1684 Tasting Notes
The dry tea smells sweet, and oddly a bit like vanilla. It doesn’t linger after the water is added though. The brandy flavour is quite strong and wine-like, which is nice because in the past ‘brandy’ teas haven’t always tasted much like brandy. The apple flavour is more subtle but it comes out when the tea cools off a bit. It isn’t as malty as I would expect from an Assam – in fact it’s a bit more like a very robust Darjeeling with that wine-like, muscatel flavour.
This is a rather brisk tea, a bit similar to a Darjeeling – not too surprising I guess, as the Darjeeling region is close to Nepal. This has a bit more body to it though and doesn’t really have that fruity muscatel flavour. This one has a almost a woody character.
It’s a not really a tea that would be suited to adding milk, but it’s a bit to brisk for my tastes when taken plain.
Last ‘breakfast’ tea of the day – I have a big paper due tomorrow so I figured it was time to get out the big guns. This one is a rich and robust and, while the packet didn’t mentioned where the tea was from, I’m reasonably sure based on the distinct malty flavour that it’s an Assam of some kind. This is a tea that’s definitely better enjoyed with milk as it brings out some of the subtler flavour components such as those nice fruity notes.
Here’s hoping that it’ll keep me awake for the next several hours.
The colour of this tea was distinctly different from the previous one, more of the typical tea-ish golden brown colour. Interestingly I found this tea to be more astringent than the English Breakfast – it’s not horridly so, but I didn’t find it very palatable without the addition of some milk. Milk gives it a nice smoothness and there are some faintly sweet undertones.
I’ve come to associate Ceylon as the default black tea and that’s definitely what this one feels like to me. It’s a higher quality of ‘default’ than most, but I have a hard time getting excited about it.
I’ve decided to try and compare all the ‘breakfast’ teas in my sampler today. English breakfast has become the almost stereotypical ordinary tea. However that doesn’t mean it can’t also bee a good tea.
This one has that classic rich, reddish colour and toasty aroma and flavour along with a solid, middling robustness. I can taste hints of malt and maybe just the barest trace of muscatel astringency from the darjeeling. I enjoyed it plain as well as with milk and a touch of honey. This is the sort of tea the world runs on.
I think this came to me in a travelling Teabox – but I can’t recall which one. The tea appears to be mostly rose petals but I can spot some white tea leaves and lavender flowers in the mix too. Individually I love the scents of all the ingredients involved – but blended together the end result is rather odd and somehow reminds me a bit of dill pickles. Thankfully it doesn’t also taste like dill pickles so we’re all good. ;) The white tea get s a bit lost in the middle of the other ingredients – sweet rose, soothing lavender and cool mint, but the ingredients combine surprisingly well together.
I got a sample packet of this tea from the GCTT and it had enough in it for two cups of tea. It was surprisingly smooth and non-astringent for a Darjeeling while still holding that typical muscatel flavour and a bit of a woodsy undertone. It’s a much less finicky tea than a 1st flush Darjeeling (which I can certainly appreciate) while still being complex enough to be interesting.
It was the smell of this tea that made me buy it – it was like a freshly-squeezed glass of orange juice. The flavour is a bit less on the orangy side but it mingles with sweet, fruity notes. I noticed an odd, slightly smokey aftertaste, which comes from the maté I think which throws me off a little bit. But in general it’s a bright, refreshing tea that isn’t overly tart like many citrus teas are.
A small baggie of this came to me courtesy of the Great Canadian Travelling Teabox. It was great because I’ve tried a few of Red Leaf Tea’s matchas before but with shipping they’re a bit pricy for my budget so I don’t get the opportunity to try all the flavours I want.
This marks the first time ever making my own matcha latté. I got a milk frother for Christmas this year and I was eager to put it to use. This one was very much trial and error and uber unprofessional – I started with about 2 of those bamboo scoops of matcha sifted and whisked into an oz or so of 75ºC water. Then I added 8 oz of skim milk, heated in the microwave and frothed. The flavour wasn’t quite strong enough so I added another scoop and a half (-ish) of matcha and a drizzle of agave nectar. The end result wasn’t half bad – not coffee-shop quality by a long shot – but certainly drinkable. I found that I mostly got raspberry flavour from the matcha and very little chocolate, but that might be the barista’s fault. ;)
So how do the rest of you make your DYI lattés?