255 Tasting Notes
As I recall my last time having Lapsang Souchong, it was from David’s Tea sampler set. This particular tea stands out significantly, with it’s strong potent and complex smokey aroma that would remind you of a campfire around fresh pine.
Tea Forte’s is no different, with equally strong leaves that just captivate and excite your whole body, transporting you to a great northern wilderness, surrounded by pine, surrounding an open fire-pit. Very tranquil.
The beauty is that it is also reminiscent of my backyard, which is the beautiful northern British Columbia.
The liquor itself is an unmistakable deep amber, that is also surprisingly clean, (I only recall colors reminiscent of mahogany) and does not let up on the smokey aroma.
The flavor is not as strong as it’s aroma would lead you to believe. It does retain it’s smokey traits, but you can also trace some smooth nutty flavors, and a slight astringency.
I can see myself drinking this tea overlooking a lake, after a nice morning or evening run.
My mother bought this, as I had convinced her to because she was very interested in how it would be, both in flavor and with all the advertised health benefits of antioxidants.
She doesn’t take to caffeine very well. Fortunately, this tea comes in a tin as whole leaves. So, I told her that you can simply wash the tea leaves before your actual brew, so there is less caffeine when you actually steep your cup of tea.
The thing is, I didn’t want her to waste a cup of tea, so I took the caffeine filled cup and steeped her a less caffeine brew.
The leaves are odd, and fun, with a very subtle fresh scent overpowered by the fruit and cucumber. The blueberries are very prominent.
Steeping gives a nice clean lime color, with a light fresh mint aroma, and subtle cucumbers and blueberries. So far, extremely satisfying.
The flavor is very fresh, very minty green with a hint of fruit. It is quite invigorating, as the mint and cucumber combined give it a very whole and healthy flavor in a light and cool breeze.
The cucumbers make this tea. Extremely fresh and extremely satisfying.
We had dinner at a fairly prominent “fancy” restaurant with a Hawaiian theme. Very lovely food, very lovely location, and a very cute waitress that had a cool hospitable personality. (irrelevant, I know, but also very important to document)
I decided to try some tea, as I have never done there; I was happy they use Mighty Leaf, as I do seem to like some of their teabags.
The aroma is very green with a faint hint of mint, not as strong as I would have liked, but better than what I’m used to with most mint teabag tea.
The flavor is also very green, with a very faint hint of mint. Very light, which might have been due to the not very hot, but warm water it was steeped in.
It wasn’t bad, but could have been stronger, especially with the mint.
Today, I decided to be daring and try the rooibos tea I was sold on at Teavana’s Park Royal location in West Vancouver.
Once I mentioned I have an affinity for Chai teas, she instantly mentioned this tea. And, almost as instantly, I was skeptical of it. But, as soon as she opened the canister, the spicy aroma filled the air. It is simply divine, a beautiful potpourri of Chai spices and coconut, which sold me instantly.
Steeping gives a nice dark Chai red, with a very light spicy aroma. The scent is not as powerful as, say Teavana’s Maharaja Chai oolong, but the spice is there. Thankfully, the rooibos does not overpower, more works with the spice. This made me excited to actually taste.
This is an interesting Chai flavor. It is definitely not as bitingly strong as the Maharaja Chai oolong, but almost as spicy.
I would expect the rooibos and tulsi would have something to do with the pale floral base, giving me this weird feeling wondering how this spicy kick came from nowhere.
It’s a little disappointing that there are no coconuts to be found in the final brew, as there is prominent listing of coconuts. This also might be due to the rooibos and tulsi.
Nonetheless, a strange yet satisfyingly spicy brew, best sweetened. It would probably be better iced, as I would anticipate iced would bring out a better flavor.
I have decided to revisit this tea, among others, as it has been sitting on my tea shelf for close to a year.
Unlike Shaktea’s Marzipan, Cola Licorice doesn’t seem to be affected by the time just sitting there unsteeped.
There is still a very warm and nostalgic deliciousness to this tea, that is probably even more nostalgic given it’s age; the very brown colors of the 70’s, the stale dusty faux-sophistication scents of wood and polyester.
It’s a strange yet comforting feeling, considering I was born in the 80’s, but very much fuels the attraction of this tea.
I’m not quite sure when there is an appropriate time to drink this particular tea, maybe on a snow day, when roads are closed and you are stuck at home, sprawled out on your shag carpet close to the fireplace.
It’s been a while since I’ve had whole yerba mate, as it is usually blended with something stronger.
The leaves are very light, almost delicate, with a varied mixture of light and dark greens. They have a very light fresh scent, extremely light; there is almost no scent really to pick up.
Steeping gives a more earthy brew, in both appearance and aroma, with a very deep and cloudy green.
The flavor is very green and very earthy. There is a light sweetness, very mellow and soft, but it tastes and feels healthy.
I feel it needs something, as a regular straight mellow drink would be quite tedious. Maybe some lemon or lime juice, a bit of honey. Nonetheless, a very healthy tea.
I had just recalled drinking this tea over the past weekend.
We had decided to take a trip Saturday to see Taken 2 in a better local theater, so we decided to also have dinner in a favorite seafood place that faces the Pacific Ocean.
Besides the Starbucks Chai latte, I did not have any other tea that day, so I decided to compliment my salmon seafood salad with a green tea.
While steeping, I wasn’t really sure why the green tea didn’t necessarily smell like a proper green tea, as it had a healthy scent of mint.
After about 5 minutes of steeping, I removed the teabag from the tiny pot and noticed the tag read “Chai Green”.
I kind of laughed, as it wasn’t a green tea I had asked for, but I don’t mind Chai teas at all… but I do mind Chai teabags.
The flavor is a little off, as it is trying to be two things it can’t, and there isn’t enough of either to give a concrete body or actual flavor.
You cannot taste the green tea, let alone smell it, and the Chai spices are barely there, giving it quite a weak flavor.
The teabag had a stronger scent than it’s proposed flavor, but fortunately I didn’t really have any expectations.
I should have used sugar as well.
The leaves are quite large and full. There are very deep green details, very natural. There is also a nice woody scent with a subtle sweetness. Very clean.
Steeping gives a very bright, clean and blonde brew that is quite striking. The aroma is more woody, less clean, but still maintains a subtle sweetness.
And that subtle sweetness carries on into the flavor, with a very clean woody body, refreshing and mild.
Fitting I give a simple tea a simple note, as it is not so much about being surprised as it would just be about being satisfied of a very clean Chinese green tea that is very refreshing and relaxing.
The leaves are varied shades of deep green, with a sweet yet toasted grassy aroma. There is little detail, as the leaves are very light and very flat, which is kind of a disappoint, but they are full leaves nonetheless.
Steeping brings out more of that nice sweet toasted aroma, overpowering the grassy scent, which is less of a disappointment. The brew is a nice light jade color, with pieces of leaves floating to the bottom.
I like the subtleness of the grassy flavor, appropriately pulling to the backseat, allowing the sweet toasted flavors to come through.
There isn’t really much else to this tea. It is a very toasty green tea, with subtle notes of grass, but sweet, and toasted.
For some reason, in late July, I decided to buy over $400 worth of tea from Teavana, mainly from their heavily promoted Summer iced tea line. I had also mentioned that Chai teas are very much a favorite of mine, so I was recommended the Zingiber Ginger Coconut rooibos tea.
This tea has a pale but sweet and gingerly coconut aroma, subtle and quite lovely, which is strange as I do not particularly like the smell of rooibos, but the coconut and ginger sold me almost instantly.
The tea has been sitting on my tea shelf since then, untouched and unsteeped. Until now.
It is a bit odd that I chose to blend it before steeping by itself, but when I looked it up on Teavana’s website, I was surprised to see that they say it blends well with one of my very favorite teas, Maharaja Chai Oolong.
Both teas blended, the aroma is quite outstanding. The ginger and Maharaja Chai really give it a nice spicy delicious scent. I could not wait to try it.
It does blend rather well; as the spiciness of the Chai can overwhelm everything else, the rooibos seems to settle it down, allowing a hint of coconut to peek through the Chai and ginger. But, oh my, it is all about the Chai and ginger.
Yes, I usually have a reluctance to rooibos teas, as my experiences with them are not the best, but blending with an already outstanding Chai makes it pretty good. Hopefully, it is just as good by itself.