This was better than I’d been expecting! Not as gingery as I’d feared, more just a refreshing gingery kick. Upon first sip, I did think it tasted downright bizarre and was worried. Then it grew on me, though not enough to buy more.
658 Tasting Notes
In a total lapse of judgement, I agreed to share a really decadent piece of carrot cake with a friend this afternoon. Clearly I needed tea to go along with it. I was worried by the big glass jars with hand-drawn signs saying things like “green tea”, and my panic mode usually has me ordering Earl Grey in such situations. Not because it’s a safe bet; actually, I usually find myself not able to finish the cup because Earl Grey can be and is done really badly. But because Earl Grey was my first tea infatuation. More specifically, this Earl Grey was. So when I saw the little Twinings tag on the tea bag in my cup, I felt at ease. I’ve had a lot of new and wonderful teas since this tea and I last met. But, you know what? It didn’t let me down in the least. It was a really solid, delicious cup of Earl Grey, and it’s got me kind of itching to revisit all my old Twinings faves.
Today was supposed to be strictly productive, but instead a friend coaxed me outside with promises of enjoying the weather on the patio at Red Tea Box. Unfortunately we were too late for their lunch. Fair enough, but so disappointing! Instead, we hit up Fresh and Tealish and took it to the park for a picnic, and then followed it up with Dufflet. This was a fair substitute. Man, I can’t believe how amazing the weather is in mid-March!
So, I got this iced to-go from Tealish, having heard good things from De and aisling. The girl preparing it also said it was her favourite iced tea. I can see why! It was really flavourful and incredibly refreshing. The mint was just enough to be cooling, and not enough to be overbearing. I was surprised by how nice a raspberry flavour this yielded. I can’t say I really noticed the chamomile, which is probably for the best.
I took my sample of this along to work and made it there. I’m regretting not saving it for more ideal conditions, though. It was a nice, standard Dan Cong as far as I could tell; I didn’t manage to taste much more of a nut/almond note than from any other Dan Cong I’ve tried.
I basically expected to be underwhelmed by this tea based on its very subtle vanilla aroma. My world was not rocked by the first couple of sips, but as I continued I realized I actually really loved it! It’s subtle, for sure. It doesn’t beat you over the head with vanilla or with sweetness. But it’s a very nice, balanced black with an awesome creamy quality added by the vanilla.
I like this! Hooray! It’s actually the one I didn’t really want to like as it’s highly ridiculous. But it’s fruity, it’s creamy. It’s a nice-looking blend, too. It smelled like Swampwater to me, and tastes like a sweeter verison I think. In fact, it tastes rather sugary to me! So sugary that I decided to be a diabetes nerd and check a drop of it with a blood glucose test strip. I was kind of surprised that the result was 3.6 mmol/L though I didn’t know if I should be, so I tried to calculate it. I don’t know if the unit conversion works the same way, but if my calculations are right that translates to 65 mg/dl, so I think this 500 ml jumbo-mug equals an almost disappointingly undramatic .325 g of glucose plus, I guess, probably the same amount of fructose? This is all very highly unscientific and I don’t know what I am talking about, but it was interesting and makes me better trust that DT’s assertion “our teas have all tested below 1 g of sugar per cup of tea (according to our steeping instructions)” applies even to a tea with jelly beans in it!
Also, I wish I understood science/math/WHATEVER.
I had this last night and it was rather more flavourful. And, looking at my previous note, I’m surprised at the mention of how pale it was since last night’s cup was quite pink! I must have got more cranberries or gojis last night, I guess. Anyway, I’m raising the rating since it is delicious and went further this time.
I liked this, but was expecting more from it. It definitely has a nice creamy caramel flavour going for it. And I was expecting it to be heavy on the additions and light on the tea from others’ reviews, but I actually didn’t expect this! It was basically all mulberries with a few coconut shavings and a very few tea leaves. Something about paying 11.50 for, basically, 50 grams of dried berries with some added flavouring does not sit right with me. And paying what seems to be the “white tea” price for something that is really just honorarily a white tea is also silly. I think if this was priced as an herbal it would still be obscene, but more affordable.
It was tasty but not outstanding, and I feel ripped off so wouldn’t buy it again. While I found it underwhelming, though, the man-of-the-house volunteered that it was “really good” (as opposed to his usual “it’s good” when prompted). But the berry carnage in the Breville’s brewing basket freaked him out when I asked him to go make the next batch of tea.
This is alright. The sencha seemed nice albeit a little quick to go bitter. Very sweet and fruity, dominated by mango. A nice tea, but there are too many similar and more outstanding teas out there. I’ll see how I like it next time, when I will try a shorter steep (3 minutes this time).
I had this one today in-store as a sample. And then I bought some just because I had a brief burst of the old familiar feeling where I have to try all the new teas. So I got some of each of the four new teas. And drank this one first. And yep, hibiscus!
What is with the employees always trying to sell me on the box of the seasonal collections? The girl in the store practically cut me off when I asked for 20 g of each of the spring teas minus Pink Flamingo, pointed to the shelf, and said that the box had them all. I clarified that I didn’t want Pink Flamingo and added that it is $8 cheaper to buy them individually anyway, and she didn’t seem to believe me! I don’t find that they are very aggressive sales-wise so it always takes me by surprise when they try to insist. Anyway.
This is way too sour. It would probably be good otherwise; I like the fruit flavours I get a glimpse of under there. But, even at 3 minutes, this is way too tart. And alarmingly red! I don’t know if I’ve really had a black blend with hibiscus before, but it’s really odd. The tea is completely overridden by the hibiscus. Would probably be better cold.
I’m similarly confused about this one. I didn’t dislike it, but got more of a nutty, spiced flavour from it than apple. I tasted almonds and cinnamon with a little floral. Odd! Not bad, but odd. I think perhaps the apple flavouring is supposed to come just from the apple pieces, which aren’t going to impart a terrible lot of flavour.
Verdant’s blends are so cool. I was thrilled to see the combination of the Laoshan black, which is just the best ever, and Big Red Robe. And chocolate, of course!
The layers of flavour in this are amazing. There’s a lot going on, but it ties together incredibly well. I received it in the February tea of the month box, and only read the description included before trying it. I was a little apprehensive at the somewhat vague mention of “spices”, as I’m not typically good at isolating and pinning down what it is I’m tasting but hate not being able to identify flavours. My reaction to the first sip was: wow, is there mint in this? Ooh, there’s the cacao. I think I taste cinnamon, and is there fennel in there?
Spot on! That’s a first for me. I can make each out clearly, but they work together to make a tea that tastes like raw chocolate laced with spices and mild mint. Perfection! I’m not sure if I can make out the marigold and/or chamomile. I think they’re just mingling in there with the rest. I’m also getting the sweet, malty characteristics from the two base teas, but they seem to blend pretty seamlessly.
Oh, my. This is bloody delicious. It’s also my third coconut Oolong in a week.
I’m at that point where I have so many teas that I can’t recall what’s in my cupboard, and that the less-than-stellar ones never end up getting used. So there is just a backlog of mediocre teas I try to force myself to drink while the new ones and samples pile up.
And THEN I realized that I had a Tao Tea Leaf voucher expiring March 1. Oh dear. I knew I wasn’t going to have time to visit the store in the couple days I had left to use it, so an online order it was. I’d never tried anything from them before and obviously don’t have any big vacancies in my collection, so I thought lots of samples was the way to go. This left me with the box that arrived today, full of no fewer than 20 samples and three 25 g bags. It’s also left me still never having visited the store, though their online customer service was really great. They were helpful by e-mail and my tea came very nicely packaged and quickly, with a 5% off coupon.
Anyway, this tea. I was going to save it until I finished the Tealish Coconut Bongo, I was. But when I opened my Tao package I lost all control and opened the packet for a sniff. It was so overwhelmingly aromatic that I immediately had to have some. I’d just boiled the Zojirushi so I went gong fu with this one, so it’s not really a direct comparison to the two previous coconut Oolongs I’ve had. But it’s enough to say that it is very similar. The same sweet, toasted coconut flavour on top of fresh green Oolong. These might be my two favourite flavours in the world, so I’m pretty ecstatic to see that there seems to be a coconut Oolong niche out there. I think I may become obsessed with trying every one I can.
The only thing striking me as any different about this tea, apart from its general awesomeness, is how vibrant the Oolong is. Green and (subtly) floral, and impossibly creamy and silky-smooth. It steeps a really bright yellow-green, and tastes incredibly fresh. I will have to try it Western-style soon.
Interesting! I was so scared of this one, but it’s not abrasive like I expected from the scent. It’s actually quite sweet, and the citrus balances out the ginger really well. Actually, it didn’t taste like a ginger tea to me. I could taste ginger, but not GINGER. Tasty! I can see why De likes it so!
I … don’t know. This one smells absolutely incredible. The caramel and grapefruit really grab me, and I was looking forward to what I was sure was going to be the Earl Grey variation I’d fall in love with and always want on hand. But it’s falling short. I’m only getting mediocre EG from this. No caramel. A lighter, more buoyant citrus note that must come from the grapefruit, but not what I was expecting. And, I’ve had it three times now and it’s always gone bitter on me at 2.5 minutes. Drinkable and not at all unpleasant, but a disappointment!
Wow! The lack of hibiscus makes all the difference. It was actually surprising to see how pale this was, and made me a bit worried that it was just going to be flavoured water. It’s actually very tasty, though. It’s a sweet and tart concoction of an interesting blend of fruits. Very different to anything else I have.
Sadly, I found that I needed a lot of this per cup. I’m glad that, without hibiscus, I can steep this as long as I want. But I steeped for seven minutes and still found it a bit light. It’s heartbreaking to find a great fruit blend and not want to stock it for how expensive it ends up being! Anyway, I’m glad to have some and will probably steep longer next time.
In keeping with my overall opinion of Tealish’s flavoured senchas, this was nice. I was a bit underwhelmed on first sip, but then the subtle flavours grew on me. Sweet strawberry and more earthy rhubarb were both detectable, and blended really nicely with the green tea. I don’t know if it’s something I’d reach for often so I’m thinking I won’t buy any at this (over-inundated with tea) point, but I did enjoy it.
I forgot about this tea until I noticed tonight that my cat had somehow chewed on the bag, presumably in one of his fits of hunger. He will go for anything even somewhat resembling the bag his food comes in.
It is so nice! Really mild, sweet, and a little smokey. I love it, and am glad to rediscover it. The package suggests a surprising 4-7 minutes, so I went for 4 and am surprised at how much I like it that way.
This is a nicely-done fruity black, a type about which I can be picky. I appreciated the substantial-but-not-bitter black base, too. But, I agree with the other reviews that say it’s just kind of underwhelming. I don’t think anything about it is memorable. In fact, it just made me want to drink a cup of Notting Hill from Yumchaa for a little more fruity kick! I expected from the scent and the ingredients list that this one would have too much going on, and I think that is the case. While the fruit flavours are nice, they all just blend together.
To-go from the store yesterday, this didn’t quite live up to what I expected from sniffing the canister. It turned out a little bitter, and the super-fragrant peach was a lot more subtle. It was a nice peach flavour, though. Gentle but juicy.
I had to get this today in hopes that it would make a good stand-in for the Spice and Tea Exchange coconut Oolong. Then, I had to try it pretty much as soon as I got in the door. The Tealish employee said this was her favourite tea in the universe, so that was promising!
Coconut Bongo smells incredible, and quite close to the S&TE one. Very similar both dry and once steeped, though less potently aromatic. It, thankfully, doesn’t disappoint in the taste department, either. It has the same creamy, bakey, toasted sweetness that the other version does, and a similar relationship between the coconut flavour and the green Oolong. But, it’s lighter. Both the flavouring and the body of the tea are a little lighter. This is an awesome tea and a good substitute, but I think less mind-blowing.
I had this to-go from the store today, since I’ve been thinking for a while that it sounded like an interesting idea. I asked for it with milk, and it was a tasty milky, mild chai effect. I really like cardamom and find it soothing and warming so it was a great cup to walk around town with. It’s exceedingly mellow. I think it would be nice with the addition of a litlte cinnamon, but the simplicity of the blend is pretty cool.
Okay, I’m showing up late to the tea party. I only got around to trying this last night, but I was away most of the week. Gimme a break!
This is nice, though I don’t think (on first try) it held up to its scent for me. It’s a quite nice if unremarkable black base and lots of berry flavour. I’m getting some tartness from it (the gojis, I imagine), and maybe even a bit of floral, so I think I see where Indigobloom is coming from. I didn’t sweeten it, though, and steeped 2.5 minutes at 205 degrees.
Oh, my. This tastes as good as it smells. And, it smells and tastes like coconut-oatmeal cookie heaven meets fresh green Oolong. My grandmother used to make awesome oatmeal cookies with a bunch of coconut, and that is seriously all I can think of while drinking this. I’m taken right back to her kitchen!
So, yeah. This is incredibly silky-smooth and creamy. There’s a delicious sweetness that tastes like toasted coconut, perfectly balanced with crisp, ever so slightly floral Oolong. Thanks for letting me steal a little, Indigobloom! A couple sips in I was already on their site investigating what it would take to get myself some of this.