3217 Tasting Notes
Sipdown! 991. (Added my en-route Butikis and Verdant, hence the upswing. I am hovering dangerously near 1000….)
Oddly enough, it looks like Raritea must have given me the second half of her packet of this or something, since I have a prior tasting note on it yet the packet has her name on it. So presumably, I have another half-packet lurking somewhere else (unless I drank it during the months I was away from Steepster, in which case I’d expect to at least find the empty packet at some point…) (Also while looking on my spreadsheet for this tea, I discovered that I didn’t add my Yezi teas to the spreadsheet, which again probably means my count is lower than it should be. Argh.)
Anyways, back to the tea. It’s really quite lovely – quite richly chocolatey with a bit of hay, and fairly malty as well. Great flavour and strength, reminding me quite a bit of Laoshan Black. Ultra smooth as well. If by chance I do find that other half packet, I should really try a side-by-side comparison of the two. It’s worth noting as well that I am not picking up smoke here. It’s possible that it’s there, and because I like it, it’s just not glaringly obvious to me (this happens frequently with me and garlic), but I’d think it’s certainly at a level for smoky tea newbs to handle.
Thanks again to Yezi Tea for these great samples, and know that had I the cupboard space and $$, I’d be all over their blacks.
Errp. Well, thanks to Raritea for sharing this, and Yezi for originally sending it… I guess I drank it and failed to make any notes whatsoever. How terrible of me. I have no recollection of it, but given that I don’t remember it, I suspect the flavour was super light, and I wasn’t overly fond of it. Otherwise it probably would have made an impression. Fairly standard reaction to a white tea, for me.
Sipdown! 980. This is a review for the second half of my sample packet, not the larger 1 oz. pouch I also have. (I don’t believe either of these is the summer blend, but I don’t know. Agh.)
Anyways, still enjoying it; there’s the savory/umami broth flavour that I got from Chocolate Phoenix Chai, although with warming spices, most of which I can’t individually pick out, which is a positive thing for me because I hate one-note chais (unless that note is cardamom). One of the few chais I actually enjoy drinking without anything added, which is always a positive feature. Not sure why I have this rated at a 71; going to bump it up a bit because it’s pretty yum even if it’s not the perfect chai.
The fourth and final Dr. Who-themed tea for tonight (my bladder just can’t take any more). The aroma is fairly chocolatey, which is quite present in the flavour as well. I can also taste the distinct flavour of rooibos, though it’s not the objectionable medicinal flavour, just that characteristic woody/herbal-ness, which is bearable. This tea actually tastes much like a chocolate rooibos I’ve had previously… I’m thinking the one from the Amoda box, but I could be wrong (I could probably confirm that if I was less lazy, because I know I still have that one around). It has a bit more body to it though (probably the black). What’s odd is that the chocolate comes through as almost bitter – I’m probably influenced by noticing the documented flavours before pulling up the review screen, but it’s certainly not the milk chocolate flavour that most teas seem to aim for. It’s not unpleasant, though.
Upon looking up the tea ingredients – I think almond might account for that flavour that’s coming off as bitterness to me, and there’s surprisingly not much chocolate in here given the number of chocolate-related ingredients. Ah well. Not overly enamoured by this blend, but it’s not bad. I’m pretty sure I’d enjoy it more sans rooibos. Thanks Sil!
Sipdown! 981. Apparently I had misplaced one of my Nina’s samples generously sent quite a while back by Laurent (very belated thanks!) and since it was both an easy sipdown AND in a baggie, it was an easy choice for tonight when I found it.
Upon opening the package, a delicious juicy aroma filled my nostrils… surprising, considering both age and packaging. By that aroma, if I’d had to guess, I would have assumed it was some version of a red fruits tea. Looks like I’d be incorrect though, and would have figured that out once I took a sip, since orange is definitely the most dominant flavour here, along with a bit of smokiness and additional fruitiness to round things out. Although a bit more muted, the orange reminds me of the orange flavour in Butiki’s Two Friends – and I really quite enjoy that flavouring. (I miss the chocolate though, haha.) Overall, it’s a pretty good blend – a fruity, possibly smoky (this could be contamination) tea, and I feel like it could be great iced, although I’ll probably never end up trying it that way.
Another delicious yum-smelling tea, a bit like caramel and vanilla. That’s kind of what I’m tasting too – kind of a caramel vanilla black. I was expecting a bit of fruitiness from the… fruit chunks (apple?) but am not really detecting anything. I see that this is supposed to be coconut-vanilla-apple (which sounds fabulous!), so I’m wondering if spending time in a baggie zapped a bit of the flavour. Possible, though it’s still good. Nine has won out for me, when comparing these three blends though (which is funny, since I even steeped it incorrectly!) Thanks for sharing another one Sil!
Another thanks to Sil for a sample! And again, I get to play the “what’s in this tea?” guessing game! This one is a lot less aromatic than “Nine”, but there’s still a little something peeking out that’s not quite straight tea. I’m tempted to say caramel, or perhaps even chestnut, again, but that’s not too likely. Other than that, though, it just tastes like black tea. A little mouth-drying (so a bit astringent), but not too bad, and that’s probably a result of again, the extra 45 seconds it got due to inattention (I try to be very strict with blacks).
Seeing that this is supposed to be a chocolate banana tea…. comes as a surprise. Maybe that caramelly flavour is actually chocolate. Or banana. It’s impossible to tell, really, because it doesn’t taste overly like either. I see that Sil also found it relatively flavourless, so maybe this was just a poorly flavoured or old batch. Or, maybe Adagio isn’t great at banana or chocolate flavouring. Either way, I’d happily try this out again, since as a plain black tea it’s certainly not objectionable, but not by means of purchasing it myself (whereas some of the other blends…. yes.)
Sipdown! 982. Thank you Sil! (I think there were a few teas accidentally missed in the count previously. And I need to add a Verdant and Butiki order. Plus the incoming 52teas’ Christmas sets. Crap crap crap.)
I took the time to look up all the teas I was steeping to check if any of them needed different parameters…. and then proceeded to steep the only one with green, with boiling water. Sigh. It doesn’t seem to be ruined though, but there is some bitterness and astringency, which I would definitely chalk up to user error. Anyhow! This is one of a few deliciously aromatic mugs I brewed up tonight, from the Doctor Who custom blends by Cara McGee. I genuinely have no idea what any of them are, so I get to play a little guessing game!! This one smells caramelly, with a hint of cinnamon or spice, but JUST a hint. The flavour is more or less the same, being thick and somewhat sweet/caramelly, fairly malty, a little bit spicy, and kind of astringent, which definitely impacts my tasting of the base teas. I assume, though, it’s Adagio’s standard black (and some sort of rolled green; I’d maybe guess gunpowder but I’m not detecting smoke). Despite the overly hot water, and 45 seconds longer infusion time than I intended, this is pretty good. I’d guess it’s a caramel spice tea (emphasis on caramel, not spice), but it appears to be chestnut and irish breakfast (with gunpowder?) Quite an interesting combination, but it does actually work. The chestnut must account for the sweetness, and the spice is perhaps an artefact of sample contamination or my imagination (I do have a Laoshan Chai a couple teas down the line).
Anyhow, I’m pretty impressed with this blend, and it makes me quite curious to try Adagio’s chestnut tea, if they have one available, because that caramelliness is gooooood. Thanks again Sil!
Underwhelmed :( The aroma from the bag had that weirdness that all 52teas’ genmaichas have had since the reblends started tasting/smelling off – a chemically, almost chloriney sort of flavour that I am convinced is coming from the toasted rice. It’s possible to almost get past that while drinking the tea, but sadly, the remaining flavour is, IMO, far from cashew. It’s actually pretty floral (rose??), which strikes me as quite odd, and there’s maybe some nuttiness beneath that, but the floral is fairly powerful. On the plus side, it doesn’t taste like I’m drinking perfume, but it’s not at all what I was hoping for. Another miss in terms of it tasting like one would expect from a “genmacashew” tea, although if you’re fond of florals and don’t pick up that weird note I get, you might actually find this rather pleasant.
Thanks to Sil for a sample of this blend (and it looks like some thanking applies to Dexter as well, who appears to have been the original source of this deliciousness).
Anyhow, brewing this up as one of only a couple flavoured teas I have on the go tonight, ALL I could smell was its delicious aroma. OM NOM. If I had to guess, I’d guess Hazelnut Mocha, I think, by the aroma. Flavourwise, it is pretty impressive too. Quite decadent and lovely, very nutty (again, I’d guess hazelnut), and a bit chocolatey. Not really picking up coffee, but that’s not a problem whatsoever. Also not really tasting too much in the way of the base tea – I wish it was a bit more solid, because it does come off slightly watery in that sense, but the flavourings are nearly good enough to overcome that. I think, though, that for me to really love this tea, it would need a base change. I might try infusing the last bit of the tea that I have a bit longer (I’m always very cautious with black blends since I hate astringency) to see if it helps the base at all. Flavouring-wise, though, this is a solid 90 tea.