719 Tasting Notes
I’m legitimately sorry to finish this sample. This is the most delicious oolong ever. The rolled up leaves spring open and look so gorgeous.
It’s good Western style with tap water. It’s even better gongfu style with spring water. It stayed fresh for six months without issue.
Roasted, mineral-y, nutty, earthy, with a breadlike mouthfeel. Inviting. Quietly strong. Fortifying. Like an old friend.
Normally I’m not a fan of mint teas, but the rose makes this one good. The beauty of this one is its simplicity. Just a soothing, nicely balanced, low maintenance herbal cuppa for a cold winter afternoon.
Flavors: Floral, Herbaceous, Mint, Rose, Sweet
Although Sips By basically phoned it in this month on my subscription box, I legitimately enjoyed this one. It’d be nice if they hadn’t shorted me one sachet of it, but alas. I’ve never had an olive leaf tea before, and I gotta say, I kinda love it. The gentle olive flavor works surprisingly really well with the rose, while the chamomile and passion flower play supporting roles. This company uses whole flower blossoms, so it’s gorgeous to look at while it steeps in the mesh sachet. Very lyrical, very pleasing, very gentle, very wholesome, and very pretty. It’s like wandering into a fairy forest. I like the story they’re telling here. Perfect medicine for today.
Flavors: Floral, Herbaceous, Olive Oil, Rose
I guess I’m feeling a little bratty about this. I opened my Sips By box this month and saw… a plain, bagged chamomile. Seriously?
To be fair, it’s definitely a good quality chamomile. I taste vanilla bean and apple, and it was a nice cuppa to unwind with on a Monday evening. Pleasant, as you would want and expect in chamomile.
But… it’s still just a plain chamomile. I prefer to get more unique teas that I can’t find in a store in my Sips By boxes. Maybe I’m giving it short shrift. Will drink the other three servings, won’t purchase a full container.
Flavors: Apple, Hay, Vanilla
The packet says to use boiling water, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that to a green tea, even a heavily roasted one like this, so I used 195 degree F water instead.
Oh, so good! Roasty, toasty, earthy, just a slight little bit of smokiness. Very reminiscent of the flavors of toasted sesame oil. Paired really well with my avocado salmon sushi roll. Heaven!!!
Flavors: Mineral, Roasted, Smoke, Toasted, Vegetal
Just all right. Brewed in a glass mug using a full-leaf sachet at 205 °F for 4 minutes. No milk, sweetener, or lemon used.
Neither the Darjeeling base nor the bergamot came out particularly dominant. It actually smells almost like oregano, which is weird. The Darjeeling doesn’t taste bitter to me; all I can taste is raisins and grapes. Not sure that raisin and bergamot is my favorite flavor profile, especially when the tea overall is weak. I’ve definitely had better and more interesting EGs.
Flavors: Raisins, Spices
Sipdown! I like gunpowder teas because they’re so fun to watch as they steep, and this zhu cha was no exception— the leaves opened up and looked really pretty and curly in the mesh strainer. I brewed a pot of it in my cast-iron teapot. Flavor is overall mild and mineral-y, a bit musty, and a hint of hay.
I did enjoy this, but it’s not something I would make regularly, so I won’t repurchase.
Sipdown from an older Sips By box.
This was just OK. Like a slightly sweet Assam. Didn’t re-steep well, which is disappointing in a black tea. Apart from that, it was just another plain black tea. Not really memorable or worth repurchasing.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Earth, Honey, Malt, Tea
This is so lovely. The dry leaf has enormous chunks of walnut, slivers of almond, and small cubes of candied fruit. It smells strongly of peanuts, wood, and flour.
Steeps a reddish color. It has a pleasingly oily, thick, satisfying mouthfeel. I definitely taste peanut, almond, and the papaya, as far as detecting the literal ingredients goes. It’s nutty and woodsy, with a tiny bit of sweetness and notes of cinnamon and apple in the aftertaste. It reminds me of apple crisp, actually. It’s a very well-executed blend— delivers exactly what it promises for flavor and feels indulgent.
Flavors: Almond, Apple, Burnt Sugar, Cinnamon, Cookie, Nuts, Nutty, Oats, Peanut, Roasted nuts, Sweet, Walnut, Wood
This tea tastes exactly like those Atomic Fireball hard candies I used to get on Halloween when I was a kid. I adore sweet/ spicy flavor combos. It’s sweet without being artificial or cloying and has the perfect little kick of spice without being irritating. My one complaint about it is that I can’t really taste the black tea base a whole lot. I steeped it for longer than I normally would for a black tea, which helped a bit; I can detect a bit of mild malty earthiness characteristic of Ceylon, so I /think/ that’s what the base is. It’s just a tiny bummer because Harney & Sons uses high quality leaf and the spices and added flavor elements like the orange peel in this blend almost totally mask it.