228 Tasting Notes
this is very clever. brendan, if your goal is not just to blend a tea then i will state this one an absolute success.
let’s begin however, with what this is not: it is NOT graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate in a tea.
what this is: a snapshot of someone(s) crouched by a campfire, the wind blowing slightly against their favour, trying to pull the roasted marshmallows off their roasting stick without blistering their fingers (they escape mostly unburned, lol).
layers. i really can’t wrap my brain around how you accomplished them.
-i get heat and smoke. they are SEPARATE. and the smoke is not a souchong source. by diagnosis of my tongue it is campfire smoke. the warmth is distinct but seems not to be coming from a spice.
-cinnamon and a cookie qualifier are there… they chime in after the smoke and i would count as layer 2.
-layer 3 is fruit, although very distant and not nameable…. at least not in this first steep.
-4 a softness is beginning to start which i believe will end up as marshmallow.
i don’t know if this is the order that you put them down in, but this is how they manifest for me.
this is an impressive accomplishment. this is less a tea and more a stillframe. and this coming from someone who does NOT particularly favour smoke in tea.
i did amend my methodology given that you are so beautifully purist in your blending brendan: i overleafed (1.5 tbsp) for my 12 oz mug and 2) i used 1 tbsp of coconut sugar. i think the effect is brilliant.
as it cools the warmth is still there, the smoke is SWEETENING, but a charcoal element in also settling in. very, very nicely done.
so if this tea is a memory for you…. let me ask: did your fingers get burned? or was my tongue off? =0)
thanks to MissB for this excellent adventure!
NO DOUBT THEY WON A FIRST PRIZE!!!!!!!
this is a briliiant tea. WOW! fresh squeezed grapefruit juice as it was steeping, tempered by the bamboo shoots as i am sipping. fresh, sweet, lively, juicy: i taste the texture of pulp. i feel the texture of pomelo rind…. i get no pith (ie no lingering bitterness). beautiful!
i really wouldn’t have expected to love this tea as much as i do. i’ve been on a french kick for several months now and teas from our part of the world often just don’t match up…… that is NOT the case with this one.
i want a pound of this in a canister in my kitchen. all the time.
a HUGE thanks to MissB for this outstanding sample!!!
every 500 years there is an eclipse… the world is dark but for certain iridescent flowers. only upon the most still lakes and ponds does it gleam… the black lotus; invisible by sunlight, black light, flashlight… the only way to see this bloom is during the mere moments it exists as it floats silently by in the impossible light of the eclipse.
don’t close your eyes for an instant.
the black lotus exists only for that singular drift, which stacy lim knows all too well. the secret of the black lotus has been handed down from mother to daughter within her family since time out of mind.
brown sugar flowers drifting across the water, drifting tendrils of roots trace patterns along the water, contemplating the brief existence and amber legacy it would leave at stacy’s persuasive coaxing.
such a rare existence, such a rare privilege.
thank you ifjuly. such a beautiful experience you shared…
Thanks to MissB for this tidbit!
this is an unusual incarnation of a mint chocolate chip blend ;0)
okay, i cheated, i peeked at the ingredients, which (because i cheated) revealed absolutely nothing! mint is a given, chocolate too, there would be issues with my palate if i didn’t notice the tea…. but i’m getting citrus! there’s no reason to think the ingredients are other than as listed…. there are lemon breeds of peppermint, sage too for that matter. you can also have one crop affect another by proximity to something like lemon balm or lemon thyme.
the citrus note is neat! very unusual! i FOLLOWED THE DIRECTIONS for the first steep (yeah, yeah— pick your jaws up off the floor, lol) but next time round i think i’d prefer a longer steep.
no numbers til it sits on the counter for 4.5 instead of 3. ;0P
thank you to ifjuly for this sample….
it took me a minute to switch gears! i’ve been caught up with french apothecaries since my mammoth swap with ysaurella few months back!
i like the layers in this. there’s a sweet smoke— not a lapsang, almost a hickory dipped peach, an earthy warm tobacco, and then a crisp straightforward black. i like the fact that each layer is distinct but also mutually flattering.
thank you ifjuly! a lovely experience! i would say it’s nice to get back to basics but this really isn’t basic, lol! sneaky is a better descriptor!
if you had predicted it in advance i likely would have laughed (okay guffawed) in your specific direction but this blend jolted a DISCONCERTING (and embarrassing) movie quote from me…… MissB. were you aware of this? hmmm
in any case… as i was sifting through the beautifully packed bag of treasures B packed for me last night i was drawn away to an ethereal world of fauchon crosswinds and mariage freres chinooks. after a long day i settled down (gleefully) to choose my own adventure.
what stood out about this blend was the colours…. bright yellows and red against the tea. bright and festive, and the smell! a bolero indeed. that is when it happened— that is when words from a movie i saw ONE time under duress squeaked out: ‘you had me at hello.’ yeah. ‘jerry macguire’. it’s like finding yourself singing along with the canned elevator music. how appalling.
dry the blend smells intriguingly like grapefruit! once the water was added the spanish dancer became a chameleon. no more grapefruit, fresh peaches mixed with sweet smoke, a background of fig, but a spicy version as opposed to the straight succulent sweet.
beautifully sweet, brilliantly executed. thank you MissB. i don’t think even you could have predicted a spontaneous ‘jerry mcguire’ recitation. you know what though? i’ll wear it…. a blend like this is worthy of such a dire confession, LOL!
sigh. i was so excited when i found this at winners. i must agree with dexter3657….. mint, alas mint. and i say that LIKING mint for the most part! i actually think the issue is compounded by the blue mallow? but i can’t be completely sure.
i don’t taste raspberry, i don’t even smell it. i’ll try again before i apply actual numbers, because i wanted to love this tea…. i really did. and if i apply numbers now… they wouldn’t be happy numbers. (i’d like to try again before i go on record =0( )
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.