197 Tasting Notes
Hey, guess who’s having a cuppa? This girl!
Anyway, this is a sample from the lovely derk, and I had to google the brewing instructions. I was shocked to find it says one tablespoon per 8oz, so that meant the entire sample was going in one cup. Oh well…
I was shocked a second time when I added the brew basket to the water and immediately the water turned brown. I guess there is straight up cocoa powder in this? Weird. Does that make it hot cocoa, instead of tea? Or a hybrid of both? Don’t know.
Anywho, taste is… there. Like, it doesn’t taste like plain water, but, it also doesn’t come anywhere near in the vicinity of “Pop”. I’ll try adding a splenda.
Well, either there wasn’t enough leaf in that sample for the size of mug I own (12 oz) or this is just really poop tea. It tastes like if you put a quarter teaspoon of mint hot cocoa in a gallon jug of hot water, and shook it. There’s next to nothing to it. I’m getting a sharp mouth tingle from the mint, but I can’t really taste the mint itself. I can’t really taste anything, actually. Maybe I’m getting sick? Do I…? I dunno, they say that one of the symptoms is losing your sense of taste and for as strong as the tingle is from this, you’d think I’d be able to taste the mint properly.
I used the entire sample in one go, so I guess we’ll never know.
Another sample from the lovely derk!
So, I’ve been having umm, issues with Rooibos lately. Don’t get me wrong, I love rooibos when done right. But I keep having trouble with brewing times. Since this was a sample, and Teavana has gone POOF, I couldn’t exactly look up brewing instructions or times anywhere but here. So I went with about what it listed here: 205F/6min/2tsp/12oz.
The problem is it still isn’t as strong a cuppa as I would like. I certainly get the tropical vibe that it presents. And the rooibos isn’t too woody, which I’m not sure is a plus or minus (for me anyway). Primary flavor notes are pineapple, citrus, and I swear I taste a touch of passion fruit. But it’s hard to pick out individual notes because the flavor is so weak. If it were up to me, I’d have this same cuppa, with the flavor turned up about three or four notches. I wouldn’t want to make it too strong – these kinds of teas can get super artificial fast. But I would love to have a stronger flavor in general.
Overall? It’s decent. Maybe even above average. I still have half a pouch of this from the sample, so I’m pretty sure I can make another brew. When I do, I’m just going to have to remember to steep it a bit longer than 6 minutes. Maybe 8 or 9 would be better. But I would gladly drink this again.
Flavors: Citrus, Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Tropical
Ok, just a quickie review of this.
This is… not good. Like, really not good. I love rooibos and I love EG, but this tastes nothing like either. For starters, the rooibos base is less of that wood flavor I enjoy and more… um moss? Lichen? Whatever it is it’s not a fresh wood taste, it tastes like wood that’s been allowed to decay for a while. And the Earl Grey is drowned out by the rooibos here. If there’s any bergamot present, I can’t taste it. Basically, to make this drinkable I drowned it in sweetener. Now it just tastes like straight Splenda, so I guess I don’t have to dump it.
Just… bad. Probably the worst EG I’ve tried yet. Sorry, Adagio.
Flavors: Decayed Wood, Dirt, Peat Moss
Another tea from the leap year order.
This one I decided to try straight. I’m not usually one to add much to green teas unless they are heavily flavored. so I wanted this straight. It’s… well I can taste the green tea, that’s for sure. I’m getting the grassy notes that I would expect from a green blend, but the bergamot is pretty subtle if present at all. In this case, though, I feel that may be a good thing. I don’t think a bitey bergamot would mesh well with the grassy green. I could be wrong. I don’t know if I’ve had a green EG before? Not sure. This seems different.
There is a floral note to this but it is pretty weak. Actually, the tea as a whole is mild. It tastes like average green tea. That’s about it. The more I drink it the less I taste any amount of Earl Grey in it. Perhaps I brewed it too weak? I used 1.5tsp/12oz/2min/180F, so I followed the directions. Maybe I will add a bit more leaf to this next time. I’ll hold off on any final judgement until I can fiddle with the brew a bit.
Me: >*Sitting in front of the computer for the third night in a row*<
Me (Thinking): Shanie. Shanie what are you doing
Me (Thinking): Shanie you fool, you have two drawers and three cabinets of tea you could be drinking right now. What are you doing?
Me (Thinking): Dammit Shanie, get off your butt and drink some tea. You haven’t had tea in a week. The internet isn’t going anyway and neither are you. GO. DRINK. TEA.
Me (Out Loud): “Well. When you put it that way…”
And thus, here I am actually having a cup of tea.
This is from the Adagio order I made a month ago, which honestly feels like about three years ago right now. It was the same order as the Brigadoon Breakfast, and I’m only getting to it now, so that should give an indication of my personal level of motivation right now.
Anyway, I latte-d this. I brewed it 3 minutes at 212F, with 1.5 teaspoons for 12 oz water. It’s my usual settings for loose leaf Earl Grey, so no need to switch it up now. I didn’t measure the milk, but there were to Splenda packets added off the bat. I didn’t test it plain, so sorry if you wanted to hear about that.
Anyway, taste is… Well, it’s certainly got that BOOM! of bergamot I love. The floral/citrus of this is right in your face. However, while it’s bordering on harsh, the milk added makes it better.
Oh, I should mention that, in an effort to curb some of my sugar intake, I now use Fairlife 2% Milk. It’s not quite shelf-stable but has a similar flavor and texture. And while it does require continuous refrigeration (like most milk), it lasts 2 weeks once opened and usually about two months if you don’t open it! So while I had initially switched because the Fairlife has much less sugar than most milk I would normally drink, it really comes in handy right now because I can throw a couple of jugs at a time in my fridge and not worry about it spoiling.
ANYWAY, back to the tea.
As I said, the addition of the milk makes it much less harsh then I would imagine otherwise. But there’s a flavor present here. I can’t put my finger on it at all. It’s… well I can’t say if it’s because I added two Splendas, or if it’s a combination of the Splenda and the tea, but I think it’s a cupcake flavor? Maybe carrot cake? Ugh! I wish I was better at determining flavors. It’s something cake though. Again, it could be that I used too much Splenda, or it could be a combo of the total latte. But it isn’t unpleasant. I like it. It’s kind of dessert-like.
What I will say is, in comparison to other EGs on in my cupboard? Nah, there’s really nothing special about this. I’ll give that it’s more balanced than some, but it’s not something that I would consider a necessary variety of EG. I have other Earl Greys that have similar flavor profiles but do their thing better than this. Somehow, I would say the Bigelow Bagged variety is one of them. Side by side, I’d say I like the Bigelow better than this. But this is better than the twinings loose leaf by far. So yeah, maybe someday I’ll make a spectrum scale of all my different EGs and where I would put them. I wouldn’t try and go by numerical ratings as, while I have a scale in my brain, I can never remember what I rate things from week to week so it may turn out that something I rated 75 one week, I actually liked better than something I rated 82 the next.
Anyway, I’m not making a rec or rating on this either way. I’m just gonna say it’s pretty good, but not great. Maybe a tough above average
Let’s say… C+
Flavors: Bergamot, Cake, Citrus, Floral
Another Sample from derk!
I hope I’m putting this in the right place!
This is a lovely, delicate cuppa. There’s the obvious floral that you would expect, but there’s also notes of stonefruit, grass, hay, a strong natural sweetness, and did I mention stonefruit? This tastes surprisingly like peaches! It’s very lovely. The flavor is mellow enough to be smooth, but strong enough not to taste weak. Put this one on the pile of “May have to acquire for me later!” It’s one of the best jasmine pearls I’ve tried, although that’s not saying much, I don’t have a ton of experience with jasmine pearls!
Very good. Lovely cuppa. Highly recommend.
Flavors: Grass, Hay, Peach, Stonefruit, Sweet
Another lovely tea that Plum Deluxe sent me to review! Thank you Plum Deluxe!
This has an ok flavor. I will admit when I first cracked open the pack, I was concerned because it smelled like dirt. It’s unfortunate, but it translates over a bit. There’s a dusty quality to this that isn’t the best. The main flavor is heavy on the floral. I added two splendas to this but it still has the dusty flavor. It’s depressing. I really wanted to love this. It’s decent enough, but I can’t get past the dustiness.
I mean it’s not bad. But it’s not great. It’s drinkable, but considering how wonderful the last one I tried was, I’m disappointed. Oh well.
Thanks again Plum Deluxe!
Flavors: Dust, Floral
This was sent to my by the lovely derk!
Ok, so I’m going hard for the music right now and left my kettle (you know, the one without the keep warm function) sit for 15 minutes after boiling. And then, after that, I still didn’t turn down the music and I don’t know how long my beeper was going off before I went to get the tea. So while I aimed for 212F/8min, it’s probably wildly off.
Anyway, this tastes like coffee? I’m so confused. It tastes like a roasted, nutty coffee, and I don’t know how that works? I’ve really been jonesing for coffee lately (I know, revoke my login), and getting the new Keurig machine has led to me buying a bunch of coffee and drinking it. So yeah, this hits the spot. Very VERY much like nutty coffee.
So thanks for the sample derk!
Flavors: Coffee, Nutty, Roasted
No notes yet. Add one?
OK, so another one of the discount store ones. This one is actually labeled for somewhere around November of this year, so despite there being “Milk” listed as an ingredient, I think we are good there.
This is… well it’s a spicy chai all right. Much spicier than the Cafe Escapes one, which in comparison is rather one-note cinnamon. This one actually tastes like it has a profile. I’m getting cloves, cardamon, and a bit of other miscellaneous spices. I swear there is a touch of anise in this, but it could be just me. Sadly, the black tea base is mostly missing, but that’s to be expected for these things. It certainly isn’t as sweet as the other one. I don’t know how to describe this. It’s more complex than my other one, but also the flavors don’t pop as much. So it’s complex but subtle. I really don’t know which one I like better. At first, when I sipped this I thought it was gross, but I’m only halfway through the cup and it has already grown on me.
For chai k-cup? This has a surprisingly rich profile. There’s a tingle to it in the mouth, like a good chai should have. Overall, if you have a Keurig and want a quickie Chai latte, go for it. That’s what I bought it for. (A surprising number of my cups are quickie cups). Most people on here though, I don’t think it would suit. It’s good for a K-Cup… which is even less impressive than saying something is good for bagged. In my experience, loose tea is usually better than bagged, and K-Cups are usually lower on the spectrum than bagged. The only thing I’ve had that K-Cups consistently beat is powdered tea, and that should speak volumes. That said, I have a rather unrefined palate, and I can easily stomach things most people on here never could.
So yeah, for a K-Cup? It’s a C
For tea in general? Fail.
Flavors: Cardamom, Clove, Spices, Sweet