142 Tasting Notes
I followed the suggested steeping parameters exactly, and my first two steepings were unremarkable. Starting with the third, this tea developed an enchanting sweetness that has only grown stronger here on my sixth steep. I absolutely agree with other reviewers about the notes of cream and almond. I will have to give this a try western style as well, since I generally prefer stronger flavors, but I am really enjoying this one.
I don’t know what it is about black teas. They make me feel all sorts of panicky and stressed, with or without too much caffeine. Really weird. Anyway, having given in to a black tea earlier today, I’m now under the impression I can counteract it with herbals. Why not. So I started with Capital’s Calming Tea. Halfway through the cup, I don’t feel any less agitated (because that would make it Miracle Tea), but it certainly is a nice, soothing cup. I had bought this as a possible chamomile-category competitor with American Tea Room’s [That’s an edit: I had thought Zzz was from Capital too.] Zzz Tea. The flavor doesn’t blow me away like the Zzz does (that verveine goodness just really knocks me out), but taking away that top note does leave it more purely calming. I would say it’s an easy win for the Zzz, but this is really hitting the spot after too much black tea.
So funny how we all taste so differently. Where others found the jasmine overwhelming (in both good and bad ways), I find this a pleasantly delicate jasmine, and I certainly do taste a vegetal green underneath. This is actually one of the categories where I’m still looking for my go-to tea, and this one would be a candidate. I usually look for something more assertive, but this just blends and balances so sweetly that I may have to keep it around.
With scents of warm, comforting toasted kasha and a bright, woody flavor, I’m really enjoying this tea. It’s more astringent than some of my other favorites, and that seems to really work with its bright, lemon note. Unfortunately, this is the sort of tea that can dull my tastebuds for a couple of days, so I’ll have to lay off of it for a while.
A fun free sample from Capital, and surprisingly delicious. It’s part of their kids’ tea collection and supposed to taste like Jolly Ranchers (which is an overstatement). I would never in a million years have picked this up, but….I might just buy it now. I can’t decide just from tasting it whether it has any sweetener in it, but I suspect it doesn’t. It’s probably just slightly sweet from the fruit. It has a deep, real strawberry taste, and I can imagine this would be incredibly refreshing over ice too. I might just have to investigate their other kids’ teas!
Being pretty new to matcha, I ordered this (their middle-of-the-road version) and the ‘supreme’ version of it from O-Cha. I drank only the supreme until it was gone. I figured if I don’t know much about matcha, I’ll calibrate my tastebuds to what they consider their top category, then try out others to see if they’re missing anything. Oh, and this is. After spoiling myself with the delicately bittersweet deliciousness of the supreme, this was comparatively harsh, and missing the sweetness, leaving only the bitter. Maybe it’s one of those things where once I become a matcha junkie I don’t much care (you know, the way people who need their coffee will drink – and enjoy – Starbucks, but everyone else is better off with something more delicate), but for now, I’m going to go ahead with a monthly subscription to the supreme. Okay, the Starbucks comparison isn’t quite fair. I could still imagine myself drinking this one every day, but now I’m spoiled. If you’re only getting one, go for the supreme.
I tend to make large pots of this one. I don’t get much vanilla here, but there is a very nice balance between all the flavors that keeps me drinking it all day long, and it’s reasonably priced enough to do that. The flavors are not particularly strong either, so I would actually never mention this for someone looking for a real earl grey flavor. It’s more like a basic white tea with just a little extra, unidentifiable something.
What a strange beast. My little brain puts its oolongs into fairly neat categories of ‘roasty’, ‘green and floral’, and ‘milk’ (its own thing, apparently), but this tea is none of those. On first sip, I thought it would land – lightly – in the roasty category. But as it cools…no. It’s surprisingly delicate, but then leaves with a touch of sweetness. It’s like trying to taste honeysuckle sap from the flower when you can almost get it. I don’t know if I’ll repurchase given the steep price, but it’s not off the table.
This is the best balance of bergamot and green tea flavor I’ve found, and the tea is quite tasty. If only I liked the bergamot better. There’s something odd about it – it tastes like it was cut in half. I mean with part of the flavor just missing, not like it’s weak. My favorite Earl Green yet, but it’s not a terribly successful category for me to start with, which makes me sad. There is so much potential here.