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Recent Tasting Notes
Strange VariaTEA TTB: Tea #7
I almost skipped this one because ginger peach is such a classic combination of flavours that it takes a lot for me to be excited by it at this point, but the aroma pulled me in with how floral, fresh and dewy the peach smelled!
I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit – the ginger is very light and that really allows the more supple fresh peach notes to come through, and that’s the flavour direction in a ginger peach tea that I personally prefer. It is pretty floral, and in a way that seems in part just from the tea itself and in part from the peach. I don’t always love a floral peach tea, and I wouldn’t have thought that’s what I’d want when ginger is part of the mix, but I felt like it gave a nice nuanced twist and really made the flavours feels multifaceted.
Glad I gave this one a shot!
Blooming Tea Sipdown (208)
I submitted my last law school exam today!! Provided I pass everything, that means I am now a graduate…again. Yay!! It’s a weird feeling because if Covid was not a thing, I would have been walking out of the exam next to a friend and being all excited about being finished. We probably would have gone for a drink or lunch or something to celebrate after chatting with all the other people who just submitted their last exam. Instead I pressed “Submit” exam while sitting in my bed. Something just less anti-climatic about that and I think it hasn’t fully hit yet but I know today is an exciting day!
My sister surprised me with a light box for my tea pictures. I keep complaining to her that all her surfaces look the same so all my tea pictures look the same. I told her she should change her countertop to accommodate but I guess she decided instead to get the lightbox. I was having a lot of fun messing around with it. https://www.instagram.com/p/COLtmlpgfSu/
I decided to do a time lapse with my bloom tea except the bloom decided to not work with me. It refused to sink and bloom well. That said, the light box still made it fun. Also, I realized after I did the photo that this is the last tea in my stash from The Tea Haus. So on the same day I finish school, I am finishing the last tea I bought in the same city as my school. Seemed like a fun fact.
Tastewise, its fine. It is sort of floral. Sort of sweet. Sort of nothing interesting at all. That’s usually the case with these blooms though so I’m not too upset. At least its not bitter.
I think this is the most expensive tea I have bought, other than David Tea’s Pheonix Oolong , which I mostly get with frequent steeper points. This is also my first time trying a oriental beauty oolong, and I have heard so many people rave about it.
Smell: When it is dry, it smells slightly floral, and also like a dark oolong tea. Almost like a black tea. Once steeped, the aroma is extremely faint. It smells slightly like stone fruit, and also floral. But it is very mild (not unpleasant in any way)
Taste: The way I would describe this is… extremely complex, but in a great way. It tastes extremely expensive, smooth, and it has zero astringency. It tastes like unsweetened honey, peaches, and flowers? It also has a pleasant aftertaste.
A very smooth cup, and something I could see myself repurchasing.
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Peach, Smooth, Stonefruit
Another tea that blew my mind, lol! I really enjoyed this tea.
Smell: It reminds me of honey and also, it does have a mild, spring floral quality to it. I can’t believe this is just oolong tea with no flavouring.
Taste: You can honestly steep this multiple times. The leaves seem high quality. The tea itself tastes like unsweetened honey. That is the only way that I can describe it. You know, the initial taste of honey? Where is slightly warm and tingly before the hit of sugar creeps in? It tastes like that initial warm and tingling feeling you get from honey. It also has a slightly floral element to it, which I think balances it out.
So it tastes like an unsweetened spring honey? lol! :)
Although I enjoyed this tea! :) I am not sure if I will repurchase it? I think I prefer DT’s pheonix oolong (my favourite oolong ever!)
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Sweet
The Tea Haus honestly has so many teas at such reasonable prices; however, this one caught my eye while I was looking through their herbal tea blends. I believe jiao gu lan is supposed to be good for controlling blood sugar levels? But I honestly do not know.
I mostly bought this because it seemed like an interesting new herbal blend to try! :)
I did not expect the leaves to expand as much as they did while I made this, since they looked brittle and dry?! However, when they touch boiling water, the leaves expanded a lot – almost like an oolong.
As far as taste goes, it reminds me so much of stevia. Like a slightly herbal, bitter, sweet stevia?
I am not sure I will purchase more of this! :) But it was fun to try!
Flavors: Bitter, Sugar
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could make sprite into tea? This is that tea…
This is the weirdest tea I have ever had in my entire life, but in a good way. I do not know how they made this taste fizzy? Like it actually tastes like there are bubbles in this tea? I am shocked in the best way possible.
Texture aside, I think the taste is pretty good too! :) It tastes like lime sparkling water with a slightly spicy tone! Maybe because of the ginger and red peppercorns? But it is not like a chilli flakes kind of spicy, but like a sharp gingery spice!
I am glad I cold brewed this, and honestly, if you added a bit of sugar, this would taste just like sprite.
I could see myself loving this during the summer.
Flavors: Citrus, Citrus Fruits, Citrus Zest, Lime, Spicy
I don’t like to brew white tea for too long because it becomes bitter so easily. This tea smells wonderful! Like a very mild peach, predominantly ginger scent. I let this steep for like a second and it turned into a pretty pale yellow colour.
As far as taste goes, the flavour is super mild. Maybe I needed to add more tea leaves? But it tastes like a white tea with a very mild ginger, peach flavour.
Flavors: Ginger, Peach
I think the more I drink this tea, the more I enjoy it. I still do not think it tastes like a mango, but more so a peach? It even smells like peaches. Either way, I love making this and sipping on it while I do my work! :)
If you make this properly (low heat) it has little astringency and a smooth, peach green tea taste.
Flavors: Fruity, Peach, Smooth
This tea smells more like peaches than mango to me? It smells like sweet peach candy, similar to David Tea’s buddha blend . However, I expected it to smell more like a juicy mango. As far as taste goes, it tastes like a green tea flavoured with peach flavouring. It is good, but not my favourite tea blend from the tea haus. I think I need to try this a few times before giving a true opinion on it.
Flavors: Fruity, Peach
Smell: This smells quite good! :) It smells like vanilla, cream, floral, citrus, and also like chocolate? There is also a slight artificial tinge to it, but it is not offputting.
Taste: Ah! I feel like I should have steeped this for longer; oh well! The flavour when you add milk to it at least is rather mild. I taste a slight smokiness and the slight bergamot aftertaste. It also tastes slightly like vanilla or cream, but nothing distinctive that I can pull out clearly.
Overall, this is a delightful blend, but it did not impress me too much! I love the idea of adding a smokey black tea to earl grey! :) However, I think I might have rated this lower because I just wanted the flavours to be much bolder than they were!
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Cream, Smoke, Smoked, Vanilla
Drinking this tea makes me feel nauseous. I am not sure why. But something about it tastes artificially creamy? And the lemon note is subdued compared to the cream note. It tastes like I am drinking an unsweetened, creamy lemon candy. But something about the flavours is not working that well for me.But this might be a personal preference as opposed to this being a bad tea.
I am still glad I got to try it, but I think for me, I am not the biggest fan of artificial cream flavourings. Sometimes, it works incredibly well, but other times it does not.
Flavors: Candy, Cream, Creamy, Lemon, Lemon Zest
I just got my order from the Tea Haus, a small business here in Canada! Everything came so fast and well-packaged – it left me pleasantly surprised! :) I love the new see through covers that they are using as well because it allows me to see what the loose leaf looks like through the bag!
Smell: This smells like a lemon candy, but also slightly herbal or medicinal? This might be because of the lemon verbena or lemon balm present in this tea? Also! The smell STAYS in the cup after you finish steeping it! :)
Taste: This tastes creamy? Which caught me off guard! But when I checked the ingredients, this has lemon cream flavouring, so I guess that creaminess that I am getting from this tea makes sense! Also, I think I expected a refreshing citrus taste; however, the actual lemon flavour of this tea is less sharp and more mellow. It is not bitter at all, but smooth like lemon grass. To be honest, it tastes like a melted lemon hard candy without the sugar!
I mostly bought this because I know white tea has a lot of health benefits (it is extremely high in antioxidants) and I thought this flavoured white tea would be a fun way to try out more white teas!
I enjoyed this one! I am just not sure I enjoyed it enough to repurchase it, but luckily, they offer 25 gram bags! :) So, I am glad I got to try it.
Flavors: Candy, Citrus, Cream, Lemon, Lemongrass, Smooth
Cold Brew Sipdown (1424)!
Thanks VariaTEA for sharing! This was light and refreshing with a nice soft lemon curd/custard lemon sort of flavour. Pretty perfectly named blend, and while it’s not complex/nuanced it’s a solid delivery. I think I did prefer it hot because the flavour of the lemon was stronger, but cold brewing brought out more of the distinct fresh & almost under ripe green melon-y notes of the green rooibos tea base and I do appreciate when I can taste the tea base. Plus, green rooibos is really nice iced/chilled.
Just finished a mug of this, which I sipped on while working on some podcast outlines for recording tomorrow. I struggled a lot with putting my thoughts about this geek into words, but I think this was a good tea to pick to work on this outline because it was soft, creamy and comforting with velvety lemon chiffon type of notes – nostalgic and pleasant to sip on without being complex enough to require attention, and that let me focus on the outline at hand.
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I have had a lot of bagged jasmine green tea. When I lived in a university residence, stash Jasmine green tea was my go-to! I also like the instant honey Jasmine tea from the grocery store; it makes an excellent iced tea!
This is my first time trying a simple, loose leaf jasmine green tea. When I smelled it, the jasmine scent was lighter than I liked, but pleasant. I steeped this with boiling water (I think I might need to stop doing this to my green tea leaves! But I like my drinks to be super warm). And let it sit for 4 minutes .
The cool thing about these tea leaves is when I re-steeped them, they still tasted great! So you can have 1-3 cups of it without it significantly subduing the flavour.
My only problem with this tea was that the Jasmine was a bit too light for my taste. I wanted it to be brighter, and a more prominant note. However, this is a good light jasmine. I am going to try cold steeping this and making an iced tea instead.
I think this tea is growing on me… I think the key is to not steep it for longer than a minute, or else it becomes bitter. It steeps up to a vibrant light green – thanks to the matcha. It tastes like a strong green tea (with no bitterness when steeped correctly) and popped rice kernels.
Flavors: Grass, Toasted Rice
This is my second time trying genmaicha. My first time was Dessert by Deb’s Marshmallow Crispy Square which I did not like, mostly because of its strong coconut flavour. However, I was hopeful about this tea. It seemed like a simple enough blend – just premium Japanese tea leaves, matcha, leaf stems, and popped rice. It sounded delicious.
When I opened the bag, I noticed there was a lot of matcha (which I was happy about since I love matcha!). However, it also contained a good amount of popped rice and kabuse-cha (Japanese tea leaves).
I would recommend steeping this tea less. Maybe even just a minute. I find if I leave it for too long, then the flavour becomes too bitter, and takes away from the delicacy of the popped rice.
I am not sure how I feel about this blend? I might just not like genmaicha, and that is okay too. Matcha Genmaicha is great quality, but the flavour might just not be for me.
When I made this, I expected it to smell like popcorn, but it smelled like burnt rice as opposed to toasted rice. I am not sure if this is typical for genmaicha blends?
As far as taste goes, it tastes like bold green tea with a burnt rice aftertaste.
I think I need to keep trying genmaicha to confirm it is for me! However, next time, I think I will stick with buying a more traditional matcha blend.
Flavors: Burnt, Earth, Green, Rice
First, I love the Tea Haus. What a lovely small business and they have the most incredible customer service. :)
I tried the Kyoto Cherry Rose Organic again cold steeped today, and it brought out a perfume-y note, which I guess is from the rose. However, after I added some sugar, it subdued the note a bit.
Either way, I think I need to experiment with this tea more to make a firm consensus on it.
Flavors: Alcohol, Cherry, Rose