Silk Road

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Recent Tasting Notes

86

I have not been on here in quite some time, but thought I’d put up a quick review for this one, seeing as I have had a lot of it lately as I have had a chest infection. It’s pretty much the only tea that I’ve been having for the past few weeks, though I have begun branching back out a bit more now that I am recovering.

I first had this tea when I was at my friends’ restaurant for Christmas dinner (it’s closed to the public Christmas Day and only friends, family, and staff are there). I received Alchemist Brew as a white elephant exchange present, but as it has hibiscus, and I am sensitive to it, they let me pick up a different one with a discount as I couldn’t exchange, even though it was fully sealed. Whatever. I opted for this one, in one of the larger tins, and I am glad I got so much.

While I am not a huge fan of rooibos tea, I can handle it here because it’s muted by the ginger, lemongrass, and green tea. Ultimately, this is a lemony ginger tea, but I really enjoy the way it is blended. I was able to get a second and sometimes third steep from it.

It’s not a remarkable tea in terms of flavour and combination, but it is done well and does the job well when you are not feeling well. I am halfway through the tin and I expect to refill it when I’m done.

Flavors: Ginger, Lemon

tea-sipper

Feel better soon!

Plunkybug

Thanks. I am still not 100% as I’m still dealing with sinus issues but the coughing and chest infection is over.

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78
drank Royal Abkhazi by Silk Road
39 tasting notes

A black tea with a very subtle vanilla to it (like vanilla bean), and something else. A bit of citrus? But much subtler than the vanilla. It’s a smooth black tea, and not overly flavoured. I’d describe it as elegant.

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65
drank Mountain Rain by Silk Road
8304 tasting notes

Drinking this Grandpa style currently, but I’m about ready to be done with it.

The smell of this one was quite nice out of the package; green but also very floral and sweet. Now that I’m drinking it, though, I think it’s leaning much more heavy towards those greener, grassier notes with the florals taking a bit more of a backseat. It’s a little astringent, and there’s something sharp and harsh about the finish to me. It’s not bad, but I remember heavily debating adding this into my last Silk Road order and ultimately I’m happy that I chose not to – I definitely wasn’t missing out on anything remarkable.

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80

Another lemony blend. This time though there is a bit of ginger playing in the background. It makes for a great after supper tea because of that.

Flavors: Ginger, Lemon

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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86
drank Philosopher's Brew by Silk Road
759 tasting notes

I really like this tea. I can definitely taste lemon but that’s okay with me! It was sent from a friend of mine as a gift. Lemon is definitely the dominant taste, so if you don’t like lemon avoid this. If you love lemon, this is right up your alley.

Flavors: Lemon

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Vanilla Plantation by Silk Road
2747 tasting notes

I’m enjoying this cup brewed strong with a splash of unsweetened vanilla Ripple (plant-based) milk. Vanilla ripple tastes like a milkshake, so together with a tea called “Vanilla Plantation” you can imagine how great this is.

Thick, sweet, lots of vanilla and creaminess. Some malt from the black tea base but also a touch of spiciness. A bit of tannicity in the base.

Flavors: Creamy, Malt, Sweet, Tannic, Thick, Vanilla

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80
drank Vanilla Plantation by Silk Road
2747 tasting notes

I got a little mini tin for Christmas from a friend and really wanted to try it.

This makes for a lovely latte. Malty, sweet, vanilla scented black tea with a nice thick mouthfeel. It is really good with milk because that brings out the sweetness and creaminess of the vanilla. I happen to have some vanilla soy milk in the fridge right now and have to recommend that combination.

Flavors: Malt, Sweet, Thick, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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drank Imperial Earl Grey by Silk Road
15 tasting notes

Silk Earl Grey
The smell of the leaves was strong. When brewed the smell carried over. The tea is not bad but it is really strong. My best guess would say that it smells like pinesol.

Flavors: Pine

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72
drank Jasmine Oasis by Silk Road
932 tasting notes

Sipdown!

I’m going to leave this at about 70 because the tea base’s conception of vegetal isn’t entirely working for me. It more often than not turns into a dark bitter green (kale, collards, asparagus, bancha), as opposed to a nutty, mineral, or sweet grassy green which I tend to lean towards. The jasmine is pretty mild and lovely though.

Flavors: Asparagus, Floral, Grass, Jasmine, Kale, Vegetal

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72
drank Jasmine Oasis by Silk Road
932 tasting notes

Dropped by Silk Road on a ridiculously short cruise ship pit stop in Victoria, BC. I wasn’t planning on buying tea but once I started walking up Government Street my feet just led me to that Fisgard Intersection on autopilot. And then there I was.

When I used to go to school here a few years ago I’d blow all my money in this store; it’s not that their teas are amazingballs but the shop has this Atmosphere, you know? The kind that makes you feel relaxed, clean, and ready to empty your wallet on jasmine teas you don’t need.

The use of Dai Bai (green) leaf means this tea is incredibly light and subtle, and probably not the best tea to try after eating a Donair. I’m having a hard time picking up notes besides the lovely jasmine, which isn’t sickeningly strong to begin with like in some jasmine blends. I want to say the tea base has a cucumber note? Possibly melon? Maybe some subtle notes of savoury-sweet pandan..

I’ll have to revisit it when my mouth isn’t a big garlic hummus bulb!

Flavors: Cucumber, Floral, Jasmine, Sweet, warm grass

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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80
drank Chocolate Panda by Silk Road
932 tasting notes

I’ve had this a few times over the years, and remember when Silk Road first started selling but apparently I never made a tea note? Huh. This is what happens when you only drink your tisanes and rooibos right before bed!

I generally don’t like cocoa or chocolate in my teas; I find it adds a powdery/chalky texture that I associate with stale candy bars. While that vibe doesn’t go away here I find the mint and anise clean it up a bit, preventing the Chocolate Panda from becoming the Muddy Trash Panda. The vanilla swings the mint into peppermint or chocolate mint territory.

I think when I first bought this years ago I thought it would be a creamy chocolate rooibos, but it’s more of a herbal palate cleanser, which isn’t a bad thing! I’m appreciating it more this time around.

Flavors: Anise, Chocolate, Peppermint, Vanilla

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75
drank Royal BC Museum Tea by Silk Road
2747 tasting notes

The black base is kind of “meh”, but I like the idea of this tea. It has all sorts of neat local native berreis in it: salal, salmon berry, black raspberry, thimbleberry, blueberry, and cranberry. I was expecting this to be sour because I could see quite a few cranberry pieces, but I didn’t find it sour upon brewing. Overall, I really enjoyed the cup I have had, however it does not go with milk (that was a mistake…berry + milk just tastes like fake strawberry milk to me)

Flavors: Berry, Blueberry, Fruity, Raspberry

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88

Iced Tea Sipdown (629)!

Unfortunately, this wasn’t really a shining example of how good this tea can taste. Instead of the usual sweet/ripe mixed berry profile this one tasted slightly bitter and was also very astringent; combine that with the fact that the cranberry was the strongest berry flavour and that equals a pretty dry/tart and mildly unpleasant cranberry black tea.

Noooppppeeee…

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88

Made this earlier in the evening; I added in some French Vanilla creamer to it and it made for a very thick, creamy berries and cream type of flavour. Notes of blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry. Really robust. It basically tastes like an entirely different tea; it’s amazing how much difference one extra ingredient can make to a blend.

Plunkybug

They’re just down the road from me and I have never had this one before. I’m not sure why, right now. I may have to go and look at some. Especially since the Royal BC Museum is 2 blocks away from me and I see it from my balcony. Thanks for bringing interest to me to look at this again.

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88

Early evening tea.

Hmm, not enjoying this one nearly as much as I did the first time I tried it. It’s still a nice mixed berry soft or flavour all around, with some emphasis on the blueberry and cranberry. Actually, maybe more so on the cranberry? There’s a bit of crisp tartness on the top of the sip that I don’t think I experienced last time. The big change that isn’t working for me isn’t the cranberry though; it’s that overall the cup has quite a bit more astringency and I don’t like that it’s not as sweet and smooth. A little bit of astringency I can handle, especially with things with cranberry in them, but this is just taking over my mouth and it’s not the best sensation.

I mean, it’s still a very nice tea overall but if my next cup leans more towards this experience than the first I think I’ll have to bring my rating down and blame the first cup either on ‘new tea excitement’ or just call it a fluke overall.

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88

Got a late start to my tea drinking today, but at least I kicked it off with this really pleasant cup of black tea! I think this is the last tea I needed to try from my Silk Road order aside from the straight Dragonwell I got – but I’m not opening the package of that one for a while, likely…

I’ll be honest, I don’t have a TON of familiarity with many of the berries in this blend such as the Salal berry, for example. I am really enjoying it though and I think it’s a very nice, full bodied mixed berry flavour overall. I taste blueberry/raspberry more than anything else but perhaps that’s because those are just the two berries in here that I have the most familiarity with? There’s also cranberry, apparently too – I’m not tasting that so much though.

Good sweetness; like jammy berries or even berry juices from overly ripe berries. This would make a lovely “tea syrup” – either for cocktails, or even just straight up syrup for waffles and such. I get some malt from the base, and floral notes – I like that it’s holding up very well to the many fruit notes. It’s not quite as good as the Black Currant black tea carried by Silk Road in my opinion, but I think I am enjoying it more than Berry Victoria which is another black berry tea from Silk Road.

Arby

Woah, I didn’t know they had a blend using Salal berries. They are a traditional food of the Aboriginals in the area and my family used to pick them when we made bumbleberry crisp (bumbleberry = various berries you find in the forest – wild raspberries, blackberries, salal, oregon grape, strawberries, salmon berries, thimble berries).

I hate berry Victoria because it always has a tart berry + very bitter black base combo when I’ve tried it brewed in store. I’m thinking maybe the Museum blend might be more my style, even just for the salal berry ingredient. I’ve always found salal berries give a weird oregon grape and soapy blackberry flavour but I kind of like it Salmon berries are bright, similar to red current and raspberry. Thimble berries are a lot of raspberry but way better IMO because they have a hint of stonefruit (peach?) in there.

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80
drank Vanilla Plantation by Silk Road
39 tasting notes

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61

Sipdown (405)!

#VacationTea

This one was a free sample in my Silk Road order; not really something I would have picked out for myself but since it was a single sachet sample I thought it would an easy sipdown to bring along with me for my vacation.

It’s easy enough to sip on; a straight forward lemon and ginger flavour. Maybe just a fraction more weighted towards the lemon than the ginger? A little bit of honey would be a really nice compliment. It’s smooth, and peaceful. Actually, it’s honestly a little too peaceful. I’m finding myself quite tired as I near the bottom of the mug. It may be time time switch to something caffeinated, though lightly so, after this…

Kind of a boring/forgettable flavour overall – but convenient for travel, and it was free so no complaints on my part.

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80
drank Hoji Cha by Silk Road
17 tasting notes

This green tea is very nutty. It tastes roasted without that bitter smokiness you often get from black teas. It was very cooling and calming. It smells chocolatey but does not taste sweet. The color is a light golden green. I would recommend for its richness and smoothness.

Flavors: Nutty, Roasted, Roasted Barley

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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39
drank Mango Lemonade by Silk Road
8304 tasting notes

Sipdown (522)!

Glad to clear this one out; this last cup was actually pretty smooth with some good juicy, and bright ripe mango notes but the lemongrass was still really intense and there was some dryness to the finish that made it an average, at best, cup overall. This was probably the most pleasant cup I experienced of it all in all as well, so if the best cup is still only average then it’s not something worth keeping around…

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39
drank Mango Lemonade by Silk Road
8304 tasting notes

With a hint of agave.

As a hot tea, I definitely liked this one better than I did iced. However, to be totally honest I don’t know how much of the improvement came from the prep style and how much was due to the added agave. It was still wicked full bodied and brisk, with a whole lot of malt. It also still had a ton of overall astringency, which was the most unpleasant part of the cup. However the big change was in the brightness and sweetness of the top notes: very much like an overripe/juicy mango with hints of the lemon in the top note undertones and throughout the body. I don’t know if those notes were made better/more pronounced from the agave, though…

It could be really good, if it just weren’t for that bloody astringency.

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39
drank Mango Lemonade by Silk Road
8304 tasting notes

Iced tea.

I thought that based on the name, this would be a great iced tea. The dry leaf smelled really promising; hints of lemon and fresh mango. In reality, I wasn’t very impressed with it. It was really brisk and full bodied, but also quite astringent and a little bit bitter. Also, none of the fruit notes tasted all that fresh or light despite what the dry leaf smelled like.

I mean, it was a whole lot of lemongrass. Like, tons of lemongrass. Lemongrass can be good in moderation but straight up? I’ve never been a fan of the flavour. It’s just too much, and it’s NOT the same as actual lemon. The mango? Didn’t really taste it at all, to be honest. So, it was a let down for sure.

I’ll totally revisit it, but probably as a hot tea. I hope it’s better that way, ’cause this pairing sounds so promising. I was so excited about it…

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76
drank Angelwater by Silk Road
8304 tasting notes

Sipdown (649)!

Super awesome cold brew; really rich and clear flavour and a very crisp/cooling finish that highlighted just how refreshing the whole brew was. Strongest flavour was spearmint by a landslide, and then strong but not perfumey or soapy body notes of lavender. Just a hint of the red clover in the finish, which was interesting to me because it’s not an ingredient in the blend that I’ve really noticed too heavily before now.

I don’t think I’d go out of my way to get this blend again, but I definitely enjoyed it while I had it around!

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76
drank Angelwater by Silk Road
8304 tasting notes

It’s raining really heavily right now, and I’m just curled up on the couch with a mug of tea listening to some new Indie music alongside the sound of the rain outdoors. I have the window open just a little bit so that I can smell the rain. The tea is sweet and smooth, and hot on my throat in all the right ways. It tastes heavily of spearmint, with lavender undertones.

I feel at peace.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDrx1rsdQkk

Rosehips

That sounds like a wonderful way to be.

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