517 Tasting Notes
Ok, here’s my re-written post. Apparently my iPhone refreshes pages whenever it comes back from the lock screen. :/
Hey, this one didn’t get chocolate-ified in shipping! Yay!
Now, as far as this being a creme brulee tea goes, I’m not sure they hit the nail on the head. However, it is a great first-thing-in-the-morning treat. I’m getting notes of vanilla, dairy, maple, lightly toasted caramel without the butter, and something that took me a minute to recognize. It was hookah tobacco! Not hookah smoke, just the super-sweet, almost fruity scent of the tobacco itself. I wasn’t expecting that at all, but it’s plain as day to me. So, basically, this is very interesting and tasty… but I wouldn’t call it creme brulee.
I also want to mention that the caffeine content is very nice if you’re dragging your feet.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Cream, Maple, Molasses, Tobacco, Vanilla
EDIT: I have contacted S&V and they are replacing my entire order – this time double-bagging and ziplocking. I feel a little sad that they had to do this, but I’m glad I contacted them. Thank you, Nichole and TeaBrat for encouraging me to say something. I have trouble standing up for myself sometimes.
I am facing a tea tragedy. Violet teas are one of my absolute favorites. I basically convinced myself to place my most recent order on the fact that Simpson & Vail makes a violet tea.
However, S&V sent their teas to me in rolled up paper bags, like the ones you get coffee beans in. They were by NO means airtight. I knew when I received the box that they had poorly packaged my order because I could smell it through the cardboard. Sadly, one tea in particular, Strawberry Cupcake, had contaminated basically the whole box. It absolutely reeked of Tootsie Roll chocolate.
So, I can tell this is good underneath it all! The black tea base isn’t too bitter or astringent. The violet is mild, but very much present. It doesn’t taste like I’m drinking soap or old lady perfume. And the little purple flowers mixed in are just lovely. But! There’s also a very distracting and unwanted chocolate taste. Thus, my tea tragedy. :(
Rating based on what I could taste beyond the contamination.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Violet
Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been so quiet – I’ve kinda been on hiatus. It was getting to the point where I was stressing over finishing samples before reviewing them, so I basically said “Screw it, I’m going to enjoy my teas how ever I want!”
So, this is actually the second earl grey I’ve tried by The Tea Table, and I have been appalled both times. What in the hell are they using for bergamot? It tastes like straight up sunscreen. I couldn’t even finish it. And this is an oolong? It’s as dark as black tea in both leaf and liquor. There are no lovely woodsy, nutty, or flowery notes.
The Tea Table is so hit or miss. Though I’m starting to think it’s mostly miss.
Flavors: Orange, Sunscreen
I absolutely had to have this after seeing it advertised on Instagram. Caramel AND a massive amount of caffeine? Perfect for a girl who has to get up at 7:30 but refuses to go to bed before midnight.
Last night, I went out with my friends and saw Purity Ring. They were fantastic, of course. Just all-around gorgeous show. But this morning was considerably less fantastic. I went about making this iced to keep myself upright at work. The packaging says that each tea bag contains 165mg of caffeine. A little intimidated, I thought I had only used 2 bags for a 24-ounce container. But when I scooped the bags out after steeping, I discovered a third one. Oh no.
But there was no going back! I had run out of time and had to get to work. Now, I’m going to have to try this again before I can get a proper feel for the flavor. However, even with 3 bags, I agree with what others say about the caramel taste. It’s good, but it’s not as strong as I tend to like it. If you’re only in this for the caramel, I suggest trying a different brand. The tea itself is SUPER potent. That is some bitingly bitter black. Of course, that has a lot to do with my preparation, though. I’m sure if I had used 2 bags instead it wouldn’t be so powerful.
Now, about the caffeine! It’s enough to make me queasy, and I’m a lover of espresso shots. I couldn’t even finish it, while I usually destroy my morning tea long before lunch. My hands shook pretty much all day. My handwriting was terrible. It was just too much. 2 bags next time, Tabby, never 3.
All that said, I’m really interested in a few of the other flavors now that I know how strong it’s going to be and can adjust. The coconut and cinnamon toast ones are calling my name!
Flavors: Bitter, Burnt Sugar, Caramel
This was a free sample from my last Tea Table order. Caramel is one of my absolute favorite flavors, so I jumped on getting to try this.
Yay, it’s one of those caramel teas with the little cubes of actual candy mixed in! It was hard to not pick them out and eat them on the spot. The dry tea smells authentic and toasty. Like stovetop caramel, none of that cellophane-wrapped stuff you got in your Trick Or Treat basket and never ate.
I used a pretty good amount of tea, 3 teaspoons, since I was making it iced. It’s too hot for anything else down here this time of year. After sweetener and ice, it got a taste test and I immediately thought of *Liberteas*’ Sweet Caramel Of Mine. Damn, I miss that tea! While it doesn’t taste quite as toasted as that, it has that wonderful lightly “burnt” flavor. The caramel is creamy, malty, and decadent.
For the price, I think this might turn out to be my mainstay caramel tea. Here’s to another Tea Table order and more samples, haha!
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Creamy, Malt
Ok, I admit I bought this just so I could pick out 3 samples from The Tea Table. I mean, it’s vanilla chai, how could you go wrong there?
And as I expected, I did not go wrong in my selection. It smells delicious. But the scent of the dry leaves and spices doesn’t reflect any vanilla to me. It smells like plain chai. This isn’t much of a letdown, though, because I love chai in pretty much any form. I smell cardamom, cinnamon, and a bit of ginger.
After ice, real sugar, and a splash of 1% milk, I gave it a go. The vanilla still doesn’t really stand out to me. I can smell it before I take a sip, but I can’t really taste it, unfortunately. I do get a pleasant burn from the ginger and other spices, though. That’s very nice. It’s certainly on the mild side for chai, even with 4 tsp. in 16 ounces of water and milk, but it’s not bad. I will be coming back to The Tea Table for sure, if only just to explore more samples. It’s fun stuff!
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger, Vanilla
Ok, finally getting around to reviewing this one. Again, my thanks go to Just Organic Teas for giving me this sample to try!
It smells flat-out wonderful. Bright, sweet mango scent with something perfume-like. The aroma is so inviting and juicy. Citrus and apricot and mango scents – basically any kind of orange fruit. As it steeps, it comes out to a light tan color and the aroma of chamomile appears. Once iced, the tea fades to a more normal green tea color – like faintly green straw.
The flavor is a little milder than I expected, but I like it. It’s not like drinking mango juice or anything. There is no tartness, but you can tell it’s made with tea in the finish. The chamomile is also present – surprisingly unmuted by the fruit. However, in my second glass, I plan on using a less ice-heavy ratio. I suppose my only critique of this would be that the mango flavor needs more of a kick.
Flavors: Citrus, Fruity, Mango
I received this tea as a gift a good while ago and have made it several times without reviewing. It’s certainly not something I’d buy for myself due to the rooibos content and the sheer LOAD of hibiscus.
When steeped, it’s what you’d expect with a hibiscus tea. A bright, cheerful magenta. Very pretty! I made it iced and had to sweeten it – it’s pretty dang tart otherwise. The flavor makes me instantly think of Starbucks’s Berry Hibiscus Refreshers. There is a nice berry flavor that goes along with it, but it’s on the lighter side and kind of blends with the tangy hibiscus.The green tea aspect might as well not be there, but the rooibos… It doesn’t let itself be forgotten about. It leaves that aftertaste I hate so much in my mouth and nose with every sip.
Like I said, this isn’t something I’d get again, but I won’t mind finishing it over ice on hot days. Also, I’m not tasting wine at all. I think they just call it that to sound fancy.
Flavors: Berry, Blackberry, Fruity, Hibiscus, Rooibos, Sour, Strawberry, Tangy, Tart
This is a freebie I got from Twinings’s website. Ocassionally, they let you sign up for free samples, but usually when I do, nothing happens. I was pleasantly surprised to find this in my mailbox a few weeks ago.
Anyway, it smells like a mostly ordinary chai in the bag. Clove stands out the most, followed by cinnamon and a tart scent that I think is just a combination of everything else. After it steeped, I splashed in a very small dollop of 1% milk and it went instantly pale. Not a good sign, usually. I hate a chai that can’t hold its own against a little milk.
As I sip, I’m disappointed. It tastes like gingerbread made from cardboard. There is a hefty amount of ginger, which is nice and leaves a pleasant burn. That must be the “Ultra” part. But the rest of the tea… I can’t taste the black tea base at all. The cinnamon, ginger, and clove are a lovely touch, but… I dunno, this just tastes cheap and kind of lame to me.
It might have been better if I had used more than one bag, but I only had one. Double-strength, this might have been alright.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cardboard, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Spicy
This is a free sample I received with my last Tea Table order. I am such a sucker for tea companies that let you pick freebies! When I picked this out, I didn’t read the description completely. My thought process was basically “Kiwi tea? I’ve never had that! Done!” And so it arrived.
The scent of it really is unique. It smells very fruity and “tropical” for lack of a better word. I definitely do smell kiwi, but also pineapple. Yum! The pineapple was a bit of a surprise, as were the lime leaves. Another first there!
The flavor is lighter than I expected, with a hint of the kiwi’s tartness. You know how a kiwi is sweet, tart, and bitter all at the same time? This tea is sort of like that. Kiwi flavor is in the forefront, followed by pineapple, and banana. There are no banana ingredients in this, but I swear the notes are there. Or maybe I’m crazy. (That’s more likely.) I can’t say I taste the lime or blackberry leaves over the fruit, but I know they’re not really strong flavors to begin with.
Anyway, I don’t know if I’d come back for more of this, but it was a nice experience. I’ll definitely be back to The Tea Table for more samples!
Flavors: Fruity, Pineapple, Tropical