331 Tasting Notes
I picked some of this up at the last NYC meetup, courtesy of the ever-generous Nicole_Martin. I was sceptical about this blend, but I enjoy both peppermint and green rooibos independently so thought it might be worth a try. When I opened the bag, I got a very strong, very fresh-smelling whiff of peppermint. Once brewed, peppermint is still the dominant note. However, the green rooibos is very present in the background. Green rooibos always makes me think of honey whole-wheat pretzels, and that plus peppermint is just a weird combination. The white mulberries are a nice flourish from an aesthetic standpoint, but I can’t say I’m picking up on them in the flavor profile. An interesting tisane to have tried, but my suspicion that the primary ingredients here are best enjoyed separately has been confirmed.
Although the dry leaf smells very strongly of caramel, flavor-wise I’m really just getting Premium Taiwanese Assam. There’s some sweetness and the tiniest hint of caramel, but as hard as I try I can’t detect any vanilla. I’m a big fan of PTA, and a cup of it is never unwelcome. But there’s just enough extra going on here to make me feel like I’m missing out on some awesome burst of flavor that I can’t quite reach. In the future I’ll stick with the unflavored version, but I certainly won’t have trouble finishing the rest of my stash.
This is another of my many samples from Nicole_Martin. I think this might be my first Vietnamese tea, and I’m enjoying it quite a bit. The flavor is crisp and sweet with a hint of malt, kind of like a very light Assam. I’m not getting pepper, but that’s no loss as far as I’m concerned. I’ll be enjoying the rest of the generous sample Nicole shared; my one criticism is that I do wish Single Origin gave brewing instructions for their teas. Since they don’t, I went with 1 tsp./8 oz., boiling, for 3:30, just for reference.
This is a nice blend. It’s smooth and sweet and malty, with notes of cocoa and earth. There’s a pleasant fruity aftertaste, although I’m not sure I’m picking up on anything distinctly citrus. I don’t know that this is quite bold enough to work as a breakfast tea for me (at least not during the week); Butiki’s Irish Breakfast is still my preference as far as that goes. But I’ll certainly be enjoying this as an afternoon blend.
This really does taste like a liquid candy cane. There’s no green tea to speak of in the flavor profile, and I do wonder why they even bothered with it (vs. a purely peppermint base). Anyway, this is a nice decaf option – especially for the price – if not quite in the same league as Butiki’s Peppermint Patty, my current favorite peppermint blend.
This is very strong! I had it in the afternoon today, but I’ll be drinking the rest of my stash as a breakfast tea. I’m getting a lot of what I think might be best described as oaky notes, and I’m also picking up on that unexpected vegetal note others have mentioned. While it’s not a dealbreaker it is something I could do without in a black tea. Not bad, but I definitely prefer Butiki’s Irish Breakfast as far as bold morning teas go.
This tastes very banana to me; mango, not so much. It’s got a pleasantly creamy mouthfeel, like a real lassi (or a banana…). The rooibos comes through a bit more strongly than I’d like, as I’m not too fond of that tobacco flavor. Not bad for something caffeine-free, but I don’t think this will be a reorder.
This is the last of the teas I picked up at the Bellocq meetup (back in September – eek!). It’s a very nice, smooth Assam, with all of the malty goodness I love in Indian teas. I could do with a bit more boldness – I think Sil’s right that this is more of an afternoon tea than a breakfast one – but on the whole I’m really enjoying this! The fact that it’s organic is a plus for me, too. There are tons of quality Assams out there, including plenty I’ve yet to try, but I could certainly see myself picking up some more of this at some point. I think I might like this ever so slightly more than Bellocq Breakfast, but I’d have to try that one again to be sure.
The fact that this tea is described as a white tea for people who like black tea lured me in. I’ve been wanting to get into white tea, or to try to, but I haven’t been impressed with white teas thus far – the flavors just aren’t vibrant enough for me, at least with regard to the limited selection I’ve tried.
And this is certainly different from what I’ve had before! It’s sweet, smooth, and a little bit malty. I’m not quite getting caramel, but sweet potato seems closer to the mark. When the tea was hot, I could’ve sworn I tasted the faintest note of citrus, or something like it, something sour – maybe that’s the apricot mentioned in the description? – but that’s faded now that it’s cooler. It does taste remarkably like a black tea; as others have noted, it’s got a lot in common with a greener Darjeeling. If I hadn’t known it was white, I never would’ve guessed. Now that my cup’s cooled quite a bit, I’m definitely getting dried apricot. I’m glad I got to try this, and I’m enjoying my cup, but I don’t think it will be a reorder.