life is too short to drink mediocre tea that smells like uh…things that tea shouldn’t smell like. Even though i don’t mind this tea nearly as much as others, i’m not keeping it around. tea drinking shouldn’t be a chore!
“life is too short to drink mediocre tea that smells like uh…things that tea shouldn’t smell like. Even though i don’t mind this tea nearly as much as others, i’m not keeping it around. tea...” Read full tasting note
“I’ve been enjoying watching all the reviews of this tea come in; it’s been absolutely hilarious reading all of the wild comparisons and first impressions. That said, I knew that at some point I,...” Read full tasting note
“So here’s the thing…normally I buy the smallest size possible because I have so much tea already that I just want a taste. However, sometimes a tea just sounds so appealing or gets such great...” Read full tasting note
“CrowKettle wrote yesterday " It’s an unholy merging of pure things that brings one to weeping in disgust and horror." LOL – ok – I just received my tin of this, so of course I had to try it. While...” Read full tasting note
Sweet black tea with smoky banana and truffle notes.
Tastes like: black truffle, damp pear, grilled banana, percolator coffee.
Feels like: a majestic mountain lodge.
Ingredients: chinese yunna black tea, spanish olive leaf, smoked chinese black tea, dried banana, sweet blackberry leaf, madagascar vanilla, flavouring.
Company description not available.
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I’ve been enjoying watching all the reviews of this tea come in; it’s been absolutely hilarious reading all of the wild comparisons and first impressions. That said, I knew that at some point I, too, would have to break into the sample of this that I received and give it a try and I’ve definitely been dreading it…
In fact, the only reason I ended up trying this so soon was because I was talking about the FMA chimera comparison that CrowKettle made in regard to this tea with a whole bunch of coworkers and one of them asked me to bring the sample I had with to our staff party for her to try because she was curious. So, our winter/Christmas staff party was earlier this week and true to my word I brought the sample with for anyone to try who wanted to. Trust me, I did not talk up this tea at all – basically I just warned everyone that I was like 90% sure it was gonna be awful. That said, nine people still decided to try it out so we made up a big pot and just split it up and did a group tasting. I told everyone that I was going to be posting a review of it, so I asked everyone trying it to give it a rating out of ten based on how much they liked it, and any general comments they wanted to make. Keep in mind, this is the feedback/opinions of a panel of ten (including myself) people employed at a tea company who basically spend their whole work days just drinking tea…
Casey: 4/10 – Said it was surprisingly light given the intensity of the aroma
Jules: 3/10 – “Is the Lodge black because it burned down?”
Mackenzy: 7/10 – Would drink this again without any reservations
Seth: 7/10 – Actually offered to finish off the sample cups that people didn’t want
Emily: 5/10 – “If you focus on the banana it’s not so bad”
Luz: 5/10 – Didn’t think it would be so awful overall if you didn’t take price into account
Andy: 3/10 – “I get the FMA thing…”
Stirling: 4/10 – It IS better than straight Lapsang…
Sarah: 2/10 – Spit hers back in the sink…
So, if you average all of their rating you get a rating of 4.4/10 – on Steepster that equates to a score of 44/100, essentially. That seems pretty in line with the reviews already posted…
As for my own thoughts; I do think it was doable but you don’t exactly want that to be the highest form of praise you can offer to a blend, do you? I actually liked the banana in the blend a lot though – it was pretty sweet, and candy like and if the BULK of the profile had been that sort of banana flavour with much softer hints of Lapsang I think this might have actually worked pretty well. Not, like, spectacularly but a lot more than it does currently. The biggest issue for me was that the mix of Lapsang and other things in the blend just painfully reminds me of a mix of beef jerky and tire rubber and I just cannot get into tire rubber tea. Like, that’s the furthest thing from a pleasant flavour. The smoke didn’t bother me though; I like Lapsang. Just, didn’t work in this mix of stuff so much…
Also, I think Casey was right – when you smell the dry leaf this smells vile, but the steeped tea definitely doesn’t have the same intensity even if it’s not good. I think I’m gonna agree with the overall average rating given by our staff…
So here’s the thing…normally I buy the smallest size possible because I have so much tea already that I just want a taste. However, sometimes a tea just sounds so appealing or gets such great reviews, I spring for more. In the case of this smokey banana/toffee tea, I was intrigued and decided to split a 90g tin with Sil. Then the reviews came out and I was hesitant. Then I cracked the seal and this smells so disgustingly like smoked raw meat that I honestly had to be talked into trying this. Seriously, people had to hype me up to give this a go.
Thankfully the steeped tea, which I underleafed, smells like like raw meat and more like smoke, which is easier to handle. Tastewise, it is earthy (I guess that’s the “damp peat”) with a sweet note. There is no distinctive flavor which could be a result of the underleafing but given the flavors others have gotten, I can’t say I am sad about that. The smoke comes in a little at the end which combined with the general earthiness of this tea, it kind of seems a bit gamey. I added milk which maybe brought out some more of those supposed toffee notes but didn’t lessen that game flavor and caramel meat is not recommended. Realistically, this is not as bad as I expected, especially given the dry smell of the leaf. Alas, not as bad is still pretty bad and even though this didn’t turn out as terrible as I thought, I think this is going in the swap box. It just isn’t worth it to keep a tea around that I literally have to prepare myself to drink, not when I have over 300 other teas that need my attention.
CrowKettle wrote yesterday " It’s an unholy merging of pure things that brings one to weeping in disgust and horror." LOL – ok – I just received my tin of this, so of course I had to try it.
While I may not be getting the same notes that she did – not getting the smoked bacon – I’m agreeing with the sentiment in that statement.
My first impression was charred black rotten mushrooms. As it cools that’s changing to 6 hour old burned to the bottom of the pot coffee.
I added a little sweetener and a splash (or more than a splash of milk)…. Now there is some banana in here but I’m not sure that’s a good addition to this party.
There is no doubt that this is an AU smoked tea, they all have something a little odd in the back. This isn’t a little odd…….
ETA: Because I’m a sucker for punishment I did a 2nd steep. I did 95C 4 minutes. I added sweetener and milk. The smoke has been shoved way to the back. There is some caramel banana in here (but some of that might be the sweetener). I’m also getting meaty/mushroom/umami something that I wouldn’t call truffle. This is better but still way too strange……
Do you know the horrific Nina-chimera from Fullmetal Alchemist? Do you remember all of the raging emotions you experienced upon seeing that thing? This tea is like that. It’s an unholy merging of pure things that brings one to weeping in disgust and horror.
(If you’re not into anime/manga this explains that reference somewhat: https://kotaku.com/a-tribute-to-one-of-the-most-depressing-moments-in-anim-1787400241)
If you’ve ever wondered what truffles, smoked bacon, and banana would taste like in tea here you are. Don’t get me wrong; I love all of those things in different dishes, but tea… The truffle makes this monstrous in my opinion (tone it back). Milk helps to curb down the flavouring, but it’s so… overwhelming and absurd.
This tea is probably just perfect for someone out there, but that person is not me! Still, I’m glad I got to experience it? Maybe? I think I could learn to love it if I sacrificed some small part of me. I don’t know if I want to go down that rabbit hole though. It’s definitely a unique tea.
Flavors: Banana, Meat, Mushrooms, Olive Oil, Smoke