2524 Tasting Notes
This tea sounded really good and Cameron B graciously offered to send me some!
I tried it first with Ashman as a huge pot with bagels for breakfast. Since it was brand new to me I didn’t do my usual two steeps put together thing, but drank it full strength.
It was very good, but neither of us got fruit or flowers. I asked Ashman if he tasted fruit and he said not at all. I thought I tasted burnt caramel and he agreed that was spot on.
But we were supposed to taste something else, something fruity, so I tried it again the next day for breakfast when I was alone. I used 205F water instead of 212F and took the steep time down just a tad. And there it is! Baked apricot!
It was ever bit as good as I thought it would be! Thank you so much, Cameron B! It was a great tea and fun to try!
I had this tea hot yesterday and I am drinking cold and unsweetened today.
The first thing I need to confess is that this tea sample is probably super old. My impressions of this tea may not be fair and a really fresh batch might be as spectacular as the company describes.
Having said that, it is not a bad tea. The color of the steeped tea is lovely – a very clear, crisp amber color. There is a slight nuttiness, I pick up the chestnut flavor they mention, and it is smooth with a touch of briskness and a touch of minerality.
I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I get a lot of the mineral taste we have here when you finish your drink and the ice in your glass melts and you drink the melt water. Is that a touch of iron? Like freezer frost? You guys are mostly too young to have had freezer frost!
But really every flavor here is light. It is light minerality, light nuttiness, light briskness…all adding up to a medium bodied and medium flavored tea. Most DHP I have tasted are deeper and darker in notes than this, if that helps explain this tea.
I like it, but I am not finding anything to wax poetic about. It is good, though.
I got my first ‘Rona shot last Friday! Yay! Where I live supply exceeds demand, people are being offered the shot and declining, and so they are letting pretty much all groups get the shot. I had no ill effects other than a typical sore arm.
Last time I drank this tea I said I should try it as a sweet latte, so tonight that is what I did. It is rather pleasant out so Ashman and I sat in the rockers and chatted. You guys are so inspiring with your sipdown challenges and here I am ordering tea and feeling guilty! This was attempt to sipdown the second to last tea in this set. I am almost there.
I heated some milk and added my tea blend and sugar straight into the pan with the heat turned low and set a timer. I give lattes like this five to ten minutes, depending on the blend. I strained it into mugs and added a heaping helping of whipped cream and some sprinkles. It was good, and Ashman especially enjoyed it. I did like it, but this one is actually a little milder than I like for my rich lattes. Even though it is a rooibos (blech) it also has honeybush which I like very much, so this is one that I find palatable as a regular cuppa, too.
First – my little envelope icon always says I have messages even when I don’t. It has been this way for over a year. I have literally gone through every single page of old messages at least twice to see if a reply posted way back and I missed it, but there is nothing new. Does anyone else have this issue?
Now, the tea! This was a surprise envelope from White Antlers! Thank you, thank you!
I made a cup one night and a big pot for breakfast yesterday to share with Ashman. (By the way, only his friends call him that. I usually call him sweetie. And that’s what he usually calls me. I would wonder what I had done if he called me by my name, probably! Ha ha!)
I am not a big chai drinker and would have made this as a latte except I saw a review that said it didn’t make a good latte. Drinking it, I could see why. This is actually pretty mild and smooth when drinking it by the cup. The spices are interesting and it doesn’t give me the stomach burn. I think milk and sugar would have detracted on this one.
When Ashman and I drank I had made a HUGE pot. Drinking cup after cup, the spices build until you start getting a little heat on the roof of your mouth. I thought it was clove at first, but now I think it was black pepper. I didn’t think he would like it, but he said that while it is not in his top ten, he didn’t mind it and would drink it again, but would not seek it out.
We googled Alexandra David-Néel and he read it as we drank the last of the tea. What a fascinating woman and a fascinating life! I had never heard of her until I received this tea, and we both really enjoy learning something new, so that was awesome!
I have to agree with Ashman. I liked it, especially when I had just a single cup and the spices stay tame. I normally dislike pepper in tea but this one wasn’t bad! It just isn’t one I woukd drink such copious amounts if at a time.
Thank you, White Antlers! For the tea and the history lesson!
This is another birthday tea from Youngest!
I am hunkered down waiting for the big storms that are supposed to hit in a few hours. I moved the rockers and table, rolled up the outdoor rug, and put my car under the back carport. I don’t think this is a storm I would care to sit and watch from the rocker…Now I am sipping tea and reading everyone’s notes. Ashman will be at work until the storm ends and I am hoping for no tornadoes, no downed power lines, and no wind damage!
Of the two Czar Nikolas teas I received, this is my favorite! The other is bergamot with some extras and is a nice Earl Grey stand-in, but I don’t reach for Earls that much. This one is rose and I love me some rose tea!
The tea is broken leaf, not CTC. The pink and yellow rose petals are very faded but the safflower is very bright red/orange. Maybe they just hold color better. It is still a pretty blend.
The rose flavor is thick, as in rose oil thick. Thicc. It says it has natural and artificial flavors and I am sure this is how they achieve of the strong rose note but I don’t care. I dig rose and this has it in spades! It is smooth enough to drink without milk and sugar. As rosey as it is, I feel like sugar would be too much and would ruin it for me because mild rose really just tastes like sweetening to me. Strong rose would surely be overpowering with sugar.
The base is smooth and doesn’t anger my tummy like many black teas do. This is going to be a breakfast staple for a while…
Thank you, Youngest!
I could have sworn I wrote a note on this but I didn’t.
Youngest gave me this for my birthday, purchased from an international food market near where she lives.
I tried it hot first and initially thought it was pretty much just an Earl Grey, but I liked it more than most that have a Ceylon base. I generally prefer Earls on Keemun or other Chinese base because Ceylon can be too lemony with the sour bergamot.There is a minty aftertaste so either they added mint leaves or used some really high elevation Ceylon in the base. There is a little bit of rose flavor, too, but mostly bergamot. I noticed some really green leaves in the infuser basket, so I think there is some darjeeling here as well. I enjoyed it hot with breakfast, sans additions. I think I will treat it more like a darjeeling next time and see how that affects it.
I noticed some reviews here and there that said it made great iced tea.
It does not. Those people were lying liars of lies. It is horrifying sweet and iced. I made just over a quart and after doggedly trying to finish my 10 ounces with supper (I couldn’t) I poured all of it down the drain. It was a big old carafe of sour. Maybe treating it like a darjeeling would save it here? Maybe.
Fortunately, it tasted good hot so I don’t mind it not making good iced tea!
Thank you, Youngest!
Another one bites the dust!
Youngest gave me a bag of food and tea goodies for my birthday, and one of the gifts was JAFFA CAKES! The actual cookies! We had a discussion about them when this tea came out and she was sure she had eaten them and that they tasted a lot like orange Pims.
Naturally I had to make a pot of Jaffa Cakes to go with the cookies last night!
When I suggested this one she said she has not really been drinking or digging much black tea lately and was pretty surprised when I told her she would like this since it was a honeybush.
She didn’t just like it, she LOVED it, so I sent the couple of remaining teaspoons home with her and I will re-order more for me!
This looks almost as dark as some black teas in the cup and you wouldn’t guess it was a caffeine free herbal from sight or scent. Youngest said she thought the honeybush was really enhancing the orange. She was quite passionate about the orange flavor in it and waxed poetic about the glory of orange and there was also a small tirade about lemon and its inferiority and how it can just…well, there was a tirade. She prefers orange.
This one is a keeper and I hope it never goes away.
And it’s a sipdown! (but I already have a new one so I guess it doesn’t count.)
Yesterday was my birthday and Youngest came to visit. It was a gorgeous day and we spent pretty much the whole day outside, even having our meals out on the patio. We drank copious amounts of lots of different teas which I hope to get around to writing a note on.
I had intended for this to be my birthday tea from the time I saw it advertised, then I hit it hard and was nearly out, and ordered more. And of course, on the actual day I forgot. I was going through the whole “what shall we have with the cake…” and soliciting suggestions when I remembered this tea. I made a huge pot for the three of us. (Middle daughter drinks absolutely no tea but London Cuppa.)
The smell is pure birthday cake or birthday cake flavor Oreos but the taste is rich black tea with caramel, almost a burnt brown sugar taste. It was perfect with the butter cake with chocolate frosting. Ashman said he believed it was the perfect pairing.
If this tea had been super sweet and cloying like a grocery store birthday cake, it would have been terrible with cake in my opinion. Instead it has the body and black tea cocoa-y goodness to cut through heavy sweetness and let you taste the caramel and flavors in the tea instead of being overwhelmed by thick syrupy tasting sweetness. The aroma adds festivity but the tea has what it takes to go with your sweets and stand out as a solid, delicious tea.
My friend who brought me Shamrock Shenanigans and I both ordered this but we didn’t get to drink it together. We did, however, compare notes on the goodies and both agree that the tiny Stoopwaffels that came with it were DA BOMB. I already like Stroopwaffels okay and mini Stroopwaffels better, but these were the best! I even looked for them at the grocery last night but it was a no go. There were so many little squeal worthy goodies in the package!
The tea is the main feature of the package, though! If you have read my many of my notes you know I like only a smidge of ginger, and a minimum of black pepper, so what most people consider REAL chai isn’t my bag. I had a really authentic one with turmeric, ginger, and lots of black pepper from an Indian acquaintance long ago and…not my thing.
I discovered that I really prefer chai with little pepper and ginger, some nice sweet things like cinnamon and cardamom, made in all milk with some sugar added. I do realize that traditional prep is usually half water and half milk with some sugar added.
Until this one.
It smells really unusual, and my friend said she smelled lots of black pepper but I didn’t. I am guessing the mystery smell was sarsaparilla, because it was akin to root beer, but definitely not the same. Since I am familiar with all the other ingredients it must be that.
I have had this three ways and for the first time ever I prefer a chai prepared like a chai. Milk alone took away its “chai-ness” too much and I really wanted the full flavor. The ginger did not need any calming down for me. The black pepper was not too much for me. I guess like Baby Bear said, as a chai this was “just right” for me.
And HOORAY! I can also taste the base tea with this one, which is great because my big complaint with the last chai I had (Holiday Chai by Stash) was that it tastes like water with chai spices added. I only drink it as a full milk latte with whipped cream on top or I make a “root beer” type syrup out of it to add to sparkling water.
I am eager for my friend to try it so I can find out what she thinks of it!
My best friend came over today for some socially distanced rocking chair time on the patio and brought this tea as a gift for me! I had planned to make some special tea for her as her mom just passed away but she provided the tea instead because she is the sweetest.
I like mint. I enjoy it while I am eating it or drinking it but somehow I seldom reach for it and I don’t know why. Just yesterday I ate two York Peppermint Patties because I was tired of seeing them sitting in the fridge. I didn’t buy them, they came with a snack bag we bought several times to support our local art house theater while they were closed for Covid. My mother adored mint and two of my kids do, too. And as I said, I like it, but I don’t usually reach for it.
So I made a huge pot of this and I have to say I think it is the best mint black tea I have tried. My friend loved it, too.
I prefer spearmint to peppermint, and this had a nice balance of both. Peppermint can be….bitey….peppery? As my friend put it, this is good black tea and the mint gives just a tingle and then comes through in the aftertaste. It is a smooth mint with less of the Wrigley’s vibe because of the peppermint. The marshmallow adds a dash of sweetness but without making me feel like sweetener has been added to the tea. My mouth feels fresh but not spicy cool.
This is a winner! My friend said since Ashman and I like lattes I should try it that way, too, and since it is modeled after the shamrock shake I think we should, too! I have never actually had the shamrock shake so I may try it as both a hot and cold latte.