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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea isn’t at all what I was expecting! Since it has “chai” in the name, I thought this would be your traditional black tea with chai spices and some maple flavoring added. Instead, this is a very smooth, light tea with a strong fruity flavor (apple, I think?) and notes of maple. There’s scarcely a hint of spice! That being said, I do actually like how this tastes…like some kind of yummy fruity dessert. I just think they should rename it, because nothing about it screams “chai”.
Flavors: Apple, Fruity, Maple Syrup, Smooth
I received this tea in a Reddit swap. It’s pretty weak. It’s kind of like a light apple tea. I don’t taste any maple, and I really couldn’t call it chai either. It’s not gross or anything, but it seems like a waste of caffeine for me to drink. As it sits around all day because I don’t want to drink it, the spice flavors do show up more, but then they’re a bit murky and weird.
Thanks to Mastress Alita for sharing! I love strawberry flavored things, and I love how huge rolled oolong becomes when it steeps. The flavor is lighter than I would have liked, but it is tasty. My family loves this one. The base tea is good and lacks bitterness. The strawberry comes out a little bit more when it’s cool. It isn’t flavorful enough for me to buy for myself, but I’m definitely enjoying it! Quite the pleasant oolong.
I’ve pulled this for my evening herbal. I believe one of our past volunteers at the library gave me this one, since our local coffee shop that sources TeaSource tea carries this one; I think she bought some single ounces of a few and then decided to gift them to me when she wasn’t really drinking loose leaf at home.
The steeped tea has a strong fruity aroma, highly tropical; I’m smelling mango, passionfruit, and pineapple, as well as slightly floral. The tea is a light orange color (I was surprised it was still so red since this is a green rooibos) and the flavor notes of the base is hay, wood, and floral nectar, with a fruity sweetness that moves in midsip that tastes strongly of mango, though I get a much more subtle note of sweet melon. It’s a pleasant enough cup, though I wish the flavor was a bit stronger; I don’t really have any idea how old this tea may be, so perhaps some flavor degradation is playing a factor, though. It’s quite servicable for a mango-flavored rooibos that doesn’t have any over-powering medicinal notes, as many fruity rooibos blends seem to have for me.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Hay, Mango, Melon, Nectar, Sweet, Tropical, Wood
Thanks so much for sending some of this, Mastress Alita! Your tasting note the other day reminded me I didn’t write one yet. I’ve been on a run of raspberry teas lately. On sight, this is a tiny leafed Darjeeling with raspberry and lemon. I certainly love the concept. I went with one teaspoon because the leaves were so small. Luckily the flavor is delicious, not overdone or bitter. It definitely tastes like Darjeeling. Hints of raspberry, not so much lemon. Some tartness for the muscatel of this Darj. The second steep is also lovely. I like it!
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon // 25 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // couple minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
This is a very old TeaSource tea that is discontinued… and I have yet to try it! (Pathetic!) The package recommends this as an iced tea, but since I’ve never tried it, I wanted to see how it would fair as a warm cuppa, too. The base was darjeeling but the leaf looked CTC, so I tried to give it a briefer steep than usual… I may need to shorten it even more! I went for a two minute steep in 195F water… somehow I seem to get less astringency when I brew darjeeling in slightly cooler water?
My cup is a light coppery color and it smells like autumn leaves (the darj is coming through strongly!), raspberry, and perhaps a touch of a citrus tang. The flavor is… surprisingly quite berry-forward, and I wasn’t expecting that! There was quite a bit of lemongrass in the leaf, by far not my favorite of the citrus herbs, but I’m not even really getting that odd hay-like/herbaceous quality it often leaves in a tea. The tea is very smooth, so I may have found the sweet-spot on my brewing parameters, and I was expecting a lot more temperment because, quite frankly, it usually takes me several tries with darj’s to find the sweet spot. It is not overly-leafy tasting in flavor, like I get from a lot of darjeeling, but I do get a soft autumn leaf/vegetal background note, that mixes with a more malty foreground note. The raspberry flavor then fills in nicely, and it’s very present but doesn’t have that syrupy/fakey/metallic flavor I get very often from raspberry flavorings; there is a softness to it at first, and then it leaves a gentle berry tanginess on the tongue. It’s really nice! I’m not getting a very strong citrus note, though; I get a very subtle citrus aftertaste on the roof of my mouth, but it isn’t pulling very strongly against the other flavors in the cup. Honestly though; I’m alright with that, because the tea is quite delightful as is. I may try it with a dash of lemon juice to bring that note out for curiosity’s sake, but I’m really happy with it. I will have to try this one iced, and maybe add just a touch of my lemon-infused honey… mmm.
Now I’m sad knowing TeaSource discontinued this one!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Citrus, Fruity, Malt, Raspberry, Smooth, Sweet, Tangy
I’ve had this tea for ages, but have yet to really try it yet. I’m a licorice lover, which is what attracted me to it. It does have a chamomile base, and I really dislike chamomile, but I’m really hoping for some strong anise, fennel, and licorice root that will completely cover it up.
Oh… this actually does have a striking black licorice taste to it, which means 99% of the people reading this can stop right now, because you’ll hate it. If you are in that 1% that like me actually likes black licorice… huzzah! It’s a bit spicy and warming with a strong black licorice flavor that settles on the tongue, and just a touch of licorice root sweetness toward the end of the sip. I can pick out a bit of a cinnamon sweetness midsip, as well. It’s very satisfying, and thankfully, it doesn’t have that soapy-floral taste I get from chamomile that I don’t like, because the spices do have such a strong, pungent flavor. I really like this! But as said, this is definitely the sort of herbal that is for a very particular palate. If you are the type of person that likes eating black licorice nib candies or jellybeans, you’d like this herbal tea.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Licorice, Spices, Spicy, Sweet
This is one of my oldest teas, and yet somehow I’ve yet to manage to get around to reviewing it. Welp, I guess I should rectify that, since I’m working on sipping it down.
This tea has a very strong sweet strawberry aroma in the bag, but I honestly find the flavor a bit underwhelming; then again, I have found my flavored rooibos blends seem to not hold strong flavors due to aging the most so far, so for my next pot, I may try adding an extra helping of leaf to see if that helps compensate some. The rooibos itself has a pretty strong flavor to me, it’s edging a little more on woody/medicinal/herbaceous, though the tea itself is very sweet with a subtle vanilla note. The strawberry is present, but there isn’t a strong, creamy vanilla note, so I don’t really get “strawberries and cream” at all, and the strawberry doesn’t feel strong, juicy, and defined against the rooibos base… and I’ve had strawberry rooibos teas like that. This just doesn’t hold a candle to Bird & Blend’s Rhubarb & Custard, which did the strawberry/cream rooibos so well. I believe TeaSource discontinued this one, but I have a very similar blend in my cupboard called Lavenderberry, which tasted like strawberries, vanilla, and a touch of lavender, and I remember it being quite lovely. I wonder if they tweaked the recipe, got a different flavoring for the strawberry, or if the age just made that much of a difference? I may have to make a pot of that tea again to jog my memory and see if I still like it as much as I remember…
This isn’t so bad that I won’t be able to finish it off, but it’s just so underwhelming compared to other better teas I’ve had with this flavor profile. It just feels so weak on the strawberry and cream elements it is supposed to be bringing out, so I feel like I’m just having a pot of rooibos. I like rooibos fine, but if I’m going to have rooibos, then I’d rather not have a very weak fruit flavoring in it, since I feel like that is probably what is bringing out the medicinal qualities.
Flavors: Medicinal, Rooibos, Straw, Strawberry, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood
I took a little sample from the TTB a while back for a day like today. I really enjoyed trying some new teas today.
A bit prone to bitterness but fairly flavourful and fruity. I didn’t find it sweet at all or particularly fruity, but the hints of white grape and apricot are faintly there.
Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Tannin, White Grapes
Green rooibos from the tea box! This tastes similar to other fruity green rooibos blends I’ve had from Adagio. It’s weird that this is supposed to be almond because I definitely taste fruit and not nuts. Hot, the flavor is more grassy, but as it cools, the sweet fruity flavor comes out, and it’s super nice. I drank it during a workout and felt extremely refreshed!
Holiday Tea-son! This was another tea I had in a holiday sampler from TeaSource that I got shortly after the 2016 holiday season and… I sadly haven’t tried it yet. Though I have sampled this tea before at Twin Beans, which is pretty much the only place in my little town to order a cuppa (we have tons of coffee shops but only one of them has decent loose leaf as an option on the menu); they source a small selection of TeaSource teas and this happens to be one of the ones they keep around, and I know I’ve enjoyed it with one of their amazing crepes before. I’ve been drinking Cocomint Green tea all day (but was on the phone with family and didn’t have a chance to do a write up so I still need to get around to that!) and am still feeling in the chocolately mood. Just switching to a non-caffeinated option, since it’s back to work for me in the morrow.
I love the smell of this herbal! It’s chocolately, but it smells a bit nutty to me too, so the aroma of the dry leaf comes off like Nutella to me. There is nothing nutty in the ingredients, so I’m not sure what is giving me that impression in the fragrance, but I have no complaints. Smells sooooo good!
The steeped tea smells like melted chocolate and very sweet, and I still am getting a hint of nuts, though not as strongly as the dry leaf. The flavor of the tea is reminding me a lot of that Tiramisu herbal from Citizen Tea that I tried a few months ago and loved (I finished that sampler off), with a few differences. Both have that sweet and slightly tart apple note to the base, but I’d say that the Tiramisu tea had a more caramel/toffee-forward note with a more subtle chocolate flavor and some subtle hints of coffee, and this tea is very chocolate-forward in its flavor. I’m getting a strong cocoa flavor, and note both milk chocolate and bittersweet dark chocolate and hints of nuts; the finish comes back around with that tang of green apple skin.
It’s a nice dessert tea; comparing both, it’s a hard call; the Tiramisu is probably a little more varied in flavor, but this is definitely a better choice for a good chocolately flavor. They are similar enough that, trying to narrow down space in my cupboard and with Citizen Tea being in Canada and therefore having expensive international shipping for me, I’ll probably keep this one in stock instead as a dessert herbal. It definitely makes a nice sweet late-night cap.
Flavors: Apple Skins, Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Green Apple, Nutty, Sweet, Tangy
On the 15th day of Sara’s Advent Calendar…
Ooh, this is a fine green tea. It’s very smooth, with a pure taste, if that makes sense. It’s a little sweet, with honey notes. It’s very refreshing, even hot, and I would love to try i iced too. There’s also a very mild vegetal note. It’s really good.
Flavors: Honey, Vegetal
Holiday Tea-son! I got this in a holiday sampler from TeaSource I believe discounted after the 2016 holiday season, so I think I got it around January or February of 2017? In any event, it’s quite old now and due for a sipdown, so I’ll probably be drinking this as my nightly herbal for the next few nights.
The leaf doesn’t smell light gingerbread to me, but certainly smells like orange — creamsicle specifically, as I get a lot of sweet vanilla from the aroma as well. The steeped tea still has a very creamsicle flavor, but it isn’t overly sweet, since there are some subtle spice notes in the background that linger in the background. Namely I get just a hint of pepper. There are a lot of nuts in this tea — sliced almonds and pistachios — but I’m not really picking up any nutty notes from the tea. It’s sweet, with some subtle woody notes and stronger honey/caramel notes from the rooibos, a rich orange note that tastes quite juicy and rich, a creamy sort of vanilla, and a very subtle peppery hint on the tip of the tongue at the end of the sip.
This is a nice creamsicle rooibos tea; the last rooibos tea I tried with that flavor profile just didn’t quite do it for me. For my next pot, I may make this with vanilla almond milk and go creamy latte style, but this is perfectly fine as is, as well. I may even restock this sometime since I like having a creamsicle tea around, but I’m not in a particular rush. But the name of the tea confuses me… Gingerbread Orange? Nothing about this tea makes me think of gingerbread, at all. It doesn’t have any any of the spices common to gingerbread, and the orange/vanilla flavor combo isn’t something associated with gingerbread either. It’s a bit misleading. If you are looking for a gingerbread-flavored rooibos, this isn’t it!
Flavors: Caramel, Creamy, Honey, Orange, Pepper, Vanilla, Wood
Day 3 of my advent calendar from Sara!
Out of the bag, it smells like roasted chocolate! Mmm. I smelled it brewed and opened the TeaSource page on it without even tasting it yet. There was a train station I would stop at on the way to work, to catch a shuttle. It was near a chocolate factory, and a few days a week the whole area smelled like chocolate. This smell is bringing me back there.
I took a few sips. Roasted chocolate, and a hint of apple. Okay, I ordered four ounces.
Yeah, that’s good. I’ll bet it would blend well with others too.
Flavors: Apple, Chocolate, Roasted
I got this from Mastress Alita! Thank you! Backlogging from last night when my brain was too burnt to make with the words.
This tea smells so sweet and lush and melony. There is a generous amount of lemongrass mixed throughout the green tea and puerh. The latter two don’t seem like they’d go together, but in this blend, they make sense.
A storm was on its way last night, making it unseasonably warm, so I made this over ice. It’s interesting how I don’t get any puerh notes from this at all. It’s all fresh green tea flavor and sweet, almost candylike melon. The lemongrass is soft and kind of hidden by the fruit. And I guess the puerh is there to brace it and keep it from going full Jolly Rancher. But really, I am having such an affair with melon teas, and this is another one I am really pleased with. It may not quite stack up to Lupicia’s, but it’s up there for sure.
Flavors: Candy, Cantaloupe, Lemon, Lemongrass, Melon
I received this tea as a loose-leaf sample in a subscription box. I was very excited when I opened it and found that it smells like an Almond Joy! I love Almond Joy. I didn’t see coconut listed as an ingredient on the package, so this intrigued me. I could still faintly smell it after steeping. The taste of this tea has a nice mellow nuttiness. It seems to linger for just the right amount of time, keeping me sipping, but not making me feel like the tea is lacking.