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Recent Tasting Notes
This was a sample I got from MissB forever ago, and I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get around to drinking it.
Silly me didn’t read up on this before I brewed it, and just assumed it was a black. I brewed it at boiling, was a bit surprised by the light infusion, then panicked on taking my first sip to find that it was clearly a dark roasted oolong. The panic didn’t last long, though, because even brewed at boiling this tea is incredibly smooth! No astringency whatsoever. The nutty, charcoal oolong flavour is most prominent (possibly because of how I brewed it) with sweet, lighter maple notes behind it which last into a lingering sweet syrupy finish. Now, we all know how much I love Butiki’s Maple Pecan Oolong, and even though this is quite different it’s still the closest I’ve come to finding anything resembling that wonder of a tea. As a result of that comparison, as well as on its own merits of course, it has gone straight back on my wishlist.
Thank you MissB for facilitating this discovery!
I’ve been seeing the word “vegetal” thrown around here as a positive thing.
I never thought I’d locate a tea I’d describe in that way and like, but here we are. On the Internet. Writing/reading this review.
Here we have a very sweet, vegetal, mossy, creamy, syrupy oolong tea. A solid, tasty contribution to tea-dom. I’m really glad that mtchyg hooked me up with this. I never would have chosen this for myself, but I really like it.
Oh! And the flowers in it are pretty.
Do they serve a flavor purpose? I have no idea. I just like to look at them.
Flavors: Creamy, Maple Syrup, Moss, Vegetal
Thanks mtchyg for the sample! I’ll be the first to admit I do not usually go for flavored teas other than traditionally scented ones that are usually produced by piling flowers onto the tea leaves, then later removing them. But when I did a little trade I couldn’t pass this up because smoke and maple just sounded so right with dark oolong tea. Of course, I’m equally skeptical of teas that include flowers to be pretty rather than to flavor them, so seeing the pretty red-orange safflowers in this made me think “Okay, Lion, don’t be disappointed if it tastes cheap.” I mean, safflowers are usually in teas to look pretty, though of course they do impart some flavor.
With all my negative biases about “fashion teas” out of the way… let’s get to the actual review. I’m just brewing this in a cup with a large infuser basket. The aroma is very prominent even with the leaves dry and is mostly a sweet maple smell, though I do also smell the safflowers quite a bit and the overall effect reminds me of the lush plant-life smell inside of a greenhouse, and maybe somebody’s eating a hot bowl of maple oatmeal in that greenhouse.
I did not sweeten this tea, and it is mildly sweet on its own, though it seems to be from the maple flavoring rather than the oolong tea. The tea leaves themselves don’t have a very strong taste. Mostly I’m getting flavors of tobacco and oatmeal and just a bit of smoke/char. If anyone is missing the smoke flavor in this tea, I’d suggest not using sweetener or any cream. It’s subtle, but it’s there. The maple flavor is also more subtle than strong, and it is more sweet in the finish, which seems to create a unique contrast with the dry finish of the oolong tea itself. Texturally, this tea is a bit dry, but considering the earthy flavor spectrum it covers, and the mild sweetness of the maple flavor, it isn’t too bad of a thing.
I would say that as flavored teas go, this is actually a really good one. While I wish it felt more “wet” in the mouth, and that the tea leaves had more flavor to lend to the blend, it’s still enjoyable for a casual drink. It may be inspiring me to experiment with a drop or two of maple syrup in other teas. In fact, I’m getting rather curious now to maybe try smoking some tea myself and add a little maple syrup after. I’m kind of a DIYer so it’s in my curious nature.
But where convenience goes, I wouldn’t turn down this tea. It’s good. Reminds me of autumn. Nice in these lingering moments of winter. The resteep flavor is fine but missing most of the maple at that point, tastes mostly mineral, tobacco, and char.
Flavors: Maple, Oats, Smoke, Tea, Tobacco
Nope. I wanted to like this. Dry this has almost an alcohol-esque smell to it. I tried it a few times with cream and sugar and without. Without cream and sugar it tasted a bit harsh… bite-y. There was some cinnamon and maybe a wine like apple flavor but not in a good way. The cream and sugar muted it a bit but it also muted almost everything else. Just didn’t work for me.
Flavors: Alcohol, Apple, Astringent, Cinnamon, White Wine
Very solid Rooibos. Actually, it barely gives off the typical Rooibos flavor. A light, sweet, spice is present here and it’s not over powering. Second steep I added a drop of real maple syrup. Really nice. A great tea to have at night.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Maple, Spices
I might be the first one to say this but I kind of wish there was more ginger bite to this one. The tea is very smooth and flavorful and there is a ginger warmth to it. I am of the ilk that wants ginger to bite me and hard. Don’t get me wrong, this is a really good tea. But I wouldn’t mind if more ginger happened to slip in the mix
I drank this straight initially, but found it kind of… dirty tasting? It was definitely bitter, but the first thought in my head was that it tasted dirty. This benefits big-time from some milk (almond) and sweetener (sugar). I also found I liked it much more as it cooled, but that’s something I often find. It’s decent, but not particularly strong, so I’ll probably be sticking to other teas for those days I crave coffee. Though, if you prefer a milder coffee flavour, this could do the trick!
I feel like I just don’t particularly have a taste for oolong teas. The maple in this was fantastic, but that oolong aftertaste just isn’t something I’m crazy about. It isn’t that I drink an oolong and thing it tastes bad, I just always feel like I’d much rather it be a black tea instead. Sigh. If you like maple and oolong though, this is probably perfect.
This was disappointing. The dry leaf smells fantastic! Spicey and a bit nutty, pretty much exactly what I’d hoped for, so I was really excited to try this one. The taste isn’t really there though. Not very strong. I tend to like being bashed over the skull with spices though, so maybe I’m not the best judge. The really crappy part is that once steeped I still smell all the delicious spice and hint of almond, so every time I take a sip it’s there taunting me.
A simple but nice Earl Grey. It isn’t very heavy on the cream, but I’m thinking the smoothness comes from that aspect. Really nice Earl Grey flavour though! If I didn’t already have a ton of stand-by Earl Grey, I’d consider keeping more of this around.
I’ve got a bunch more samples from Shanti that I’m quite eager to try! Really keen on finding more Canada-based companies.
I have been going to a Tea and Hookah bar with my friends and getting a mysterious marshmallow tea. It is so good and creamy and tastes like marshmallows. A perfect relaxing tea for anytime. The trouble is that I didn’t know what type of tea it was.
Well, last time I was there my friend happened to know the worker there and got out of him that the “marshmallow tea” was their smoked maple tea with a touch of vanilla coffee creamer and agave syrup. Obviously I had to find the brand it was and make a tea note of it!
This one is going on my shopping list for sure!
I just came across this old tasting note that I had intended to post as a review once upon a time, but I didn’t. Unfortunately, I don’t see this tea on Shanti’s website anymore, so I guess it’s no longer available … so I guess I’ll just post a tasting note about it rather than write a full-length review.
I enjoyed this chai. It’s a blend of both black and green teas, and usually when I brew those, I brew it at a lower temperature to accommodate the green tea leaves. The black tea still tasted remarkably full and nicely round even though it was brewed at a low temperature. The spices were peppery but not overly spicy. The basil (Tulsi) notes added a really pleasant dimension of flavor to the cup.
Overall, an enjoyable and delightfully different chai, it’s a shame that it’s not on the website anymore. And since it’s no longer available, I won’t bother with a rating for it.
Backlog:A Really nice alternative to the typical breakfast tea – I don’t usually choose an Oolong tea for a breakfast tea, but this tea tastes very much like ‘breakfast’ to me with the lovely maple notes and the smoky character. There are rich buttery and nutty tones too.
Later infusions offer fewer maple-y notes, but I started to pick up on some peach-y notes and I enjoyed that too. By the fifth and sixth infusions, there were but mere wisps of smoke to the cup, and very little maple-ish flavors, but there were nice nutty notes and peach-y flavors to make up for it.
A really lovely flavored Oolong. Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/05/20/smoked-maple-oolong-tea-from-shanti-tea/
A celebration of spring in a teacup! A smooth, silky Oolong with a light buttery flavor and texture and a sweet, floral tone. The citrus and berry notes complement the Oolong.
It’s a bright, invigorating cup. I love the warm notes of fennel in this. It’s not a strong fennel presence, but just enough snappy warmth and just a hint of licorice adds a nice contrast to the sweet and tangy fruit notes. This one offers several infusions too. Nice!
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/29/spring-fever-oolong-blend-shanti-tea/