15 Tasting Notes
Despite not loving red rooibos, I thought I’d try the green stuff. This is my first experience with it.
The dry odor is sweet, very sweet. Surprising. Nothing like red rooibos. It… um… smells, to me, exactly like orange Tang.
I liked orange Tang as a kid, but fortunately, this smells very different in the cup. It actually has an odor slightly reminiscent of green tea. Slightly. The odor in the cup is actually not very strong… I was concerned that I’d brewed it too weak, until I tasted it.
The flavor has a grassy note and a back-of-the-tongue sweetness that is surprisingly like green tea – although this may only be because I haven’t had real green tea in ages. This certainly isn’t a green tea substitute. It has its own charm… sweet and almost fruity, but there is also a warm flavor of alder wood, as if I were drinking from an alder cup. There’s also a tiny bit of astringency, barely noticable, but it helps keep the sweetness from being overwhelming.
I don’t normally like light-bodied, fruity teas, but this one is a keeper. I’d like to try a different green rooibos and see how much variation the flavor has.
This is a bit strong for me! I think it’s the added “natural earl grey flavor.” I’m going to have to either mix it with some plain decaf ceylon, or perhaps do a quick initial soak in the hopes of washing some of the added flavoring off. The other earl greys I’ve had have mostly been caffeinated, and they were better balanced flavor-wise. I can barely taste the tea. Inveterate earl grey drinkers may like this more than I do – for me it is too much of a good thing.
I admit that I bought this even though I’m not a huge fan of rooibos, because the other additions sounded tasty.
The dry aroma of this tea is wonderful, if you like lemon chiffon. It smells like dessert – sweet, creamy, with a lemon that’s mellow, not in any way sharp. The taste doesn’t quite measure up at the recommended dosage and steep time. Adding milk brought out the flavor a little, but not much (this tea does take milk well, however, unlike some lemon teas). Sometimes with dessert-flavored rooibos teas, a little sugar will drag the flavor into the spotlight, but even that doesn’t seem to help here. The lemon chiffon flavor is faint but tantalizingly delicious.
I let the steep go and when that didn’t help I added a bit extra towards the end. Next time I’ll just start with two teaspoons per cup.
Having been forced to significantly reduce my caffeine intake, I am just dipping my toes into the world of decaf teas. This is my first loose-leaf decaf, and I find it promising. It tastes much more like tea than the bagged decaf teas I’ve tried.
I don’t detect the spice at all. There’s a mild citrus tang, but that might just be the tea – I’m assuming it’s made with ceylon, since that seems to be what all Adagio’s black decaf blends use. This takes a long steep time to develop character, and then the flavor continues to develop after the steeped tea has sat cooling for a few minutes (after removing the infuser). I’ve never had this happen with a caffeinated black tea.
This is a tea with low to medium body and very little bitterness. It has the tangy notes you would expect from a ceylon, but is otherwise fairly nondescript to my mind. I’m not a big ceylon drinker, though.
I don’t detect any unpleasant off notes, nor does it seem to be missing any essential “tea-ness” despite requiring a ridiculously long steep time. What it’s missing is something unique to recommend it – although, frankly, I’m just happy that it tastes like tea. I would recommend this to people who miss the flavor of black tea after quitting caffeine, but will continue to search for a tastier alternative with more character.
I would rate this higher, however, if I could actually taste spices, since this is supposed to be a spice tea.
I felt extremely euphoric (but not hyper) after drinking this (and I don’t after drinking decaf coffee) so either it contains a bit more caffeine than a decaf normally should, or I’m reacting to the theanine (or some other ingredient). Or I have just missed tea that much, I suppose.