194 Tasting Notes
I approached this sample warily because (as must be abundantly clear to anyone who’s seen my previous notes) I don’t like spice tea, and the last few spice tea samples have been particularly dreadful. This one smelled quite lovely though (the combination of ginger and anise, I think) and as it turns out, it was pretty well balanced too. Obviously it tasted like spices, but they weren’t overwhelming and the black tea came through. So though I wouldn’t buy it myself, I’d give it a thumbs up for those people who like spice tea.
Sipdown :( This is a great tea, but the ratios in this particular bag seemed slightly different to the one I’d had before. I remembered it with an emphasis on the caramelized coconut, and this bag definitely leaned more towards rum (though you get all these notes in all the batches, I’m just talking about which note comes through strongest). Anyway, this was fine, but I could have done with a pinch more coconut.
Steeped up some of this last night, and caffeine or no caffeine, there couldn’t be a more soothing tea. I think this cup was even better than the first time I tried it. Somewhat by chance, I think I used slightly cooler water and steeped it a bit longer. Also, the leaves weren’t cramped up in the little basket strainer this time, and given the extra room, they unfurled to fill the whole steeper. I’m not sure it’s a big deal with all teas, but if you’ve got large-leaved oolongs, giving them room to breathe really helps.
I got this as a sample sachet in a recent order. It’s not as bad as David’s Snickerdoodle, but still too much sickly sweet cinnamon. Keep in mind I am definitely prejudiced on this point — I don’t like spice tea — but still, I think H&S, a company notably good at balancing the ingredients in their blends, could have done a better job balancing this one. Like maybe you get a hint of the black tea that’s supposedly in this? If people just wanted to drink cinnamon, they could probably get it from their spice rack.
The very last of the Tealet tea boxes! This is a good one to end on. The tea has a really beautiful scent — honey and sweet peas. There’s some raw sweet pea flavor too, but mineral is the dominant flavor, and the pea is kind of an undernote. Right now this one’s vying with Sencha of the Spring Sun for the role of My Favorite Sencha. Spring Sun is smoother and mellower, something I generally look for in tea, but Wind has really interesting flavor. Hmmm, I’ll have to have a few more cups to decide.
The label mentions a combination of sweetness and bitterness — I’m not really getting either. I do get lots of creamy pinenut flavor though. The tea is having a drying effect on my throat — normally I find this comes with astringency, so it seems kind of at odds with such a mellow tea.
Anyway, not crazy about the drying sensation, but love the flavor.
I’ve nearly sampled the whole Tealet collection! Just 2 senchas left to go!
Neverless, I am taking this short detour with an old favorite, because I don’t want to be up all night on a sencha high. Lime gelato, while ostensibly caffeinated, is really an apple tea masquerading as a green tea (hey by the look of the three tea leaves in here, this has sencha in it too). I think this tea is 80% dried apple, 15% dried lime, 4.9% yogurt bits, and .1% sencha. This might not sound like the most appealing mix, but it always turns out delicious.
The instructions recommended using 1.5 Tablespoons of this, but I suspect that’s a typo (how could you possibly need 1.5 T of shincha?). This tea gets 5 out of 5 caffeine marks, and remembering how buzzed I got on the last tea that was marked that high, I used a scant teaspoon, and I find it is plenty strong.
I was curious to see whether this tea would really taste like buttered asparagus, as promised on the label, and it does! The stony mineral notes are also there, giving it a little zip, but it is primarily a smooth buttery vegetable tea. Good to focus with, as the caffeine brings plenty of alertness but the flavor is soothing. The steeped leaves are lime green, and the liquor is a pale gold.