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Recent Tasting Notes
Yesterday was hot af and personally I didn’t see the appeal of being outside. Since I was in the air conditioning, I was enjoying teas and getting in sipdowns. I had a mere 8 oz serving of this left from the sample Evol Ving Ness gave me, so I brewed it up. Thank you Evol for sharing!
Of course as soon as I brewed this, my sister decided it was pool time. So this tea cup ended up in one of our pool floaties. (Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CCPcxA9gOKi/) Not only was this a hot cup of tea outside on a hot day but of course it had to be a more winter-y spiced tea. It was not a great experience.
In addition to it just being wrong place at the wrong time to enjoy this, the tea itself wasn’t great. It was a muddled mix of spices and I can be quite picky. Nothing really shined here so it was mostly just dirty tasting. Still fun to try something new though.
I just received my first Tealyra order and I’m so excited to try so many new-to-me teas! I had a coupon from SipsBy, so I got 50grams of 11 teas and a glass carafe for $50 (with free shipping).
Anyway, onto the tea. This is my ideal black tea flavor profile, and one I will definitely want to keep on hand. It’s delicious hot/straight, but I can imagine it would be wonderful sweetened with a bit of milk or cream. So rich and sweet, and extremely easy to guzzle cups and cups.
Flavors: Malt, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes
I received this from Ost’s cupboard sale in summer 2018. I had about enough for a single cup so I brewed that up this morning. The tea is a lovely brown color and does have a nice fruity aroma.
The taste of the tea is slightly malty with some honeyed notes, but the lychee flavor fills out strongly in the brew. I really love the taste of lychee, I get strong notes of pear and rose. The fruitiness and florality leave a lot of sweetness in the brew and the tea is very smooth. I think I enjoy Art of Tea’s Lychee Peach a bit more, but the age of this sample might have something to do with that; fresh, it could easily be on par with that one for me. Even aged, it is still a very enjoyable cuppa.
Thanks for the sample!
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Honey, Lychee, Malt, Pear, Rose
Had this one yesterday evening. It’s a pretty cool Ginseng oolong also blended with Chinese Vanilla!! It has all the normal sweet licorice-y, woody, and sharper/bitter grassy notes of a typical Ginseng Oolong, but also a softer and more floral/orchid-like tasting sweetness from the vanilla that softens the rougher edges of the tea considerably!! Really quite pleasant as an after dinner tea session & digestif!
Also the ginseng is less “tightly” packed in as other ginseng oolongs I’ve had, so you get into the ‘meat’ of the session a lot faster.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SBw4urUbzs
For my birthday this year my boss got me one of those glass water bottles for cold steeping with the strainer in the top, and while I still tend to make a lot of mason jars of iced tea that I strain and keep in the fridge, this is a nice alternative for something that brews a little quicker. The only real problem I have with it is the condensation on the bottom is very bad, so I have to remember to always have a coaster handy…
This was another unopened, and now expired, bag of tea from an ancient Tealyra order. I wanted a fruity hibiscus iced tea and it’s a nice red color, so hopefully it’ll deliver. I am getting pear, and it is a nice, juicy flavor, but not as strong as other pear teas I’ve had. It does have that tangy fruity hibiscus flavor, but it isn’t as tart or as fruit punchy as I’m used to in hibi-fruit iced teas, I think because the cinnamon in the blend is acting as a sweetener. I don’t really taste a distinct cinnamon flavor brewing this as a cold brew, so I may need to try this one as a warm cuppa as well, to see if it presents more as a cinnamon-baked pear or cinnamon-baked apple flavor. It is getting the job done as an iced hibiscus tea with a strong fruit flavor, though, which is what I was craving in this warm weather, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a pear one before.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Fruity, Hibiscus, Pear, Sweet, Tangy
A little bit thrown by the presence of cinnamon in this blend because I’d somehow blanked that out of the ingredients list in my memory, but otherwise really liked this one. For a pu’erh blend, it feels soft and soothing with silky vanilla notes and a cooling, comforting peppermint that still has some crispness to it.
Anyone remember Creme de Menthe from DT? That’s an old school blend, but if you remember that one then this is really feels like the same thing to me.
Also, always on board for a pu’erh blend with mint – it just seems to work so well.
I ordered this tea so long ago that I have had the UNOPENED package sitting in my cupboard all this time, and I pulled it out, and the expiration date was 05/2019. …And THIS is why I refuse to buy/trade/etc. anything that has to do with tea. SIGH. At least it still smells nice when I cut it open, bright citrus with floral undertones, so I suppose I can use it for sachets if nothing else…
Aroma off my steeped cup isn’t very strong, which is a bit worrisome, coming across more like a standard English Breakfast — that malty black tea aroma, with a subtle lemon aroma. However, the sip is far more pungent than the waft was letting on. It isn’t so strong of bergamot (which is okay with me, I don’t mind bergamot these days, but it isn’t a necessity for me either, and this is already scripting itself as an EG blend rather than the Earl himself) so rather it’s a strong citrusy black tea, with notes of orange, lemon, and a more subtle hint bergamot mixed in that citrus flavor. I’d say the bergamot is waxing somewhere a little between a lime and grapefruit. It packs quite a tart hit with three citrus notes paired together, and they are the strongest flavor in the tea, though there is a noticable rose floral flavor that comes out at the end of the sip, towards the back of the tongue, after the bitterness of the citrus starts to subside and the sweetness of the floral is able to fill the mouth. I really like it, but I also am keen on tart/sweet flavor combinations, and I particularly am known to have a palate that can handle tart/sour flavors better than most (I drink hibiscus straight with no sweetener). I think most would probably find the citrus in this one too strong, even with the floral chaser.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Floral, Lemon, Malt, Orange, Pleasantly Sour, Rose, Tart
I had a mug of this in the morning today, and it actually blew my mind how delicious it was! The dry leaf has a beautiful aroma of honey and sweet potatoes, so I felt pretty confidant this was going to be delicious as soon as I’d opened up the package. Though, there was a large rock mixed in with the tea leaf I measured out – but honestly that’s far from the weirdest thing I’ve seen in a tea before and it doesn’t bother me.
The taste with very rich and full bodied, and leaned heavily into those caramelized sweet potato/yam notes that I love so much in a black tea. In addition to that, there were lovely brown sugar, cocoa, malt, honey, and grain notes as well – and the finish was just a little bit cinnamon tinged. It’s was absolutely delightful, and one of the best straight black teas that I’ve had prepared Western style in a long ass time!
First tea at work today…
I was really focusing on other projects while drinking this so a lot of what I was tasting didn’t really stick in my head, but I remember thinking that it was surprisingly sweet for what is quite a floral cherry (versus a tart cherry of the dense, sweet cherry like in DT’s Cherry Berry Punch). I enjoyed it a lot though, and I look forward to my next cup where I will hopefully be able to pay more attention to the tea…
Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Floral
I just realized that I’ve, unintentionally, been on a lemon kick this week. I guess Summer and hot, humid weather just has me feeling a specific type of way. This cup was hot – very, very similar to the cold brew I first experienced but a bit of a “stickier” feeling mouthfeel. This is eerily similar to one of those generic lemon lollipops that just seem to be everywhere as a kid…
Normally I don’t go for lemon herbal teas because they tend to be so similar, but something about this one drew me in and made me curious. I’m glad it did; I enjoyed it a lot! It starts as sweet sherbet lemon top notes/body with just a bit of a bitter finish. I love, love, love that it’s not sour or tart!! Reminds me a lot of the lemonade you get in the summer at the carnival. It could have been just straight up lemonade/tart/sour or it could have been pure sugar and sweetness, but instead there’s surprising flavour balance to this blend!? It’s actually wonderful.
Placed a spontaneous Tealyra order earlier this week (Tuesday, in particular) and it showed up today – which is SUPER quick! I was craving a specific tea and that’s why I ordered, but I added a bunch of other things to the order as well like this shou. I’m running low on my BLT Lao Cha Tuo so I thought it would be nice to have some on hand from another company as well…
Like all Lao Cha Tuo, this is a “slow & steady wins the race” kind of pu’erh as these nuggets just steep forever. While the sweet, earthy & petrichor dominant flavour is lovely, especially with the undertone of raisin and prune, I don’t have the patience tonight to brew out the leaves gongfu tonight so I’ll finish them stove top.
I also had some really beautiful, bright red cherries with this session & cherries are always a lovely addition to nearly any shou…
And no, I did not use all of those nuggets – it was just for the photo.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBcgTO7YH-I
I’ve had this a few times but never wrote a tasting note because the flavor is never how I wish it to be. First, I love the idea: Yerba mate, various tulsis and peppermint. It’s perfect for when you’re craving an earthy flavor profile, but this might be too harsh, too earthy. It sure looks like swampwater! The peppermint is only noticeable in wispy sips. The tulsi isn’t as delicious as I wish and might be overpowered by the yerba mate anyway. I don’t know… I guess I really love purple basil and wish many tulsi teas simply featured purple basil.. but I really only know that flavor from fresh leaves, so I’m not really sure what dried purple basil even tastes like. At least I have this blend around when I want tulsi or yerba mate. It’s not how I envisioned it though.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 28 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 20 minutes after boiling // 3 min
Here’s a heads up for a fun uplifting band (instantly loved their entire album): I Know Leopard – Landmine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZznNjyRrAA
Eelong sent a sample of this my way, and this morning, it’s a perfect antidote for the glooms outside.
Steeped it in my ToastTea thermos, and managed to retain enough self control not to break into it until I had arrived at work (yep, still here; part of a skeleton crew keeping the lights on). It was so-o-o-o worth the wait! One light, golden-brown cup of sweet clover and hay, and I was able to coax a viable second steep out of it. Extremely drinkable and pleasurable.
I took a chance on this tisane because it looked interesting and because I like the combination of ginger and citrus. I used two teaspoons of material for a 355 ml mug and steeped it at 205F for 3.5, 5, and 8 minutes. The ingredients were in fairly big pieces, which made it difficult to get a good balance of flavours.
Upon opening the bag, the lime hits me in the face. The taste, however, is surprisingly mild, with lime, tangy orange and hibiscus, some sweetness from the aloe, and a touch of ginger. The mint is totally absent.
I honestly wish this mule had more of a ginger kick. As is, I won’t have trouble finishing it, but it probably won’t be a repurchase.
Flavors: Ginger, Hibiscus, Lime, Orange, Sweet, Tangy
Another herbal tisane from Tealyra. My goodness, this is sweet. The nice, if sweet, peachy flavour is a bit overwhelmed by the orange and hibiscus, and the chamomile is barely detectable. I’m also sure there’s sugar or stevia in this blend, though it doesn’t show up on the ingredients list. Delicate spring peach blossoms this is not, although the aftertaste has the fuzzy peach notes I was looking for.
This may make a decent iced tea, but I’m not a fan of it hot.
Flavors: Hibiscus, Orange, Orange Zest, Peach, Rosehips, Sweet, Tart