533 Tasting Notes
Initially, I bought this tea to practice blending chai with. You know, something really cheap and in bulk so I could mess up if need be. (The entire tub, about 5.5 oz of leaf, only cost me two dollars.) Now that I feel like I’ve gotten the hang of it, I’m finally trying the tea plain.
The leaves are in tiny, nearly black pieces. Its aroma is weak and sort of cardboard-like. As it steeps, the water gets a little cloudy. It has a sort of tangy scent and flavor that I’m not liking. A sort of weird, iodine-like sourness. Otherwise, it tastes like your standard Ceylon. A tad bitter and astringent with notes of hay and earth. Once I finish the tub, I’ll probably reach for some other bulk black tea to mix with… but this served its purpose.
Flavors: Cardboard, Earth, Iodine
I have no idea why I can’t get a photo of this tea to show up. It’s mildly infuriating.
Anyway, I bought this bagged, in a sachet big enough to make a gallon. Of course, I didn’t want a gallon at a time since I’ll probably be the only one drinking it. My husband and brother both don’t like fruity tea. So, I opened up the bag and took a few teaspoons to make a single glass, and put the rest in a little Mason jar for later.
The fragrance is lovely. Sweet, soft raspberry with a hint of black tea. There’s also a note of rose in the aroma. The leaves, being bagged and all, are ground almost as fine as coffee. They slip right through the holes in my infuser. Great. Now I’m gonna have gritty tea if I’m not careful. As it steeps, the water gets really dark. It comes up to a deep reddish amber. Maybe a little too red to be natural…
The flavor, though, is surprisingly tasty. I’m not getting any rose, but the raspberry flavor is very upfront and nice. Perfect for a cool spring evening. It isn’t tart at all, and the black tea is smooth. Without bitterness. It sort of reminds me of raspberry candy, or maybe raspberry jam. Anyway, this isn’t bad. I’m glad I finally got around to it. It’ll most likely be my wake-up tea tomorrow morning, too.
Flavors: Berries, Flowers
Wow, I’m surprised to be the first to review this tea! I picked it up on a whim when I was visiting the inlaws in Ohio. I liked the packaging and the thought of self-sweetening chai, even though it involved stevia leaf. That stuff is a little off-putting to me. I don’t like how it lingers in my mouth, sweetening the very air.
What I absolutely love about this tea is its aroma. It’s mouth-watering. It smells like butterscotch or butter rum and vanilla, with a hint of cinnamon and clove. It’s absolutely heavenly. Like a decadent ice cream dessert. The flavor isn’t entirely as strong, but it doesn’t disappoint. Very butterscotchy for a chai! It’s not heavy on other traditional chai spices like ginger or cardamom, but there’s a nice note of vanilla.
Now, about the self-sweetening aspect. It really is naturally sweet, but the sweetness sort of comes along in the finish. I guess I’m not tasting the stevia until the exhale. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a sensation I’m not used to. I might be tempted to add just a little more sweetener, but I like my chai on the sweeter side, so that might just be me.
Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Cloves, Vanilla
I figured it out! The review I wrote for this tea was for the bottled version, Organic Green with Coconut! That was driving me crazy.
Apparently Harney & Son’s makes this tea under several different names. (Because “Bangkok” is too easy to make jokes about, I guess?) The ingredients are pretty much identical, and so is the flavor. However, the loose leaf is a tad less bitter than the bottled, premade stuff. Either way, it’s tasty. Super refreshing and exotic. Soothing in a way, especially if you drank a lot the night before…
This has been a lovely tea to turn to since the spring months started. Sweet, summery peach. I’ll admit I’ve only had it hot once since I opened the tin, but you know, this is Atlanta. Summer started two weeks ago. You need ice.
Not only does the dry leaf smell like it’s infused with peach candy, it has little nibs of dried peach mixed in. Even better, there are actual chunks of candied ginger. I’m tempted to pick them out and eat them, but I will restrain myself.
The peach flavor comes strongly through the mildly astringent black tea base. It reminds me of the syrupy water canned peaches come in. Not in a bad way, mind you. I was the weird kid that actually liked those in the school cafeteria. Sadly, the ginger is hardly noticeable. I might not have known it was there if I hadn’t made the tea myself. Otherwise, this is a delicious tea. Very fruity and refreshing, also great with a slice of lemon.
I wonder how this would taste steeped with ground ginger…?
This tea is pretty as potpourri! So many colors mixed in. Dark green chun mei leaves, yellowy lemon peel, and blue, pink, and cream-colored flower petals. The blue flowers appear to be cornflower, the pink might be rose, and I think the pale petals are chrysanthemum. Harney & Son’s website doesn’t go into specifics.
It’s delightfully fragrant as soon as I open the tin. A sweet, Meyer lemon-like aroma is mostly what I’m getting. As it steeps, the water changes to a light tannish yellow. The scent is a little more pungent after the chun mei brews, but it’s not off-putting. It reminds me of lemon verbena. The flavor is surprisingly smooth and citrusy. It’s not tart in any way as I kind of expected. The lemon mutes the green tea aspects of this completely. No ocean or grass flavors whatsoever. Also, I don’t really taste the flowers, either. I know cornflower doesn’t really have a flavor and chrysanthemum is usually very mild… but I at least expected to be able to taste the rose. Alas, this is basically an exceptionally pretty lemon green tea.
I’m not saying it’s bad in anyway. In fact, it tastes lovely. I was just sort of expecting more.
Flavors: Flowers, Lemon Zest
Sorry for the absence, Steepster, I haven’t had much time between work and my social life lately. Also, I’ve been blending my own chai and drinking that most mornings, so I haven’t had much to write about.
Anyway, I got this in a trade with JustJames a while back. It’s a pretty tea. Short, dark leaves with flakes of pale strawberry leaf and pink strawberry pieces. The aroma is just gorgeous. Tempting chocolate cake scent mixed with a hint of sweet-tart fruit. It really does smell like a cupcake.
Steeped, it starts to get a less-than-realistic, Tootsie Roll sort of smell. It looks lovely in the glass pot, however. Beautiful ambery red. From the aroma, I expected chocolate to be the most prominent flavor, but actually, it’s the strawberry! It reminds me of strawberry preserves, not strawberry candy, which is nice. Also, I can actually taste the black tea base. It’s mild and Assam-like with just a touch of astringency, but no bitterness. The chocolate is most noticable at the end, but I still feel like I’m smelling it more than I’m tasting it.
While chocolate teas aren’t really my thing, this one would be nice to revisit every once in a while.
Flavors: Berries, Chocolate
I swear I have reviewed this tea, but Steepster is saying I haven’t. I don’t even know.
Anyway, I was writing this to add to my previous review – which I can’t find and might re-do, I guess.
I just wanted to add that this is delicious iced, sweetened, and with milk. The creaminess the milk adds goes really well with the coconut flavor. It reminds me of bubble tea, but without the tapioca pearls. Delicious!
However, I recommend drinking it this way out of an opaque cup. It looks… foul. It’s off-white, faintly yellowish, and cloudy. It looks like… something I’m not gonna name. ANYWAY.
Flavors: Coconut, Lemongrass
This is another tea I picked up when Taste went out of business. I couldn’t resist. I’m getting to it now because I’ve caught a cold. Sigh.
Again, this is packaged in a white envelope with some cool art on it, but it’s basically just sealed in a ziplock bag on the inside. This packaging was made for Taste, though… if you were to order it from Pluff’s website, it would come in a nice tin.
The dry leaf smells nice, but not out of the ordinary. Tangy and pepperminty. It brews up to a medium tan and smells much better. Still a little tart in the scent. The resulting tea is soothing and light-bodied, leaving a cool sensation in my mouth. It’s making me feel a little better, at least. All around this is a nice peppermint tea. Not spectacular, but you can taste that the leaves they used are quality.
Flavors: Mint, Peppermint
Yes, another violet tea! This is the second I’ve tried, Kusmi’s being the first. Anyway, I got this in a trade with JustJames. Thanks, James!
This stuff is powerfully fragrant! My entire tea corner of the kitchen reeked of sweet, sweet flowers. I had to keep it out on top of the microwave so it wouldn’t contaminate my other teas. Goodness. It’s a lovely-looking tea. Tiny, fine black leaves mixed with little dried flowers – pale brown with a hint of the purple they used to be.
As it steeped, my kitchen started to smell purple. You know what I mean. Like some purple candy tastes, but not like artificial grape. When the tea was finished, a fully-formed violet flower had risen to the top and was floating on the surface of the dark brew. It smelled soothing and very, very floral. Upon tasting it, I see what James was talking about. The black tea base for this one is milder and less sharp than the one Kusmi uses. The flowers take the forefront, of course, in an exotic and spring-like way. Something about it also reminds me of hard candy.
If I make an order with Dammann Freres, this is something I’d definitely get again.