23 Tasting Notes
Still feeling under the weather after being sick now for three weeks. Doc has me off work and I’m feeling a bit drained, so I thought I’d have a cup of mate which always seems to perk me up nicely!
This cuppa is no exception. After drinking it I feel more alert and energized than I have in days. The chocolate and mate compliment each other nicely, and it creates a nice strong brew. A little bit nutty and sweet on its own, many more of the flavours come out with sweetening. It has a great smooth mouth feel, and is quite malty.
I can’t thank ToiToi enough for this sample! :) It’s my first introduction to Teavana, and it didn’t disappoint. There are no Teavana’s in my area, so depending on how some other samples turn out, I just may have to put in an order… sigh I think I have a problem! LOL
Many thanks to Allie who was kind enough to swap for a generous sample of this tea!
I have to say, I quite enjoyed it. It’s not the best chai I’ve ever tasted, but the chocolate flavour and the hints of vanilla that came through were very enjoyable. It smells wonderful and fills the house with a spicy aroma. I added some sweetener to this, as I always prefer my chais sweetened, and it ended up being a very nice cuppa. Comforting, complex, and overall an interesting blend. Maybe not something I’d keep on hand in bulk, but definitely in small quantities when I get a craving for something like this.
Thanks again, Allie, you rock! :)
With all the red leaf teas I’ve tried, the flavour is INTENSE! (which, for the record, I rather like! :)) It smells strongly of fortified wine, such as a port or a sherry, which is odd considering marsala is a white wine… the cinnamon isn’t as prominent as I feared it would be… it’s actually very well balanced. I find that’s very difficult to achieve given the distinctiveness of the flavour. It lends a sweetness to the tea that is unexpected. Perhaps it is the cinnamon that makes it more sherry-like. The black tea base is perhaps what gives it a red wine characteristic from the tannins. All of the aforementioned qualities make this a lovely after supper sipper.
Ohmygoodness. I really enjoy this tea! It’s not for the faint of heart (or overly-sensitive tastebuds) because boy, this flavour sure does pack a wallop!
I really enjoy rooibos and honeybush at night because of the lack of caffeine. I usually go for vanilla, chocolate, or caramel-flavoured ones, however with my great love of wine, this was one I just couldn’t pass up.
What a wonderfully rich flavour! You really can taste the cabarnet wine, alone with something sweet. The rooibos is lovely, and brews up deep red. The aroma on is almost a little chocolate-y, but you can also definitely get some fuity notes as well.
The taste is astounding. I really love it! Sweet, rich, and sophisticated. The flavour is exceptionally strong and distinctive though, so I can see why it wouldn’t be for everyone. However, it most definitely is one for me! Loved it! Just what I needed to finish up the accounting and get ready to curl up with a good book. :)
So, it’s been three weeks now of the flu. It started off with head cold symptoms which quickly changed into a very high fever and all that comes with it. I thought I was on the mend as it faded back into cold symptoms, however it did settle on my chest, which I have to take an inhaler for. Unfortunately it appears that this jerk of a virus isn’t done with me yet as I woke up today with major sinus issues, glass in my throat, nauseated etc… not fun at all. So I’m sick, tired, and frustrated of not feeling well for three weeks now. I called in sick to work, hubby is gone to his work and now I’m at home trying my darndest to still be productive and studying advanced accounting theory… with flu symptoms that make it ridiculously difficult to concentrate… fun fun (not).
So all this leads to the tea rating. I need a pick-me-up desperately as well as some caffeine so I don’t fall asleep atop this dreadful book, and the most comforting thing in the world for me (as I suspect is the case with many of my female friends out there) is CHOCOLATE. So I start searching through my substantial tea stash in search of the perfect chocolate tea…. one is too minty, the other too malty, the other made with mate, and so on and so forth. Then I light up with a grin as I remember the samples jessiwrites was so kind to send me! A lovely Della Terra tea will hit the spot perfectly, or so I suspect… I quickly kiss the small bag with delight, blow my snotty nose and put the kettle on.
This stuff smells delightful dry, folks. And the white tea looks darker than I’m accustomed to, but still beautiful and delicate. I resist the urge to eat the little chocolate bits and instead put them into the infuser where they belong… I let it steep for a little longer as I like my tea strong. The smell of the liquor doesn’t disappoint… however there is a little oily residue floating atop the peach-coloured liquid…. not sure how I feel about that…
This is just what the doctor ordered. Light on the tummy, absolutely scrumptious, chocolatey goodness. reminds me a lot of the white chocolate rabbits I used to get as a child at Easter. It is rich and creamy and the residue doesn’t phase me at all after all. Comfort in a cup. What a lovely surprise. Thanks so much jessiwrites. You’ve made this sick little girl feel just a little better today! :)
Many thanks to QueenOfTarts for this wonderful sample! Wow! I have to say I’m impressed! One of the best dessert teas I’ve had in a long time. Like most people who’ve had this tea, I agree with the assessment that the black tea is kind of hidden in the mix, and I’m not getting a whole lot of cheesecake flavours coming through… however what I AM getting is a whole lot of yumminess! :) You can definitely taste the pumpkin, and the spice, and also the caramel (which, for the record, is one of my all-time favourite things!) and they blend together in a sweet concoction that’s all-around delicious! I’m not a huge pumpkin fan, but in this context, it’s quite nice. Thanks again for the lovely tea! I’ll be enjoying this one for some time to come! :)
Straight forward and consistent. It’s like a good book or a best friend that you can turn to in crisis… not the kind of friend you party with, but the old, reliable kind that just gets better with every sip. Better sweetened, and a fairly fruity aroma which is unusual for a black tea… slightly astringent, but not unpleasantly so. The kind of tea to have on hand at all times as it’s so reliable and economical. A pleaser for sure!
I’m sitting here in training at work, learning about employment expenses. This lovely vanilla and bergamot cuppa heaven is the only thing keeping me from losing my mind. It has a wonderful calming effect, is soothing, and the black tea has enough caffeine to keep me from nodding off mid-section. Nice astringency, great aroma, and an overall well-rounded tea. The black leaves are fairly large and of good quality. I love watching the little blue corn flowers open up and then bleach to pretty white petals floating around in my glass tea tumbler. Puts a smile on my otherwise bored face. :)
Many thanks to Kiaharii for sending me this sample! WOW!I love this tea! I’m normally not a big blackberry fan, at ALL, so I was very skeptical. Hubbie is a big Doctor Who fan though, and I’m a big fan of the new series myself (haven’t had a chance to watch the old ones yet, stay tuned!) so given all of that, I just HAD to try it if given the opportunity. The blackberry paired with the vanilla is BRILLIANT. Finally a way I can enjoy blackberries! :) This was a great cup of flavoured tea, and I can’t wait to get started on the old doctor who episodes, teacup in hand! :)
A lovely cup of tea. Very subtle. Not really used to a cup of black tea being so gentle on the senses. Just enough astringency with a nice soft earthy finish. Don’t mistake subtle for bland though, because this tea has plenty of flavour. Very nice for sipping and enjoying without the potency of most blacks. When drinking it unsweetened, I didn’t get many of the peach notes. However, once sweetened they do come through very much shortly after swallowing. The perfect cup for organizing, packing, selling stuff on kijiji, and otherwise preparing for moving house! :)
Wow… jasmine. So… much… jasmine. Tastes like I’m eating a bunch of flowers. Very floral and smells oh-so-pretty. The black tea is hidden a little by all the jasmine scent, but from what I can tell it’s a solid black tea base. The mouth feel is really nice, just dry enough. The leaves unfurl SO much and expand to surprising sizes… It’s fairly balanced though for a jasmine tea. Very yummy and relaxing for my hubby nerdswing and I to enjoy on our one-year wedding anniversary. :) Love you baby.
So let me preface this review by saying that I don’t like cake. Correction: I don’t like the TEXTURE of cake. Throughout my childhood I spent countless parties scraping the frosting off the cake and discarding the rest. It’s not that I disliked how it tasted; in fact, I loved it! Especially vanilla cake… but I couldn’t get past the texture, and I still can’t today. Not I finally have the best of both worlds. I have cake in a cup. Not just cake, but vanilla cake with caramel and maple frosting. With sprinkles on top. Let’s just say I’m a BIG fan. It’s sweet, it’s bold, it’s creamy and delicious. It’s caffeine-free to boot so I can have my delicious dessert before going to bed. :) Happy, happy day!
I LOVE this tea. You really get a lot of the pumpkin flavour, but with hints of vanilla and spice that are perfectly balanced. A HUGE thanks to LadyChai who gave a 100g tin of this tea to nerdswing and I, and as a result making lovers of this tea out of us. It’s absolutely delicious and sweet on its own. The only reason I didn’t rate it higher is because it doesn’t hold up well to additional steepings. Even the second steeping was not nearly as falvourful as the first, and the third was just hot water. But a delicious treat none-the-less, and I will definitely be keeping this tea in my cupboard consistently thanks to some (rubber) arm-twisting from the lovely LadyChai. :)
My hubbie and I got this tea at a local Taiwanese tea shop called Formosa. The owner, Chien (who is a WEALTH of knowledge) suggested it as it won several competitions in Asia. After trying it, I can certainly see why. It’s a beautiful oolong, fairly heavily oxidized. We drank it gong fu style with our yixing pot which we reserve specifically for oolongs. The first steeping was dark, despite only steeping for about 30 seconds. It smelled almost like red (black) tea, but there was no bitterness or astringency when drinking. On the second steep, some of the typical oolong sweetness and freshness started to come through more. The aroma was intoxicating. The tea leaves opened up into these pristine long leaves with purple hues around the edges. It was beautiful, really. At the third steeping, the tea was at its prime. So smooth, flavourful and just a joy to drink. There was nothing vegetale about the flavour at all One of the highest quality oolongs I’ve ever drank. A delicious, relaxing oolong that was great right from the first steeping, which is exceedingly rare I find.
Wow, makes me think of Christmas time at Nan’s house. We would bake up a storm together and I would always have my hands in the dough. Slightly nutty, nice and sweet, not overpowering… I couldn’t ask for much more in a cookie dough tea. Add a bit of milk and it reminds me of cookie dough ice cream. Absolutely delicious. The white tea is a nice pairing because it’s so mild and sweet. Makes me want to curl up in front of a warm fire and watch the Grinch with my hubby with Christmas lights twinkling. And even better, there aren’t as many calories as homemade cookies! Yay! :)
Chocolate. What more could a girl want? This tea is yummy and chocolatey and dark and satisfying. Add a splash of milk and you really have something here. However, I don’t get a whole lot of the mint that everyone is talking about… there’s something faint in the background, but nothing that is really striking me as mint chocolate cookies or anything like that… just a pleasantly fresh finish. That’s just fine by me, since I’m not a HUGE fan of mint chocolate. :) Overall a lovely chocolate tea. Fresh, strong and delicious!
Omnomnomnomnom…. almond-y goodness. If you like marzipan, you’ll LOVE this cup of tea. An almost calorie-free alternative to dessert… The rooibos is kind of a non-descript vehicle for the almond flavour, but it does the job nicely. Not an every-day tea because of its unique almond flavour, but certainly an enjoyable cup when I’m craving that slice of German stollen my husband so dearly loves. :)
Yum. Not wow, but yum. Definitely a dark chocolate thing going on, and it smells like a combinaiton of cocoa and hot candies. I did find it a little on the dark side for my taste; I’m a milk chocolate girl, but definitely yummy. The chili isn’t over-powering (I’m a bit of a spice wimp) but it’s enough for you to notice. Reminds me of the mexican hot chocolate they serve at a local coffee shop here. I never would have bought it if they weren’t servings samples at DAVIDs, but after trying it, I picked up a small amount to bring home. Definitey gives you a warm toasty feeling inside. Not the best flavoured tea EVER, but definitely something I will keep around, especially for the holidays. :)
I find it hard to understand why this one is so under-rated… however after reading the temperature and steeping times, I can see why it is problematic. My husband and I had these puppies last night proper gong fu style. We popped two tuo chas into our pre-heated yixing clay teapot and did a pour of just boiling water. We then poured off the water to rinse the tea. Then we did a low pour and let it steep for 30 seconds and the poured it into the erving pitcher so you get a UNIFORM tea. This is very important with puerh teas because they are SO strong and heavy on the sediment. We then poured it into the aroma cups (the taller ones) and did the fancy flip thing where you put the tasting cup on top and invert them. You then pick up the aroma cup and the spray from breaking the vacuum releases all the aroma. The first steeping smelled like dirt and was a bit bitter, but this is to be expected from a puerh tea! The first steeping is ALWAYS the worst. After drinking that pot we then reboiled the kettle and refilled the pot with hot water, this time steeping it for a full 60 seconds. This time the aroma was less woodsy and far more sweet. The taste improved DRASTICALLY with the second steeping. The third steeping was better again, and the tea had lost ALL of its bitter dirty flavour and was smooth as silk, and remarkably sweet. It was so comforting and delicious. The fourth steeping was very much like the third, but slightly sweeter again. The fifth and sixth steepings were still very solid and strong flavour, but they were a bit on the waning side, and definitely not as bold. We stopped at the 6th steeping but you can definitely keep on going and get a great cup of tea. Puerhs hold up VERY well to multiple steepings, and this one is no exception. Don’t over-steep them though because you will get an extremely astringent, bitter brew. The third and fourth steepings are usually the best of the bunch. This puerh is definitely not my favourite in the world, but as far as puerhs go it was very solid. Delicious and comforting, with a great aroma. Just make it to the third and fourth steepings before you judge, and mix it up well so you get a uniform taste. :)
First time trying a flavoured oolong. I quite enjoyed it, but then again, I’m a freak for vanilla, especialy if it’s high quality. The oolong tea in this one is mild with a relatively low oxidation, and the liquor is very clear. It smells like heaven in a cup. Very low astringency, and mild on the finish. It tastes just how it smells and is all around delicious. My only complaint is that it doesn’t hold up to multiple steeps well; even the second steeping was significantly lacking in flavour, and the third was very weak despite steeping for nearly 10 minutes. Overall a delicious tea though, and the vanilla and oolong are a fabulous pairing!
When it comes to tea, I am definitely not a purist. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good cup of straight tea (gyokuro yamashiro for example), but I also have a very big soft spot for flavoured teas as well. When it comes to flavoured teas I like them BOLD. I want to still taste the tea, but if it’s flavoured, don’t pussy-foot around it. This one hit it right on the money, IMHO. It’s sweet, it’s maple-y and the smell is just out of this world delicious. Everything I could ask for in a maple tea. The caramel and toffee bits are a wonderful addition, and the honeybush adds an interesting flavour. It’s like dessert in a cup and I LOVE it. Will be buying this one again and again. :)
What a fabulous tea! Big fan of gyokuro green teas, and this black tea definitely didn’t disappoint. You get all the good things from a black tea, but without any of the bitterness. Not too heavy on the tannins, great mouth feel. You don’t get the heavy vegetale taste like you do with the gyokuro green, but you get all the smoothness and high quality you would expect from those leaves, as well as just a little earthy. An all-around pleaser.