190 Tasting Notes
Hmm, apparently I haven’t rated this one yet, despite having had it for a few months and drunk it a few times. Husband and I made a pot of it last night to drink while watching an episode of Game of Thrones, season 4 (I know, we’re behind the curve, like usual). This tea seemed appropriate because there were a lot of Dornish people in this episode, and blood oranges grow in Dorne. At least, we thought we remembered that from the books.
ANYWAY. Sniffing the loose tea is really a lot like smelling a bowl that has at one point contained sorbet. There’s a slight creaminess, along with some notes of mango and raisins and blood orange and a little apple. We steeped it for about three minutes (I forgot to start the timer right away…), since it’s a pretty green oolong base and we didn’t want the fruit to outshine it. Alas, it seems those efforts weren’t fruitful (hurr hurr). The oolong really gets lost, but the tangy-sweet blood orange flavor is nice. It’s subtle, but definitely a different citrus than regular orange. It’s on the cusp of bitterness, but not quite there. I wish the blood orange would back off a little, so the oolong could actually be tasted underneath it, but perhaps someone else has a blend like that. We probably won’t buy this one again, but for now, I’m glad we have it. :)
This was quite a nice green blend, despite the fact that I really didn’t take good care of it (it lived in a plastic baggie…). The peach notes really came out quite nicely. Didn’t get much watermelon, but perhaps the juicy nature of the overall flavor could be attributed to it. :) This tea definitely was juicy, without tasting too fruity. The green tea was smooth and vegetal, like asparagus, but no bitterness. I really enjoyed it!
I bought this tea at a Renaissance Fair in late August, but I’m only just now getting around to reviewing it… The place is local (well, sort of—they’re a little over an hour from me), and apparently they have a little shop and deliver lunch to people on business days. (I only learned this after going to their website. They didn’t tell me all that at the Ren Fair.)
Anyway, I was very excited by this tea, as I’ve not before tried a tea that was just black tea and vanilla beans. The smell of the loose leaf is quite heavy and sweet, which promised good things for the vanilla flavor.
As it turns out, the vanilla DEFINITELY delivers. It’s almost cloying, but only because it’s such a rich flavor. I really, really, really like it. I will never tolerate an inferior vanilla flavor ever again. THIS is the real deal. As for the black tea, it’s a pretty light one, perhaps a Ceylon? It makes a nice couple with the vanilla, although I must say, the black tea is more like the man in the tuxedo escorting the ravishing femme fatale. I’m okay with that. They don’t both need to be front and center.
Oh, creamy, buttery, coconutty goodness. I do believe coconut flakes are my favorite tea additive of all time. It just makes the tea so smoooooth.
However, the reason I love this tea is not just because of the coconut. The white tea definitely makes itself known, and it, too, is delicious, with notes of butter and vanilla and fresh grass. This tea has almost a white chocolate kind of mouthfeel—it leaves your mouth a little dry, but the best parts of the flavor linger, making you want another sip. Soooo not what I expect from a white tea.
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Cream, Grass, Vanilla
Hmm. I am reminded of why I don’t drink this one much. It could be that my box is just old, but there’s an overtone to the taste that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s metallic, kind of like the taste of a fork that’s had its polish worn down. X-P
Anyway, I kind of took an unanticipated hiatus, because of moving and all things related to it, but I’m back now! We have arrived and settled in to our new home in Colorado! It’s so nice to live somewhere with actual, real, bonafide autumn. It’s like stepping out your front doorstep into a puzzle picture. :3
Oh, and another fun but unrelated thing that happened while I was MIA: my daughter has started saying a few words now, and she now asks for tea by name. I normally share with her if I’m not drinking something caffeinated, and she loves it (‘cause what’s not to love?). :)
Oh, my, chocolate! My husband and I acquired this from Whole Foods recently, and the following morning we steeped it up with our (nearly) full breakfast.
The smell of the loose leaf is very earthy, with a hefty dose of dark chocolate and a hint of cream. I steeped it for two-ish minutes (I didn’t get my timer started right away), and it surprised me how light-colored the brew was, considering it has pu-erh in it! But the leaves had mostly sunk, so I knew it was done with the first steep.
The flavor is DEFINITELY chocolate-y. The pu-erh adds a nice malty, almost fermented note without being completely overpoweringly musty. In fact, if I didn’t know it, I might not have ever guessed that this was blended with pu-erh. It’s actually pretty naturally sweet, but we added a little light cream and sugar anyway, because, well, it’s a breakfast tea. We did end up resteeping it later, for four minutes, and it was almost identical to the first steep. Quite lovely! Glad we sprung for it (although next time I may try to get it cheaper… looking at you, Whole Foods, Land of the Fancy Grocery Store Upcharge).
My hubby and I had “second breakfast” this morning, since first breakfast came at 7:30 and we were both hungry again by 10:00, and this tea was selected to go with our bacon and eggs. I think I sweetened mine a teensy bit too much, but truthfully, the rich sweetness was a rather perfect mesh with the heavy flavors of the peppery bacon. I fully intend to re-steep this one. Simply put, this chai is perfection. I will be restocking this one.