871 Tasting Notes
Don’t let the name fool you, it’s an hibiscus tea (a hibiscus tea?).
But it’s pleasant enough. Aroma is mostly tangy hibiscus and citrus, some peach and a cinnamon base note. I think I might get some of that dried apple, too, or it might be an association with the cinnamon aroma. This tea is BRICK RED, hibiscus is the first ingredient after all. Tart and tangy but not overly so, I get orange and floral peach flavorings that taste a bit contrived, very light cinnamon and apple and I think the chicory gives a hint of a roasted bass note. Lingering tart aftertaste. This might be better cold-brewed and I wonder, despite my preference for not sweetening teas, if a little sugar would help that peach pop. Now that I’m typing this review, I’m noticing a surprising cooling sensation coming up from my esophagus. Whoa. Must be one of the “natural flavors.” I like but it’s odd.
So, one neat thing about this tea is the design of the bag. When I first looked at it, I thought, “What is all this string about?” Then I looked at the back of the envelope where there were instruction printed on how to use the teabag. The string is one of those that you’re supposed to pull out of the bag, know what I mean? but there’s a perforated tag at the top joining both the ends of the string. When you’re done steeping, you tear the paper tag and pull both ends outward and that draws more string out of the bag, squeezing the teabag in the process. While it’s not a tight squeeze, it’s pretty handy for those that feel compelled to squeeze the last drops of life from… teabags… but don’t have a spoon or don’t want to use their fingers.
That was a really long and wordy explanation. There’s probably a 3-second Youtube video showing the process more efficiently than reading that novel :P
So yeah, the tea, it’s ok. Too bright to be sipping on near midnight, though.
Kitchen clean-out, unknown age. Why does my housemate have one tea-bag left of a few dozen teas?
Dry bag smells mostly of cinnamon and cardamom with some clove and ginger underneath. The aroma smells really good, like a spicy chai with a sweet note of syrup. First sip is has some bite and is very thin with spicy ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and clove. Finishes only a hint sweet from licorice root and very clean. No lingering spice in throat, warming in the chest.
Peach DeTox. Peach. Where’s the peach? Does anybody know where the peach is?? Peach flavor is listed as the third ingredient in a list of 17, yes 17 ingredients. This might be a record. But where’s the peach?! I think the cinnamon, cardamom and ginger oils listed near the bottom are used to cover up a bunch of stale herbs and spices or something.
If this tea were simply advertised as a spicy herbal chai, I’d be inclined to rate it higher.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Pancake Syrup, Spicy
Another sample from Kawaii433. Thanks, yo.
This is definitely a high quality jasmine tea. The jasmine is very natural and not overwhelming and the aroma is softly fruity jasmine. The base tea struck me as a white tea rather than a green because of the flavors. The jasmine perfectly integrated, matching well with the fruity tea. No distinct flavors to the base tea but it was a good balance of tones including peach-apricot-cantaloupe, hay-seed-grain and a nectar sweetness. A light aftertaste, mouthwatering mineral qualities and complementary astringency urged me to continue sipping. Very clean light body that could be made thicker by steeping a little longer which I found out by oversteeping.
3.4g, 8oz, 160F, 4 steeps western
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Cantaloupe, Grain, Grass Seed, Hay, Jasmine, Mineral, Nectar, Peach, Smooth, Sweet
What in the ever-living duck is this. The bag smells revolting, artificial, medicinal. Dumb and brave — not a winning combination. Here we go.
I’m getting a really strong artificial-medicinal-raspberry/pomegranate acrid smell. Chamomile mixed with hibiscus, which I don’t typically like.
Yeeup, definitely red medicine tasting. Vitamins. Grossly tart, not smooth. There’s no reason to put citric acid in this other than for preserving a poor excuse for tea that you don’t expect to fly off shelves. Where’s the green tea?
This holds my second lowest rating. It would be the lowest but smelling it doesn’t make my stomach turn, it just pisses me off, hehe.
Kitchen clean-out teabag. No idea of age but it is the old style of Mighty Leaf packaging.
Not much aroma to the leaf — smells light green, leafy and strangely what I interpret as cherry blossom that can be found in some sencha. Brews up apple juice in color with aroma of nutty hay with some kind of bright note. First thing I notice on the sip is how mineral-salty it is, followed by hay-butter-nut. Mouth-watering comes next then a short butter-chestnut aftertaste. Astringency develops as I sip. Not worth resteeping. Meh.
Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Drying, Hay, Mineral, Nutty, Plants, Salty
Damn, valerian is disgusting.
Nothing like drinking stinky feet for a good night’s rest. Fortunately, there’s some good stuff going on in this blend to, um, temper the valerian. The other ingredients provide a well-balanced mix of herbaceous and floral qualities but it’s not enough to completely distract from the fact that I’m chugging the sweat squeezed from a pair of four days worn crusty gym socks. There’s also some herbal spiciness and a cooling spreading through my chest — from what, I’m not sure. This tea wins points for the blend sans valerian.
Here’s to me being blessed with a club-over-the-head sleep after a later than desired oolong session.
It’s been a while since I’ve had this, so a quick note for tracking its development.
Dry: soft, fruity, powdered sugar
Warm: stonefruit – apricot-plum, yeasty-pastry
Rinse: apricot, plum, cherry, yogurt, floral, vegetal
Liquor color: GOLD
Aroma: powdered sugar and faint tropical fruit – papaya?
Mouthfeel: viscous, mouth-watering, juicy after swallow, rough texture and nice tongue swelling midway through
Tastes: stonefruit/papaya?, hay, sneaky bitterness grows stronger, darker honey, deep vegetal undertone comes forward later, floral, strong returning sweetness midway
Feels: calm, alert, seems like a good morning tea
Overall impression: I like where it’s heading. It’s pretty sweet but the bitterness is on the stronger end which I like and keeps the sweetness in check. Bright tropical fruit zing has diminished, developing more stonefruit notes and darker more syrupy ripe papaya note. Can’t wait to see what happens when that vegetal undertone changes. Seems like a Yiwu with attitude.
Thanks to Kawaii433, I was able to try my first ginseng oolong :)
I was amused by the dry goods because they looked like aquarium pebbles that smelled like ginseng and syrup. With the Mandala-recommended rinse, the pebbles hadn’t yet cracked open but they smelled of ginseng and cooked vegetables and greens.
After the rinse, I did 7 steeps western style at 30/30/30/40/50/60/? seconds. It started off really pleasant, with a nectar sweetness and light ginseng-herbs. The nuggets finally cracked open in the second steep and were fully unfurled by the fourth. The brew stayed pleasant with its nectar and ginseng-herbal qualities. It had some light oolong grassiness, hay impressions and butteriness came forward in the mouth and the aftertaste. The tea made me really warm!
I was hesitant about approaching this tea since I’ve read some reviews about ginseng oolong being very vegetal and obnoxiously sweet from licorice root mixed into the ginseng coating. That was definitely not the case with this tea. It was very clean with no grit from the coating (what made it through my strainer settled in a very thin layer at the bottom), lightly sweet and grassy, a bit mineral. To repeat myself: light and pleasant. Very easy sipping. Thanks again, Kawaii433.
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Hay, Herbs, Mineral, Nectar
Picked up from the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The sachet was nearly overflowing with fluffy chamomile. Very strong floral-apple aroma that was also present in the sweet liquor. Nice pollen brightness. Not at all drying or woody. As far as the rose and lavender oils, I didn’t pick up on either but I did get hints of airiness?
Best chamomile I’ve had! 2 steeps.
Flavors: Apple, Flowers, Hot hay
The liquor kind of smells like no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies but made with sour dark chocolate. They were accidentally baked and even burnt a little. The taste is surprisingly light and much less bitter than expected. I only notice a slight bitterness in the back of the mouth after I swallow. It’s also a little sweet-tart and a hint ashy. Very mineral and clean with a nice roasty flavor. I think I like it!
Flavors: Ash, Burnt, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Mineral, Oats, Roasted, Tart