New Tasting Notes
Surprisingly orange already for a 2014 sheng, the wonders of humid storage, I guess? Opens up with a hint of smoke and a distinct trace of Chinese medicinal taste that I think will grow stronger over time. It has a good amount of throat coating feeling as well as returning sweetness, although not initially sweet at all (unless you let the liquor drop to almost room temperature).
I brewed this gently at 205 degrees (prewarmed everything and one 5 sec rinse) which pushes out some noticeable astringency, but also a stronger medicinal taste if that’s your thing. I dislike astringency above all, so I opened the lid while brewing and after to cool down the overall temp and that dry teeth feeling. Not much bitterness and nice depth to explore with a leathery taste and feeling as the main character, I think this will be interesting to try again in a few years, but is quite drinkable now, although more dry feeling than I like, personally.
Flavors: Herbs, Leather, Medicinal, Smoke, Sweet
Before I formally begin this review, allow me to offer a warm thanks to S.G. Sanders for providing me with an opportunity to try this tea. I am planning on doing a side-by-side shootout between this and the loose leaf Harney & Sons Paris this weekend. I like both, but there are some subtle and not so subtle differences between the two.
I prepared this tea using a one step Western infusion. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose material in 8 ounces of 208 F water for around 5 minutes. Obviously, I did not attempt any additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, I noticed that the dry leaf material produced a pleasant aroma of vanilla, bergamot, and lavender. After infusion, the lavender, bergamot, and vanilla aromas intensified. They were also joined by a subtle toasty character and a hint of cocoa. In the mouth, the notes of lavender, vanilla, and bergamot were most definitely dominant. I was able to detect fleeting impressions of toast, cream, and cocoa beneath them.
I like this blend. It is not nearly as fruity as the Paris blend from Harney & Sons and is very smooth in the mouth. There was not a tremendous amount of body, but I did not expect there to be. Flavored teas are usually a little light in terms of body, at least in my perception. Anyway, this is a nice, straight-forward blend. I would have no difficulties recommending it to fans of flavored teas.
Flavors: Bergamot, Cocoa, Cream, Lavender, Toast, Vanilla
This green base is why I think I don’t enjoy green teas. It’s just too green and grassy for me. The leaves look beautiful expanded, and those little pink petals open up. I do not taste cherry at all or anything more than the fainest hint of flowers.
Flavors: Drying, Grass, Green, Tannin, Vegetal
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Flavors: Fruity, Pepper, Salty, Sweet
Aroma: The smell is amazing, filling the room sweet rhubarb and vanilla notes.
Flavour: An amazing fruity iced tea, but also creates a gorgeous tea when brewed hot too! The flavour is obviously fruity, but there’s also a wild mix of sweet vanilla, sour rhubarb and a light musty hint of hibiscus. Its melodic and captivating. However, it it’s disapointing that the rhubarb taste comes from flavourings.
For more visit www.TastetheTea.co.uk
Flavors: Fruity, Hibiscus, Musty, Rhubarb, Sour, Sweet, Tart, Vanilla
Tried this twice now: first time I made it I used 175F water, 8oz and 2 min steeps x 3cups. I found it was a bit bitter (not too bad though- I had three cups) along with a nice grassy taste. Today I used 160F water and the same steeping parameters- no bitterness and a bit grassy.
Altogether pretty good, but a bit too finicky for me. I’ll have no prob using up the 25g I bought.
Flavors: Bitter, Grass
I normally do not buy tea when I’m out because I always bring teabags of my looseleaf with me. This time I was at a nice cafe with the BEST cinnamon buns I have ever tasted (lots if caramel and raisins!). I bought a caffeinated tea to enjoy with it and it was an excellent combination.
I was actually very impressed, considering this is a bagged tea from a company I have not tried before. I will probably try their other teas when I have a chance. “Paris” lives up to its name be being wonderful fruity, floral, and smooth. It has the pronounced black tea flavours I would expect to drink in a Parisian cafe.
Flavors: Bark, Blueberry, Dried Fruit, Floral, Flowers, Fruity, Herbs, Lavender, Rose, Smooth, Sweet, Tannin
I find it interesting that with the last 5-6 grams of this left, I’m enjoying it. I had a tough time liking this earlier. but at least it will end on a good note with me. :)
This is a very different taste than I’ve experienced before. The main note I’m getting (honestly) is berries.
I put this on my counter last night, so I could make way for new LP that just came in this morning!!!
On to Mate Nectar after this one’s done.
This blend is a mixture of green and black teas from China, India, and Taiwan. It is one of Simpson & Vail’s 15 original blends, going back to the early part of the twentieth century. Actually, these original blends predate Simpson & Vail in its current form by perhaps a decade or more. Simpson & Vail was originally a coffee seller operating under the name Augustus M. Walbridge, Inc. in New York. At some point in its early years, the business also started selling tea, and in 1929, the original owner, Augustus M. Walbridge, sold to his accountant and tea taster, and the current business was born. By this time, these original blends were already in existence.
I prepared this particular tea blend using the one step Western infusion I favor for so many black teas and tea blends. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose leaf material in 8 ounces of 190 F water for 3 minutes. As usual, I did not attempt additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, I noticed that the dry leaves produced a slightly smoky aroma. After infusion, I noticed a fairly strong aroma that was both vegetal and smoky with a hint of spice. In the mouth, I detected notes of pine, smoke, roasted vegetables, roasted barley, and spice. I also got a hint of salt, which provided a brothy note that was especially evident on the finish.
As odd as it sounds, this blend kind of worked for me. It was not particularly complex, but it was both filling and pleasant. I imagine that many contemporary tea blenders would not produce a similar product. This type of blend is very much a product of its era. I found myself thinking of it as “old lady tea” because it just seems like the kind of tea that older women or older people in general would have been drinking in the middle years of the twentieth century. Now that there is so much more variety on the market, blends like this seem to have fallen by the wayside, but I still found some simple pleasures here. I would recommend this blend to those looking for something approachable and filling and/or those looking to get an idea of what vendors were producing in the early years of the previous century.
Flavors: Pine, Roasted Barley, Salt, Smoke, Spicy, Vegetable Broth
This is an elderly bit of last years Pumpkin Chai.
This is one of those blends that I certainly would not turn down, if offered a cup, but its been knocked off the high pedestal by other pumpkin blends. I won’t actively be bringing it back into my cupboard.
This was just a bit, and it was a year old, so its not as tasty as it could be. Ah well, at least it counts as a sipdown!
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Flavors: Drying, Mineral, Smooth, Tannin, Tea, Toasty
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Flavors: Cantaloupe, Fruity, Melon, Sweet
In my dual desires to a) drink autumnal teas & b) try the things I have not yet tried in my cupboard, this mornings cup was a happy circumstance. A new tea to try, and an autumnal blend!
This was actually fairly nice! A sweetly spiced blend, where the pumpkin spice is very well balanced indeed. I don’t know that this has actual pumpkin in it, but it gave enough impression of pumpkin that the whole thing worked. They also kept it easy on the clove, so the whole thing felt light, instead of heavy.
Yes, I liked this!
I received a bag of this as a freebie with the quarterly Republic of Tea catalog. Even though I am trying to primarily focus on unflavored teas and tea blends, I still wanted to give this a shot. I’m not a huge fan of the teas offered by The Republic of Tea, but hey, I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to try one more. I love peppermint, cocoa, and vanilla (I’m not sure how I feel about green rooibos at this point), so I figured this one might be a winner.
I prepared this tea using a one step Western infusion. I steeped my sample bag in 8 ounces of 212 F water for around 5 minutes. I am not in the habit of resteeping tisanes or anything in a teabag, so I did not attempt additional infusions.
After infusion, the liquor produced strong aromas of cocoa, vanilla, and peppermint. There was a slightly toasty character that I presume was provided by the green rooibos. I could also pick up on a slight sugary scent from the stevia. In the mouth, I got a muddy mix of peppermint, stevia, cocoa, vanilla creme, and toast followed by a finish that continued to emphasize peppermint, cocoa, and vanilla creme notes, though there was also an oddly sugary sweetness from the stevia that became a bit distracting for me.
So, it would appear that I am still looking for a tea from The Republic of Tea that I actually like. I think what killed this one for me was how muddled the flavors were and how sickly sweet this blend became toward the finish. I am far from a fan of stevia, and I think this blend may have been slightly better without it. I also noticed that the green rooibos base was just barely detectable. It seems that a lot of herbal blends are going to rooibos as a base component these days, and while I like rooibos, I am undecided on green rooibos and tend to feel that rooibos of any sort is better on its own. I also have a little bit of an issue with the teamakers seemingly deliberately obscuring a component of this blend to the point that it is just barely detectable. I get that the green rooibos is likely there just to provide body, but why even bother at all? Why not use something else? In the end, I’m glad I had the opportunity to try this one and will give it points for decently approximating the flavor of peppermint bark, but I would most definitely not go out of my way to have it again.
Flavors: Cocoa, Peppermint, Sugar, Sweet, Toast, Vanilla
A light-colored liquor, the first sip of which has quite a sweetness. Definitely getting a good bit of pine, both from the scent of the leaves and from the flavor itself. A slightly sweet scent clings to the empty cup. I’m left with only a hint of a lingering flavor on the tongue with this particular steep, and I am still feeling the nice, smooth sensation that the liquor introduced. The second steep brings more of the same, and the following steep is flavorful, yet mellow, with a very refreshing, almost minty aftertaste. Still enjoying it four and five steeps in, we’ll see if anything changes!
Flavors: Pine, Smooth, Sweet
I can’t remember the last time I drank a Tie Guan Yin, which is something of a surprise as it’s become one of my favourite oolong varieties. I was more than pleased when I came across this one, not least because it’s a good opportunity to reacquaint myself. This particular Tie Guan Yin is from the Anxi Nature Reserve in Fujian Province, a major Chinese tea growing region (although one I seem to associate more with black tea than with oolong, strangely enough!)
Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/10/26/anxi-tie-guan-yin-from-teasenz/
I misread the name of this tea at first, and thought it said “Catnip.” Turns out I wasn’t far wrong, because this blend does actually contain catnip. It’s even more fitting when you consider that the company logo, and indeed the majority of their blends, are cat themed.
Catnap is purportedly a relaxing blend, containing chamomile, mint, lemon verbena, lemon balm…and catnip. In my head, catnip isn’t something I typically associate with relaxation – it conjures images of bright-eyed, mischief-making kittens. Maybe in humans the effects are different.
Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/10/22/catnap-aka-tea/