1328 Tasting Notes
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.
I saved the leaves from this morning on this one, and I’m switching tea-gears mid cup. I’ve just received some hugely bad family news, and I need a cup of this. Not in the way of a celebratory cup, but a comforting cup and a calming down cup, because I’m so angry right now.
I’m beginning to think I actually like the second steep of these leaves better than the first. It seems smoother and sweeter. More pat-on-the-head-everything’s-going-to-be-okay like. Or is that just because I’m using it in this particular situation?
Christmas shopping is all finished and done (except one thing, Lexitus!) and now I’m in bad need of a cup of this to warm me up again.
I was shocked at how little I had left! Someone must have been nicking it behind my back, it’s just not okay! I should have stocked up on it while I was out anyway. Maybe one small pot’s worth left.
I’ve grown quite addicted to this. A little while ago I had a cup of plain Lapsang Souchong, which I have otherwise loved, and suddenly it just seemed… less. Something was missing. There was just the smokyness and nothing else. I kept catching myself searching for the smoother, stronger base of the green tea and the English Breakfast and it just wasn’t there. Plain Lapsang Souchong just doesn’t cut it anymore, and here I am with nearly 100 g of the stuff.
This, though. This is the stuff. The smoke, the black base, and the green freshness. Yum. It’s great for a cold winter’s day. (And frankly, any other sort of day too)
The problem with a celebration tea is that it’s all too easy to think of things to celebrate. Today for example it’s snowing on my city. The real deal! White stuff falling out of the sky! Winter, REAL winter, has come to Denmark at last. I hope it’s snowing in Copenhagen too, just to give some of those state leaders from far away countries an experience. Some of them might never have seen snow before in real life.
This is my fortifying cup before going out in the winter weather (SNOW!!!) and getting the last of the presents. It’s a bit understeeped today because I’m impatient and I wish I could say that it wasn’t damaging it any, but it is a bit watery. At least with the cup I’m using today I couldn’t drain the pot entirely, so I should be able to top it up with some more properly steeped tea.
Still good though.
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!)
Travelling Teabox Reminder! Don’t forget to send me your address at [email protected] before Dec. 31st if you want to participate. There is a thread at the forum with all the details and guidelines.
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.