346 Tasting Notes
this is a nice tea… almost a revamped version of a jasmine blossom tea. if you are inclined to add cream (as i usually am) resist the urge, really. with cream it somehow goes from a nice, light floral to a honeysuckle/bull kelp. (i kid you not)
it doesn’t possess an overpowering floral, very reminiscent of walking in a spring garden and once you’ve passed the flowering shrub the scent stops. it reminds me more of a green oolong than a black. no astringency, a small amount of caffeine stick but it’s not at all unpleasant.
there are a few ‘problems’ that aren’t exactly problems and they are these:
- i started with a tea that i wound up adoring yesterday, the milk oolong, and i just don’t like this one as much.
- something about it makes me think i would only ever want to drink it in spring or summer. wrong flavours for fall and winter.
- this last one comes from my wife after she sniffed it: ’it’s a smell i would wear, but not one i would drink’. not so much one i would wear, but i see her point.
a floral jasminesque that james’s wife would prefer to wear than drink.
and one last time: you really don’t want to add milk!
i got this gracious sample from CHAroma. thank you kindly.
i have to be the odd man out on this one… i loved the smell, but one way or another the smell did not translate to taste. the tea overpowered the taste and all the cotton candy smell dissolved.
it’s a distinct possibility that this was operator error, but i don’t have any left for a do-over. no number, not when i can’t back up my result.
… … … it smelled great!
right off the bat, thanks to angel for this wonderful sample! ‘in your experience how is teavivre’s customer service, james?’ funny you should ask, because i was planning on mentioning that first off (because that’s what we all consider first with a tea delivery, lol).
my teavivre samples arrived yesterday afternoon. i was running around like a crazy man and didn’t even have a chance to open the box until evening. then (following short sorceress’s very sensible plan) i vowed not to open it until i had finished my other open samples… after all no tea purchases (mostly) until august. and then i got an email.
it was angel from teavivre. she had received notice that my parcel had arrived and she wanted to make sure there was no damage to the samples. well i HAD to open it up then, didn’t i? it would be rude not to! seriously, i was very impressed… watching the delivery confirmations, checking for damaged samples??? i have received free tea samples before— as a rule the companies aren’t too worried about whether there’s any damage when it’s sent for free. it was also significant that teavivre appeared to be as happy about me receiving my samples as i was to have them. huge props specifically to angel for that lovely bit of diligence.
the tea, ooooooooooooooh the tea. light, sweet, creamy, mild floral notes finishing up with a mild marine note. echoes of a green oolong. no astringency, no caffeine stick on my tongue. this is a comfort tea. the kind that hugs you when you are stuck in traffic and running late. it is naturally sweet and when i take a small sip it seems to fill up my mouth.
i was up early today, running all over the city with nothing but this tea to keep my sanity. i was pressed into a new assessment protocol with this one; i took an extra five minutes (which made me late, but too bad) and recorded my observations on my iphone. another thing: i am notoriously bad for resteeping. i am generally so busy trying new teas that i only steep the one time. the sample package i opened this morning is the only tea i have had all day. why? 1)because i like it that much, 2) because it is that good on a resteep.
i really like this tea, so this is where i take a moment to become a drama llama… (i also sincerely believe this has been well earned):
impressive. in every way. yes i will buy it when i run out of samples.
OH! AND THAT WAS NOTE NUMBER 100!!! appropriate that i hit triple digits with such a great tea…
first off, i believe i updated the tea info correctly for this excellent blend… it took some digging on tao tea leaf’s site, but if it’s wrong feel free to lecture, lol.
the description for this tea is bang on… it’s a sweet souchong, for which i am hugely grateful. a number of us have been discussing allergies on here tonight and one of my many is smoke. incense, cigarettes, the oven being cleaned. i think as a result i dislike/can’t tolerate smoke in tea. to my delight this one was just the right mix of sweet and smoke.
thank you so much scribbles for this great little baggie of surprise. i am enjoying it as we speak! lovely with cream and sugar (i do smoke creamed, lol)… i will try it all by it’s lonesome another day. today i crave my standard comforts. it has been another looooong medical day.
scribbles, is tao tea leaf giving you an extra discount or a stipend at all? because i will buy this one in future. xoxo
steep 2: less sweet but no increase in smoke. takes on a marine tone, but not unpleasantly so… like a sweet mild version of seaweed. there is also an echo of puerh in it… again, very gently. just a hint.
this really has been a very odd tea weekend… i’ve suspended numerical pronouncements more times this weekend than i ever have in my entire loose leaf drinking history! that’s not what i’ll be doing with this one… but it will be in the ball park.
like frank, 52teas alchemist/magician/cookerer i did not know what zabaglione was. i thought i did, but i was wrong. in my head it was a tart with strawberries and mascarpone cheese. thus when i tasted it i had a moment of pause…
i have no idea what kind of a real world dessert/bacon/jello baker frank is, but in terms of tea he is pretty skookum! this is a man that i would be happy cooking a pancake and bacon breakfast for me! im sure he’d pile on the butter and syrup, although we might have a brief heated discussion to the effect of ‘no, i do not want the bacon IN the pancakes’, but seeing as we haven’t met i could be way off in that statement. (something about their website strikes me that frank may have a small obsession with the bacon food group is all, lol). ANYWAY, i was surprised when i didn’t taste pastry.
… … … i was chagrined. frank makes awesome tea pastry! and pancakes, and french toast, and danii (the plural of danish… yes, my invention). where was my pastry? my buttery, flaky, liquid version of a crispy pastry to go with my strawberries and mascarpone? and speaking of which, where was my mascarpone??? i wished briefly i were in a restaurant so i could have an aside with chef frank!
and then i looked a bit more closely at the picture on the label… it didn’t have mascarpone or pastry. i was beginning to feel an overdeveloped sense of responsibility (the word guilt is so overdone).
following frank’s example i posed the question to the all knowing dr. google: ‘what is strawberry zabaglione?’ here is the short version of the answer: http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/sites/bbcgoodfood.com/files/recipe_images/recipe-image-legacy-id—9921_11.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/6319/strawberry-zabaglione&h=400&w=440&sz=20&tbnid=qtarfLGZBW-0XM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=99&zoom=1&usg=__6jg8fMJBZcG7a53d4ZBzn6JZ9zA=&docid=X7wR9peJ8PooOM&sa=X&ei=YRvjUe7tDIiviQLgyIHgCg&ved=0CE4Q9QEwAw&dur=3799
the less codified answer is ‘strawberries and whipped cream. aw… i’m sorry frank! here i thought you had dropped the tea ball, and you didn’t.
this tea is absolutely strawberries and whipped cream. i think maybe frank could have swirled the whipped cream up into a fancier shape… like a swan or a 52, but i get that he might have been busy. the black tea background is there and nicely blended with the rest of the blend. there is nothing overpowering or any flavours that should be there that are not.
pedal to the medal: okay frank, the number you see is for your accomplishment, this tea is totally fancy strawberries and whipped cream… i don’t taste the little glass dish and silver spoon, but hey— i’m not sad about that.
HOWEVER if i were given the chance to buy the tea (yes i know it’s archived) i wouldn’t… simply because i also wouldn’t buy the dessert. i’m a pastry guy, lol.
okay, so for some unknown reason i was prompted to try this tea. i tend to have an aversion to cinnamon, similar to my banana bias…. call me a masochist, but i wanted to know how the chilli pepper went with the cinnamon.
i don’t usually do spice, so erring on the side of caution i leafed following the instructions (so unlike me). it’s a good thing i did! this tea has got game! i got heat in a ring around my tonsils… which is weird seeing as i was born without any!
whew! predictably, i’m in a great mood now, lol. (spice causes endorphins to be released)… wonder what will happen if i do my usual leafing? heh heh.
i like this one. american tea company is an interesting vendor… creative combinations.
OKAY: there are actual chilli centers in this blend…. i doubled my leaf and my steeping time. HOLY HANNAH!!! (can’t imagine what it would be like if i weren’t complete chicken that put cream in it, lol!
NEVERMIND! as it cools it gains more teeth!!! even WITH cream. i don’t even taste cinnamon at this point and it’s a creative thing if i hiccup. i will be ordering this again…. it’ll reduce my hydro bills in the winter!!!!