1323 Tasting Notes
I was asked once, “what does cactus taste like?” and I floundered wildly to come up with an answer. I still don’t know how to describe. I could recognise it instantly; it’s even one of those flavours that it’s easy to imagine when you don’t have it, but I don’t really know how to describe it.
It’s sort of sweet and sort of fruity but not like your ordinary sweet and fruity. It has that cool sensation that you also find in mint and it has a certain freshness to it so it doesn’t get cloying. And a touch of fennel(*) too.
My leaves of this are fairly old and have been standing forgotten in the cupboard for a long time, so I can’t really remember how much flavour it had to begin with but I think it must have faded some. There isn’t all that much of the added flavour left in it, except in the aroma, but the green tea it’s based on is coming out loud and clear. It doesn’t say what the base is, but I’m guessing it’s probably Sencha, since the vast majority of the green flavoured teas in that particular shop are based on Sencha. Or at least they were at the time I bought it.
It’s been ages and ages since I’ve had a pure Sencha (that I knew for sure was Sencha) so I can’t really judge it on flavour. Only an educated guess. Due to the nature of the cup, i can’t tell you about the colouring of the liquid and looking at it as it’s poured doesn’t really give a very accurate picture. It did look a tiny bit neon-green though. Just the slightest hint.
The taste is definitely different from my chinese and taiwanese greens too. It doesn’t taste as green, kind of. As in, it doesn’t taste like it’s not a green tea, it just doesn’t invoke the same images of things that are green while drinking it. Or something. Gosh, that sounds ridiculous, but I can’t figure out how else to explain it. It reminds me very strongly of Genmaicha, to the point where I have to remind myself that it isn’t actually Genmaicha. Does any of this sound Sencha-ish to those of you who have more experience with Sencha?
.(*) Fennel, btw, might be an interesting flavour in a green or white tea, come to think of it…
With a twist today. I substituted one quarter of the leaves with Adagio’s cinnamon black. It turned out to be a very nice combination. I’m glad I didn’t add more cinnamon than I did because I think that would have overpowered the chocolate.
Well. I say chococlate, but really it’s more cocoa than it’s chocolate, I think.
As mentioned, though, a nice combination, which seems pretty nicely balanced between the two flavours if I do say so myself. I think a little bit of milk would have suited it too, smoothing it out a bit, but I didn’t have any so someone else will have to test that for me.
Weirdly, it’s also a combination that works tolerably well with this I-need-to-use-these-leeks-for-something-soon-improvisation-surprise-soup that I’m having for dinner.
I’ve napped, so I don’t know if it’s still snowing or snowing again either way, it sure is adding up out there. Good thing about naps though is that you get warm! Finally.
This is just another one for the sake of variation, and I’m still lazy so I’m still bagging it. On top of that it’s pretty oversteeped because I forgot about it. Apart from it going somewhat lukewarm, it hasn’t been damaged though. The cardboard flavour is fully intact
Still snowing. Still bagging it.
I can’t get warm. Brrrrrrrr! Just trying for a bit of variety here. Seeing as I log everything in my OCDness, you can probably expect a load of quick bag-logs like this while I’m trying to make my body temperature normal again. I’m already cuddling up under my duvet in the sofa.
This one always surprises me a bit when I taste it. How melon-like it is. How dry a sort of flavour it is. How clear a picture I get in my head of melons when I taste it. Hopefully it can also warm me up.
I don’t actually like this much. I’m not a very big fan of cinnamon in tea and I don’t really care all that much for raisins, but it’s a bag so it’s quick and it seemed the ‘warmest’ choice I had in those criteria.
I’ve been outside, giving my ruler some fresh air. Turns out my 30cm estimate was pretty accurate. And it’s STILL snowing. Great big flakes now. Yes, I whimped out when faced with snow and train delays again. I love the snow and I love getting a day off, but I kind of hate getting the day off because of this. It always comes with a side of guilt. Maybe the train would have come if I had just waited five more minutes before giving up. Other countries have way more snow than us regularly and they get by. Is 30 cm really that much? And so on and so forth. I know I’d be faced with O.o looks if I’d shown up at work, but still! (I did actually manage that once. 45 minutes late and nobody said, “Hi, good to see you arrive safely!” or even “About time you showed up!” All I got was " You’re here?!!! What are you, NUTS???" Nice to know they care.)
It’s pretty much just synthetic cinnamon that lacks any sort of sweetness and sour apples. I can’t find any raisins at all. Given the fact that as mentioned I don’t care much for raisins most of the time, I can’t really make myself see this as an all that bad thing.
The tea itself is… peeks into cup … are we ABSOLUTELY sure there IS any tea in this? checks box They claim there is. I’ll give them the benefit of doubt.
All that said, it IS a mass-production tea in relatively cheap bags, so of course it’s a different quality than what I’m otherwise used to. I’m rating it seen in that light and disregarding most of my other things instead of trying to compare them, because they’re worlds apart.
I needed a plain tea after all those flavoured once earlier today. I made this one somewhat stronger than I normally do in the hopes that it might give the flavour, and particularly the aftertaste a bit more punch.
It didn’t really work.
All I got out of it was a whole lot of astringency and that kind of hay-like, flowery, prickly sort of flavour that you get when something is severely oversteeped or too strong.
This also spares me trying out that uber-long steeping, or stewing rather, of oolongs. I sincerely doubt it would be something I would like.
And another gone and another gone, another one bites the dust. This time Adagio’s vanilla that got the last act of mercy. I didn’t even have a full teaspoon left of this. Nearly but not quite, so I decided to mix it with the caramel from Luka, my local shop, which is a mix I know to be awesome. Since I usually do it half and half and couldn’t do that this time, I tried adding little vanilla sugar to the mix. I tell you, it feels utterly weird to stand there and stir a teapot!
I have no clue how that last additive will influence the flavour. I figure the worst that can happen is it’s a little sweeter than usual. I need to try the vanilla tea from my local shop and see if it’s better than Adagio’s. I liked Adagio’s to begin with but have found myself using it primarily to mix into other stuff.
Probably shouldn’t have added the vanilla sugar. It’s quite vanilla heavy now and the caramel is a bit overpowered. Now whether this is because I used too much vanilla sugar or if it was because adding just doesn’t work, I can’t really know.
It’s still delicious, though.
For those of you who own Adagio’s vanilla and find it a bit lacking in the vanilla department, perhaps a little bit of vanilla sugar can bring it out a bit more?
Another one bites the dust. Like with the blueberry, it’s a bit stronger than I would normally have made it because of the amount of leaves I had left.
I see I gave it a mediocre rating, and that sort of thing always surprises me with a fruit tea. Did I really mean that? I have learned to start trusting myself with this though. Sometimes I push the rating up, but most times it’s left alone.
It’s steeping now and the pot is standing with the lid off (because I’m lazy and I can’t be bothered to search for it) about an arm’s lenght away and I can smell apricot all the way over here.
Yes, I was right about the rating. Again. It tastes like apricots, yes. But it’s a sort of creamy kind of apricot flavour. It actually tastes like there’s milk in it and there isn’t. It’s the wrong sort of sweet. I could have wished for some freshness. So while it does have apricot flavour, fresh apricots don’t taste like this.
This is to kill the last dill remnants from that awful cucumber stuff. Unfortunately this is also the last of my tin. I made it a bit stronger than usually because there wasn’t enough leaves left for a small pot if I didn’t.
Didn’t hurt it any, though. If anything the blueberry flavour is even more clear, making me wonder if I’ve actually been making it too weak before?
The first few sips tasted a bit odd, mingling with the lingering aftertaste from the white cucumber. Dill/cucumbers + blueberries = bad match. Just saying. Half a cup down now though, and it’s helping considerably.
I need to get some more blueberry tea. I’ve never met a blueberry I didn’t like. Now I get to explore various brands and shops that are more readily available to me than Adagio is.
Word of the day is ‘BRRRRRRRR!!!!’
I’m having an unplanned day off because my city looks like a christmas card (Look! http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/iwBGrA_DuCCny_0D9mhQfw?feat=directlink and http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/AS7NtzJwc9yVtSMUwALKsw?feat=directlink)
and the train service is unreliable enough today that I got a bit worried about whether or not I’d be able to get home again if I managed to fight my way to work. So I gave up and went home. It’s actually more or a hot cocoa day rather than a tea day, but I haven’t got any milk, and hot cocoa made on water is not worth the effort.
What better time than now to give this white cucumber stuff that Ricky sent me a whirl?
The leaves look fairly normal and of a good size. Some of them are pretty dark. I have to say I agree with other reviewers though. They absolutely reek! They smell like pickles and vinegar and something kind of chemical and it’s the same thing in the finished brew. I was rather imagining fresh cucumbers. Not pickled ones.
The colour is sort of yellow with the slightest hint of green, and surprisingly, because of the smell, it actually tastes more like fresh cucumbers than it does of pickles. It’s so weird! It’s got that same sort of bitterness that cucumbers can have, especially in the peel, and I’m picking up a strong note of dill too. I’m always happiest with something that will leave me with a good aftertaste, but this is a bit much. My mouth tastes like I’ve just been chewing a wad of dill and it feels all green. If I go and look at my tongue in the mirror, I’d probably be surprised that it was still red. As it is, I keep catching myself searching for a note of fish that isn’t there, of course.
I’m glad I only made one cup and it only got worse as it cooled. I’m so not a fan of this. Spitty! Spitty! I’m going to go and make something else to take the bad taste out of my mouth.