960 Tasting Notes
I’ve pulled this for my evening herbal. I believe one of our past volunteers at the library gave me this one, since our local coffee shop that sources TeaSource tea carries this one; I think she bought some single ounces of a few and then decided to gift them to me when she wasn’t really drinking loose leaf at home.
The steeped tea has a strong fruity aroma, highly tropical; I’m smelling mango, passionfruit, and pineapple, as well as slightly floral. The tea is a light orange color (I was surprised it was still so red since this is a green rooibos) and the flavor notes of the base is hay, wood, and floral nectar, with a fruity sweetness that moves in midsip that tastes strongly of mango, though I get a much more subtle note of sweet melon. It’s a pleasant enough cup, though I wish the flavor was a bit stronger; I don’t really have any idea how old this tea may be, so perhaps some flavor degradation is playing a factor, though. It’s quite servicable for a mango-flavored rooibos that doesn’t have any over-powering medicinal notes, as many fruity rooibos blends seem to have for me.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Hay, Mango, Melon, Nectar, Sweet, Tropical, Wood
Teabox Tuesday! It’s in the herbal hours of the evening and I’m quite low on herbals left from my teabox stash, so I’m hoping this green tea is low on the tea leaf since the ingredients certainly make it appear that it is leaning towards more of an herbal blend and I won’t be too jacked this evening. This came from the Discovery Teabox, so thank you to Skysamurai for organizing and to those that participated for sharing!
The dry leaf smelled very peppery/spicy and a bit floral. I still used 175F water but let this steep in my teapot longer than I normally would steep a green tea because I wanted to allow all the herbs to get a good flavor, so I hope the tea leaf in there hasn’t gone astringent… guess we’ll see. The steeped tea is a gingery color and smells very spicy, musty, earthy, and herbaceous. My first thought from the aroma was “Ugh, ginseng!” but, much to my relief, it doesn’t taste like that to me at all. I get a strong lemony citrus flavor from the broth, and I’m tasting a bit slight mint note with a stronger fennel/black pepper spiciness. There is a fresh woodiness present as well… like sandlewood incense? The one thing I’m not getting, despite being called “Ayurvedic Rose,” is any floral component… It smelled a bit floral before steeping, but there is no rose flavor coming through after the steep. I would expect this to be a scent marketed for a men’s bedroom, which sounds weird trying to translate that into a tea flavor, but… there you have it. It’s quite pleasant, though! Certainly one of the more unique teas I’ve tried, too.
Thanks for sharing!
Flavors: Citrus, Earth, Fennel, Herbaceous, Lemon, Mint, Musty, Pepper, Spices, Wood
Sampler Sunday! I’m having a migraine today, and after sipping down my White Thunder (a white mint tea) this morning, I decided to try what my doctor suggested and pair pain medication with caffeine this afternoon. Caffeine has never really affected my migraines one way or the other (it’s not a trigger, and has never really helped with vasoconstriction, either) but he thinks during the attack it could help get my pain medication to respond quicker. I’m having major problems getting triptans, the only real abortive therapy out there for migraines, to do anything for me lately.
So, this freebie teabag of Earl Grey from Lupicia. The dry leaf has a strong citrusy scent that reminds me of grapefruit. I probably steeped it a bit longer than I usually steep black teas, so I expect this to be a bit more astringent/stronger than usual and than I typically prefer, but the idea was to try to get a pretty caffeinated cup. It was a nice reddish-brown color and still strongly citrus in aroma.
Surprisingly, the tea itself is pretty smooth, and even has a bit of a malty aroma beneath the strong citrus of the bergamot. The bergamot in this Earl Grey is pretty strong, and I usually prefer bergamot on the lighter side, but I am not finding this unpleasant. The bergamot has a strong lime note to it, with a touch of a tangy lemon zest. It’s hard to pick out the flavors of the black tea beneath the strong bergamot, but I’m getting a bit of malt and molasses. Overall it’s a fairly nice cup for a plain EG.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Lemon Zest, Lime, Malt, Molasses
This was in my freebie bag from the San Francisco International Tea Festival. My coworker is back to work after being out with strep throat, so I figure it’s a good time to start hitting the Vitamin C… especially since I woke up with a slightly sore throat this morning. This is a powdered tea mix that can be mixed into hot or cold water, so I opted for cold, since I usually drink my green tea iced these days, plus the whole concept of this stuff made me think of those Emergen-C packets, which I usually mix into cold water and down like a shot. I sort of regreted my decision to not use hot water as the mix was very clumpy (there was one very large “mass” of mix in a clumped up chunk and I wish I’d thought to break up the powder with the back of a spoon or something before dumping it into the cup!) so it didn’t dissolve really well… I had to really work at it with the spoon to try to break it up and get it all dissolved.
The smell was a bit like Emergen-C — powdery artificial tangerine? — and matcha. The flavor… tasted pretty much like that too, very much like the orange/tangerine Emergen-C packets, only with a lot more sweetness (these include stevia, which would account for that), and a bit of a slight spiciness that hits the back of the throat… and that actually feels a bit soothing on a slightly sore throat, I’ll admit. For as matcha green as the tea appears, I don’t taste any matcha grassiness at all, though.
I would definitely prefer this to an Emergen-C, since this tastes almost the same as the tangerine ones, but slightly better due to the added sweetness and soothing ginger on the back of the throat. But honestly, since I like hibiscus and rosehip, I’m more likely to just make myself a strong hibi-hip/ginger blended tea to get a quick infusion of Vitamin C anyway, which would be more cost-effective than either Emergen-C or these Green Tea +C packets, and (at least for me!) tastier, too. So final conclusion… these taste better than Emergen-C, but I still prefer to get Vitamin C in other ways than instant dissolve packets, especially considering the price.
Flavors: Artificial, Citrus, Ginger, Orange, Spicy, Sweet
Teabox Tuesday! This is a pretty old tea now, which I’m sure has impacted the flavor, but I enjoy Chinese blacks so I’m hoping it still has a bit of life left in it. I got this sample from the Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox, so thank you to tea-sipper for organizing and to all those involved who were nice enough to share their teas! I haven’t used my baby gaiwan much, so I decided to use it for this session.
2.54g / 50ml gaiwan / 205F / Rinse|15s|20s|30s|45s|60s|90s
After I rinsed the tea, the leaf had a very malty aroma, with a slight hint of raisins. The first steep brought out aromas of malt, toast, burnt sugar, and orange rind. The tea was a rather strong black with a malty taste with notes of burnt toast and smoke and a bit of citrus rind in the finish, with medium astringency after the sip, especially on the back of the tongue, and I felt a slight puckering effect. The tea proceeded to become a bit sweeter in the next few infusions, with more molasses/burnt sugar and citrus orange aroma coming to the forefront, with the orange scent becoming very strong by the third and fourth infusions. The flavor continued to be very malty and toasty with a lot of roast/smoke in the finish, but the astringency started to mellow with more of an orange flavor left in the aftertaste on the tongue. By the fourth steep the tea was starting to taste a bit one-note and by the fifth steep I could tell the flavor was diminishing; on the sixth steep it was very weak and washed out so I finished my session there. I’m going to assume that the age of the tea likely had to do with it not having much staying power. I enjoyed the flavor for what it did still have left to give. It reminded me a lot of an Assam/Keemun breakfast tea blend, actually!
Flavors: Astringent, Burnt, Burnt Sugar, Citrus, Malt, Orange, Orange Zest, Smoke, Toast
I bought this last April (when Bird & Blend was still Bluebird!) but my package was still sealed! I’m not too worried about freshness… it at least smells wonderful upon opening it up to try it! Very chocolately, and I also smell coconut? That actually worried me (given the age), so I double-checked the ingredients. Nope, no coconut. It really smells of it, though! I’m getting strong Mounds candy vibes from the dry leaf aroma… that is only a positive as far as I’m concerned!
I steeped this one slightly longer than I usually steep blacks, just to make sure the marshmallow bits would melt nicely into the brew. The finished tea is a caramelly tan color and still has a Mounds sort of aroma to me, with perhaps a bit of a caramelly sweetness.
The tea definitely is quite sweet; I think this would have more of a cocoa bittersweetness/dark chocolate flavor from the cocoa shells if it weren’t sweetened up so much by the marshmallow. I do still get more of a dark chocolate flavor than milk chocolate, but am curious how it hold up as a latte, and if that would change the chocolate flavor thanks to the addition of milk; I’ll have to experiment and try that sometime. I am still getting a strong coconut note in the flavor, and despite having popped rice in it, it doesn’t present as particularly roasty or nutty in flavor like genmaicha; there are some subtle caramel and nutty notes that pop toward the end of the sip, but cocoa and coconut are the dominant flavors. It does feel quite warm and satisfying and it is quite desserty.
Flavors: Candy, Caramel, Cocoa, Coconut, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Nutty, Smooth, Sweet
Sampler Sunday! This is the last of the mass discounted T2 sampler stash I bought back in January 2018. This is a strawberry-flavored green tea.
The steeped tea has a lovely sweet-yet-tangy berry aroma wafting from the cup, and it’s a very bright yellow color. The flavor is quite nice, but I think if this had been steeped any longer than the two minutes this would have gone vegetal astringent — that was probably the maximum for the amount of leaf that was in my doubin as it tastes quite bold and just verging at being pushed for a green tea. Thankfully, it is not, and also thankfully the green tea base itself isn’t overwhelmed as I am tasting a really nice grassy flavor from the tea that I think compliments the strawberry well, especially to bring out a “spring garden” sort of vibe. The strawberry in this is actually really nice and I think I prefer it to a lot of strawberry flavorings I’ve tried, because there is a nice tart bite to it! It hits the tongue with the typical candy-strawberry mellow flavor that I usually get from strawberry flavoring but very quickly turns tangy and berry-like on the back of the tongue, and since tart/tangy flavors are particular favorites of mine, I find it very appealing. I do think that if I could compare this side-by-side with Lupicia’s Tokio that the base green tea from Lupicia was better and they also had a comparable noteworthy strawberry flavor, so if I wanted to stock a strawberry green I’d go for Lupicia; Lupicia also sells in smaller sizes (50g) compared to T2 (100g). Size matters. * shifty eyes *
Nice pot for Tea-ster. I don’t celebrate myself, but wish well to my Steepster crew that does!
Flavors: Berry, Strawberry, Sweet, Sweet, Warm Grass, Tart, Vegetal
I made this a week ago for an early morning staff meeting when my stomach felt awful… my stomach felt awful because, as it turned out, I was getting a migraine. I went home at my lunch break and never had a chance to log the tea. I still had about two more servings left in the (rather generous) sampler Tea Chai Te included of this in my last order with them, so I decided to brew it up again this morning. I’ve been migraining a lot this week, but working through it so my job won’t hate me. Mint is really soothing on the GI migraine symptoms, I’ve found.
This is pretty nice for a mate. I normally don’t like mint teas where I can tell they are heavily flavored with peppermint oil, and the ingredients don’t state this uses oil, but the peppermint is so strong I suspect it is using peppermint oil of some sort. Since I don’t really like the smoky notes in mate and the really strong peppermint flavor from the oil covers those notes up entirely, I’m actually kind of digging this. I’m still getting a bit of a grassy/hay herbaceous note from the tea, but the mint in this has a strong menthol flavor that is cooling, refreshing, sweet, and soothing. The mint hits early in the sip and the mate notes are a more subtle aftertaste. I’m actually really liking this; it isn’t as good as their macademia nut mate, but it is soooooooooo soothing on my stomach with a more interesting flavor then plain peppermint leaf tea. I could probably get behind having more of this, at least to combat morning migraine nausea, since the caffeine in the mate does make it a bit impractical for all-hour usage.
Flavors: Grass, Hay, Menthol, Mint, Peppermint, Sweet, Vegetal
Teabox Tuesday! This is another of the old samples I snagged from the Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox, so thank you to tea-sipper for organizing and to all those involved who were nice enough to share their teas! I decided to prepare the 3.1g sample I had gong fu style and sip on it while watching a movie I brought home from the library.
Apparently this is the summer 2016 harvest of this tea, according to the note I wrote on the front of my sampler packet. I do not drink white tea very much — most of the white tea I do drink are flavored blends that I prefer by and large to cold steep and drink in water bottles as refreshing iced teas — so pure white tea brewed warm is very much still in my realm of exploration, so I wouldn’t take anything I say too seriously. I’ve always brewed my whites warm in the 175-185F realm, but after reading the other reviews on this one that recommended bumping up the heat on this one, I just decided to opt for those suggestions and turned up the heat on my kettle from the get-go.
3.10g / 80ml (in a 100ml capacity shiboridashi) / 205F / 20s|30s|40s|50s|60s|75s|90s|120s
The wet leaves were very aromatic, smelling of damp autumn leaves, grapes, and floral perfume. The tea steeped a light yellow color, and the first steep had a soft floral and muscatel aroma. The flavor was very grapey, with strong muscatel and floral notes, and a more subtle leafy note in the background. It was a very sweet infusion! The second infusion brought out a more fruity aroma from the tea, and the flavor was less sweet, with a fruity flavor at the beginning of the sip with notes of grapes, berry, and currant, but the end of the sip was more of a vegetal note of autumn leaf and hay which settled toward the back of the tongue and left a mild astringent/drying after the sip. The third infusion brought out a citrus flavor in the fruity notes, tasting very much of orange rind; the vegetal notes were still quite strong in the third infusion, but the citrus note became more pronounced in the next two infusions, hitting its peak by the fifth. The fruity notes started to drop off quickly after that, and the rest of the session was mostly a soft but pleasant floral tea. By the eighth infusion the aroma on the tea was fairly weak; I was still getting floral flavor in the tea but it was noticably weaker, so I wrapped up the session there.
I really enjoyed this tea! It had quite a bit of variety in flavor and I was surprised by how much it had to give, especially for the age. Maybe I’ve been sleeping on whites for too long. Most of the ones I’ve tried in the past just tasted really strongly of autumn leaves, occassionally of florals, and I don’t think I’ve ever had such a strong fruity presense. It was a fun exploration!
Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Berry, Black Currant, Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Hay, Muscatel, Orange Zest, Vegetal
This is a very old TeaSource tea that is discontinued… and I have yet to try it! (Pathetic!) The package recommends this as an iced tea, but since I’ve never tried it, I wanted to see how it would fair as a warm cuppa, too. The base was darjeeling but the leaf looked CTC, so I tried to give it a briefer steep than usual… I may need to shorten it even more! I went for a two minute steep in 195F water… somehow I seem to get less astringency when I brew darjeeling in slightly cooler water?
My cup is a light coppery color and it smells like autumn leaves (the darj is coming through strongly!), raspberry, and perhaps a touch of a citrus tang. The flavor is… surprisingly quite berry-forward, and I wasn’t expecting that! There was quite a bit of lemongrass in the leaf, by far not my favorite of the citrus herbs, but I’m not even really getting that odd hay-like/herbaceous quality it often leaves in a tea. The tea is very smooth, so I may have found the sweet-spot on my brewing parameters, and I was expecting a lot more temperment because, quite frankly, it usually takes me several tries with darj’s to find the sweet spot. It is not overly-leafy tasting in flavor, like I get from a lot of darjeeling, but I do get a soft autumn leaf/vegetal background note, that mixes with a more malty foreground note. The raspberry flavor then fills in nicely, and it’s very present but doesn’t have that syrupy/fakey/metallic flavor I get very often from raspberry flavorings; there is a softness to it at first, and then it leaves a gentle berry tanginess on the tongue. It’s really nice! I’m not getting a very strong citrus note, though; I get a very subtle citrus aftertaste on the roof of my mouth, but it isn’t pulling very strongly against the other flavors in the cup. Honestly though; I’m alright with that, because the tea is quite delightful as is. I may try it with a dash of lemon juice to bring that note out for curiosity’s sake, but I’m really happy with it. I will have to try this one iced, and maybe add just a touch of my lemon-infused honey… mmm.
Now I’m sad knowing TeaSource discontinued this one!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Citrus, Fruity, Malt, Raspberry, Smooth, Sweet, Tangy