45 Tasting Notes
I am sipping on a cup of this – an effort to relax after a very hectic week of getting the 12 Teas of Christmas boxes on their way.
I made a couple of changes to the recipe this year – I still used the Laoshan teas from Verdant – but I also added just a little bit of Assam to the blend to fill out the base flavors a little bit. The malt and the strength of flavor from the Assam helped give the Laoshan teas just a little more – something.
I also added some vegan white chocolate chips to the blend because I wanted a little more creaminess to the cup. I don’t know how much difference the little bit of white chocolate chips added to the cup, really, it gave a pretty almost marshmallow like appearance to the dry leaf which is nice – maybe a touch more of a creamy vanilla taste?
Nice cool, crisp flavor from the peppermint – lovely chocolate notes. Still one of my favorites that I’ve created thus far.
This week’s tea of the week (Retro Monday Reblend!)
I had a couple of cups of this earlier today but I was without internet connection for a few hours today – fortunately things are up and running now and I’m able to print out my mailing labels so that I can send subscription boxes out today! Yay!
This is really good – I think I liked today’s cup even better than I enjoyed the tea when I conducted the taste test: http://52teas.com/blog/tea-of-the-week-for-october-31-2016-retro-monday-butter-beer-black-tea/
Today’s cup was smooth and butterscotch-y with a nice background of root beer. I recently discovered a butterscotch beer soft drink from ‘flying cauldron’ – which seems to be an obvious take on the Harry Potter beverage that inspired this tea as well – and this afternoon’s cuppa reminded me a lot of the soda that I tasted about two month’s ago. Really yummy.
I cold-brewed some of this last night to enjoy today.
And while it’s quite tasty as a cold-brew, I think I prefer this as a hot tea. Cold, I am getting more fruit flavor and a good amount of pumpkin. The spices are a little muted. It comes together quite nicely as a cold glass of tea but I think that the hot cuppa gives this tea a more comforting flavor that is something that I enjoy. My partner agreed with me, he preferred this one hot too, but it’s still quite good and worth a try as a cold-brew.
This is last week’s tea of the week – but the last two weeks have been completely out of control crazy so I’m going to take a moment now to sit down and breathe … and enjoy some tea!
About 2 weeks ago, we had a serious equipment malfunction that put me about 10 days behind. The worst part about it is that I was actually getting caught up! I was going to have the subscription boxes out ahead of schedule! I was getting there – and then my heat sealer breaks on me and I have to wait to get a new one delivered. Ugh.
But, I guess that’s one thing that i’ve learned in the year plus that I’ve been doing the 52Teas thing – that stuff happens and you just gotta roll with the punches.
Fortunately, after spending the last week since getting my replacement heat sealer working hard – I might actually be getting caught up again which is very fortunate since the 12 Teas of Christmas is in progress! (By the way, deadline to pre-order yours is this Saturday!)
Now – let’s get back to the task at hand – this tea! I really love this tea. I had come across a recipe for Earl Grey Cider (a cocktail) and thought it sounded amazing except that I’m not really big on cocktails (or any alcohol for that matter). But I did think that if the Earl Grey Cider was a tea, I’d definitely want to try it. So I decided that i should make my own version of this cocktail.
The bergamot is delightful and together with the lemon in this, it creates a really unique citrus-y note. The apple isn’t particularly strong but it adds a pleasant sweet note to the otherwise tart/tangy fruits in this. And the bourbon notes are not overly powerful but there is a hint of like a warm, caramel-y, barley-like note to the cup.
I haven’t yet tried this iced but I will be cold-brewing it very soon so I’ll be sure to let you know what I think of it – I’m absolutely loving it hot!
I cold-brewed some of this last night to enjoy today.
It’s refreshing – the spices seem a tad more dominant in the cold-brew than the hot-brewed. I do get a nice ‘fluffy’ vanilla taste to this when cold-brewed that I really like. The pumpkin is a little less discernible for me when it’s cold-brewed though. It’s more like a spiced, matcha infused genmaicha with vanilla notes and a pumpkin-y background when I cold brew it, while I get more pumpkin up front when I hot brew and the vanilla is much creamier when it’s hot brewed too.
I think I prefer this one hot brewed but it’s still quite nice cold-brewed, just a different tea though.
I haven’t actually ever had a pumpkin spice latte from the coffee shop, mostly because I can’t drink coffee because a few hours after drinking coffee, I have a terrible tummy ache. I’m not sure exactly why it affects me that way but it does and it’s actually one of the things that turned me from coffee to tea. I always enjoyed tea but I really got into it after I couldn’t drink coffee because I still needed a caffeine buzz and after I got to understand how to properly brew the different types of tea and such – I found that my enjoyment expounded.
This is the tea of the week this week – and it’s so good. As I eluded to above, I’ve not ever had a coffee shop Pumpkin Spice Latte – but I have had other pumpkin spice flavored things (because they’re everywhere!) and I decided that I should create my own interpretation of the phenomenon that is Pumpkin Spice Latte.
I love the genmaicha base – it’s sweet and nutty and it melds wonderfully well with the pumpkin notes. There is a warm set of spices to this but it’s not aggressively spiced. The marshmallow root and vanilla bean add a nice creaminess to create the “latte” flavor so you don’t need to add dairy to go latte with this!
Just really YUMMY!
Flavors: Creamy, Pumpkin, Spices, Toasty
Although this week is coming to a close (and already has for some of you!) I wanted to post something abou this week’s tea of the week. I cold-brewed some last night and that is the way to brew this tea! It’s good hot brewed, certainly, and that’s the way I prepared it for my taste testing but cold-brewed, the cheesecake notes pop and there’s a lovely note of cinnamon and just a hint of zesty ginger to enhance the sweet peach-y notes.
I might have to share some of this with hubby!
Flavors: Cheesecake, Cinnamon, Ginger, Peach
I’ve been making an effort to try all the teas that we’ve been blending lately as cold-brewed as well as hot brewed. I recently acquired a cold-brew system that makes it easy to cold brew and since it’s a fairly popular method of brewing these days, I thought it would be a good idea to try out my teas cold-brewed too.
And so last night I prepared this tea to cold-brew and am finally taking a moment to sit down and enjoy it. This is really good cold-brewed. Not gonna lie, I think it’s better hot, maybe it’s just me but I just happen to prefer my chocolate teas hot (especially when there’s Assam tea involved, I love that maltiness!)
The cold-brew has a lighter texture and color than the hot brewed tea and the flavor – I wouldn’t describe it as lighter as there is plenty of flavor here – but it’s not as rich as what I’ve experienced with this tea as a hot cuppa.
That said, I find that the vanilla seems to pop more with the cold-brew. With the hot tea, there is a underlying note of wonderful creaminess but with the cold-brew I can taste distinct notes of vanilla. The chocolate is not as rich and ‘dark’ tasting but there’s a really nice, smooth element to it with the cold-brew.
I do like this better hot but it’s quite tasty cold-brewed too.
This week’s tea of the week! Your friend and mine – Liquid Proust – suggested to me some months ago to try blending Houjicha and Shou Mei together and I’ve gotta tell you – it’s genius! The combination creates a flavor that’s a little roasty-toasty but not quite as aggressively roasted as a straight Houjicha. The Shou Mei lightens the flavor just enough and adds some pleasant fruity notes to the toasted nutty flavor of the Houjicha. When I first tasted the two teas together (without flavoring or other components), I enjoyed the ‘foresty’ flavor of the blend. Immediately, my mind started entertaining ideas of what this flavors this flavor combination might work best with.
This is my first of a couple of ideas – Gathering Berries! To the base of Houjicha and Shou Mei, I added golden mulberries, elderberries, black currants and blueberries. And seriously though – the taste evokes thoughts of hiking through the woods just as the autumn leaves have begun to fall and gathering some of the last ripe berries that nature has to offer. (Just no nightlock, please!)
I didn’t blend a large quantity of this tea (why? Because the leaves are large and bulky and I can’t fit a lot of the tea in my blending vessels!) so after sending out all the subscriptions, I have very few of this tea left – so if you find yourself interested at all, you should grab some quickly while it’s here!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Berry, Fruity, Toasty