1776 Tasting Notes
I got this for free with one of my recent Butiki orders. I noticed that this particular green is being used as a base for many of their recent green-based blends. I’m normally pretty ‘meh’ about most plain green teas but this one sounded interesting enough and Butiki’s teas are generally of good quality. Plus free tea is free tea. :D
The leaves are fairly broken-looking – not teabag or CTC sized but definitely not intact enough to really be called ‘whole-leaf tea’. Normally that would make for a more bitter brew but this one is actually quite smooth. It’s vegetal but there’s also a surprising sweet undertone that comes out particularly as the tea cools – I think the description likened it to spinach and corn and I suppose that isn’t too far off for me. It’s quite a nice green tea, the flavours are strong enough to be distinctive on their own but subtle enough that I could see this working well as a base for a flavoured tea.
I picked up this iced tea at my local Chapters bookstore at the end of the summer when they discount all their summer stock to make way for the incoming fall products. Unfortunately each large teabag is intended to make a gallon of tea and I only have a smaller 2 L pitcher so steeping times and quantities are at best a guesstimate. The steeping instructions on the tin said boiling water for 15 minutes – which I ignored as it was obviously just copied over from the black tea-based iced teas without taking into account the more delicate green tea base. The water I used was 80°C and I steeped the large tea bag in 2 cups of water for 4 minutes and then added iced and cold water to make up the 2 L volume. It is convenient having the iced tea in a bag which saves me having to filter the brewed tea and results in much less mess.
Despite the reduced steeping time I found the base to be a bit bitter and it took a fair bit of my homemade simple syrup to make it palatable. The flavour isn’t citrusy lemon, instead it’s pretty obviously derived from lemongrass and that adds to the strong herbal undertone which I’m not terribly fond of. It’s a refreshing tea, I’ll give it that, but it’s not to my taste.
The smell of this tea is intriguing – as other people have described it I found it to be almost chocolate-like with a cured-hay undertone. Flavour-wise the earth notes were present but quite mild and smooth so I would definitely recommend this tea for someone who doesn’t like strong pu-erhs or is just starting to get in to that particular tea type. Unlike many pu-erhs it unfortunately doesn’t hold up all that well for resteeping as I found the 2nd steeping (@ 4 min) to be rather weak in comparison.
As someone who is (slightly) more familiar with pu-erh teas this one didn’t wow me particularly but it was pleasent enough to drink while I scroll through my tumblr.
Well I tried the longer steeping time but the flavour that creeps in isn’t fruit or berries – it’s quite distinctly hibiscus. Ick.
I may have to lower this tea’s score because – while on the rare occasion hibiscus can work for me in a cold tea – I invariably hate the taste of it when it’s hot. This is no exception.
Sipdown. I’m kind of sad to see this tea go as it was a decent tea and given that Teaopia is now defunct I won’t be getting more. But tea isn’t something that will keep indefinitely and this blend is noticeably showing its age at this point.
This probably ranks as my favourite tea from this season’s Winter Collection. It has a nice fruity-apple flavour combined with sweet, creamy vanilla. Add some honey or other sweetener and then the flavours really pop. An excellent dessert tea.
Today seems to be review Davids Teas day. This one is a sample I got from my last order, though it’s actually been on my wishlist for some time. The dry tea smells very much like lime-flavoured hard candies. The flavour is more like lemongrass to me with a sweeter, fruity undertone. I can’t really taste much of the pineapple or apple that’s supposedly in there – of course I went with a reduced steeping temperature and time compared to what the packet recommended, so that might have something to do with it.
Another one of my Christmas teas, this is probably the most intriguing blend from the winter collection. I LOVE baklava, though it’s hard to find outside of Greek restaurants here.
The smell of the tea is heavenly, maybe not exactly like baklava but it certainly has that European bakery vibe. With the oolong base I actually expected the tea to be a bit sweeter than it turned out to be. But it’s got a bakey note with lots of cinnamon – maybe a bit too much in this case. Unfortunately the honey part of the baklava is noticeably missing so the end result isn’t quite like the dessert but more like a spice cake of some sort. I don’t see spicy or dessert flavour used very often with an oolong base so it’s good to see DT changing it up a little bit.
It’s the Snowpocalypse! Here in British-Columbia we got got plus of 40 cm (that’s 16 inches, for you Americans) yesterday and now we’re sort of floundering around trying to dig ourselves out. The schools and university were shut down for the first time I can ever recall. I’m just lucky I live on a major thoroughfare that the snowplow got to pretty quickly, but with some of the backstreets it’ll probably two or three days before they’re cleared.
I got this tea as part of one of those grab-bag deals though I had been eyeing it beforehand. A couple years back Frank made another apple tea called Apple Pie a la Mode which I really enjoyed. This one isn’t quite apple pie to me although it makes a game attempt, there’s a nice apple flavour and just the right amount of cinnamon (IMO – though I know this is subjective thing) . I’m not quite getting the pastry flavour of the crust anywhere, though the base is a good match for the flavours.
I know the recommendation was to add sugar, but I like to try most of my teas plain first to get a good baseline – don’t worry, I’m not going to rate it yet.
As it stands I’m definitely not getting anything like birthday cake from it, though the tea has a mildly sweet, slightly buttery flavour that is quite nice. I’m not getting an overwhelmingly ‘herbal’ flavour than accompanies many tisanes and it goes down quite smoothly without drying out my mouth. I bet this blend would be great with my homemade orange/vanilla simple syrup, I’ll have to test that theory soon.