New Tasting Notes
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve had this one, so I thought I’d make it my before bed tea. The fact that it has hibiscus in it keeps me away, but to be honest there’s not a lot of tart hibiscus flavor going on here. Mostly I get sweet, juicy blueberry and apple. The herbal is sweet enough on its own, so I didn’t add sugar. This is really pretty good. Now if I can just remember to drink it on a regular basis….
YUM! So deliciously creamy. I wasn’t sure what to think about this tea. I am not a huge fan of cantaloupe but I like fruity teas. When I opened the bag this had a strong melon scent and a creamy scent that I just couldn’t place. Upon brewing, the scent was more subtle. I think I may have understeeped this one a bit because the flavors are there but just not as strong as I would like. But that’s my own fault for not really measuring. At first sip you get the cantaloupe flavor and then a creamy note at the end. I sure am enjoying this tea. I’m considering buying more before butiki runs out!
This is usually my I’m-sick-and-need-something-that-taste-good-with-honey tea. Tonight I thought it’d be a nice herbal. The lemon flavor is strong, and while I can taste the ginger it’s not heating up the back of my throat the way a lot of ginger heavy teas do. Instead of adding honey I added a little white sugar, and the result is something very close to lemonade. It’s not bad, but I think I like honey more.
I’ll still save most of these teabags for when I’m feeling sick, but it’s a nice lemony herbal to have just ’cause every now and then.
I’m using my new mug my aunt sent me from Teavana for Christmas. (Okura Ume Blossom Infuser Tea Mug – their website picture does not do this mug justice AT ALL) I love this infuser mug – ceramic steeper is surprisingly fun, it’s so easy to clean when I’m used to metal meshes, and the design is just upping the experience for me. I’m eating two of my mother’s chocolate chip cookies she baked today for the occasion.
I have had this sample of Golden Monkey for awhile. A few years back I tried Adagio teas Golden Monkey and remember enjoying it quite a bit.
This tea really does have a comforting, golden glow about it. It just puts me in a good mood to drink it. I add a small smidge of sugar but it already has a nice sweetness that radiates from it. Very smooth and delicious to gulp up. It’s just as yummy while it cools down!
Damnit, Granville Island! This is the SAME TEA as sold by Cuppa’T and probably other Canadian tea shops.
It is actually pretty darn good. Sweet, almondy, with a decent black base. It’s a little astringent, maybe because I ended up with the last bit in the bag for my cup. Or perhaps because of the almonds.
I am enjoying it with milk, and think it might make a pretty good eggnog latte as well. Not sure I’d rush out for more, but I could see this being a decent fall tea.
(1.5 tsp for 10 oz)
Got a sample of this and ended up using it for iced tea. We drink a lot of iced tea with our meals, even in the colder months, and I needed a new flavor to try. This is really nice iced, although the fruity, berry flavor is not as pronounced as it is in the Boston Blend. I may get it again, if only to try it hot – I used up the entire sample just making one quart of iced tea.
Many thanks to Lala for passing some down! As soon as I tore open the packet, I caught a whiff of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea’s Coconut Chai, and sure enough, it tastes almost the exact same. This may be a little bit smoother. The cardamom also tastes a little stronger in this one, at least from memory. Huge cardamom fan here, so yay.
I also dumped in some almond nog and the flavours go very well together. Now I’m just sitting here waiting for Guinness plum pudding to finish in the oven.
I thought this was a white tea due to its appearance and had it sitting with my white tea samples. According to the vendor’s site, it’s a green tea. I don’t know the story behind this tea and why the needles appear to have been crimped. Is it part of the processing? Does this occur naturally? Is it dragon magic? I can’t be sure.
The infusion this tea created is very pale, almost colorless, with the slightest yellow. I’m still not convinced this isn’t a white tea. Okay… the smell and taste have convinced me. It has the sort of nutty and grassy smell of a chinese green tea. Taking a sip, it’s a really mellow and nutty kind of green flavor, with hints of green bean or sweet peas. It’s sweet and non-offensive, really easy to drink. I found myself drinking it very quickly because of this. It has a really smooth and juicy mouthfeel and a lingering taste. The flavor’s a little light.
Still almost colorless on a second infusion, there’s a lot less flavor this time. I’m tasting a hint of metallic flavor that I think is just a quality of the water I’m using when heated. There’s hardly anything there to taste at this point, so I’ll end my review here.
I don’t know what to think about this tea overall. The flavor was really nice, but nothing terribly unique. There’s a hint of a peach taste lingering in my mouth and the feeling after drinking this tea is very clean and fresh. It’s a really delicate and easy to enjoy tea, but so delicate that it seemed really lacking in flavor by the second infusion. I guess I’m a little underwhelmed since the appearance was so interesting! I had hoped the flavor would be as unique. Still, it wasn’t a bad tea.
Flavors: Green Beans, Nutty, Peas, Sweet
So, you may or may not know that I dabble with Influentster, recently they had an ebay related campaign involving creating guides and collections. I finished the collection campaign a week ago and just finished the guides section, meaning I got $10 ebay gift card and have another one on the way. This babbling is inevitably leading up to the thing I bought, Dark Swords Elven Princess, a sculpt inspired by Larry Elmore’s (think most Dragonlance covers) art that I am much enamored with. If my plans go…as planned, then I will be doing a little green stuff alteration to make her more like one of my RPG characters.
Excitement about painting aside, I am not feeling too hot today so onto the tea! Specifically What-Cha’s Darjeeling 1st Flush 2014 Gopaldhara SFTGFOP1 Black Tea, an exceptionally high grade (special finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe…that means it is really good) first flush Darjeeling from Gopaldhara Tea Estate. For some reason my brain just cannot register the name of this estate, no many how many times I read it or type it, I will always want to pronounce it Goldaphara…really brain, do try to keep things from getting too jumbled. I think this is why my reviews will always be in text, no one will have to hear my letter jumbling. So, the aroma of this tea is so light and so sweet, it just kinda lays on my nose like a silken scarf. It is a blend of muscatel (specifically very fresh scuppernongs and muscadines) honey, wildflowers, and a tiny touch of pepper at the finish. It reminds me of nasturtiums and growing things and the more milder aspects of summer.
In order to let the leaves dance around and have fun while taking their bath, I decided to steep them in my alchemy equipment (as I have taken to calling my glass double boiler thingy) as they unfurl, the colors of the leaves is quite beautiful, a mixture of greens, browns, and golds. It reminds me of sunlight streaming through leaves. The aroma of the leaves is so fresh, like muscadines straight off the vine, sweet sun warmed honey right off the comb, wildflowers blooming, and peppery nasturtiums. It is such a soothing aroma, and a very happy one at that, at least for me, it reminds me of summers from my younger days. The liquid is delicate and sweet, like honey and nasturtiums with a touch of muscadines. Ah, this is heavenly!
Oh man, I love that nasturtium note! I do not run into that one very often in tea, it is awesome! If you have never had the pleasure of eating nasturtium flowers, they are peppery, a bit sweet, and have a very clean and green heat to them. Similar to a very mild horseradish and flowers. Now this tea is not all spicy flowers, in fact the first bit of taste is the clean nasturtium and then it vanishes, quickly replaces with juicy muscadines and honey. It is just like biting into a sun warmed muscadine picked off the vine, an experience I seriously advise everyone to do at least once! The finish is mild and sweet, a wildflower honey taste that lingers.
I did a second steep for this tea and it was very similar to the first, the notes of honey were stronger and the peppery notes were almost diminished, it reminded me a little of daikon without the root taste. I was in one of those great tea bliss moments and as my notes finish for this tea, my usually barely legible handwriting just becomes a sideways mess. This was (le gasp) my first ever first flush Darjeeling, and I can see why so many people are hooked on it! I need more, lots more, if the taste is that intoxicating!
For photos and blog (my tea frogs got a little crazy this time): http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/12/what-cha-darjeeling-1st-flush-2014.html
This is my 150th review! BOOM! FIREWORKS!
I like to review something special and out of ordinary for my reviews that are multiples of 50, so here’s one I’ve had for a bit that I haven’t gotten around to reviewing.
In Japan, this sakura blossom tisane is called Sakurayu. It’s made by picking fresh cherry blossoms in the spring and preserving them in salt and plum vinegar. The preparation method is a little tricky because of the salt. The method I’ve tried that worked best is to soak the flowers in hot water for about 5 minutes to remove the salt. This should be hot water like you’d draw from the tap. Maybe 140F degrees or less. You aren’t looking to steep the flowers, but to remove the salt. After this, you should put the blossoms directly into your teacup and pour on boiling water. Let them steep another 3 to 5 minutes.
The resulting drink is very light in color, but slightly yellow. The floating blossoms are gorgeous when they open into little fine poofs of pink. The scent and taste are surprisingly more like cherries than I’d imagine. I thought it’d be a bit more floral. I think some of this is actually plum flavor coming from the plum vinegar. There’s a hint of saltiness to this tea that is subtle, but if you save the initial brine from the flower that was soaked in hot water, you can scoop back in a little of this salty and flavorful brine a bit at a time if you want your drink to be a little more salty and flavorful. I personally enjoy it without putting any of this brine back in. It’s very delicate and spring-like.
I have also tried using these flowers to flavor sake. I soaked them in hot water for a few minutes to remove the salt, then put the flowers into my sake carafe and poured some sake in. The carafe was moved to a tall pot of water and then almost brought to a simmer to heat the sake inside. After this, I poured it back into the sake bottle, used a special pump that sucks the air back out, and put it into the fridge for a few hours to chill. I served it chilled and the sake was very sweet with a subtle cherry/floral taste and a really thick creamy texture. There was a tiny hint of saltiness, but it was not as detectable among the sweet flavor of the sake. These petals look just as beautiful in clear (filtered) sake as they do in water, and the flavor is even more delicious, if you like sake.
I really recommend these to any lovers of flowers, cherry trees, cherries, or Japan. This is a soothing spring beverage you can enjoy any time of the year.
Flavors: Cherry, Flowers, Plums, Salt
I chose this tea at random, because I was able to add an extra sample if I posted on facebook. I wanted to try a coconut tea, and I realized I didn’t have much experience at all with spiced teas. This smells like a normal chai, but milder because of the ceylon (or at least I heard the chai teas were mixed with ceylon… I could be wrong. It just says black tea on the page…) And the coconut makes it sweet. The predominant flavor, though, is the lemon grass. it’s great. I’m wondering if it will go well with caramel. Anyway, I think I’ll brew some more. This seemed to brew the best, though, so maybe I should use more chai tea per cup and brew it longer.
Flavors: Coconut, Lemongrass
A blend of Ceylon and Darjeeling, this ‘morning tea’ is good to drink any time. It’s pleasantly fragrant, luscious and quite drinkable. Only bought this since there’s no assam in it (which so often is in ‘breakfast tea’ and reminds me too much of my supermarket teabag days). I think it’s the Darjeeling in here that’s the interesting taste. It has some vegetal characteristics, amongst other things. Give me more I’d say. T leaf T’s website is currently out of stock on this (you can still buy samples), so I’d say I’m not the only one who likes it.
Only suggestion is maybe they can give it a more interesting name.
Had this with milk & sugar.
So, yesterday when I was getting my shot, my dr injected some steroids, and was telling me the side effects that it would cause. Yesterday and early this morning I kept getting like hot flashes-and I’d feel super hot and would literally start sweating, even though it’s freezing in my room. That’s gone away mostly, but now I am feeling super irritated and grumpy for no reason whatsoever. My dr mentioned this side effect the most out of all of them. At first it was somewhat okay, but now I just can’t focus on anything. >< Stupid side effects. So brewed up some chamomile tea…maybe this one will help.
If not, at least it still tastes good! :P
Today I received my first-ever Amoda subscription box! The box itself was quite cute – stamped with their logo on the front and their name along the sides. (You can see it here: http://amodatea.com/) My teas were wrapped in tissue paper with was sealed with logo sticker. There was a very nice glossy info sheet just explaining their general concept, and also a companion sheet for the teas describing their flavors. Also included were a few disposable filter bags and a chai-flavored marshmallow. Very well-packaged and snazzy overall. This is a rooibos tea with apple, orange, and spices. I can see big chunks of fruit and some rose petals mixed in with the rooibos itself. Dry scent is kind of bubblegum-esque with a spicy edge.
I can definitely smell the clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg in the steeped it, with just a little bit of sweet apple aroma. Hm… It also tastes like bubblegum a little bit, which is not appetizing. I can definitely taste the clove over everything else. Next strongest are the cinnamon and apple flavors. I can’t drink this without thinking bubblegum… :/
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Clove, Orange, Sweet
It is a very light tea, in my opinion. It’s only the second time I’ve steeped this tea but I do like it even if it is very heavy on the lemon flavour. As I’m normally not a lemon fan it seems a bit odd I do enjoy these lemon teas a fair bit. Otherwise the ginger does give it a strong kick as an aftertaste and all in all a nice relaxing cup to have before bed.
Flavors: Ginger, Lemon
I have just now gotten around to trying this sample that James sent with my most recent order, several months ago now! The scent in the cup as it sat on my desk kept reminding me of black licorice. It was a tasty cup that I had no idea what to except from. I added some half and half for the last part of the cup and that turned it into a creamy delight. I don’t especially care for the scent but the taste is good!
This tea is awesome. I love pineapple and coconut mixed together. The aroma when you open the bag is just heavenly. Pineapple tidbits waft to your nose accompanied with a gentle oolong. And the taste… yea. Perfect amount of pineapple and coconut so as not to over power the oolong. I’m loving the oolong base they used. Grassy with a vegetal hint.
Flavors: Coconut, Pineapple
This is a very good coconut cream, made less impressive by a little chocolate scratch-n-sniff flavor. :)
It’s already creamy. With the addition of some actual cream and minus the chocolate this could have been a favorite coconut. I’m glad to have tried it! Thanks, Flyawaybirdie!
This tea is good, despite the fact that it reminds me of artificial melon more than real melon (think Jolly Ranchers). As far as white teas go, I have only found one I really liked though – so I might just be picky.
It’s definitely worth a sip, and I wouldn’t refuse it if it was offered to me. But I don’t think I’d keep it permanently stocked in my tea closet. I’m still on the lookout for that perfect melon tea…
This was another in Veronica’s Christmas card! The scent of this was completely misleading to me. There wasn’t much of one and then a nice, moderately malty taste hits. There were some sour notes as well but not in a bad way. This can take a long steep. I forgot about it and it sat for quite awhile. :) It was tasty and I’m glad I have enough for a few more cups!