999 Tasting Notes
I enjoyed this one so much yesterday afternoon that I reached for it as my first tea of the day. This is just surprisingly good. I’ve mostly only had Celestial Seasonings herbal teas and, for the most part, they are just okay to me. I guess that’s the reason I haven’t really tried any of the others until now. It might be a good time to see what else they offer aside from the variety packs of herbal and fruity tisanes.
Every once in a while, someone will bring a box of something that they didn’t particularly like and leave it in our break room so that someone else can finish it off. I’m guessing that’s the case here. This box of chai teabags has been sitting next to the coffee supplies at work for the past several weeks. I didn’t give it much thought at first since I usually bring my own tea, but one of my coworkers mentioned to me the other day that this was one of her favorites now since trying it here at work. I had some extra cream in my bag today so I grabbed one to try, just to see what it’s like. The first thing I notice is the strong scent of cloves. The taste is mostly clove too, but there is also a caramel flavor that I’m really enjoying. I’m pleasantly surprised by this one. It’s really quite good.
Flavors: Caramel, Cloves
I completely forgot that this was a white tea when I put it in my bag this morning. It smells of lemongrass and Red Hots cinnamon candy. The taste is much better than I had anticipated. It’s lightly spiced but still good. I taste cinnamon most of all. It’s calming on my stomach.
8 ounces water + 175 degrees + 3 minutes
This cup is lighter, though not by much. The flavor I’m still getting the most of is the lemongrass. It doesn’t really even taste spiced anymore.
Flavors: Candy, Cinnamon, Lemongrass, Spices
Backlog from October 7th:
This is such a unique tea. It’s the first banana tea I’ve ever tasted and I was amazed at just how authentic it smells. It’s not as much fresh, ripe banana to me as it is banana pudding. I actually get a sense of the vanilla wafers alongside sliced bananas and creamy pudding.
The blend is made up of tightly coiled tea with large pieces of real banana. Some of the pieces are as big as a butter mint candy. The tea brews up so lovely. It’s a light golden color with a faint banana fragrance. I’m not the biggest fan of oolong in general but this is really nice. The banana flavor is jut barely there but in the right way. It’s refreshing and delicate. Just really something special.
8 ounces water + 180 degrees + 4 minutes
After the first steep, the leaves have unfurled and now look like deep green kale. There are still a couple of chunks of banana holding strong. I’m not sure if the banana flavor is actually from the fruit or the natural flavorings, but it’s nice to see that the fruit hasn’t completely disintegrated in any case. I allowed this cup to rest for 6 minutes after steeping just as I did the first cup. Even with the same steep time, the color was just as dark as my initial cup. The banana flavor is not present for me in this cup. The aroma is more vegetal in both leaf and liquid and there is a bit of astringency now. Still a fine and flavorful cup.
Flavors: Astringent, Banana, Creamy, Vanilla, Vegetal
Second tea of the day.
I love the autumn flavors in this tea. It’s just really nicely spiced. My husband has been talking about this tea all week and took some to work with him today so I brought some to work to enjoy too. We both really like this one.
8 ounces water + 205 degrees + 10 minutes
This is my second cup of this, or rather my third since this is the second steep of my second cup. The cup I had yesterday I steeped according to the instructions on the bag – 1.5 teaspoons for a 12 ounce cup. It didn’t seem as flavorful to me as I though it would be based on the smell so today I shook the bag really well and dropped to my normal measurements of 1 teaspoon for an 8 ounce cup. The ratios didn’t change but for some reason the flavor is there now. I’m certainly not complaining about that! I’m sure shaking the spices around in the bag helped.
This really is a beautiful mix and so fragrant. The majority of the blend is made up of twisty black tea leaves. There is shredded coconut and something like bark which I am assuming is the honeybush. I don’t see any cumin seeds but it may be that ground cumin was used as part of the the mix of spices listed in the ingredients. Or maybe I’m just not seeing it. The tea smells sweet and mostly of coconut, but there is a spiced note as well. Maybe cloves? I’m not smelling the cumin just yet.
I’ve enjoyed both the first and second cups of this, though both were a little different. The first cup was dark and rich with more coconut flavor alongside the black tea base. The second cup is lighter but the spices are more noticeable. I’m still not tasting the cumin directly. I’m not picking up on any smokiness either, only sweet spices. I’m certainly not disappointed. This is a really good chai. It’s maybe just not as unique as I expected it to be. I plan on trying another mugful soon and will try shaking it more to see if I can pick up some of that smoky flavor I’m missing. I may also try the original instructions for steeping again to see if that might make a difference too.
Flavors: Cloves, Coconut, Spices, Sweet