328 Tasting Notes
This is a super old sample that has been lingering untried in my tea basket for several years now. It’s quite weak, but I imagine that’s largely attributable to age. The flavor I am getting is nutty and not very vegetal, attributes which are always welcome in a green from my perspective. I suspect, in a fresher state, this is the kind of green I’d enjoy. It’s also reminding me that I really should buy from Sullivan Street Tea and Spices sometime soon—it’s an adorable local shop, and though I walk by it a bunch I haven’t bought anything in ages.
I think I’m just about ready to give up on my quest for a great (or even good) rhubarb tea. I tried this one hot and cold-steeped, and in neither iteration could I taste anything really identifiable as rhubarb, raspberry, or vanilla—just some vague fruity/sweet notes piled on top of a rather vegetal base. There was an unpleasant chemical note to it, as well, which reminded me of my unfortunate run-in with DF’s The des Marquises recently.
Interestingly, when I forgot to take my brew basket out of the cold steep and accidentally let it go for 12+ hours, the chemical taste was much reduced (as opposed to the 6-hour mark, when it was still going strong). I still got an odd combination of vegetal base plus muddled fruits, but it wasn’t entirely unpleasant.
I think this was my first blend from TeaG—my parents went to Chicago a few weeks back and were kind enough to pick it up for me—and I can’t say it was everything I’d hoped for. Still, their Earl Grey, which my parents also brought back, is nice enough that I’m still looking forward to trying some more of their stuff in the future.
And yet another Inkling sample! This is about what I expected it to be, a mildly vegetal green base (probably sencha?) layered with some sweet generic tropical fruit flavor—although I am getting something more specifically mango in the aftertaste. It’s nice enough, but as mango goes it’s no match for my beloved Lupicia mango oolong. I suspect I would’ve liked this better iced, since that’s generally how I prefer my fruity greens, but sadly I think we’re still a ways away from iced tea season here in New York (although it’s supposed to hit 60 tomorrow, so who knows).
Another sample from Inkling. This is decent for a breakfast blend, but where’s the lychee? Minus points for false advertising, yet again. That said, if I hadn’t been expecting something different, I can’t say I’d have any real complaints about this one, though it’s not the most complex or exciting blend of straight black teas.
This is a pleasant rooibos, if not a particularly distinctive one. The rooibos itself is really nice, smooth and not too strong—probably among the nicest I’ve had, actually. It’s sweet and lightly spiced, but eggnog? Not really. I don’t detect even the faintest hint of nutmeg. This is another one of those blends I would probably have liked more with a different name, but I’m enjoying it pretty well as is.
Yet another sample from my swap with Inkling! I was really excited to try this one, because I’m always on the lookout for herbals that are a little different than the usual. I have to say, though, this is one of those hibiscus-less fruit blends that make me appreciate the ubiquity of hibiscus. There’s just nothing to it; it lacks body—this blend is like tart sugar water. I think I can taste a tiny hint of kiwi, but it’s barely there. I’m glad to have had a chance to try Cloud 9, but it’s definitely not for me.
This was another sample from my swap with Inkling, and my first taste of a new 52Teas blend. Weirdly, I didn’t get much in the way of coconut from it. What I did get was some pleasantly smooth rooibos and honeybush—woodsy, for sure, but not tobacco-y or medicinal—and a mild sort of strawberry syrup flavor. This wasn’t a wow, but it was very pleasant. I wouldn’t mind having this again, and it certainly made me that much more interested in finally placing an order from the new 52Teas.
I got this one in my swap with Inkling. Weirdly, it tastes a lot like DF’s Pecan Pie, which is one of the teas I sent her. Like that tea, it bears very little resemblance to its namesake but tastes quite strongly of marzipan. It’s fine, but, like with Pecan Pie, I was hoping it’d do what it says on the tin, and it really doesn’t. There’s a hint of pistachio at the end, and a certain richness and sweetness that I suppose could evoke shortbread. Decent, but not a standout.
Chinese blacks are not usually my favorites, but I find this one surprisingly delightful. It’s very smooth, more so than the Indian black teas I usually go for, and sweet and malty. It has a hint of that characteristic cocoa flavor that usually gets me (in a bad way), but it’s very mild. It actually reminds me quite a bit of an Assam, which is a good thing in my book.