141 Tasting Notes
Hmmm. I’m not getting vanilla, in either the aroma or the taste. Just honeybush. And I’m not that big a fan of honeybush. I just wanted to try this one on the off chance that vanilla flavoring would make it tolerable for me. It might have, if I’d been able to taste it. :/
I steeped this twice, once yesterday and once this morning. :) I didn’t have much time to enjoy it yesterday, and I committed the horrific taboo of sweetening it on the first steep before I realized what I was doing… X-P I kicked myself pretty hard, because I let auto-pilot take over.
First steep: 1 minute 45 seconds; Color: a yellowish amber; Aroma: sweet, creamy, slightly vegetal
I shouldn’t have sweetened it. The sugar is throwing off the… well, everything. The mouthfeel, the flavor, the aroma, everything. :(
Second steep: 2 minutes; Color: a darker amber, more orange; Aroma: very grassy, vegetal, with a hint of cream
Let me just say that this is a VERY green oolong. The picture on this page does not quite look like my leaves did. Of course, now they’re all unfurled, and they have more than quadrupled in volume… which has only further revealed how very very green they are. The vegetal taste is pretty overpowering this time. I don’t really detect any cream.
Not gonna rate this one, because I messed up the tasting.
Dangit, I oversteeped this one too! I started the cup, and then my mom pointed out that my little girl’s diaper needed changing, so I went to do that, and before I knew it, five minutes had passed. DX I was so looking forward to this one, too! And there isn’t any left… T_T
Well, I added some water, some sugar, and a dash of milk and drank it anyway. It wasn’t bad… but those aromas coming from the dry leaf had promised so much more! The cardamom was the strongest note, with the cinnamon and the orange peel right on its heels. So sad… I’m not even going to rate this one, because I don’t feel I experienced it properly. I will probably have to order this at some point, because I think my husband would really like it (and if he doesn’t, then I will probably like it enough for both of us). :)
Put several teas in a pile this morning and picked with my eyes closed, and this one was it! I definitely steeped it too long, but I added a bit more water when all was said and done, and the astringency didn’t kill me. (Yay, no death!)
Anyway, I actually rather enjoyed this. I was expecting lemon overkill (though I don’t know why, because the scent was really nothing to write home about), but it was actually refreshing and mild. I didn’t even try it unsweetened, because I had oversteeped it. The black tea base was a good middle-of-the-road Ceylon, with a nice malty flavor to counteract the sweetness of the lemon (and the sugar…). All in all, I almost failed at this tasting, but in the end I liked the tea, so huzzah!
Hmmmm. This chai was a little on the ho-hum side of average, and I didn’t really get any vanilla in the flavor… but then, I also didn’t notice the steeping instructions on the page here, which are a little different than my usual method of making chai. So, I will reserve judgment until I try it again their way! It sounds promising! :)
Hmm. Just… hmm. This tea was so promising. The scent is really something—an orange aroma so intense it almost smells spiced, and the rich berry scent of what I thought were cranberries… until I saw the hibiscus petals. Uh-oh. I was just not certain about this anymore, and it turned out, I was right. There is just something about hibiscus that takes over other fruit flavors. It wants to be the star of the show, and it has the capability. It isn’t a bad flavor, I just feel like I’ve tasted this tea before, having had other teas with dried fruit and hibiscus. It doesn’t seem to matter what the fruit is: the hibiscus overpowers it. And then I come here and learn that it ALSO has rosehips in it. Man, those cranberries never stood a chance. And the orange… I might be able to taste a little, every few sips. But no more than that. Oh, well.
I decided to dig my hand into the traveling tea box and select randomly this morning, and this is (supposedly) what I came up with. I’m not entirely sure this is actually the tea its label says it is. From the description and other reviews, this tea doesn’t even LOOK like what it’s supposed to, much less taste like it. There are no fruit pieces, just very dark tea leaves and a few flakes of something olive green, perhaps a dried herb??
Anyway, I steeped it for about a minute and a half, and sweetened it with a scoop and a half of sugar. The first sip was very smoky, with a big hit of astringency. At first, I thought I’’d over steeped it, which means one of either two things: it’s got lapsang souchong in it, or it’s a poor quality tea, to have become astringent so quickly. Blech. I added some milk and a little more sugar, and that masked the astringency to a degree where I could drink it. The smokiness was still there, but I could handle that, as long as it didn’t taste like metal anymore. There’s definitely no fruit in this, and no cream flavor. I really think it was mislabeled, but I don’t know how that could have happened.
I checked the little journal that was included in the tea box to see who put it in, and it turns out this was in there from the beginning, put there by momo. Maybe she would know more than I do about it.
I determined that for the rest of today, I would drink nothing but infusions of this tea, and see how far it got me. The aroma of the leaves is very light, as one would expect from a bai mu dan, and somewhat vegetal. I’m also getting some notes of cucumber and perhaps some pear, although to me it is not as sweet as a pear. Perhaps an underripe pear.
I did the first steep longer than I ought to, because sometimes you just have to pick up and cuddle the fussy baby. (I have a confession, fellow Steepsters: I do not typically use a timer for tea. I should, but I don’t. I am sure one day I will pick up a timer at a Dollar General or something and henceforth never be parted from it, but that day, alas, has not come.) ANYWAY. The brew was a medium peridot kind of color, and the aroma was again predominantly cucumber. The taste was very fresh, like sprouts coming out of the ground in the morning, covered in last night’s dew. I could taste the cucumber as well, very watery and juicy.
The second steep was less cucumber-y, but it was still there. The third steep brought the onset of something almost metallic, almost mint-like in it’s aftertaste. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I decided then that three steeps was enough. If my husband was here, he’d probably have steeped it a few more times, but alack, he is not. :(
Anyway, I don’t think I would buy this one, but I’m glad I got to try it. :)
Another sampling from Tea Box B! I guess subconsciously I was in a coconut mood, although I really picked this one next because I was looking for something that had no caffeine. Didn’t want to overdo it. This one looked interesting, so I gave it a steep. I have to say, I was underwhelmed. The cheesecake flavor seemed to be a little enhanced by the honeybush, but not enough to mask the medicinal, astringent quality that honeybush seems to have. I detect no coconut whatsoever, sadly. :( Overall, not one I would buy.
OMG MY FIRST TRAVELING TEA BOX IS FINALLY HERE YAAAAAAAY!
Ahem, sorry, had to get that out. There is SO MUCH TEA in this thing, it’s unreal. I almost couldn’t decide where to start… but then I saw this tea, which TeaSipper was so wonderful to include because she saw it was on my shopping list! _ I might be a complete and total noob for never having tried this tea before (as I understand, it’s been around a while), but I just haven’t gotten to it before now, and that’s all there is to it. :P
Anyway, I steeped this the usual way, one mug’s worth in my Teamaker from Teavana. I’m not certain I steeped it long enough, as it came out a little weak on the black tea flavor. I don’t exactly know how long it was steeping, as I set it to steep and then walked away to feed my cat. I came right back! It couldn’t have been much longer than a minute. Anyway, it wasn’t quite as dark as I thought it ought to be, so I stood there about 30 seconds more… and it didn’t change. So I, being impatient, stopped the steeping, sweetened it, and then paced like a tiger in a cage, waiting for it to cool enough to be tasted.
Like I said, the black tea flavor was a little weak (and the mouthfeel being a little too watery also seemed to indicate that I had understeeped it), but MAN, was that coconut packing a punch! The vanilla, too, was right there at the front of the sip, both in aroma and in flavor. WHAM! Right in the kisser! I could tell by the way the tea looked that it was going to have plenty of coconut flavor, as there were HUGE chunks of it all throughout, but I was very pleasantly surprised by the Camilla’s strong presence, as I find a lot of teas that say they have vanilla flavoring don’t actually have enough for it tone detected. I definitely am getting “pie” from this. I can almost taste that sweet meringue topping, and the graham cracker crust that’s been softened a little bit by the custard…
So. Yummy. :3