195 Tasting Notes
Brenden sent this as a sample in my order, which is rather uncanny, since I’d almost ordered it, but had to take it out for budget concerns. :) I was very happily surprised!
I ended up steeping this four times throughout the course of the day… and it really says something about a tea that I’m willing to go back to it that many times in one day. Usually at some point I say to myself, “Eh, I’ve had that already, let’s shake it up.” Not this time! It was very malty and bready and had some light hints of honey, just barely. Sadly, through all the steeps, I just wasn’t getting the chocolate notes. Maybe next time? I suppose I should try it once without sugar, too… I forgot to, in my hurry that morning.
Had this tea this morning, in a travel mug with milk and sugar. The smell is wonderfully light and fresh for a black tea, with some lovely toasty maltiness. It tastes like… rye bread, with honey, maybe some hints of maple syrup, and heavy cream… it’s making me think of bread pudding, minus the cinnamon. Highly delicious, a very good choice for breakfast! :)
Wow… did I add milk to this?? I don’t remember doing that, and the color of the tea seems to indicate that I didn’t, but it sure tastes like I did! The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, too, which further reinforces it. The coconut is very present, but the vegetal nature of the green tea fills out the edges of the flavor, giving it depth. I have come to the conclusion that I LOVE coconut in tea, and this is subliminally coconut. Therefore, I find this utterly sublime!
1st steep: 2 minutes
2nd steep: 5-ish minutes? I kind of forgot about it… but it does not seem to have suffered because of it! Just as flavorful and coconutty. :3
Well. Color me surprised. I got this in a plastic baggie from ashleyelizabeth (thank you!), and before I really looked at it closely, I would have told anyone who asked me that there was rooibos in that bag. That’ll teach me. XD
Anyway, this tea smells VERY much of almond extract—pungent and sweet, almost cloyingly so. It actually reminds me of the wedding cake cupcake that a shop near my house makes. Their icing is VERY sweet, and this smells exactly like biting into one of those.
The brew smells of almonds (though not as strongly) and wet wood, kind of reminiscent of the flavor of a toothpick. Weird, but not altogether unappealing. There’s also quite a bit of “dust” floating around in my cup after steeping, which is not great, but if I like this enough I’ll just steep it in a paper bag from now on.
Unsweetened, this tastes pretty much exactly like a toothpick—woody, and kind of chemical-y, and bitter. Hmm. Perhaps, like its baked counterpart, it needs some sweetness.
Hmm, there might be something there… I added two tsps of sugar, and the toothpick flavor is ALMOST gone, and the almond might be surfacing… I have one more remedy to try.
A splash of milk later, and this tea is the oddest color, like fog, if fog were slightly brown. The milk has taken away the bitter flavor, but it left the toothpick flavor. Blech. I will try it one more time, just to make sure this is not because I scalded the lapacho (I admittedly did not check the recommended temp before pouring boiling water over it), but so far, not a good first impression. I can’t finish this. :(
Thank you to ashleyelizabeth for this one! Been wanting to try it for a while. :)
The loose leaf smells kind of medicinal… uh-oh. There’s lemon myrtle in here. Well, we’ll see…
I steeped it for a pretty short amount of time, ‘cause I know Frank’s flavored blacks tend to do better that way. The aroma is mostly of cardamom and citrus, with some solid floral notes. Hmm. I’m not sure I’ll like a flowery chai. The very idea is strange, at best.
I added milk, because that’s what you do with chai, and some sugar. It smells a lot more like lemon meringue pie now, for sure! First sip… mmm, interesting. The front of the sip definitely tastes like lemon meringue—sweet and lightly creamy (thank you, marshmallow root), somewhat lemony (although I like my lemon curd a bit more tart than that). The spices are filling the role of the pie crust flavor, bakey and warm… but then the aftertaste is ALL floral. That lemon myrtle… dang, this was almost really good. I just can’t get around it. This tea would be much better off without it. :/
It is with a very, very heavy heart that I have to lower my rating of this tea. Teavana, in its “wisdom,” messed with a good thing and changed this tea’s recipe. I restocked it several weeks ago, but as soon as I opened the new bag (having not paid that much attention in the store), I knew something was different. Sure, the fruit and coconut pieces are a bit bigger and healthier looking, but… and I shook the bag a lot just to be sure… there are no pink peppercorns. Anywhere. Sure enough, after I steeped some of the new stuff, the flavor is MOSTLY the same, but it’s missing that delicious spicy bite that I loved so much.
You’ve ruined my day, Teavana. Ruined it.
Flavors: Coconut, Cream
I was pretty sure I’d reviewed this before… but it wouldn’t be the first time my memory’s been faulty, if I didn’t.
Anyway, I can really smell both the acai and the mango, plus some berry and a little citrus, but the flavor is just not quite right. I think the tap water here is off-tasting (I’m visiting a friend in a rather rural part of Texas…). It’s adding a very musty taste right as I’m swallowing, which makes this whole experience a bit unpleasant… Anyway, that aside, it’s a nice tea. Nothing terribly special, and if I wasn’t out of my house, I probably would have chosen something else.
I chose this one this morning because I’m traveling and it’s really the only breakfast tea I brought with me. Don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow morning, since I only brought one bag of this.
I prefer chais without anise, but this one is actually subtle enough about it that I don’t mind. :) It’s a decent cupp. Nothing to write home about, but I appreciate that it’s organic.
I took the rest of this out of Traveling Teabox B some time ago and have only just now gotten around to trying it…
The loose leaf smelled vaguely citrus-y, which I guessed was the lemon myrtle. Not a really appealing smell, to be honest. It’s floral and tangy at the same time, but in a way that just is not doing it for me.
Once it cooled off enough to drink, I decided I’d try it unsweetened first. The liquor smells again very strongly of lemon myrtle, but now I’m getting the vanilla in the aroma. Perhaps it won’t be so bad. Not that I have anything against lemon myrtle, but for some reason, the smell of it is turning me off, like maybe I had a bad experience with it that I can’t quite remember at the moment…
Hmm, I have decided my verdict: this tea is bleh. It could speak to the age of the sample (which is unknown by me, maybe someone knows), but the lemon myrtle is just not as good as it could be. I’m assuming that’s what’s causing the tangy-floral flavor that I’m not liking. It’s borderline metallic, almost, and the more it cools, the more astringent the pouchong is, which doesn’t help. In a word, nope.
I decided to have this as my evening wind-down tea. I steeped it according to the package directions and added 1.5 teaspoons of sugar. I probably should have tried it unsweetened first , but oh well. Next time!
This tea is REALLY sweet. Definitely should have tried it unsweetened. There’s a lovely harmony going on among all the flavors, similar to what happens in a baked good: the ingredients get real friendly with one another, until they just mush into each other and become a new flavor entirely. That, and the fact that it’s really very sweet, makes this tea taste like a Hubig’s apple pie. For those of you not familiar with Hubig’s, they make individual size fruit pies, kind of like a turnover except with pie crust instead of puff pastry, deep fry them, and douse them in glaze. You don’t really want to know how many calories are in one of those things. ;) Anyway, I’m completely captivated by the bakey apple flavors going on here, and the cinnamon plays a perfectly in tune second fiddle. The oolong adds some nice honey and nut notes. Delicious!