506 Tasting Notes
OMG soooo much homework! Today was the third day of classes and I had to stay up so late last night for all the reading. I only have 12 credits (and 2 of them are my piano lessons) and I feel like the work load is heavier than when I was taking 21 credits the last few semesters of my english degree AND working part time. So what the big idea here?! Have I just forgotten how to manage?? Times like these I really miss when all my homework was just math. I am not such a fast reader. On top of that, most of the texts are in German and most of my classmates have more years of German study behind them than me. I am not used to being the one lagging behind.
So anyway, I brewed this tea trying to take a quick breather before I prepare dinner. I put some rock sugar (4 pieces) in this time and it came out so good. Or maybe its one of those times when any hot and comforting drink would seem good just because I am so stressed (that does happen. . and then I brew it again later and think “This isn’t the same thing!” lol)
I will miss this tea so much when I run out :(
First day of the semester today. I made it the the gym and dropped off a cat at the vet. It’s been such a productive morning. I even have time left to enjoy a cup of tea. yay! It’s going to be a heavy semester and I have to start getting things in order for my grad school application. I’m going to need a lot of tea to make it through :)
I still have some of the Organic Irish breakfast left and I had it yesterday. Today I am drinking this one and I think I might like the original slightly better after. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good cup, but the other seemed bolder and stronger, more like a breakfast tea. I’ll have to be frugal with what’s left of my supply :(
Meeka picked up this tea while traveling and sent me a sample in a swap. Her note to me indicated that the company might be Homewood teas, but she wasn’t certain. I’m finishing off the last of the sample now (didn’t log it before). It’s a good every day white tea, not too heavy on the hay and barley notes (but these are the only notes that I detect).
Both this tea and the huckleberry tea from NM Tea Co. have Blackberry leaves and cornflower petals in a black base, so I wondered how different they would really be. I liked the Huckleberry tea, but this tea seems a lot more bitter and astringent than the other (much like my husband thought of the huckleberry tea. . see that tasting note too). I think it may be that I just liked the Huckleberry flavor better so it compensated for otherwise unpleasant bitterness.
Both teas have a better flavor while they are hot, but the bitterness sets in as they cool.
I gave this tea another go, as I sometimes like to do with teas that have unique characteristics that don’t immediately turn me away. Last time, I had trouble detecting what part of the tea was the flavor and what part was the base. This time around, it seemed blatantly obvious. I think it’s because I’ve had a lot of different black teas (flavored and unflavored) recently, that differences stand out stronger now. I didn’t drink so many black teas in the beginning of my tea journeys, so it has taken some time to get familiar with them, but I’m far from an expert on any type of tea.
Unfortunately, the tamarind flavor didn’t agree with me this time and I didn’t finish my cup (thought I drank most of it). Oh well.
My Mantra Tea order came with two samples of bagged tea. This was one of them.
The leaves were crushed up some to be suitable for a tea bag, but is available to buy in loose form.
This is a very delicate and sweet green tea, quite the opposite from heavier astringent vegetal greens that I usually have. I really love the flavor of this one, but wish that it was stronger. I would probably use more leaf than provided in the tea bag to obtain better flavor.
It looks like this tea is not available for sale on Mantra’s Etsy site, but it is on the main site.
I finally bough myself some of this tea after enjoying a swap sample from GiggleGoddess.
The huckleberry flavor seems a lot more fresh and sweet than before. The base isn’t as malty and bold as I remembered, but it still comes through nicely.
ETA: The black base is indeed a touch bitter and astringent as my husband described (see first note), but it is hardly noticeable while the tea is still hot. This is also when the huckleberry flavor comes through the best IMO.
So far, I’m not having any luck with sheng puerhs. Only once did I ever have an aged sheng that I really liked. Young sheng has been too bitter and heavy on the mineral notes for me. This aged one is not bitter at all and the flavor is best described as earthy, but still not quite to my liking. The one aged sheng that I liked was only a couple of years older than this one and I got it from the Bana Tea Co. as a free sample with another purchase. I don’t know exactly which one it was or if it was aged in loose or compressed form, but maybe that makes the difference?
As I’ve been doing a lot lately, I brewed tea to share with my parents and sister. My father wanted coffee, but he sampled some of this from my mother’s cup and said it was a superb tea but that he didn’t think that my mother was going to like it. My mother tries it and immediately associates it with “tea brewed in the environment of diesel trucks and manly stuff,” not as an insult to the tea so much as an affirmation that it is definitely my father’s kind of tea more-so than hers. Nevertheless, she finished her cup, asking only that I provide her with a couple of tea cookies to help it go down :)
My little sister claims to love every tea I have ever given her with the exception of Lapsang Souchong. She gave the thumbs up to this one too, but she traded with my father for his coffee half way through her cup.
I gave the rest of the bag of tea to my father, where it will be much better appreciated.
This is a pretty good fruit blend. So far, I’ve preferred strong hibiscus flavored blends, while other fruit tisanes have been too artificially sweet or too heavy on berry flavor (which makes me feel sick).
This tea contains hibiscus, but it does not take over. The apple comes through as well as a cherry-like flavor, though it doesn’t list cherry in the ingredients.
It’s not a stellar cup, but it’s worth drinking again.