405 Tasting Notes
I will admit that I have never been able to tell the difference between French vanilla and regular old vanilla. It has always seemed to me that “French vanilla” taste can be achieved by using more regular old vanilla. I know it is supposed to be creamier when used in ice cream due to the egg base. Not sure how creamy is achieved when there is nothing but vanilla.
But, I will say that regardless of kind of vanilla, this smells and tastes very strongly of it. :) A nice creamy vanilla that mellows the bergamot. A good, strong black tea base that complements the other flavors well.
I have spent far too much time in the kitchen over the last couple of days preparing for my Christmas open house that was last night. So when I had to run out to finish up a bit of shopping today, I grabbed a package of Candy Cane Oreos. I wanted some cookies this afternoon but I didn’t want to take the time to bake again. They go very well with this tea! And, since they are peppermint, I will not have to share with my husband! So the package will last longer than 2 hours. :)
The tea may not last long enough. I’ll have to keep this one around for sure. I had originally thought that with the super cool packaging I might keep this one for a gift – I’m so glad I didn’t! :)
First sip reminded me of Chinese takeout and not in a good way. Tasted sort of like the oily smell of it. After it cooled a bit the taste was slightly fishy and dusty, but not in a bad way, as odd as that is to say.
For lack of a better descriptor, this tea tastes “natural.” I didn’t get any apple taste from it, but I only had time for one steeping. I think I am at least interested enough to try it a few more times. I find the darker oolongs take a few sessions before I can really decide if I like them or not. My preference thus far is definitely for the lighter oolongs. But, that said, this interests me.
I’ll experiment with the temp and steeping time. The package said boiling but I went with caution. The leaves didn’t really open up much so I’m thinking it really does mean boiling. :)
Smells amazing in dry leaf. Not sure I taste the black pepper very strongly. I get the cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and vanilla unsweetened but they really pop after adding a bit of sweetener. This seems somewhat weighted towards cinnamon since there are cinnamon chips as well as cinnamon listed in the ingredients. Without milk, I get a huge hit of cinnamon and cloves. Something in here makes my tongue a tiny bit numb as I get to my second cup – hm… pepper maybe? There are a LOT of spices, but the vanilla does mellow them somewhat and the tea base seems suited to carry them.
I didn’t steep this with 2/3 milk to 1/3 water this time. I just added a splash of milk after steeping in water (Tea Club had a pretty heavy lunch outing today and most of us didn’t feel the need for more in the afternoon).
This is very rich. I think it might make my tummy hurt a bit if I did it with my normal ratio.
This was a sample included with my Black Friday order from Mountain Tea Co. I made up a pot to share with our little Tea Club at work.
The dry leaf smells of spices – nutmeg, maybe? Cinnamon? First sniff has me thinking of chocolate. Can’t quite pin it down. The first sips bear out that dry smell. A light oolong with an intensely buttery feel, more like broth than tea. Color is an extremely pale honey, even after 5 minutes of steeping. Honey. I think I also get a bit of honey taste from this. As it cools, more flavors come out and I do notice the orchid more than I did when it was hot. Very refreshing and enjoyable hot or cold.
It won’t be an everyday drinker for me, but if I like the rest of my order enough to refill it when I’m out, I might get some of this to have on hand.
Mmm. This has a definite honey taste. Not a fake honey either, but a real honey. I get no nut taste at all, though. The black tea base is very nice. I can’t tell if it is the honey or the tea base that gives it a noticeable dryness which increases as the cup cools.
Overall, though, I will say that the initial impression of the 4 Kally teas I have tried thus far is that they are some of the smoothest black teas I’ve had. I’m not sure I’ll keep this around but I will certainly enjoy it while it lasts!
Update: It does resteep decently for a second cup, though the honey is lessened a bit.
Smells malty and slightly fruity. Not sure there I’d say there are any citral tones. Maybe this is another that my palate isn’t discerning enough to fully pick out the flavors in the description. I also don’t see any “white hues” in the leaves.
Definitely a full bodied taste, though I did steep for about 4 minutes as it seemed kind of light at 3 minutes.
Good, but not one that I’ll go out of my way to keep around.
First holiday dinner down, one to go. Such a full tummy. This is a good tea to wrap up the day with.
Lighter than standard blacks, this has a dryness that builds after a few cups. A nice, refreshingly clean taste. A good, uncomplicated way to round out the evening and prepare for the cooking marathon tomorrow. :)
Hm. Can’t find a website for The Crumpet Shop in Pike Place Market, Seattle. Can’t find this tea by this name anywhere else in a quick search. The best I can find is that Tiger Hill is the highest spot in the Darjeeling district as well as one of the better tea estates in the region. I see it listed as a Nilgiri in a couple of places.
Maybe this was an old batch that wasn’t stored well. I get nothing out of this besides dusty tea. This cup I am reviewing is my 5th attempt at getting a good cup. I’ve tried different temperature water, rinsing the leaves before steeping, different steep times… This one is drinkable but nothing special. It still tastes somewhat dusty and old. I think I can discern some faint muscatel notes underneath… It’s always possible that my tastebuds just have no idea what they have here, too. Maybe this is a very high quality Darjeeling (though it was a medium price) and I just don’t know it. Maybe other, more discerning palates will find this more appealing than I do.
It’s definitely better cold than it is hot, even though when cold some bitterness comes out. I’ll keep it for a cold tea, but chances are good it may be rehomed to try and find a better taster for it than I am. :)