642 Tasting Notes
Thanks to TeaVivre for including this sample with one of my purchases. I don’t know which harvest this is – it has been a while since I placed an order with TV (mostly because I still have so many of their teas in my cabinet).
I woke up wanting a sturdy straight tea with strong bread and honey notes. In other words, I woke up cold and wanted something to warm my soul. After a bit of digging, I found this one. The dry leaf smells sweet, with a hint of breadiness. I dumped the whole sample packet in my nifty gaiwan/teapot hybrid and hoped for the best.
First steep: 194f, 1 min. A few of the smaller leaves escaped the spout, so I poured through a strainer. The brew is a lovely dark amber. It smells like Russian bread and honey, with an undercurrent that I can’t quite place. Leather maybe? The flavor has an odd astringency. It’s almost tangy. Maybe I’ve had this too long and the leaves have turned?
Second steep: 200f, 1 min 15 secs. This steep has the same lovely color as the first. The astringent leather notes are still here, though.
Third steep: 196f, 1 min 30 secs. Nope. I’m done. The astringency isn’t going anywhere and this is starting to make my stomach hurt. Somewhere under the astringency is some breadiness, but mostly it’s that leather-ish flavor.
No rating because I don’t know how old the leaf is, but definitely not sad to say this is a sipdown.
Flavors: Astringent, Leather
This note is for Wissotzky’s Honeydew Black tea, which is so old that the company doesn’t make it anymore and I can’t find it online. It doesn’t really make sense to create a separate page for it. The fruit flavors in this one are clear and identifiable but artificial-tasting. Nice enough, but not particularly entrancing. On the up side, I had this with french toast for brunch and it didn’t make my stomach hurt…plus the fruity flavor complemented the french toast nicely. This bag is pretty old, and it was in a paper wrapper, so I don’t feel right giving it a rating. Sipdown!
I tried a sample of this at the store yesterday. It’s spot-on for hot spiced apple cider. Unfortunately, it made my mouth tingle. I have had allergic reactions to real apples before but never to processed, baked, or tisaned apple. Not sure if this was a fluke, a function of how it was processed, or a fun new level in the development of my allergies…
I picked this blend up in New Zealand. It has been one of my oasis teas at work. I brought the last bag home so I could do a proper review, but instead ended up drinking it all with a yummy caramel/chocolate loaf thing that I brought back from NZ (this: http://www.loaf.co.nz/catalogue/page/browse/all/gooey-caramel). So I don’t have detailed notes, but I do have some great memories. This tea has a great vanilla scent and flavor, even though it’s artificial. A splash of honey or rice milk really takes it over the top. Yet another reason to find a way to get back!
Thanks to Chi Whole Leaf for the samples! This was easily my favorite of the bunch. It’s a light and spicy chai, with the dominant flavors being cinnamon, ginger, and anise. I used a milk frother to blend the powder into cold rice milk. The powder stayed suspended in the rice milk very well – only a small bit of settling at the bottom. I like that this is caffeine-free, so I can have it with dinner. It goes especially nicely with spicy Thai food. Yum.
Thanks to KiwiDelight for this! I think it’s a sipdown, but perhaps there’s another small package somewhere? I am feeling a little disorganized since I thought I sipped down Canal Street Carnival and then found a whole other bag of it.
This tea has a lovely cocoa scent. The dominant flavor is malt with a hint of cocoa. It’s a great fall/winter/cozy tea. I got about 4-5 steeps out of the leaf, gong fu style using boiling water per website instructions. And it didn’t make my stomach hurt like many black teas do! Huzzah!
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt
Today sucks. Butiki makes me feel better. Alas, this blend has faded quite a bit. It was one of my favorites, but now the flavors are very muted when the tea is hot brewed per package instructions. So I cold steeped the last of it. There was a lot of powder in this particular package, which seems to have helped amplify whatever taste was left. Cold steeping sure worked better than the hot brew. The coconut is mostly gone, but at least I got some nice tart strawberry flavor this way. Sipdown. Nothing lasts forever.
This actually ended up being one of my favorites from Stacy’s last few batches. It seemed like an odd combo at first, but the mix of coffee and cantaloupe actually works. Really well. Alas, the flavor has definitely faded over time so it’s just as well that this is a sipdown. It was always good for at least 2-3 resteeps, each one gloriously juicy and coffee/nutty/chicory-ish. Sad it’s faded and gone but glad to have tried it.
Flavors: Cantaloupe, Coffee