1511 Tasting Notes
This was a Christmas gift from a coworker (part of a Secret Santa exchange) and it comes from a small local tea shop which I would visit more often if not for the fact that it’s located in a rather rough part of town.
This blend has that nice, nutty, vegetal flavour that you get from pan-fried green teas and the sweet strawberries and slightly tart rosehips compliment it quite nicely. I’m not getting much pepper but otherwise it’s quite a nice blend. It’s not really screaming “Christmas” to me though – actually it seems more like a summer tea – but whatever. ;)
This came as a sample with my latest Davids Tea order – I love that they always send so many extra samples because it lets me try teas I wouldn’t otherwise have drank.
The smell of this blend is quite lovely, a spicy mix of ginger and tangy orange. The pu’erh/oolong blend is a bit of an odd combo in my opinion, and I think it was the pu’erh that made the tea smell like meat (yeah, I know) when I added the hot water. The flavour was a bit of a let down, all told, as the base had a leathery, smokey flavour that was a little bit bitter and the ginger made the whole thing came across as medicinal. Mind you, it did soothe my mildly upset stomach quite nicely.
Here’s another tea purchased at the Victoria Tea Festival imported via the Dream Tea Boutique (http://dreamteaboutique.com/).
I’m afraid that I don’t know what a quince is supposed to taste like, never having tried one, and I had to resort to Google to find out what a ‘cherimoya’ even was. But regardless I found the flavour of this tea to be very agreeable. It’s tastes light and fruity with a bit of a tropical tang to it – from the pineapple maybe – as well hints of citrus and apples. I like that this tea company offers something different from the usual flavoured black tea fare. I mean what other company can you think of that can say they carry a cherimoya-flavoured tea?
I got this tea from the Urban Tea Merchant in downtown Vancouver. I was disappointed that they stopped stocking THÉ Ô DOR, but TWG seems to be a pretty decent replacement line.
I’m never quite sure how to steep black tea/green tea blends so in this case I temporized by doing a slightly lower temperature and less time than I would for a straight black tea. I love the Bourbon vanilla scent of this blend – it’s sweet and rich and makes me think of baking sugar cookies. Unfortunately the flavour is more vegetal and less vanilla-y than I would like, although the vanilla is still certainly there. There’s also hints of something else under the vanilla – maybe something citrusy and traces of some sort of spices.
I followed the steeping direction more closely this time – 1/2 tsp in 8oz water at 77C for ~3 min – and it seems to have paid off. The tea is much smoother and less bitter and while there’s still some astringency it’s more like that of a dry red wine. It’s slightly grassy in a way that reminds me of a Japanese green tea but this is balanced out by a sweetness that’s a little bit fruity. Very interesting, all told.
I bough this tea more out of curiosity than anything else. I have tried bottled kombucha in the past with….not so great results. But as this is mixed with green tea I hoped it would go down better.
The smell is very fruity, like plums or papayas, but there flavour is more minty green tea with a hint of fruit and something tangy which I think is supposed to be the kombucha. It’s not half bad for a bagged green tea, although I was expecting a little bit more kombucha than there actually was.
Another old sample dug out from my tea cupboard. I’ve never tried a Hawaiian oolong before this – in fact I never knew Hawaii grew any tea at all. The fist steep (at 4 min) is rich and full bodied. It’s lightly sweet and slightly fruity with a hint of warm spiciness that reminds me a bit of ginger.
Subsequent steepings were lighter and a bit more woodsy/evergreen-tasting, but they still kept a hint of sweetness. It’s a unique and complex tea that I really enjoyed. Sadly my sample was only one cup’s worth and since Chi of Tea isn’t in operation anymore I’ll have to see if I can track down other sources.
This tea comes courtesy of the Victoria Tea Festival – a tea store based in Coquitlam called Dream Tea Boutique (http://dreamteaboutique.com/) imports Forsman teas (which is apparently a Finnish? tea company). I haven’t seen Forsman teas for sale anywhere else in the country which is a shame since they have a nice selection of both flavoured and unflavoured tea.
The black tea base they use is a smooth, light Ceylon that compliments the fruity flavours without being weak. The cantaloup flavours are nice and not too strong or artificial and I can taste a hint of the dried pineapple in there too. I bet this would be lovely iced.
I absolutely loved Frank’s Strawberry Zabaglione so when this was offered up as a reblend awhile back I pounced on it as fast as I could.
The smell of the tea reminds me of blueberry shortcake – very sweet, fruity and dessert-ish. The flavour is distinctly blueberry but there’s something more to it as well – there are sweet, almost creamy notes that make me think of vanilla. Like the strawberry version I bet this tea is great with milk, but I wanted to try it plain first to get a proper sense of the flavours.