921 Tasting Notes
The first thing you notice is….there are sprinkles in my tea leaves!! I do not care how bad of a mood you are in, if you see sprinkles it is a smile inducer. Unless those sprinkles are casually replacing sesame seeds on your hamburger’s bun, then that might be annoying. The description of the tea’s ingredients list a blend of Vanilla, Cream, and Caramel teas, have tried two of those three and really enjoyed them I was excited. These teas use a base of Ceylon and blend with natural flavorings and usually I really like their blends, sadly there have been one or two that did not make me go WOW! but most of them are delicious.
The aroma of the dry leaves is strong, it doesn’t really smell like birthday. With a lot of Adagio’s flavored teas, you really cannot judge them from the leaf aroma (which I do find really frustrating) because it is usually really strong. This tea smells like you open up a bottle of vanilla extract and snort it. I do not smell any of the caramel or cream…or sprinkles, but they don’t really have a smell.
The aroma of the brewed tea though is YUM!! It smells so much like a freshly baked, butter-cream frosted, cupcake that I legitimately wondered ‘is this tea a portal to an alternate reality cupcake?’ I really think in a blindfolded test I would have thought that this tea was a cupcake. Which, I want to point out, is really convenient since I have been hard core craving some cake lately.
The taste reminded me of a tea soaked cake. The flavors are predominantly cream and vanilla with notes of caramelized sugar (not actual caramel candy, which is good since I am not a huge fan) as the initial sweetness fades you get to taste the base tea which is rich and mellow, no bitterness like you get with lower quality Ceylon. Everything about this tea is sweet, it is a dessert tea through and through. I recommend a splash of cream and no sugar unless you really need a sugar fix. Definitely best for after a meal when you don’t want to eat any more but want something sweet or for breakfast.
This version of Chai takes a blend of Indian Black Teas and mixes it with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, Clove, Ginger, Gingerbread and Jamaican Rum Flavoring, and Nutmeg Oil. Yum! The aroma is very sweet, the bag smells mainly of the Nutmeg and Clove with just a hint of the Cinnamon.
The aroma of the brewed tea is also very sweet, but now you get to sample all the olfactory pleasures in this blend. The spices swirl together with just a hint of the Jamaican Rum to bring in the nostalgia of the holidays (especially if that nostalgia involves spiced cookies and clove pomanders.) Stash’s website describes the tea as exotic, but to me it is old fashioned nostalgic goodness! The winter holidays always meant spiced potpourris simmering on the stove, making clove pomanders and Victorian Kissing balls, and drinking spiced…well…everything.
The taste is fairly mild for all the spicy aroma, which is both good and bad. I want a stronger Chai when I drink it, but at the same time I don’t want to be overwhelmed by the Cinnamon and Clove because then I cannot taste the minutia of the tea itself. At first the tea is mellow, a nice Black blend with an idea of spiciness. Next is the slightly tingly and also slight sweetness of the Cloves and Cinnamon, then we have the burn of the Ginger as hits the back of your mouth, lastly finishing with the slight bitterness of the Nutmeg as an aftertaste. Nothing overpowers each other which means it is a spectacular blend, so why am I complaining about it not being strong enough? The base tea, it is there as an idea but not really a flavor, to me the mark of perfect Chai is an exquisite blend of spices in a rich base tea (preferably Assam, but I enjoy blends as well) I want to be able to taste both very clearly.
So honestly me being picky is my only complaint. This tea is delightful and I am excited for the Holidays so I can get more of Stash’s teas, and especially the Chai. As with most Chai it is best with a bit of sugar and cream, though luckily this tea is already slightly sweet so it doesn’t need a ton of sugar in it.
I am extremely picky when it comes to blueberry flavored tea, I want it to taste like ripe, sweet, blueberries and not tart unpleasant fruit. So many teas make the tart mistake but not this one! The aroma when opening the package is blueberries all the way, an added plus when you actually see blueberries in the leaves. The flavor after brewing tastes just like blueberries fresh picked from a summer field…warm and sweet! Toss in a little sugar and cream and it is like a blueberry muffin of happiness.
So many spices and appley goodness! It is like a perfect Apple cider with a Masala style zing. It is perfect for a cold morning. The aroma or both the leaves and the liquid is like autumn, all apples and warm spices. My only complaint is that the apple cider taste seems to drown out the tea making it more like drinking cider than tea. Delicious but not so much a tea experience as an apple one.
I really wanted to like this tea, but something just didn’t work for me. I think it was because the pear aroma and flavor tasted more like a candy or artificial flavoring than pear, and considering pear is my favorite fruit I might be just really picky. The actual tea flavor was oddly dirty and unlike any white I have ever had.
The first thing you notice is the almost overwhelming aroma of cherries when you open the bag, not bad but very strong. After a brew you still get the aroma and a delicate taste of cherries and a mild green tea. A very smooth tea evoking spring time. I found this tea was best straight with no sugar or cream since it is subtly sweet on its own. It is also good iced during the summer.
This was the first Genmai Cha that I ever had years ago, so it has a real nostalgia value even though I have had better it is still a favorite. The aroma is really mild and slightly nutty and you get more rice than tea. The tea is also really mild but the longer you steep the tea the more the flavor bursts out, luckily this tea lacks the really distinct bitter taste that some greens have.
Either I have outstanding luck to find it for a really good price (a decent sized box for $2-3) or it actually is that inexpensive. Good for someone who drinks a lot of Genmai Cha
Full review with photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2013/09/hime-brand-genmai-cha-tea-review.html
So, I might have bitten off more than I can chew with this Biochemistry class that I am taking. It turns out that jumping into a class that covers materials that have not been fresh in my mind in at least a decade (really, I can’t believe it has been ten years since I graduated High School, so weird!) might have been a bit silly. I am having to learn in reverse, not that I mind of course, but I really should have taken a refresher course first.
Today’s tea is Cardamon Pu-erh from Numi Organic Tea, a blend of Pu-erh and Green Cardamon nicely secured in a teabag. I might prefer loose leaf tea, but I am not too snobbish to admit that I still enjoy a bag of tea ever so often, provided it is good, but that same stipulation applies to loose leaf too! I know there is a big ‘war’ among tea drinkers as to which is superior (bag or leaf), but in my book whichever makes you happy is the best, so if anyone judges you for enjoying a teabag or tea with lots of sugar and cream, you have my permission to tell them they are lame. Ok, enough soap-boxing, onto smells! The aroma of this teabag is mostly spicy cardamon, there is a slight earthy undertone, but for the most part we have lots of cardamon. Which is good if you are a big fan of cardamon, because it is not a subtle spice.
Phew, that is a strong little teabag, the aroma of cardamon has filled up my room. There is also a very rich, earthy aroma coming from the cup that blends really well with the cardamon’s spice. There are also some notes of loam and a ‘market’ smell that is distinctly Pu-erh. I call it a market smell because it reminds me of all the various smells of an Asian market, but with an earthier tone.
Tasting this tea reminds me more of a strong Black tea rather than a Pu-erh, it is very bright and a touch astringent. After the initial tea kick the cardamon decides to dance right onto my tongue, this adds an exotic richness and slight sweetness. The aftertaste is just a touch nutty. Adding a bit of cream and sugar to this tea takes away any astringency and makes it similar to a chai (a bit of a one-note chai, but still) with a much earthier flair.
Flavors: Cardamon, Earth