616 Tasting Notes
I used more leaf than I normal would (2 tsp for 8 oz), as S&V teas sometimes seem to come out watery to me. And then I got worried, because the liquor seemed to go auburn almost immediately and only get darker from there. I still stuck it out for three minutes, though.
What I got came out smelling cinnamony with hints of cocoa and bread (and definitely tea).
Flavor wise it tastes like a cinnamon black with hints of unsweetened cocoa in the back. The extra leaf definitely gave it a stronger flavor with a kind of thick mouthfeel, it, however, also made a really astringent cup. I feel like I need a glass of milk to add moisture back to my tongue. The flavors here are also kind of muddled and I don’t get any sort of baked goods taste or anything that even makes me think brownies.
I won’t review until I try a couple different brewing parameters, but this one didn’t do much for me.
I found this tea sold in bulk at a local shop, and it smelled so good I had to snag two ounces. It smells sweetly fruity and almost spicy. And once brewed, is so ridiculously pretty, I don’t even know.
It’s a rich red with just a but of purple. This would be so pretty in a glass teapot, or white cups for company.
Unfortunately it’s too tart for me, and not an awesome fruity tart either. But like. Blackberry leaf tart (which at least isn’t hibiscus tart, I suppose). I can’t really pick out any specific fruit flavors, and the green base is completely lost on me. It’s a good iced tea with a bit of simple syrup (honey would probably also add a nice flavor), but not outstanding.
I wanted more from this than a really photogenic tea.
Fiance and I finally finished off the tea soda mixture today (yay!) It was probably good for 16 or so 14 oz cups, so it definitely lasted a good bit.
This is a sample I got from TeaVivre. Thanks so much to Angel and the TeaVivre team!
Dry, this leaf has such a wonderful cocoa smell, with a small amount of autumnal notes, like wet leaves and moss. This is the perfect tea for the kind of brisk weather we’re having now!
I brewed this western style (mostly because Fiance insisted on a cup too!) so, I popped two heaping tablespoons for 16 oz and went just over two minutes at 212F.
Steeped like this, there are very strong notes of cocoa and a rich earthiness. A toasty, nutty note pops up when the tea hits the roof of my mouth and then lingers through the sip. There’s a slight sweet fruit flavor (kind of peachy, with floral highlights) that hangs on the throat and becomes the aftertase. There’s a slight drying feeling but it’s not distracting.
Fiance said this cup had a really comforting, pleasant taste.
Second Steep (~3 min 30 sec):
This cup is more floral and sweeter, like carmelized sugar sweetness. The highlights are brighter, and the flavor is more nuanced in general. The cocoa is slightly less defined, and gives way to a more mossy earthy flavor. Such a smooth cup! The astringency is also less here.
Fiance has now decided that it’s the toastiness he likes.
Third Steep (5 min):
This one is more caramelized sugar and mineral than nutty or chocolatey. There’s stil a lovely subtle floral aspect to it, the fruit is more apple than peach now. The aftertaste is like a lightly toasted wet rock.
A delightfully warming cup and a great floral oolong when I want something less green tasting. Yum!
So, what I did to this tea tonight was completely unorthodox. But amazing.
I made a really simple tea soda.
I steeped 4 teaspoons of this in 8 oz of water for 4 minutes. Then I mixed that with 1 cup of sugar to make a simple syrup. And added about 2 tbsp of my syrup to club soda over ice.
So gooooood. It’s like a chocolatey rosey citrusy bubbly happiness. I honestly can’t believe how much the chocolate came through and how delightfully subtle the rose is. This is seriously the most decadent bubbly thing I’ve ever drank, and I love it.
This sample came from momo!
What a fun looking tea! There’s huge chunks of cinnamon sticks, bits of popcorn, and maple brittle bits. Oh. And of course tea.
This cup tastes a lot more buttery-cinnamon-y-tea-y than maple-y. The butter and cinnamon flavor is really good, though. Calming and smooth and the buttery flavor and texture definitely helps in capturing the essence of taffy. Unfortunately the maple comes up really light.
Luckily maple syrup to the rescue!
Oh my oh my. This is really delightful with the maple syrup and it doesn’t need too much. It retains the smooth, almost butteriness and it tones down the cinnamon quite a lot. But most of all, it adds maple. Yum.
This sample came thanks to BrewTEAlly Sweet and is really pushing me right outside of my safe zone.
I cannot possibly be the only one who thinks hibiscus always tastes musty, right? Like, there’s always a residual earthyness after the sip that makes me think of a house that needs a dehumidifier. I guess it’s also kind of metallic. My mouth isn’t really to keen on it.
Unfortunately, this is the same to me. It’s also about a 6.8 on my tart scale, and that’s way too high for me. It’s not enough to dump it out, but I’m definitely scrunching up my face after each sip. This might have a fighting chance in my mouth cold steeped with sugar.
I’m going to withhold a numerical rating on this one, as I know it’s probably my preferences and not the tea in this instance.
Thanks for the chance to try this BrewTEAlly Sweet but hibby and I will just keep not getting along for now.
Thanks for this one goes to Audra who sent me some with our trade. This is pretty yummy. Like baked apples kind of yummy.
I thought the orange and cinnamon in the apple chai was going to be more prominent because that is all my steeper smelled like when I was done. Instead it’s a balanced apple/cinnamon/clove flavor with slight hints of caramel. I’m not sure I like the EG in here though, as the Bergamot adds a dissonant note. And I’m still not a huge fan of Adagio’s black base, which bleeds through a little bit.
Overall, this is a warming kind of cup and perfect to serve to friends with a knowing “Winter is coming.”
I hate cars.
Fiance’s brother put the new alternator in my car Wednesday. And it worth so well. For a whole day…
Because the alternator ran the battery dry, my throttle control mechanism was affected by the low voltage it had received. Of course, I didn’t know this could happen. So it died. While I was 55 miles from home. Fiance’s brother and his friend borrowed a mutual friends’ trailer and we loaded my car up and carted me home. We paid him in gas, which was definitely less than towing it, also not really a good day.
I got this sample from Courtney (thank you!) and I was really excited to try it, because of all the amazing reviews it’s received. Brewing this tea up smelled so good — like I was baking up a sweet lemon dessert — that that alone set my expectations high.
As far as this tea goes, if more rooibos blends tasted like this, I’d probably like rooibos more. It’s lemon bar deliciousness. There’s sweet lemon and cream flavor on a faintly rooibos background. It has sweet aftertaste, that borders on the artificial, but it’s not a huge detraction from the cup.
I want to make a latte out of this stat.