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Recent Tasting Notes
Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge – November Tea #1 -A cranberry tea
And here I thought I didn’t have a cranberry tea with me! I had this tea before from a different shop, and it was on sale when I placed an order with Tealyra, so I had to buy this old favorite. So definitely not a sipdown anytime soon. I like it mainly because it’s a fruit tea without hibiscus. Tart enough, but not TOO tart. With hints of cherry, cranberry, coconut from those huge pieces of coconut… and I wish more kiwi. I suppose that is why you don’t see too many kiwi teas.
Happy Juneteenth! I’m glad it’s nationally recognized now. Bout time. I have had this one a while, tried it a couple times. But it also isn’t the ideal Jin Jun Mei for me. I want dark. I want murky. The scent of the dry leaves with only the faintest hints of gold, is very like a spicy BBQ sauce. Maybe a bit smoky until you notice the spice. But this isn’t really in the flavor. The flavor is mostly sweet, with the tailend of the second steep tasting like root beer, which I suppose could be a cousin to BBQ sauce if you really think about it. But again, it’s a lighter black tea (not quite the color of root beer)… and I really wish it was deep and dark. I’m also just noticing this one has “lapsang” in the name and I would say it is smoky in scent and not flavor. That’s fine – didn’t really want this particular tea to be smoky but other tea drinkers may be disappointed. I will find that perfect Jin Jun Mei ONE day (I hear the What-cha daily Jin Jun Mei would be a good one to try!) Also, I’m at least thankful that the flavor here is very different from the other Jin Jun Mei I ordered from Tealyra (that mainly tasted like tomato soup). I hesitate to write a note because I can hardly notice distinct flavors, but I also really don’t want to wait until the tea is OLD.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 22 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep
I actually bought this tea from Tealyra, but am using the Tealux page for convenience. I steeped around 2 teaspoons of leaf in a 355 ml mug at 205F for 3.5, 5, and 10 minutes, respectively.
The dry leaf smells promisingly spicy, with notes of black pepper, cardamom, ginger, licorice, and cinnamon. Sadly, the black pepper and licorice predominate in the taste, which is unfortunate since licorice isn’t one of my favourite flavours. If you can ignore the licorice, this is a nicely balanced chai that is definitely on the spicy side, with a bit of woodiness from the rooibos. It leaves a strong peppery and spicy aftertaste.
I would be a lot happier with this tea if it had more ginger and cardamom and no licorice whatsoever. My search for a good decaf chai continues.
Flavors: Anise, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger, Spicy, Wood
I bought this a while ago. No tasting note yet. sigh. I think I was hoping this would be mostly similar to Fusion’s Caramel Chai Pu-erh (especially now that it’s no longer for sale), It really isn’t like the Fusion blend. The caramel is different.. caramel cubes here. But I don’t know… it could be the same source? Just different “harvests”? The Fusion seems to have a deeper flavor though. The first steep has a flavor that seems kind of like plastic to me? Not sure why. It’s not too spicy or caramel… made sure to get a caramel cube in the infuser. The pu-erh isn’t deep enough for me either. I should try it with two teaspoons at some point. The third steep is like a drying chai but also very thin to me for a pu-erh. Nothing too thrilling… I don’t love it like I’ve loved past versions of the Fusion blend. I guess this is why it took me so long to write a tasting note: in the past, I kept trying to steep it up and find the magic.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoon for a full mug // 14 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 5 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 5 minute steep
While Tealyra does wholesale from Dethlefsen & Balk, this is a totally different blend than the Caramel Chai Pu’erh; the ingredients don’t match at all. The Caramel Chai Pu’erh did not include maple.
Unfortunately, I didn’t rate this tea before, but luckily, it’s still rather good! The leaves are strangely fluffy, like… dried pork fluff stuff? They’re all ground up, so despite the recommendation on the package to use extra leaf as it’s a fluffy tea, I went with less leaf than normal (3/4 tsp for 8 oz) because I was worried it would be potent like a Japanese gyokuro. I was wrong. It’s so smooth, I clearly could have used more leaf, and will next time, though it was certainly flavourful even with a reduced amount of leaf. The flavour was a bit mariney and sweet, somewhat vegetal. Still tasted fresh, and not like an old green tea, which it is (I’d estimate 4-5 years in my possession).
Anyways, I should have tried this sooner. It’s yummy.
Here I am to bump up the rating for this tea! :D Thanks so much for sending this along, StarFevre! I always wanted to try this one. I was a little worried about the coconut ruining it, as I knew this was probably a bit old. But behold, despite the huge coconut flakes in the infuser, the coconut doesn’t taste bad! There are elephant size pieces of fruit in this blend: a HUGE mango slice that was almost the size of a mango… bananas, pineapple. I really went for a very long steep on this one to really soak that big mango slice. The flavor that results is delicious — more sweet and creamy than tart. I can taste a hint of mango, with some banana. I really like this!
First the bad news maple is not my favorite flavor – I know, how un Canadian of me.
The good news is that there is more going on here than just in your face maple. There is definitely some astringency from the black base – that helps cut the sweetness. I’m also thinking this is a little creamy with just a touch of nuttiness. For me, this reads a little like maple walnut ice cream – that might be a bit of a stretch, but more like that than pure maple syrup.
Thanks for sharing Evol – always interesting to try different things.
I like this tea, but it kind of tastes like two separate things – the white tea, and the coconut. Somehow they don’t quite blend right. They are both nicely flavored, but they need a bridge between the flavors somehow. The coconut is not huge, but definitely present – it’s the nice coconut, fresh and milky tasting, not sticky and sugary. I’m not a white tea connoisseur by any means, but this seems to have a nice flavor and is maybe not quite as delicate as some I’ve mistreated in the past. The aftertaste is a nice soft coconut and is somehow refreshing. I think this tea could be better, but I still quite enjoy it.
This is kind of an everything but the kitchen sink tea, with so many different things in it you kind of wonder if someone just emptied bits from a bunch of jars together and decided it actually tasted ok. Because of that, there isn’t really anything special about this tea, but it’s definitely drinkable.
The aroma of this is lovely. The flavor is slightly bitter with a strong strawberry fruitiness. It isn’t at all sweet, just flavorful. (I suspect it would be good with just a touch of a sweetener.) It somehow has a certain richness to it – perhaps that’s just the fact that the tea backbone is strong and holds its own against the fruit. I personally would prefer a touch lighter on the tea, but it’s still a good one.
Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Strawberry
Find myself wanting to eat all the chocolate today. I keep buying all the chocolate, so this is easy to do when I am at home.
I could have sworn I have a stack of chocolate teas for moments like these, but it took me forever to find one. I finally found this one in a cluster of those that I had divied out for Sil—yes, yes, that was three months ago— and was dismayed that this has green tea in it as well as black. In my experience, those green/black blends don’t turn out well, but hey, let’s give it a whirl.
It may be green and black, but steeped, it smells like pu’erh. Like others have noted, it tastes like watered down hot chocolate.
The flavour actually is good, but calling it Chocolate Delight sets up an expectation. Calling it something like Muddied Cocoa would be more accurate and less anxiety-provoking.
Currently eating caramel chocolate to assuage my disappointment.
That said, it is getting better as it gets cooler.
Flavors: Cocoa, Dirt
same from Evol ving ness. This one doesn’t work for me.. somehow the ingredients don’t come together in any sort of harmony for me…and there’s an under lying sweetness that i can’t quite place. Not a bad tea, but nothing i need to have again. Though i’m always up for trying new things :)
Sample from Evol Ving ness
so tired…working late. long story short – this was a nice one. refreshing berry tea…bold flavour. I’d pick this one up again if i needed a berry/fruit herbal!
Final Count: 105 (yes i’m trying to get one in a day!)
Happy to hear that you enjoyed this one.
I seem to have gone on a berry trend in this particular swap packet. Somehow, I don’t think I realized that as I was organizing and packaging.
Another sample from evol ving ness this is absolutely a maple tea. And funnily enough, while i adore maple added to my smokey teas – this is too sweet for me :) the maple is a tiny bit artificial but it still embodies the whole idea of maple tea :) recommend this for anyone who likes maple and sweet teas :)
I don’t know, I made the mistake of reading the other comments on this herbal—something I usually don’t do until I finish my review post—and I’ve got a completely different thing going on in my cup. What I have here is mango, and papaya possibly, with a hint of yogurt-like tang. There may well be hibiscus here too, but a few shreds perhaps, nothing that screams hibiscus at me. It’s all quite delicious.
Flavors: Hibiscus, Mango, Sweet, Tangy, Tropical, Yogurt