1317 Tasting Notes
Oh my Steepster account, I hearts you like air. And like tea. And like my LJ account. Which says a LOT. You inspire me to do experiments with long forgotten samples like today, which is loads of fun, even when largely unsuccessful in finding undiscovered diamonds. And on top of that I get to babble about each one at length which makes it even more fun. Never leave me.
Right, so I’ve made an emergency pot of Lapsang Souchong. I need it on top of all this experimenting. Especially that last one there which I think must have been the worst of the lot. (Especially because it could have been avoided if I had not stupidly decided reading the info on the package regarding contents was unnecessary)
This is a stable. This is always a great cup of tea. Smokey and rough and JUST right. Enough experiments for me. I’ll stick to this for the rest of the evening.
Another one I found in the previously mentioned Big Tins of Mystery! It was out of a Celestial Seasonings sampler pack that a former friend (we fell out, probably for the best) once sent me for my birthday along with a few other things from CS. I remember being quite taken by the boxes. Pretty pictures. They had actually made an effort on decoration. I wasn’t particularly interested in the actual contents though, which I found disappointing on account of 75% of them being herbals. I don’t care about tisanes. They are not tea and they are not interesting. (And many of them aren’t that well tasting either) Oh and FYI as a personal little peeve, rooibos falls under this category. It is not tea.
Anyway, berries! I like berries, so while I haven’t bothered to look at the ingredients, I’m feeling semi-confident. I mean if I only have one bag out of a whole sampler pack left, then surely the others must have been used up, right? And if I didn’t like them, there would have been more than one left, right?
It smells like… sweets. Not particularly fruity to be honest. Rather more synthetic and very very sweet. I do notice though that it gets a highly suspicious bright red colour while steeping. This is worrying. I have some very bad experiences with that particular colour. I haven’t even tasted it yet and already I’ve poured the rest of the water into a small pot to heat it up and the kettle on with water for a pot of emergency Lapsang Souchong if I’m right.
Okay. Here goes. takes deep breath and summons all reserves of courage
Ack! Yuck! Spitty!
I was right about that bright red colour. It tattles about the presence of the dreaded hibiscus. That stuff seems to be in just about everything and I just can’t get it down. To me it has a dreadful metallic sort of taste that reminds me most of all of blood. No thank you, says I.
It’s a mystery though that there was only this one bag left. I must have traded the others, but why did I keep one?
I gave up on the mango thing. I just couldn’t sit there and essentially drink hot water with a bit of perfume in it. And since it wasn’t what I had been inspired to have in the first place, let’s move right along to this. This too is ancient and haven’t been stored right, but I have better hope of this having retained some of it’s original flavour.
It smells like washing up soap. I think it must be the lemon grass and the orange zest. I believe I can pick up a hint of coconut too, but mostly it’s just washing up soap. I mean citrus.
Fresh taste, yes a bit actually. I think it has faded somewhat too, but at least it actually tastes of something. It has a hint of something minty that settles in the after taste. It must be the undisclosed spices. This isn’t really something special. I can’t pick out the individual flavours, but even if I could, I’m not really all that impressed.
I still don’t know why I bought this sample, but at least it’s better than what I had before.
Not having much tea luck at the moment. That should teach me to pay better attention to storage. But at least this is drinkable.
I have two large tins in my kitchen in which I stuff various samples of stuff that are too small to be put in proper tin or I don’t otherwise know what to do with. Consequently the contents of these tins are frequently forgotten about. I had a rummage through them because that Stockholm blend thing that Luthien had was inspiring me and I wanted one of those ‘big’ blends with lots of stuff in it instead of these simpler things that I normally go for for a change. I found some lemon grass, honeysuckle flowers and some red rosebuds that I didn’t even know I had! Also a sample from previously mentioned local shop that I’m not sure why I got in the first place. It doesn’t really look like something that I would expect to like all that much… Anyway, this one is a teabag that I got through a trade at some point.
It has a number of things against it. 1) It’s bagged. 2) It’s ancient. 3) It’s been stored in a plastic ziplock bag. 4) in a tin containing other stuff too and consequently reeks of rooibos.
Obviously I’m not getting my hopes up here, but I’ve only got this one bag and I might as well get rid of it.
(I just realised now there’s a typo when I added the tea. ‘Manog’ tea, indeed. snicker I’ll fix it as soon as I’m done with the post.)
It smells a little bit of mango, still. It also smells like sugar and something sort of lemon-y. And of chamomile, weirdly enough. Quite a lot of chamomile actually. I wonder if, during the trade, tea bags might have been accidentally switched around so what I’ve actually just made is a cup of chamomile tisane. Well, there’s only one way to find out.
Nope, it’s not chamomile in disguise. There’s a little bit of astringency (yay learning this!) and that’s about it. It has very little flavour of any sort of in although it does actually vaguely remind me of chamomile. The reason I can say though that it isn’t actually real chamomile in disguise is that chamomile, even really ancient chamomile of dubious quality, in my experience doesn’t really fade in flavour the way this stuff obviously have. The dominant taste of the whole cup here is hot water.
I’m a bit wary of rating it because I would like to believe that in a better stored non-ancient bag it would have been better, but I have to go with what I’ve actually got.
After all these almonds, I feel almost treacherous for having chosen a different nut this morning.
I probably ought to have logged this one as a blend but I had already pulled it up on Steepster when I decided on a whim to add the little twist. What this actually is, is two thirds hazelnut black form Adagio and one third chocolate black form Adagio. After the almond vanilla success, I guess I just felt sort of inspired. :)
Also, I’ve had my eye on this hazelnut tea for a while in a combination with just a little bit of chocolate milk. I’m guessing it might turn into something Nutella-ish. Which would be AWESOME!
The smell is great! Nutty and chocolaty! I can’t decide if I should have added a little more chocolate or if it was just the right amount. I’m leaning towards just the right amount. It’s not something that’s particularly sweet, it’s got a sort of dark flavour and it’s very autumny.
Obviously I’m trying a cup with a bit of milk too. Just enough to cover the bottom of this (admittedly pretty wide-bottomed) cup and the result is a bit of a disappointment. The flavours of the hazelnut and the chocolate are mildened by the milk to the point of almost disappearing.
It was good without milk. Not so much with. Lesson learned, although it’s come as rather a bit of a surprise for me!
HAH! It really IS an almond pandemic. :D Everybody’s drinking almond tea.
Backlogged ever so slightly. Got another one of these to go this afternoon when going home from work. I know I’m supposed to be in stingy-mode and I am really being careful about saving money, but I was allowed this partly to celebrate that I have all of next week off (yay holiday!) and because I had collected nine stamps so it was free anyway. :)
I made sure this time to get it without anything sprinkled, sprayed, dumped or whatever on top in the hopes that it wouldn’t be drowning in cinnamon. Turns out the extremely cinnamon-y flavour the last time wasn’t really because of all the cinnamon they put on top. It just IS very cinnamon-y. I could still pick up vanilla and sugar too, and I’m still uncertain about anise, cloves and cardamom. Now that I’m home I’ve been in the kitchen sniffing and tasting a few of my spices. Now I’m also thinking allspice, but again, not sure. The only thing I could tell for certain was that there was something sweet in it that wasn’t cinnamon-sweet, vanilla-sweet or sugar-sweet. I just can’t figure out what sort of sweetness it might have been.
Also, I briefly had an association to do with oranges. Like… I really thought I ought to be able to find orange, but couldn’t. Odd.
Still not really sold on this here chai-concept. But you can’t say I’m not giving it a chance.
Continuing on the almond pandemic we’ve had around the site lately, after I went to bed last night and just on the verge of sleeping, this combination popped into my head.
Usually I have noticed a trend of preferring green and white in my travel mug in the morning, but today I wanted to try this, so black it was.
I took half and half (just about) of Adagio’s Vanilla black tea and the black almond tea from my local shop, Den Lille Tebutik (they’ve changed their name since, though, due to having been sold, so now I’m debating whether or not to edit the teas I’ve logged from there).
It worked really well. The two flavours suited each other and the vanilla countered some of the enormous sweetness of the almond and making it less of a dessert tea. I really liked this combination and will have to see if aforementioned local shop have a vanilla tea so I can try to recreate it.
Wake up, self. Look alive. Have only just done barely 300 words on NaNoWriMo today. As previously mentioned work was particularly tiring today. I hate meetings, I do. I much prefer to just zombie about in the lab and get the daily specimens out of the way.
I need to get some more words down, just half an hour more of writing would be acceptable.
So we took a black one because blacks always feel like they have more caffeine in them (even if they don’t really) and I went for this one, because I felt like something flavoured. One of my extravagant Adagio teas. I wish I could afford to shop there regularly. (I’ve seen a cucumber(!!!) thing among others that I’m absolutely desperate to try!)
It’s sweet without actually being sweet-sweet. It sort of tastes like vanilla smells instead of tasting OF vanilla. Hard to explain, but I’ve found that I rather like it a lot.
I’m still carrying around some tentative chai-inspiration from the chai-cino experiment of the other day, so I’ve tried a cup with a bit of milk. Not a lot, just exactly enough to cover the bottom of the cup (mind you, my current cup have a fairly wide bottom (snicker) and it’s not really working. Possibly it should have had a bit more milk, because somehow it’s like the watery-ness of the tea is all the more obvious. I think it’s because of the colour. You expect something with milky viscosity and don’t get it. It’s odd and sort of distracts the mind so you forget to pay attention to the flavour.
So, closing my eyes and taking another sip. Weirdly, this actually does help on the viscosity issue! It’s all in your mind, apparently. I wouldn’t say the milk really brings the best out in the tea here. On the contrary, the milk seems to get a kind of semi-sour sort of note to it. You know like milk that hasn’t actually gone off but has lost the sweetness and has just started to taste of fridge. I have to say that I’m a little disappointed that it doesn’t work with milk. It sounds like something that would have been lovely with a bit of milk.
Backlogging. Still drinking this one at work. It was particularly good today after first a meeting with the other lab that are being moved in with us. That’s going to be interesting. The sort of thing that even though it’s super-frustrating while it’s happening, it would be a shame to miss out on, because it’ll be a great laugh afterwards. Right now, though, we’re looking at a heck of a lot of confusion.
And then that’s followed by another meeting to do with pay regulation and who’s turn it is to get an add-on and how the negotiations for that are conducted between the hospital management and the union spokespeople. Dry and complicated stuff and likely irrelevant to me, because I’m pretty sure I’m not getting anything this year. I got some last year, so it can’t be my turn again, even though my immediate leader has ‘nominated’ me. (Not that I’d complain, mind!) Very dry and complicated stuff, most of which went completely over my head.
All in all, getting back downstairs to my lunch and a big cup of this tea = heaven on earth. I still stand by my first review of this taste-wise. I just thought that the absolute relief it was to get it today was worth logging. Just for that alone.
Hyrulehippie inspired me and you can blame her for the fact that I’m logging my third tea today. Or maybe I should just change my name to Spamrboda instead.
Anyway, I’ve listed this one as black (because it is) and fruit because it’s not fruit but it’s not a plain black either. See my dilemma?
It’s very sweet with the almonds and it has big almond chunks in it. You can smell marzipan from miles away just when pouring the water on. This tea is totally a dessert tea and I really ought to wait and have it after I’ve eaten dinner. But it’s slow food tonight and I can’t wait that long!