1868 Tasting Notes
I got this tea from the Urban Tea Merchant in downtown Vancouver. I was disappointed that they stopped stocking THÉ Ô DOR, but TWG seems to be a pretty decent replacement line.
I’m never quite sure how to steep black tea/green tea blends so in this case I temporized by doing a slightly lower temperature and less time than I would for a straight black tea. I love the Bourbon vanilla scent of this blend – it’s sweet and rich and makes me think of baking sugar cookies. Unfortunately the flavour is more vegetal and less vanilla-y than I would like, although the vanilla is still certainly there. There’s also hints of something else under the vanilla – maybe something citrusy and traces of some sort of spices.
I followed the steeping direction more closely this time – 1/2 tsp in 8oz water at 77C for ~3 min – and it seems to have paid off. The tea is much smoother and less bitter and while there’s still some astringency it’s more like that of a dry red wine. It’s slightly grassy in a way that reminds me of a Japanese green tea but this is balanced out by a sweetness that’s a little bit fruity. Very interesting, all told.
I bough this tea more out of curiosity than anything else. I have tried bottled kombucha in the past with….not so great results. But as this is mixed with green tea I hoped it would go down better.
The smell is very fruity, like plums or papayas, but there flavour is more minty green tea with a hint of fruit and something tangy which I think is supposed to be the kombucha. It’s not half bad for a bagged green tea, although I was expecting a little bit more kombucha than there actually was.
Another old sample dug out from my tea cupboard. I’ve never tried a Hawaiian oolong before this – in fact I never knew Hawaii grew any tea at all. The fist steep (at 4 min) is rich and full bodied. It’s lightly sweet and slightly fruity with a hint of warm spiciness that reminds me a bit of ginger.
Subsequent steepings were lighter and a bit more woodsy/evergreen-tasting, but they still kept a hint of sweetness. It’s a unique and complex tea that I really enjoyed. Sadly my sample was only one cup’s worth and since Chi of Tea isn’t in operation anymore I’ll have to see if I can track down other sources.
This tea comes courtesy of the Victoria Tea Festival – a tea store based in Coquitlam called Dream Tea Boutique (http://dreamteaboutique.com/) imports Forsman teas (which is apparently a Finnish? tea company). I haven’t seen Forsman teas for sale anywhere else in the country which is a shame since they have a nice selection of both flavoured and unflavoured tea.
The black tea base they use is a smooth, light Ceylon that compliments the fruity flavours without being weak. The cantaloup flavours are nice and not too strong or artificial and I can taste a hint of the dried pineapple in there too. I bet this would be lovely iced.
I absolutely loved Frank’s Strawberry Zabaglione so when this was offered up as a reblend awhile back I pounced on it as fast as I could.
The smell of the tea reminds me of blueberry shortcake – very sweet, fruity and dessert-ish. The flavour is distinctly blueberry but there’s something more to it as well – there are sweet, almost creamy notes that make me think of vanilla. Like the strawberry version I bet this tea is great with milk, but I wanted to try it plain first to get a proper sense of the flavours.
First of all, let me say that I love the smell of the dry leaves – they’re like butterscotch but the brandy has a distinct scent all of its own. The tea brews up smooth and sweet and I can taste the brandy in the flavour – the lack of which was the main beef I had with the Brandied Apricot Honeybush by the way. There’s a rich, cakey note that makes this blend very decadent and dessert-like.
This chai reminds me strongly of how Starbuck’s chai used to taste before they got all cheap are started using that wussy, sugary syrup instead. It’s a big, bold chai with a nice, well-balanced mix of spices. I love the light ginger notes that are woven through it as many chais just go with the basic cardamom/cinnamon/cloves and leave it at that. I’m going to have to try this as a traditional-style latté next time.