804 Tasting Notes
I honestly did not expect to like this one. I have a pretty low tolerance for spice, so “spicy” worried me and pineapple, chocolate, and pepper just sounded like an odd combination. But somehow it works! The pineapple comes out strongly in the aroma, but is more muted in the flavor, coming in behind rich dark chocolate, a bit of smoke, and just a hint of peppery warmth. The base tea is strong enough to support all these intense flavors without overpowering them and it actually resteeps surprisingly well for a flavored tea. Since I finally got brave enough to try it, I’ve found myself reaching for this one more often than almost anything else in this sampler pack and definitely plan to order more when I run out!
Flavors: Black Pepper, Dark Chocolate, Pineapple, Smoke, Tobacco
I was very excited to receive the August Uncommon Top 10 sampler pack as a Christmas gift from my grandma in December! Since I got a lot of other tea for Christmas and had the Samurai TTB with me in January as well, I saved these teas to open on my vacation this month. Overall, August Uncommon continues to impress me with the quality of their tea and the uniqueness of their blends; I quite enjoyed 8/10 of the teas in this set and several are going on my wishlist to purchase in larger quantities soon.
But this was one of the two that flopped for me….and flopped quite spectacularly! I can usually finish any mug of tea, even if I’m not really enjoying it, but I actually dumped this one out after a couple of sips. It felt like drinking a mug of cough syrup…the artificial cherry flavor was STRONG and the anise also gave it a cloyingly sweet, throat-coating mouthfeel that I just couldn’t handle. I’ve passed this on to an amaretto-loving friend in hopes that she will enjoy it more than I did…wouldn’t take much!
Flavors: Anise, Artificial, Cherry, Sweet
A friend of mine went to Charleston and brought this tea back. I was excited to try it, but unfortunately, this wasn’t a favorite for me. The flavor is quite aggressive for a green tea, strongly herbaceous with mineral notes and an oddly metallic aftertaste. I’m still curious to try more from this company, but this isn’t one I’ll be drinking again.
Flavors: Herbaceous, Metallic, Mineral
Samurai TTB #61
This was the final teabag that I had pulled from the TTB a couple of weeks ago and has been waiting for me in my desk drawer at work. Although the quality of this seems really nice for a bagged tea, the flavor combination just isn’t working for me. The base tea is quite grassy and aggressive and seems to almost be fighting the toasted rice and floral flavors that are also present in the blend. I also find that it’s drying out my throat at the end of each sip. While I’m curious to try more from this brand, this isn’t one I’ll be returning to.
Flavors: Drying, Floral, Grass, Rose, Toasted Rice
Samurai TTB #60
I’m not really getting any grapefruit from this one. It tastes strongly of vanilla and the white tea base is also coming through pretty strongly. It’s a pleasant, creamy flavor, but I’m disappointed not to taste the grapefruit, since that’s one of my favorite flavors and pretty rare to find in tea.
Flavors: Creamy, Hay, Smooth, Vanilla
Samurai TTB #59
I’m not generally a fan of jasmine teas (too many of them are overpoweringly floral and make me feel like I’m drinking perfume) but Jenni King has spoken so highly of this one, I just had to try it when I saw a single sachet in the TTB. And I’m so glad I did! I think this is the best jasmine tea I’ve ever had. Even though it was in a teabag, the pearls were beautifully rolled and unbroken. When steeped, they unfurled into a bright green, fresh-tasting tea with notes of citrus and a pleasantly soft floral flavor. A second steep was almost as good as the first!
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Jasmine, Smooth
Samurai TTB #58
This tasted like something I’d want to drink when I’m sick…a bit of citrus, lots of spicy ginger, and a lingering aftertaste of licorice root. I think it would be soothing to a sore throat the flavor would be strong enough to cut through congestion. But since I’m thankfully NOT sick right now, I found the ginger and licorice to be a bit overwhelming and more like taking medicine than enjoying a nice cup of tea.
Flavors: Citrus, Ginger, Licorice, Spicy, Sweet
I enjoyed this one! Green rooibos seems to have a much milder flavor than red, which I appreciate. This blend had a nice fresh, minty flavor that balanced well with the lemon…not much blueberry that I could detect. I enjoyed it hot, but guessing it would be even better iced!
Flavors: Lemon, Mint
Samurai TTB #57
Michelle kindly included a sample of this one in the TTB for me. I’ve loved most of the golden snail-style black teas I’ve tried in the past, so I was eager to give this one a try! The aroma was very rich with notes of cocoa and honey. The tea brewed up a rich reddish brown with intense chocolatey flavor and a dense, almost chewy mouthfeel. I loved the first steep, but was disappointed by the second, as the flavor became quite thin and the aftertaste was pretty astringent. This is a great one-time steep but I wish I could get more out of it!
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Honey
Samurai TTB #56
I’ve had lots of orange spice black tea blends before, but I don’t recall another one with a green tea base. I actually found this a lot more enjoyable than the classic Constant Comment. The green tea base is nice and smooth and the orange flavor was distinctive without being overwhelmed by sweet cinnamon (as is so often the case in such blends). Here, the cinnamon just added a gently warming note. I honestly enjoyed this so much more than I was expecting!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Citrus, Orange, Smooth