781 Tasting Notes
Samurai TTB #61
This was the final teabag that I had pulled from the TTB a couple of weeks ago and has been waiting for me in my desk drawer at work. Although the quality of this seems really nice for a bagged tea, the flavor combination just isn’t working for me. The base tea is quite grassy and aggressive and seems to almost be fighting the toasted rice and floral flavors that are also present in the blend. I also find that it’s drying out my throat at the end of each sip. While I’m curious to try more from this brand, this isn’t one I’ll be returning to.
Flavors: Drying, Floral, Grass, Rose, Toasted Rice
Samurai TTB #60
I’m not really getting any grapefruit from this one. It tastes strongly of vanilla and the white tea base is also coming through pretty strongly. It’s a pleasant, creamy flavor, but I’m disappointed not to taste the grapefruit, since that’s one of my favorite flavors and pretty rare to find in tea.
Flavors: Creamy, Hay, Smooth, Vanilla
Samurai TTB #59
I’m not generally a fan of jasmine teas (too many of them are overpoweringly floral and make me feel like I’m drinking perfume) but Jenni King has spoken so highly of this one, I just had to try it when I saw a single sachet in the TTB. And I’m so glad I did! I think this is the best jasmine tea I’ve ever had. Even though it was in a teabag, the pearls were beautifully rolled and unbroken. When steeped, they unfurled into a bright green, fresh-tasting tea with notes of citrus and a pleasantly soft floral flavor. A second steep was almost as good as the first!
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Jasmine, Smooth
Samurai TTB #58
This tasted like something I’d want to drink when I’m sick…a bit of citrus, lots of spicy ginger, and a lingering aftertaste of licorice root. I think it would be soothing to a sore throat the flavor would be strong enough to cut through congestion. But since I’m thankfully NOT sick right now, I found the ginger and licorice to be a bit overwhelming and more like taking medicine than enjoying a nice cup of tea.
Flavors: Citrus, Ginger, Licorice, Spicy, Sweet
I enjoyed this one! Green rooibos seems to have a much milder flavor than red, which I appreciate. This blend had a nice fresh, minty flavor that balanced well with the lemon…not much blueberry that I could detect. I enjoyed it hot, but guessing it would be even better iced!
Flavors: Lemon, Mint
Samurai TTB #57
Michelle kindly included a sample of this one in the TTB for me. I’ve loved most of the golden snail-style black teas I’ve tried in the past, so I was eager to give this one a try! The aroma was very rich with notes of cocoa and honey. The tea brewed up a rich reddish brown with intense chocolatey flavor and a dense, almost chewy mouthfeel. I loved the first steep, but was disappointed by the second, as the flavor became quite thin and the aftertaste was pretty astringent. This is a great one-time steep but I wish I could get more out of it!
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Honey
Samurai TTB #56
I’ve had lots of orange spice black tea blends before, but I don’t recall another one with a green tea base. I actually found this a lot more enjoyable than the classic Constant Comment. The green tea base is nice and smooth and the orange flavor was distinctive without being overwhelmed by sweet cinnamon (as is so often the case in such blends). Here, the cinnamon just added a gently warming note. I honestly enjoyed this so much more than I was expecting!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Citrus, Orange, Smooth
Samurai TTB #55
Of the four fruity green teas from Tea of Life I tried in the TTB, this one was my favorite! The green tea base was buttery-smooth with a subtle vegetal flavor and the passion fruit flavor was quite distinctive and natural. Hot, I wasn’t getting much flavor, but the passion fruit really started to pop as my cup cooled down. I think this would be a delicious iced tea!
Flavors: Butter, Passion Fruits, Smooth, Vegetal
Samurai TTB #54
I didn’t know anything about this one, but I was hoping it might be similar to Teavana’s Youthberry. Unfortunately, this one is completely different…mostly hibiscus (which I’m emphatically NOT a fan of) with hints of rose and tulsi. It’s quite tart and has a somewhat medicinal quality to it overall…definitely feels like a tea you would drink for the health benefits and not for the flavor!
Flavors: Floral, Herbaceous, Hibiscus, Mint, Rose, Tart, Tulsi
Samurai TTB #53
I love caramel, so I had to give this one a try! The dry leaf is VERY finely ground (almost like matcha) but I followed the directions to steep it like a traditional tea and add milk. The aroma was intensely sweet and caramelly, but I didn’t get much of a caramel flavor from the brewed tea…it just came across as a sweet, milky rooibos. Pleasant enough, but not the rich caramel experience I was hoping for.
Flavors: Medicinal, Rooibos, Sweet