153 Tasting Notes
I followed Teavana’s recommendations for rooibos, steeping a teaspoon and a half in boiling water for… quite a long time. I didn’t time it, but I know it could easily have been ten minutes. From the dry leaf, I got strong scents of lime and verbena, with a little bit of the woodiness of the rooibos. I’ve really taken a liking to green rooibos, but it’s just not as common as the red variety, so I was glad to see this in the Traveling Tea Box. :) Anyway, I got the same aroma after it was steeped—very strong lime, a little verbena, some rooibos… but no coconut. Well, I thought to myself, maybe if I sweeten it, I’ll get a little coconut action. And you know, I was right! It was smooth and creamy and very prevalent. I really like it! I think perhaps some of the other reviewers may not have used enough leaf when they tried it. Well done, Tealux.
Backlog: I steeped this two nights ago, actually. Yeah, I’m that behind. My little girl isn’t often happy long enough for me to pull out my laptop and write a review.
Anyway, this one was VERY floral, with some marshmallow-y hints that I supposed was intended to be the “macaron” flavor. I’ve never actually had a macaron, but I hear they’re sugary and delicious, much like a marshmallow, so I suppose they did a good job! And I say it was “floral” because while yes, the jasmine flavor was definitely present, it wasn’t the only flower I could detect in there. I wasn’t a huge fan, but kudos to Dammann Fréres for achieving the flavor!
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. :)