243 Tasting Notes
Backlogging from Saturday.
I will start by saying, I have no idea what a “mangosteen” is, so I do not truly know how this tea should taste. I am going to research and try and get a mangosteen so I can give this a proper rating. The dried leaves (I bought this loose from Stash’s website) smell fantastic. They are sweet and green, there are pieces of flower petals and lemon grass, there is an aromatic, fruity, fragrance with hints of matcha and citrus.
That being said, the tea tastes exactly how it smells: incredibly aromatic, very fruity, a hint of matcha and citrus, and it is SWEET. This was brewed hot, with no additives. The overwhelming fruit flavor is pear, it is almost starchy and heavy on the palate, almost too much to bear, almost.
I think this will probably do better, by better I mean be less sweet and thick, with a shorter brew time and maybe less leaves. If you like syrupy sweetness in your tea, then brew exactly as directed, that is what you will get. In the meantime, I will play with steeping variations and hopefully get my hands on a mangosteen so I can try and find it in there.
Highly recommended if you enjoy sweet fruit without any sugar added. Enjoy!
Backlogging from Saturday.
So filtering through my green tea experiences, I compare everything to Dragonwell, because as I have mentioned a few times: I LOVE DRAGONWELL. This is especially true when it is done well, and even overbrewed to get all the extra green and vegetal possible out of it. :)
This unfortunately, was not a good Dragonwell. Brewed according to instructions, hot, three minutes, no additives, the only adjective I can think of for it is “weak”.
The fragrance of the dried leaves is muted, almost bland, but this could be to exposure to light or air and can be rectified in a few ways: crushing to retrieve trapped tea flavor or overbrewing to release what is lost. These ghastly methods can also cause bitter/sour tea, and since this is not my sample, I will not destroy the leaves to fix it.
The liquor of the tea is pale green, transparent, almost as if there is nothing at all in there, almost as if it is hot water. This was fine. The aroma of the brewed tea is also weak, a faint hint of green. Finally, the flavor: it can be best described as non-existent. The hot water tastes mostly of hot water and really no dragonwell at all.
As I said, I believe this can be fixed in a few ways: more leaves, longer brewing time, or destroying leaves to release flavor. Unfortunately, I have not tried any such method with this sample because as I said it was not my sample. I did not want to force a possibly bitter Dragonwell on anyone else, but honestly, a bitter Dragonwell would have been better than no Dragonwell at all.
Backlogging from Saturday.
Teavana is such an entrancing place, I go in for something simple like a matcha bowl, and leave with piles tea and accessories I had no intention of buying. In the store, the pearls smelled sweet and fragrant; almost fruity. This would lead to the assumption that you would get a fruity white tea. My companion was intrigued. I was not. I know what happens when you assume, so I avoid assuming anything.
The brewed leaves and brewed tea both smelled earthy and raw, like a tea that was unfinished, unrefined, unfiltered and all together natural. Can we say pu-erh? However, determined to try the tea, it turned out to be not so bad, once you get past the smell. The finished tea, was very silver needle, very plain and white, nothing special at all. The only thing special was the smell.
Brewed hot, no additives.
So packed most of this out to send to Ricky, but saved enough for one last pot for myself. I remembered not liking this, but when I smelled the raw jumble of leaves, I could not resist one last pot.
I say “jumble” because the leaves are quite a mix. There are jasmine pearls, berries, flower/petal pieces and small splinters that look like roobios. The fragrance of the leaves is fantastic, it is sweet and fruity. I remembered bitter though when I drank it, so I decided to understeep it. I brewed hot, 1.5 minutes with no additives. The tea is much better than I remember, still a dark pink/pale red color, the fruit is not nearly as tart and the tea is almost peaking through at the back.
For this, I will raise my rating. Previously: 57.
Overall, much better this time around. Though I still think this is best blended (1 to 1) with the Youthberry tea. It just adds a natural layer of sweetness you cannot get from sugar.
Hello! So sorry I have not been around, the headache turned out to be the start of a 48 hour flu/virus/bug thing, I won’t get into details, but that had knocked me out of commission for a few days. I’m at about 99%, food is still an enemy, but I am definitely feeling better, and ready for tea!
I started with this one, because I wanted the caffeine. I wanted a smooth black tea blended with a full green tea to help me kick start my day and push the rest of whatever that was that ruined the last few days of my life out!
Brewed hot, three minutes, added one packet of splenda sweetener. I feel the splenda, being sweeter than the equivalent amount of sugar, helps this tea. This tea hits the common problem that if you brew it long enough to be a black you make the green extra bitter, but if you brew only quick enough to be a green, you get no black tea at all. This is why, I always go with three minutes, a nice median, and a little bit of sweetener to brighten the black and dull the bitterness of the green.
I finally made this today. I wanted to brew and evaluate the tea a few times before writing anything so that I could give it justice. Here goes:
The dried leaves smell chocolatey and spiced, but not too spiced, you are not getting hit in the face with chai spices here, it just smells spiced. Like all chais, the tea is a jumble of leaves and pieces of tea that are assorted and pretty. I used 1 scoop (it is the wooden bamboo spoon from teavana, I have no idea how much tea it holds, but it is my usual tea serving size) of dried tea and was able to get three solid infusions out of it.
The first infusion was hot with no additives, brewed three minutes. LOVED it! good level of spice here, not overpowering, it is not the only thing you are tasting, here you can actually taste some of the chocolate but then there is spice, and varied spices, I am picking up cardamom mostly, but there is a hint of pepper with it. The spices actually come in waves or layers, however you want to interpret it. There is an upfront spiced flavor (not spicy, spiced), then chocolatey flavor with a hint of almond, then pepper spice (which is more of a spicy spice).
The second infusion was hot with sugar added, brewed three minutes. Still loved it, was ecstatic to get a second steep out of the same leaves. The spice seemed a little stronger here, so immediately after brewing (based on aroma) I added some rock sugar. Definitely did not hurt the batch at all. Still a good level of spice and the cocoa/almond flavors are a little more prevalent.
The third infusion was hot with a tiny amount of the sugar upfront into the brew basket. I do not think this changed anything, I feel the level of spice was about the same as the last two brews. The cocoa and almonds were not hurt and the pepper and cardamom were still well balanced. The reason I mention this one is because I got distracted (by shiny things) and forgot about my cup of tea, I left it about an hour. It is cold now, but still delicious and this has never happened to me before! Normally, I cannot handle a chai that is cold, the spice becomes overwhelming and I can no longer drink it. This is NOT the case here, it is still delicious. The spices are still there, they are upfront, then comes the chocolatey flavor and the hint of almond, then as you swallow, BAM! pepper! Fantastic!
I will keep brewing this, in varied methods, Cofftea has given me a ton of ideas about how to keep drinking this, thank you :)
Inspired(!) by Ricky, I went and brewed up a pot of this. I can definitely SMELL apple pie in the unsteeped leaves, they have the familiar black tea base and then what smells like cinnamon and vanilla to represent the “a la mode” and a faint odor of apples and sweetness which is probably the hint of brown sugar. This smells fantastic; both before steeping and as a brewed tea.
The brewing (hot with no additives) tastes like black tea with a hint, just ever so slightly, of apple. The predominant flavors are the cinnamon and vanilla with a sweetness from the brown sugar. All of the flavors are there, albeit very little in the case of the apple, they just need to be married a little differently.
I feel that a shorter brew time (to cut the amount of time to brew the black tea) and adding a little sweetener and milk will help bring this together to make apple pie a la mode.
Will try and repost!
When I read through the TeaFrog listing, I had to have this tea. I don’t really know why, but a pan fried green tea translating to “precious eyebrows” seemed intriguing. Overall, the tea is delicious. I used a little more for my standard pot than I normally would. I brewed for two minutes, hot with no additives.
The dried leaves are small, dark and curly, this is from the pan frying. The brewed tea has all of the attributes of typical green with a bonus. The aroma is vegetal with a little toast to it, the liquor is a pale brown color, the taste is similar to Dragonwell, it is definitely vegetal, but it is smooth and not bitter, I have the feeling if oversteeped it would get bitter, but right now it is not. Finally, the tea finishes with a sweet aftertaste. Absolutely fantastic.
Well as a blizzard slams NJ, I took off of work, I did not want to drive in these conditions, end of story. Anyway, since it is breakfast time and I can have a full breakfast on my day off, I will have some Breakfast Tea. I chose this one because it was on top.
The leaves are small and black and give a distinctly black tea smell. Ceylon. They do not smell unique or intriguing, just like black tea. I’m fine with this. Brewed 4 minutes hot, with no additives. As I have said, I traditionally take breakfast tea with milk and sweetener, but I chose to try this on it’s own first.
The initial aroma of the brewed tea is what I expected, it is black tea: with the subtle earthy aroma with a hint of natural sweetness, maybe honey. Smells wonderful. The flavor however, goes so much further beyond the smell, it is earthy and rich, it is smooth and sweet without any sweetener, there is a full-bodied flavor going on here without any effort at all.
This tastes like the ideal you hope to get out of every black tea they serve you at a restaurant; it’s like an older, now-stale bag, you know what you want to taste, and what you want to taste is rich, smooth, full-bodied range of pick-me-up and start-my-day tea. This is EXACTLY what you are getting from this French Breakfast tea, hearty yet delicious black tea. I am so glad I added nothing to this, I may have to go back and try all of the other breakfast teas I adulterated by adding milk and sweetener.
Also, as a note, expect a full array of ratings today, the day is young, and I have no where to be. Until then!
Major headache, trying this to ease the pain, not really cutting it right now. Not that I thought this would make the headache go away, I didn’t, I just thought it would help to relax me, instead, I think I just need to go to sleep early…Sorry for the complaining.
Tea: Very dark today, perhaps oversteeped, definitely taste rooibos and strawberries, the cream is mostly lost, but it just adds a different flavor to the strawberries, not creamy per se, but varied.