1484 Tasting Notes
Taking this tea with milk this morning to give me a kick in the pants so I’ll be awake for classes. It goes nicely with milk, and tastes smooth, slightly sweet and slightly bakey, with a touch of malty flavour. I could see this becoming my staple plain morning tea.
Reducing the steeping time really helped get rid of some of that tree-bark taste this tea had. Now it’s more of a bakey flavour with some lightly spicy notes.
The second steep (@ 3:00) is light and sweet with notes of mild honey and fruit. The bakeiness is still there, faintly, mostly in the aftertaste.
I’m upping my rating of this tea – as it turns out the parameters just needed some tweaking.
I don’t normally drink strong black teas without milk, but this one was surprisingly pleasant taken plain. There’s very little mouth drying astringency or bitterness, and yet it packed an impressive kick that woke me up and cleared the cobwebs from my mind (no mean feet early in the morning!). It’s full-bodied and yet smooth with hints of maltiness and maybe even a tiny bit of smokiness.
Now that I’ve upped the steeping time, the tea tastes more like it’s supposed to tastes (theoretically). I can taste the citrus, though it’s light, and the chocolate notes are there – if I look for them that is. I’d still rather the chocolate be a larger part of the flavour profile.
This tea is ok with milk, but like I thought in my last post about this tea it doesn’t really add anything. Some Russian Caravan’s I’ve had (like that lovely one from Lavender Basics – *sniff *) went really nice with milk and actually tasted fuller and took on a slightly sweet note when drunk that way.
Like that Vanilla Date tea from 52Teas this one has been banned to a separate cupboard to keep it’s strong odor from permeating all my other teas. I’m noticing a bit of bitterness this time, though it’s mostly when the tea is quite hot and it mellows out as it cools. Maybe I’ll reduce the temperature or steeping time slightly.
The resteep is lighter and sweeter with a slight woody note that’s most noticeable when the tea is hot. It’s still quite smokey, but it’s a more unobtrusive sort of smokey.
Drinking the tea with milk this time which serves to tone down some of the harshness. I’m afraid I still can’t taste the pumpkin though – just the spices in the mix and a general tea-with-milk flavour.
Oh well, I guess you can’t love them all.
This tea is from my very first 52Teas order and the bag has been siting in my tea cupboard, unopened, for months because I already had so many teas open at the time and I didn’t want any to go stale. It was today that I had a look at my collection and decided “Yeah, today’s a good day for something new.”
I remember being excited about this tea when I purchased it – I love pumpkin pie, and it seemed like such an unusual tea flavour (of course since then Frank has come up with many more odder and more fascinating ones). It certainly smells wonderfully spicy in a way that can’t help but remind me of autumn and Thanksgiving. Unfortunately the flavour itself is rather underwhelming. I can taste the spices – mostly cinnamon – which oddly enough taste quite similar to Frank’s Apple Pie a la Mode. Actually I think they worked better in that tea than in this one; here they don’t have the creamy-sweet vanilla flavouring to take the edge off the spices and they come across as a little harsh. I can’t taste any pumpkin flavour – granted pumpkin isn’t a particularly strong flavour to begin with, but this is basically a spice tea…and nothing else.
From the reviews I’ve read of other pumpkin pie-flavoured teas, 52Teas isn’t alone in failing to meet people’s expectations. I wonder if it’s just that there’s simply no way for the tea industry to accurately replicate pumpkin flavour in a reliable way.
I got my hands on this tea courtesy of TeaEqualsBliss – she was a sweetheart a sent me a box full of teas to try a couple months back, and I still haven’t gotten around to sampling all of them.
The steeping instructions seem to indicate that this tea should be brewed gong fu style – unfortunately since I don’t really have the tea or the tea ware to do it that way I just stuck with the usual 1 teaspoon per mug of tea.
The brewing tea smells distinctly bakey and it lacks the light, floral scent I remember from the last ali shan oolong I tried. The flavour of the first steep (@ 3 min) is bakey too – bakey and toasted, like a piece of toast that just on the very verge of burning. This steep also has a slightly nutty aftertaste.
The second steep (@ 3:45) is less bakey and a much smoother cup altogether with hints fo sweetness as the tea cools, though it isn’t as nectar-sweet as some green oolongs can get (I’m not really sure if this qualifies as a green oolong or not). It also has faint nutty nuances throughout.