52 Tasting Notes
I think I may need to use more tea when I brew this next, or use less water; my pot ended up being very light and flavour-less, so I had to add some agave to finish it. Going to hold off on the rating for now because I plan on brewing another pot tomorrow with hopefully better results, but I was expecting some really great things from this rooibos and was disappointed the first round—here’s to hoping next time gets better!
As far as bagged tea goes, Stash is one of the few companies I’ve had positive experiences with. And as far as straight up mint teas go, compared to Pukka’s Three Mint Tea (my grounds for comparison) this isn’t bad.
I don’t get much mint flavour immediately, I find, and it’s more of a mint aftertaste that it leaves in my mouth. It’s also subtly sweet, and and I guess would be good if someone wants a fresh taste in their mouth after a meal. I’m probably not going to buy any more once I finish my box, since I have lots of other mint teas that I prefer, but it’s definitely not bad.
This tea both confuses and disappoints me.
I first tried it on February 29th, when David’s was having a free tea to go special for either this or North African Mint, and since I already had North African Mint I decided to try Green & Fruity, and I absolutely LOVED it. I got a cup and immediately texted my friend to come and get some of her own, and then she had some and loved it, and we were both very, very pleased and she agreed that maybe rooibos was a pretty good tea after all.
I was so happy that I bought a 100 gram tin of it a few days later and every subsequent time I brewed it was continually disappointed.
This tea is everything I technically should love: rooibos, mango, and papaya. I was even willing to overlook the ever-more-present artificial flavouring, but after trying for… half a year now, I think I’m going to have to lower my rating for this drastically.
I can’t get any flavour unless I sweeten it ridiculously with agave or honey, and though I don’t mind adding a little bit of sweetener these days, a tea has to be able to stand on its own for me. And if I have to use THIS much sweetener just to make something palatable, I don’t see the point of trying in the first place.
It leaves a dry, artificial taste in my mouth that actually leaves me feeling thirstier than before I drank anything. So once my current stash is out, I’m definitely not going to bother with this again.
So it appears that I’m one of the few who actually quite enjoyed this! It has a nice toasty scent, but the flavour is sweet and subtly smoky, with a fresh mouthfeel. I was strict with the brewing this, since people on Adagio’s site tend to say that this can oversteep easily and usually I’m lenient with my steeping time, and I used what my best guess thought was a heaping teaspoon, but I was breaking in a new teapot so I probably used quite a bit more than a cup and a half of water (what I usually use when brewing tea for one). So I think my result may have been lighter even than most people say this is, but I quite enjoyed it and it was just what I needed for the afternoon.
Tried this iced in the store yesterday with a bit of agave and I really liked it! Even flash frozen, when all the ice was melted, it kept all its flavour. I’m not sure if that’s due to the artificial flavouring in this, and I’m once again side-eyeing David’s for that decision, but this is one of their new blends that I actually do enjoy. I may pick some up to brew myself.
Tried this iced, in store to take with me to class and… am probably even more ambivalent about it than Tropicalia.
Black tea usually isn’t my thing, but I love strawberries and hazelnut, so I figured I’d give it a whirl. That whirl? Definitely creamy, lots of strawberry, but not too exciting. I actually think Strawberry Shortcake would be better hot than iced, because I really only got that creaminess at the very beginning when I had it, before too much ice from the flash cooling had melted. Hot, a touch of honey or brown sugar and a dash of milk, I think this would be much, much better, and perfect for black tea drinkers.
Continuing on my way through the Summer Collection! This time, Tropicalia, iced in the store as usual.
I love coconut. I love pineapple. I… am ambivilant towards this tea.
The coconut was really overpowering in the cup I had, and that’s definitely not a bad thing, though pineapple fans may be disappointed; my issues is, again, the artificialness of the flavour. It tasted exactly like artificial coconut flavouring, like cheap coconut rum. It’s definitely sweet, and definitely fruity, and I think is best iced instead of hot. But not my favourite tea, alas.
I tried some of this iced in store today and I quite liked it! Definitely would have been better steeped longer, and without the dilution from the ice during flash freezing, but I liked it enough to probably get some of my own in a little bit.
I got more watermelon flavour than anything else, but it was an odd mix of actual watermelon and typical artificial watermelon flavouring, if that makes any sense; David’s artificial flavours strikes again, alas. The liquor is a lovely orange-y pink, and I did like it (will write a longer review once I try brewing some on my own), but I think it might be a summertime only purchase and not something I want to stock up on as much as possible like Swampwater.
Oh boy, I have been wanting to try this tea ever since I heard about it (browsing David’s site and then reading the post that David’s Tea Obsession on Tumblr made about it), so when I saw that it was coming back to stores for this year’s summer collection… yes, please!
I got some of this iced at my favourite Davids location. This is one adult here who really enjoys the green colour of the liquor; one of the workers in the store told me and her co-worker that Swampwater was originally a Halloween tea, hence the green colour and orange and black cat candies. I say? Delicious.
So juicy, really refreshing, and the flavour didn’t get diluted as the ice melted from the flash cooling. I love tropical fruits like mango and guava and papaya, and I love rooibos, so I think this has just rocketed up to my favourite rooibos tea. Definitely need to stock up on a LOT of my own.
So, add me to the listen of people who didn’t know how dangerous over-steeping hibiscus could be. Because yiiiiiiikes, this tea…
After being introduced to cold steeping by Steepster and successfully attempting it for a few teas with Angusexpired, I thought I’d try this cold steeped. Results: not good. I used two teaspoons, like the instructions say, then I put two icecubes in a mug with the infuser and pouring some fresh water on it. I let it steep for about half an hour. The one good thing I can say about it? The colour was fantastic. It brews a gloriously saturated magenta-pink, and as a pink lover, I was incredibly happy—until I actually tasted it.
It was horrifically tart and bitter, with a strange basic texture that I can only describe as flat. I usually don’t mind hibiscus as long as the tea its in isn’t too tart, but yeesh; if it was really due to the hibiscus being over-steeped, I might withdraw my membership to the hibiscus club.
I decided to not give up, because I love how this tea smells dry (an absolutely amazing, intoxicating orange-y fruit cocktail), but I’m still not a big fan of this tea, even brewed the normal way.
I only used 1 and a quarter teaspoons and let it steep for six minutes, being careful not to let it oversteep. Once it cooled enough for my liking I did enjoy it more, but I’m just not a fan of Pink Flamingo. It just tasted predominantly of hibiscus and nothing else. Right now I’m getting a rather savory flavour, I’m assuming from the beetroot and carrot, but it’s nowhere near as orange-y and fruity as it smells. Maybe some agave or honey would help deal with the tartness, but I can’t see it helping with the other lack of flavour.
What I actually found really fascinating was that the liquor when brewed hot was much, much darker and had more depth than the liquor from the cold-steeping. The magenta had heavier purple tones, and my best guess is that regular brewing and cold steeping activate different ingredients in the tea.
All in all I’m INCREDIBLY disappointed with this tea. I was willing to overlook the use of artificial flavouring, and maybe I’ll give it a higher rating if a sweetener helps… but I’m just not a fan.