1901 Tasting Notes
I’m currently watching Season 1 of Game of Thrones while I’m drinking this tea. Off with his head – Mwhahahahaha! ;D
The clean, cooling mint makes an unusual counterpoint to the earthy pu’erh, but in this case it seems like opposites do attract as they manage to work very well together. The pu’erh gives the tea a cocoa-like note that brings to mind mint chocolate chip or something similar and the vanilla, while subtle, smooths down all the sharp edges of the flavours.
I love the smell of this tea though oddly enough it reminds me more of almond pastry than of pistachios. The tea itself is light and sweet with a great toasted nuts flavour. The creamy notes are more subtle but I could taste them better as the tea cooled. Very yummy!
I’ve noticed that oriental black teas tend to have these cocoa notes to them, but if I didn’t know better I’d swear that this tea was flavoured the cocoa scent was so strong. I brewed the tea following the directions on auraTeas website as closely as possible, though making 150ml of tea at a time looks a bit pathetic in my big coffee mug – maybe I should invest in some more authentic teaware.
I could be wrong, but I think this is the first Taiwanese black tea I’ve tried and it bears similarities to a keemun but there’s also some distinct differences as well. The tea does have a lovely bitter cocoa flavour but there’s more to it than that. There’s a smooth, sweet, honey-like undertone that keeps the tea from turning into something harsh.
De-cupboarding this tea. It was a quite a unique tea when I first purchased it, but now it looks like all the tea companies are jumping on the bandwagon and offering it. I liked ginseng oolong before it was cool. /hipster post ;D
Backing off the steeping time a bit seems to bring out a bit more of the oolong’s sweetness with the herbal ginseng notes a nice undertone to each sip. The tea keeps its flavour nicely through multiple steep too, although the ginseng fades after the first couple.
The dry teabag smells more like cinnamon candy hearts than gingerbread I’ve gotta say. It’s better flavour-wise though it doesn’t quite hit the mark. It’s the chicory root that partially to blame I think as that seems to come out most prominently. It’s actually a fairly nice blend of flavours in my opinion but they should have called it ‘Holiday Spice’ or something, rather than trying and failing to get their customers to believe that the tea is supposed to taste like gingerbread.
I’m normally a huge mango fan but mango seems like one of those flavours that’s difficult for a tea company to get right. This one is…okay, though it doesn’t quite meet the mark. This one at least actually tastes like mango, although it’s a bit too tart for my liking. I was a bit surprised to see that there isn’t any hibiscus in the ingredients – it almost tastes like there is. I don’t normally sweetened white teas but I might try it with some honey or agave nectar next time to balance out the sourness.
Tea Desire opened a new store in Kelowna which I’m glad of as it’s close to me and I visit there a fair bit. It’s in the same mall as the Teavana *shudder * store and I’m not sure how they’ll fare in such direct competition with such a big chain but I’m happy to have an alternative.
I picked up a bunch of one-cup samples to try and this is the one I got when I picked one out at random to try today. It’s essentially a spice tea with added cocoa nibs and orange peel, but it has a nicely-balanced simplicity to it and despite being all spice it doesn’t taste harsh or overwhelming at all. The cocoa notes stand out the most as well as the licorice flavour of the star anise – although the latter might just be because my sample had a whole big ‘star’ in it. It also re-steeps very nicely too without losing much of its flavour.
While I do find that I’m missing the body that a black tea base gives a chai, I’m still pretty happy with this one.
I’m honestly at a bit of a loss as to why this blend seems like such a hard sell, as I think that it’s quite enjoyable. Kiwi isn’t a flavour I’ve had the opportunity to try in a tea very often. And the last experience I had with Tea Forte’s kiwi tisane reminded me ore of Buckley’s cough syrup than of the fruit. This, on the other hand, is quite good. For one thing it manages to actually taste like real kiwifruit and the natural sweetness of the honeybush seems to soften its tanginess just the right amount. It has a pleasant fresh, clean tone to it that would probably make a good iced tea as well.