4323 Tasting Notes
I am in the process of brewing some of this (double strength) to drink tomorrow as traditional Thai Iced Tea, but, I decided to try a cup of it hot first (not double strength) to see how I like it hot.
It’s really quite fabulous served hot, too. The black tea is good and strong, which makes me hopeful for the iced tea to come, but I can also taste the spices. The vanilla is soft and creamy. YUM! Can’t wait to try this iced tomorrow!
This is an amazing Earl Grey. Perhaps not my favorite, I think that the Earl Grey Excelsior still holds that title, but this one deserves high marks. This one does have mixed reviews, and I think that is because there are many who just are not fond of Earl Grey (how could that possibly be? This tea drinker doesn’t get it. I know that every palate is as individual as the person who possesses it … but, still) and this is truly an Earl Grey. The bergamot is clear and focused, and tastes crisply citrus-y with its lovely tangy quality. The slight tongue-tingly sensation can come off as a bit perfume-ish, because that was my initial reaction, but now as I’m more than halfway through the cup, I realize that this is more of the tart-tangy taste of the bergamot, and not so much perfume.
A really, really good Earl Grey.
The second infusion is noteworthy because the tones have all softened. Not really lightened as in diminished, but softened as in become quite harmonious with one another … melding into a more unified flavor that is floral and sweet and soft and creamy. I think I like this second infusion even better than the first.
I find this tea to be confusing … or at least, I think that the Spice and Tea Exchange is confused. The ingredient lists green tea, whereas the description and title calls this a White tea, and the leaves look like white tea to me.
This has a very romantic overture to it, the rose and the jasmine and the lavender are the most prominent flavors here, with the rose being the primary focus. The peppermint is rather soft, really, and seems content to sit off in the background. The white tea is not lost here, either, and offers a light, sweet, slightly creamy taste to the pleasing floral tones.
I’m on my fifth infusion now, and I’ve noticed that in these later infusions, a sour fruit taste begins to emerge. Not overwhelmingly sour, but a nice contrast to the sweet and creamy notes of the tea. A vegetal tone is also emerging – it is slightly sweet and complements the other flavors.
A really like this Oolong, and the more I sip it, the more I enjoy it.
This is a pleasing Milk Oolong. The leaves were a bit smaller than I expected them to be, not all of them looked to be in tightly wound pellets the way I usually find with a Milk Oolong.
The flavor is beautifully sweet but not overly so, and it does have a very pleasing creaminess to it, although I did not find this to be quite as creamy as I usually notice with a Milk Oolong. It could be that it is a naturally occurring milk Oolong rather than a flavor enhanced one.
I find this to be very enjoyable. Sweet, creamy and quite soothing.
Wow! This is remarkable. This is truly a unique green tea, quite unlike any other that I’ve tasted. It is perhaps the smokiest green tea that I’ve tried, and the smoke element gives this a pleasing savory quality. The union of rich green tea flavors together with the smoke is quite delicious, lightly sweet and very savory … Definitely a must try, in my opinion!
Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me a bit of this chai. It’s amazingly good.
There is a lot going on with this chai, but, it all works together so very well! It is a chai blend that I think can appeal to a wide range of tea drinkers because of the different flavors that are represented here, and what I like is that no one component overpowers the rest. It is a very pleasing balance between warmly spiced chai, black tea, chocolate and mint. It isn’t overly spicy, but it is warm enough to tell you that you’re drinking a spiced chai. The black tea is a bit mellow in the midst of these other strong flavors, but it isn’t completely obscured. The chocolate is there and the mint, giving this a dessert-y kind of goodness. This is one of those chai blends that I sip and elicit an audible mmmm~ afterward.
Last night, I received a request to try this tea. “I’m eager to know what you think of the new black tea base” said this request. So, I was happy to go a bit out of order and try this one. I confess that way behind in sampling my teas of the week from 52Teas … what can I say? I have so many teas to try and not enough palates or bladder space to drink them all at once.
After allowing it to cool a few moments, I took a sip, sort of casually, almost aimlessly, and my first reaction was “wow, this is a really good black tea.” Without even taking a moment to consider that this was a flavored tea, I started thinking of this as a magnificent black tea that is sweet, almost caramel-y, rich, and full-flavored. I started thinking of other “pure” black teas that are similar to this. Then I sort of shook my head when I realized that this is a flavored black tea, not some high quality, tippy, pure black.
This reaction, in my opinion, is the highest praise a tea lover can bestow upon a flavored tea, because more often than not, flavored teas are about the flavor and not so much about the tea underneath it all. Here, black tea and flavor have united seamlessly, with the flavor of cotton candy (and yes, I definitely DO taste cotton candy) highlighting the black tea in such a way as it essentially becomes a component of the tea and not an addition of flavor, if that makes sense.
And I think that this new base has everything to do with that. And let me examine this newly crafted, 52Teas’ base. It is bold and rich … much more well-rounded than 52Teas previous black tea base. The background flavor is SOLID and invigorating. It is robust and flavorful: sweet, malty and has a rich, bake-y kind of background to it, reminding me quite a bit of a Fujian black tea in many ways. And this is a very good thing, indeed.
When compared to the previous blend that 52Teas has used, this one is less astringent, and without bitterness. I do not need to come up with different parameters to brew it, I can brew this just the way I’d brew other black teas: 2 1/2 minutes in boiling water in my Breville. I don’t have to adjust the temperature or the brew time to assuage the black tea base the way I used to with other 52Teas.
Frank, you’ve crafted an excellent base here. I am very pleased, and so look forward to trying your future blends with this base (particularly my double chocolate decadence)! But for now, I this one deserves high marks!