123 Tasting Notes
I was looking for something mild this morning and this landed in my line of sight.
I steeped it a bit longer than I usually would and, despite what I said in my first tasting note, I added 2% milk. The result was exactly what I wanted — a mild, buttery, toasty, milky tea reminiscent of childhood. And it smelled so good down to the end, even after cooling down a bit.
This underwhelmed me the first couple of times I tried it — not going to rate it again because maybe I just haven’t gotten all the elements of steeping time, consumption time, and enhancements right.
But I tried this last night mixed in a big cup with Stash Double Bergamot, one short squirt of amber agave, and lots of 2% milk for a London Foggy sort of drink. Tasty! I still think I want more vanilla, though.
Third try — this time, steeped just over 3 minutes and, as I think LiberTEAS commented after my first tasting note, at about 3 minutes the bitterness seems to appear. It’s nowhere near the first steeping I noted, which was a little over 4 minutes So the ideal seems to be just under or at 3 minutes. I’m still not sure I’d re-order, though.
Re-sampling. This time I went overboard in the wrong direction (too short a steep) but hey, learning balance is a major life lesson, right?
I only steeped a couple of minutes and added a substantial splash of half and half. No bitterness! But the flavor could be stronger. I have enough left of my sample for one more try, so I’m going to use the same proportion of tea and water and steep somewhere between what I tried the first time (probably with too much tea-to-water, I suspect) and this steep. Boosting the rating considerably.
Last time I had tea with lavender (White Lion?) I was underwhelmed and I’m not sure whether that was because I didn’t know what I was doing or it really wasn’t well done. Now I am inclined to go on a lavender-tea quest as a parallel to my Earl Grey adventures.
I also used to think all Earl Greys were alike. There was “tea,” and there was “Earl Grey” tea, and much, much later, there was “green tea” and — you get the picture.
I also had trouble figuring out which log to put this tasting note under. There’s another labeled for the 16 individual infusers, which is what I actually have, and which doesn’t look much like the tall tin box in the photo attached to this one! I finally went with this because it had more tasting notes attached and because, after visiting the Revolution site, it looks like they put all their teas into pyramid-shaped cloth (polyester? Silk?) sachets. I like the idea of the re-sealable foil envelope inside the box, too.
ANYWAY: I used one sachet, probably could have used less water or steeped longer, and probably will try one of those next time. I still am getting a nice subtle bergamot/floral scent and flavor, though. I added half-and-half and am very happy.
Spearmint and peppermint nicely blended. This was my breakfast tea today! Usually I crave strong, hearty tea like Assam, Lapsang Souchong, Yorkshire Gold, etc. In fact, I went hunting for Lapsang at work and realized it was at home. So I went in the opposite direction.
This was quite refreshing as a wake-up tea. I brewed it only about 2 minutes and added a little stevia after tasting. I think this would be even better with honey, and delicious over ice with a dash of honey. Am I right that traditional mint tea is drunk very hot and heavily sweetened in North Africa? I can even see doing that with this tea, as an after-dinner drink.
I barely taste the lemongrass.
I have another Moroccan Mint in my shopping list. Am very curious now to sample and compare. I can’t recall whether that one is straight herbal or contains “real” tea. One or the other will probably become a staple.
Darn. Don’t taste sweet, apricot, or amaretto. What I taste it metallic, on the sides of my tongue. I’m pretty sure I followed the preparation recommendations. Now I’m wondering whether that’s the “off” almond flavor I’m getting.
It smells fruity. Going to wait and let it cool down a bit more. Maybe I’ll be able to raise my rating.
A little later: Nope. Mostly tastes like hot water now. At least the metallic taste is gone. Dumped in another bag and left it. Will update again shortly.
A little later still. Nope. I can taste the almond a bit — it doesn’t taste sweet like amaretto. I can’t taste anything else.
The box is very well constructed and nicely decorated.
Tea Forte’s flavors always sound so good but it seems like for the most part they’re kind of a bust.
Another sample from friend/coworker.
I didn’t think I liked spearmint. I have now sampled 2 different teas on 2 different days with significant spearmint flavor, and found them both quite pleasant. Maybe what I don’t like is Wrigley’s Spearmint gum?
I can also taste something lemony but I can’t tell whether it’s the verbena or the “natural flavors.” It doesn’t seem like lemongrass to me.
I deliberately gave it a very brief steep and did not let the water boil. There’s only the barest hint of tea in the background.
I like this hot. Iced, I think it would need something else – maybe a little honey. I can see how it might grow bitter if it were steeped long enough to stand up to ice.
Peachy! Wonder whether CC has reformulated this? It smells peachy and it tastes peachy and it looks peachy — even though hibiscus is listed, it didn’t turn this ruby red and the flavor I’m getting is peach, not tang.
I cold-brewed this. Would be delicious brewed strong and over ice, or mixed with a lighter black tea or maybe a green tea.
After reading some of the reviews, I decided to try cold-steeping this one. It was a sample provided by a co-worker/friend.
Wow. Wow. Wow. Sweet? Not. I’m getting SOUR, seriously sour, sour-pickle sour without the garlic, not merely tart. Also orange and spearmint, after about 3 minutes of steeping. The tea is a not-unattractive pale clear orange. Oddly, I don’t hate it. I’m not a big fan of spearmint.
After waiting a bit I’ll add more. I only have the one bag and I don’t think I am likely to buy this.
OK, waited a bit and tasted again. The sourness is becoming less extreme after another 3-4 minutes with the bag in, and now I can just barely taste the licorice.
I don’t think I’d care for this hot at all, but it’s pretty interesting with a cold steep if you’re patient with it. Maybe the “sweet” refers to the variety of orange that contributed the peel (sweet orange rather than bitter orange) so that’s a bit misleading, but wild certainly applies!
I’ve raised my rating twice. And I might try to cadge another sample after all.
Ewwww, I have loads of this one, sadly. I swear it used to be quite good, and then they changed the blend and I no longer like it at all (but of course, before I realized this I bought a couple boxes of it). I would probably like it if it wasn’t for the licorice, blech.