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Recent Tasting Notes
Can’t remember if this was a share from VariaTEA or Kittenna but I’m thinking probably the former!? I was craving rose this morning so I pulled this one out because I knew I’d have the added bonus of an easy sipdown. It was delicious, but an oolong base it was not. This 100% looks like black tea both in the dry leaf and colour of the infusion, and it very much tastes like a black tea as well. It’s either the weirdest oolong tea, a blend of black and oolong tea or just straight up an incorrectly labelled black tea.
Whatever it was though, it was the perfect carrier for a deliciously smooth and soft rosewater profile. Yum!
This is a tea I tried from the tea box. I may have underleafed it, but it doesn’t have much flavor. I left it overnight to revisit the next morning, and that seemed to help make the flavor stronger. The mint is light, and I can’t tell that the other flavor is orange, but there’s another tame flavor mixed in there. I actually left it sitting another 12 hours, and by that time, it tasted pretty muddled and unpleasant. These flavors don’t go that well together, and they aren’t clearly defined to begin with.
Forgot to press start on the timer and since I assumed the timer was going to go off when I had to get the tea, I forgot about that too. By the time I remembered, the last of this was so oversteeped that the floral not was just way too high and I dumped the mug. So I guess this was more of a dump down than a sipdown.
I think this is the last of the teas Arby shared with me and I decided to break it out to go with a ruby chocolate bar I picked up at the One of a Kind show while I take a study break. Weirdly enough, I can taste the rose here. I guess those taste receptors are working. Unfortunately the rose with the floral oolong is trending toward perfume.
Latte Sipdown (227)
So this wasn’t so much a sipdown as it was a dump down. It wasn’t the tea’s fault. I blame my milk. It is old but not passed the expiry date but I don’t 100% trust it and it won’t froth and so I think it maybe isn’t so fresh. And mixed with the tea for a latte, it was just sort of off.
Thank you Arby for the share. Sorry it went to waste.
I still maintain this tastes like an Indian black tea. Slightly fruity and floral, but an aftertaste of light bitterness and tannins. It isn’t bad, but doesn’t have any delicate notes I hope for in teas that aren’t 100% oxidized. This doesn’t offer anything that a standard black large leaf tea does.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Tannic
I’m not 100% sure, but I think this is a sipdown. They sent me a lot of tea last year to review, so it is possible I have another bag somewhere.
I finished this off as a morning latte (vanilla soy milk) which was a nice change. I normally drink my oolongs straight, but I like the creamy + rose combination. Plus, the oolong base is more like a black tea than an oolong. I don’t taste anything resembling orchid, cream, of the roasted flavor you find in most higher end oolongs (fresh whole leaf ones that keep their natural aromas). I wouldn’t buy this/order it again, but it wasn’t a bad tea. The rose seems overpowering because the base is flat, but it still made some good cups.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Rose
Latte Sipdown (355)
I didn’t love this one. It wasn’t bad per se but it’s a little lacking. I found the tannins in this to be quite strong and any chocolate flavor is weak. It’s sort of there but mostly this tastes a little more dirty than delicious. Nevertheless, thank you Arby for sharing this with me. It is always fun to try new things, even if they don’t always taste amazing.
Thank you to India’s Tea for the free sample of this. I have been enjoying coldbrewing it through the summer. Yesterday morning I did a hardcore caffeinated tea day, and I wrote down reviews as I was drinking them (my friend and I brewed at her house). So, this is a queued tasting note from yesterday.
2 tsp, a full mug of hot water, ~3-4 minutes (until it smelled of fruit and was aromatic)
-I can really taste the acai flavour, but can not make out any mango
-some generic fruity flavour, as well as a few distinct fruits (blueberry, pear)
-a bit bitter and tannic, but would be nice as a coconut milk latte (or brewed cold with a touch of lemon nad sweetener)
-the black taste is unremarkable, it tastes like a generic Indian black tea (no interesting tasting notes in the base other than something a bit floral)
-floral in the aftertaste (persimmon flower, orchid, peony)
Overall, it wasn’t a bad cup. I preferred it coldbrewed to prevent the bitterness coming out. It had a nice acai berry flavour, but this isn’t a tea I would buy for myself or tell someone they need in their cupboard.
Flavors: Bitter, Blueberry, Floral, Fruity, Orchid, Tannic
Arby was very generous with her sample of this tea which gave me a chance to try it both hot and iced. Since I wasn’t sure of the recommended steeping parameters I went with 3 minutes at 200F. I think that maybe wasn’t the best choice though because there is an astringency here. Coupled with that is a blackberry note that I think can be attributed to the acai. On top of all that, there is a mango sweetness that pops up every now and then though it is more fleeting than I would like.
Iced, this is more astringent than the hot cup. The more discernible fruity notes in the hot cup are jumbled together creating a generic fruitiness that is being drowned out by a bitterness.
I think I should have tried making the hot cup and iced cup separately since it would have given me an opportunity to try different steeping parameters and possibly mitigate the astringency and bitterness I am getting from these cups.
Thank you for sharing, Arby! It was fun to try something new and even though I think I messed it up, it was nice to get to experiment a little.
This weekend I got a few sipdowns in and then today I had a mini explosion thanks to the very generous Arby. Thank you! Now, I am back to 310 teas with at least 2 orders on route and a monthly subscription box on the way for June. So now that I finished the 365 Days of Tea Instagram Challenge, bringing my cupboard to a more manageable size is my next goal.
Thankfully, a few of the teas Arby sent are easy 1-2 cup sample sizes so it should be fun getting through those and trying a variety of new offerings. Plus, now that I have my second swap package from Arby, I am feeling like I should probably sipdown the teas from our first swap.
Anyways, my plan was to start with the Toffee tea, as per Arby’s instructions to drink that immediately however we are sitting down for a dinner of bbq sausages and hamburgers and a hot toffee tea seemed like maybe that’s not the best match. However, this fresh and fruity iced tea will likely go over just fine with my meal. Especially since mint is the focus, while citrus gives it a bit of a zip at the end. It’s nice. Thanks again, Arby!!
Coldbrew 1 tsp, 500 mL cold water, about 1 hour
This is a fairly mild chocolate flavour. I am getting hints of that milk chocolaty coating. Lightly tannic base, some spices (cinnamon). It isn’t a rich desserty tea. It is a black that is lightly flavoured. It is a pretty general base. Nothing exciting or indicating exceptional quality. It might be worth trying if you like flavoured black teas brewed western style.
Flavors: Chocolate, Spices, Tannic
No notes yet. Add one?
Flavors: Bitter, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Spices, Tannic, Tannin, Walnut
Thank you to India’s Tea for this free sample. I paid $8 for shipping, but received several free samples.
Last cold brew of the evening. I’m not going to sleep with all this caffeine. D:
I’m not very familiar with Indian varietals, but I assume this is an assam or assam-based blend. Very malty base, which is the perfect mouth feel for a chocolate tea. This isn’t a highly flavoured tea, the base comes through really well. Hints of spices, slightly woody, a bit sweet (about the level of sweetness you would find eating a fresh apple), a bit of cocoa.
I’ll be trying this hot and as a latte as well and posting a more thorough review.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Spicy, Thick, Wood