54 Tasting Notes
First Sip Thought: “Camping night.”
Smell: Picture yourself outside on a chilly night surrounding a campfire with friends. Breathe in the air and you’ll get something similar to this tea’s scent. Much like a campfire, the smokiness aroma really hits you. It’s quite intense. I would recommend steeping this tea for the first time in an open area since the aroma may be overpowering compared to other teas you’re used to.
Taste: What makes this tea so unique is that the tea leaves have actually been smoked over pine needles. This is what gives it the very bold, but soothing, earthy flavour. The scent alone kept me away from trying this tea for a while probably because it was too heavy for my liking. I’m happy to say the tea itself is actually not bad. After steeping, you are left with a caramel brown type liquid. I have noticed that if you steep it a bit less, the woodsy flavour is more enjoyable as it is not has strong. A pine smoke flavour is quite predominant and I even get a hint of a bacon taste. I do not hate Lapsang Souchong but I think it would take some time before I can actually enjoy it as a beverage alone. What I do love is using Lapsang Souchong for baking or cooking! I think it has become one of my most favourite teas to use in the kitchen as I believe it is something easy to work with. I also imagine that is tea would be ideal for cheese pairing. Hello smoked cheddar…mmmmm. I had heard so much about this tea for a while that I just had to give it a try. I do not regret that I did. While this tea might not be for everyone I think it’s one that needs to be tried (at least once) by all.
First Sip Thought: “Squash.”
Smell: Before I enjoyed the slightly roasty and floral aroma, I admired the leaves for quite some time. They are dark and tightly rolled which of course makes it more fun to watch steep.
Taste: You may remember when I wrote about Eco-Cha and their mission late last year. You can view that post here. This tea was hand picked in small batches September 2014 in Yong Long, Nantou, Taiwan (just above Dong Ding Mountain). Hand picked. When you drink this tea, stop and think about that for a moment. You’ll appreciate your cup a lot more. This oolong is not as strong as I was hoping but still offers great flavours. To explain my first sip thought, the initial few sips taste just like a plate full of freshly roasted vegetables. Eco-Cha narrows it down to a roasted summer squash as the predominant flavour and I have to agree. I also noticed a dry fruit flavour along with nutty characters. So I guess you can also say another thought that came to my mind during the first sip was “trail mix!” This tea has me very excited to give the rest of the oolongs I have from Eco-Cha a try.
First Sip Thought: “Less fennel more dandelion root, please.”
Smell: To put it simple, this tisane smells just what is is—seeds. The fennel seeds are quite strong in this aroma until you steep the tisane. Once steeped, the liquid is gold and the coriander seed scent begins to shine with a nice earthy aroma.
Taste: This tisane is a soothing and healing blend with citrusy notes. There is a mild spice kick during some sips but nothing too strong to be able to compare it to a chai. When I first requested this tisane I didn’t read the full list of ingredients until it came to my door. I saw organic dandelion root and got excited to order right away. I’m not a huge fan of fennel seeds and so I probably would have rated this tisane higher if it was without. I prepared this tea with no additives at first but tried it with some of The Persimmon Tree’s rock sugar the second time around and enjoyed it much better then as I felt the rock sugar helped control the overdose of fennel seeds I thought I was getting. However, the most prominent flavour in this blend for me was the coriander seed (the leaf of this seed’s plant is known as cilantro). All of the ingredients are organic and include health promoting properties especially when it comes to aiding in digestion to heal stomach pains. I would highly suggest this tisane as the perfect drink for after a large meal (ie. Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner) as it stays true to its name.
First Sip Thought: “Forest.”
Smell: It has a woodsy aroma along with a golden amber liquor. You get a stronger scent than you would from a first flush. After steeped, a sweeter scent is evident that is also brisk and quite inviting.
Taste: Ahh…the champagne of teas! Harvested in June, this Second Flush Darjeeling makes an exquisite, uplifting cuppa. Second Flush simply means the tea was plucked in the Darjeeling region of India during the second growing season. Second Flush Darjeeling leaves generally have a richer, darker taste. This is perfect for me as I really enjoy bold teas and I can never get enough of Darjeeling. With the earthy and musky after taste the flavours in this Darjeeling are quite distinct and reminiscent to a forest-y getaway (hence my “first sip thought”. Due to the prominent earth and stonefruit flavours, this tea would be a match made in heaven for some cheese pairings. Within a few tastes, I gather a smooth and unique grape like flavour – something that may be enhanced with a nibble of cheese. After having this tea, I realized second flush is my favourite kind of Darjeeling!
First Sip Thought: “Breathtaking!”
Smell: Woo…very fragrant but that’s to be expected with something as precious as Jasmine Pearls. Even though the Jasmine smell is quite strong, I feel like the floral scent relaxes me. The after steep colour was surprisingly very bright.
Taste: Move over diamonds, this girl has a new best friend in town: Jasmine Pearls! Before trying them I was aware how beautiful it would be to watch the tight leaves unfurl. It’s an added bonus! This tea would be ideal for tea meditation because it’s hard to not focus on the steep process. These Jasmine Pearls have a smooth taste with sweet undertones. Drinking this tea is sort of like indulging in a cup of green tea outside near a bed of Jasmines. As mentioned in the “smell” section, the jasmines are made evident quite well. Some might think too much but I find that with the taste it isn’t as strong as the smell made it seem. If you’re a jasmine lover you should not have any problems with it.
First Sip Thought: “The taste is just like the smell!”
Smell: I always love when you get tea in the mail and can already smell it when you haven’t even opened the package yet. This tea is just like that. It smells fresh – like laying under a blooming peach tree on a warm summer day.
Taste: Have you ever had a tea that smelt too good to be true and it was just that – tasted horrible? Sweet Peach White is nothing like that. As my first sip thought states, I was delighted to find out that taste wasn’t deceiving from the smell. This white tea is fresh and light – a nice twist on their Shou Mei White Tea. The perfect balance of sweet and fruity. If you were to add sugar it kind of resembles a “fuzzy peach” taste. I especially enjoy the freeze-dried peaches addition to the blend. I feel like that makes this blend juicy and it’s nice to have the actual thing rather than only a flavouring. I indulged in this tea hot, and frozen as a popsicle. I’ll have to share my popsicle recipe shortly as this tea was the perfect base for it because of the natural sweetness. For now, I’m going to test my patience and try to cold-steep this tea overnight because I have a feeling it’ll be amazing!
First Sip Thought: “Energizer bunny.”
Smell: I enjoyed the scent very much. It was floral with fruity undertones. To me it smells very fresh and it awakens my senses with the added spices.
Taste: My first sip thought was all about the energizer bunny. Why? Simply because the Wellness Blend is filled with invigorating, organic ingredients that can boost your mood and immune system. When you take a sip, be prepared for some extra energy to come your way! I was expecting it to be a bit spicier than it was because of the chili pepper. I believe the added fruitiness and sweetness calmed down the spices included which made it into a wonderfully balanced blend. I wouldn’t get confused by “green” rooibos, as this can steep longer than your typical green tea and still taste great. I think this is a perfect life pick me up. Even if you’re not feeling under the weather this blend will keep you from feeling that way anytime soon. I absolutely love that there is Echinacea in it. I used to swear by Cold 911 from David’s Tea but I think I’ve found a new favourite that I will be referring to all my friends and family. I also find the Wellness Blend to be perfect for an after yoga drink. With it’s organic and calming ingredients it can also help you unwind after a spiritual journey with your mind, body and soul.
First Sip Thought: “A seductive pair!”
Smell: At first scent, I can definitely get more chocolate than strawberry. After steep I can sense some strawberry while the liquid turns into a beautiful red shade.
Taste: These two flavours mingle well together and that’s my explanation for my First Sip Thought. The chocolate is more prevalent than the strawberry in the taste and smell but I think that’s how it’s supposed to be. A decadent chocolate covering the hint of strawberry. However, the rooibos is the higher of flavours in this tea. I’m glad it wasn’t overpowered by the added flavours. This tea was sent to me in unbleached tea bags. I was expecting loose leaf but I didn’t mind. When I was younger my first ever cup of tea was a strawberry tea bag that was, at the time for me, to die for! This tea brought back those memories, and made them even sweeter (because of the added chocolate!) With each smooth sip, this rooibos really grows on you. When I prepared it I added a dash of milk to make it extra creamy and more like a dessert.
First Sip Thought: “Rich & Creamy!”
Smell: When first opening the tin, I wasn’t crazy about the scent. After I steeped it though, it was a delicious scent. The initial one definitely did not do it justice! A great way to realize to “never judge a tea by its initial smell.”
Taste: Don’t let the verdict steer you away, because I definitely enjoyed this pu-erh tea. It’s not like others because it’s not an intense earthy flavour. If I were to change one thing it would probably be to have more pu-erh taste than the coconut/chocolate, but that’s me being picky. However, the chocolate and coconut are the perfect match for the pu-erh base. It’s a lovely taste and if you do enjoy coconut and chocolate then you’ll love the combination in this tea. I think of this tea as an excellent cozy drink. When I took a few sips I noticed a toasty coconut, and rich and creamy chocolate coating. It is definitely not a cheap, artificial chocolate or coconut flavouring as well.
Bonus: several re-steeps of this tea will get you the same flavour each time!