1107 Tasting Notes
So far there hasn’t been any rooibos or anything else that I knew from the outset I wouldn’t care for. The box is far from over, however, so I’m not counting my chickens yet. Merely pointing it out, because when I saw this label and before I read the text on it, I had a bit of a worry. I do remember this one coming out, but I was remembering it as a rooibos or honeybush thing. I’m pleased to find it was not.
The aroma is very orange-y and we have agreed that we can tell where the sherbet is coming from. It sort of smells fizzy, but then the flavour disappoints somewhat because it doesn’t taste fizzy. Admittedly, if it did, it would be weird, but it’s just sort of missing that fizz.
I can taste orange primarily and underneath that, raspberry. It seems like citrus is just a very dominant flavour for me and if something involves citrus, it’s hard for other flavours to live up to that forcefulness.
This blend reminds me to of two things, both of them also from 52teas.
First it reminds me of that Cherry Cola Vanilla thingie that was one of the first blends from 52teas that I tried. I love Cherry Cola, but my problem with that one was, as with this one, the lack of fizz. Try as I might, I couldn’t distract myself away from that.
Secondly, it reminds me of the Strawberry Orange Scone that I had recently, because the experience of the orange is the same as in this one. To me, those two blends are very similar and I’m having an almost identical reaction, although slightly in favour of the Strawberry Orange Scone, because that one isn’t labouring under the lack of fizz.
I like this, but it’s not one I’m disappointed I didn’t have more of.
There was nothing on the 12th, because we were out all evening playing at being grown-ups with dinner and a Leonard Cohen theatre concert. But the next day there was this.
This sound much more up my specific field of preference than the other two, this one. I’m a little surprised by it though. I can’t for the life of me recall having ever seen it before, especially because it rather seems like something that would have caught my interest when first blended. I expect it was probably in the summer, so maybe it was while we were away on holiday or something, and so I didn’t pay attention.
My first association when I smelled the dry leaf was bubble gum and it’s a thought I’m having difficulties really shaking. Secondary thought is that it smells exactly like a specific lemonade-y ice lolly that you can get in Denmark. That one is quite nice, although not a favourite. I’m not picking up much strawberry, mainly lemonade, and I can’t find the base tea in the aroma at all.
The flavour is an entirely different matter. I get lots of lemonade and also plenty of strawberry and then a peek of base white underneath.
I was right. This is right up my specific field of preference this. Oh dear, I do wish I had noticed this one when it was actually posted…
I gather this is some sort of American sweet. Now, this strikes me as rather less peculiar than yesterday’s popcorn, although it’s not a sort of sweet we get in Denmark. In Denmark chocolate turtles are filled with a caramel and rum-y cream, so I will have to try and distract myself away from a firm conviction of how a proper chocolate turtle should be. Obviously my proper chocolate turtle is rather different from yours. The picture on the label make me think more of a snickers bar, only with a different sort of nut, so that’s the image I will try to keep in my head. I’ve never in my life laid eyes on the sweet in question so I have to go by close enoughs.
The aroma is very honeyed. My aunt, who doesn’t like honey, would hate this smell. I rather enjoy honey myself, and I always find it a pleasant note to find in tea. It also smells caramel-y and nutty, so from what I can tell, the aroma is pretty much a hit.
The flavour seems to be primarily caramel with a bit of chocolate on the sides. I can’t immediately find any nuts in it, but I suspect they’re sort of hiding below the other flavours. And as I write this, I discover them coming out gradually in the aftertaste. Nuts, check.
Nuts, caramel and honey. It’s not quite a snickers bar, but it’s close enough. I’m rather enjoying this, but again, I’m glad it’s a small cup, because I think I could also easy have too much of this.
First of all, let me just say what a totally weird concept this is for me. In Denmark, popcorn are served with salt. The end. No butter, no cheese, no caramel, no chocolate, no spinach, no coffee, no fruit, no curry, no fairy wing dust or whatever else whacky popcorn additions you lot can think up. No nothing. Just salt. Therefore, because it’s so utterly bizarre to me, I admit I’m wary.
I’m glad the pouches are so small here. They are just the right size for the small pot, and that means a small cup for me and a small cup for the boyfriend. So if I strongly dislike it, I don’t have a lot to go through.
Right, be positive, me.
In spite of the fact that I find this fairly bizarre, I do actually think it smells quite nice. It definitely smells like butter, but I’m not sure about the popcorn. I don’t really know how buttered popcorn actually smells, do I, so I don’t know exactly how drowned in grease you get them. But yeah, butter and also something sweet. I’m reminded more of jelly beans than of popcorn actually. (Oh wait a minute… I know there’s a buttered popcorn flavoured jelly bean. I wonder if I’ve ever tasted that one or if I avoided it based on bizarreness…)
Okay, the tea definitely tastes like popcorn. Slightly singed popcorn perhaps, but defintiely popcorn. How… odd. I get butter in the aftertaste too, not really a flavour of butter, but more the way the mouth feels having just eaten something with real butter on it.
This is erm… Well, to be completely honest, it’s exactly as weird and bizarre as I had expected it to be, but not as unpleasant as I had feared. It’s not really something for me, this, but it could also be a lot worse.
Looks like once again me needing to make an announcement and this tea gets connected. It’s rather less dramatic this time though, as I just wanted to say that we are off to England this morning and will return shortly before New Years Eve. I’m very unlikely to be able to be in touch at all while away, but I’ll have tons of posts for you when I get back, ie. the entire 52teas Christmas box.
The choice of this particular tea is actually a backlog from yesterday. It has the boyfriend seal of approval although he was shocked to learn that it wasn’t a black. This has since led to some confusion around here as I have to pay attention to whether he requests ‘black fruity’ or ‘black and fruity’ which are not the same things at all. Anyway, we had this yesterday, last cup of tea at home before Christmas.
Happy Christmas all, and I’ll see you when I get home. You will definitely see me, the number of posts I’ve got lined up for then. :D
I was wanting to try this one when it was blended the first time, but I was woefully late to the party and when I got there it was all gone. All of it. Nothing left for me. But then after a few weeks I saw that it appeared to have been reblended because suddenly there were two pouches of it. I hurried up and bought one of them. Lucky for me Frank happened to make a tea of the week that caught my eye that day!
And so, this was this end of the pouch. It has taken us exactly three days from we opened it and until today where we say good-bye. Okay, yeah, it’s the large pot that we share, which means I use a lot of leaf, but still… Sad-face.
The dry leaves smelled like sweets. They were berry-y and tart and ever so slightly sharp and nose-stabby, but still sweet. After steeping it’s more berry and marshmallow in even quantities and quite sweet. The marshmallow standing out more in the wet aroma had me a little worried. I don’t really want hot marshmallows, see…
The flavour killed any and all concern regarding the marshmallows. It’s primarily blueberry with a smidge of marshmallow on the side. A plain honest fruit tea and right up my alley! Also, ‘Boo-berry’ is lots of fun to say!
We have really really liked this one, as is evidenced by previous mention of how quickly it’s been used up. The boyfriend had a moment of shock, I think, when I told him to say goodbye.
Imperio! Frank! Make more Boo-berry!
I knew if I started making tea noises in the kitchen, the boyfriend would get up. :D Kitties self-fed today by knocking the food bucket on the floor, so we’ve been allowed to sleep in without having our toes cut to ribbons.
This one I bought solely because of the alternative name ‘honey orchid dan cong’. It’s an attempt to zero in on that lovely oolong from Shang Tea, the one that smells like creme brulee and which, presently, I can’t remember the name of. Jade orchid something or other. Honey orchid sounded rather promising, I thought.
Secondarily, in my mind Dan Cong is indeed a classic oolong. If you ask me spontaneously to think of oolong, there are three that pops into my head immediately. TGY, Dan Cong and Da Hong Pao. Apart from TGY, I’m not too familiar with either of the two others, although I would like to be. I’ve just never explored them. I’ve had them a few times, but I haven’t explored them to the point where I can tell you what they’re like. This was to my own disadvantaged the other day when I was asked about the differences and similarities between a Rou Gui and a Da Hong Pao and was forced to tell the asker I had no clue. Loss of a chance to look smart, there. So yes, the secondary purpose to this particular purchase is also an attempt at an initial step down the road of discovery.
If this is to be a similar alternative to the Orchid Jade Something Something from Shang, then it has already failed on the aroma. It doesn’t smell like creme brulee at all. How disappointing, when one has readied one’s nose for that particular aroma. This does not really bode well for purpose number one, here.
For purpose number two, however, I get to properly familiarise myself with the aroma that it actually has. I feel it’s layered. Very initially when sniffing, it’s very floral. Not the dusty sort of floral that comes with flower scenting, but properly alive still attached to roots in the soil flowers. Along with that there is a distinct sweetness which is not really honey-y, but more sort of nectar-y. Very faintly underneath these notes, there is a woodsy, slightly earthy oolong-y aroma, and if I keep smelling the tea, it builds up and pushes the other two aromas to the background until all I can smell is the woodsy oolong.
Purpose number one, having tasted the tea, is more or less abandoned. Yeah, it’s very sweet and honey-y and all that, but it’s not… It’s just not quite there. It’s not what I was looking for. Purpose number one, we’re still searching. I had small hopes for this one, because the Shang Jade Orchid Something Something was a Fujian and this is from Guandong, which, consulting available literature, is just to the south and southwest of Fujian, so I thought conditions might be sufficiently similar. I think they are, I’m just not looking at the right kind of oolong. I will keep searching.
Purpose number two, familiarising myself, I have to say it tastes exactly like it smells. First there is floral and honey-nectar-y sweetness, and then oolong swoops in and hijacks the flavour. When it cools a bit, that honey-nectar-y business is not to be trifled with however, and it puts up a damn good fight in the background. This makes the entire flavour profile seem very thick textured and creamy, in spite of a small amount of astringency. It’s not quite caramel-y but maybe more sort of a proto-caramel. A caramel stem cell flavour, sort of.
And this brings us back to purpose number one, because hey! Now that it’s cooled a bit and I get all that floral sweetness I just mentioned? We’re suddenly a LOT closer to that Orchid Something Something Jade business, and I don’t think I will rule this out as a more easily acquired replacement after all. It’s not exactly the same, but given a little cooling time, I find it’s suddenly got a lot of the same sort of qualities that I liked in the other one. The Shang oolong has this one beat for awesomeness, certainly, but this one (purpose number two) is also very very good all in its own right.
And that post looks a bit confusing even to me. I hope some sense can be wrestled out of it.
After a workday where I didn’t even have time to eat my lunch(!), this tea has never been better.
(And if it hadn’t been for the two cups of raspberry oolong I took with me in the lab (Yes, I know. Ssshhhh!), I’m not sure I would have survived.)
This was from my recent TeaSpring order, the one that was famously held hostage by Tax & Customs for days and days on end. I’ve been a bit distracted while drinking this cup, so you’re getting a short version of it. I was also distracted when brewing it, so the short version is probably also wildly inaccurate because I forgot to set a timer while steeping so it steeped for… a good long while. About twice, I think, of how long I would have given it otherwise.
The aroma of the leaves wasn’t super strong. It was there but very mild and gentle. I thought it had a rather toasted note to it with some sweetness and something kind of floral mixed in.
The flavour is really very similar to this. This bark of cassia that TeaSpring refer to in the description is something that is used in cooking as a spice and is also called ‘Chinese Cinnamon’. I don’t think it tastes especially cinnamon-y though, but I can sort of see where they are getting that from. I can only imagine that the actual bark would be much more cinnamon-like in nature.
It also has that burnt toast note that I mentioned when I had the woodfired TGY from Verdant a little while a go. It prickles coal-y-ly ( cringe yes I know…) on the tongue and in the after taste, but is surprisingly pleasant when it doesn’t actually have anything to do with real burnt toast.
Under the current circumstances I can’t say that I’m finding it immensely interesting though. It’s a perfectly wonderful oolong, but it’s more functional than it’s interesting, if you get what I mean. Maybe when I do this properly, I’ll change my mind though.
(I suppose it would be unfair of me to hold the fact that it felt very unpleasant in my windpipe against the tea. But it did. cough )
Hey look, I’m first!
This one was half of an order and the one out of the two that I was least interested in. Mostly, it was just the blend of the week that day and I threw it in because why not? Now that I’ve got them, though, I was more curious about this one than the other one. Especially since nobody else has written about it yet, so I don’t know what to expect. (Don’t say ‘strawberry orange scone’. I may have my occasional blonde moments, but I had gathered that much.)
Anyway, the reason I decided that I might as well give this a go as well is the fact that it seems to be largely fruity. With 52teas, the fruity blends are the ones I’ve generally had the most luck with, and the strawberry and orange combination appealed to me. The scone here is less relevant. If it tastes like one, great. If not, no big deal.
The aroma of the dry leaves definitely has orange in it. It’s very pungent, almost nose-stabbingly sharp. It’s mostly orange and then I found a bit of strawberry underneath, but not much of it managed to get through the wall of orange.
After steeping it’s a far more even mix of strawberry and orange, although still mostly orange, but now I almost definitely get something that reminds me of baked goods. How extraordinary!
The flavour is again largely orange, but somehow more peel than actual fruit. That’s a shame, because I find that orange peel is often slightly bitter, and I’m getting that sort of bitterness here. It may, however, also be ever so slightly overdone on the steeping compared to my normal steeping length, so I can’t be certain it’s not a combination of the two.
I can also definitely find the strawberry and I’m rather reminded of that lovely green blend I had over the summer which was also flavoured with strawberry and orange (hence the combination’s appeal), although somewhat more mildly than in this one.
I can’t claim that I can really find the scones in this. Knowing that it’s supposed to be there, I can sort of convince myself that I can find something that reminds me of it, but had I been on my own, I don’t think I would have been able to pick it out. Like with the orange peel problem, however, this may also have something to do with the way this particular cup turned out.
I’m probably not finding it in exactly the same way that Frank had wished for his customers, but nevertheless I think I’m still going to enjoy it. I’m definitely glad I gave it a try.