123 Tasting Notes
Argh, steeped it too long and got it bitter. Loved the pineapple scent. This may be the pineapple flavored tea of my dreams, if I don’t mess it up. Waiting to rate until I can do it justice.
Got a couple of sample bags of this yesterday and tried one today for my second breakfast cup. I tarted it up with a little amber agave and some half-and-half. Quite good! I mostly tasted coconut maybe a hint of ginger. Next time I’ll try it without extra sweetener to see whether I can find the vanilla and lemongrass.
This was my second sample from White Lion. Am having it late on a Saturday morning, with milk.
This is very soft and fragrant, with pleasantly hushed bergamot and floral notes. It’s almost sweet, but that may be the effect of the milk. Probably not for someone craving a very assertive bergamot, but calming and refreshing.
I tried this years ago and have concluded that at that time I didn’t know what I was doing with it. I probably crowded way too much leaf into a mesh tea ball and steeped it way too long. I may have gone a bit short on the steeping time today, but I like the results very much and would be inclined to order this again.
Today I reversed my opinion of another tea after trying a different steeping temperature and steeping time, so I thought I would give this yummy-sounding tea another try. I cold-steeped it and left the bags in, giving it periodic sips.
After 5 minutes — nada. No soap, not much of any flavor at all. Smelled lovely, though.
After 10 minutes — still nothing.
After 15 minutes — this tea is just a failure with me. Really disappointing.
Yes, about all that’s left to try is doubling up on the amount of tea. But since I’m already using 2 bags/cup, I don’t know whether that’s worth it. It’s strange. The other two reviewers gave it much higher marks.
Maybe you just got a bad batch? I’ve gotten Celestial Seasoning stuff that is really stale because it’s been sitting on a grocery store shelf for well over a year.
@Alphakitty – that is precisely why I won’t purchase tea from a grocery store any more. I have found tea that had been expired over a year at different locations. Most places really just don’t care about tea nor think about it expiring.
I tried this again this morning and the results were much better even though I didn’t do much that was different. Mindful of the green tea content, I used cool-ish water and steeped just under three minutes.
When I looked into the infuser as I removed it from the water, the green leaves were prominent even though black tea is listed as the first ingredient. Maybe the contents of the packet resettled and the green was closer to the top. I looked into the remainder of the dry leaves in the sample packet and judged the black and green to be about even, with perhaps a slight edge of the black. So we’ll see what happens next time.
When I sipped, there was still that edge of bitterness but it was not nearly as pronounced as my first taste a month or so ago. Whatever the black tea was that Old Wilmington used in my samples of Royal Blend and Lord John Grey, three minutes does seem to be the tipping point regardless of water temperature.
I decided to try warming it up again and adding half and half. Now I’m geting a sweet, subtle jasmine tea scent and flavor, and the bitterness has been overcome. I don’t think the cornflower petals contribute much except a pretty blue color accent — there aren’t many of them.
I’m raising my rating of this tea. It definitely warrants experimentation, and the black tea added to the usual green in jasmine tea adds substance. The trick is finding one’s own balance of astringency and body vs. bitterness.
I may buy this again to experiment more on my own. But I have at least one and probably two large cups of tea left in my sample.
Well, this is weird. I just added a tasting note for White Lion’s Vanilla Dolce, in which I said that the vanilla scent was stronger than in Harney’s Vanilla Comoro and also that I liked it better.
So, Self, I said, there’s that tin of Harney’s and it’s decaf, so why not do a comparison right away?
I sniffed the Harney’s and got what I now recognize as the mapley aroma mentioned long ago by ashmanra. Then I sniffed the White Lion, smugly expecting a blast of vanilla.
Guess what. No aroma at all from the White Lion dry leaves. Maybe my sense of smell was tired? I waited a bit and tried again. Same result.
So I brewed up the Harney’s and, dudes. I am so confused now. It smells so pretty. I have got to get my hands on the loose stuff.
I highly recommend trying the loose leaf. I have found – with Harney Teas in particular – that there is a profound difference between loose leaf and bagged versions.
I agree. I buy the loose leaf by the pound! My daughter loves it and goes through the pound bags of this and their vanilla Bkack, which tastes quite different, in a remarkable amount of time.
Oh, and people (me) around here get sneaky and keep offering other people so I can get the last cup from the pot. It is full of vanilla beans! :)
I’m planning on trying the loose version (will have to order from H&S, I guess) as soon as I finish with the sachets. Ashmanra, LOL re: the last cup! Somewhere, probably in a discussion, somebody mentioned boosting the scent of a vanilla tea by burying cut-up vanilla pods in it, sort of the way you can scent sugar. Sounds like a worthwhile experiment!
P.S. I sniffed the White Lion again this morning before I had any tea at all. Still nothing even remotely resembling the sweet smell I noticed the first time last night. The vanilla escaped.
Ordered a sample of loose tea and brewed it tonight, added a bit of half and half. No idea what the base tea is (Assam?) but it seemed nicely balanced with the vanilla. I liked this better than Harney’s Vanilla Comoro, but in fairness — I had to make do with bags when I tried the Harney’s.
The vanilla scent was quite strong when I popped open the (cute tiny little glass) sample jar. Brewed, it was smooth and not overwhelmingly vanilla, but the vanilla was definitely present and very mellow. I think I’d like this for a weekend breakfast tea as well as an after-dinner treat. I have enough left for 2 more trials with maybe enough after that to add to some Earl Grey as an experiment. I will let you know how it goes. I also have a sample of their Earl Grey with Lavender so things could get pleasantly foggy.
Tried this in the afternoon with a bit of half and half AND a bag of Celestial Seasonings’ Country Peach. I added the peach after removing the bags of Darjeeling (OK, it was a big mug, OK? So I used 2 bags of Darjeeling!) and left it in.
YUM, what an afternoon treat!
But do not add stevia unless you really like stevia. Agave or honey or plain old sugar would have been nicer, if (as I thought I did) you really wanted something sweet.
So, second cup (mug) of the morning, more tea, steeped longer. Ahh. This is more like it, and indeed yes, there is some astringency. But I will still be playing the field, even if I suspect it will mostly be between Scottish Breakfast, Yorkshire Gold, and Florence.
I deliberately decided to branch out after finishing my last box of bags, so I am trying the leaf tea version of this for the first time this morning. I may have been a bit niggardly with the amount of tea I used, and I was so curious and impatient that I only steeped it about 3 minutes. I also added my usual generous splash of 2% milk. I tasted it too-hot, just-right, and almost-too-lukewarm and am still not getting the bitterness and astringency others have mentioned.
On the other hand, I was expecting a glorious reunion with my first tea love, all grown up, and, well, hmm. Still very attractive, but not as thrilling as anticipated.
Next time: more tea-to-water ratio, longer steep. We’ll see whether the spark is still there.