185 Tasting Notes
There’s a great story about this tea. My boss is absolutely in love with it, and since her bushel of this came in recently, she gave Missy and I a sample (in a cute little hand painted tin as well). Thanks Sandy!
After she had ordered it the first time, she brought it over to my desk and we were chatting about it. My olfactory sense is not what one would consider superhuman. Considering it subhuman would be graceful, and probably more than it deserves. One of the places that this becomes really, really apparent is with cherry or almond flavoring. As far as I can tell, they are the exact same. So a lot of things that are supposed to be almond taste really fruity and weird to me.
While we were discussing this, another coworker (who we shall call Bob for as to protect his anonymity) walks by. Never one to allow a guinea pig to walk by untested, I stop Bob, and ask him if he has ever had an issue differentiating these two should-be-less-similar-than-they-are scents.
Bob’s answer? Of course not! So we hand him the tea, and he confidently responds that it smells like cherries… and I burst into laughter. Totally made my day.
Anyway, this is a nice, dark oolong with a light fruity/nutty flavor from the almond/cherry flavoring. It really has a good compliment of flavors, without either being overpowering. A nice, flavorful tea.
Hrmm… not sure what’s going on with this right here. This is supposed to be a fairly typical chai… but it’s… not.
The concept of a savory tea is a little bit confusing to me. I’ve seen references to Frank’s tomato and basil tea, and it turned me a little green. This? Well, it’s also turning me a little green.
The two most predominant flavors I’m getting from this are pepper and… pine? I don’t know what to say, but it tastes like pine. I really have no idea why. It is truly bizarre.
This might be a case of ‘we need to try this again before we make any decisions’. I’m really not sure how it came out tasting the way it does… but at the moment, not too terribly impressed. Maybe I’m just having an off chai day ;)
Another sample from Indigobloom… thank you Indigo!
This… uh… well… no sir, I don’t like it.
Something about this blend really comes across as ‘off’ to me. We gave it the full five minutes, but it is a CTC, so that may have been overkill, and be part of the problem with the overwhelming MEH! I get from this tea.
So… yeah, glad I got to sample it (thanks again, Indigo!), but I don’t think this is a keeper.
This is an interesting tea… concept, I guess? Herbs soaked in champagne, how classy! Ooh la la!
Another great sample from Indigobloom, thank you!
The website for this tea said to steep it for 4-8 minutes… which seemed scarily long for a white tea, so we played it a little sheepish and did 2.
However, we ended up with a fairly delicate brew. There is a soft, peppery note from the white tea (tastes like a bai mu dan?), and a light raspberry flavor following. There’s also a hint of what may be the champagne towards the end… though it’s been years since I’ve had a champagne.
So, it tastes pretty good, though significantly more delicate than I think I would typically enjoy. Maybe it actually needs to stew for 4-8 minutes… that still sounds pretty scary though!
Since we didn’t follow the instructions, I’m leaving off a numerical score… but I’d probably put it right around 70.
And now, for something slightly different!
You know, I really do like that SerendipiTea does things a little different. For example, this is the only chai I’ve ever seen with Allspice.
Now you may say to yourself: “Self, do I consider Allspice a typically Indian spice?”
And you would probably respond to yourself: “Of course not, Self! That would be silly!”
But it works, it really truly does. The allspice, clove, and cinnamon are the dominating spices in this tea. Towards the end of the sip you start to taste the pepper. It’s a little bit sweeter, overall, than most other chais I’ve had, but that works really well with the allspice. This is definitely unique, and quite enjoyable.
I also have to give SerendipiTea another nod due to their ridiculously large samples. I think we ordered another 8 or 10 samples with this last order, and we’ve started to measure them. See, for $2.50, you’re supposed to get a half ounce sample of tea (14 grams, for you metric folks). Our last order, and this order, we started to measure these so-called half ounce samples… and not a single one of them has been less than 30g. I think the largest was 57g. So, you’re getting far more than your money’s worth if you order samples from them… so I recommend it highly :)
Thank you for the sample Sandy
The lemongrass in this blend is surprisingly powerful, the brew ends up being quite lemony. Not that this is a bad thing. It’s like a pre-made Arnold Palmer. Iced, and with a lot more sugar, I think this would be a fantastic blend!
As always, a big thanks to Angel and the Teavivre team for this fantastic samples.
It’s been somewhat well documented that Moroccan Mint is one of my favorite teas in ze world. So, as many gunpowders as I’ve drank, this is really the first gunpowder I’ve drank alone (yeah, with nobody else).
The little pellets in this sample are remarkably shiny, I don’t know how to explain it other than that. They look like precious little rocks.
Anyway, so how does it taste? Brilliant, that’s how it tastes. It’s wonderful. There is a sweetness to this tea that is wonderful, and a slight vegetable flavor. Not that in your face, I’m eating a serving of boiled cabbage flavor, but a soft, sweet, this tastes like the forest vegetable flavor. There’s a bit of a tinge of that malted flavor that I associate with black tea as well, that really rounds this out quite pleasantly.
So, in preparation for my big meeting thing tomorrow, let’s break it down to three bullet points (that would fit on a powerpoint slide!):
1. Lightly sweet
2. Tastes like the forest
3. Reminds me of black tea
I definitely think this is going to be a tea I keep around for a while. Actually, I think I’m going to go put in an order with Teavivre right now. I’m missing their Bailin Gongfu, as well.
Another sample from Azzrian by way of Sandy.
This tea tastes amazing. It has a mildly sweet flavor, which tastes a little like cookies and remarkably like hazelnut to me. Not sure if that’s part of the ingredients or not, but it doesn’t look like Lupicia is telling! There is a little bit of caramel note at the end, with a smooth (but fairly light) tea base.
Sandy mentioned that she thought it tasted like watered down coffee. I don’t agree (though, I do like coffee). However, it does very, very much remind me of the hazelnut non-dairy creamer that my sister puts in her coffee. I wonder if Sandy has just been tricked with hazelnut coffee ;)
Num nums. Very tasty. Price is a little unappetizing, but oh well. If I work up to ordering from Lupicia, this is definitely on the list.
Thanks again, gals!