531 Tasting Notes
Backlog. I revoke my statement about not needing this pudding rooibos anymore. Sure, the relationship doesn’t spark as it used to, but I think we’re in a comfortable place that’s full of trust. This caffeine-free dessert beverage fills a niche in my tea cupboard that needs to be filled.
Erm, I’m procrastinating again.. Away from this familiar saccharine goodness, back to Slaughterhouse-Five..
Flavors: Cream, Custard, Lime
I love everything evergreen in my tea, and this one fully delivers. I’d previously pegged down White Wolf, from Bellocq, as my quintessential, super-expensive, cedar-vanilla tea but this one is really good too.
Port has a nice balance of flavours: cedar, smooth vanilla bean, and accents of salt and of something “nippy” that is distinctly eucalyptus. It’s a nice level of eucalyptus, and not at all like the time that I put a little too much eucalyptus oil on my hot hand towel and inhaled deeply- when hot, that stuff burns with righteous intensity. I probably won a Darwinian award somewhere in that story.
This is a “darker” tea than my other cedar-vanilla option, which has a white tea base. However, it also isn’t as cold, and so set in the dead of winter, as my other one. I can drink this at the lake camp in the midst of a broiling summer too, or on a foggy autumnal day.
I haven’t had a lot of exposure to saffron and I’m going to have to carefully budget it out, but I love this tea and I want it to be a part of my life! Also, the dry blend reminds me ever so slightly of marzipan. It also resteeps well, although the cedar is more pronounced in the second steep.
Flavors: Cedar, Eucalyptus, Malt, Vanilla
This was generously included as a surprise sample in my Whispering Pines order. Thank you!
I can see why this tea gets a lot of love. Not only does this have that delightful cocoa note that I adore, but the texture is also thick with a milk-like quality.
Although I drank the first steep too quickly to discern any other qualities past “creamy”, I’ve had more time with this second steep. The cocoa and milk are still present, but there is also a distinctive fruity note, like sweet, tangy plums.
It’s a delicious cup, and I think I’ll appreciate its profile even more in the fall or winter. As it was, it turned out to be an awesome rainy evening tea.
Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Malt, Plums, Stonefruits
Although I was initially disappointed with this one, I’ve grown increasingly more impressed with this one as I’ve had time to experiment with it. My new favourite oolong steeping strategy is to “rinse” the leaves until they begin to unfurl, and then do a first steep of about 2min 30sec.
The aroma of the dry leaves is equally buttery and floral, with a touch of something sweet and lemony, and that is much how it tastes once it has been steeped. It’s a fine and delicate flavour that layers itself on the tongue, like silk, over time. The finish leaves behind a melted butter texture and taste, which make this tea feel heavier than it is.
This has some of my favourite aspects about oolong, but my all-time favourite component is actually the heady floral aroma of that first rinse. I wish I could make my whole room smell that floral, green, and fresh. This oolong is real pleasure to work with! I’ll often get to around six steeps without realizing how much of it I’ve drunk.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Grass, Lemon
Today this tastes completely different than when I first had it- probably because I steeped it in boiling water this time instead of 170F/76C.
I don’t taste the cherry and cucumber so much, and instead taste blackberry leaves, black currant, and hibiscus notes. It’s nice after a few hours in the hot sun. It’s only six o’clock and I may pass out..
Flavors: Black Currant, Blackberry, Hibiscus
This tea runs dangerously close to being lackluster, but manages to have just enough sparkly juice to keep me entertained. All of the core flavours are gentle ones, and mix up into a kind of dozy floral-fruit broth that has effectively shut my brain off for the night.
Drowned out white leaves with notes of cucumber and grass, along with bland apple-accented chamomile, form up this mixed base. The cherry flavour is both tart and sweet and makes the tea pop. I don’t usually care much for cherry flavoring in tea but I think it’s needed here.
Flavors: Apple, Cherry, Cucumber, Flowers
OMGsrsly generously sent me a sample of this fruity herbal. I was curious about this one when the group visited Bayswater, but was too chicken to buy some at the time. Now that I’m into iced teas I’m even more grateful for the chance to try this, as it makes an awesome cold steep.
The flavours are predominantly citrus and cranberry with a tiny amount of cayenne pepper that is not always present. The overall effect makes a tart, sweet, and refreshing cup.
Flavors: Apple, Citrus, Cranberry, Hibiscus, Pepper
Taken with milk.
I went in skeptical, but I’m pleasantly surprised by this tea. The base and flavours aren’t fancy or deep, but that doesn’t stop it from being a lot of fun. Blue raspberries, cotton candy, blackberry danishes, and bubblegum ice cream are all good things in my book. So are blackberries. I could drink so much of this tea, all the time..
It tastes like the colour blue.
Flavors: Blackberry, Cotton Candy, Cream, Vanilla
If there were dragons on every chai tin I’d probably drink more chai.
Based on the pungent aroma of the dry leaf, I was expecting this one to brew up stronger than it did. The cinnamon and cloves were definitely present, but there was equal weight given to this caramel-like flavour. The aroma of the liquor is swelling with caramel and vanilla notes, and I wish that was developed more in the flavour profile.
Still, this wasn’t a terrible dessert chai; I thought I would like it less than I did. Maybe I can draw out some of my favourite aspects more if I tweak the parameters .
Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Clove, Smoke, Vanilla
Cinnamon and sugar easily come through at all corners of this tea, but the gooey oatmeal requires care to coax it out. When I made the first cup I could actually fool myself into believing I was eating a raisin oatmeal cookie, whereas my subsequent sessions tasted a little on the burnt side.
Today I didn’t quite achieve the full glory of the oatmeal cookie. However, oatmeal does pop up a little in the finish and aftertaste so I didn’t completely mess it up. A little bit of cookie is better than no cookie.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cookie, Malt, Oats, Raisins, Sugar, Vanilla