Posts Tagged ‘Flavoured Tea’
Tea Company: The NecessiTeas (website)
Ingredients: Ceylon tea,strawberries,strawberry and cheesecake flavors
Vendor Suggested Preparation: not listed online
When I scanned the list of teas we had to choose from to review, this caught my eye – strawberry cheesecake, one of my favourite deserts. It tastes delicious as a food, how bad can it be as a tea?
The aroma coming off the dried leaves from the bag smelled sweet and very appetizing; I wanted to eat straight from the bag, it was so good! Leaf contains Ceylon black tea, strawberry and cheesecake flavouring, and dried strawberry slices. Usually when I get strawberry slices in something say, cereal, when I eat them, they taste sour; but because these strawberry slices are infused in the tea, if there are and sour tastes, it’ll probably mostly be lost in the sweetness of the cheesecake flavouring.
I steeped it according to instructions 1 tsp per 8 oz of boiling water and took my first sip. Very nice, sweet with a tad bit of sourness at the beginning but finishes off like you are tasting a strawberry cream wafer. It is not for everyone like purists or people who don’t believe in drinking a meal / desert, but one thing I do have to give it is the Ceylon tea used in this flavoured tea is good black tea and you can tell that right away from tasting it. It is flavourful, no briskness or astringency, no spikes or unevenness in taste so very balanced, and carries the taste of the strawberry cheesecake very well.
The aftertaste and feeling I get from the tongue rubbing on the roof of the mouth is like I’ve been eating some cream wafers, there is a little bit of buttery smoothness to it. Actually it reminds me a little of milk oolongs.
After drinking a cup of this strawberry cheesecake tea, it makes me want to reach for the real thing! I need to satisfy my sweet tooth now. ☺
You can purchase the Strawberry Cheesecake directly from the The NecessiTeas website.
Tea Company: Mark T. Wendall Tea Company (website)
Ingredients: Green Tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: not speficied
Opening the package, the dry leaves smell grassy and have a perky sweetness about them that I’m eager to try (too much time spent drinking roasted and musty green teas has drawn me from teas like this). Two teaspoons of leaves, two cups of water, and three minutes later, I had a pale green brew with a much deeper aroma than the dry leaf had. Deeper, yet still as sweet, the grassy notes linger as well.
Deliciously smooth. The grassy flavour does not overwhelm, as some greens are apt to do. For such a lightly flavoured tea, the brew seems to carry a moderate amount of thickness to the mouthfeel. However, even those light flavours are complex by themselves, making each sip a lingering pleasure, if left to settle on the tongue.
The sweetness and delicacy of the brew leave one with a very refreshed feeling, and it is a very enjoyable tea to drink. I gladly give it a 77 out of 100 on my personal enjoyment scale, and would certainly recommend it.
You can purchase the Dragonwell Green directly from the Mark T. Wendall Tea Company website.
Tea Company: Shanti Tea (website)
Ingredients: White Tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: not listed on the website
After tasting and loving Shanti Tea’s Cherry Sencha, I was excited to try their silver needle, but I was rather disappointed. Well, I guess whether or not you will like it, depends on your expectations. To me their silver needle is just too far off from the characteristic mildly sweet, light signature tastes of the silver needle. If I were being nice, I could say Shanti Tea’s silver needle has a unique taste, or realistically I could say they are way off track.
Inspection of the dry leaf shows dark green backing to white down, buds are quite small. The aroma of the dry leaf has a sort of spice or hints of fragrance of like a flavoured tea.
I steeped 5 grams of leaves in 600ml of water for 2 minutes at 80 degrees Celsius. The resultant infusion was light yellow in colour and smelled like cooked spinach with ginger.
Silver needle is a very high quality, expensive tea; with picking of only the young, top buds of the tea bush. The taste is typically light, sweet and delicate. Tasting this was as if I had Tropicana 100% pure orange juice and compared it to orange Kool Aid. I liken this silver needle to the Kool Aid. It is like artificial white tea flavouring; it did not taste natural at all. It tasted like something was added, some flavouring, hints of ginger??? If I had to compare it to a like tea I would say it is similar to Indonesian white tea. Both have that sort of “artificial” taste that does not seem to come from the buds. It is still drinkable, but don’t expect exceptional silver needle quality here. I’m going to have to pass on this one.
You can purchase the Silver Needle directly from the Shanti Tea website.
Tea Company: Canton Tea Co. (website)
Ingredients: White Tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Use 1-2 tsp per cup (200ml); water temperature around 75°C (167°F) and infuse for 2-3 mins; and infuse 2-3 times
To start my first review here, I thought it would be fun to share how I go about tasting teas (and I hope others will share too!). I do all my tea tastings (as opposed to tea drinking) first thing in the morning. Yes, even before I brush my teeth! I was inspired by Chocolate Expert, Chloé Doutre-Roussel in her chocolate tastings (another one of my passions) as she believes our taste buds and sense of smell are most acute on an empty stomach and with a clean palate.
If I am tasting a non-flavoured tea (more often than not), I will also taste the new tea with the same type of tea I have on hand which I believe is an excellent example of that kind of tea. It helps awaken my taste buds and jogs my taste bud memories. When tasting a new tea, I prefer not to look at any taste/scent/appearance descriptions given by the supplier nor do I like to look at any other reviews. I want to experience the tea without any preconceived notions of what others observed.
But for the purposes of this tea review, I wanted to make my tasting even more unbiased so I actually used three unmarked samples of the same type of tea [one an excellent example of the same type, one a good/perfectly acceptable (to me) example of the same type and a sample of the tea I was to review] and shuffled them up while tasting. I don’t have a retail tea business so I don’t do any formal type of cuppings to choose teas to sell; this is just a method I thought might work for me.
Now we all know there is some pretty spectacular tea out there, just as there is, unfortunately, some bad tea. But that leaves so much in between to choose from. I believe tasting tea is a very personal experience. Once we’ve looked for and found good characteristics of a particular tea, it all comes down to flavour and what we prefer and love. Two people may not have the same take on a particular tea and that’s okay! Isn’t that what makes loving, drinking, sharing and discussing tea so unique and wonderful?!
Today I’m reviewing Canton Tea Co.’s Silver Needle Yin Zhen White Tea (as per label on sample) , commonly known as Bai Hao Yin Zhen in Mandarin, which literally translates to White Hair Silver Needle. I actually tasted this tea twice (randomly shuffled with the other two as noted above) on two separate days. Because this tea consists of tight buds, I used a higher temperature compared to what I would use for a Bai Mu Dan, which has more open leaves that infuse quicker. I used a temperature between 77°C and 79°C (or 170°F and 175°F). I usually steep for 1 to 1½ minutes (you will probably notice as time goes by that I am more of a “shorter” steeper than a “longer” steeper).
Here are some of my tasting notes on Canton Tea Co.’s Silver Needle Yin Zhen White Tea. Both times that I tasted yielded similar thoughts.
|Dry Leaf||Appearance||silvery/gray/green slender buds with soft down typical of this kind of tea|
|Scent||grass, a bit sweet, hint of chocolate|
|Wet Leaf||Appearance||brighter light green with some darker gray/green, soft, pliable|
|Scent||fresh, honey, some vegetal & chestnut|
|Infusion||Liquor||clear, pale golden|
|Aroma||quite soft , cotton candy with some grassy notes|
|Texture||smooth, thin, touch of astringency at end|
|Taste||extremely light in flavour & not long lasting, just slightly sugar sweet with hint of plant/flower stem|
Because I would have liked to have seen slightly more complexity in the taste of this Silver Needle and a little more depth & longer-lasting flavour, to me this is not an extraordinary tea. I know Bai Hao Yin Zhen is capable of having more taste & intensity. However, I would recommend this tea as acceptable because of its fine-looking downy buds, subtle sweetness and its good price point, meaning you don’t have to expend too much money to add this easily drinkable Silver Needle to your tea stash.
You can purchase the Silver Needle White Tea | Fuding Bai Hao Yin Zhen directly from the Canton Tea Co. website.
Tea Company: Dens Tea (website)
Ingredients: Sencha green tea with pineapple
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Water: 4oz boiled Leaves: 2 grams or 1 heaping teaspoon Steep: 30 sec 2nd Cup: Water boiled; Steep 15 sec
Attention ALL Pineapple Lovers!
Before, During, and After infusing this tea is all about the freshly cut Pineapple Smell…once the infusion was complete add the fresh Pineapple smell to a Green Tea and there you go! It has a typical Sencha type color and the taste is refreshing and creamy, yes, creamy! I was shocked it was creamy…sure it says it’s creamy but I didn’t believe it for myself until I tried it. AND it’s still a Loud Pineapple Scent! The Green Tea Taste is still true as well but you really have to enjoy Pineapple to like this tea…lucky for me…I LOVE Pineapple!!
You can purchase the Pineapple Sencha directly from the Den website.