522 Tasting Notes
Alright, I’ve been meaning to taste this tea for years! I’ve seen the rave reviews here on Steepster, and I love anything vanilla. So I knew this was something I needed to get my hands on. My only hesitation was the fact that it’s a black decaf. I’ve never had tea that has been decaffeinated. And I’m the kind of girl who likes her buzz.
Anyway, I opened the pouch for a quick sniff last night. I had to get my non-tea-drinking man to sniff, too, because the aroma is like straight up buttercream frosting. Like a delicious cupcake. And not the grocery store kind. The independent, mom-and-pop bakery kind.
The taste is as lovely as the smell, but sadly not as potent. Sure, this is a delicious, creamy, wonderful vanilla tea. The best I’ve had. It just sort of lacks a punch. But that could be my fault entirely. Luckily, I have enough to try to make a stronger brew next time. For now, though, I am serious when I say this is my new favorite vanilla tea. It puts everything I’ve had previously to shame. Then again, I have Vanilla Black, the non-decaf version. So I’ll probably be onto that next. We’ll see what the difference is!
So, my tea stash had started to dwindle. I decided it was time to get around to tasting all the Harney & Sons teas I’ve had my eye on, so I made a big order of samples. And in addition to what I ordered, they sent along five other single-bag samples! I have so much tea to review!
Moroccan mints, in my previous experience, tend to all be very similar. This one is a little more on the bitter and astringent side of things, but that’s because it’s not just pure dried herb. About a third of it seems to be gunpowder green tea leaves. But that certainly doesn’t take any flavor away from the peppermint. It still leaves a soothing, tingly feeling in my mouth. I’ll be happy to finish this tasty blend, but I think I prefer the Arbor Teas version.
Wow, alright. This appears to be a tea that Steepster either loves or hates. We’ll see how this goes.
The dry bag smells very appealing. Like a mix between sencha, pineapple, and mango. Heavy on the pineapple, but I guess that’s what they mean by “tropical”. I was hoping for some coconut, but oh well. But it also smells like there’s going to be some actual green tea flavor in this instead of a hint like what I’ve been drinking lately.
The tea brews up to a yellowy tan and… I oversweetened it. Why did I think I needed two packets of Abriva? Still, I can tell that even beneath the sweetener, this isn’t bad. It is mostly pineapple flavored but not sour. Very, very fruity! There is a wholesome but uncomplex green tea taste mixed in to back it up. I bet this would be very good iced. Sadly, I only had one bag to try, so I’ll probably never know.
Oh dear, it’s a rooibos. Rooibos and I don’t really get along, but that’s with one exception: apple cinnamon. I’ll admit right here in front of all of Steepster that I genuinely like Tazo’s Organic Apple Red, which is also a rooibos. (What?! You got something to say?!) I had a feeling that this might be similar, so I’m giving it a chance even though this one uses chocolate instead of caramel.
It smells divine. I actually made a “mmm” noise when I sniffed the bag. I can’t smell the chocolate, but that’s alright. As it steeped, the aroma spread throughout my kitchen. As I sip, I can’t really taste the chocolate either. But more importantly, I can’t taste that strange rooibosness that I dislike so much. This is just a yummy apple cinnamon treat to me. Smooth and comforting, well-spiced without it being too much. Yep, I’ll be picking this one up again, too.
I picked up a sachet of this tea at Fresh To Order in midtown, but instead of drinking it there, I put it in my coat pocket for later. I’ve tried almost all of their Harney & Sons offerings now.
This seems like a good idea for a cold winter’s night. Even though it’s a pyramid-bagged tea, it still has large visible chunks of orange peel and cinnamon bark mixed in to the not-so-crushed black tea leaves. And the aroma is fantastic. Seems like it’s going to be very spicy, which is great because I hate it when a cinnamon tea is stingy with the spice.
Whoa. This is very spicy, but not enough to burn afterward. The taste instantly makes me think of my grandmother’s house. She always had those decorative cinnamon-scented brooms and they made her whole kitchen smell that way. This tea is like drinking that smell. Plus a hint of orange. And shockingly, I can actually taste the black tea they used as a base shining through. It’s pleasant! I would certainly drink this again, but I don’t think I’d purchase it again… despite its tastiness, it’s a little too plain for me.
My first tea with yuzu in it! And forgive me if I’m describing it funny, I have no clue what it’s supposed to taste like.
The bag smells like real honey, but also something very sour and sort of fruity. It’s a confusing scent. Part of me wants to taste it, and the other part of me wants to wash my hair with it. As it steeps, the water changes to a sunny yellowish tan and smells more like toasted fruit, maybe lemon. Really trusting you here, Tea Forte!
The flavor is surprisingly pleasant after a little sweetener. Sure, it’s a little strange, but it’s basically like a lemon and honey green tea. Only the lemon is yuzu, maybe yuzu peel. I believe the bee pollen is what’s making the honey aspect seem toasty. As usual with Tea Forte’s flavored greens, the actual tea aspect is buried and hard to detect. All that’s there is a bit of bitterness in the finish. But this isn’t as terrible to me as it seems to have been for other Steepsterites. I wouldn’t buy it again, since it’s not really my thing, but it’s not awful.
I am so behind on my Nuvola reviews. I feel pretty bad about that, so I think I’m going to finish them today. Curse my tea ADD.
I admit, I’m a little afraid of this one. I’ve had a few orchid scented and flavored things before and I’ve hated them. However, the tea leaves I have here don’t smell like that at all. They smell like a nutty oolong, with a hint of spring grass. They’re dark green, and they look like they were rolled very gently and loosely.
The tea brews up to a pleasant pale green, and suddenly, the strong aroma of flowers is very evident. It reminds me of fresh gardenias. There’s also a bitter scent that puts me off a little bit, but if I know anything about oolong, I know I shouldn’t be scared away by that. And I’m right! The flavor is surprisingly delicious. Vegetal and floral at the same time with sweet creamy notes. The orchid is much more subtle than I expected, which is nice. It’s like a little decoration on an already good oolong. Very satisfying!
I added more of this to my stash yesterday. Quite pleased to have another cup on National Hangover Day. Mine’s not that bad, just a headache, but I do kinda want to stick with something soothing and light today. No chai or puerh, thanks.
Mainly, since I’ve written about this tea already, I just wanted to mention that with a longer steep time, more cucumber flavor surfaces. That’s exactly what I was hoping for. Of course, the mint gets stronger, too. But that’s definitely not a bad thing.
I did end up returning to EcoDenizen, as their prices are very similar to Tea Forte’s online ones. It would actually be cheaper for me to get my teas there because of the website’s shipping charges. But sadly, they don’t carry any of the black teas or chai I’m after.
So this is a green and rooibos blend? That’s certainly new to me. But strangely, it works. The cherry compliments the green, while the almond compliments the rooibos. And I’m really liking the cherry. Plus, the rooibos gives it a little boost of strength that almost reminds me of a black tea. It leaves a bit of bitterness in my mouth, but I like that in a tea.
My only regret is steeping it for three minutes. The packaging said three to five minutes, but I erred on the side of caution. Four minutes next time, to see if more fruit flavors come out.