31 Tasting Notes
Backlogging from earlier this weekend…
So a road trip isn’t a road trip (at least in Canada) without Timmy’s. But what to do when your tummy is a little unsettled and you don’t feel up for crazy-caffeinated coffee or even their usually decent bagged chai tea? Pepermint tea!
Now I have to say, this was an experiment for me. I’ve had a couple bad experiences with peppermint tea in the past causing tummy-upset but I know that it’s actually supposed to be good for your stomach so I decided to give it another go.
This is the second time recently that I’ve given a “don’t like it” tea another try, and as with Earl Gray I think I’m going to have to take peppermint tea off the banned list. This cup was tasty, soothing, and being trapped in a car for hours I liked that I didn’t have to worry about over-steeping it or caffeine content. I got a little bit of cream added to mine and I think the peppermint flavour (which I found just a little bit weak) may have come out stronger had I gone without. I liked the peppermint notes in this tea more then previous peppermints though as it seemed sweeter and rounder (more like a peppermint candy) rather then a very sharp, “natural” peppermint flavour.
I had a couple bags of this at a friend’s house over the weekend. I’ll admit I was first seduced by the pretty box (sigh, it’s a weakness). The tea inside the pretty box was only “meh” unfortunately. I didn’t find it had a whole lot of flavour even though I left the tea bag in the travel mug the entire time I was drinking it. There was just a hint of berry tang/sweetness over the mild green tea flavour and that’s about it. The fact that I added a bit of table cream (craving creamy drinks all weekend, no idea why!) may have been at least partially responsible for the somewhat bland tea. Thankfully (and surprisingly!) there was no bitterness whatsoever, despite the fact that my friend made it with boiling water and the aforementioned oversteeping.
I’d say this is a tea I would drink, but not bother to buy myself.
For anyone who noticed: Yes, I did say I drank this twice, but I feel I can only base my review on the one occasion as the other was rather affected by adding a generous helping of Amarula Cream Liquor. Though that drink deserves a tongue-sticking-out-smiley rating ;).
Ok, so I’m trying this tea again with my “early” morning study session. I’m trying to get better at trying the same tea several times in a short period to make comparisons between more accurate.
This time I set out to only steep this tea for 4 minutes, less then I would ordinarily do for a black, but with the aim of avoiding the beastly bitterness of the last cup. However after 4 minutes a little sip told me the brew was very weak (hot water with a hint of tea flavour) with already a distinct bite of bitter in there. So I’ve concluded that the “intense bitterness” I was complaining about in my last tasting note was probably, well, just what properly steeped straight Earl Gray is supposed to taste like (rating will have to be adjusted I think).
I let this cup steep for another two whole minutes or so (need. morning. jolt.) and the bitterness increased a bit, but seemed much more bearable today for some reason. A bit of 1% milk, honey and one sweetner package has a nice morning cuppa for me.
Earl Gray has been officially been brought back into my life.
Preface: I don’t like Earl Gray tea. Mind you I determined this from drinking a friends London Fog latte, finding the taste unpleasant, feeling sick to my stomach, and declaring Earl Gray the worst tea ever which I never wanted to drink again.
But…I happened to be given a tin of this tea and waste not, want not…
The dry tea smells like…tea. Now my nose is so far from being sensitive it’s not even funny, and I thought I could catch an “other” sort of smell which I took to be the bergamot, but mostly this smelt like black tea to me.
Last time I made this for my boyfriend (who is a big Earl Gray drinker) he commented it was a little weak, so this time I put two teaspoons of tea in (my teaspoon is smaller then regulation size) for my somewhat jumbo mug (I really have to figure out how much it holds). Steeped it for 5 minutes on the dot.
The liquid tea again mostly smelt like…tea. Are there like some exercises you can do so your nose can pick up subtle notes of this and that from a tea? I don’t have the knack. But it was a good smell, it made my brain want to drink it. Which stopped after the first sip, which was face-scrunchingly bitter. Second sip was bitter too, as was the third and the slurp. Now I should say I don’t tend to like black teas straight, so this may have just been a normal tasting Earl Gray and my taste buds been spoiled by milk and sugar.
I dumped in a bunch of 1% milk and honey, and then a Equal sweetner packet to finally end up with a cup I was able to drink, though any notes of anything in the original flavour are long gone.
I based my steep time off other tasting notes for this tea, but I think next time I’ll try a shorter steep and see if that helps with the bitterness. Also, I just stirred the tea and realized how much of the leaf somehow made it through my infuser, it’s possible the bits of tea sitting in the cup have been over steeping and contributing to the bitter taste?
At least my tummy feels fine so far…
These are individually packaged tea bags (environmentally bad but soooo convenient!), and when I rip one open I get a very strong sent of cloves…a hit of cinnamon…maybe a bit of ginger. I give another sniff looking for the orange peel smell but I can’t say I really find it. There might be a slight citrus tang sort of rounding out the spicy smells, either from the orange or the dried lime. Overall, a very yummy smelling tea!
No instructions on the box, but thanks to the informative people on this site I now know that white teas should be brewed with cooler water. Unfortunately I don’t have a thermometer, so I guess with the water temperature based on the noise my kettle is making (that lull between the louder sighing noise and the full-on boil).
Steep for ~9 minutes (oops, got distracted making breakfast), and I expected it to be very bitter. Nope, no bitterness, just a delicate spicy-tea taste. I figure the delicacy of the taste is because this is white tea, not the stronger-tasting black I’m used to.
The liquid tea smells like cinnamon and cloves, though I like to think I can catch a note of orange in there, a slightly different zing to the scent. First sip is…hmm a little bland? I try the slurp, that brings out the spice taste a bit more, and there’s a tingle on the front of my tongue. No spicy burn in my throat though. And not much tea flavour (maybe because of the white again?). I sip a bit more, but my taste buds aren’t really getting the flavour much. I know you’re typically not supposed to add things to white tea because it drowns out the flavour but…in goes a little squirt of honey and a tiny dab of cream. I like the result, but it may be because it now tastes like a faintly spicy creamy-sweet hot drink of indeterminate composition. Oops.
Thankfully I have a whole box of this to experiment with. I think next time I’ll try either hotter water or an even longer steep, just to see if that brings out more taste. And be a purist and resist the urge to sweeten-cream everything I drink…
After having this tea for quite a while and sort of forgetting about it I’m having another cup. Unfortunately my previous assessment stands: This tea seems rather bland. Mind you I just steeped it in water in a mug rather then the stove top method so that might be to blame, but I put a decent amount in, and left it for almost 10 minutes and still…not a whole lot of flavour. It doesn’t taste bad in any way, just very weak. I certainly don’t find it among the spicier of my chai blends, despite the large chunks of various spices I can see in it.
Drinking with a splash of cream and a teaspoon of honey to give it some substance. Maybe I’ll try the stove top methods next time.
I bought this tea very excited – I love chocolate, I love chai, what could go wrong? Apparently quite a lot considering I couldn’t even finish the one box (and my maxim is waste not, want not).Honestly it just came down to the fact I didn’t (couldn’t) like the taste – much too “chocolatey” and barely any chai. And I put the quotation marks in there because it didn’t taste like chocolate, or even close to. I knew they were going for a chocolate flavour, it had the bull-bodied richness of chocolate, but unfortunately tasted very dusty to me…after I’d take a sip I’d find myself rolling my tongue around trying to figure out/get rid of this strange after taste. All in all, yuck.
I picked up this tea from a small teashop in Vancouver’s Chinatown after being offered a sample and being impressed with its strong flavour (being a person who often finds fruit flavoured teas smell lovely, and don’t taste like a whole lot). While it is called Plum Green Tea I’ve always associated the taste more with green melon, and after serving it to several friends I can say this is definitely a love it or hate it flavour. This is a tea that required no additions, especially not sugar/honey, I find the plum flavour to be sweet enough as is, and becomes especially strong as the tea cools.
I find this is one tea you don’t want to over-steep as it can quickly develop an overpowering bitter note that along with the fruit taste can cause unpleasant mouth-puckerage. Mind you I also tend to forget what sort of tea I’m making and pour boiling water over this poor green tea which might account for the tendency towards bitterness. This is a nice tea for people who enjoy green teas, strong fruit teas and especially sweet melon/plum flavours.
I snagged a box of this tea after a friend’s Singaporean exchange student housemates left it behind. The variety I have doesn’t seem to be exactly what I found on the company’s website (my kind is called “Mild & Spicy Masala Chai” and has a different box), but hopefully the taste is comparable.
This is a very nice if slightly unusual chai. I was pleasantly surprised when I had my first cup at the delicate, almost fruity aftertaste (I’m sorry if my descriptions are a little imprecise, my taste buds unfortunately don’t communicate in words). This definitely isn’t a spicy/hot chai like many I’ve tried, I think the overriding flavour is actually cardamom rather then a more cinnamon/pepercorn/clove spicy taste (just conjecture, I don’t know that much about the individual chai spices).
Tastes best with some milk and honey for sweetening, although I find the milk isn’t as important in this chai as some others because of the more delicate taste. I haven’t found over-steeping to be a problem (I often carry around a travel mug and just leave the tea bag inside and it never seems to get that bitter aftertaste).