New Tasting Notes
This is a weird tea. In the bag, with the black tea leaves, safflower petals, and citrus peel, there’s this granular, powdery substance. The lemon lily website has “pomegranate powder” in the list of ingredients they use, so I’m guessing that’s what it is. I tasted some of the powder left behind on the scale, and it… didn’t really tast like anything. Weird. Steeping instructions on the label were “2 tea spoons @ 212F for 4-6 mins”. I measured out 1.5tsp (one level “tea spoon”) and it was 3.4g, which seemed like plenty for my 9oz mug. Steeped for 2 min, tasted, it was kind of bland. Steeped for one more min, tasted, it was starting to get a bit tart/bitter, so I figured it was time to stop. This brews into a dark orange liquor. It smells like… red fruit, could be pomegranate I guess. It actually smells like it has hibiscus in it, though it doesn’t. It tastes mostly citrusy and slightly sour/bitter from the orange and lime peel. Where is the black tea hiding in all of this? If I were tasting it blind I would assume this was a tisane. Bizarre.
Flavors: Citrus, Red Fruits, Sour
Last stop on the oxidation train is the black tea, hopefully drinking these teas one right after the other will give me the caffeine boost that I need, if not I am going back to bed. So, the aroma of this tea is brisk with a blend of honey, woodiness, malt, and a touch of berries at the finish. It smells like an iconic black tea, at least to me it does. Brewing up the bag I get notes of malt and honey, it is both rich and sweet.
This tea is rich and brisk, just what I expect from a cup of a tea that smells so iconically like a black tea. There are notes of malt and woodiness with a distinct sweet blend of honey and berries at the finish. The briskness just starts to sneak over to the astringent side but stops before it gets mouth drying, which is a plus in my book. I could see this being a really good breakfast tea, and might be pretty tasty with cream and sugar.
Ah oolong, my possible favorite tea, it is hard to tell, it is certainly the tea I drink the most of. The aroma of the curly and rather dark leaves is pretty sweet, a blend of stewed cherries, honey, and distant orchids. There is also a hint of smoke and spice, though they are faint, only little whiffs. The brewed tea now is a powerhouse of raisins and cocoa with a hint of spicebush and smoke.
The taste is brisk for an oolong, reminding me more of a brisk black but instead of malt there are notes of raisins, sweet caramelized sugar, and a rich note of honey. This is definitely one of those times that it is an oolong that tastes like a mix between a green and a black, erring more on the black side. The aftertaste is slightly smoky, though it does not linger for very long.
Next up is the green, I decided to go in oxidation order, it just seemed appropriate. The aroma of the broken green leaves in the teabag is, well, rather green! It is like a blend of fresh spinach, buttered greens (specifically buttered cauliflower) and a little like fresh collards. Brewing the tea I found it surprisingly brisk, almost like a black tea with its briskness, there are also notes of honey and hay along with grass and a touch of spinach.
The taste of this one was similar to the aroma, brisk and green, and a little on the bitter side. Bitter like eating fresh kale, in fact the taste reminds me of kale at the beginning of the sip and then it transitions pretty intensely to mown grass and honey. Sadly this tea did not wow me over much, though I cannot be expected to like every tea I drink, just most of them.
Starting off with the tea with the least amount of processing and oxidation, good old fuzzy white tea. It is totally random if I will take a tea out of its bag if presented with a teabag, but I was feeling a bit lazy today and decided since teabags were made for convenience, I am going to use that ease of access. So, sniffing the teabag I get notes of wildflowers, fresh hay, a bit of lettuce, and a tiny bit of fruitiness at the finish. This is one of the more delicate white teas I have sniffed, giving it a steeping brings out more of the honey and wildflower notes, it reminds me of a summer field in full bloom.
The tea is surprisingly dark for a silver needle tea, it has the coloring of a shou mei, which excites me something fierce because that tea is fun. Ok, tasting the tea, it is similar to a shou mei, with rich honey and fruit notes with a bit of earthy loam. However there is also similarities to silver needle with delicate floral notes and vegetal (I almost always pick out this specific vegetal note as lettuce) and a touch of sage. I have no qualms saying that I chugged this cup really quickly, and not just because I had just woken up and desperately needed some caffeine.
Hidden Gems TTB #3
I tend to stay away from red rooibos, because it often has a woody flavor that I don’t enjoy. But this one smelled so delicious, I just had to give it a try! And I’m glad I did. This stuff is non-alcoholic almond amaretto: rich and sweet with a strong (but not too overpowering) almond flavor. Thank you to Analina for sharing all of these wonderful Cornelia Bean teas…I’ve discovered lots of true hidden gems thanks to you!
Flavors: Almond, Sweet
First off, I just would like to say, what the hell is an after eight? So, after some Googling I have come to the conclusion that after eight’s are just UK versions of an Andes mint. Huh.Ooooh, but this tea.
This is not so vanilla, exactly. Creamy, fudge-y fun of the golden monkey and sweet ever so slightly cherry-esque vanilla beans. With each steep, the vanilla comes out and the tea gets sweeter and sweeter. Holy cannoli, Tippy’s. Your golden monkey is SO. GOOD.
I could definitely smell the mint in the dry leaf, but I got disappointed by the first sip. No mint on the palate? whaaat? But, as soon as I inhaled, I got the familiar coolness that I associate with chewing minty gum. Not what I had expected, but I think it’s quite refreshing. (pun intended.)
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Malt, Mint, Sweet, Vanilla
Hidden Gems TTB #2
The evil hibiscus strikes again! This tea smells like blueberry muffin and has a nice blueberry flavor in the beginning of the sip. But towards the end, the hibiscus takes over completely and you are left with mouth-puckering tart aftertaste. Still glad for the opportunity to try a new tea company, though!
Flavors: Blueberry, Hibiscus, Tart
Hidden Gems TTB #1
There are so many amazing-looking teas in this box, but I’m limiting myself to herbal tisanes at this time of night. This one is super delicious! Not a generic citrus flavor, but a very distinctive juicy grapefruit taste with just the right amount of tartness. I’m enjoying it hot tonight, but I’m guessing it would be a wonderfully refreshing iced tea in the summer.
Flavors: Grapefruit, Tart
Ok so this is more of a cooking with tea review. But it was a-matcha-azing!!!
I made matcha chocolate using this recipe:
http://www.justonecookbook.com/recipes/green-tea-chocolate/ (this site is totally my new favorite recipe site!!)
I tweaked the recipe just a little bit.
My recipe was:
400g of swiss white chocolate wafers, chopped into small pieces as the wafers were quite large
2TB matcha plus 1 tsp to sprinkle
1/2 cup whipping cream.
Heat the cream over medium heat, once hot but not boiling turn down heat to low and slowly add the chocolate stirring constantly. Then add the butter and continue stirring constantly until fully melted together. Remove from heat and immediately add the 2TB matcha slowly (I sifted it in 1/2 TB at a time), and continue stirring until fully mixed and smooth. Pour in a parchment paper lined pan (I used a bread pan because that is all I had that was small enough). Lightly bang pan on the counter to remove any air pockets. Put in fridge to cool. Once cooled, cut into pieces and sprinkle 1 tsp matcha over top (I again sifted it through a mesh strainer).
This was so absolutely delicious. It was quite sweet, there was subtle smooth white chocolate flavour, the matcha was also smooth but provided a moderate matcha/green tea flavour. There was no bitterness at all. Slightly vegetal. The white chocolate made the matcha so creamy and smooth. Next time I think I would use less butter because this came out more soft than I would have liked (it was almost a soft-type fudge consistency). I would like to try to find some good white chocolate that is also a bit less sweet.
The only draw back it is getting late where I am, I am sure I will be up all night now because of the matcha. #sensitive sleeper. But I want to eat so much more :)
I stopped in at David’s while at the mall today, and decided to try a cup of this because it sounded great. The smell of the dry leaves is amazing. I do enjoy the combination of chocolate and rosebuds.
Upon first sip, I loved the combination. The chocolate is obvious and quite sweet without making it syrupy or tasting terribly artificial. I thought the combination of the sweet chocolate with the powerful floral taste was interesting. As the cup cooled, the taste became a bit overwhelmingly floral for my liking. Not so bad that I didn’t enjoy it, but I could have done with slightly less rosebud.
Overall, I thought it was enjoyable, but not one that I would bother to restock. I think that the novelty would wear off quite quickly for me.
Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Rose, Sugar, Sweet
I got this after realizing how much I loved the watermelon doke, and figured I needed anything with watermelon in my life.
It is tasty, but the puerh base is a bit odd. It definitely holds up to the intense lime and watermelon, which were pretty balanced, but the earthiness didn’t really evoke slushie to me. As though it matters when it tastes good. Next time, I am letting my cup of this totally cool as it could be really spectacular as an iced tea.
This is really spectacular, but I can’t help but feel like it could be even more. It is thick and dessert-y, but even when shaking the bag like a loon, I can’t help but feel like the chocolate notes overpower the vanilla. As a vanilla fiend, I want more. I am not sure if it was just my bag or what, but I think this would be perfection if the vanilla were intensified.
I got two good steeps out of it. The second being much more smooth than the first, and light. I could taste the vanilla more, as a lot of the intense chocolate was tamed. Latter steeps were alright, but not as good as the first two. I will definitely plan to keep this around.
1) Pre-Sip: The scent of clove is strong, but that’s what you get when whole cloves are infused. I smell a faint cinnamon and cardamon scent as well, but they are overpowered by the intense clove.
2) First Taste: I think I’m tasting green chai, and that’s cool. Never had that before. But again, in such a small amount of tea there were probably 3 or 4 dried cloves. It’s impacting the flavor too much and I’m missing the coconut, the ginger, and the thai chai. Not an unpleasant aftertaste, though I can’t imagine this being a non-winter tea.
3) Second Taste: I got a little ginger that time! This feels like the spices should be spicier though. I wanted to taste this thai chai (I’m begin to love all things Thai so I was excited about that) because of the spice. It’s like a spiced chai, but all spice and very little chai.
4) Final Thought: There’s a lack of sweetness and a overwhelming amount of spice. I wouldn’t recommend this to someone unless they love clove and ginger. But it’s good to try new things.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Spices