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Recent Tasting Notes
This is definitely a blend to watch out for, mimicking G&T shockingly well. What’s surprising though, are the super strong notes of grapefruit in the aroma, that become a gentle in the taste, providing the tongue with that teasing bitter note of gin. Obviously, this also creates a fruity element that combines well with the lemon and white tea to create an expertly crafted alcohol free tea blend.
I even named it the “Most Inventive Flavour” and gave it runner up “Best for Sober Xmas” and “Editors Choice” in my 12 Teas of Christmas post: https://tastethetea.co.uk/2016/12/01/12teaxmas/
I loved this tea soooo much!
Flavors: Bitter, Citrus, Fruity, Grapefruit, Lemon
Once steeped the resulting tea bares a strong cinnamon scent with a touch of clove.
The first few sips reveal a cinnamon and black tea base with a touch of orange in the after taste. It’s not as strong as expected though that isn’t always a bad thing. Slight bitterness but mostly it’s a cinnamon and black tea with a touch of dryness. Perhaps the fruit helps to keep it light?
While the cinnamon is strong with this one I do wish the orange was stronger. I can’t taste any almond, apple or vanilla and would not have even guessed they were in the blend by taste alone.
Despite that it’s cinnamon and that is very Christmasy so who am I to complain?
Anyone who knows me will know I love rooibos redbush tea. I drink it every day since I don’t drink milk and I like to keep as decaffeinated as possible, however I really fancied a change from my daily vanilla and original flavours.
I saw that NBTea had a creme brulee version and decided to try it out. I think I’ve had creme brulee once in my life before, meaning I had no idea what to expect.
I don’t really think this is the type of tea to be observing notes, but whatever creme brulee is it certainly tasted of it. I steeped it for 5 minutes in boiling hot water. This tea didn’t steep twice very well and the second steeping was light but refreshing
It was a nice change from the usual, but nothing that totally blew my mind.
Flavors: Cream, Custard, Nutmeg
Back to this tea in hand. I received a sample pack of 10g from NBT a while ago as an exclusive pre-release taster before it was launched on the site. Now it’s up for sale I decided the best thing for me to do was ice it to try and get the most flavour from it. So for two days I have had 10g of this blend steeping in my fridge using 1litre of water. Coldsteeping is much softer and keeps delicate tones, it’s my preferred method of icing tea/tisanes.
I haven’t mentioned much about the look or scent of the blend but honestly there was not much to it. The blend looked floral and multi coloured which bared a subtly sweet yet herbal scent. The fruit was too delicate for me to really say much about it and I decided to let it’s flavour speak instead. So I waited for the outcome with enough time to thicken with flavour.
Today is the morning I try this and the resulting liquid is a light brown/orange colour with a delicious sweet, fruit scent. Particularly like apple and strawberry with honey. A real contrast to it’s unsteeped scent. It’s flavour is just as wonderful! Sweet honeyed fruits with a touch of floral after tones that leave my mouth feeling sweet and refreshed. The fruit tones are mixed but notable berry with a touch of sourness with an exotic fruit affair behind them.
Honestly this tisane gave me a lot more pleasure than I thought it would and I’m happy to say this Honeybush blend is a winner. I don’t think I would have liked this if it was a Rooibos base and the Honeybush really does make this blend stand out.
More information on SororiTEA Sisters.
This was a free sample from NBT so thank you. Though I admit I have not the foggiest idea of what Mullein actually is… Research time I think.
Verbasum aka Mullein is a flower that grows around Europe and Asia. It has been used as medicine by different cultures for many years to help with " disorders of the respiratory tract, skin, veins, gastrointestinal tract, and the locomotor system".
Well thank you Wikipedia, now I at least have some idea as to what this is. It also mentioned that the Austrians traditionally drank this in tea form for their medicine.
I steeped 10g of leaf into my 1litre bottle overnight via coldsteep method. The colour is still very subtle but it does have a slight yellow/brown tinge to the liquid now.
The flavour is sweet and sugary with a touch of refreshing herbs in the after taste. And honestly that is about it…the sweetness is a bit strange, it tastes like sugar water with a weak clove essence. There really is not much to it at all. Either way it tastes so inoffensive that It is easily drinkable but I can’t find anything remotely special about it. I suppose that is why this is marketed as a medicine, you wouldn’t drink it purely for the taste (or lack thereof).
Well it made for an interesting drink but it’s not something I would buy, at least it was worth a try.
Flavors: Clove, Herbs, Sugar
I cold steeped this tea overnight for a quick review today. Unfortunately I have no idea what the ingredients are as the sample packet I had didn’t say and this is not on the website. Other than Oolong I have no idea, though I did note it had a spicy scent when I was steeping it. Perhaps the spice was why this is Mexican?
In flavour the spice has continued to a point that I’m thinking it resembles black pepper and cinnamon. Perhaps some clove in there too as it has a refreshing after taste. Rather spicy but it does have a sweet and refreshing after taste that lingers. Also getting perhaps a citrus note, like orange rind though subtle compared to the spice. And Oolong wise it’s a dark Oolong.
It’s quite nice but even if I could I don’t think I would purchase this one. It’s not special in terms of flavour or blend and while it might be a nice drink today I can guarantee it will be forgotten about tomorrow.
The Winter Sunset sencha is a blend of sencha, pineapple, apple, cinnamon, ginger, aniseed, pepper and a hit of fennel. It was an OK tea, the flavour took a long time to come out but then again I had this from the seller: start first infusion with a temperature 75-80 degrees and then increase the temperature for subsequent infusions. With an infusion time of 24 minutes each time. I probably only left it 4 to 5 minutes but after so long I did notice I stopped taking out the infuser to try and get more flavour through.
Flavors: Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Tea, Tropical
Thank you, KittyLovesTea, for a GENEROUS sample of this tea-I had to pack down the leaves in order to fit it in to my tin!
It surprised me that this lemongrass was green instead of yellow like I normally see in teas. Either way, it tastes great-nice and lemony but of course without the acid of actual lemon. The only thing negative I could say is that next time I’m going to brew it stronger because I made it a little too weak the first time.
Tea time! As it’s late I will pick this Rooibos blend. Shooting star, how cute!
I open the packet and am met with a thick, medicinal scent with some sweetness that mimics almond. Not unpleasant but rather …well…odd.
It’s steeped scent is much different. I smell sweet apple sauce with almond, very sweet but also very nice. The apple is rather strong considering, and it’s more apple sauce than apple.
Flavour is thickly Rooibos with a mild, sweet apple after taste before the Rooibos takes control again. Further sips bring out the almond sweetness though it’s still very much in the background of the Rooibos, of which seems almost smoky/smog like.
It’s not as sweet nor pleasing as it’s raw scent though it’s drinkable. It’s a rather medicinal Rooibos which I am not a fan of, well not a fan of Rooibos in general but this is darker than I can usually bare.
Flavors: Almond, Medicinal, Rooibos
My day has not picked up as such but nor is it worse and on the overall scale of things I am not being hard done to by life. The headache is perhaps a little annoying but I can look past that. Into the positive and out with the negative.
This was a sample from having a Tea Buffs subscription, so thank you NBT.
I open the packet and am taken back by the delicious scent. It does smell like popcorn! Sweet yet salty, buttery and toasted. Yum! The leaves (they are dark and look black though could be Oolong) have lots of dried fruit pieces amongst them (which I was not expecting as I didn’t smell fruit) and little bits of actual popcorn too. And here I was thinking it may be Genmaicha based before I opened it.
Colour is golden red with a sweet toffee scent, less popcorn than it’s raw scent though still toasted.
sip, sip It tastes like it smells which is not a common find amongst flavoured tea. Usually they differ greatly, but not this. The toffee is light and buttery with mild sweetness and there is a toasted, salt after taste which gradually lightens and sweetens. Not as strongly toffee popcorn as you may imagine though it’s not too weak either, suppose that is a long way of saying medium strength. As it cools it becomes more creamy and also has some astringency though very little.
Loving this one, reminds me of Toffee Dream from Zen Tea but this has more flavour and is generally more pleasing.
Lapacho huh? That’s a new one on me. According to Wikipedia it’s a herb that comes from the inner bark of a Pau D’Arco tree which are indigenous to South and Central America. Sounds very interesting!
It looks dry and rather…well like bark actually. This blend smells strongly of cinnamon and baked apple, like a pie. Heavy on the cinnamon too which is the way I like it, though also a bit dry.
Once steeped it smells strongly and sweetly of cinnamon bark, I used to eat it as a child and have fond memories of it. This is the closest thing I have smelled to that, though considering it’s a type of bark and has been flavoured with cinnamon it’s of no real surprise. Oh also, the drinks liquid is burnt yellow in colour.
With no idea of what to expect in flavour I have no means of comparison. Wow! First sip was heavenly! It tastes of pure cinnamon sticks with toasted apple, it’s pure tasting and so light but sweet and with a lingering after taste that is refreshing. It is a little dry but not necessarily in a bad way.
It’s simple yet very tasty, the bark has minimum flavour but has absorbed some of the cinnamon so all I can taste is cinnamon bark/stick and some sort of baked/toasted apple. There is nothing else to it but it’s simplicity is what makes this blend for me, it’s what I want in terms of a cinnamon or apple tea, and I adore both.
On my list with a real possibility of ordering more of this. For a herbal tea I am very impressed.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Drying
“Ewwwww, that sounds disgusting… I must try it!”
That was pretty much my reaction when I first saw this and subsequently added it to my wishlist. Some of you may wonder why I find the idea of toffee popcorn so icky. It’s because in this country popcorn comes with salt on them. That’s it. Salt. Only salt and nothing but salt. Not butter, not food colourings, not sugar, not jam, not chocolate, not taco sauce, not mayonnaise, not chili, not beans, not nothing. And certainly no caramel or toffee of any sort. Salt. That’s it. Just. Salt. With salt on is coincidentally also the only way in which I am and will ever be prepared to eat popcorn. Anything else… I can’t imagine anything more icky.
So. I really don’t know what possessed me to get this. Probably the word ‘toffee’ overruled the rest of the name.
Anyway, it smells sweet and caramel-y while also smelling fairly salty. Can’t really smell popcorn apart from the salt, so I’m telling myself it’s salted caramel flavoured instead. That sounds far more appealing to me and in this context it smells rather nice indeed.
Flavourwise, I can detect a whiff of something that could possibly be popcorn, but it isn’t convincingly so. I can’t really find much in the way of toffee at all. It’s actually more like a nutty tea than anything else and it does also contain both almond and macademia nuts. This is also because the base is a blend of black tea and oolong, and oolong can be quite nutty in flavour sometimes all on its own.
It’s actually a pretty okay tea, although it seems I’m enjoying it mostly because it doesn’t taste like what it’s called at all. Peculiar thing, that.
In other news, happy new year Steepsterites. I hope you were all careful with your fireworks if you had any, minded your fingers and wore your safety glasses. We had a fair bit of it here as the neighbours put on a good show. We don’t usually buy it ourselves. Of course nothing can beat the view of fireworks we had from the balcony of the flat where I lived before we moved in together. That was in the middle of a large town and from the balcony we had views of nearby hills, so ideal watching conditions. The cats took proceedings relatively well. There was some cowering under the bed around midnight when the fireworks were at peak intensity but other than that they made a minimum of fuss.
More Christmas present tea. I have to say that I put this one on the list pretty much only for the benefit of Husband, who is a whisky enthusiast. A few days later (when it was too late to do anything about it) he mentioned that while he liked whisky, he wasn’t generally very interested in whisky-flavoured things. Oh. Well, plock.
Anyway, here it is. I have to say that I wasn’t expecting much from it myself. I don’t like whisky. I don’t like most kinds of alcohol really. I don’t like the way spirits feel in the throat and I can’t even smell a beer without making a face. I can drink wine, but usually only a glass or so. Seldomly two, and very very seldomly more than that. So a whisky flavoured tea? Naaaaaaaah.
I have, though, recently become keen on smelling his whisky when he has some. I can pick up some of the same sorts of nuances as in tea, although it requires a fair bit of concentration to sort of smell ‘through’ the alcohol. Over Christmas he and my father had one that smelled distinctly orange to me (as in the colour orange, rather than the fruit.) and another one which I thought smelled a bit like almonds.
This one smells really very nice, actually. It has cocoa kernels in it and carob, so there’s a strong cocoa-y note to it, but I’m also picking up a scent of whisky from it. Primarily because I know it’s supposed to be there, but it very clearly resembles some of the whisky that Husband prefers. Also vanilla, a bit, so the whisky this flavour is supposed to imitate was obviously stored in bourbon casks. THE THINGS YOU DISCOVER YOU KNOW SOMETIMES!!!!
From the flavour I’m getting a fair bit of cocoa again and a fairly oaky sort of note as well. Those are the two strongest notes for me. Underneath that a bit of vanilla and permeating everything is something which I imagine must come together as something whisky-ish.
However, Husband just came into my room and said that he didn’t think it smelled or tasted like whisky at all… The theory I’m working under now is that I can imagine whisky a lot easier in this because I’ve only got the smell of it to work with. I can’t believe he didn’t find it whisky-y, though! I really think it is!
Rather better than I was expecting, though. I find I quite like this. Probably wouldn’t buy it again, though, since Husband was a little luke-warm on it.
Here is some Christmas present tea. I put this on the list because, pear. Because, marzipan. Because, tartlet. Need I say more?
It smells jolly nice, although not particularly pear-y, marzipan-y or tartlet-y. At least not right at first. But jolly nice. If I concentrate and breathe the scent for a while, I can smell it all coming together in marzipan-y tartlet-y niceness and with some fruit that I can easily imagine could be pear. The more I’m breathing the scent, the closer I feel it comes to the target. Gosh, I want to bake a pear tart now! Those are so good with a bit of creme fraiche…
In the flavour, though… Not really. No amount of concentration really manages to bring it together for me. It’s jolly nice, it just doesn’t taste like I thought. Perhaps this is due to the mysterious addition of mango. The ingredients says it’s got mango in it. Why??? The only thing thing of the title that I feel I can taste with certainty is the marzipan of the title, although it feels more generically nutty than marzipan. Luckily I’m very keen on nut teas lately. Jolly nice.
From the EU TTB – Round 3
I’m still a relative beginner with Pu Erh, so I figured trying this one couldn’t hurt my education. I’ll admit to being wary of it still, but I find myself less scared with every cup I drink. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 2 minutes in boiling water.
The resulting liquor is red-brown, and smells quite strongly of…manure. I’m coming to accept that about pu erh, although I can’t say that it makes for the most appealing introduction. Fortunately, the taste is milder than the smell. This one comes across as rich and earthy (compost, almost), with a hint of orange lurking in the aftertaste. The orange is natural and sweet tasting, and offers a juicy, refreshing counterpoint to the base pu erh. I’d even go so far as to say it’s a combination that works well.
I had hoped the orange flavour would be stronger, but I’m glad for what’s there. As I sipped away, I started to really enjoy the flavour, and to wonder what I’d felt such trepidation about. I believe I will get there with pu erh one day, and this was another positive step on the road.
Good lord, this tea is the real deal and one of my favourites, not because it is one of the best, but because it is a very flexible tea. I’ve steeped it on almost boiling water, and at 70C too… long and short steeps, this tea can take it all and give you great albeit very different cups of great tea.
It is a bit woody, a bit citrusy , and very aromatic, reminiscing of some Chinese black teas… I love that you can get playful with it, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys oolongs and the occasional black, and would also dare anyone who has tasted this one and brews it the usual way, to do one 3 min steep at a lower temp and re-evaluate this tea.
Flavors: Citrus, Flowers, Wood
Definate Winter tea, quite enjoyable. although you need to like chilli!
Have had chocolate flavoured teas before and find them quite sickly, but this one is cleaner and with the white tea content isn’t sicky at all.
One for a cold night in :-)
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Spices