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38 Tasting Notes
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This tea is almost really nice but not quite. I find myself liking the idea of it more than the drinking of it. It seems to have a lot of sugar in it, and there’s a very sweet initial flavour, but the sugar disappears, leaving a sharp after-taste of pineapple or fig. I think it’s only in contrast to the initial sweetness that the fruit is so sharp, but it seems jarring to me. I won’t buy this again.
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This is really delicious. It’s very minty, and very sweet. I checked the ingredients list thinking there must be sugar or stevia or something in here, but no. The spices are quite spicey and warming. Sorry, nothing sensible to say. It seems to be putting me to sleep. Delicious.
This was my breakfast tea today. Good and strong malty deliciousness, turning into yummy caramel. A little bitterness as it cooled. I drank it plain, then tried adding cream, which was lovely. A second steep was good too. I don’t think this is a complex tea, but it does malt/caramel/bitter very nicely.
Actually, I think Assam may provide the slurp factor in Andrews and Dunham’s Caravan. I acquired this Assam in an attempt to prevent a broken heart when I run out of A&D. I mixed a little with my cover version of Caravan this evening. Mmm, not bad.
Also, this was my first tin from The Tao of Tea. I didn’t realize their tins were so pretty! They have a little knob on the inner lid. So nice!
I had a Samovar chai day at work today. I kept the same leaves in my infusor and resteeped several times, accidentally infusing for about 1/2 hour for one of the steeps. This worked really well for an easy chai, giving a mild black tea flavour, with a tasty cinnamony spice. I don’t really like the stovetop method for this chai because I don’t like a stewed tea taste. I prefer Up N Atom for a stove top chai because it’s spicy enough to mask the stewed tea. I really like the Samovar chai for standard brewing though.
I’m drinking a pot of this before bed. It’s a really nicely balanced rooibus.
I’m trying to be sensible about caffeine but I added 1/2 tsp of breakfast blend. It’s good! I’m working on the theory that if I can maintain a constant level of caffeination I’ll sleep better. When I was growing up I drank tea all the time, and I slept just fine. Even the dog drank tea. Ha, I’d forgotten that. Maybe I’ve just got out of practice. This is a delicious way to maintain a low level caffeine infusion.
I drank this for breakfast. Nice plain breakfast tea. This helps me wake up without puzzling my taste buds. No additives, 2 tsp, 12 oz boiling water, 4 minutes 1st steep, 5 mins 2nd.
I’ve been drinking this all day, trying to make myself like it as much as the A&D Caravan. My best effort was 1 1/2 tsp in 8 oz boiling water steeped for 3 minutes, then a second steep of 4 1/2. It is delicious but I don’t find myself gulping it down as greedily as the Caravan. Oh well.
This is my second go at this tea. Actually, it may be the smell that is so vegetably and oolongy for me. Today the taste seems more like squash. Not Brussell sprouts.
I’ve used a 4 oz pot both times I’ve tried this. I wonder if that’s made it more like an oolong. Also I’m not sure how much leaf I should be using. I’ve been using a small clump.
I’ve upped my rating a little. Not such a taste shocker today.
ETA: The wet leaves are stunning, like crushed silk.
I don’t think I’ve been using enough leaf for this, previously. The Samovar directions are usually very generous for amounts of tea and I’ve been automatically decreasing them. I’m frugal! Today I used a heaping tsp in 8 oz of water. This was delicious. Sweet, and slightly fruity. Very mild but tasty. I didn’t think I liked this particularly before, but suddenly I was craving it, and now I really like it. Weird. I’m on my 4th steep, which is taking it a bit too far, but there are still hints of what I was enjoying.
I drank this a week ago at my local Wholefoods. I keep wondering when I’ll be able to go back at try it again. I wasn’t paying much attention at first. I just wanted something wet. I dumped in half and half and started sipping – a very nice, mellow breakfast blend with a surprising and delicious caramel in the finish. I found myself slurping. Very nice.
I’d read the tasting notes but had forgotten what was said. I brewed for 2 minutes, then 2:30 for the second steep. Next time I’ll try longer as recommended!
I had the opposite problem to those trying to get more oolong though. From the rich amber brew I expected something malty and sweet. Although malty and sweet wasn’t what smelling the dry leaves suggested I was going to get, I couldn’t seem to let go of that expectation. What I got was vegetable – not roasted and caramelised, but something fresher, maybe lightly cooked sprout, the kind of thing I would have resisted eating when I was 3. I’m not saying it tasted like Brussell sprouts, but it troubled me that I was having to fish through my mental flavour library to try to get closer to it. Then I got it! It tastes like oolong, green oolong, not the complex buttery, floral or fruity notes but the underlying oolong tea taste.
I think I’d rather have an oolong. Or a black. I’ll see how I like this next time, now that I’ve got a better idea of what to expect.
I really like ATR’s sample packs. There’s masses of leaf in this packet, so I’ll have plenty of chances to make up my mind. I nearly didn’t write this note. I was feeling a little embarrassed about the number of new teas I’ve acquired lately. I had to fight down an urge to keep this one a secret. There’s no need to be shy here, right?
This is my first puer without lots of fruit, spices, or other stuff added to it, so I had no idea what to expect. I don’t have the experience, palate or vocabularly to attempt to describe this. It doesn’t taste like anything else I’ve tried and it tastes of things I don’t recognize. So I’ll just say, made first pot at midnight. Whoowho, wild and crazy, no work in the morning. Beautiful rich, dark colour. Tasted good, fell asleep mid-pot. Heated remains of first pot in microwave this morning. Amazingly, still tasted good! Second steep, still good. Added cream. Yum, made cream taste extra creamy. I’m about to make 3rd pot.
I think I’m going to really like this as I get to know it. I don’t know what this tastes like, but it tastes right somehow, as though this will become a taste other teas will aspire to and that I’ll search for.
I don’t like this much. It tastes a little soapy, which I think is the tulsi. Not much spice, and what there is is mostly sweet cinnamon. It contains unspecified flavouring and sugar. I’m working on decupboarding!
I’m so annoyed with myself that I’ve fallen for this one. I knew better than to buy a limited edition. I love it. What am I going to do when it’s gone? It has a fullness and sweetness, along with the smokiness, that made me guzzle down my first pot yesterday. I woke up at midnight and got up and made myself another pot, even though I had to be up at 5. All day I looked forward to getting home and guzzling some more.
I’m cutting off my nose to spite my face. I’m trying to blend my own replacement. My first attempt is 1 part Lapsang Souchong, 1 part Keemun, and 2 parts Andrews and Dunham Holiday Blend. I refuse to fall in love again.
This is a note for a tea I’ve tried recently, while on the subject of chais. I thought this was really rough! Not so much the spices as the tea itself, which was strong and bitter. I tried it on the stovetop and in a pot. Both ways were undrinkable, no matter what I added. This tastes just how I imagine an Indian trucker’s tea might taste.
This is a note on the caffeine-free version, which is in fact tea-free. There’s another caffeine free version with rooibus. I’ve just brewed up 2 quarts of this on the stove top. It has whole spices and big stringy pieces of ginger. The flavour is dominated by ginger, and it is hot!!! There’s something lacking though, oh yes, tea!
I read somewhere that you make this then heat it up and use it instead of water for black tea, avoiding the stewed tea effect of boiling tea leaves. I’ve just used Darjeeling that had already been steeped 3 times, and it’s obviously not robust enough to handle this heat. It needs a strong tea. But there are only so many hours in the day to drink caffeine. What to do? I may try this with a vanilla honeybush. That might be lovely.
Actually I’ve tried and prefer the black tea version of this. The spices are very forceful and easily mask the stewed black tea flavour, but the black tea gives body, which this lacks.
My favourite caffeine-free chai is Numi’s Ruby Chai, which is not as firey but has more nuances of flavour. When you want hot, hot, hot, this is great though! I’ve haven’t added milk or sugar, which would tame it somewhat.
Edited to add: now I’m drinking this with Teavana’s honeybush vanilla and it’s really good. Plus, the spiciness seems to have given me a big endorphin boost!
This is delicious. Beautiful small green and brown leaves and pieces that do the dancing in the pot thing. Mild, mellow, and honeyed, but it’s got a little sharp kick hidden in there. Downside is that it’s pricey. I’m going to try the same estate and harvest from elsewhere to compare. Otherwise, this is excellent tea.
The more I drink this, the more I like it. I’m trying gaiwan style. Delicious.