44 Tasting Notes
I’ve been drinking this tea almost every morning for a while now. I was really excited to try this tea when I first got it, for I was lacking a good Keemun for quite some time. Initially I thought it was very thin and light. Somehow, over time, I’ve grown to like it quite it a bit.
There isn’t a whole lot that stand out about it per se. It’s slightly sweet, peppery, and delicately smokey. Sometimes I’m not in the mood to analyze flavors (the dreadful morning hours)- I just want that reliable, familiar friend to wake me up.
There’s a lot going on in this tea. I also think I get different flavors every time I drink it. It’s a blend made up of: Keemun, Assam, Oolong, and Ceylon. I initially tasted a lot of Assam, which made me think I should cut the brewing the time (I usually just go for three minutes with Assams), but then the strangest thing happened…
I was sitting in class with a big thermos of this, trying to wake myself up. All of it sudden, it tasted like a pure Keemun. I kept wondering if I had brewed a Keemun instead in the morning (let’s face it- mornings and me aren’t the closest of friends). I didn’t think about it for the rest of the day. The next morning I pried my eyes open and made sure I brewed the right tea… same thing happened.
Maybe the teas weren’t evenly distributed in the blend I received. Regardless, it’s not a bad tea, but it needs to make up its mind!
Given the many negative reviews, I was afraid that reading them before drinking the tea was going to make me less likely to enjoy it. Well, while I don’t find the tea overly spectacular, I think it’s pleasantly drinkable. I wasn’t expected to be blown away from a CS bagged tea. CS is, for me personally, more of a comforting nostalgic brand. It was the brand that really got me interested in tea and I’ll admit that the cover art still charms me.
On to the flavor… there’s definitely a white tea taste here. It’s not the subtle, higher grade of white tea. They use white peony. I actually prefer the lower grades because I find they have more flavor. I’m not the type of person that gets overly excited on subtleties, so this base works well for me. The pear flavor isn’t really in the taste (as is so often the case with flavored teas), but rather in the scent alongside a vanilla aroma.
Not awful, yet not exciting, but drinkable and enjoyable in a pinch.
It’s been forever since I’ve posted! Not good! Anyway, maybe my taste buds are off because of a cold, but I’m not really wowed by this one. It seems rather one-dimensional. I definitely don’t taste any chocolate as the description implies or even the caramel. It’s very thick- almost chewy, but that doesn’t equate with a varying flavor profile. I’ve thought about decreasing the time to three minutes, maybe pick up some more subtle nuances, but I really can’t be too bothered. This tea’s good for a sore throat and that general tea taste, but I won’t be sad to see this sample go.
So I have a confession to make. Even though I’ve primarily drank loose leaf for the past two years or so, I’ve been re-indulging in Celestial Seasonings teas lately, especially this one. I don’t know what it is about CS that attracts me, a loose leaf drinker, to go out of my way and find some of the rarer ones. Maybe it’s the cute cover arts (especially this one- I mean, it features bears painting candy canes- what’s not to like?!). Or maybe it’s the nostalgic novice tea drinking years of my life. I remember getting into tea around the time I started my first year of college. Freshman year was a great year for me and very exciting. It’s no surprise that tea held a very special place in my life, especially CS teas which I drank very often.
So, I see no reason for not enjoying a bagged tea occasionally… or even often as it’s the case with this tea! I love the cooling simplicity of this tea. It’s minty and slightly green with a touch of comforting vanilla. There really isn’t a wrong way to brew this tea. Even though CS recommends cooler water (they consider it a green tea), I haven’t found this tea really anything more than an herbal with a tad of green to it. The only way I can pull out the green tea flavor is to let the bag infuse for 15 or so minutes. Even then, I swear it might just me mentally thinking it’s there. The big point is, though, the tea won’t run bitter on you. I’ve had this brewing for two hours once and it still tasted good!
I think they put something in these teas… I to am addicted to one of theirs, the royal benghal tiger. So good…
Upon opening the bag I was rather surprised to find out that this tea smelled like chocolate! When brewed, it has a very delicate floral aroma to it. The color is quite interesting- an almost golden hue. It’s definitely not a delicate white, as the grade would imply, so from some reviews I’ve read that point that out as a negative, I really have to scratch my head. This is coming from a person that enjoys more of the bold flavors that come with lower grades, though. The aftertaste is very sweet and like the dry scent suggested, there’s a faint taste of chocolate, too.
I was curious to try an organic sencha because I have heard just how different the taste is. I haven’t had enough of conventional versus organic to make this judgement myself, but this tea is definitely different in a good way.
One of the things I’ve heard about organic sencha, and a negative for some people, is that it’s a lot milder in flavor. In a way I would have to agree, but it’s not a negative for me. This sencha doesn’t have quite that bite I associate with other senchas, but nevertheless it’s enjoyable.
The smell is very sylvan and the taste is rather woodsy as well. Slightly grassy with an herbaceous, salty buttery undertone. There’s also a marine like quality to this- it’s as if a garden emerged under the sea and you’re imbibing this oceanic green nectar. I can’t say it’s my favorite sencha, but it’s a nice one to have on hand.
I used 3.5 gram of leaf per 4 oz. of water.
I originally bought this tea out of a mere curiosity of trying bancha and sampling tea from Yuuki-cha. I just placed an order for a kyusu and figured it would be a good idea to throw a tea in my cart, but not something seriously expensive (the kyusu had already put a huge dent in my wallet).
When I opened the bag I was very intrigued. The smell was oddly nostalgic, yet I couldn’t place my finger on it and I still can’t. It almost smells yeasty to me- oddly enough a smell I kinda like.
So on to the real test – the taste test… and it was a letdown, but only at first! I finally managed to brew this tea correctly yesterday and fell in love with it. I used the suggested upward amount of leaf (6 grams) and 4 oz. Today I’m enjoying a big 8 oz. glass with hopefully many infusions. I was able to get around four good cups of this one yesterday.
The taste is very mild and reminds me of the herbs I used to drink in abundance (I still do, but I drink more tea now), like horsetail and strawberry leaf. And yet, there’s something different and unique about this tea. The description refers to this tea as fitting for spring and I think they’re spot on. It’s as rejuvenating as stepping into a open field of spring flowers. After imbibing these sylvan elixirs, one is gently lifted and brought back into a renewed state of energy and life. After drinking four cups of this yesterday I cleaned like crazy for three hours!
As I was digging through the ever so organized tea drawer this morning looking for ceylon, I found this instead. I was excited because I didn’t realize there was a keemun in there (my boyfriend had ordered it), so I definitely decided to have this tea instead of the ceylon, eagerly awaiting the keemun goodness I’ve come to love.
Well… I was a bit disappointed. It smelled very smokey and slightly woodsy. As I took a sip I was less excited. The powerful scent just doesn’t live up to the taste. It’s very flat tasting and watery thin. There isn’t much body to this tea and it has this odd tangy after taste to it.
Keemun/Quimen teas are tricky and I find seasonal harvests are radically different from year to year based on rain fall…..highest grades are Hao Ya A and Hao Ya B and anytime some tea company obscures the origin, tea estate, or grade it means its usually a blend or a mix to dilute poor season or costs….sorry it didnt jam ya up
I sun brewed this tea yesterday and I’m having it with my lunch. I have to say I’m not surprised by this- it’s the typical flavored black Adagio tea that’s misses on many levels. The ceylon base is just never really a hit with me – it’s either too bitter or too overwhelming of the other flavors. The strawberry flavor in this tea tastes rather artificial and very jammy.