16 Tasting Notes
Our reblend of the Maple Cheesecake is finally ready to be tasted and packaged! Yay! I’ve been looking forward to this all week.
Mmm! So good! Rich and maple-y! I adjusted the recipe just a bit to increase the maple just a bit because … maple. (Hopefully that requires no additional explanation.)
I went back to recheck my notes on the first batch of Maple Cheesecake Ti Kwan Yin and I think that this batch is very similar to my experience back then: a sweet, full-flavored Oolong base with nutty notes that complement the tangy cheesecake flavor and a really lovely maple-y flavor. I really am happy with this one!
I’m taste testing this tea right now from the reblend I created for the Kickstarter Campaign incentives.
It’s good. Nice blackberry flavor – lovely cream notes. I like my great big blackberries that I found for this.
I’ve learned a lot while blending/packaging this tea: I need bigger pouches for certain teas. I can’t fit 1 1/2 ounces of this tea in a 2 ounce pouch … so everyone who ordered 1 1/2 ounces of this tea will receive a large pouch and a small pouch because there’s no getting 1 1/2 ounces in that pouch without crushing the leaves into dust. As one who respects the leaf, I just can’t do that.
I’ve also decided that while the shou mei tea is alright, for future blends (and reblends) I will be using a white peony. I like this shou mei but I like white peony better. Yeah, it costs more (quite a bit more, actually) but as someone who is a tea snob, it’s worth it.
That said, this is a good tea. The blackberry flavor is well-defined and I love the berry tingle at the finish. The cream notes soften the tart-y notes of the blackberry nicely. It’s sweet and yummy and I like this a lot.
PS: I also learned that LiberTEAS rated this tea previously and I can’t change LiberTEAS rating using my 52Teas account.
I’m drinking my reblend of this right now. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of it – that’s two black teas in a row that I’ve not taken photos of!
Anyway, this is really good. I think it’s important to note that an ample cool time on this tea is necessary. When piping hot, it’s a wee bit astringent. I let it cool about six minutes, and it was still just a tad astringent and the flavors were not real focused yet, so another five minutes cool time brought the tea to a really lovely sipping temperature that was warm, not hot, but not cold either. Warm and cozy and easy to drink.
The astringency has smoothed its way out now and the flavors have come into focus. A nice pumpkin-y note with a tangy cheesecake flavor. The caramel isn’t as strong as I’d like it to be so I’ll make note of that on the recipe for future reblends. I think in the future, I’ll also add a touch of spice because I find myself wanting a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon here, just to enhance the pumpkin.
Overall, it’s good, but it can be improved upon, I think.
So, i’m taste testing this one now. It’s quite good, even if I do say so myself. I get a creamy, sweet coconut note with just enough of that slick-y coconut texture that I like when it comes to coconut teas. And the cheesecake notes are tangy, sweet, and creamy. I get a hint of buttery crust that is enhanced with the natural nutty tones of the honeybush.
PS: I’m using a different honeybush for the honeybush blends than Frank was using. I know that there were some complaints about his honeybush … I really like the supplier that I found for honeybush. It’s organic and it has a really good flavor. Honeybush still isn’t my favorite thing out there – I certainly prefer camellia sinensis, but it’s a nice caffeine free option.
Reblend: I just brewed up a cup of this. I had to test the batch!
It’s quite yummy (if I do say so myself). The marshmallow and pineapple notes are prominent throughout the sip and the lime pops toward the finish and lingers in the aftertaste. As the tea continues to cool, the lime becomes stronger and I start to pick up on barely there hints of maraschino cherry.
I don’t know if it tastes as good as I remember that very first batch tasting way back when it first was released. But it’s really, really good. I’m quite happy with it.