201 Tasting Notes
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.
I ordered this one a while ago, with three other SBT iced teas, but I’ve only just gotten around to pulling them out and trying one. I steeped it for the recommended amount of time, but beyond that, the instructions were very vague… So I’m not sure if it’s because I steeped it in too much water, or because I added too much water after the fact, or what. It was a bit weak. The flavor of vanilla cola was certainly present, and quite tasty, but I think the instructions need to be a bit more explicit? I don’t make iced tea that often, and so I’m not really used to the dynamics. My hubby’s usually the one who does it. I’ll go ahead and rate this one according to the flavoring, which was indeed quite good. :)
As long as you don’t steep this one too long, it’s a very decent tea. Not TOO artificial with the peach flavoring (although I’m not gonna lie, it is a little bit artificial). It would probably be dee-licious as an iced tea, but I haven’t tried it yet. I definitely will, though. :)
Oh my gosh. Slap me upside the head with cardamom, why don’tcha? That’s about what sniffing this tea is like! Don’t get me wrong, I like cardamom… in certain applications. I just am not quite sure I like it to THIS degree of intensity. It is quite literally the only thing I smell.
Okay. I have brewed it, tasted it, sweetened it slightly, and tasted it again. I have to say, the black tea here is really not strong enough to stand up to Mr. Big Mean Cardamom, although I can actually taste it. The overall flavor is just unappealing to me, to be honest. Perhaps I just like my cardamom to be accompanied by (and mellowed by) other things than just a mid-grade black tea. The husband likes it, though, so I’ll let him drink it. ;)
Speaking of the husband, super exciting news came recently! We found out that after he graduates from A School, he (meaning we, as a family!) will be stationed in Aurora, CO for his first duty tour! I am SO stoked about living there. I’ve been to CO a couple of times and LOVED it, so I can’t wait to call it home. Plus, there’s the Rocky Mountain Tea Festival coming up in August! Yippee!!
Finally got to try this one, thanks ashleyelizabeth! I’ve had my eye on this one for a bit, because I really just enjoy the heck out of chocolate mint teas. Simple, no fuss, but usually good flavor, as that combination is not hard to replicate. I’ve been excited about this one, though, because apparently chocolate mint herbals are a lot more common than chocolate mint blacks, for some reason. Maybe it’s just me.
Anyway, this is pretty decent. The base is fairly nondescript, but the chocolate and mint are well balanced. Neither flavor is very strong. I see what other people were talking about, the way the sprinkles make a kind of oily sheen on the top of the water. I don’t mind it, as it doesn’t change the mouthfeel. I might try this iced at some point, although I’m not sure how chocolate would come through in an iced tea. I guess we’ll see!
Thanks, ashleyelizabeth, for including this as a random sample in our swap! I have to apologize to you, because in my rush to get the tea packaged and to the post office before it closed, I forgot to include any random samples, just the tea we’d agreed on… T_T Sorry!
Anyway, I made this over at my sister’s while I was visiting the other day. Her kids can be kind of rambunctious, and it can get overwhelming, so we were feeling like we needed a pick-me-up. She went for her Keurig, and I pulled this out, glad I’d brought it.
It’s a bit inconsistent with the flavor, to be honest, although I’m not quite sure how that works. Some sips are quite coconutty, while some sips are spicy, and still other sips are, unfortunately, neither. I’d be willing to give this another shot, though, so perhaps I’ll get some down the line.
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. :(