1858 Tasting Notes
It’s a damp, cold and foggy day so I’m just as glad to be curled up inside with my laptop and a mug of tea. There’s something about this tea that makes it suited to a crappy day like this. The dark oolong base is slightly toasty but has a smooth finish which goes well with the sweetness of the caramel. I do wish that the caramel was a touch stronger though, as it comes across more as a suggestion than a fact.
I opened the pouch of tea and and took a whiff and ended up inhaling a bunch of cayenne pepper. Five minutes of pain, swearing and a red, runny nose later I have a steaming mug full of the offending beverage. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, eat your enemies with your breakfast cereal, etc.
The flavour is less chocolatey than I expected, there’s a hint of cocoa but the tea mostly has this toasted, bread-like flavour. Then the bite of cayenne pepper hits you at the end, though it’s not as spicy as I’d feared. I’ll have to do a longer steep next time to see if I can get more chocolate out of this blend.
Er…so this was supposed to smell and taste like wine? …Okay then. While it steeped it smelled more like cinnamon syrup and the flavour comes across mostly as cinnamon-flavoured black tea. There’s a sweet, slightly grapey undertone that comes out more as the tea cools, but I was expecting something a bit more wine-like to be honest.
Christmas teas were half-off the last time I was at the Blue Teapot store in Vancouver, so I picked up this seasonal blend. It has a very smooth white tea base with a surprisingly nutty flavour and it’s not even the least bit vegetal in flavour like many Bai Mu Dans can be. The fruity apple flavours are subtle but they work so well with the base that there’s also a dessert-like quality to this blend. I’m not picking up much in the way of pepper though I don’t think the tea is really ‘missing’ it. Very yummy.
Another little sample I’m using up. I’ve always found it interesting how teas can naturally take on flavour like sweet cream or lilac flowers without any flavouring being added at all.
The first steep at 1.5 minutes had the initial flavour of a typical green oolong – slightly sweet and floral but there’s also a fresh, fruit-like juiciness that doesn’t quite come across as a citrus tangyness but hints at something like it.
The second steep (2.5 mins) turned the liquor a bright yellow shade. It was less floral but there was more a citrus taste and the tea as a whole had a fuller body and more rounded flavour.
The third steep (3.5 mins) was a bit lighter in colour and flavour but the bergamot flavours seemed like they were a bit stronger.
I could go on longer but it’s late and I don’t need a bunch of caffeine in my system keeping me awake. This was a fun tea and an interesting deviation from a traditional green oolong.
Wow, finally a pumpkin spice tea that does what it says on the tin. I took the tea plain this time, but I think it would be best with milk as the black tea base is slightly bitter. Even so it has a nice pumpkin pie/gingerbread flavour with hints of cinnamon in just the right amount of accent rather than overwhelm the other flavours.
I picked up this tea when the boyfriend-creature and I visited the Butchart Gardens last year – which incidently are absolutely amazing, so if you’re ever in Victoria, BC it’s well well-worth your time and money to go visit.
The tea isn’t anything that strikes me as extraordinary – just another fairly generic berry-flavoured black tea that stands out as neither fantastically good nor horrifically bad. The cornflower petals are supposedly from the garden itself though, which is a nice touch for all that cornflowers are more for visual appeal than for flavour.
I’m trying to use up all those little samples I’ve got cluttering up my cupboard so I dug this one out. It’s quite a lovely Assam, full-bodied and malty but without the harshness that some other Assams can take on. Actually it’s got an interesting sweet note that I noticed after the tea had a chance to cool off a bit. Really liking this one – I might buy some more whenever I get a chance to go back to Granville Island.