61 Tasting Notes
Blech. Should have known how this would turn out at $6 per 3 oz. Still I’m ever the optimist.
First, it doesn’t seem to be scented with jasmine at all. Instead there are jasmine buds sparsely scattered in the tea. It is, weirdly, scented with orange and lime oils, like a kind of green Earl Grey.
My first infusion tasted weak and watery, and the green leaves were stale. I could just barely detect the jasmine. My second infusion tasted like must, excessively bitter bagged tea, and rainwater.
Flavors: Lime, Musty
Teavana, the Vichy Bux! Why is this a holiday tea? I don’t get it.
My first infusion was too weak and it tasted like a peach green tea. My second infusion was too strong and tasted like a bitter apricot black tea. I was not overly impressed with the base material but the flavor is very palatable and the aroma is great. I am grudgingly enjoying this, although I’ve given up trying to replicate the store samples.
Saved this for last in my 5-pack of samples from Verdant.
Brews up a resinous amber color. Tastes immediately like bitter pain au chocolat in a teacup, especially on the aftertaste. Second infusion especially was a mouthful of overbaked croissant. It brought back a nice memory of hostelling in Scotland and the smell of bakeries in the morning. I don’t get caramel because it’s not milky enough.
Flavors: Bread, Burnt Sugar, Dark Chocolate
The aroma of the dried blend is very strong – a perfumed vanilla. Not unpleasant.
The brewed tea is exceptionally smooth and creamy. Vanilla note is not as potent as I feared. It isn’t a vanilla bean flavor though, more of a fragrant mango vanilla or monoi de tahiti, or like the vanilla coating on yogurt raisins. The black tea itself isn’t very present, although that’s normal for me in flavored teas.
Flavors: Mango, Vanilla
Nice comforting cup.
I tasted in this order: Peanut shell, dark chocolate, red wine, creamy coffee, muddy earth notes. Maybe a little raspberry. I can see why it’s a “ruby” oolong. Lingers on your tongue. I don’t really have much to say here; it’s very pretty.
Update: re-steeped twice the second time I made this. Now I get apricot. Still really yummy.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Red Wine, Wet Earth
As other reviewers have noted, very weak. I feel like I brewed it correctly because the color was dark brown. But lacked any kind of depth.
Cinnamon is very dominant in the blend. It smells a lot like the bags of cinnamon pinecones that grocery stores start putting outside the door this time of year. I do get some cardamom and peppercorn as well, but it’s mostly cinnamon. Reminds me strongly of mulling spices. Maybe mix this one with 1 part tea to 8 parts brandy.
This can be a BIG tea if you let it. Big, black, bitter roasted flavors. Put it in a ring against coffee, and it would make coffee its … pet. Next time will try gongfu style to get more out of it.
Flavors: Coffee, Dark Bittersweet, Leather, Roasted
This would be excellent for a cold, especially with a little wild honey.
I love how all of these herbs and spices complement each other. The aroma is mostly cinnamon and fennel, but when you sip you get the full breadth of flavor plus a little cooling sensation that runs down your throat. After you drink, you can still detect the sweet fennel at the back of your tongue.
It’s almost edible, like a cinnamon graham cracker mixed with some fennel-studded focaccia mixed with a cardamom pastry.
Keeping this one in stock for my next sick day from work.
Flavors: Anise, Bread, Camphor, Cardamom, Fennel, Honey
I see what is going on here. This should work in theory: the tart hibiscus and elderberry should complement the grape skins, and evoke the tannins in tea. The pu’erh should evoke the ripe earthiness of a full red wine. But ultimately, it doesn’t work like that.
It reminds me of when you’re making a cold process soap with beer or wine. The basic pH kills off any wine or beer aroma, so it’s necessary to fragrance it with something with oatmeal or citrus or chocolate notes so you kind of get the “impression” of the beverage.
I guess the old formulation, with raspberries on the front and no hibiscus or elderberries, reminded reviewers of a Berry Zinger. The new formulation is all hibiscus and elderberries. Which is great, if you enjoy the tart juiciness of those flavors, but less great if you were expecting something like a woodsy merlot.
Definitely an okay sipper to replace poorer bagged fruit teas, but not a must-have.
Flavors: Berries, Hibiscus, Sour
Totally enjoyable – maybe not the base material but the flavor was just as expected. Little shreds of coconut throughout and a sweet, subtle spearmint kick. Fun break from pure tea.
Flavors: Coconut, Spearmint