1858 Tasting Notes
A new tea store opened in my town – much to my surprise since we’re mostly a Tim Horton’s coffee kind of place, in my opinion. I checked them out and they’ve got a pretty decent selection – not so many single-estate teas, but lots of good blends.
This one is great as a good, basic chai tea. The base is a robust CTC black and the spices are well balanced. Nothing too special but it’s a good, solid tea and goes great with daal pakoras. I might try doing a traditional-style chai latte with it next time.
I added a teaspoon of wildflower honey to this cuppa and found that it make it taste like citrus-flavoured candies. I was hoping that it would also bring out the cheesecake flavour a bit more, but no such luck. Despite this lack I find it hard to knock such a great-tasting tea.
The smell of the dry blend is rich and vanilla-y with a nutty undertone. It turned a bit more herbal as the tea steeped and the colour was super dark – like a cup of black dark-roast coffee, I guess.
The first sip was shockingly bitter but after that inital mouthful the flavour improved. I almost never drink coffee (because it makes me hideously ill) but I imagine that it’s meant to taste similar to it – I know that chickory root was used as a coffee substitute when the latter was too expensive or scarse (such as the infamous Ersatz coffee). It’s maybe a bit strong for my tastes, but I’m tempted to try it with milk and/or honey next time. Colour me intrigued. :D
I think this tea came out of the Travelling Teabox and it’s been sitting in my cupboard for a fair while. It’s clearly labeled as comming from SBS Teas but I can’t seem to find it anywhere on their website, although given the length of time I’ve been hanging on to this blend I guess that isn’t too surprising.
The tea itself is rather underwelming, mildly floral – mostly jasmine and only a hint or orange, but mostly there was just a generic tea flavour. It’s not terrible – the floral notes aren’t too perfumy, but it doesn’t wow me. I’ll probably trade off this one.
Normally I don’t drink Chinese blacks with milk apart from the occaisional keemun. Yunnans, which this tea resembles a bit, in particular don’t work well with additives I’ve found. None the less I decided to experiment this morning and added a splash of skim milk, which to my surprised worked out quite well. It really brought out those faint cocoa notes and gave the whole thing a nice, smooth finish.
I’ve seen this tea in the store before but I always gave a it pass thinking that it was just another fruit tea that used a bunch of hibiscus to replicate the tart fruit flavours of the pomegranate. It wasn’t until I got a few bags of this tea in a swap that I was proven wrong. Firstly when I added the water there was no tell-tale bleed of red – the tea stayed a soft, pale-golden hue the entire time it steeped.
The flavour is lightly sweet and fruity – I wouldn’t say it’s quite real pomegrante, but it’s a heck of a lot closer than the hibiscus blends usually are. It’s still quite a natural-tasting tea, delicate and subtle. It would be lovely iced, I think.
Woah, smells like bacon! This Russian Caravan is maybe a bit more smoked than what I generally like. Rather than using the usual Chinese black teas they seem to have gone with the more conventional (and cheaper?) Indian black teas. And you can tell as the tea has more bitterness and astringency than what I’m used to tasting in most Russian Caravan blends. Meh.