1617 Tasting Notes
I recently purchased several Chroma teas after sampling one and really liking it. So far most of them are falling flat for me. This is a nice roasted tea with a little nuttiness in there and a touch of grass, but it feels like there is room for more pizzazz. I don’t believe I’ve ever used the word pizzazz when describing a tea, but there you go. I keep waiting for there to be something that stands out and makes this cup spectacular, but it’s just it’s mellow well rounded modest self. There is nothing offensive about it at all, but I was hoping for more.
I’m noticing that each month’s release of teas is photographed in a different shape which is a nice way of grouping them visually. After much back and forth with customer service we finally figured out why I didn’t get the teas from last month. When it was ordered for me the gifter had the option of choosing the teas from the first or second month selections as my first delivery and chose the first meaning I didn’t get the second and skipped to the third. I’m glad it is resolved and nothing was lost in the mail, but it felt like pulling teeth getting the answer.
This tea was tasty hot and I had to set it down after drinking half the cup mindlessly and came back to it after it had cooled and I had more time to focus on it. It reminds me of Lupicia’s Framboise Chocolat. The taste is similar with the raspberry standing out with something deeper behind it. It was pretty smooth while hot too. When I came back to it cooled the hibiscus stood out more giving the raspberry a natural tartness that the fruit has. It’s not so much that I’m getting that metallic grossness that hib often has, it’s just enough to round out the fruit and bring out the chocolate notes which were harder to detect when hot. The front of the sip is the berry, the back of the sip is cacao and the finish is a little alkaliney with cacao. I’m really struggling to pick out any pistachio. I love pistachio and I’d really like to be able to taste it prominently instead of searching through the other flavors for it in vain. I like it, I’d drink it again, but Framboise Chocolate has a permanent spot in my cupboard and I don’t need such a close match.
This is a pretty tasty chocolate tea. I could see the cacao bits in the bag and it tastes very similarly to a cacao shell tea I have. The flavor is very natural with a slight bitter tang that dark chocolate can get. It’s good, but it doesn’t seem to have anything else going for it other than chocolate. With a name like Honey Hive I expected the taste of honey in there somewhere and I get zero. It says this is decaffeinated, but now that I’m sipping it in the evening I wonder if they just meant the tea. How much caffeine do the chocolate bits have?
In the steeping guidelines on the wrapper it asks you to think about your most memorable bee sting and concludes that they are all memorable. What an unpleasant thing to ponder while waiting for a relaxing cup of tea. There are plenty of bee stings that I don’t remember and then there is the one that is clearest in my mind where I realized I was now allergic to bees, broke into full body hives and welts, my face started swelling and my partner stabbed me in the leg with an epipen with all the might he could muster like he was John Travolta in Pulp Fiction…. in the middle of the pandemic. What a weird thing for a tea bag to ask me to recall.
Somewhat related, the Honeycomb chocolate bar from Chuao is super delicious if you like honey & chocolate! It has crispy honeycomb bits in it, nom nom.
As someone with a phobia of bees, I would… not appreciate being asked to remember any of my bee stings while making tea! How rude!
I think I’ve had that bar before. Firecracker is my favorite of theirs.
Pondering a bee sting is an odd request of a tea company! LOL!
tea-sipper: my eldest brother died of anaphylactic shock from yellow jacket stings. Another man died the same way the same week. The ER doctor told us that their beta blockers for high blood pressure had sensitized their blood creating an allergy to bee stings. But I think allergies can come and go. A friend was severely allergic to most fruits and always had to carry an epi pen. She had a traumatic injury that required many surgeries and reconstruction. Apparently her body reset to factory settings and she can eat fruit now. Still carries the epi pen just in case.
Thanks, tea-sipper. I will plant whole gardens for the bees, because they are wonderful and so needed, but for wasps and yellow jackets I have no mercy.
Oh yes, yes you can. Beekeepers often want to get stings regularly so their body becomes accustom to them, but you can suddenly become allergic to anything or loose an allergy. I had a friend who was severely allergic to walnuts, then had a baby and was no longer allergic to them. I guess I’ve been a little too caution in not getting stung, so now I’m doing allergy shots so I don’t die beekeeping.
That’s awful, Ashmanra! I agree, wasps and yellow jackets get no sympathy from me.
This smells really juicy! It doesn’t taste as strong as it smells, but it still has a good amount of flavor on this green rooibos base. The passionfruit takes the main stage with banana in a supporting role. There is a little bit of tang in the sip which rounds out the passionfruit well. There is only mild rooibos mouth drying feeling here, which I appreciate. The finish is a little dull which leaves me wanting another sip. I like this one and I’d drink it again. Probably wouldn’t add it to my cupboard.
This tea is from the February ‘23 subscription. My feelings about this subscription are starting to be colored by having not gotten the January teas. Customer service didn’t help me with looking up if it had been sent or not, just referred me to tracking notification emails I never got. It makes me wonder if customer service has been farmed out to a third party who doesn’t have access to account info, just generic canned answers.
Anyways… it looks like this months teas are based off a chocolatier’s creations. The tea smelled lightly of caramel and strongly of sugary cereal, the kind that coats the roof of your mouth with a waxy substance. I’m glad to see it’s a green rooibos base. These subscriptions seem to be heavy on the rooibos. There is a light oil sheen on the surface of my tea. There wasn’t much there on the first sip. It was mostly in the finish that I got any caramel corn cereal hints. Sipping further gives me hints of banana, something I’ve never associated with corn before! The flavors are light and puzzling, but I feel like the whole thing is well balanced for being light and puzzling. It is very corn cereal like, which is strange for a tea. If I start sipping with more frequency there is almost a soapy taste to this cup on the sides of my tongue. I’m still unsure how to feel about this cup, but this is for sure a tea I would not order.
I tried this hot and was not a fan. I don’t recall why, but I thought it would be good cold steeped so I dumped the entire bag into a mason jar and stuck it in the fridge for a few days. This mix is really frustrating because the pineapple bits are huge and light, so they rise to the top of the bag and all the other ingredients fall to the bottom. It was hard to get my spoon past the pineapple and get an even mix of ingredients, so I think the dump it all in the mason jar was really the right way to go.
It’s has a very bright and cheery taste. The sip is juicy, fruity and tangy. Pineapple is woven with the lemongrass. As those flavors fade, the cinnamon pops out. I wasn’t getting cinnamon in the hot cup at all. I didn’t think I really liked it at first, but the more I sip the more I appreciate this. I’m not sure if it’s something I’d buy again, but it is something I’m enjoying. My only regret is not saving it for warmer months when I want something cool and refreshing to enjoy.
I’m surprised I only ever wrote one tasting note for this. My first note doesn’t reflect on how fond I grew of this tea. It has such a good mix of smoke and depth with citrusy notes. I had a tragic sipdown with it today. There was a good amount of dust in this oversized last serving and I decided to dump it all in making a strong and overpowering bitter cup. This tea doesn’t take well to over leafing which is exactly what I did. I’m going to be hopeful and say that I’ll be in Paris again someday and when I do I’d like to restock this. You know… when I get through a few more of the currently 32 Theodor teas I have and can justify tea shopping there again.
I reordered this tea a while back. It didn’t taste very good at first. I’ve found that some fresh teas need time to sit and age for the flavors to develop and was hoping that would be the case for this one. It sat for several months (eight to be exact) and it’s never developed into the tea I recall loving. It’s not terrible, but the sip is tart in a very distracting way. Did they over orange it? is it a different base? Something is different. I’ll have to add cream and see if that improves the situation for the rest of the 4oz bag.
Just picked up my last tea order of 2022. Almost feels like cheating to get new tea in a new year that doesn’t go on my totals for the year!
I’m not a huge fan of oolongs, but this sounded interesting. It smells very anisey and that is the dominating flavor in this cup. The coriander comes out in the finish a little where it turns a little more savory. The oolong seems to blend well with the anise, to the point that it’s hard for me to separate the two in my mind. This is very well balanced while being complex and is interesting, but it’s not jumping out at me right now either. I’m hoping this one grows on me.
Ran across this tea shop near where I was staying in Lisbon. I was so excited to find a Portuguese tea company and rushed when I stopped by that I didn’t even look at the logo on their sign out front. When searching for a company website I found the Yelp page that pointed out how racist the sign is with old unflattering caricatures of Chinese and African men. Suddenly something that didn’t even register when I had my tea goggles on came into clear focus. I have regrets.
The tea shop it’s self was pretty inside. The woman who worked there looked like she wanted to be anywhere else. They didn’t have a large selection of tea (maybe 8 blends), but I chose one green and one black tea that sounded and smelled interesting. They were 15 euros each, which is a lot for a moderate amount of tea packaged in a plastic pouch that doens’t lock in flavor and is then stuffed into an oversized cardboard tube packaging. I had to ditch the tubes in Portugal to fit them in my luggage.
Dry, this tea has a very rich red berry scent. Very heavy, like chocolate covered berries, but without the chocolate, just the depth. Once steeped I took a few sips and was really disappointed. It seemed weakly flavored compared to the scent and had this almost tart hibby like tang at the end of the sip. I kept sipping, mostly because I’m stubborn and it paid off! The flavor starts to build the further I get into this cup. The sip is way more perfume like and there is a flash of something alkaline, but the finish is really nice. The deep berry flavor comes out again and lingers. I don’t know that I would pick this out as Port flavored (which was the description that attracted me) as Port has a much more raisiny profile IMO, but that depth of rich fruit is there.
Would I buy this again? No. Not at all. It’s weird that the company has no online presence for their only eight teas, making me think it’s a front for something else. Also… racism doesn’t taste good in tea, or anywhere else for that matter. I feel like there are way more interesting teas flavored with rich berries that taste better when sipping and are a fraction of the price. My beloved French teas aren’t usually this expensive and if they were as expensive they would taste phenomenal or have something very unique and special about them. This feels like a store trying to be really fancy with mediocre products.