1317 Tasting Notes
This. This was my first cup of tea as a married woman. No, it wasn’t actually, but it was the first cup of tea that I knew what was. The other was pre-brewed at the restaurant and didn’t come with any identification. It was nice though.
But this? This was had in our hotel suite while we had a bit of a break before moving on to the next restaurant.
I’m not going to go into a deep analysis of it, other than to say that it, and the last half of the cup especially, was pretty dire. The now Mr Ang, who has the regular teabag version everyday, also felt that this… stuff was sub-par.
The wedding in general, though, went swimmingly, and you can see a picture here https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/b5FCJK6KIyQ0doQ8zn5eCr_V8Y8A_9IgxTPLskMdTM0?feat=directlink
We had a good time at both the actual celebration with buffet lunch at the first restaurant and with the travelling guests in the second restaurant for dinner (where the owner presented us with a bonus present in the shape of a nice painting)
This is definitely not a brewing system that will catch on in our house.
I would just like to point out that I’m not actually around at this point. Well, I’ll probably pop in for a bit here and there, but not properly. I likely won’t be again until in a couple of weeks time when we have returned from our honeymoon.
Only two sleeps now! Best man and his girlfriend have arrived safely from the UK and we have fed them dinner this evening. We had also bought them dessert, but as it had to thaw out and we forgot, they didn’t get any. So we’ve shown them where we live and how to get here so they can get here bright and early on Saturday morning. He will be going with the boyfriend into town while I’m at the hairdressers (we think) and she will be helping me into my dress and then going into town with me.
They brought us two pouches of Whittard of Chelsea as a present, this one and a first flush Darjeeling (which annoyingly doesn’t state the estate on it, so I just put it under a generic Darjeeling already in the system). sigh Well, they weren’t to know that both of these are pretty much non-hits with me. Particularly the Darj, which I’ll try, but it will probably be one mostly for the boyfriend.
Anyway, they just went back to their hotel about twenty-ish minutes ago, so I put the kettle on so we could try one of these new ones before going to bed. The EG was requested, so that’s where we’ll start.
As I was spooning out the leaf I noticed a fair bit of aroma. At that distance from my nose, it was suprisingly sweet and it reminded me rather of that Girlie Grey I had from Jeeves and Jericho some time ago. TeaEqualsBliss, you might remember that one, I believe I shared some of it with you.
This of course made me curious, so I put my nose closer to the bag to get a better idea of it, but then it was just all sharpness and sort of dusty turqoise bergamot. From a distance though, it smells a bit like a citrus-y pudding.
This makes me hopeful.
After steeping, it’s more or less the same thing, although the bergamot is softer and retains that dessert-y touch to it, even when my nose is closer to the cup.
This makes me even more hopeful.
I did oversteep it a bit, but only by a few minutes, so no real harm was done, and it doesn’t seem to be showing up in the flavour. It tastes very creamy and smooth. If I didn’t know better I would think it had a smidge of cream-y flavouring added or perhaps a touch of vanilla. It says nothing of the sort on the box, though.
I actually like the EG! I think it’s because it’s not just like being pelted with bergamots. It’s not so sharp and dusty like they can sometimes get. It has that extra dimension of creamyness which makes it slightly pudding-y. Not very, just ever so slightly.
I’m suspectly, actually, that this may have more to do with the base blend (unfortunately not elaborated on) rather than the flavouring process, because it is indeed very very flavoured. For once it’s just not completely offensive. I feel certain we’ll get through this tin with little trouble.
Sing it with me now, Steepsterites!
Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust
Hey, I’m gonna get you too
Another one bites the dust
Cupboard status down to 27! Boyfriend beginning to fear there won’t be any tea left. :D
For the longest time I had this one filed under ‘herbal’ because I just saw those great big buds and thought ‘this is some kind of flower’. It was sent to me in the days of yore and from whence I cannot recall, but eventually I had a proper look at it and got it put back in its proper place. Actually I think it’s gone back and forth between white and herbal a few times, as I distinctly recall at least one instance of ‘what are you doing here?’
I used most of the sample in a combination with something else, a magnolia scented yellow that I thought I had a lot more of. Nothing more annoying than emptying a sample pouch into a large pot and finding that, GOSH! That’s not even enough for half a small pot! It felt like so much more. So I grabbed a random white that I knew there would be plenty of to boost it up a bit, and ended up with a result that was…
Let’s just say I poured it out and started over. Dill and pickles are also flavours I don’t much care to find in tea. Good time to try the rest of this sample though. Properly mind.
First thing that I notice is that when this is gently steeped, it’s very very pale in colour. Second thing I notice is that my tea strainers need replacing, because pale tea + old strainer = grey tea.
There is a herbal sort of aroma to this, reminding me a bit of licorice root and spearmint. I suspect this is the element that interacted so badly with the yellow as mentioned above. Also quite floral, but primarily licorice root and spearmint-y for me.
Okay, all I can taste is licorice root. Seriously, this doesn’t even taste remotely like tea. It both tastes and feels like chewing licorice root. If I hadn’t actually seen the leaf, I would be dead certain that’s what it was.
So at this point I cheat and look at the company description and other people’s reviews, and I just can’t recognise anything. Anything at all. All I can find here is licorice root, complete with that specific flavour at the back of the tongue that you get when you swallow a licorice root infusion.
I did eat licorice earlier today, but not right now and I haven’t touched a licorice infusion for months. I only drink that when I’m sick!
I will put this mysteriousness down to the age of the sample which as you can see is a bit on the iffy side. I really ought to learn to throw things out before I let it get this old. Or even better, use it up.
I’ll just pretend the rest of this cup is a licorice root infusion, because that makes it easier to deal with.
On the upside I’m now down to 28 teas! O.O
Yesterday we went to a group meal with a lot of the boyfriend’s colleagues and respective spouses. There was an offer for after dinner coffee or tea, so I said ‘tea, please’ and was given hot water in a small pot with a lid, straight from the cooker, and a choice of three kinds of bags.
And then I kind of wished I hadn’t said anything and stuck to cola.
Choice number one: Ginger flavoured. I don’t like ginger. I definitely don’t like ginger with no additional flavouring to soften it up a bit.
Choice number two: Some sort of fruity herbal blend containing the Evil Hibiscus. I don’t like hibiscus. I do NOT like hibiscus. It tastes like blood.
Choice number three: This one, which is a chai. I don’t much care for the spicy blends, and apart from not liking ginger, cinnamon is also one of the things I don’t like much in my tea.
I decided this was the lesser evil though, and as it turns out it was fine under the circumstances. I would never buy it for myself. I would never choose it out of a (better) selection. But for an evening where I’m not really paying attention to what I’m drinking apart from the fact that it was tea, it was acceptable. And not nearly as big a dislike as the other two.
It wasn’t actually overly spicy and the cinnamon element, probably because it was in combination with the other ingredients, were more sweet-ish than what I have otherwise encountered, which is what I think was my rescue.
I imagine somebody who is fond of chai might appreciate it.
I only drank one cup though.
I never actually posted about this! I shall immediately see to fix this oversight.
Now, this one I bought because of the whole explore flavoured roiboos phase. The thing is, for the longest time I didn’t think I liked the stuff at all. And I didn’t. Not plain anyway. But then I discovered that when flavoured it can actually be really quite nice. So I was exploring the selection that the boyfriend brought when we moved in here and found out that that first one wasn’t actually a fluke as I had suspected it might be.
Fruity flavoured rooibos is quite nice actually! So then it made me want to buy some too, so when I was re-stocking from LPdT, I looked at what they had. Not much really. At least not much that struck my fancy, but they did have this cherry flavoured one.
Which brings me to my second reason for the choice. I want a cherry flavoured black. Not cherry blossom, but cherry. I know it must exist, but I’ve never seen one that I can recall. At least not one that wasn’t bagged and cheap.
Buying this one seemed to be a two birds one stone sort of deal, so I did it.
Initially I was a little disappointed. It wasn’t as cherry-y as I had imagined and/or hoped for, and to be quite frank, there was a hint of soapy flavour to it. The boyfriend thought it was nice though.
Stubbornly I pressed on, and to my amazement I have discovered that this stuff has been growing on me. I’ve had it several times now, and I have a completely different experience of it now from that initial one. It’s still rather more rooibos-y than cherry-y, but it’s okay because I’ve got used to it, and that impression of having got shampoo in my mouth while showering has disappeared as well.
Even if the fruit is not nearly as strong as I would have preferred, I’ve decided it’s okay. It’s not going to be my gate-way into unflavoured rooibos or anything, because frankly, I’m not interested in plain rooibos. I drink it for the fruit addition and for how that plays with the rooibos flavour.
So yeah, in time I have grown to be quite pleased with this purchase, although I don’t think it’s necessarily one which I will have to repeat. I also moves some of it to a separate tin and added a vanilla pod a la JacquelineM and I have to say the result of that was very pleasant indeed. I prefer that vanilla-fied version actually, but I have become sufficiently pleased with this that I don’t feel like doctoring up the rest of it anyway.
I like how the little sample pouch says ‘3+ cups’. Whoever wrote that have clearly never seen me make tea. :)
I’ve had this one for a while and it’s another one that I don’t know who sent it to me. Considering that it comes from Shang Tea, of whom I am a fan, it may be slightly odd that I’ve been sitting on it for so long. It’s because I’ve had this ‘white tea – urgh…’ phase, which has been going on for rather a long time now. It’s not that I dislike it, it’s just that I’m not at all that fond of it. My severe falling out of love with Bai Mu Dan hasn’t helped matters any either. Shang Tea have, however, in the past provided me with some rather large surprises, so I’m hoping for the best.
The aroma is not very strong and it’s difficult to pin down. It just smells white, really, in that it doesn’t smell at all like any of the other types of tea. Using the inhale-exhale-inhale trick that I learned from Bonnie the other day (thank you Bonnie! I think you’ve just helped me avoid actually dipping the tip of my nose in tea in search of aroma with this trick. (Accidental dipping, mind you)) I can pick up something that reminds me vaguely of cucumber or courgette, but isn’t really either. It’s sort of slightly sweet and it smells like that texture, but still doesn’t really allow itself to be identified. It does remind me some of Bai Mu Dan, though.
The flavour does have a fair bit of courgette to it as well, but strangely, it’s not as unappealing as I normally find it. It’s immediately followed by something very sweet and honey-ish, and I think that’s what rescues it for me, because normally I prefer my courgette flavour to be in courgettes. Bit like cinnamon really. For me, cinnamon and tea ought have nothing to do with each other at all, whether it be naturally occuring or otherwise.
Once again Shang Tea has surprised me. This is really rather nice. It’s not something I must run out and tell the world about, but it’s enjoyable to get to try. If I were fonder of white than I am, I would probably be swooning all over the place.
Erm yes. Bear with me, Steepsterites. It’s just because it’s now I’m drinking down Tea Corner and therefore I can’t wait another half year to use this one. It’s already a pretty old bag, predating my Sample Tracking Plan, so I’m clueless as to where it came from. (It came from H&S, hurr hurr hurr!)
So yes. Christmas tea in June with lots of sunshine outside. A far cry from the wet undies causing downpour of the other days, which I was forced out in as I needed to buy cat food. (It later transpired that there actually was half a bucketful left in the old bag and I could have saved myself the shower… Isn’t that just typical)
I can smell spice in here. I think it’s the cardamom primarily, but there is also something that makes me think ginger. Ginger. Oh dear. It’s mostly cardamom, though, and I like that. (Lovely in pancakes along with some lemon juice, actually. Don’t ask me for measurements. I tend to use a smidge and a squirt. Sometimes a large smidge and squirt, sometimes small)
It is quite cardamom-y in flavour, and I’m discovering that I actually quite like that. This is odd because I don’t customarily care much for spice in tea. I don’t like ginger at all, tea or otherwise, but can deal with a wee bit in cooking or baking. I like cinnamon in cooking and baking but not too fond of it in tea. But cardamom? Apparently this goes down a lot better with me than the other two when mixed into tea.
Since I’m used to cardamom in the combination with lemon juice in our saturday morning pancakes, the cardamom here does make me rather wish for something citrus-y. I should think a teensy bit of orange, or perhaps even mandarin or tangerine, would have done well.
I usually try not to look at other people’s posts about something until I’ve finished writing my own, because if I’m too aware of other people’s findings, it tends to pollute my thoughts and manipulate me to try and find the same things. This time, though, I accidentally cheated. This just goes to show that I ought to write my note in something else and copy paste it into the posting window here when I’m done. There were more than one person that spoke of white chocolate-y flavours, and I have to say, I’m utterly stumped on that one. This is not like any white chocolate I’ve ever had. I’m surprised so many people seem to have come to this conclusion.
As I drink this, the vanilla shows up, but only on the swallow. It’s one of those building-itself-up flavours that you can’t taste right away. Almond and chamomile, however, eluded me until I got further down into the cup where something strange happened.
The cardamom flavouring transformed! I’m pretty certain it was the same note that I was initially interpreting as cardamom, because it changed so slowly that I didn’t realise what was going on until I went ‘hey, wait a minute…’ Instead of being strongly cardamom, it’s now fairly strongly almond.
It’s a two-in-one tea, this. Cardamom flavoured first, then almond and vanilla flavoured second.
I quite like it, although it is rather out of season.
Cloud bursts. I dislike them. Especially when there seems to be far more rain than is proper in my rain wear and I have to stop in for cat food on the way home.
I’m home now and have changed out of my wet things. Even had to change my underwear!
Rain wear. Yeah. Right.
Totally time to pull down a good old favourite which has been sorely neglected for a while. Right now I’m wondering why on earth that could be. It’s so… nommy.
Public Service Announcement: Anywhere that it says ‘lemon’ in the following, I mean ‘melon’. It’s surprisingly hard not to write ‘lemon’ instead and I’m not sure I’ve completely managed to avoid it or caught them all.
This is another green tea that Autumn_Aelwyd shared with me, and like the one yesterday, I’m brewing it twice in one go. One Western for the boyfriend and one short steep for myself.
On the first steep, I get a slightly spicy, melon-y aroma with a note in it, and this is going to sound really odd, smells like the texture of fur or shaggy carpets. Synesthesia, I ♥ you. I’m trying really hard to think of a word to describe the note in a way that people who aren’t me will be able to understand, but I’m failing spectacularly. It’s a pleasant smell, though, so let’s just leave it there.
The flavour strikes me as just ‘default green’, at this point though, and a bit watered out, in spite of the fact that I used more leaf than I would have because otherwise I’d have had too little left to bother keeping. It’s slightly astringent and again a bit melon-y. There’s just not enough melon in it that I can be sure I’m actually tasting it and that it’s not just because I’ve been influenced by reading about the name of the tea, which means something with melon slice or melon seed.
The second cup still smells like new carpets. I can even find that rubbery bit on the back. Still a little spicy, but the melon note seems to have gone.
It’s far more intense in flavour now, and definitely has a melon note somewhere mid-sip. At first I’m getting grass and vegetation, and then the melon shows up alongside and lasts until the swallow. I even get the same sort of astringent feeling in the mouth as from eating melons. It also has a wee bit of a bite near the end of the cup like it has steeped just a split second too long.
I think so far my ideal would have been somewhere in the middle between the first and second steep. Hm. Right.
The third cup is actually quite like that middle thing I was wishing for above! The aroma is the same, but the taste is quite melon-y. I definitely think I’m detecting melon notes here and not just because I read about the name. Nice.
My fourth cup smells like grass. No more carpets or fur here. The flavour is a bit weak and watery and quite chalky. I’m getting a hint of melon underneath, but it’s quite subtle. I don’t really like this steep much, so I’m pressing straight ahead.
The fifth cup is not quite so chalky, and we’ve got that melon note back again, along with something that has reverted back to ‘default green’. It’s honestly not particularly interesting at this point, so I think I’ll stop here.
Also, I’m rather ready for something else.
This has been one of the more subtle ones of the green teas that Autumn_Aelwyd sent me, but also one of the ones I think I’ve liked the best. I think it’s that melon-y-ness, although I would have liked to have seen that a bit stronger. Actually, apart from a black tea (I think it was) bag, I don’t think I’ve had melon flavoured tea, and I think it might be a fun flavour to do in a green or in a greenish oolong. This one gave me a hint of what that might be like, and I thought it was a flavour that suited the ‘default green’ rather well.