176 Tasting Notes
I’m trying to work my way through all of the samples I’ve received from very generous people like Doulton on my days off from work. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be nuts about this, since I used to hate the taste of coffee. Now, however, I get tons of free samples from the cafe in the bookstore where I work (be jealous), so I’ve become somewhat used to the harsh taste of coffee. As a precaution, I’ve added some milk to this in an attempt to hopefully cut the harshness and make this easier on my stomach.
In the first sip, it was the citrus flavor that hit me. The combination of the coffee and citrus is making this a bit bitter, but in a coffee way, not in a bad way. If you concentrate, you taste the sweet notes underneath the sharp orange taste. The caramel hides in the aftertaste, while the cream floats around throughout the cup. I’m not getting any chocolate, but that’s fine by me, as I’m not much of a chocolatey tea person anyway.
After subsequent sips of this, the bitterness is dying down a lot. Now it’s mainly sweet orange and cream with those fleeting hints of glorious caramel. This is quite a unique tea; all the tea that Doulton has sent me have been uncommon, surprising teas. Thank you!
I’m finally trying this iced, and I like it a lot! I’ve bumped up the rating tad. I wish I could taste more melon in this; the main flavor I’m getting is cucumber. It’s a very natural cucumber flavor though, and the hint of sweetness at the end is wonderful! I can’t tell if the sweetness is from the melon or from the sweetener I added, but whatever it is, it isn’t artificial. This is very very refreshing!
Instead of buying the whole Golden Moon Sampler for $20, I purchased only those teas that I was interested in and saved $11. This was one of those teas. I love vanilla and I love jasmine, so I’d be telling a lie if I said I wasn’t excited about this one.
The smell is intensely vanilla. It’s an intensely creamy vanilla smell, like vanilla bean ice cream or the vanilla extract I use when baking cakes to decorate. The jasmine is there, but only slightly. It is tantalizing my nostrils.
This is wonderful! For a black tea, it is surprisingly light. I should mention that I’m drinking this after it has cooled down significantly; I was making some iced tea for my mother and forgot that this was waiting for me on the table. I actually don’t taste a whole lot of tea in here – it’s mainly just that extremely creamy vanilla with some jasmine on the tail end. There isn’t a whole lot to say about this. It is a very simple tea. Simple, but high quality and soothing.
This is from Doulton! Thank you!
Mariage Freres does not provide much in the way of a description for this tea. So it’s up to me to try and figure out what is in this. I love a challenge – bring it on!
The scent is reminiscent of chocolate covered strawberries. Upon tasting, I’m getting something creamy (banana?) and the faintest hint of tart raspberry. This is most interesting. One of the things I’m enjoying about this is that it doesn’t seem to be astringent. It has some creaminess, like vanilla or banana, that calms down the black tea. I think adding some milk to this would put the creamy factor on 12.
I recommend anyone who wants a tea adventure to try this. Since it lacks a description, it doesn’t fill your head with subliminal thoughts of what you’re supposed to taste. And since I’m not sure if all of the notes I detected were truly there, I can conclude that this tea was full just general delicious things.
I have no opinion at all on rose teas. I’ve never had anything that has tasted of roses, so I don’t know what to expect from the mug that is steaming on the table next to my laptop.
However. I do know that the scent of roses is prone to make me run away, be sick, or cry. Let me explain. We used to have this bottle of rose spray in the bathroom. It was there to cover up the smell in case things got a little crazy in there. So if you opened the bathroom door and the first thing you smelled was roses, you knew to run away, because the scent of something much, much worse wasn’t far behind.
I was also unlucky enough to catch the swine flu towards the end of my senior year of high school (pretty much exactly a year ago). I spent a lot of time being sick in that bathroom, so the whole room smelled like roses for a while. I came to associate that rose smell with having to be sick again.
Lastly, when I graduated high school (again, about a year ago) my parents presented me with a bouquet of roses. We moved immediately after the ceremony, making me leave behind the bedroom I had grown up in, the sanity I was used to living in, and worst of all, the friends I had grown up with. It was a teary day, needless to say. So the scent of roses makes me think of graduation, which was the last time I saw any of my friends.
So. Now that I’m all nice and emotionally exhausted, we can get to the tea. If you’re only interested in reading about the tea, begin here: The tea tastes like a black tea, nothing fancy or special. All the rose really does is hang on to the end of the sip and highlight the astringency of the black base. You can taste rose, but it isn’t very identifiable without the package sitting right next to it. If I didn’t know I was drinking rose tea, I would have thought I was drinking a particularly astringent black tea.
This was on my shopping list for a while, so I was super excited when Takgoti sent me some of this! It has received mostly fantastic reviews, which added to my super excitement. Not to mention that Samovar and I are currently deep in a passionate love affair – shhhh!
I definitely agree with those here who loved this. This is not a harsh tea, and it is very complex. The tastes are gentle; honey, yam, caramel. In order to get the caramel, I have to hold the tea in my mouth and let it wash around for a bit. The texture is unusually smooth and buttery, which is something I’ve never experienced in a black tea before. It leaves your mouth feeling full and coated like some whites do. I keep running my tongue over the roof of my mouth, expecting to find something stuck there.
This could certainly withstand the addition of milk, but this tea is so pure that I would not want to tarnish it in any way.
I want to thank Takgoti again for giving me the chance to have this experience! It was exquisite.
I bought this specifically for the purpose of having it iced (which Cofftea says is delicious) but I don’t have time to make this iced right now.
The dry leaf smelled like cucumbers and melons (imagine that!) and there were chunks of cucumbers mixed in. Once steeped, it smells more vegetal and the cucumber smell is more prominent than the melon.
This is pretty vegetal from the cucumber. It has the tiniest hint of sweetness from the melon, which is a very nice touch at the end. I can tell that this would taste delicious iced and sweetened. I think I made the water too hot (I really need to get a variable temperature kettle) so I’m not really getting the full oomph from this. However, even with having prepared it wrong, it still tastes good! That’s always a good sign! Next I’ll try this iced.
I’ve been meaning to try this one for a while. I love apples, so I’m always on the lookout for teas that actually taste like the real thing. I tossed in some sweetener to hopefully bring out the apple flavor a bit more.
I was impressed with the chunks of real apple in the pouch. I believe Frank when he says that there’s real honey in here, because the dry tea leaves were sticking to the dried apple chunks. Gooey chunks, yum!
Up front, I taste tart and bitter tea. The apple is in the aftertaste, sadly. I really don’t care for this. The rush of sour bitterness makes me want to gag. I hope I just prepared this wrong, because it sounded so perfect for me, although I followed the steeping directions properly. This cup is going down the drain before I lose my lunch.
I was given the opportunity to try this limited edition tea thanks to Takgoti’s generosity. For more information, see my tealog from yesterday.
I have high expectations for this one. The reviews here have all been positive, I love unflavored black tea, and I really need a swift kick you-know-where to help me along with studying for finals. I took this without milk or sugar; there’s no time for messing around today.
The tea smells rich. However, the taste is much lighter than I was expecting. I’d describe this as being medium-bodied at most. I’ve never wanted to describe a tea as “fluffy” before, but I can’t think of another word. It’s leaving my tongue slightly tingly. This is earthy and not necessarily sweet, but there’s a hint of something that my small vocabulary can’t describe. Auggy said bake-y. I think that would be the perfect description for this. Bake-y. This is a fascinating tea, really.
Thank you again, Takgoti!
My new stressful-yet-awesome job plus the arrival of dreaded finals have kept me off of Steepster for a while. But today, something happened that both revived my faith in humankind and provided me with a delicious bubble of happiness in my stomach – my long-awaited package from Takgoti arrived! If you didn’t already know, Takgoti pwns at life. If you don’t believe me, look at how she packaged this tea and look at what she included in the box besides wonderful tea. http://www.flickr.com/photos/47736372@N04/4555495137/ Yes, that is some kind of wedding invitation-esque stationary with the list of teas, steeping instructions, and personal comments. She also included a note bearing good wishes to me and apologies for not sending the package out sooner. No worries, Takgoti! I should be the one apologizing! Your packaging puts mine to shame!
Within the awesome package were little individual awesome packages full of awesome tea. It was like a Babushka doll of awesomeness, if you will (and I will). She made sure that the tea reached me in absolutely perfect condition. http://www.flickr.com/photos/47736372@N04/4556121460/ I normally just put tea in plastic baggies (if I don’t have any empty tins laying around) and send them off, hoping for the best. Takgoti used freaking Gladware.
Finally, on to the tea – the lovely, lovely tea. http://www.flickr.com/photos/47736372@N04/4555488735/ The dry rooibos smelled like cherries, pears, honey, and maybe a little bit of candied almonds. After steeping, it smelled like nothing more than pure caramelized pear goodness. Those of you who know me know that I’m not fond of rooibos. I’ve had only a few blends that can cover up the tobacco yuckiness adequately enough for my own tastes. Let me tell you guys, this is the best rooibos I’ve ever had. It is one of the best teas/tisanes I’ve ever had. Period.
I have searched far and wide for a good pear-flavored tea. Adagio’s White Pear left me (almost literally) vomiting and weeping with disappointment at the same time. My search is over now. This tastes so much like those Juicy Pear Jelly Belly beans. Which, if you didn’t know, taste exactly like pears. There is caramel in here, too, which is another favorite flavor of mine. This was so worth the wait.
Thank you Takgoti! I think I can die happy now.