199 Tasting Notes
Huh. This was the very last holdout of my previous two adagio sample orders. I had been holding back on it because I needed a reason to try it. I didn’t want it to just be an ordinary day tea. I have heard lots of different things about Pu-erh and I wanted to make it memorable.
Well, Fast Forward to today. My grandma is at deaths door. The project it will be a few hours, a day at most. I refuse to go see her in this state as 1. she is completely unresponsive so it’s not like she would know I was there, and 2. I can’t stand to see her like this. I don’t want to be there when the end arrives.
So here I am. Brewing a very special cuppa, in honor of my grandma.
I couldn’t remember the recommended instructions I had read on here for this one. So I winged it a bit. First, a 30 second rinse. Then, a 30 second steep. I gotta say, once I was able to get a proper mouthful of this, it was like a flavor explosion in my mouth. The fishy notes I smelled on the leaf didn’t translate into taste. Instead, I get a bold, rich, earthy flavored tea with faint notes of honey and woodiness. I can definitely taste the tea itself, and it surprisingly isn’t bitter. I really like this. I was so scared I wouldn’t but I actually thoroughly enjoy this tea. I guess to sum it up, this tea is definitely a keeper. It’s literally my first cup of Pu-erh, and if this is any indication, I’m going to enjoy trying others. Can’t wait for that resteep!
Flavors: Earth, Honey, Moss, Wood
Another step back into the world of teabags. This tea explodes with color the moment the bag hits the water – there is that much hibiscus in it. The end result after 4 minutes brewing is a deeply purple tea. I would recommend not getting this one on clothes, it may be hard to remove the stain. Anyway, I tried to drink this without sweetener, but the tartness was just too much for me. It was borderline SOUR. So 1.5 splendas later and it is actually quite tasty. You still get that bitey tartness but without the overwhelming sour note. I can definitely taste the hibiscus and the raspberry. The background citrus notes are refreshing and give a fresh feel to the mouth when sipping. I am happy to say I really do NOT taste the licorice at all. If it is there, the sweetener took care of it. All in all, a very tasty fruity tea. Just be sure to add sweetener or you will probably scrunch up your nose at the sourness of it.
Flavors: Berries, Citrus Zest, Hibiscus, Raspberry, Tart
Well, it’s Christmas at the parents house, which means I am cut off from my usual stash of brew. Instead, I find myself stuck drinking the only tea they keep in stock – Bigelow Plantation Mint. I brewed it according to their directions. I can’t say exactly what temp the water is because it was a stovetop kettle. I did follow the directions on the package and only steeped for 2 minutes. It was definitely long enough, the flavor is strong. The Mint of it is for sure present, and it sort of makes my mouth tingle drinking it. The mint flavor also lingers so it gives for a surprisingly fresh mouth feel after sipping. The tea itself is sort of an afterfhought here, and I really don’t know if there is any actual tea in this as it is hard to taste through the mint. Now, my mom has sworn by this stuff. According to her, a steaming cup of this with a shot of Paddys works wonders for a cold. I think I will let her have it. Back when I only drank grocery store tea, this was good enough. But now that I’ve been drinking higher quality loose leaf, this stuff is kinda bad. Nowhere near as bad as the cup I had today at the nursing home (That was something labeled as tea but I’m pretty sure was just sawdust they waved past a tea plant). But Plantation Mint gets a bye from me. Once I’m done with what I have I probably won’t buy any more. I can get better quality mint tea elsewhere.
Wow! So this is my first taste of decent jasmine tea. Gotta say, I’m surprised. It’s actually quite pleasant. Definitely floral, but not too over the top. It’s not at all bitter, and I was really hoping I could drink this without sweetener, and luckily it is wonderful enough without. Beneath the Jasmine Floral flavor, there is a hint of green tea. But mostly it’s just jasmine. Not too complex I don’t think. If you like drinking flowers then go for it. Otherwise, if you don’t like a really flowery jasmine tea, I would avoid this as the Jasmine seems to drown out all other flavors.
Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Vegetal
So this is one of my first forays into QUALITY TEA! And boy was I shocked. I’m usually one to put a bunch of sweetener in tea, be it honey or splenda (I have to alternate, I’m diabetic.) But to my surprise, this tea is delish without anything. Its warm chocolatey notes shine through and it just has a wonderful finish with no real bitterness or aftertaste. And the smell of the tea alone is heavenly. Would definitely recommend this tea to those looking to try good unflavored tea for the first time. It was my first and I am not disappointing.
Flavors: Chocolate, Honey
So being that this is an herbal tea, I didn’t shy away from adding sweetener. I will say that with the addition of two splendas the taste is kinda like strawberry apple jello water. It’s super sweet. The strawberry is very overpowering, with the apple sort of as a background flavor. Knowing me I may well reorder this one because I love super sweet fruity teas. But for someone who doesn’t want super syrupy sweet, I definitely would not recommend this and if you do try it, don’t add sweetener.
Flavors: Apple, Fruity, Strawberry
Another foray into the world of unflavored teas. Dancong Aria. No sweetener in this one. I’m definitely getting some strong earthy notes, but also I am getting floral notes as well. The liquor is very pale, kinda reminds me of peach water. I’ve heard people describe a peach aftertaste to this tea, but I really don’t taste it much if at all. If anything the lingering taste is slightly bitter. I may also have slightly oversteeped this because the color and taste when I sampled at 3 minutes was very faint. But steeping it for a full 5 minutes like I said, leaves a slight bitterness to it. I’ve never had Oolong before, so maybe it’s supposed to be that delicate. I’m used to delicate white teas, but this surprised me. The smell in the pouch is MUCH stronger than the flavor brewed I will say that. It is enjoyable, but as I don’t think I brewed it properly I will hold off on a yay or nay recommendation until I can perform further research.
Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Floral
This is one of the few teas which I loved so much that I went out of my way to get more. Is it rather artificial tasting? Yes. But does that stop me from loving it? NO! It tastes like Caramel Apple candy. Note, I didn’t say it tasted like a caramel apple. It doesn’t. It tastes like artificially flavored caramel apple candy. But it is totally a guilty pleasure tea for me. I am diabetic and cannot have much sugar. So basically, actual apple cider is out. This, when sweetened with a bit of splenda (not stevia. It just does NOT work with Stevia) is close enough to what apple cider basically tastes like to me for it to work as an acceptable substitute. Again, this is a guilty pleasure for me. Is this a good quality apple tea? Heck no. But is it surprisingly tasty enough that I always want it around even out of season? TOTALLY!
Flavors: Apple Candy, Caramel
So this is basically Chai Tea, without the actual Tea. While my proclivity lately has been more towards loose leaf, I greatly appreciate Bengal Spice for it’s caffeine free nature, and tend to drink it later in the day when I don’t want the caffeine of my usual Masala Chai. It’s really rather good, quite spicy, and I find it drinkable with or without any kind of milk. Without is definitely spicier though. I would recommend this tea to anyone who loves a decent chai, but has tendencies to drink it later in the day when it may interfere with sleep. All in all, not bad for bagged.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Spices, Vanilla