712 Tasting Notes
Rooibos works best when it’s bagged, because the loose leaf is so fine that it goes straight through my mesh strainers and I spend the entire experience scraping it off my tongue and picking it out of my teeth. So I appreciate that Sipsby chose to send me the bagged version. If they hadn’t, I’d’ve just wound up making my own teabags with the empty bags they provide anyway.
This is a smart and enjoyable blend, as cocoa and rooibos both have earthy notes, and the orange note comes through right at the end as a bit of a palate cleanser. I also appreciate that it’s organic. A nice break from plain rooibos, and very satisfying and warming on this chilly, snowy afternoon.
Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Orange, Sweet
Got as a sample… I think it’s just gimmicky. As promised, it does steep a pretty pinkish purple color, which turns blue if you add lemon juice.
However, the artificial watermelon flavoring overpowers all the other real fruit and the green tea in the blend, which is expected, but still a shame. Cold-brewing and drinking iced is the only tolerable way to consume this.
Not my thing.
Flavors: Artificial, Sweet
I’m legitimately sorry to finish this sample. This is the most delicious oolong ever. The rolled up leaves spring open and look so gorgeous.
It’s good Western style with tap water. It’s even better gongfu style with spring water. It stayed fresh for six months without issue.
Roasted, mineral-y, nutty, earthy, with a breadlike mouthfeel. Inviting. Quietly strong. Fortifying. Like an old friend.
Normally I’m not a fan of mint teas, but the rose makes this one good. The beauty of this one is its simplicity. Just a soothing, nicely balanced, low maintenance herbal cuppa for a cold winter afternoon.
Flavors: Floral, Herbaceous, Mint, Rose, Sweet
Although Sips By basically phoned it in this month on my subscription box, I legitimately enjoyed this one. It’d be nice if they hadn’t shorted me one sachet of it, but alas. I’ve never had an olive leaf tea before, and I gotta say, I kinda love it. The gentle olive flavor works surprisingly really well with the rose, while the chamomile and passion flower play supporting roles. This company uses whole flower blossoms, so it’s gorgeous to look at while it steeps in the mesh sachet. Very lyrical, very pleasing, very gentle, very wholesome, and very pretty. It’s like wandering into a fairy forest. I like the story they’re telling here. Perfect medicine for today.
Flavors: Floral, Herbaceous, Olive Oil, Rose
I guess I’m feeling a little bratty about this. I opened my Sips By box this month and saw… a plain, bagged chamomile. Seriously?
To be fair, it’s definitely a good quality chamomile. I taste vanilla bean and apple, and it was a nice cuppa to unwind with on a Monday evening. Pleasant, as you would want and expect in chamomile.
But… it’s still just a plain chamomile. I prefer to get more unique teas that I can’t find in a store in my Sips By boxes. Maybe I’m giving it short shrift. Will drink the other three servings, won’t purchase a full container.
Flavors: Apple, Hay, Vanilla
The packet says to use boiling water, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that to a green tea, even a heavily roasted one like this, so I used 195 degree F water instead.
Oh, so good! Roasty, toasty, earthy, just a slight little bit of smokiness. Very reminiscent of the flavors of toasted sesame oil. Paired really well with my avocado salmon sushi roll. Heaven!!!
Flavors: Mineral, Roasted, Smoke, Toasted, Vegetal
Just all right. Brewed in a glass mug using a full-leaf sachet at 205 °F for 4 minutes. No milk, sweetener, or lemon used.
Neither the Darjeeling base nor the bergamot came out particularly dominant. It actually smells almost like oregano, which is weird. The Darjeeling doesn’t taste bitter to me; all I can taste is raisins and grapes. Not sure that raisin and bergamot is my favorite flavor profile, especially when the tea overall is weak. I’ve definitely had better and more interesting EGs.
Flavors: Raisins, Spices
Sipdown! I like gunpowder teas because they’re so fun to watch as they steep, and this zhu cha was no exception— the leaves opened up and looked really pretty and curly in the mesh strainer. I brewed a pot of it in my cast-iron teapot. Flavor is overall mild and mineral-y, a bit musty, and a hint of hay.
I did enjoy this, but it’s not something I would make regularly, so I won’t repurchase.