201 Tasting Notes
I got home last night from going visit my husband (sooo needed that, I miss him so much), and my order from Whispering Pines was waiting for me! So, naturally, I busted it open first thing this morning, and this one was calling my name.The loose leaves smell faintly dusty and woody, with the barest hint of smoke. Oh my gosh, these leaves are HUGE! Some of them are EASILY two inches long! They’re very darkly oxidized, too. I love dark oolongs, so that’s a plus for me.
I thought I would break from my usual steeping method and do what it says on the package (although I used more water than it said to). The brew smells VERY nutty, with a slight hint of charcoal, like the nuts were just a teensy bit scorched.
Mmm, I’m getting a heavy hit of that roasted nut flavor that I love in dark oolongs. This is warming me to my toes on this rather chilly morning. After sipping a while, it doesn’t get astringent or too dry in the mouth. It’s not what I would call “juicy,” but it definitely is not drying, so I appreciate that. I’m enjoying it very much. It’s not something that I will go for very often, probably, knowing the type of teas that I tend to gravitate toward , but when I am in the mood for it, I will be very glad I have it. :)
Edit: The second steep was just as good as the first, and I even got some hints of chocolate, which combined with the nuttiness made it taste like almond bark or Nutella. :) Yum !
Finally got around to trying my March sample. :) My little girl is down for a nap, so I thought it was the perfect time to have a latte and weigh teas to send to people (all of which can be done while sitting down, mercifully—been running like a crazy person this morning). Anyway, I decided to do something a little different and try it hot, with the unsweetened almond milk I found in the fridge. I had to add some sweetener, because I do find unsweetened almond milk to be somewhat unpleasant (bitter is not quite the right word, but it’s close). I added a little xylitol, not to defeat the purpose of the unsweetened almond milk, which seems to be so proud of its 30 calories a serving.
The texture was nice and creamy, but the flavor profile was meh. It was a good cup of matcha, but I didn’t get any cheesecake flavor. Next time I will go all out and make it the way they recommend. Lesson learned.
Whoa, this one has got some POTENT flavors going on. As soon as I opened the package, I actually had to back AWAY from it, because I was so overwhelmed by the licorice aroma charging at me like an aggressive rhino. I let it sit open while I prepped the water, and gave it another sniff right before steeping, and I can happily report that the anise had lightened up, and I could in fact smell other things—spices, mostly, and something a bit musty.
I steeped it up and sweetened it, because not being a huge fan of anise, I thought that sugar might help. What I got instead was a POWERFUL flavor of alcohol. It pretty much took over, leaving the spices to duke it out for the aftertaste. I don’t think I am a fan of this one. My husband is, though, so he’s welcome to it.
I’m almost out of this tea, which is thoroughly sad, because currently they’re out, so I can’t order any more at the moment… I am upping my previous rating for this tea, because I have found it to be one I go back to again and again. It is so deliciously cinnamon-y and bake-y, with a little tangy sweetness that just rounds it out so well. I added a splash of whole milk, which makes it taste like I just drizzled a little more icing on an already delectable cinnamon roll. I can drink this one easily with or without milk, and it’s equally delicious, a quality that always makes me want to rate the tea higher. Yes indeedy, this one is a keeper. :3
A new acquisition as of today, and I’m super glad I went for it! I hadn’t tried this one before, even though I’m pretty sure my hubby, a former Teavana employee, told me I would like it. I haven’t been a big fan of ginger until recently, which may have had something to do with that.
ANYWAY. The loose leaf smells intoxicatingly of coconut and cream and almond, with none of the metallic notes of rooibos—promising! I made myself a cup as soon as I got home, using Teavana’s recommended parameters.
I got mostly coconut from the flavor, with a hint of spice in the aftertaste. I could taste the ginger ever so slightly in the beginning, when it was still hot, but alas, now that it has cooled, the ginger flavor has pretty much disappeared. I still really like the flavor and the creamy mouthfeel. But it gets a less-than-perfect rating because of the absent ginger.
Flavors: Coconut, Cream
I tried this one iced in the store, and after the first sip, decided not to take it home (not for lack of effort on the barista’s part, I might add). I thought the copious amounts of hibiscus I saw in the tin would mellow out in an iced brew, and I may have been correct, but I don’t think I’ll ever know, because it was steeped a bit too long for my liking, and all I could really taste was bitterness from oversteeped oolong and a bit of artificial grape flavor, kind of like Kool-Aid. I won’t be getting or trying this one again.
Sipdown! This is actually a backlog from a few days ago. I was staying with a friend, and she was feeling nauseous, so I brought out the only red tea I’d brought with me—this one. I remembered when I’d had nausea from being pregnant, I drank a red tea I have with lemongrass in it, which pretty much knocked the nausea on its ass, so I thought it would help her. She said it didn’t really make it better or worse, but it did taste good, so I guess that’s something. :)
I had forgotten how much I really like this tea by itself. It’s got enough flavor in it that the red rooibos doesn’t bother me, and the blueberry is very present (and lends a wonderful purplish color to the brew). I hope Teavana hasn’t discontinued this one, ‘cause I’d like to look into getting some more…
Hey, a maté I actually really like?? Sweet!
I have been on the fence about maté in general for a while, but THIS tea is solidly in the “Love” category. :) I really appreciate that both spearmint and peppermint are present, because it just rounds out the minty experience. The chocolate and the roasted maté just complete each other so smoothly. Delicious!
Okay. I gave this tea a second try. I thought maybe the first time I didn’t brew it right, or it just wasn’t what I was in the mood for, or… who knows? Anyway, I searched for anything in the flavor that I might call “pancake-y,” and I just don’t think I ever found it. I definitely got the maple, no issues with that. I even added milk, which usually helps to bring out “baked goods” flavors in tea… and it just didn’t help. I want to like this one, but without the pancake flavor, I am not prepared to say I do.