390 Tasting Notes
thanks very much to MissB for this sample.
this blend baffles me a bit. the smell when dry is fresh blueberries, all the way. freshly picked, sitting in a bowl on my counter….
once the water is added it just becomes a tea. nothing special. except every now and then i got a whiff of fresh blueberries. the cooler it gets the more blueberry it becomes. curiouser and curiouser.
very nice as cool, just there as hot. hmmmm. no numbers, could have been operator error.
thank you so much to laurent and sophie for this sample…..
the description of this tea is wrong. it is appallingly understated and borders on misleading. strong words, i know. allow me to explain:
apple teas are rarely what they claim to be. they are rarely ‘apple pie with spices’, they are rarely even good bases for tisanes— the apple gets lost, becomes vague…. not sweet, not tangy, not there.
at this point i will segue: french teas are a different breed. the nuance, the layers, the hundreds of years backing the study….. still what could they do with an apple. just because it’s a french apple doesn’t mean it’s going to carry any more punch. while i was excited to have a famously named sample….. as soon as i saw ‘apple’ listed in the ingredients list my heart felt a little less buoyed.
wrong. WRONG. i need a size 22 font……WRONG.
if i’m not mistaken they chose crab apples. plenty. of. punch.
clever, so clever…. rose can be too perfumed, crab apple could be too bitter…. the acid aspect of the apples draws out the fresh petal suggestion of the roses, i get fresh flowers…. not an intense perfume. fruit, flowers…… all made brilliantly because of what seems to be a crab apple.
laurent, sophie, mes compliments tres sinceres.
laurent, sophie, my most sincere compliments.
this is the first and only apple tea i have ever found even remotely tolerable, nevermind outstanding.
i steeped for 3 minutes after a full boil, i think perhaps a slightly lower temperature for perhaps 2.5 minutes next time.
this sample came from the gracious Stephanie whom i am thinking of at this ungodly hour as i sip.
i have an exam in a few hours. i need to be able to think. which means i need to sleep….. instead i go over and over my information. this is NOT helpful!!!
the tea…. mild, minty, hopefully conducive to sleep in the near future. although going by the name i am not inspired to look up in awe at majestic trees or dodge charging elk (which has been known to happen in northern BC). to me this blend is a murky mint. i don’t get any oolong, birch, cinnamon or clove….. i smelled anise in the dry blend, but that is explained by the fennel. murky mint sums it up for me.
no numbers, c’mon, it’s 4:15. i’ll try one more time. at the moment though i’m not amazed.
this was an insightful inclusion by one miss VariaTEA in a return swap.
this blend calls old fashioned christmas trees to mind, the ones decorated with oranges studded with cloves in eccentric patterns, hung by huge loops of ribbon. the air is always spicy when i see them, almost sharp; cloves, orange peel and some invented element when they combine that i have never been able to identify… hmmmm a few tweaks and this could be a chai!
heavy spice, but beautifully balanced. a very good way to wake up, especially if you’re feeling rotten. very smooth base, very smooth transition into and out of the spice. the orange has a strong presence…. THERE IS NO PITH!!!! i am getting no lingering bitter after taste. full marks for that kusmi!
honestly, i am wondering where i can buy some of this. this could absolutely be my seasonal theme tea. thanks so much VariaTEA! such a thoughtful inclusion.
thank you so much to Stephanie for this sample. (her timing was very ninja-like…. quite cool!)
for those that have been following the nonsense that has been my life of late: i saw the emergency opthomologist yesterday. surgery likely in two weeks, steroids up until then. reading isn’t fun which means my exam on monday is going to be….creative? thus Stephanie-ninja’s package (and VariaTEA’s) found me yesterday!
the tea: hmmm. my sample does NOT look like this, first off, although the smell wasn’t too far from the photo. this tea would give darwin new insights, lol. (ie: the blend has a dramatic evolutionary shift).
i do not care for it hot. i scowled at it openly. i got no chocolate, no almond…. coconut? hah! i do try not hold grudges…. they serve no purpose but to grow poison trees. i channeled zen sipped again and….. MUCH BETTER! not robust. not clearly chocolate almond…. but the cooler it gets the more it improves.
i think the blend itself needs more oomph. an oomph boost! good idea… not done yet though. darwin could meddle!
VariaTEA was thoughtful enough to send me this sample, thank you much!
this tea has outsmarted me tonight, lol. now, i was fiddling with it trying to sort out the steeping time without searching the steepster data base…. but i didn’t think i was that challenging?
the base is a rare green, i would go so far as to say BARELY a green. it reminds me very much of mandala’s yellow tea. very light, very sweet. the base is so gracious i found myself wanting it uninterrupted, which is what the almond was doing.
on its own the almond is a very nice flavour! not too strong, very smooth, a nice combination of a fresh almond crossed with marzipan. no amaretto. the separate halves are very nice on their own…. i just don’t know if i want them together?
rather unexpected that! no numbers yet. =0)
this graceful tea has long gypsy curls, winding into cocoa, then twisting into malt. each arch is pronounced, distinct, but before long it wisps away and i must sip again. i am left with no bitterness or puerh mossiness…. just a memory of refined grace and surprise that this is in fact a puerh.
my cup has become a dark limpid pool of beauty. such a gracious gift from stephanie! thank you so much. most certainly the most evolved puerh i’ve ever tasted. so this is what the next level tastes like…..
i actually hit a sale!! i am renowned for missing them, lol.
exams begin next week. sounds like i may be having surgery done on at least one eye as early as tomorrow….. remember how i mentioned exams start next week? yeah. not too sure what happens if they decide to go after both eyes seeing as i have resistant infections in both. and yet, somehow, i just don’t have it in me to be stressed. studying, trying to make sense of christaller’s nonsense theory (trick is… to say that in an exam essay you have to fully understand it to be able to refute it and not get spanked, lol)…. and drinking tea. is the tea keeping me calm? because i really don’t see why i’m not more freaked out, lol.
this tea is nice and refreshing! caffeine that reminds me of an after eight! the first half of the cup is a dessert tea, but as it cools the mint evolves and the chocolate takes a back seat. the mint isn’t sweet or herbal as it cools, it becomes savory! not harsh, not overpowering. it in no way reminds me of tic tacs or toothpaste. ok, seriously…. it reminds me of mint culled from my garden after maybe 3 hours. a moderate peppermint, not a spearmint. paired with a dark chocolate. the hazelnuts are not obviously detectable, but add a nice creaminess to the base.
this is my first fall tea! very nice! must admit, teavana makes me smile. they know i’m picky and that i won’t be pushed. i found teas that were a good idea, but were incomplete. i have said this on occasion before and been met with blinks and crickets. what did we do after this tea? we made a custom blend. i had a lot of fun. maybe fun is why i’m not a wreck.
the teavana at mayfair rocks. and the manager, cedric, is very good at what he does.