1604 Tasting Notes
This isn’t bad at all for a bagged tea – composed entirely of Indian black teas it smells like a Darjeeling but it isn’t as astringent though there might be a touch of muscatel flavour in there. There’s a hint of Assam’s maltiness and the blend is robust enough to go well with milk but gentle enough that you could drink it plain if you reduced the steeping time (i usually do 5 minutes with a black tea I plan to add milk to and 3.5 min for a black tea I’m going to drink plain). It would be nicer as a whole leaf tea, but for what it is this tea isn’t half-bad.
I have a sample of this kicking around my cupboard – the Granville Island Tea Co stocks this tea sporadically and it always sells out fast, so I picked some up while I could. There’s something pleasantly spicy about the scent of the leaves – and like many Darjeeling first flushes they looked more like a green tea than a black tea. The flavour comes across as being almost berry-like, combined with a sweet nuttiness that makes this tea really unique. I expected it to be more astringent like a Darjeeling but it’s actually quite smooth, and gentle.
This tea smells good enough to eat and for once the flavour isn’t a letdown in comparison. It really is decadent and dessert-like making me think of raspberry truffles or something similar – despite there being none in the ingredient list I’m getting a distinctly chocolatey flavour from the tea. The raspberry is sweet and fruity almost more like a raspberry syrup than just the straight berries and the coconut gives the tea a great exotic vibe. Raspberry and coconut aren’t flavours I’d automatically see as going together, but man do they work well in this case.
I picked up a sample of this tea on my last trip to Kelowna. It tastes a fair bit like Adagio’s Choconut Mate, in my opinion. The roasted mate goes well with the cocoa and the overall result is almost malty with a bit of bitterness. I’m not sure why they bothered to add rooibos to this blend as it doesn’t really do much for it except give it a bit of a woody flavour. It’s an okay tea, but not great.
Finally a chance for me to log this tea (work and Christmas obligations kept me busy the past couple days). I’ve never actually eaten sugar plums or sugar plum pudding – has anyone? I don’t know anyone who actually makes it anymore. So I have no idea how authentic the flavours are. There’s a bit of a fruity scent to the tea but nothing distinctive. I was afraid it was going to be taste like Celestial Seasonings Sugar Plum Spice, which I like for nostalgia purposes but I sort of expect better from Frank. Thankfully the only real similarity is in the name. Unfortunately it’s really hard to tell if this tea tastes like anything at all.
It might just be that I didn’t steep it long enough or use enough leaf (white teas are harder to measure as they tend to take up more space). Whatever it was, the most prominent flavour I could taste was the white tea itself accompanied by a fruity sweetness and a hint of nuttiness. Rather underwhelming. I’m going to try adjusting parameters before I rate this tea though, as the problem might be operator error. ;)
This is the last tea in the 12 days of X-mas Sampler before the surprise Christmas blend. So that would make this, what….? Eleven pipers piping?
I accidentally oversteeped this one quite a bit because the microwave timer which I usually use for my tea was being put to use timing a pie I had in the oven. It doesn’t seemed to have harmed the tea too much, perhaps due to the robustness of the gunpowder base. Or maybe all the heat is just killing my taste buds.
And here I thought that the Mayan Chocolate Chai and the Flaming Chocolate Maté were spicy. They got nothing on this tea. I think it’s the combination of the cayenne pepper with the cinnamon that gives this blend extra bite. Though heat dominates the blend I can taste the banana sort of as a fruity aftertaste in the back of my mouth. It would be nice if it were a bit stronger I think – or the spices were a bit weaker. An interesting tea altogether, but I don’t think it’s really my thing.
I’m honestly surprised that no one has thought to combine these two teas before. Genmaichas are generally robust enough to not get drowned out by the bold flavours of the chai spices and the toasty, malty flavours of the toasted rice is an excellent compliment. This ends up being a distinctly gingery chai – not surprising as there were huge chunks of gingeroot in my sampler packet. The whole thing has a surprising smoothness to it almost as if it were a latté. Very enjoyable.
Maybe I’m wrong but it seems like there’s a greater proportion of black teas in the X-mas sampler this year than there was last year. Not that I’m complaining as I’m quite fond of most of Frank’s black tea blends. :D
I was a bit skeptical of this tea at first as I didn’t think candy corn was a flavour that could be replicated well or accurately. Good thing I was wrong. The tea really does taste like the candy – vanilla and sugary sweetness with a hint of caramel – no additional sweetener needed! The candy corn bits dissolved nicely – it’s a bit of a pet peeve when supposedly dissolvable candies and other additives don’t break down and end up thrown away in the bottom of your strainer.
I’ve already got quite a few candy-flavoured teas so I’m not sure I’d buy a whole pouch of this blend, but I wouldn’t say no to this tea if it was offered to me. ;)
So we’re on day….eight of the 12 Days of X-mas sampler, I think?
Yum, I’m really enjoying this blend. It has a really smooth and distinctly buttery flavour with very distinct notes of rum. Drinking it actually makes me think of butterscotch lifesavers. The flavour of this tea strikes me as being somewhat similar to the Brandy Butter Cake but with less of a cakey component. I’m one of those uneducated drinkers who can’t really tell brandy and rum apart – though apparently they both work very well with butter.
I missed out on this blend on the 14th because I didn’t check the labels carefully enough, so I’m playing catch up. I’ve been wanting to try this tea for ages – and not just because of the name. (Okay, maybe the name did influence me a little bit – I’m a sucker for dragons and all things Tolkien.)
This tea is sure packing some heat – the cinnamon is like those little hot cinnamon hearts that you get on Valentines Day – the tea smells like them too for that matter. But the heat doesn’t overwhelm everything else, instead it’s just a pleasant little prickle on the tongue. The dragonwell base ends up working really well with the heat – better than a black tea would in my opinion. Dragonwell has a bit more muscle to it than most green teas and it holds up well to the strong flavours with it’s smooth and slightly buttery notes. There’s also just the faintest hint of smokiness (from the lapsang souchong probably) that gives this tea an interesting finish.
Now that I’ve drank my cuppa I feel all fired up and ready to hunt down some pesky dwarves and hobbits. ;)