2360 Tasting Notes
Mercy, you all have been busy drinkers! I am far behind, but I love reading what you write!
If I have not already done so, I hereby nominate CuppaGeek’s Nichole as the Maven of Marshmallow Root. I think she could combine it with spinach and salsa and come up with something I would love.
The marshmallow is an especially nice touch in this ooooh(it’s so good)long blend. It smells like a piece of spice cake, and as I mentioned in a former review, the sarsaparilla adds just a nifty little twist that keeps this from tasting like conventional chai. I had mine with milk this afternoon—and that just added frosting to the cake.
There is a lot going on in this blend—oolong, conventional chai spices, marshmallow root and—yep—sarsaparilla. It leads with the sweetness, with a pleasantly spicy, sparkly follow-up—I’m not sure if I really sensed carbonation, or if it was just the root beer flavor dropping hints. I intend to try the next batch with some milk, and expect further positive results.
It is always a treat to find an herbal tea that leads with something other than lemon or mint. Nary a trace of either in this lovely little nightcap. I am learning to love green rooibos, and it makes a very pleasant base for the marshmallows and fruit. None of the fruit flavors stand out individually—-or at least in my small Advent-sized sample—-just gently and pleasantly fruity and sweet. Another review recommend overleafing a bit; I believe I’d agree with that.
Tried a sample of this courtesy of Nichole on the first springy afternoon of the season…t-shirts and bare feet were the order of the day Saturday.
The pear was sweet and authentic and not a bit artificial. The rooibos was, well, rooibos-y. But, to my warped flavor interpretation circuits, the flavors never blended. They hit you separately, like oil and water. With that said, it was not a bad tea, drinking it outdoors made it just plain lovely, and your experience may vary.
So on top of a late night, an early morning, and a “normal” Sunday morning teaching gig (ALL the 11-year-old boys coming off spring break—like teaching Great Dane puppies), we had a special kids service project event culminating in a Nerf battle. I was dragging anchor when I shuffled in the door.
I needed a no-brainer treat and this was what my no-brain needed. The lemon is sweet lemon, not tart, and Tazo has nailed the pastry aspect as well. I’ve never used the word “perfect” in the same sentence with “licorice,” ever, and I won’t now, but it actually accents this blend rather than overpowering it. Even better with feet up, eyes closed, and a Pillsbury Soft Baked Confetti cookie in your hand.
OK, I brought this to work not only to enjoy, but to freak out my non-teaist work buddies. (“Here! Smell this!” to the same friend who says Constant Comment smells like “a well-greased old lady.”)
That said, I can’t remember trying (and enjoying) a blend this unusual in a long time. Most of the lapsang blends I’ve sampled over the years are far too strong and smoky; in this case, there’s just enough of a hint to accent the pineapple and peppery spices. Currently sold out at Wise Ape, but I hope to see it resurface so you can try some ;)
This one was fun to try, although I thought I’d done something wrong when the walnut-sized ball didn’t unfurl much, even after I carefully followed time and temp guidelines.
However, it yielded a lovely, satiny, buttery cup. The veggie taste was mild—edamame, maybe.
The cup was good company for me while I rocked in the outdoor glider and read a bit of Eragon. Dragon tea for a dragon book. Not my normal genre, but tackling it at the behest of a very sweet 16-year-old (one of my “grown-up” Sunday kids) who still comes back to see me. He’s a good kid.
(Back in elementary school, our fourth grade teacher would read poetry to us of a morning, and there was one that started, I meant to do my work today, but a brown bird sang in an apple tree… and ended, what else could I do but laugh and go? Yeah. That’s why I’m outside in the glider savoring First Day of Spring sunshine.)
I am also savoring (or at least I was; cup’s empty now) a really unusual tea that I could learn to love. Normally, I’m not a lapsang fan—I keep a little around for “dare drinks” when I serve tea to my Sunday kids. They call it “bacon tea” and a few ask for more.
However, lapsang is what makes this fruit-darjeeling-herb bonanza unique. It tastes like grilled pineapple, which we love at our house. Just enough smoke to authenticize the other ingredients. Really enjoyable.