880 Tasting Notes
Sweet strawberry and
black currant, tart hibiscus
I’m still fond of you.
Needed a new cold brew candidate and I hadn’t marked D off my Ode to Tea list yet, so this is my D entry!
It’s a basic fruit tisane… I love these sorts of teas, but at the same time acknowledge they all typically taste the same and rarely stand out much. There are lots of fruits in it, but other than a sort of generic “fruit punch” flavor from those different fruits and the hibiscus base, I really only distinctly make out a sweet strawberry note, which has sort of a jammy quality, and a tangier black currant flavor (with black currant being one of the few fruits not included in the blend… I guess there is just something about this mix of flavors reading that way to me).
Not special, but extremely thirst-quenching and easy to sip from my cold water bottle. I imagine I’ll go through it quite quickly!
Probably not a tea for the hibiscus averse, but for those that like hibi/fruit teas, it’s fine. But it isn’t special either, and this flavor could easily be found just about anywhere from a variety of hibi/fruit teas.
Flavors: Berries, Black Currant, Fruit Punch, Hibiscus, Jam, Strawberry, Sweet, Tangy
Tasty to the final sip
A delicious cup
Happy National Haiku Day! Pulled this tea for my Ode to Tea Y entry and have been sipping on this as my nightly herbal the last few evenings. 5g grandpa steeped in a teabag in 350ml 205F water.
It has a really lovely creamy lemon aroma… there is a tart lemon zest sort of note, and then a sort of softer meringue aroma. The lemon flavor is very bright… a natural, zingy flavor with just a hint of background sweetness which keeps it from tasting like furniture polish. The lemon is front and center, but there is a subtle fresh grass seed/herbaceous note in the background (likely my tongue reading a combination of lemon grass and the green rooibos base). It’s really nice! A slight sweetness that is almost honey-like in taste is left on my tongue after the sip. Very relaxing and enjoyable!
Flavors: Citrus, Cream, Grass Seed, Herbaceous, Honey, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Sweet, Tangy
French Friday! Drinking this sample kindly provided by Dustin (thanks Dustin!) this morning, and snagging as my Ode to Tea P entry.
Dry leaf smells like a very floral bergamot… a sort of violet/lilacy scent? Brewed 2.8g per 350ml of 205F water, steeped for 3 minutes. The steeped cup smells pretty much dead on for the leaf; the bergamot doesn’t smell overwhelming because of the sweet florals peeking through, and reads a bit grapefruity citrus on the nose. Drinking it, though, it has a quite full bergamot flavor, and it is a bergamot that is leaning more grapefruit tasting than lemon-lime (I go back and forth depending on the tea). There is a sweet finish, but it isn’t the vanilla/cream that often accompanies Earl Greys. It’s definitely a sweet floral note that is reminding me of the (extremely limited) taste I got from a violet tea once, with a subtle sort of grape note left on my tongue after the berg settles. Looking at the tea entry, apparently this is bergamot with plum and yuzu flavorings, but I’m not getting either of those as flavor notes.
It is very pleasant! Been a while since I’ve had an EG and it’s a nice way to start the morning. I still have a hard time believing that when I first got into tea, I hated the taste of bergamot; now those teas are some of my favorite!
(Reminder that tomorrow is National Haiku Day! Tomorrow, leave a haiku about your tea in your tasting note!)
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Floral, Grapefruit, Grapes, Smooth, Violet
Pulled this to replace a recent sipdown and serve as my Ode to Tea K entry! This tea was provided to me way back in 2018 from Meowster during a cupboard clearout, thank you!
Brewed 2.8g in 350ml 195F water with a 3 minute steep. Didn’t have any time to drink before work so I had to throw the tea in a thermos and jet off, and it is hard to smell much that far down the container (I didn’t even have time to brew a full thermos…) The only thing I can say for certain is “bready” until I’m able to make this tea at home, in a cup, with the proper time to drink it…
An hour later of my thermos sitting on my desk with the cap off and this is finally cool enough to drink (these Contigos don’t mess around). I’m getting a bit of malt, a wheat/rye baked bread, spices, a hint of smoke, and an indistant citrus note that leaves the tiniest tang at the end of the sip. Some sips are slightly grapey, others aren’t.
I have no idea how old this tea could possibly be by now (it could’ve already been quite old by the time Meowster de-stashed it, and I’ve added another three years onto that…) but this is perfectly servicable as a first-of-the-morning-hot-caffeine-infusion, despite the age.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Citrus, Malt, Muscatel, Rye, Smoke, Spices, Wheat
I didn’t have many options for U in my cupboard for Ode to Tea, but I did have this, and it is a very old tea that needs sipped down anyway! This tea is from Chasandai Tea Factory and was purchased through Yunomi… back in 2018, and is well past its best by date. It was still sealed, but I really should do better, especially with green teas…
While I get a mood now and again for a warm cuppa green tea, I actually prefer it cold brewed, and find that typically works best for me with these neglected, old leaf greens anyway; the instructions said one teabag was for 500ml and my mason jars are 1000ml, so I just dropped two teabags in a jar, left it overnight, and removed them in the morning.
This tea… confuses me. It has this somewhat roasted sort of taste to me, but it is bancha, not a roasted green tea, so I don’t know where it is coming from! Sort of an earthy/minerally, roasted nuts flavor that I often get from oolongs, reminding me a bit of walnuts. I have never had shiso (perilla leaf) so I have no idea if that is what I’m tasting here. Everything I read about perilla says it should taste minty or citrusy, and I’m not tasting either of those flavors… though at least one site says “basil” and “petrichor” and I do see those associations to what I’m tasting. It is kind of reminding me of a softer/mellower tulsi, with a stronger minerality that I can definitely get a petrichor/wet rocks vibe from. There is also a light grassiness underneath, but it does sort of have that “stale” taste to it, more of a dry grass flavor, which is the fault of my neglect, not the tea. I’m not tasting the ume (plum) at all though?! Maybe, if I squint, it kinda peeks out in the aftertaste, but it isn’t as strong as I’d prefer.
For a tea well past its prime, it has that refreshing/thirst-quenching quality I enjoy from cold brewed greens, and I don’t dislike the earthy/mineral/nutty flavor. I wouldn’t say its a favorite either, and am uncertain if that would be different if this were fresher.
Edit: So, after working through two liters worth of cold brew of this, my opinion has changed and I’m dropping the rating. I’m getting this saltiness coming out that is kind of killing the “refreshing/thirst-quenching” quality I go for in cold brewed green teas. None of the ingredients say they are salt preserved, but it is definitely noticable. I think I’ll use the remaining teabags to make rice, which is what I tend to do with “salty” teas since I don’t mind that note in food, but don’t care for it much in a sipped cuppa.
Flavors: Basil, Dry Grass, Earth, Mineral, Nutty, Petrichor, Plums, Roasted Nuts, Salty, Walnut, Wet Rocks
Happy National Peach Cobbler Day! Today is the day to drink a tea with peach flavor notes!
I found this one for my Ode to Tea J entry… and I can’t believe it has sat, untouched, in my cupboard since March of 2018. Sigh…
The aroma wafting off my steeping cup is very compelling! I smell a strong tart/pithy orange citrus aroma, mixed with a peach/nectarine aroma which smell so inviting together!
On the tongue, I get a lead of hibiscus; the tea is a bit tangy but it doesn’t have the typical “hibiscus pucker” to it, it’s much sweeter. I’m mainly just getting the fruity sort of taste of the actual flower, and when I get that taste combined with the pithy tangerine note, it creates the feeling of biting into a very juicy orange or mandarine. As the tangier notes mellow on my tongue, I taste sweet peaches; I can detect the particular sweet note of licorice root, but there isn’t enough here to leave that “sticky” feeling on the tongue after the sip, only a mild flavor. The blend of rooibos and honeybush itself is magic, as I’m not getting any of the off-notes I often find in each (medicinal for rooibos, pepper for honeybush); it’s really smooth and sweet.
This may be one of the nicest rooibos blends I’ve had in a while! There are a lot of polarizing ingredients in it, but they happen to all be polarizing ingredients that I personally love, so this mix just works perfectly for me. This is just juicy citrus, sweet peach, and slightly floral honey-tasting nectar of the gods to me.
Why did this sit in my stash untouched for so long…?
Flavors: Citrus, Fruity, Hibiscus, Honey, Licorice, Orange, Peach, Smooth, Sweet, Tangy
Phew, I have finally worked through sipping down a lot of the teas I’ve been working on over the last few days, so now I’ve moved a new set of alphabet letters over into my focus area. I pulled this one for my Ode to Tea V entry! I reviewed it before, two years ago (here: https://steepster.com/mastressalita/posts/383379 ) but figured it had been long enough to give it a proper revisit.
I absolutely love the smell of this stuff. If you separate the herbaceous quality of the mate base beneath, the scent does remind me of a warm Macademia Nut sugar cookie. Has a very sweet vanilla aroma, with a somewhat nutty quality. On the sip… I can tell age has not done this tea any favors. I remember the flavor being a lot richer than I’m getting now. The mate is coming forth a bit more strongly, with that herbaceous hot hay note, and a hint of smokiness; not nearly as smoky as I have had yerba mate get in the past. The tea is still quite sweet, with some vanilla and nuts. I noted before it tasted like coffee to me, but I’m not really getting that now; perhaps one of those sweet and nutty coffee creamers, but not actual coffee beans.
I’m not going to slide my rating down though, as I remember this tea being an absolute standout in an area that isn’t well represented (flavored yerba mate) and think my neglect hasn’t done the flavorings any favors. All the more reason why it’s good I grabbed this one to sip down! Would do far more good to get rid of this less-than-steller tea and replace it with a fresh, tastier batch.
Flavors: Herbaceous, Hot Hay, Nutty, Smoke, Sweet, Vanilla, Vegetal
Happy National Unicorn Day! Oh look, I have another tea with a magical creature in the title (and one I happen to collect, too… I have a whole bathroom done in mermaids!) (Also taking this as my Ode to Tea M entry!)
I prefer my green tea cold brewed, and this one seemed like a good candidate regardless, so that is how I prepared it! The steeped tea smells like coconut, blueberry, and lime, which I think will be an interesting combination.
On the tongue, I’m picking up a lot of pineapple flavor which I couldn’t detect on the nose, and I really like it; the coconut is soft and creamy and it has a nice mellow pina colada backdrop. I do get the blueberry, not as strongly as I was picking it up in the scent, but it hits about midsip and has a sweetness to it (likely from the coconut). I taste the lime right at the end of the sip; the sweet pina colada sort of fades and then my tongue is hit by a hint of blueberry and a slightly tangy lime (lime and coconut is one of my favorite flavor combinations, and I really like how they are working together here, as well). Very thirst-quenching and refreshing!
Flavors: Blueberry, Citrus, Coconut, Lime, Pineapple, Smooth, Sweet, Tangy, Tropical
Happy National Unicorn Day! Today one simply has to drink a tea that is “magical” to them, and this can be interpreted in many creative ways. I’ve opted to drink teas with “magical” creatures in the title! (Also taking this as my Ode to Tea C entry!)
This sampler was kindly gifted to me from Cameron, so thank you! The dry leaf is very strongly rose-scented, so I can see already how this would not be a tea for those that don’t like rose/florals.
Steeped up, I’m still just getting rose on the nose, and none of the spices. Maybe a subtle hint of something cinnamony if I really focus? On the tongue, it’s the same. I’m tasting a strong rose, but spices are just not as evident; they do peek out a bit at the end of the sip, where I’m getting a bit of a warming cinnamon. I really don’t taste the clove at all…
I think there needs to be better balance here. I’m really just tasting a rose tea with a slightest hint of spice, when I feel the novelty of a blend like this should be a dominantly spiced rose tea. Otherwise, I have other (and frankly better) options for a plain rose-flavored tea (like T2’s White Rose, which I’ve had a lot recently due to sipdown efforts, so it’s a flavor I’m well aquainted with at the moment). The rose flavoring used in this just isn’t sitting with me as well as others I’ve had… I daresay I understand now when people describe a floral I enjoy as “soapy.”
I sipped this down cold-steeping the remaining leaf in oat milk, which I then used to make some Strawberry Lemon Rose Matcha Smoothies for breakfast, which turned out fantastic.
Thank you so much for the chance to try it, Cameron!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Floral, Rose, Soap
French Friday! Pulled this sampler from Dustin for today, thank you Dustin! (Also taking this as my Ode to Tea N entry!)
Dry leaf has a strong coconut cream aroma. Steeped about 2.6g per 350ml in 175F water for 3 minutes. The brewed tea still has that coconut cream aroma, but I’m getting a light caramel note as well. I can taste the genmaicha in the base, there is a sort of dry hay/vegetal quality beneath the flavoring, but the genmai flavor is quite light here, just a hint of some toastiness. The coconut/caramel cream flavor fills out quickly, it’s prominent but not overpowering. Though I know it isn’t in the blend, something about the mix of flavors here is tricking my tongue into tasting a hint of sarsaparilla, which I have no complaints about! The tea is very silky smooth.
Perhaps not as bold as I’m used to for a “first thing in the morning tea” but still a lovely cuppa.
Flavors: Caramel, Coconut, Cream, Hot Hay, Sarsaparilla, Smooth, Sweet, Toasty