1310 Tasting Notes
ARGH! I knew I should have copied my text before hitting post seeing as I had been poking about with other stuff on the site in a different tab, but I forgot! Starting over then.
I think this was the name of the brand. I asked in the cafe, but couldn’t write it down at the time and I thought I’d be able to remember. Now I’m a bit uncertain and I can’t seem to find anything about it online. So if anybody is familar with the brand, feel free to correct me.
Anyway. My colleague and I finally got to go to Sofie’s Parents, our favourite cafe in the city after work today. You may remember I tried to get their English Breakfast blend a couple of weeks ago and was served a rather disappointing Earl Grey instead. Well, today we did manage to successfully get a large pot of the English Breakfast Blend. The details given about it said that it was a mix of Ceylon, Assam and Kenyan teas. (The latter surprised me somewhat. I thought it was more often Keemun in EBBs?)
You should have seen the amount of leaves used when they made this! It was amazing! I don’t know what they had been thinking when preparing the tea, but something had definitely been going on in the kitchen because they don’t usually try to steep some 25g of leaves at the same time. O.o It was our good luck that my colleague didn’t want to risk it starting to get bitter so we took it up before the time they told us.
Firstly, the scent: Very strong honey note in this one. I like that in English Breakfast, and it’s both a smell and a flavour note that I’ve always associated with English Breakfast. So that’s a big win with me.
Secondly, flavour sans milk: It’s got a touch of smoke. Not as rough as in Lapsang Souchong, but definitely some pricklyness there. We thought this was probably the Kenyan ingredient.
Thirdly, flavour with milk: Still a note of smoke, but the prickly is smoothed out by the milk. I can’t actually decide if I liked it best with or without milk, but I’m leaning towards without.
Fourthly, development: As you know, tea continues to develop even after the leaves have been removed. This turned significantly darker and as it did, the Assam came out more, dominating the (assumed) Kenyan. I liked this. It kept the tea interesting.
All in all, I liked this a lot. (And you should have seen the piece of strawberry cake I had that tasted of real strawberries. OMG Cake Heaven!)
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Grinnyguy posted about Earl Grey. I got a fit of inspiration even though Earl Grey is normally not my first choice. Most days I find it kind of dull and every day-ish. Maybe a little overrated as a type. Classics don’t seem to hold much appeal to me.
It’s got a strong bergamot smell. That slightly bitter citrus-y smell that I’m learning to recognise. Kind of sweet, but not the way oranges are, and it’s not a bitterness like the kind you find in grapefruits. It’s sort of prickly and when you know what you’re looking for, probably fairly easily recognisable.
Apart from when I’m at Lexitus’, the last time I had Earl Grey was a few weeks ago when I was at the cafe and they gave me the wrong tea. I remember finding that one rather too bitter and smelling strongly of citrus as soon as I poured. This one is very much more controlled when it comes to citrus scent. It’s there, clearly, when you smell it, but it doesn’t invade your nostrils when your nose is an arm’s length away.
Citrusy, but not sour and without making you feel like it might as well have been a lemon tea. It’s got just a touch of bitterness on the swallow, but not nearly as much as the presumed Kusmi had. Of course I haven’t brewed this as strongly as they did that day in the cafe.
As for the cornflowers, I can’t pick them out in the flavour, so I don’t know if they actually have any effect on it at all, or if they’re just there for show. I like to think that they smooth it out some, but even if they are just there for show though, I’d still get this version. Just because they’re pretty.
My local shop beats Kusmi by several horse lenghts.
Ah Chun Mee, the green tea I really wanted yesterday. Remembered that today and made me a small pot.
I like the leaves in this one and how they’re twisted. They’re cute!
I’m currently waiting for the second infusion to steep. It’s very light in colour compared to the first one, but it’s nice all the same. I’m not sure how many steeps I think it’s possible get out of this one though. I think maybe one or two others, but the first time around was definitely the best.
(Additionally, is one of you trying to add me as a chatbuddy on Gmail? I’ve posted my email address freely here a few times, but I can’t think of anywhere else someone might have come across it as I use a different address for other things.
Anyway, if it’s one of you, could you drop me a comment, please? Otherwise I’ll just say no. I’d rather not have random strangers on my chat list….)
Green moods don’t last long when you discover that the green you made wasn’t the green you wanted. I was packing up tea samples for Jillian and Bethany (if she’s still interested), and spotted this tin and decided I was really in an oolong mood now instead.
Mostly because whenever I see this tin I have to take the lid off for a couple of sniffs. Yummy.
I can definitely see myself stocking up on this again when it’s gone and I’m beginning to dread the day when it is.
I’m in a green mood, so I grabbed this tin and made me a pot. Now that I’ve taken the first couple of sips, I suddenly remember that I also own a rather nice Chun Mee, and I’d actually rather have had a pot of that.
It’s probably just as well, because I have discovered that I didn’t rinse the pot out properly before brewing. My gunpowder has gained a weak note of liquorice root from yesterday’s Black Satin.
Interesting, actually. It adds an element of surprise to it. ‘Ahhh green tea… wait, what’s that?’ If I had any liquorice root, it might be fun to experiment with.
This is the first decent cup of tea I’ve had AAAAAALL DAY! First there was the bagged stuff in the travel mug, then there was the taste of Ceylon Pekoe which had been forgotten and steeped for some 2½ *cough*hours*cough*. Yuck oh yuck oh double yuck! Made a new pot of that, nearly forgot that too so it got ten minutes, but it was somewhat drinkable and I made do with it.
Now I’m home, I’ve had dinner and I’ve had dessert. Now I want tea. I saw the label on the tin among the many tins on the table and thought, “Yes!”
The more I have of this, the more the liquorice root is coming out. I think I’ll give the rating an itty bitty push upwards.
I couldn’t let Mike stew in uncertainty for too long. And I was curious as to what this would be like when it hadn’t been ruined. So I made a small pot and carefully carefully timed the steeping with the kitchen timer.
The aroma was pretty much the same. Sweetly spicy, sort of, with the fennel note. And a note of pepper too. I nabbed a small moutful of it plain and the first thought I had when I tasted it was… soap. Spicy soap. A bit sweet too, a sweetness just exactly out of reach, but mostly soap. I’m struggling really hard to not find such a negative word, but I can’t. I’m not entirely certain I’d like pumpkin pie if I was ever presented with it.
On recommendation from several people, I had the rest with a bit of milk.
That helped! It took the odd note off the aroma. It was pretty much the same, just toned down. I liked the taste a lot better too. The soapiness dissappeared. The milk did get a slightly sour note, which was definitely not because it was getting bad because I tested it first.
While I was at it, I tried adding a bit of cane sugar too. That was nice too. I don’t know if maybe I’m just drowning out the flavour this way, but for me this works.
But I still don’t think I like pumpkin pie much.
It’s been a while since I had this, but I bought a cup for the trainride home today as a reward for having walked from the hospital to the train instead of taking the bus. I need to get better at doing that again, I’ve just been lazy about it lately.
It’s been so long since I had one that I was suprised by the sweetness of it when I first took a sip. It was nice though, and I keep liking it more.
I noticed today that they now also seem to have two other David Rio chais available, bringing it up to five to choose from. Including a green one that I’ll have to try sometime, mainly because I have the hardest time imagening how that would work out…
Today, though, I’d been thinking about this all the way as I walked, so I couldn’t very well try something else.
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I gave up on the pumpkin thing. It was no use, I’d ruined it. Obviously it didn’t handle oversteeping very well.
So we’re taking this one. The one that I know what’s like and is a known like. I think I’ll try it with a touch of milk for the liquorice this time because it’s a known fact that a handful of liquorice and a glass of milk goes hand in hand. We shall see if this is also true for liquorice root.
It feels a bit wrong though. Like… I’m girling up an otherwise fairly masculine tea…
Girling it up or not, though, it works very well with the milk and it really brought out the liquorice root. Yummy.
YIPPIEEEEEE! I BOUGHT A STEEPSTER SELECT ITEM! Now that that’s out of my system here’s the confession. I haven’t got the first clue what pumpkin tastes like. Or smells like. Or anything. Pumpkin pie even less. In Denmark we get little bitty pumpkiny things for decoration in variating colours and shapes and big ones that people make pumpkin lanterns out of. It’s not something we really eat a whole lot of.
Therefore I’m not particularly concerned when everybody seems to complain about their various pumpkin pie teas not tasting all that much like pumpkin. Because… I wouldn’t know anyway. After the vanilla date debacle this probably ought to worry me a bit. I mean, what if it turns out I don’t like pumpkins at all?
Well, the smell of the leaves is sort of dark. It’s a dark smell. I can find the cinnamon but mostly it’s dominated by this other smell that I don’t know how to describe. Kind of spicey but not. Sweet but not. I’m reminded a bit of fennel which I suspect I shouldn’t, but it’s the closest I can get to a description.
It brews up a sort of dark golden. A bit like a dark liquid honey. The aroma is a bit like the loose leaves, but the tea itself is shining through, making the whole thing sweeter, less spicy (but not) and less of the fennel.
Okay, I oversteeped this a bit, I think. It’s got a very notable astringency like Indian black teas tend to get if you overdo it. I can’t figure out how to rate it because of this, as it’s difficult for me to look away from it.
I’m not going to give it a rating yet. I think I’ve ruined this pot. sigh Oh poot!