39 Tasting Notes
I’m not going to try steeping this bag again, as there wasn’t enough flavor to hold my interest on the first pass. The chocolate is there, but without the other notes that most chocolate blended teas encourage, it reminds me of making hot cocoa as a kid when I first learned that you can’t add just one packet to an oversized mug.
If you are looking for a spiced hot chocolate flavor, look elsewhere. If you were hoping to find a black tea with some complimentary chocolate notes, move along. Whatever you are seeking, what you’ll find is a rather watery chocolate dissapointment.
This blend does not mess around. There’s nothing subtle about this, not the spice, nor the cinnamon, and especially not the sweet. I was so certain I just broke my diet by drinking some kind of sugar that I spent the next half hour Googling my heart out. They say it’s just sweet clove and some of the other ingredients, but I was skeptical. Turns out this is true: “And since there are no sugars (we tested it), it is safe for everyone to enjoy.”
I’m not sure I could drink this regularly, but when I want to blow someone’s mind about how sweet the listed ingredients could be, or when I feel the urge to drink a cinnamon imperial, I’ll crack open the tin and brace myself.
Rishi might be better served by removing that blackberry twang from this blend. I feel like many of the reviewers, myself included, picked up this tea in hopes of experiencing an earthy pu-erh with a hint of red wine to bring out a figgy and mature flavor. What I got instead was a low but noticeable dose of Berry Zinger. Now, to be fair, the package told me right off there would be blackberry, but I figured that no one would pair pu-erh and grape skins only to tart it up too strongly with the blackberry. I was wrong. That’s my fault and not theirs, but I do think this tea might be better received if they let the pu-erh take the lead.
I recommend adding sweetener to this. Also, consider throwing away the first steep to avoid some of the sour.
My favorite thing about this tea was the smell of the bag I’d purchased it in, but that’s only because I’d stored it next to a delicious blueberry flavored blend. The tea itself was untainted but also less than memorable. For the price, purchased in bulk from a natural grocer, it’s a perfectly reasonable choice for daily sipping. This Special Oolong would make a nice, mild introduction for anyone tiptoeing out of a long-entrenched black tea rut. But with a cabinet of standout teas waiting for me, I’m not likely to be drinking this anytime soon. After initially waking up the leaves, I recommend steeping this tea a bit longer than you might be used to. I usually go by color, and a rich golden hue was insufficient for my buds.
This mint brews up dark, herbal, and satisfying. The box calls this refreshing, but it’s so much more hearty and grounding than that. This is, for me, delicious and filling. Some of that is the mouthfeel and color. This clings to the cup when swirled and has a bourbon color.
The slightly spearmint-like taste reminds me what I like best about mint. It can be at once herbal and candy-like. I’m pleased to find that everything I am after in a mint can be found in this little bag.
I’ve put off reviewing this tea for a bit. I’m not certain why, but I think it’s because I can’t make my mind about it. The jasmine is nice, if a bit strong for my tastes (and it makes me sneeze when I breathe it in too deep, so I don’t), but the green beneath always seems to leave me with an unpleasant aftertaste. The jasmine calls for a more flavorful green and the tannins should be reined in a bit, at least before I’ll purchase this outside of the Mighty Leaf sampler (which I tend to buy and rebuy).
The bag smells sweet before brewing, but once the water hits the tea there’s this roasted and far more earthy scent that rises. The tea brewed really dark, think chocolate, before I noticed and pulled the bag.
I breathed in the rich scent, stared into the mirror black, and took a sip: nothing much. The tea is mild, except for some malt and a vague smokiness. After finishing the cup I was left with astringency and a lingering memory of a smoky flavor that I don’t much enjoy.
Lately I’ve been really down on astringency, knowing that it can really compliment a tea but not being at all in the mood for a harsh mouth-smack. This Earl Grey was exactly what I needed.
As other have said, this is not so much perfumed as it is brushed over with a natural, floral aroma. The assam itself is mild but still flavorful, certainly enough for a bagged tea. Until I find something better, this will be my goto bagged Earl Grey.
I’m not entirely sure what I was drinking, but it was pleasant. It had the scent of coconut, of that I’m certain. There was also a pleasant ginger taste and a very mild green tea back there somewhere. I wouldn’t call this a chai, but it memorably enjoyable.
I’d like to see this sold in individually wrapped bags, mostly because this is exactly the sort of tea I’d only want to drink once every month or so, and the tin isn’t as airtight as I’d like.