987 Tasting Notes
This is a tea I bought out of a mixture of curiosity and hope. Curiosity because jasmine and ginger are such contrasting flavours, the former cool and gentle and serene, the latter spicy and forceful. Hope because I have heard that ginger can be great for soothing upset stomachs, and I’ve got this weird stomach pain issue that I have yet to confirm a diagnosis for. Would having more ginger teas in my cupboard help?
The jury’s still out on that. However, I can say that combining ginger and jasmine together in a tea is just as unusual as I thought it would be. Here, small chunks of ginger root are mixed in wholesale with the dragon pearls. The description above says the tea also contains orange peel, but either I didn’t see any or I wasn’t able to tell the pieces of peel apart from the chunks of ginger.
How do I describe the smell of this tea? It’s obviously a combination of ginger and jasmine, but the interplay between the two is so odd. I don’t smell any harmony in this combination — there’s no sense of them being complementary flavours at all. Occasionally the jasmine wins out over the ginger, or vice versa, but overall the mix of sweet, slightly powdery florals and the assertiveness of ginger is, at best, idiosyncratic.
I took about 1.5 teaspoons of dry leaf and steeped it in 85°C water for 3 minutes. The resulting tea was similar in colour to the Jestha Jasmine above, though slightly paler. And like the tea above, the powdery-soft nature of the jasmine was apparent here. But the sweetness and strength of the ginger interfered in a way that’s hard to describe.
I know that there are people that will probably dig this flavour blend, but it turned out to be a hard sell for me.
This blend contains orange peel in addition to jasmine. I’ve imagined for a while that orange and jasmine would be a match made in heaven, so when I saw that this tea was part of the Amoda sale, I had to give it a try!
The thing that I was immediately struck by when I first opened the envelope was just how visible the jasmine was in the blend. Mixed in with the dark green strands of leaf and chunks of dried orange peel were whole flowers. Huge!
However, the leaf didn’t smell like the perfumed onslaught I was expecting. Instead, it smelled mild, slightly vegetal, and slightly floral.
This lightness and gentleness held up upon brewing. I took a big heaping spoonful and steeped it for 2 minutes in 70°C water, as directed on the package. I was worried that this would lead to a weak, nothing-flavoured tea, but I was mistaken — the resulting liquid was a pleasing orange-yellow colour that signalled good things.
And, yup, the taste was just like the dried leaf — mild, gently sweet, and with a texture and softness in the mouth that reminded me of baby powder (in a good way). The jasmine flavour here is wispy and feather-light. Surprisingly pleasant! I didn’t get any orange, but I’m still in love with how gentle the whole thing is.
Backlog from last night:
This tea is still tasty, but I think it’s beginning to lose some of the creamy/meringue notes since I bought it last year; the tart/lemon notes are stronger now.
Or maybe I just need to add a bit more sugar to the mug – who knows?
Anyways, this was still a great way to cap the day off yesterday.
Sipdown from last night.
I finished this off because I was really craving chocolate last night but didn’t want to eat anything snacky since I had already eaten a lot yesterday. I let it oversteep a bit and didn’t add any sugar, which made it less candylike. But it still smelled totally boozy.
I realize now that I really want more decaf chocolate teas for the evening when I want something sweet but don’t want caffeine. What do you all recommend? I know there are many out there to choose from.
This blend has Ceylon tea, rose petals, ginger pieces, and natural flavours — it’s punchy, sweet, juicy, and bright-smelling. The most prominent smell of the dry tea is the peach, which was the perfect hit of sunshine on the cold, sleety day that I first tried this.
The rose petals are a great addition because they add depth and roundedness to the peach notes without being overwhelming. I can also smell the ginger, but it’s there more as a dry, sharp sparkle on the top. The peach is really the star scent here.
I took a big heaping spoonful, put it into my teapot and let the whole thing steep for 4 minutes. In the end, I got a really robust-looking brew that smelled more strongly of rose than before.
The strongest flavour was the base tea rather than the flavours. However, the Ceylon is a very good choice, because it’s generally a bright-tasting kind of leaf with its own inherently fruity notes. As the tea cooled, I could taste more peach, but I was honestly expecting the ginger to show up more than it did.
This blend is a mix of Assam black tea, ginger pieces, and vanilla bean pieces. The dry leaf is pretty true to expectations, and I’m pretty sure I can distinguish the chunks of vanilla bean from the black tea. The ginger pieces look a bit stringy, but that’s okay.
I’m surprised by how well the vanilla and ginger meld together, smell-wise. They create an aroma that’s soft and gentle, and they blend with the black tea to create a scent that’s actually kind of reminiscent of mocha/coffee. I normally associate ginger with fruity and spicy flavours, so this earthier, sweeter profile is unexpected.
I took a big heaping spoonful and steeped it with a pot of just-boiled water for 3 1/2 minutes. The brewed tea was bit less mocha-like, with the ginger and vanilla flavours becoming more distinct as they wafted towards my nose. Even after only 3 and a half minutes, the tea was a really rich, eye-popping brown.
However, I didn’t taste much ginger or vanilla when I tasted it. The most dominant flavour was the Assam base — brisk, malty, a tad astringent, with a bit of citrusy hint underneath. If you had just given me a mug of this straight-up without letting me know what tea I was drinking, I would have been able to guess that it was an Assam and that it was flavoured, but I wouldn’t have been able to tell what it had been flavoured with.
All things considered, this might go on my restock list.
When you open the package up, it really does smell like rainbow sherbet! It’s tangy, it’s fruity, and it’s in your face — it totally smells the bright neon, multicoloured sorbet you’d get at a Baskin Robbins, with that obnoxious, kid-friendly sugariness intact. The addition of vanilla adds a softness and powderiness to the flavour that also makes the whole thing reminiscent of fruit-flavoured marshmallow.
And yup, the label does not disappoint once you actually scoop some of this stuff out and check the dry leaf for yourself: pieces of orange and raspberry are vibrant flecks against the black leaf.
I did the same drill as with the Cranberry Creme tea: same measurements, steeping time, resting time, and same level of agave nectar. In the end, I got a dark umber-coloured tea with cool undertones, smelling richly of lime, raspberry and vanilla.
However, unlike what I was expecting given the strong smell of the dry leaf, this tea does not knock you over with fruit flavour upon the first sip. I got some fruit, but the two strongest flavours were the vanilla and the dark chocolate notes of the base tea itself.
Further sips give a bit more clarity on the situation: the vanilla flavour shows up mostly at the back of the mouth, while the fruit flavours show up the most strongly when I exhale after taking a sip: once I breathed out, I could smell it richly and feel the flavours dancing around my hard palate. Overall, though, the base tea is the strongest flavour here. Considering that the base itself is so rich and chocolate-flavoured, I still consider it a win.
Full review at: http://booksandtea.ca/2016/03/another-52teas-roundup/