Chroma TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Backlog from last night.
This is the kind of evening for which I’ve been saving this tea. Rainy February nights here in the Bay are like (I really don’t want to say it!) cold November rain in Ohio. Contemplative, maybe depressing if one possesses that lean.
I want to write so, so very much something poetic about this tea but I’m exhausted. To further derail my effort, this tea is inducing a mental and physical state that is utterly calm.
This is a beautifully scented oolong with a dark, woody-grassy-earthy sweet incense aroma of aloeswood and vetiver with smooth integration of the licorice-like star anise and cardamom. I also smell something dark and fruity; I can’t shake the idea of mulberry. On the sip it transitions to sandalwood then mid-mouth to a general woody-mineral oolong. On the swallow it moves back to the aloeswood, vetiver, star anise and mulberry, though less pronounced than in the aroma. Cardamom is noticed in the aftertaste as those flavors slip away. A zesty tingle and some mouth watering arrive after that and then the cardamom and aloeswood return.
I couldn’t see myself drinking Azure often but this is something I definitely want to keep in my cupboard. It’s almost medicinal in character (drying, warming, deeply calming) and smells and tastes wonderful. Try this if you’re an incense fan or seeking an air of the exotic.
I really enjoyed Chroma’s Azure, so was quite interested in diving into the others that I purchased. I love the idea of a chai with some extra oomph, and was particularly intrigued by the saffron in this blend.
The dry leaf smells boldly of cinnamon and clove. Brewed, it smells a bit more mild, but still nicely spiced. I’m not tasting any saffron or orange peel, but it is a really nicely blended chai. The clove and cinnamon are at the forefront, with a bit of ginger in the finish.
This is probably my least favorite of the Chroma blends I’ve tried. The goji/elderberry fruitiness is just not working with the heavy spices. The cinnamon, ginger, black peppercorn, and clove are most distinct, with the fruit lingering in the aftertaste. I was hoping to taste the cypress oil, but alas.
Flavors: Berry, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Goji
Derk was kind enough to send me some of this tea to try! Thanks so much! It had been on my wishlist, so I was super excited to try it. I’ve tried one other tea with sandalwood in it and it wasn’t a prominent flavor. This is all sandalwood! It’s a pretty looking blend both when dry and steeping. There is something roasty in the sip behind the sandalwood. I’m not sure if I can taste the oolong. The sandalwood is very aromatic in the finish, lingering for a long time. It almost goes soapy if I wait too long to take another sip. Overall I really like it! It’s the first Chrome tea I’ve tried.
I placed a small Chroma order, as I could no longer resist the lure of the interesting ingredients and blends (especially after the sandalwood discussion!)
This is the blend I was most excited to try- sandalwood, honeysuckle, vetiver, star anise, cardamom, and aloeswood? Generally things I enjoy in perfume….and that is exactly what this blend smells like. A really expensive fragrance you’d find in a perfume or candle. The scent translates directly into the flavor. Tastes like incense in the best possible way. The vetiver and star anise are strongest, with a bit of sandalwood and (what I’m assuming is) aloeswood. I’ve never tasted aloeswood (I generally know it by agarwood), but I’m decently familiar with the scent.
This is one heck of a tea. I wish there were more unique, interesting blends like this out there.
This tea is a mood for sure. I find myself craving it but not as a daily drinker.
This has SO MUCH going on. Rich, brisk, warm, minty-fennel cool, cinnamon spicy, chocolatey, woody, herbaceous, floral, darkly bitter-sweet, mineral. On first sip, I questioned the color namesake. It soon made sense. Read the Chroma (Verdant) description.
It’s mellow enough to drink at night and fall asleep. Enough strength to stack two steeps in my thermos as work fuel.
All with only tea leaves—spices—flowers—herbs!
Roswell Strange said sophisticated. Maybe a sophisticated mystery.
Rating would be somewhere around 95 for being unique, evocative, multi-faceted and multi-functional.
Flavors: Cacao, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Dark Bittersweet, Fennel Seed, Flowers, Herbaceous, Mineral, Spearmint, Spicy, Wood
Had this one last weekend while working on podcast outlines and, admittedly, I was two deeply enthralled in writing that I didn’t much pay attention to the tea. The loose leaf smells very potent and heavily spiced, and ticked my nose and throat on scent alone. I don’t recall the steeped tea having the same level of “oomph” to it and the dry leaf had but I will have to drink again to be sure…
This tea name makes me think of How To Get Away With Murder…
Anyway, this will have to be a revisit because I had it the day that the site froze and I didn’t take good notes for myself on the taste because I had expected to get this tasting note posted a lot sooner. It was very herbal and mint forward though, with that undertone of anise/fennel that I like but is so polarizing. Definitely the most simple Chroma blend I’ve tried so far, and while simple is never bad I also think I’ve just set myself up to expect a little bit more from this company in terms of blend concepts…
This is my favourite from Chroma so far – this is another blend with impressively beautiful and chunky ingredients; in this case those gorgeous pineapple wedges!! I loved the mix of creamy coconut, earthy turmeric, warming cinnamon, and tropical fruits like pineapple and citrus – it sort of felt like a tisane with loose Thai inspirations, and was very refreshing!!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWZNe1n8O_s
I have this tea in my focus area so I’m drinking it more regularly that I would have typically (trying to clear out some Chai blends) but I’m just really struggling to figure out both what it’s trying to be and if I actually like it. The flavours are inoffensive spices to me, but lack any real clarity in the cup. It’s muddled and unfocused. Though, the more I drink it the more I feel like the orange note stands out to me in a good way. I just don’t think that’s enough for me…
Sipped on a mug of this on Tuesday while working late.
I don’t remember all of the ingredients in this blend, but I have to say that I don’t think it would have made much of a difference if I had. There’s not really any “off” flavour to the cup that turns me off as someone who isn’t the biggest fan of heavily spiced teas – but it’s very muddy without clarity to any of the ingredients. I felt like I tasted chicory, maybe, and lots of warming spice notes versus spicy spice notes – but hard to pin down aside from the standard cinnamon/ginger. A little orange in the undertone, but it doesn’t manage to cut through the blob of spices IMO.
So, nice enough – easy to drink back. Memorable? Nah.
Snuck a mug of this in to a very chaotic work day – which means I probably didn’t afford it the level of attention that so far these Chroma Tea blends have so far been worthy of.
Unfortunately I keep reading the name as “Senna” which is the herbal ingredient that basically makes you crap yourself; not a good thing to associate with a tea. Unfortunate mental connection aside, for what is essentially a Chai blend I thought this was pretty nice. It’s clove dominant, always a personal win. Also reminded me of gingerbread, but very fancy gingerbread.
Gonna try to pay more mind with the next mug.
Geek Steep S1E15 – V for Vendetta
This was my second tea pairing for the graphic novel read through, after my fumble with the first pairing. We talk about this much more detailed in the podcast episode, but the tone of the graphic novel is very well conveyed right off the bat so it was SUPER easy to figure out what to try as my next tea.
Chroma Tea has this mastery when it comes to creating such nuanced and layered flavour profiles with their blends, and that seemed so perfectly reflective of the story and its characters so I really felt like I wanted to choose something from this company as my second tea. What made me chose this one specifically, though, is that one of the main flavours is sandalwood. I get this very specific “feeling” when I smell or taste sandalwood and it was almost eerily applicable here.
I’m going to paraphrase what I said on the podcast, but basically…
“The notes of sandalwood evoke this feeling of smelling the musk of exuberantly wealthy, cigar smoking and pin suited white men in their old parlors and studies – surrounded my ornate bookshelves fashioned of exotic woods that display antique books they’ve never read and exorbitantly priced knick-knacks and bobbles that only serve to display their excess wealth.”
…and if that doesn’t just sum up the corrupt future painted by V for Vendetta.
I ended up liking this pairing so much that I continued with it for the remaining two sessions of reading I had, making a total of three cups of this I enjoyed over the graphic novel.
Listen to us on Buzzsprout:
On the fence as the whether or not I enjoyed this tea…
The things that intrigued me were the use of sandalwood and aloeswood, both of which are common flavours in incense, and the honeysuckle – which is a flavour I adore, but is rare to see in a tea in terms of actually being and ingredient and not just being an observed flavour note.
I’m actually ultimately not sure why the honeysuckle is in here though – it’s beautiful, but the flavour of honeysuckle is so light and delicate and it’s entirely swallowed up by the thick and heavy flavours from the other aforementioned ingredients. Is it just aesthetic? Honeysuckle isn’t cheap to blend with, so it’s not the most cost effective choice for a purely aesthetic ingredient…
So, what this tea does taste like is insense. Like, straight up the kind of incense that makes you think of creep old book stores or that fills the kind of places you go and buy overpriced amethyst and other “crystals” in clouds. It’s really strong and intense, and definitely builds in your mouth dramatically as you drink the cup – it’s just a lot of sandalwood combined with a more mineral, spicy, and woody oolong and that strong aloeswood oil. I rarely view tea as gendered, but I have to admit that my thought when drinking this cup was that it felt very masculine.
I didn’t particularly love the flavour, but I also couldn’t stop drinking the cup either! That’s part of why I feel a little confused about my feelings towards the blend. Perhaps this is one of those teas that’s really an acquired taste? I look forward to further exploration and clarification of my feelings about this tea in subsequent cups.
It’s SUPER unique though, regardless.
Just finishing a mug of this tea right now – but it’s taken me over an hour to get to the bottom of the mug (very slow, for me!) because I keep putting off sipping on it. I’m just not vibing with the flavour; there is a lot going on! The top of the sip is cloying and overly licorice sweet with both a distinct hibiscus and a general “red berry” note, but the finish is almost brothy in its umami and spice notes and the mix of that unpleasant fruit sweetness with the soup-y finish is a hard pass for me today…
Gonna have to retaste to better capture thoughts because, when I steeped this up, I let it cool down to much so I only tasted it at just above room temperature – but my snap impression based on that wasn’t super positive. I found it really sharp and the fruit more in line with a sour, underripe strawberry/red fruit profile rather than a pleasant, tangy/juicy ripe berry note – combined with the weird juxtaposition of the allspice and coating rose and I just didn’t mesh with this blend.
Another snuck in tea early advent season…
I didn’t actually remember much what this tasted like the first time I had it, but Marika drank it for one of the podcast episodes (She-Ra) and she spoke really pleasantly about it so I wanted to revisit. There’s a lot going on, but all of it is pretty soothing and comforting. I tasted a bunch of spearmint, but mixed with roasty/oxidized mineral oolong notes, cacao nib, and a thick fennel undertone that seemed to “lift” the sweetness of the spearmint.
I… actually agree with my initial rating of 78, even though I don’t really remember that cup…
I got my Chroma Tea order earlier in the week; Aquamarine is the first tea I’ve tried so far and my jaw dropped when I saw all these intensely beautiful full marigold blossoms in it – what a killer visual!
It also tastes quite nice too; The unique and refreshing combination of woodier, but still a little spicy, cinnamon & spearmint was both really playful and really grounded; sort of a “hot and cool” kind of vibe. Fennel is sometimes chewed on as a breath freshener, and I liked the more herbaceous sweetness is contributed to the blend combined with the minerality of the oolong that is used as part of the base. The cocoa was very light and a little bit bitter, but I did think it contributed some depth and body. This is certainly a more sophisticated approach to a tea blend, & I’m excited to taste through the rest!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mC1XZZxcJKU