2725 Tasting Notes
I indulged in a bit of retail therapy the other day, and ended up ordering a ton of samples from Zhi Tea. Zhi is a local Austin company that I’ve been meaning to try, so I’m glad to have finally taken the plunge. Though my cupboard probably isn’t so happy, with something like 25 new teas… :O
Anyway, I pulled this one out, semi-randomly, to try first. I often have an issues with berry flavoring tasting chalky, and from the dry scent I could tell this would probably be one of those times. But actually, it’s not as chalky-tasting as I expected.
The berry here is more of a dark, syrupy, quite candylike flavor that’s somewhere between blueberry and raspberry. It’s almost a bit cotton candy-like? Maybe some blackberry in there as well. I don’t get much plum though, which is a shame as I adore plum things. The hibiscus is very restrained, I only get a hint of tartness that helps the berry pop a bit more. Base is decent, could be a bit more flavorful but I can definitely taste it and it’s not thin or overly tannic.
Anyway, it’s a nice enough tea. Probably not something I would reorder, just because I was wanting more plum than berry and it was kind of the opposite of that. But I’ll enjoy finishing off the sample packet!
One thing I wonder about Zhi though, is whether they blend all of their flavored/blended teas in-house. Their website seems to imply yes, but then they have a few teas that are always catalog red flags for me, like a cherry sencha and a blueberry bai mudan. It doesn’t necessarily matter either way, just something I’m curious about. I’ve had several experiences where companies say they hand-blend everything, but it isn’t really the case, so I guess I’m just suspicious about it now. :P
Flavors: Artificial, Berry, Blackberry, Blueberry, Candy, Cotton Candy, Earth, Hay, Jam, Raspberry, Sweet, Tart
Sipdown! (30 | 439)
I quite liked this one. It has a lovely balance of sweet cooked apple with just the right touch of spice to make it holiday-esque. The cardamom is the strongest, with the cinnamon coming behind with a nice cozy warmth to it. I think I taste a hint of tart cranberry as well.
I’m not sure whether the US site will offer this one this holiday season, but I’ll have to keep an eye out for it when I restock a couple of the usual suspects. :)
Flavors: Apple, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cranberry, Spices, Sweet, Tart
Sipdown! (28 | 437)
A bit of a sad sipdown for me, as I feel I enjoy this one more and more each time I have it, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have made the transition from Løv Organic to Kusmi. It’s such a relaxing tea, with just the right amount of stonefruit flavor – I don’t have to search for it, but it’s still a fairly restrained flavoring. And I can still taste the base as well.
Ah well. I do see that Kusmi has a peach and apricot white/green tea blend, so maybe I’ll have to give that one a try and see how similar it is to this tea.
Flavors: Apricot, Dry Grass, Hay, Herbaceous, Peach, Stonefruit, Sweet, Tart
Sipdown! (27 | 436)
I didn’t really get marshmallow from this one.
I can smell it in the aroma a bit, but I feel like the strong CTC base overpowers it to the point where it’s barely there. It’s mostly a very brisk black base with a touch of savoriness to it. There is perhaps a hint of vanilla there. But then there’s quite a bit of astringency at the tail end of the sip which fights against any creamy or fluffy qualities that may be there.
So not a winner for me. But I’m glad not everything is a winner, as I already have way too much tea as it is! XD
Flavors: Astringent, Custard, Malt, Savory, Tannic, Vanilla
SIpdown! (26 | 435)
Not very impressed by this one. I get an earthy base with some coffee, but that’s about it. Supposedly there’s vanilla in here as well, but I don’t taste it at all. Which is a shame, because I think this could really use some sweetness or creaminess or something.
It’s just coming off as very one-dimensional to me. Meh!
Flavors: Coffee, Earth, Roasted, Smooth
Sipdown! (25 | 434)
Okay, this one is really good. I feel like I’m finally getting the marshmallow notes that I’m always looking for in marshmallow treat-inspired teas, but never finding enough of. This tea is straight up a pile of delicately lemony marshmallow fluff. The white tea base has the perfect light and airy flavor to really complete the vision of marshmallow.
Very scrumptious. I’ll have to keep an eye out for the original green tea version as well…
Flavors: Candy, Creamy, Hay, Honey, Lemon, Marshmallow, Smooth, Sweet
Sipdown! (24 | 433)
I was reorganizing my tea cupboard a bit yesterday and found a bit of this in a tiny tin, so I figured I’d put it out on the counter to be finished off. One fewer tin to organize, heh heh…
I quite like this tea. It has a lovely soft and sweet peach flavor that is delicate yet somewhat creamy-tasting. The raspberry is more of a raspberry jam flavor to me, as it lacks the tartness of fresh raspberries. But it adds a nice richness to the more ethereal white peach flavor. I’m not sure whether I get strawberry?
Anyway, it’s good. For some reason I don’t tend to crave peach teas, so I’m not sure it will be a reorder for me. But would definitely recommend it for peach tea lovers!
Flavors: Candy, Creamy, Jam, Peach, Raspberry, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Tart
Sipdown! (23 | 432)
Yay, another oldest tea down! This tin was from November of 2017. I think I only have two more 2017 teas left! Granted, that’s not saying much, but still a nice milestone to see.
This is one of Lupicia’s lovely grape teas. It reminds me of a combination of grape Hi-Chew and Welch’s sparkling red grape juice. I love those sparkling juices at holiday meals, and will definitely be partaking at Thanksgiving time! So to me, this has a rich, almost slightly winey grape flavor with a sweet candy edge to it. I adore Japanese grape candy flavoring, so the somewhat artificial quality of it doesn’t bother me. The base is rather earthy, which I actually like as it cuts the sweetness a bit. Not a hint of bitterness here either, even though the leaf is somewhat fine.
A lovely tea! Happily, I still have a couple of other grape creations from Lupicia in my cupboard. :3
Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Earth, Grapes, Red Wine, Smooth, Sweet
Sipdown! (22 | 431)
Found this one little lonely sample from Rishi Tea, yay easy sipdown!
The chrysanthemum is definitely at the forefront at the beginning of the sip, and it has that interesting soft floral-yet-peppery quality to it. The floral is a bit hard to describe, it does somewhat remind me of chamomile, but with a noticeable musty note that fades to tasting a bit like pollen smells. There’s definitely sweetness as well, and perhaps a hint of dill? The oolong comes forward mid-sip, and dominates the latter half with its sparkling mineral notes and nectarous florals, along with a slight dried fruit note in the aftertaste.
An interesting one to try for sure, probably not something I would reorder just because I would rather have a chrysanthemum blend be caffeine-free for the evening, plus this is rather expensive.
Flavors: Chamomile, Dill, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grain, Hay, Herbs, Mineral, Musty, Nectar, Pepper, Pollen, Smooth, Spring Water, Sweet
Sipdown! (21 | 430)
This one sounds so good in name, but doesn’t deliver on the taste. The rooibos ends up being the main flavor, with just a bit of an herbaceous lemon note in the background. So really it’s sort of a boozy rooibos with a bit of sweetness and not much else.
Flavors: Alcohol, Herbaceous, Lemon, Rooibos, Sweet, Wood