Featured & New Tasting Notes
This is one of the personal-designed teas from Design A Tea that I got a sample of.
The pre-steeped tea is cloyingly sweet smelling, so is the brewed.
The flavor only has the barest hints of amaretto and is otherwise ALL chestnut.
Which does taste great in quality. The black tea base fits nicely with it.
I’m rating this mid-to-high based on the chestnut flavoring, but not higher due to the lightness of amaretto and the scent, and because I personally didn’t think it was awesome, for my own taste preferences. For me, the chestnut is too strong.
But if you love earthy, rich, nutty teas, this is for you. As said, the chestnut is Strong in this one.
I was making this tea for my husband, so I figured I’d do a quick review.
The description from THE O DOR of this tea describes the tea as reminiscent of French macarons and I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with this. There is a distinct sweet almond (very much like fine macarons) aroma once you open the tin and that made this macaron lover salivate. There’s also a underlying note of berries – mostly strawberry – as well.
I brewed for the recommended 3 minutes and tasted. Brewed, the aroma had slight grassy notes, with just a hint of the sweet almond still discernible. The tea definitely had the slightly grassy taste that green teas often have, but it was not overwhelming at all. Upon tasting, the sweet almond and slight berry flavour is apparent in the finish, but not the forefront for sure.
I also made this tea iced and the profile of the iced tea was very similar to that of the hot; the only real difference is the almond flavouring came through a bit more and wasn’t quite as sweet as it was when hot (it took on more of a bitter almond profile). Unfortunately I also couldn’t taste any of the berry either.
Overall it’s a lovely tea, but I think I’d try to find something with more berry flavouring (the almond tends to overwhelm the berry) and less grassiness (it seems like the almond was there to almost try and mask the grassiness).
I decided to let this steep until the bulb had finished blossoming. Usually, I just steep it for about 3 or 4 minutes, even if it’s not finished opening, and then resteep it until it has fully bloomed. But, this time, I wanted to find out what it would taste like after steeping as long as it took for the bulb to completely open.
And it doesn’t taste bad at all. In fact, it’s really quite lovely – not just to look at but to drink as well. The flavor is lightly vegetative with sweet honey tones. The honey-esque notes are accented by the pollen-y taste that is in the tea. Overall, a very pleasant tea to sip.
Picked this one up at a Pilot truck stop a while ago. I had quite disappointing experiences with the other sachets I picked up, so I wasn’t expecting much from this one, but such is cupboard cleaning: sometimes you drink teas you’re not the biggest fan of.
The dry sachet smelled very generically tropical; I could maybe pick out pinapple? But also worringly artificial. I’m starting get a bit skittish about some fruit tea blends since they can go so wrong so fast for me. Anyway, when I brewed it, it was better than I was expecting. That’s not saying much, but the aroma is decently pleasant and not too fake or sickly-sweet smelling. The green tea isn’t obliterated in the aroma or the taste, which is nice. It tastes fairly generically tropical, like it smells, but it’s decent enough. I was surprised to see that there is mint in this, since the combo of mint and tropical fruit sounds horrible and wrong to me, but while the mint flavor is definitely noticable, I don’t hate it. Overall, it’s not a terribly exciting tea, but not so bad that I won’t drink the whole cup.
I had this tea last night because I knew I was getting my Adagio shipment in the next day. I had ordered almost all their rooibos and honeybush samples, so I figured this tea was getting pretty stale and better to use it up before the exciting new ones come in.
Well, I can only guess the tea I had was this one… I purchased a 1 oz. pouch of this from a nearby new age store. After some investigating online, however, I’m almost positive it’s this tea.
Stories aside, I don’t really know what to make of it. The first several sips were amazing. It tastes exactly like what it says – a warm, nutty gingersnap cookie with all the earthy, sweet goodness of rooibos underneath. As I kept drinking it, however, I kinda lost interest and the sweetness of the drink really built up on my tongue. If only all the sips managed to taste as good as the first few…
On a weirdly positive note, though, I had trouble falling asleep last night. After tossing and turning for an hour and going downstairs for a midnight glass of milk, I came back to discover my entire room smelled like gingersnap cookies! Who needs candles anymore?
Finally trying this again. Dry smell is scrumptious, steeped I initially get standard black tea smell, albeit (artifically) sweetened. Upon closer inspection, there is a definite creamy berry sort of aroma, almost reminiscent of a french vanilla cappuchino. The black tea smell is a little disconcerting, not of the best quality. I’m positive I didn’t oversteep it, but it almost gives off that aroma. Looking at the leaves, they are very small and broken up, so I’m assuming that is the source of the ‘bitter’ smell. Hopefully, I am over-analyzing things.
The liquor is very dark and a little ominous. Lets dive in! First sips are (unfortunately) skewed by the onions from my lunch. Onion taste aside, there is a lingering sweet berry taste after the sip, but I get some of that bitter black tea at the front. It blends well with the vanilla to cover it up, I don’t really get a straight up bitter taste, but it definitely lacks the complexity and taste of some of my favourite black teas. This is one tea that only deteriorates as it cools, I prefer to drink it while hot before the bitterness becomes strong.
I definitely enjoy this but sadly have not been wowed like everyone else. I think that with a better base, this tea could really shine but at the moment it is held back by my impressions of the lower quality black tea. I’ve never had another Adagio tea before so I don’t know what they’ve used in this or what they use in general. I took a peek on the site but I didn’t see anything about the tea base. Anywho, this continues to be good but not stellar in my books and it makes me a little sad.
I usually don’t go for an oolong in the morning, but I wanted one anyway. This is another one of my samples from QuiltGuppy, thanks! The dry leaf smells a little bit vegetal, and a little bit floral. Unlike the other oolongs I’ve had recently this is a dark oolong and the leaves are long, spindly and twisted. This made it difficult to portion out into my cup, so I don’t know if I quite got the right amount of leaf; I think perhaps I should have added more. I brewed it “traditional” style using the instructions they gave on their website for that method, as opposed to gong-fu style.
Brewed, the liquor is a medium dark yellow and it smells quite floral with a hint of fruit. There’s also that deeper “oolongy” aroma there too, but I can’t quite pick out some of the darker more complex notes they mention. Despite the fact I think I didn’t add enough leaf, I am very much enjoying this cup. It’s sweet and floral and all around delicious. I’m glad I have enough leaf to brew some more cups and do a better tasting note. Thanks again QuiltGuppy for another fantastic tea!
I really shouldn’t be writing this note at work, but I’ll be doing overtime today anyways so here goes.
I really like this tea! I got it iced in my $1 mug today. The sample with no sweetener was really nice and smooth, but I got a little agave in it on a whim. I usually don’t sweeten my iced teas but with a name like Dolce & Banana, it was just asking for it haha.
I have to say, I hate bananas. But carmelized bananas I can go for – which is exactly what this has hints of. They must have steeped it just right because I’m not overwhelmed with chamomile – it’s just a great compliment!
Not something I would steep myself or drink hot, but super refreshing and lovely as an iced tea! I reccomend a little sweetener to help bring out the carmel/banana b^_^
EDIT: Plus, “Dulce & Banana”, how clever is that name?! haha I’m such a sucker for things with awesome names
I LOVE this tea. It is my ultimate favorite white. It’s flavorful, juicy, malty, fruity and lasts many many steeps. It is an Assam version of a bai mu dan (pai mutan, white peony) but with oodles more of a peachy, nectar, melon type flavor that just persists throughout steeps (ive gone up to 7 infusions and its still got flavor to spare!). Ive tried other assam whites from other estates, but none of them even get close to the quality and flavor of the one sold by S & V. I bought a pound of it last year and have kept it in a tin in my cupboard and even after a year of sitting there, it still tastes and brews like it did when i first purchased it. Im very impressed with this tea.
After a local tea shop was clearing out all of their THE O DOR teas, I ended up buying a tin of the Je m’appelle Dorothee at a greatly reduced price. As I often drink hibiscus-based teas, I figured I would enjoy this tea.
The loose tea smelled amazing – I definitely smelled the pineapple and cherry notes and the aroma had a natural sweetness that tickled the nose. My tin had lots of dried cherries, currants and pineapple bits (and the odd banana chip) – in fact, I’d say it was probably about 40% fruit based on visual inspection. I’ve found with the herbal THE O DOR teas you have to steep to the maximum amount (or more) of the suggested time, so I infused the tea for 8 minutes.
As I’m used to hibiscus-based teas (I often drink hibiscus tea straight), I didn’t find the hibiscus in this tea overwhelming. If you’re not used to this type of tea, or you don’t enjoy this type, the hibiscus could definitely be overwhelming. Often I find hibiscus teas to have a harsh citrus tartness to them that can cause your mouth to pucker, but in this tea, it was more muted than in others that I’ve had. The slight pineapple and cherry flavours round out the tea, giving it a richness that I haven’t found in other hibiscus-based teas, as well as a bit of natural sweetness. Due to the natural acidity of the tea, there’s a slightly dry aftertaste.
As I usually drink hibiscus teas iced, I definitely wanted to try this tea iced. The aroma of the tea is very muted iced, but the flavour is still there. The natural sweetness was more pronounced in the iced version of this tea, which was great because it helped to mute some of the natural acidity of the tea. I also found that iced, Je m’appelle Dorothee has a bit of a citric aftertaste (my guess is if you drink this type of tea sweetened, the citric aftertaste would most likely not be noticeable).
While I really enjoyed this tea and will definitely finish the tin (drinking both hot and iced), I doubt I’ll purchase it again due to high price of THE O DOR teas and it no longer being carried locally.
I’m upping my rating for this tea quite a bit. I decided to brew two cups of this tea with a little honey and it really hit the spot. I’m in love with the creamsicle-like smell and taste. The vanilla from the oolong blends well with the orange flavored rooibos and the floral, apple notes of the chamomile. It’s definitely a good tea to have around the evening when I’m slashing my caffeine intake, craving something dessert like, and wanting something relaxing.
I’ll admit it: I’m afraid of pu-erh tea. Even tasting notes by people who like them don’t sound good to me. Dirt, fish, horse farms? No thanks (and I grew up on a horse farm so that last one sounds really unappetizing). But when QuiltGuppy offered to send me a sample of this one, which she enjoyed and did sound good from her tasting note, I decided to take her up on it and give it a try. Thanks QuiltGuppy, for giving me my first pu-erh!
The aroma of the dry leaf surprised me on this one. I feel like I can sometimes pick out the coconut, and the fig, and the fennel individually, but when I stick my nose in the pouch they combine and I get overwhelmed by one scent: fine bourbon. Perhaps with a hint of bourbon balls (bourbon cream candy with pecans covered in chocolate) but wow if it doesn’t smell like the inside of the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival I go to every year (note: I’m a Kentucky girl, and I love bourbon). I could smell the dry leaves all day! Sweet, a bit molasses-y, oak barrel aged, a hint of rye, a bit of fruit, herbs… it’s like describing a bourbon tasting note.
Anyway! Onto the actual brewed stuff. THIS smells like the inside of an oak barrel previously used to age bourbon: much much woodier, a touch resiny, with a tantalyzing hint of the bourbon notes in the dry tea. I feel like this aroma carries over into the dry tea well, with a hint of added smokiness. It’s almost like the (brewed) tea was aged in a bourbon barrel, like some bourbon barrel ales I’ve had. It’s sweeter than I expected, smooth and full-bodied. As it cools it gets a touch less woody (though still present), and there’s a spiciness at the end of the sip. Still very bourbony, but without the alcohol hit. Wow, I really like this one! Thanks so much for sharing it with me, QG, because I probably would have never ventured there on my own. Between this one and the Milk Oolong, I sense an order to ATR in my future when my samples run out!
ETA: Second steep, 5 minutes (the time recommended on ATR’s site). Wow, this tea is really dark. I looks a bit like a black cup of coffee. It’s less sweet this time, but a hint of sweetness is still there. Not as fruity from the fig or creamy from the coconut, but more charred oak barrel (but in a tasty way!).
Fun facts: dandelion root (an ingredient in this tea) is rich in vitamins and minerals, and is apparently a herbal medicine, which has been used to treat just about everything but specifically things to do with the gut, liver, and kidney. It contains inulin, which might be contributing to the sweetness here. It’s sometimes described as being somewhat bitter, which I’m glad doesn’t come through in this tea. It’s also a mild diuretic and digestive aid. (I got my info from the University of Maryland Medical Center website: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/dandelion-000236.htm)
Green and white teas are teas that belong to spring and summer. I just don’t feel like drinking them much during the colder months of the year. Funnily enough, the reverse is not true for blacks and similar. I can drink those all year around. Anyway, it’s summerly outside and I felt like something sweet and refreshing, but also tea.
Therefore we turn towards these summer-teas, and I just happen to have a sample of this one kicking about in the Bits’n’Bops Basket. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve only ever had good experiences with the samples I’ve had the good fortune to try from this company. Seeing that the lowest amount of points given to this one so far is 83, I suspect I’m in for yet another one of those success-stories.
In spite of the fact that I’m not usually a very big fan of flower scented teas. Flowers so easily take on a soapy quality for me, a very basic and dusty sort of flavour which I don’t find particularly pleasant. Like getting shampoo in one’s mouth while showering. Especially jasmine has a tendency to do this for me.
I’ve never had anything with pao blossoms before, and I’m a little concerned about them being compared somewhat to jasmine in the description. I don’t care much for jasmine, so I’m not sure I’d care for some sort of super-jasmine-y flower either. Mentions of grapefruit, however, calms me down a bit again.
It is indeed very aromatic, rather too much for my taste. I’m not really a flower person in anyway. They’re nice to look at and all, but I don’t much care for the scent. Not just in tea, but in real flowers as well. It becomes too heavy too easily. There are even a certain kind of potted plants which I have banned from the house on account of them being stinky (little pink/purple flowers, large, hairy, dark green leaves). I haven’t the foggiest what it’s called but the boyfriend knew which one I meant and thankfully agreed with me on that one.
So yeah. I’ve got a cup of tea on my desk and it’s positively stinking up my room. Having stood there for a few minutes, the worst of the floral odoeur has wafted off, and I have to put my nose down to the cup in order to smell it. It’s much more pleasant now! Can’t say what it smells like though. It smells like flowers. I can’t find any notes of the actual tea in the aroma. If they are there, they are concealed underneath the flowers.
The flavour is not even remotely as offensive as the smell. To my vast surprise, even with my previous good experiences of this company, I find it’s actually really nice. It’s only slightly basic and dusty floral in flavour. Very very slightly, and yes, there really is a good note of grapefruit. I love grapefruit. I eat one nearly every day. Especially the aftertaste is strong on grapefruit.
It’s hard for me to tell how much of the white tea I’m getting through the flavour. There’s definitely tea in there, but beyond that I can’t really tell. I don’t think I’m experienced enough in white teas for that.
Yet another hit from Shang tea. I’m giving it around 95 points to begin with, but I’m deducting some for the fact that I found the strong aroma so unpleasant. I believe that’s fair.
I did a bit of background research on this tea, revealing that it was indeed grown in New Zealand and that this is one of three different varieties being produced there at the moment (the others are Zealong Dark and Zealong Aromatic). Unlike the other two, this Zealong Pure features “sweet, fresh-tasting leaves” that are “unroasted, bringing out the pure, natural flavour of the tea” (zealong.com). Their website suggests 1 tsp of leaves per cup of water, infused for a minute (at least at first).
Opening the package, I take in the aroma of the dry leaves. Sweet, very clean-smelling. They are rolled into balls, reminiscent of a ti kawn yin oolong. I prepare the water, freshly boiled, but not still boiling. The first minute of infusion goes by. The steeped liquor smells fresh and slightly floral. The leaves have a very vegetal aroma and still smell quite sweet. Sipping this first cup is a joy. From the smell of the liquor, I expected a much weaker brew than what now dances around on my tongue. While not strong, this oolong does have a full body – floral, fresh, and with just a touch of that natural sweetness.
Eagerly, I go ahead and steep the leaves again, for the suggested one minute. The leaves now have taken on a fuller aroma, more “juicy,” but in a floral sense. The smell of the brewed tea is still subdued, but after the first cup, I know this subdued aroma could hold great flavour. I can tell that the flavour has gone, somewhat, from the leaves, in comparison to the first steeping. It is, however, still there with the sweetness becoming a bit more prominent and equal with the other flavours.
The third steep is for two minutes (as per the suggestions from zealong.com). The longer steep-time has brought the flavours and aromas back in line with the first steeping. Full bodied, perhaps even a bit stronger flavour-wise than the first infusion. Ah, it is still delicious, regardless. I go ahead and put this tea through several more steepings. The zealong.com website makes the claim that it will last six to eight infusions. I am satisfied, and gladly would rate this tea a 92/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
OMG! I think I found a way to use up my peppermint!! I got a big bag of it awhile back and have been adding it to some of my teas as a pick-me-up but 50g of peppermint goes a long way….
I hadn’t tried it with Rooibos because I disliked the mint chocolate rooibos, and of course I’d never considered that it was the chocolate part I disliked! ha!
This was an actual “peppermint rooibos” sample so I will have to see if my homemade version works just as well.
Peppermint on it’s own is too much for me, so this is a great way to cut it. and the rooibos adds it’s own sweetness to.
I wonder if the organic part makes that much of a difference? we shall see…
This is a mood tea so no doubt this rating is inflated a bit.
I can’t help it! This is so very soothing, and smooth. Maybe I’ll try it before bed next time instead of my chamomile.
I need to pick up some regular (roasted?) rooibos as well.
This is a very light herbal from Samovar. I’m used to them being a little heavy on the hibiscus or licorice root that they use as a base or to “sweeten”. With some of their other herbals the licorice can sometimes over power the tea. With this herbal it does not over power. This tea reminds me of my Aunt when I was little. She would always cut up some fresh ginger root and lemon peel and simmer it on the stove for hours. It would make the whole house smell great. I swear that just the smell would help me get rid of the cold that I had. This tea taste just like it without the ginger BURN in your throat and chest. Although I do like the BURN…:)
First I want to thank Jimmy of Shui Tea for sending this sample along with my order it had peaked my curiousity when I read the description. The addition of stevia scared me and intrigued me the most based on my personal preferences of course.
As it turns out this is not really my cuppa. Of course I have only had this hot so far and it was recommended I try this cold and I promise I will. It was just to sweet for me and the sweetness tasted a little strange to me. I can’t really put my finger on it. It was however plummy as stated but still so far not my thing. The black teas are hardly noticeable, I did wish that would have stuck out a bit more. Once I try it cold I will reevaluate my review but until then I will keep things as they are.
Still very thankful for the opportunity to try it. :-)
Oh so still delicious…
This tea is certianly my weekend pick me up tea! So for sure my weekend day start tea is this. Yumm! and this weekend I tried soaking the tea first in cool water; I understand this is probably not best for a flavoured mate, but it worked and I must say it did bring out the flavour slightly. I did notice that soaking the tea first made the chocolate far more subtle and gave this tea more of an amaretto taste as it helped bring the almonds to the fore front.
I can’t wait for next Saturday, already!
Note coming soon- I need a little bit of time to share my thoughts on this one.
(simple summary: incredible)
So – this tea is really cool. Every time I think about someone trying this for the first time, I’m so pleased and proud for them! I think, “Oh- you lucky person! You’re about to have a real treat. Lucky….”
This is a shu pu’er, and by now, it’s almost 13 years old. I’m always impressed by this, not because it’s just old, but because it is clearly so fine. From my understanding and experience of old shu’s, things this old and older generally just taste really musty and (well) “old”- any further complexity is usually just straight dirt or heavy sweetness. They’re boring, and why not? Shu pu’er was (and still is) a relatively new thing, still being perfected as something more than swindler-trying-to-sell-you-fake-old-sheng.
But enough of those- onto this one!
Whenever I’ve gone to one of their tastings that includes this tea, Verdant always has us try this tea last. Thank goodness! It would be so unfair to the other pu’ers to start a tasting with this tea. It is the culmination of an afternoon’s education, and the glimmering hopeful promise of all that could await you in your future tea-life.
How can I describe the taste of this tea? Sure- I could tell you all of the things my tongue is telling me: sweet, sparkling / musty like a grandest library, full of books and the feeling of shared knowledge / incredibly crystalline and light-weight, almost like a vapor / the guilty pleasure of the smell of book-binding glue in new books, or the back of a stamp, or fresh-minted money / clean vegetal sweetness, like celery or grass after the rain / lunar.
All of those things are true, but (as Nate has said, and as others will surely corroborate) the real strenght of this tea comes with the connections and memories it pulls out of you and the company you drink it with. Do not drink this tea if you do not want to reminisce. Do not drink this tea if you do not want to find yourself opening up with honesty and truth to those you’re drinking with. Drink this tea with good true friends, or with people you really want to know better. Drink this tea if you’re willing to still yourself and listen to what it could help you uncover, if you want to meet again a younger version of yourself, and if you’re ready to revisit the places of your youth.
This is a quiet tea. This is a tea drinker’s tea. This is a tea for memories, and a tea for honesty, and a tea for connections. If you like tea, then this is a tea you just have to try.
It’s pretty inconceivable, but this tea could continue to age and grow! I cannot imagine where this one might go in another ten or twelve years, and I do not know if I’ve got the self control to make it that far on one canister.
Also, the tin mentions that there was an even higher grade of this tea produced, but it was reserved solely for state dignitaries. Incredible. What must that taste like now??
For now- I will hide the tea in the back of my closet, at the bottom of my box of pu’ers. I will save this for special occasions, or for very beautiful, rainy days. I will keep going to Verdant’s tastings, and I will be sure to stick around for the end.
My sister gave me an entire “fruit” basket of Narien teas for my birthday – and I have to say all of them are pretty amazing. I’m not normally a green tea fan. I find most of them bitter – but this may be my first experience with full leaves. I added about a teaspoon for 3 minutes and the taste is much more soft than I remember. It would be almost delicate except for the fact the flavor stays with you for a while, well after you’ve swallowed the sip, sort of growing in intensity in your mouth. Overall, I find myself growing tired of the taste after one cup, so it’s definitely something I would have every other day or so at most. It’s definitely a treasure though and something I look forward to having again.
WOW. The perfection of the White Peony with the blueberry smash.
All my friends have said to me : “White Tiger is simply AWESOME! You need to try it, it’s like a legend alive” So… I’ve tried it as a tea-to-go at Saint-Bruno DT.
First sip, hot sip, the peony was there and the blueberry was subtile.
Later sip, semi-hot sip, blueberry was mixed with the poeny awesomeness and some pomegranate essence was all over there for smoothing everything.
Last sip, cold sip, blueberry freshness get out from the mixture to deliver a really nice “cold” feel and makes me wonder… Damn, I must try it iced!
However, this tea is impressive. A classic from DT that never fail to impress like Buttered Rum or Coco Chai Rooibos. Try it, ice it, drink it.
The raw tea has a dry aroma, somewhat of grain and fruit.
Brewed, the tea is a golden color with an aroma that is roasty, perhaps of toasted nuts.
First Steeping: Moderate flavor, with floral notes and a toasty nuttiness. Almost no astringency.
Second Steeping – Same temp 5 minutes: Very similar to first steeping. No astringency.
Third Steeping – Same temp 8 minutes: A bit milder than the last steeping. Three is probably all that can be had out of this tea.
Not bad for a black tea. It’s slightly complex, but not quite as much as I had hoped. The flavour is good, but rather light, unless I oversteep it and then it gets bitter. Hmm, I can’t quite seem to win with this one! Still, it’s better than my standard bagged Red Rose which makes it worthwhile in my books…
As for the flavour, when it’s hot, I taste just regular, solid tea, with a malty note if I add some extra leaves. However, when the tea cools, there is a slight bitterness because of it. I can’t have one without the other. Hmph.
There is a definite raisin note when cool, which I also do not get when hot.
The astringency really comes out on the finish however, when it’s hot, but less when it is cool. This is a tea of contradictions!! complex, in the strangest places, and never all in one sip.
Oh, and I do get a spiciness now, after having half a teacup cool and bare, in the aftertaste.
I wonder… is the David’s version of this tea is as confusing???
Wow the description of this tea having a unique peppery taste was right on. The first time I had this brewed with a mug infuser I wondered if I had forgot to wash my infuser basket after having the Thai Chai I last used it for. So I brewed it again with a gaiwan to ensure a clean brew and the taste was still there. I’ve never encountered a black tea that is naturally spicy like this one before which was a nice change for something different although quite honestly while it is a good tea I am glad that I only bought a sample as I don’t think I will be ordering any more of it.