520 Tasting Notes
500th Tasting Note!!
I knew this wouldn’t sit unopened in my tea corner for very long.
Now, I know this is going to be full of not-so-authentic stuff, but I don’t care so much, honestly. Most of the Thai tea I’ve had growing up has been the orange powdered junk, but I love it anyway. That said, I was still kind of alarmed when I spilled a little on the floor and it was BRILLIANT orange.
The aroma before I add milk and ice is very strong. I’m getting a very potent vanilla-like smell with a hint of spices I can’t identify. Something about it smells bitter, too, but in an enticing way. It instantly brings back memories of trips to the Asian markets and Thai restaurants in the outskirts of Atlanta with my mom as a teenager.
I added two good handfuls of ice, some sweetener, and a splash of 1% milk. Even after that, it is still bright, carroty orange. Still, I fully expected it to not be strong enough since I only used one bag and a somewhat short steep time (which the instructions told me to do). I was right. While it’s not bad at all, it’s just a little weak. Next time, I’ll be going with a longer steep time. Maybe five minutes instead of three. Or just two bags instead of one.
It really does taste like what they serve in Thai and boba places. It’s very creamy, but not quite as creamy as restaurant-style because they use watered-down sweetened condensed milk. Anyway, this is something I’m going to play with until I get it the way I like it.
Flavors: Creamy, Spices, Vanilla
Shame on me. I picked this up a month ago in a coffee shop in Rutherfordton, NC and I’m just getting around to trying it. I don’t normally pick up bagged teas, but Numi seems respectable enough. And the word “yunnan” always gets my attention.
This is one of those teas that darkens the water pretty much instantly. By the end of 20 seconds, it looks practically done. The packaging said to give it 4-5 minutes, so I went with 4. The aroma as it steeps makes me think of puerh. It definitely has that aged, somewhat musty-sweet scent. By the end of the 4th minute, it’s as dark as coffee. Also like a puerh. Hmmm. Not what I was expecting.
So, after tasting it, I’m definitely feeling like I’m drinking puerh. Numi’s description says it’s made with yunnan tips, but that’s not what I’m getting. I can only kinda taste that raisiny goodness. It’s smooth like a puerh, too, with just a hint of astringency and bitterness. The more I drink it, the more I notice a nice maltiness. I’d love to see what this does with a splash of milk.
Flavors: Bark, Bitter, Malt, Musty, Raisins, Sweet, Wood
I’ve been meaning to review this one for ages! I got it from u/RedSpaceMagic on Reddit months ago. It’s perfect for this morn— er, afternoon after helping host a bonfire party.
Now, I love Whispering Pines. They have tons of truly unique blends. I’ve seen ingredients on their lists I’ve never seen anywhere else, and I’ve liked everything I’ve tried so far.
This blend is no exception. Although I would have never mixed rooibos with lapsang, I think it works! The rooibos isn’t strong enough to leave that weird aftertaste in my mouth, so I’m happy. The cedar is also a very nice touch. It reminds me of the fresh cut logs used in Carolina barbecue. I know those are usually hickory, but it’s a similar scent. The clove could be a tad stronger, but then again, I got this tea second-hand. It might be more noticeable in fresher batches. And the smokiness, it’s very well balanced. Again, I’m getting a sort of bacony, briskety smoke, but I love it.
This is definitely something I’d get again. It’s hearty, warming, and wonderfully smoky with just a hint of spice. Now I kinda wish I didn’t have like 3 ounces of Adagio’s lapsang to get through!
Flavors: Campfire, Cedar, Cloves, Smoke
Last tea in my Teavivre oolong tasting. Then it’s back to tasting random things, I guess!
The little leaf nuggets of this tea are tiny this time. Itty bitty, super tightly rolled leaves. They still expanded to reveal they were mostly complete, however. As they steep, the water turns bright greenish yellow. A very cheerful color!
The scent is pungent and a little nutty, but the flavor is neither. It’s so creamy! Buttery, even, with a sort of slow-cooked vegetable taste. However, in the exhale and aftertaste, I’m getting flowers. Maybe gardenia or hyacinth. Even after four minutes there is no astringency or bitterness. Just lovely summery notes.
This oolong has a lot going on, but it’s a harmony. I keep saying “this is my new favorite oolong” when I try these teas, but I feel that way each time I try a new one! Sad to see my Teavivre oolongs go. Maybe once I get through more of my stash, I’ll reward myself with more.
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Vegetal
I know I still have one last Teavivre oolong to review, but I am in the mood for something strong, smoky, and spiced.
I blended this tea with good intentions. The idea of a lightly smoky caramel chai seemed like heaven when I was adjusting the ingredients. 70% decadent caramel, 20% gentle vanilla, and 10% lapsang souchong. Just 10%! Literally the least I could add. Then it’s topped with ginger and cardamom. If I could have added cinnamon, I would have, but I ran out of options.
When I opened the pouch, a familiar but unexpected scent hit me. Barbecue. Yep. Something about the sweet caramel aroma mixed with the lapsang’s smokiness smells like ribs. Ribs and cardamom. Oh. Oh no. What have I done?
However, the flavor is not as scary at all! I added a splash of milk and a little sweetener. It really is a nice caramel with a finish of vanilla, braced by ceylon and campfire. The cardamom and ginger don’t shine through too strongly, unfortunately. The lapsang definitely does add a sort of “meaty” taste to it. Like well-done bacon. If I could blend this again, I think instead of the lapsang, I might go with plain cinnamon tea. Hmm. It’s good, but it’s a little odd.
Not going to rate it because it’s my own blend. But if you’re really, really curious, here’s the link: http://www.adagio.com/signature_blend/blend.html?blend=79023
Flavors: Campfire, Caramel, Smoke, Vanilla
Another lovely sample from Teavivre. I feel like I’m getting a proper oolong education through them. Thanks again, Angel! The packaging is very attractive – metallic maroon and gold foil, vacuum-sealed tight.
Now, this is a dark one. The leaves are not green at all, in fact, they’re dark brown. They smell sweet and nutty, like a dessert! Reminds me of baklava. When hit with water, the aroma intensifies. I’m getting a sort of nutmeg and walnut scent. The water changes to a color much like a black tea, sort of ambery brown. By the end of the steep time, the nutty scent was accompanied by a rather strong roasted smell. I am so curious – will this be like a bracing black tea? A mellow dessert? Maybe dark and woodsy?
The instructions on the packet gave a 3-10 minute steep time. I thought that was a pretty wide range! Staying on the lighter side, I went with 4 minutes. Upon first sip, I taste roasted seaweed. Not exactly what I expected, but still nice. I’m also getting notes of toasted sesame seeds. It reminds me of these little crackers I used to get at the Asian markets when I was a kid. There is some nuttiness to the taste, especially in the finish, but I’m mostly getting sesame and I like it. Definitely taking the rest of this pot to work with me.
Flavors: Nuts, Nutty, Roasted, Seaweed, Sweet, Walnut
I snagged this from the office at my apartment complex. They have a little coffee/tea station in the waiting area. I admit I’ve abandoned a few bagged teas I didn’t like there. I hope they were used…
Anyway, it’s cold, it’s raining, and it’s too late for caffeine. Now, rooibos and I still do not get along. I do not purchase rooibos blends ever, though they still find their way to me every now and then. On the other hand, if they’re flavored (especially with cinnamon), I tend to like them.
Orange peel is the most dominant flavor. It’s not super authentic, either. Kind of reminds me of liquid Motrin or Flintstones Vitamins. Ick. Cinnamon is the second flavor, and it’s pleasant. Not too hot, natural-tasting. No grittiness from it. But mostly, this is a VERY orangey tea. So, in summary, this kind of tastes like medicine and would not get a re-visit. If I want a cheap cinnamony rooibos, I’ll pick up Tazo’s apple thing.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Citrus, Orange Zest, Rooibos
Happy New Year, everyone! Starting my year in tea with something very nice. I made a pot of this for my brother and his girlfriend.
The first thing I noticed about the little green nuggets is the scent. A hint of the ocean, followed by sweet cream and flowers. As it steeps, it comes out to a lovely pale greenish yellow. It’s very light-looking, almost deceptively so. Like the other teas I’ve sampled from Teavivre lately, the leaves are whole and beautiful. Hardly nicked.
I have to say right now, this might be my new favorite oolong. It’s so smooth and it lacks a lot of that pungency that oolongs can have. Most of the ones I’ve tried have had a certain nuttiness about them, but this one doesn’t. I’m literally tasting just floral goodness and cream. Or milk. It’s soothing and fresh tasting. Wonderful.
Flavors: Cream, Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Umami
This tea is a re-visit for me. I tried it for the first time back when Adagio was young, in 2005. Back then, I was really unimpressed. I thought it didn’t taste creamy at all. Just strange and vaguely sharp. But as I’ve mentioned many times before, Adagio has changed their recipes in the past 10 years. For most of the ones I’ve returned to, they’ve been improved immensely.
The scent of this tea makes me think I was right to give it another chance. It smells just like Thai tea! Oh, hell yes. I am such a sucker for Thai tea. Bottled, canned, powdered, boba, I don’t care, I love it.
The flavor lives up to the scent’s promise. It comes out looking like a regular black tea, no cloudiness from actual dairy. The creamy flavor is definitely there, though! It’s sort of like half and half, or non-vanilla whipped cream. That’s one thing I’ve seen a lot in teas like this — tea companies using the word “cream” when they mean “vanilla”. This is not vanilla.
After a few sips, I realized that this would be so perfect with a splash of milk. And I was right. Upping my rating SIGNIFICANTLY because this is not what I remembered at all. I’m going to make it double-strong next and try to make Thai tea out of it. Mmm.
Flavors: Cream, Creamy, Sweet
Yay, another Teavivre oolong! This one came as a sample in a pretty, light bronze pouch. Inside, it’s wrapped again in a little square of celophane. The small, bright green nuggets look a bit suspicious in such a package, if you know what I mean. Hehehe.
Anyway, the reviews of this tea here on Steepster are practically glowing, which makes me excited to give it a go. Again, I used a glass teapot so I could watch the leaves expand. Dry, they smell sweeter than your average oolong, with a hint of osmanthus I may or may not be imagining. It’s definitely a very floral and green aroma.
This is another oolong with wonderfully preserved leaves. They’re almost perfect. Whole and pointed, about two inches in length. This is also the brightest green oolong I’ve ever made, both in leaf and liquor. The tea is a spring-like greenish yellow and strongly scented with that characteristic pungency.
The flavor reminds me so much of the gardenias in my mother’s yard. The exhale is very, very floral without any actual floral ingredients, which is a wonder to me. It just naturally tastes like a freshly-rained-on garden smells. As it cools, more woodsy and floral flavors emerge. I know this is pretty unorthodox, but I might chill the rest of the pot I made and see how it tastes iced…
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Gardenias, Osmanthus