1831 Tasting Notes
I love quinces, a friend of mine brought a bunch back from Iran and I’ve been cooking and making jam with them ever since. So I pounced on this when I saw it was Davids Tea of the Month.
The scent of the dry tea is odd and bit overpowering, it’s a very sweet, almost bubblegum like smell. There a bit of that odd perfuminess in the flavour, especially as the tea cools but there’s a sour undercurrent (thanks hibiscus). I can taste the actually quince flavours, the closest thing I can compare it to is a mix of pear and apple, but there’s just something off about the flavour profile that I don’t care for. It’s coming across as too artificial and sweet maybe.
I was actually given this tea by my coworkers while I was laid up in the hospital in January. Unfortunately I was on blood thinners at the time and, as I discovered, blood thinners interact with EVERYTHING. Fast forward to now and I’m off blood thinners (thank god, they’re awful) so I can finally try this tea.
The smell of the dry is lovely, it’s a cross between sweet apple and basil. Unfortunately the nuances of the other ingredients aren’t really present in the flavour and the tea most just tastes like basil – which is pleasent enough but not a tea I’d go out of my way to drink. Oh well it’s the thought that counts.
Butiki has the cinnamon gauged just right for this tea. It’s distinct without that overpowering liquid cinnamon hearts candy taste that other cinnamon blends can take on. It has a pleasent, gentle warmth rather than trying to scorch out your taste buds.
First of all I think it’ll be easier on everyone if we don’t compare this to the tradition monk’s blend (black tea flavoured with grenadine).
I was a bit leery of the longer steeping time and temperature, but this tea seems reasonably resilient and forgiving. It has a smooth feel in the mouth with floral hints but at the same time the it doesn’t dominate the tea which is always a concern whenever jasmine is involved. This blend also has that characteristic I’ve noticed with milk oolongs in that eating something sweet brings out a nice sweet, creamy flavour. It’s a quite an enjoyable blend and if I didn’t have so many green/white teas already I’d considered buying a pouch.
This actually came to me from the last GCTTB. Nilgiri isn’t a tea I often see sold as a single estate tea, it’s a type of tea that, like Ceylon, is usually fairly unremarkable and used more often as a base for flavoured teas than as something to be enjoyed plain. But this tea is quite interesting, its flavour reminds me distinctly of a Darjeeling with the drying astringency. It has those grape-y, wine likes notes that I usually get from an offering from Margaret’s Hope estates thousands if a miles to the north.
This sample is a blend made with a dark oolong and lots of other interesting bits. There are big whole rosebud, pieces of candied fruit and citrus peel and slivers of coconut. The rose notes seem to dominate though there are hint of the other ingredients as well and the base has a mild woodsy flavour. Interesting but maybe a little ‘busy’ – I’d almost say this tea would be better as a straight rose oolong.
I was staying in the area for a follow-up appointment with a doctor at Vancouver General, and this place was conveniently two blocks down both from my hotel and the hospital. It was earlier afternoon and I hadn’t had lunch so I ordered a slice of quiche and a pot of this tea. I love how they serve the tea in a little french press and you get to choose from a collection of pretty teas cups to drink your tea out of.
The quiche was decent, if not spectacular, but the tea was wonderful. It had a nice Ceylon base that complimented the oaky-peaty flavour of the whiskey. I had the first cup plain and the rest with milk and found that I enjoyed it equally both ways. Next time I’m back that way I’ll definitely buy some of the loose leaf tea.
I was never able to try Peach Hoppitea so I don’t have anything to compare this to. The first sip was unpleasantly bitter, a combination of the hops and Darjeeling base, I think. As I sipped though, the bitterness eased and I began to pick up the fruity flavour of the peaches on the end of each sip.
I’m not sure I really care for this tea, the bitterness is a bit too much to be truely enjoyable. I’ll give it a try with some honey next time to see if that improves matters
I’m finally getting around to drinking all those little 1 oz pouches I bought when Frank was clearing out his stock before turning the company over to LiberTeas. This one was a nice surprise, the malty flavour of a decent-quality Assam blended with smooth, slightly sweet vanilla and marshmallow flavours. I wonder if LiberTeas would consider bringing this one back?