588 Tasting Notes
I bought a small tin of this on a whim after Christmas because it was like $3.00. I figured worst case scenario it would be a good strong tea to have at work in the mornings with milk. It is, bold, strong… but not overly GOOD.
I think I may have become a bit of a tea snob, somehow, without actually really knowing what I’m talking about most of the time as far as tea is concerned.
But I’ve been so spoiled by Assams from Butiki and A&D and other companies, that something like this falls short of the mark, for me.
I first notice how broken up the leaves are. After drinking Butiki and WP lately, I’ve become accustomed to seeing long, lusciously unbroken leaves. Not this. And not to say that broken up tiny tea leaves can’t be good, i mean check out Crimson Horizon, i love that one! But this just tastes like if you were to open up a crappy generic black tea bag from a hotel lobby or something and dump it in your cup.
Is it gross? No! Just bitter, way too bitter for me. SLIGHTLY raisiny. I will definitely drink it all, with my usually sploosh of 10% cream, and I don’t feel like I wasted my $3 considering how much I got. And a reusable tin as well! But I won’t mourn it when it’s gone, and it’s going to be a generic black tea space filler when I just want to make something strong and bold, quick and easy without fussing around at work.
Overall, I would rate this tea a big, fat “MEH.”
Signed – The Uneducated Tea Snob
I guess I reviewed this before and didn’t have much luck.
I am grateful that Angel sent over more samples of this for me to try, because according to everyone else’s tasting notes, I should definitely give it another go.
I need to try it again to really form a proper opinion, I still feel so ignorant compared to everyone else. “wheat toast with honey, cocoa notes with a campfire in the distance…”… yeah. I don’t get that.
All I could really compare this to was the Mao Feng Keemun, which I really liked. I found this one to be much less sweet, and I didn’t get any cocoa notes, personally. But I think my bar for cocoa notes in straight black tea has been raised up to the Verdant Laoshan Black level, and so anything less is hard for me to discern. (I used that word twice today, WOTD!)
First impression, a tiny bit of smoke, slightly bitter…. mineral?? I don’t even know what that means. I wish there was a tea school near me so I could learn to train my tongue. But I guess that would just entail someone telling me what I’m supposed to taste, me nodding with a blank face while getting really mad that I still just taste straight tea. What’s in this cup?? TEA. Also in that cup. Still tea, guys.
I can note a difference between different types of tea (like, darjeeling vs. assam vs pu-erh vs oolong, for example), and when there’s a painfully obvious flavour profile, I’m all over that (LB, or a tea with vanilla beans cut in – G.O.)… but LAWDY do I ever have troubles catching specific notes in a tea like this one.
I am truly envious of all you “whole grain toast with honey slathered on top and a mug of hot cocoa in front of a campfire” people!!!
But that being said, I know I’ve come a LONG way. And I always know when I love a tea, I just can’t always verbalize WHY. Someday, tongue. You and the brain will be on the same page.
I will try this one later, I would like to write a better review for Teavivre!
I was pretty excited to try this, but ultimately I think it’s another strawberry tea that I have issues with. Only because I find most often, anything strawberry flavoured tastes… like added flavour, not natural. A bit overwhelming.
I was hoping for more cheesecake for sure! And maybe more rhubarb, but I very likely just had trouble discerning the rhubarb element of this tea.
The pu-erh was definitely earthy, even though I rinsed it. Not BAD, it added a good backbone to the tea.
Happy to have tried it, but likely one I will pass on to someone who truly enjoyed it :)
I’ve had this one a couple times now, most recently being last night as we sat down to watch a movie. My husband decided to put on Dumb and Dumberer which was a plan i was NOT super keen on, I didn’t LOVE the first one and i am not a big fan of stupid idiot comedies.
I know this isn’t a movie review site, but I feel compelled to tell you that I laughed out loud a lot of times and so I can’t really hate on it like I thought I would. It was stupid funny.
The tea, however…. definitely tasty. I guess the spectrum of all my reviews is pretty much like “hey, this was enjoyable” or “yucky, so bad that I dumped it out”… with a bit of “meh” in between.
This one definitely falls under the “enjoyable” category. I’m a pretty big advocate of the ‘Not So Vanilla’ tea, which, with the addition of mint, became this tea.
I think if (when, really) I were to repurchase from Tippy’s Tea, I am likely to just buy twice as much Not So Vanilla and skip this one.
While it was good, I love vanilla so much that I don’t want anything (mint, for example) to overshadow it.
I liked how it’s not an artificial “chocolatey” mint tea, because whatever cocoa notes exist would come from the golden monkey tea.
(I wouldn’t complain if it was a bit more chocolatey though…the tea base I mean. I wonder if anyone’s ever mixed Laoshan Black with mint leaves??)
Soooooooooooooo, good tea, definitely worth trying.
I remain a superfan of the “Not So Vanilla” though.
I really liked this tea while I had it. It was just kicking around in my stash for so long that I decided the other day to just dump what was left in my steeping basket and make a super potent cup of tea, just to get rid of the rest. So it was like 3-4 tsp of leaves for one 12 oz cup. I only let it steep 2 min because I didn’t want to get all crazy.
It actually was a nice, flavourful cup. I would totally recommend it. Creamy, fresh, light, really nice. Definitely OOLONGY. I was just done with it. And now I have another tin to use for one of my Butiki teas……. hmmmmmmmmmmmm….
Another sample from the generous Angel!
Before brewing this (Western style for me), I had finished a mug of the Superfine Keemun Mao Feng that I have recently been super impressed by.
I wasn’t sure what to expect of a “red black” tea.
First sip, I was surprised at how…sour (?) it seemed to taste on my tongue!
Not BAD, but nowhere near as sweet as the aforementioned Keemun.
It was a light color, and it had sort of a strange taste that felt somehow familiar to me, but I couldn’t place my finger on it. The closest I came was like kind of a bitter raisins taste. But I’m not entirely sure.
I appreciate the opportunity to try this one, but it’s not one I would purchase.
Perhaps gong fu style would make a big difference overall.
I’m not rating this time around because I feel like I need to try my second sample first :)
This was pretty good for a sludgy, artificially flavoured tea!
I saw the newsletter where it was unveiled, and knew I’d have to at least try it. So i was at the mall recently and picked up 50g. I was going to get 25 grams as per usual, but the smell of the leaves in the can in the store, along with the knowledge that it’s a fleeting flavour…. i had to get 50.
I made some earlier, here at work, and I accidentally put too much cream in it. I use 10% cream. I had to add the cream to my cup before the tea was ready, rather than standing around uselessly waiting for it to steep (time is money, people), and i added too much, so this was very light even though I let it steep forever.
I HAVE read other reviewers comment on this brewing up quite light for an EG, therefore the cream thing may not have totally been my fault.
Anyway, though it came with the typical layer of oily sludge in my cup, the flavours in this tea are really tasty. I found it was all very well balanced, and the milk/cream made me not mind the sludge. The rose and bergamot makes the fake chocolate thing take a backseat, so it wasn’t at all bad!
I don’t regret buying 50 grams, I’m sure it will come in handy as a desserty tea treat at work :)
This is the first tea I tried out of the generous bunch of samples sent to me by Angel of Teavivre.
I don’t know WHY, given that I’ve only tried a few in my lifetime, but when I see the word “Keemun” I always get a little nervous, because I expect them to be smoky. I don’t really do smoky teas, I don’t really dig them.
I was SO pleasantly surprised when I tried this! I absolutely LOVED it!!
Wow. It was such a rich, bright, flavourful cup of tea. A bit of malt, and honey and raisin notes, and not even 1% smoke!
It’s not at all what I expected. It was such an enjoyable cup that I will absolutely order some in the future. Thanks so much Angel, for allowing me to try something I otherwise would have balked at!
This is a sample I had chosen with my last Teavivre order, and one I will definitely be purchasing next time.
It’s incredibly flavorful, malty, raisiny, and BREADY. Mmmmmm, bread tea!
I steeped Western style as per my norm, and did two steeps per half of the sample bag. It is NOT a disappointing tea!
It’s so flavourful and clean tasting. Not sure how better to describe that. It’s a bright, juicy, delicious cup of tea.
Finally. Finished. This. Ginormous. Tin.
Not one I loved. The flavour profile didn’t really appeal to me. A little too smoky. I like a malty, chocolatey black tea, or a fruity raisiny one…
It was nice and bold and worked great with milk/cream in it for breakfast, but the taste of this one just wasn’t my cup of tea.
I’m happy to see it gone so I can work on others!
R.I.P. Queen Catherine…your empty tin will be put to good use :)