80 Tasting Notes
Hum well this doesn’t start out on a positive note. In the shop the smell was nice… very loud and something I think would be better suited to a Safeway Select coffee flavor. Not to say that Safeway Select is bad or that in this case unwelcome. I had indeed come in hopes of a chocolate tea. Alas, they didn’t have a chocolate but a chocolate blend bam-boosal!
So, upon close inspection and after finishing a cup of Phenix (and closing the cupboard door so my Mariage Freres collection could pretend to be unaware of the movie star scented tea I had brought into the apartment) I became very aware it was drenched in oils! Is this normal? My other scented, blended and flavored gems don’t have a dark sheen like this.
Then, once the water came to a proper tap-dance I dumped in the lot of leaves and…. they sank! In one big glob! Usually some of them float… not lots but some. Not these guys. After a quick second, the water had won over all the interesting oils and the leaves took to their float in a regular pattern. I let the lot steep for four minutes and question the color of the liquid but the leaves were a sienna hue once rested.
Looking into my cup, as you may suspect, there is a distinct oil slick. :( The smell is still there, unwavering in its design and the liquid… well liquid. The smell, I get coconut and some sort of chocolate… it’s like the chocolate on a LCD (Little Chocolate Donut) the plasticy type. I almost think it smells like Bailey’s Irish Cream or Kalhua, neither of these liquors please me… but good ol’ Starbucks that’s another story all together.
And… first sip… chocolate, yes. Tea too. The coconut could go but it’s just a hint. And four minutes was a perfect time as I can tell this can be a spirited and bitter tea if left a lone any longer than that. I think the smell is its winning feature here though. The taste… won’t become a favorite but is worth a try. Might be better if cooler too. Will post again and let you know!
This tea has a personality and is not what I would have expected from a tea entitled Phenix. It is nothing like what I image a bird which could rise from its own ash would taste like. Not even a marshmallow peep version…
At first I wasn’t sure what I was smelling… vanilla, butter or caramel? It’s sweet like a brown sugar bourbon sauce made with a heavy cream. You can smell the richness of… whatever… it smells fattening. LOL It smells divine. Almost like fresh caramel corn and scent lasts through the steeping.
There are little nubbies of goodness mixed throughout the tea and they taste okay. I was afraid they were toasted rice or some other strangeness in the tea but I imagine they are what give this tea its rich buttery quality.
I do advise sticking to the 3 minute mark in steeping because I let it get to close to five and the tea is verging on bitter. Not bad but annoying. Milk and sugar might put this busy body back on track though.
Update: Oh yes, this is fab with milk. Sigh… perfect snacky bedtime tea. Sure there is caffeine but I can’t sleep anyway.
This is a tea for the holidays! It is heavy in flavor and screams for a dash of milk. I taste orange, cinnamon and perhaps clove… who knows! It possesses many if not all the spices I use as a base in my oatmeal cookies. But it has the familiarity of a cinnamon and spice air spray by Glade and this to some might be quite the turn on. Who knows?
At any rate, after a return from sea and seeking comfort in a cup of tea at home… I should have stuck to the tried and true. However being me, I tried a new path… or tea. I shall try this again when the grumbles of recent travels have calmed and I am sure to provide some insightful remarks.
I can safely say that despite its wild taste of holiday festivus, it is a pleasant tea not bitter or grumpy. Very unlike its taster… I am sure it will forgive me. :)
Until my second cup then…