382 Tasting Notes
Got this with my Teas, etc. order on a whim. Well actually my brother picked it out for me, which is really fairly typical. I should probably stop listening to him on these matters because our tastes are vastly divergent. He really likes tea flavored tea, whereas I like nifty flavored tea. Anyway I decided to ignore that and go with this instead of the summer currant which I had originally been going to get because any time I buy something currant flavored I am disappointed and I thought that I would just break that vicious cycle.
This is an interesting tea and, appropriately enough, one I think my brother would like. It reminds me of the Upton Rose Congou in a way, since both base tea and flavor are very mild, although this is much milder than the rose was. There is the faintest of hints of citrus about it, but nothing that really screams grapefruit specifically at me unless I’m concentrating – so, again like the rose congou, this is a good tea if you want something that you won’t necessarily pay too much attention to.
I probably won’t be getting any more of it, but I’m going to recommend it to my brother!
Got this a while back, but I’m kind of surprised that I never wrote anything about it. It is probably because I am a lazy git.
Anyway, last night I was feeling kind of iffy around the tummy yet was also craving something dessert-tastic and turned to this. Handily enough, I have already consumed most of the white chocolate chips in this in previous cups – which is not to say that there weren’t many of them, I am just nearing the end of the pouch. Anyway, so without the prospect of melted white chocolate to add heaviness to the tea, I thought this would be a perfect way to appease my belleh (mint!) while still having a sweeter tea.
I am pleased to report that my efforts were successful, as belleh remained appeased, yay! The tea was also quite good, as I said with the coconut cheesecake honeybush, I really like honeybush as a base for dessert tea and I think it really fit the flavors blended here. I definitely like the mint with it.
I feel a little bad only reviewing this now, because, as I said, all the white chocolate chips are gone at this point so I’m not really reviewing the full experience as it were. From what I can recall though, the white chocolate made it somewhat sweeter and gave it kind of a smoother texture overall. The addition of the mint kept the tea relatively light though, which I liked .
So among the tea orders that I made during my self-imposed 52teas hiatus, was a small order from Upton Teas. I grabbed a big thing of my favorite Earl Grey (from a batch of samples that I ordered….holy shit almost a year ago), which is the Earl Grey Blue Flower, and a couple of samples of stuff that had caught my attention when others had reviewed it, including this. I generally like rose flavored stuff and thought I would like a rose flavored tea to sip when I am feeling hoity toity.
I realize now, of course, that the rose-flavored tea void in my life was meant to be filled by Teas, etc.‘s Rosy Earl Grey. It was definitely not meant to be filled by this tea, although anyone reading this should definitely bear in mind that my reasons for not being too enamored with the tea could easily be someone else’s reasons for liking it. In other words, this isn’t a bad tea, it’s just not a tea that I personally need/want and that has everything to do with my preferences and nothing to do with the tea.
Basically, everything about this tea is subtle. Inasmuch as anything rose flavored can be subtle, so, you definitely know the rose is there but it’s not as obnoxiously fragrant as a rose tea can be. The black tea base is similarly light and blends really well with the rose flavoring, creating a lovely light flavor that is easy to drink absentmindedly. This is not a tea that demands attention; it is content to sit and wait for you to drink it at your leisure. Which is, of course, why I am not overfond of it. I don’t really do subtle (although there is a line of inyourfaceness that I don’t want my teas to cross), and I drink far too much black tea as it is so if I’m gonna be drinking something unassuming and easy to overlook, I may as well give my body a break from the caffeine and just have some water. Not everyone’s philosophy, I am well aware! But that’s how I look at it, which is why I put this firmly in ‘eh’ territory.
On the plus side, this tea is well nigh impossible to oversteep.
OM NOM NOM NOM
Ok, now that that’s out of the way.
Picked this up along with the Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish, so creamy cheese is definitely the theme of this week at Chez Ewa. Which is awesome. Obviously. It is kind of hilarious to me that I picked up the Teas, etc. coconut custard and then a few weeks later managed to get this as well, SO MUCH CAFFEINE FREE CREAMY COCONUT NESS. Hey, I know what I like, or what I might conceivably like despite not actually liking for real (I’ve already discussed my…tumultuous relationship with coconut).
Anyway, you are all going to think I have gone absolutely insane, but the overriding scent I am getting from this is…wait for it…BUTTER. I know, I know, really? Butter? WTF. But, there you go, that is what I am getting, which is interesting because that was totally how cheesecakes in Japan tasted to me. They do this extremely odd thing with cheesecakes over there that makes them extremely dense and…buttery although not necessarily a nice kind of buttery, most of them were a bit too much for my taste. Cursory google searching tells me that they do indeed put butter in the cream cheese mixture for cheesecakes, but I can’t say for sure whether that is a deviation from Western cheesecakes because it has been ages since I have made cheesecake myself, although further cursory googling leads me to believe that it is. Anyway BUTTER. Perhaps I now just associate butter and cheesecake? That would be weird.
The actual taste of the tea remains buttery, but definitely the nice creamy variety of buttery that I can definitely get behind. There is also a really good balance of coconut-ness/butteryness/vague cheesecakeness/actual tea, that just has me wanting to drink this forever. It tastes like dessert, but it’s not overwhelming like many of the other dessert teas I’ve tried are. I have not yet tried adding cognac yet to see what happens, and I’m not particularly filled with the urge to, although I probably will at some point (FOR SCIENCE). I definitely prefer honeybush as a caffeine free/dessert base to rooibos, although I also find this saddening because I used to like rooibos a lot more until someone on Steepster mentioned the sour wood aftertaste and now it is ALL I TASTE >:-| Oh well, at least honeybush doesn’t have it. And if it does, don’t tell me about it, I am apparently very suggestible :P
PS: I contemplated just writing om nom nom nom and leaving it there, but that would have meant depriving people of my cheesecake related tangents and clearly that would have been Wrong.
PPS: So many highly rated teas over the past few days! AND my first ever 100 (I have a neuroses related to the number re: WHAT IF I FIND SOMETHING BETTER but I have decided to just take that risk and accept that if I find something better 1. that will be pretty awesome and 2. get over it)
So, a while back, I was taking stock of my tea purchasing patterns and had noticed that they had somehow devolved to the point where they could easily be summarized as “just send all my tea money to 52teas,” which, while certainly a sound tea buying strategy that will yield a lot of nifty, delicious tea, meant that I found myself without some of my staples (NEED MOAR EARL GREY). So I consciously tried not to be tempted whenever the weekly notification of a new blend came up. BUT! When I saw that Frank had reblended this AND the coconut cheesecake honeybush, I knew there was no way I could resist. Grabbed both, and a few days later here we are, which is interesting because usually my 52teas orders take a while to arrive (<= note, this is not a complaint, I love my free shipping forever, I’m just stating the facts). This time I got them…2 days after I ordered? Something like that. I can only assume that Frank offered the post office free tea to get that kind of result!
But! On to the tea! This is SO good, it’s got that genuine blueberry flavor going on (actual blueberries, not vaguely blueberry-ish flavoring) and it’s got this lovely kind of toasted honey taste to it that is VERY reminiscent of pastry. It’s always very interesting to me to see how teas try to evoke the taste of food, because I think texture is a HUGE component of the eating experience (obviously, since that is what all my food dislikes are based on) and with it out of the picture it becomes much harder to actually evoke something specific. Choosing to concentrate on the honey-like glaze that you get on good pastry is a really great way to go about it.
The overriding taste I get from this is definitely blueberry, though, it just seems to suffuse the entire tea. I get less creaminess about it, although that becomes stronger as the tea cools, as does the pastry-taste. I think I’ll have to try this with a bit more leaf next time to see if that strengthens the other tastes.
Edit: Had to go shopping and come back to realize this, but my room now smells like blueberries :D
I got this tea for Christmas from my brother, who has a The Tao of Tea store within walking distance or something ridiculous like that. He’s not a huge fan of really crazy teas (like I am) so he tends a bit more towards the subtle side or even the non-flavored side, but he knows I like neat flavors.
I admit, I was a tad disappointed when I saw what this tea was because I am just not that big of a fan of mango. That is to say the actual fruit, which is probably why my brother doesn’t really know that I’m not a huge fan, because how often do you eat mango fruit as opposed to something mango flavored? This point is important because anyone stalking my tea notes would probably notice that the phrase “now, I do not like X thing that this tea is flavored with normally” comes up surprisingly often. People might start to think that I have some strange masochistic tea drinking streak which they absolutely do not want to hear any more about. This is not the case! The fact is that most of my food dislikes are texture related: nuts are too firm and it annoys me, mangoes are too squishy while also stringy and it creeps me out, cauliflower is just disgusting, oh wait that doesn’t really fit. ANYWAY, I digress. Basically, I am generally unopposed to mango flavoring, which is good because otherwise this would have been a terrible present.
Thankfully it is not. In fact, it is SUPER DELICIOUS. Just the right amount of mango and tea flavor, making it a perfect fruity tea for when I am in the mood for that. Also, it’s gorgeous! I have no idea what the long yellow things are, but they are really aesthetically pleasing along the backdrop of the tea. It’s also one of those nice teas that you can’t oversteep, so making big pots of it is totally viable. I am DEFINITELY making my brother get me more of this when it runs out (unfortunately soooooon, since it requires 2 tsp per cup of tea.)
Man, everyone is so into this tea, I was really excited to be trying it because I am always on the lookout for kickass dessert teas. But…I have to say I’m pretty disappointed by it.
Now, full disclosure here, I do not actually like coconut all that much. I know, however, that in some forms of pastry it becomes quite nice (german chocolate cake y/y?) which is why I tend to give it the benefit of the doubt in tea, especially in dessert-y tea. Sometimes it works out well for me, as in 52teas’ coconut cream pie, and sometimes it does not. Like now.
I can only assume that my problem with this is that it is just too coconutty. I don’t know, I’m getting this odd sort of spicy aftertaste, I’m not really sure what’s going on, but I am not that enamored with it. Props to Teas, etc. for being able to give it a really coconutty texture though. Impressive.
I will tell you a secret though: pouring a bit of cognac in? smooths it right out, VERY tasty. Certain parties, * coughmybrothercough * have gone on record as saying that if you have to pour alcohol into it to make it good that means it’s not worth the effort, but I can tell you right now that it doesn’t actually work for EVERYTHING.
For the record, I do not pour cognac in everything just to see what will happen.
Just most things.
So, I went into Teavana because I needed more diy tea bags, and, since I was there, I had to buy tea. I mean, I couldn’t not, right? It was RIGHT THERE. I told the attendant that I really liked almond biscotti but I wanted something non-caffeinated and after going through basically their entire stock of increasingly ridiculously named dessert-y teas, settled on this.
Most of the teavana blends are kind of terrifying to look at since they appear to have more stuff than tea, and this is a slightly less egregious example of that. That is, it definitely has a ton of Stuff in, but at least I can see the tea, which is more than I can say for one of the oolongs I tried, which seriously looked like it contains eggs or something? Ok, probably not eggs, but I definitely didn’t see any actual tea.
As far as the taste goes, I’m gonna have to say that this is actually too sweet, almost over sugared. I don’t really sweeten my tea unless I am making chai on the stovetop, so having it come pre-sweetened is somewhat jarring. Also, I feel that the fruit overshadows the other tastes a bit, and I definitely am not getting the honeybush at all. I like the almond biscotti because it’s got a bit of subtlety about it, I’ll probably just stick to that and look elsewhere for my decaf dessert tea in the future.
That said, it’s not BAD by any stretch of the imagination, just a bit…too much.
Edit: I realized that my comment about the subtlety of almond biscotti might be somewhat misleading. This is still me we’re talking about, so it’s not THAT subtle, just…more subtle than this.
Time for my quarterly return to Steepster! I actually had a revelation earlier this week that one of the reasons that I don’t come by here often is because the dashboard takes forever to load these days. I hit the steepster link, go off to do something else while it loads, proceed to completely forget about it and finish off whatever tea I was drinking in the meantime.
In any case, we’ll see how long this return lasts. Probably until I finish my current research paper which I am at this moment procrastinating on while writing this note. I think I’ll probably stick to only logging new teas as I try them rather than logging all the tea I drink unless I get a strongly different impression from it than previously.
In any case, I’ve been wanting to try this tea for a while, since I loooove earl grey the best. Even more than the crazy ass teas from 52teas. Although I love those too, of course, just NOT AS MUCH :P Anyway, I was really wary of it, but I know Rabs loves it, so I had always been planning to try some. Sadly, my finances have not been great of late. Yay for being at a public university in California! Motto: We Have No Money.
I finally got a bit of a break when mum sent me a check for Valentine’s day with instructions to buy tasty chocolates for myself because she was busy. I think that we all know that “tasty chocolates” is a universal code for “nifty tea and possibly some posh beer.” So I grabbed several Teas,etc. teas. Including this and coconut custard, which I had also been coveting for a while.
Now, this is a black and green (and bunch of other stuff) blend, which has historically been problematic, but I tend to get around this problem through the highly scientific method of treating it like a black tea and selectively forgetting that the green tea is there. I recommend this method for anyone as chronically lazy as me.
Now then, to the tea itself. This is, to put it frankly, AMAZING. I can’t believe that it has all that stuff going on in there (jasmine and earl grey and rose, oh my!) and yet it all manages to come together somehow without anything becoming too overpowering. That’s right, I am getting the rose and the jasmine and the earl grey in basically equal amounts! I am freaking out here guys. I am going to have to keep this on hand ALL THE TIME, I am not even lying. As with other “augmented” earl greys though, I don’t really see this as a substitute for normal earl grey, which I need in the mornings to function. However, I really love having this throughout the day, or making a big pot of it, since the different flavors mean I won’t get tired of it even if I’m drinking it for several hours.
tl;dr version: A++ would drink/buy again!
Addendum: I think my other reason for slacking off on Steepster is my chronic inability to write short tasting notes. WHY IS THIS SO LONG.
Do not think that thought I have been seduced by the amazing power of strawberry zabaglione and spiced apple chai that I do not love you anymore, Earl Grey. You are still my favorite!
I continue to like this extra lemony Earl Grey but I have been pining a bit for a more traditional one lately. Unfortunately, since the volume of tea in my cupboard is currently still quite daunting, I can’t really justify ordering more. This definitely confirms that I like this in addition to, rather than instead of Earl Grey.