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Recent Tasting Notes
I have to say, I’m pretty disappointed in this one. I think this might be the first and only Vadham tea I’ve had and it did not live up to my expectations. The aroma and flavor is more cardamom than rose, which is find because I love cardamom. I do wish the rose was more present though and not overwhelmed by the other. My biggest complaint is that this tastes very watered down. It’s not even that the base is light, I think. It’s just watery. I’ll double the tea next time, for sure. One teaspoon was obviously not enough for me. I have a whole tin of this, so hopefully I’ll find a way to enjoy it. Holding my rating until I can try it again with more tea leaves.
Edit: I just realized this is my 1,984th tasting note which gives me a bit of a thrill because I was born in 1984. This’ll only happen once so I thought I should make note of it!
Taking a whiff of the dry leaf – oo boy. Very HEALTHY earthy scent, which is probably mostly the turmeric. The flavor is much the same, but also stevia. The stevia and the turmeric are a BIT much together — like the stevia is supposed to make up for the earthiness. The stevia and turmeric is about all I can taste here. I can’t even taste the mint, let alone the cardamom. Good to find out though: fresh stevia is still really bad for these tastebuds and it isn’t a matter of aged stevia.
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for a full mug // 33 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2-3 min
Flavors: Stevia, Turmeric
This was part of a set that I got as a holiday gift. I made this as a stovetop chai with oat milk and honey using the double boil method. It was tasty enough, but the spices were very mild. Perhaps they’d be stronger if drunk straight without additives, or prepared as a latte (i.e. with less milk)?
As a side note – this isn’t a reflection on the tea but is something that I want to note for myself for future awareness: black tea doesn’t always agree with me, which is why I tend to avoid it. That’s been a little better lately, and I find that terroir tends to make a difference. But this particular tea seems to be one that my stomach doesn’t love. So probably not one to restock.
A gifted tea! A set of ten green teas from Vahdam – the perfect sized samples for me, as they are each a few servings worth. I started with this one — which… depending on the bergamot used, could have been the most disappointing of the ten teas in the bunch. Not so! To be fair, I did drink this while eating some lemon meringue pie, so the tastebuds might have melded these flavors together. It’s an intriguing green Earl… this bergamot really seems to pair well with this particular green tea which is a nice surprise! I’m generally not a reacher for bergamot on anything other than a solid black tea. But this is a nice one. A unique tasting, balanced bergamot on a tasty green. Second steep was also great – not an overpowering bergamot, which is never good on a green base.
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for a full mug // 32 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 31 min after boiling // 2 min
So Vahdam sent me an advent this year without my knowledge before it was sent out, even though I’ve asked multiple times to be removed from their influencer/social media distribution list. For several reasons, I didn’t want to do the advent – so what I ended up doing was ‘harvesting" out some sachets from any flavours I hadn’t tried. The rest of the advent was left in the office kitchen for other people to enjoy.
I am always a little intrigued when Vahdam steps outside of their comfort zone of turmeric/Chai blends – some of my favourites when I did do their advent a few years ago were these more differentiated blends. This one is okay, but nothing to write home about either. It mostly tasted like strawberry jello but with a little bit of cinnamon heat to the finish. I wasn’t mad at it, and something about the red fruit/hibiscus with cinnamon almost gave me mulled wine vibes. But, like, if you made your mulled wine with ingredients available at a dollar store.
I haven’t seen the sun in several days it seems(probably not true) and its been raining all day today. I shouldn’t complain so much because the upper midwest is getting hammered by snow and the storm doesn’t seem in a hurry to move on out.
So this minty green tea is refreshing. Is it spearmint or is it peppermint? I have both in my cupboard separately as well as green tea, but I’m not sure I’d blend it this well. Thanks for sending it Lexie!
Flavors: Peppermint, Spearmint
This one isn’t bad, there’s an underlying sharpness to this nutty Darjeeling, and the second steep smoothed that away. But it’s a rather dull and uninspired take on darjeeling, not bad enough to throw out, and not interesting enough to seek out to drink again. Thanks for sending it for me to try, Lexie!
Flavors: Astringent, Nutty
Strange VariaTEA TTB: Tea 29
This was day 1 of my DIY advent calendar and Roswell Strange hit the nail on the head with her tasting note. It’s spiced but in the wrong ways with an emphasis on turmeric. That made this very earthy and really not overly enjoyable. Add in the ginger and it doesn’t get any better.
Day 1 of my Vahdam tea advent calendar.
Actually, it’s not. Instead of having the teas individually packaged per day, there is just a bunch of wrapped teabags in a box. I chose this one because it is herbal and I have had enough caffeine today. Plus my tummy is a little unhappy from supper, so I thought the ginger would be good.
I do not know what the ingredients are. The packet says “Blend of warming ginger and roasted cocoa.” It brews up a little cloudy, which isn’t unusual for chocolate teas. My nose is completely clogged and so are my ears—the last hanger-on from the nasty cold/sinus infection/ear infection I picked up in mid-November—so I don’t taste much of this. I think I am getting a mild ginger heat. As it cooled I found myself enjoying it more. It has a sweetness that tastes natural (as opposed to Stevia) and that may be from the ginger and/or chocolate. I don’t really taste the chocolate though. Maybe if I had a sense of smell I could taste it.
As it is I am giving this tea a cautious recommendation. It will not go looking for it but I was able to drink the cup.
Funny story…one of the younglings at work is also a fledgling teaist and was so excited when she ordered herself a Black Friday Vadham loose leaf sampler. Until she got to this one.
Today, she carried it into my office, almost at arm’s length, with a woebegone expression. “I hate not liking tea, but I can’t stand this one. Could you use it?” I laughed out loud because I think that was precisely my first gut reaction to lapsang souchong many years ago.
That said, though it’s not a deliberate go-to for me, I fired up the office kettle and steeped a trial cup. The leaves are long and luxurious, and the smoke strength is actually mild enough to suit me. Especially nice with a couple of snagged biscotti: the holiday office snacking season is upon us.
This is my favorite rose black tea. I usually do not like rose in black tea most of the time it too strong. But this tea is perfect because they add other ingredients like cardamom, pistachio, almonds snd saffron. The rose is not too strong. I am enjoying it as a latte with almond milk but it is good plain too.
Flavors: Cardamom, Rose
Oops All Pumpkin (8/10)!
Oof, just nope! This one was very aggressively spiced and not in the right ways. Firstly, turmeric has no business being in a pumpkin spice tea – and especially not in this quantity. It was very raw, earthy and bitter tasting on top of just being too heavy handed in general. Also just way too much ginger.
This was my bottom tea of the day.
Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CkYo7Xju3Rv/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iTAkRHGbuM
Another (loosely) Halloween themed comedic song by BDG, this time a Western instead of a disco song. Way more enjoyable than the tea itself…
Love, love, love this blend! I tried this as a stovetop chai ( first attempt) and it was incredible. It was sweet, spicy, and cozy. I used 2 cups of water and 2 cups of milk with 3 table spoons of the chai blend and 2 tablespoons of Splenda/ sugar
Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Malt, Spicy, Sweet
For a couple of days I had been thinking about making a mojito type drink with tea. Since I figured other flavours might stand out more, I decided to go with a plain black tea I was pretty meh about trying. This was that tea and I made it over ice with mint leaves and lime juice. I then topped that all with some pineapple sparkling water. After a taste, I realized I was a bit heavy handed with the lime juice so I opted to add a splash of vanilla syrup to offset the tart citrus. That actually rounded out the flavour perfectly making this bright, sweet and super refreshing. The tea provided a solid foundation for the other flavours to thrive. I’d have it like this again but also I should probably try it plain once.
How is it that I haven’t made a note for this one that has been hoarded in my cupboard and now is almost sipped down. This package is 5 yrs old and seems to have taken on a harshness when it cools now. When it was in its prime this Assam rivaled my favorite golden monkey for its smooth malty and nutty notes. On this cup, its quite pleasant awesome tea with a coppery ting to the aftertaste. I would buy this again and sip it down in short order, though I have trouble finding other teas I like from Vahdam these days.
My first good quality oolong! The leaves are a pretty dark reddish brown color. It steeped into a dark gold liquid, which was very good! Earthy, but still somehow light at the same time. Definitely going in my “I like this” section of the cabinet!
Flavors: Dry Grass, Earthy, Grass, Green