136 Tasting Notes
Backlogging: Been away from most of my other teas last week, resorted to buying some new bagged teas. This one impressed me the least. The black tea seemed to be buried under the flavorings, which while they were ok… I wished I had some Upton Creme Caramel, where the tea is an equal player. Weak overall, not bad…just lacking.
Disclaimer: Really out of my element on this testing. Having nothing to really judge it against, will just record impressions and opinion (but take it for what it’s worth right now). This is a white tea (unusual for me) and I’m testing it without additions (eeeek, lol).
The brewed tea aroma is floral (can’t place which) and vegetal…mostly vegetal (like a pot of fresh green beans boiling on stove).
First sip impression: eh, going to take a few more sips to adjust to “no sweetener” added. Sip sip sip … this does taste like a vegetable broth of some sort (not green beans). There’s a slight bitterness to it (slight, slight). Not really liking the aftertaste, even though the tea itself is quite drinkable “plain”. While it’s still warm, going to run and add a little honey (wimping out, I know)…. Added a tsp. of honey, and it justs seems to get more vegetable-like. Since I’m not one to drink vegetable broth, this isn’t for me. Not going to give it a number rating (wouldn’t be fair). It’s probably quite good for what it is … not a weakling by any means.
When I placed my last Upton order, a sample of this went into my cart. But wait! It’s almost sold out (so I bit the bullet and added a tin to cart). Did I make a mistake? Hmmm, that’s on my mind as I test this tonight.
Sniffing the tin, it does indeed smell like those chocolate/orange cream candies that are popular around Christmas-time (name escapes me). After steeping, I did a little testing because I suspected this would need sweetened, and it did (added 2 tsp. raw sugar to 15 oz.). This black tea used is STRONG and a bit too strong for me. I’m not getting much chocolate (or orange for that matter). Tasting like coffee (eeeeeek) to me. Added 1 T. (or so) of Coffeemate “Natural Bliss” Sweet Cream. Sip. Sip. Sip. Mmmmmmmmm. NOW this is great. I’m getting that chocolate-covered orange cream candy impression. The tea itself has mellowed, and it is as described. I must have missed that this had flowers when ordering (brain focused on the chocolate part…go figure), but I’m not getting any hint of flowery’ness in this. I wished I had bought a whole tin of Creme Caramel yesterday, but am not regretting the “risk” of getting a whole tin of this one. Yum (and perfect for a cold snowy night…brrrrr).
This is the first caramel tea that I’ve tried and I am happy with this one. It brews up nice and dark/rich with a bit of a burnt caramel aroma. This black tea is very strong and present, but not bitter in any way. This is as close to coffee-like that I’d want to be. The caramel is very strong as well, and I think it’s the tea base that is giving it a slight burnt impression. Added 1 tsp. raw sugar and 1 tbs. of Coffeemate “Natural Bliss” Sweet Cream to sweeten it up some, and it is really strong and flavorful.
Knowing that I love Upton’s Earl Grey Cream Vanilla, I wanted to test some of their other Earl Grey choices and ordered 3 more to try (including this one). I picked this one first, because the bergamot aroma from the dry leaves was not overpowering (just right).
Being somewhat new to tea, and to Earl Greys, I’m not an expert by any means, but this tea is very enjoyable to my tastebuds. I’m not getting any bitterness from the tea and the orangey flavor is noticeable, but not over the top. What more to say? Added about a T. of honey to 15 oz. and thinking it wouldn’t have needed that much sweetener (which is a good sign, yes?).
Note that Upton has switched from using spearmint in this tea to peppermint. When I ordered it, it said spearmint. When it arrived, it said peppermint. Looking at the reviews on their site, many mention spearmint (so I’m not crazy, lol).
The aroma of the dry tea is of peppermint (uh huh, sneaky Upton). I prefer spearmint, but since falling in love with Adagio’s Casablanca Twist, peppermint is ok too.
I added 2 tsps. of raw sugar to this and it is very sweet (note to self: use less next time). I can taste the tea and it is very mild and good. The peppermint is mild in this, and in comparison to Casablanca Twist, it is sort of a “Casablanca Twist” light (more green, less peppermint). But I like this a lot. Mint is a category that I’m going to favor over others, so take that into consideration … but will probably add this to my next order to have around. Mild, calming, nice tea.
Waking up this morning to snow reminded me that this is still winter. This is one of only a few Upton samples left to sample, so good as time as any.
The dry aroma threw me at first. I can smell the spices, but I think the (unnamed “citrus” threw me). Potpourri? Maybe. After brewing, the tea became less fragrant.
Black tea, citrus peels, rose petals, chopped almonds, cloves, vanilla bits, cardamom, artificial flavor:
The black tea base is not obvious nor bitter (yay). The cloves and cardamom are well behaved and not overpowering. I can taste the almonds in the background, along with the vanilla … which makes this a very calming blend for my tastes. This is no where near being a “chai” (which cloves/cardamom conjur up). Having added a tbs. of honey, this is very sweet… might get by with less (almost too sweet). I do sense the rose in the aftertaste, which is ok (not something I’d seek out). Overall I’m really liking this tea (fears an Upton order in my future, since this is seasonal). Very mild yet flavorful.
I bought this from their latest sale, because I love Chai/Chai blend, which is this plus White Ayurvedic Chai (in what proportion, one can only wonder). I have the WAC and thought it was weak on it’s own, so if I don’t like this on it’s own either, I could always blend them.
The aroma of the brewed tea is of cinnamon and other spices blending in. First sip is cinnamon and a fruity tone. Yep, I’m getting the pineapple mostly but the other flavors are melding in. Since I like pineapple (mmmmm, pineapple upside down cake) and cinnamon, I’m finding this very good. Little too much ginger for my (sensitive) tastes, but that isn’t a fair criticism imo. Overall it is sweet (added tbs. of honey, but think it would be sweet anyway). Aftertaste is back to the pineapple and cinnamon. Haven’t tasted (green) mate on it’s own, so not sure how it’s playing in here, but not noticing much beyond the fruit and spices.
Will see if this perks me up tonight (groggy)… tgif!
Had this when I woke up, with a T. of honey and a T. of the new Coffeemate “Natural Bliss” Vanilla (which is very good btw, but has a wee bit more sugar than I’m comfortable with…will use sparingly). This is becoming a morning routine, as I love Earl Grey Creme Vanilla.
On a side note: I have allergies, bordering on being ashtmatic at times. One of the reasons for switching from Coke to tea is to be able to incorporate honey into my daily routine (and for calorie reduction overall). It really was helping me avoid medications. This morning was validation for this practice. When I woke up, it was one of those mornings with breathing difficulties (out of breath walking anywhere). Thinking I was doing something wrong (by reading comments here about honey), for the past few days I’ve been trying to switch away from honey to raw sugar, or no sweetener. I have to remember why I’m using it, because after 2 cups of this tea with honey, I’m breathing MUCH better. So there! A tea purist I will probably never be, but time will tell.
I hate being repetitive (just tested Jade Oolong and Jasmine Silver Needle by Adagio, and found them not to my liking), so I will just say that I am learning that floral scented teas are not my thing. This is a cross between the 2 others tested tonight (falls in the middle of likeability).
These 3 failures to my tastebuds is causing them to scream out for a mint testing : )