1610 Tasting Notes
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. ;)
First off let me say that the Weeping Angels are the most terrifying Doctor Who creation ever. They also have nothing to do with caramel popcorn – they’d be less freaky if they did.
I’ve not been particularly interested in purchasing this tea – I like actual caramel popcorn but as a tea flavour it doesn’t hold as much of an appeal. And maybe I’m justified in that – the flavour of the tea strikes me as a little bit wussy although it might just need a longer steep, or as some people have suggested added sweetener. I am getting something that’s sort of popcorn-like in taste along with a vague sweetness that might be caramel, but the flavours don’t really seem to pop.
So overall I’m underwhelmed but I’ve got enough left in the pouch to experiment with. The rating may or may not go up. And before I forget….
I just realized that I skipped the very first day of the 12 days of X-mas sampler – I found the package for day 14 at the bottom of the box underneath everything else. Oh well, I’ll get to it tomorrow, I hope.
Frank has made some very nice cheesecake honeybush blends in the past (the coconut cheesecake one comes to mind), but somehow this one feels a little bit lacking. I can pick up the cheesecake flavour and the sweetness of the honeybush base goes really well with any sort of dessert flavour. But I’m not really getting that chocolate/peanut butter taste- instead the flavour reminds me more of caramel. There’s maaaaaaybe something a bit like peanut butter if you squint. I might just have to do a longer steep.
So this is day four of the Twelve Days of X-mas sampler. I’ve been eying this tea with passing interesting but I’ve never tried any because I assumed it would be very similar to Pancake Breakfast. As it turns out I was wrong. I swear I was smelling freshly-cooked french toast when I opened the bag it smelled so authentic.
It’s got the flavour pretty well down pat too – I can taste the toasted bread undertone flavoured with a bit of cinnamon and a hint of vanilla. And it’s all covered with the flavour of sweet, delicious maple syrup. It makes me crave some actually french toast right now.
Well I sort of missed the ‘Third Day of Christmas’ thanks to work, but I’ll try and catch up today. I think I could have steeped this one a bit longer because the flavour is rather weak but I prefer to err on the side of caution with green teas as there’s nothing worse than over-steeped tea.
I have to say that I really don’t like the smell of this tea – like other reviewers have remarked it smells chemical and musty. I think I noticed something similar with the Browncoat Genmaicha so maybe it’s something to do with the cacao nibs?
I’m afraid this blend doesn’t taste anything like s’mores to me. I’m not tasting anything that makes me thing of marshmallow and the cocoa flavour isn’t smooth or sweet enough to convincingly impersonate the chocolate. I won’t give this a rating yet – I’ll try steeping it for longer first to see if that improves matters.