1185 Tasting Notes
I used the entire sampler bag and did one of my odd Gong Fu/Western combo brews.
At 30 seconds:
Roastiness of hojicka and oolong with a apple aftertaste. Still more tea base, overall made me think of a Dan Cong with a fruity apple note mixed into the heavily roasted, smokey taste.
I get the apple and the caramel with the base still strong. The cinnamon is starting to sneak up…
And the rest is a flux of the apple and the roasty teas getting a little bit spicier with the cinnamon. I changed the times and relied on smell and color to brew the tea.
It was warming and was more of a winter/fall tea for sure. It felt especially good on my soar throat. I might have to try it again because I did enjoy it.
I do prefer the cherry chocolate latte slightly because I love those things, but the apple was a little bit more natural with the hojicka for me. It is crispy which a baked apple should be. The caramel is the main thing that meanders in and out of the cup.
I would recommend a try of it, and specifically recommend it for those who especially like toasty teas.
Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Cinnamon, Roasted, Smoke, Toasty
Again, lighter than I expected. Three minutes not bad, and five minutes still a little bit light. The color is a really light caramel color, and the taste is like caramel in water. I get some of the chestnut and creaminess talked about. I definitely taste the black tea and it is smooth. More lightness.
Looks like I have to up leafage. Pretty nice, but it could use more body. I think that this would make a great chocolate black tea.
I really shouldn’t go through my tea so quickly, but I’m trying to wake up and am still lethargic. More tea it is.
Flavors: Caramel, Creamy, Nutty, Tea
I did not expect this tea to be as light as it was. It’s one of those Darjeelings that I would put on the more oolong side. It is definitely muscatel on its own, but it also has a really nice green woody edge. Cherry and the Darjeeling take over for the most part, but the spices really adds a light kick and the vanilla is a lighter but noticeable accent.
As for the bag, its smell is awesome: dominant, sweet cherry blended with mulling spices and a following vanilla. I can see why this was a Christmas Seasonal-the smell does make me think of winter and in some ways fall. The tea didn’t taste nearly as powerful as the smell, and I think that’s a good thing. I could see myself drinking this often because it is a lighter tea, but I’m not sure I would drink it constantly. Again, I think this is a smarter seasonal tea.
I’d recommend it to cherry lovers, but I’m not sure what would be disliked about it because I personally really like it. I think it might be too weak for some or a little bit boring, so it’s really for a more mellow tea drinker. It was a little weak even for me at three minutes, making me up it to five. I might drink it midday because it’s mellow.
Now, this makes me a little bit curious about the Lemon Blueberry Muffin version of this tea. I wonder how Lauren would get the pastry taste. I could totally seeing the lemon popping out with the base, and then the blueberry adding some sweet-tartness. I’ll just have to see myself or see how others write about it.
Flavors: Cherry, Green Wood, Muscatel, Spices, Vanilla
After getting some, I can see why people were disappointed by this one. A lot of people were expecting a heavily chocolate black tea with a oolong smoothing out the texture followed by the spiciness. It really is a strong oolong with a smooth black compliment intensified by a candy spiciness then followed by a dark chocolate aftertaste. The tea on its own actually tastes closer to an organic Mexican hot chocolate mix using coconut sugar instead of regular sugar.
As with tea, people have different preferences with their hot chocolate. I don’t like super sweet chocolate. I rarely go below 60% cocoa and usually opt out for the 80%. In short, I like darker chocolate that is more subtle and less sweet. A part of me wants to do a poll on Steepster of the people who rated this tea to see the type of chocolate they eat and how sweet do they like their hot chocolate.
For this tea, you’re really expected to get the chocolate tones from the oolong then from the chocolate itself. I personally like Qilan Yan Cha oolongs and am very glad that it is the dominant tea. I would then recommend people who like toned down, dark chocolate of the organic variety to try this. Don’t expect a creamy hot chocolate, but instead think of a nutty, smooth oolong that turns into a spicy chocolate tonic. In short, flavorful, but watery. And I enjoy it.
Okay, I might need more of this. It is one of the best white blends that I’ve ever tried. It is creamy, light, sweet, but warming with a really nice hint of cinnamon at the end. I’ve actually been looking for a white tea like this and holy crap. This would be my ideal dessert. Steep one and two are awesome…I really don’t want it to fade in steep three…
Enough overpraising. This doesn’t taste exactly like Eggnog, but it is pretty similar in the type of creamy and slightly spiced profile. The pound cake element is a little bit stronger since the white tea does have an odd buttered texture. It still feels light on the tongue, but thick enough to coat it with a thin gloss. It’s like the lingering after taste of a pound cake, really.
For who it might be for, I would definitely recommend it to those looking for a creamier, or sweeter light tea. Some might think it’s way too light or weak, while others might think it’s too vanilla-y. There’s also a bit of a sugariness that would be up for debate on whether or not it’s more natural tasting or more artificial. I brewed it lighter, so it was more natural for me.
It’s one of my favorites that Lauren has made. In fact, I would recommend her lighter, creamier teas because she really kicks butt with them.
Flavors: Butter, Cake, Cinnamon, Cream, Sugar, Sweet, Vanilla
I’ve been twitching for the next order to arrive. It has, and the packaging is nice and airtight. Thank you Lauren!
Now, this tea. It is very nice and definitely an Earl Grey. It’s also pretty fruity. The Bergamot is powerful….very powerful…too powerful. I had to seal it in my drawer for the odious forces seeping out of the bag were creeping into its brothers and sisters. There it shall lay, dormant until I release it again for my consumption.
I really want Penny Dreadful to come out soon….
Anyway, back to the tea. Bergamot and malt lead on. Maple follows in the rooibos and in the black tea in a very sweet way. The Vanilla comes in last, and nicely does so. I really like this flavor combo and this is a bergamot lovers tea. It is a little bit astringent and it certainly is more of an English Tea (I know-I know-Tea is really from China, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, and a few other places). Most of Lauren’s teas are the kind that you want to add cream and sugar too, and this one needs to be strong in order to hold up to the sweeteners. The rooibos actually makes this a little woodsier and more citric. Rooibos Earl Greys are usually like orange extract anyway. That’s my only real deterrent from the rooibos though. Luckily at a teaspoon, it holds up nicely and it is sweet and smooth enough at least for me to drink straight.
In the end, my only criticism is that it’s a bit on the stronger side for me. Otherwise, I love the flavor.
Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot, Fruity, Malt, Maple Syrup, Sweet, Vanilla
This one was pretty nice. It actually compares to a Baozhong in some ways for how green it is. Even the leaves themselves are a hunter green highlighted by a lime green with some dark grey shadows. With one teaspoon after five minutes, the color of the tea is a very transparent yellow. In terms of taste, it is definitely like a sweet herb. Parsley is pretty close.
I’m not sure if I’d call this “astringent” or not. If I would have tried it before I got hooked into the world of tea, I would think it’s a slightly stronger green tea. A Gunpowder or an everyday Darjeeling would be more astringent than this tea, but it is also definitely more astringent than a Sencha and a Dragonwell. And it really does not taste like a black tea to me. The slight malt is actually more subtle than you’d expect from the description.
Bringing all the tastes of this together, you get creamy, herby, green, sweet, sweet peas, mildly astringent, and a hint malty. All of these tastes are something that I’d expect more out of an oolong save the herb taste. This is why I liked it.
I’d recommend to sample it, but not sure about buying it. It is something that will definitely deter your expectations of a black tea.
Flavors: Astringent, Cream, Herbs, Malt, Peas, Sweet
“Aroma: Tropical Fruits, Cream.” Okay, I’m getting the tropical. More creamy as in grassy creamy. “Taste: Grass, Tropical Fruits.” Actually, I’m getting a lawn mower bag of grass followed by a lemony, maybe pineapple like grass aftertaste. And it’s a little too astringent for me using one teaspoon, but way too subtle with less. I’m personally not a fan. To me, it tasted like a grass Bertie Botts Jelly Belly jelly bean.
Flavors: Astringent, Grass, Lemon, Pineapple, Tropical
I got more of the Fujian leaves in my tumbler with the mint, and wow, this is so well balanced. I’m all about that base.
A lot of mint teas are overwhelmingly mint. Sometimes they can be overwhelmingly fake chocolate if they are supposed to be like a peppermint patty. This one is pretty nice since the black tea is distinctly a black tea, but a smooth one that is close enough to the chocolaty profile. At least for me. But I’d still recommend this if you’re looking for a solid mint tea that doesn’t over steep easily.
I personally prefer to stop it at 3-4 minutes. If I go longer, it has to be closer to seven or eight. That’s just me: please don’t follow my weird word. I thought about getting myself some more, and I just might. So many teas to try though, so much to budget…
I honestly felt like this deserved more of a ninety today, but that’s just because of how I brewed it. And how much tea I already had. Yet I noticed something. It has the same weird nutty aftertaste of a greener dong ding. In fact, it reminded me of the same aftertaste I get from the Old Style Dong Ding and Misty Mountain. A smooth, nectary buttered nuttiness. Or it could just be my own oddity. I can say, though, that I did not have either of those teas today at the same time as this one.
Just thought I’d share my oddity with you guys.