delicate flavors here, and is smooth and not at all bitter. Every component of this tea was clearly thought through and tweaked to make a masterfully blended cup.
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.