4449 Tasting Notes
Of the three teas in the third series, this was the tea I feared the most. I am not a smoky tea fan by any stretch of the imagination. I can appreciate a delicate smoky back note to a tea so long as it enhances the overall tea flavor. But one that is so strong in its smoky essence that this is the first aroma I sense, and the first flavor I taste… not for me.
But I still ordered the collection as I was lured in by the Steepster Select offer… and I do love the Earl Grey and especially the Jasmine of this collection. And… I must admit, I LOVE the tin and its graphics. Reminds me of Motley Crue.
Yet, I am a taster, so I didn’t want to let this tea to without tasting it. It is smoky. I “rinsed the tea.” It is still smoky. I added raw sugar. It is still smoky. Then I heated up some milk, added a dash of cinnamon to the milk, and whipped it into a froth, and turned this smoky tea into a smoky latte. It’s still smoky. But, with the little touch of cinnamon and the latte… it’s a tolerable smoke for me.
My dear Doulton … if you don’t mind, I am sending the rest of this to you. I have seen how much you love it, and I truly appreciate the work you put into the Dammann Frères teas. I hope that this small token will show you how much I do appreciate it. I also hope you don’t mind… but, I took the tea out of the tin. I … um… collect tins. And I love this one… The tea, sans the tin, but safely deposited into a tea storage bag… will be headed your way in tomorrow’s post.
Thank you Doulton
This tea smells amazing! The fruity aroma is very strong. The blood orange is the most pronounced scent, but I can smell that there are other fruits there, and upon closer examination, I could detect a distinct berry-like scent as well as that of peach. I knew there was something else there too, but I wasn’t sure what… so when I checked the Dammann Frères website, I saw that this is a blend of blood orange, peach, strawberry and cherry. It was the cherry that I couldn’t discern, but now that I know what it is, it seems very clearly to me to be cherry.
As other Steepsters have noted, the flavors are quite a bit softer than the aroma would lead one to believe. But that doesn’t bother me at all, because I like that I can really taste the tea in this blend. The fruit flavors are there though, don’t get me wrong. I really like the balance of flavors in this cup. I like the sweet fruity flavors, the strong black tea presence, and the slight sharp note that I detect in the finish that I contribute to the sunflower petals.
A beautifully flavored tea!
This is a sampling from Doulton (Thank you!!!)
The very first flavor I got when I took a sip was that of raisin. Since that is pretty unusual for me when it comes to raisin teas (generally, I have to drink a little bit before I get much raisin taste), I was quite happy to taste the raisin immediately.
The chocolate is quite a bit more subtle for me. Now that I am about 1/3 of the way into the cup, the chocolate is more pronounced, so it just took a while for the chocolate to hit.
I am really liking this tea. Still not my favorite from 52Teas, but it is really good.
This arrived in today’s mail and I am so excited to try it.
It’s really good! Because it’s hot it’s difficult for me to say it “tastes like Neapolitan ice cream” but the flavors are all in there… I can taste the strawberry and the chocolate and even the vanilla. There is a creamy-ish taste to it too…
I like how the honeybush interacts with these flavors. Very good.
Time for some Oolong!
I almost (almost!) wish that I had postponed brewing this tea, because, shortly after I had, there was a knock on the door from FedEx delivering my order from Old Wilmington. Woo hoo – I like it when I receive two tea orders in one day! (The other one was from 52Teas)
But, I’m only “almost” wishing I had postponed this brewing, because, well, it’s hard to be disappointed in having a cup of this fantastic Oolong tea.
The honey notes are really profound in this cup. You really don’t need to add anything extra to the cup to get all this sweetness… it just naturally tastes like honey! In fact, this reminds me a lot of back when I was much younger. When I used to get sick, before I really got “into” tea the way I am now, and if I happened to be out of tea, I would heat up some water, squeeze a little lemon and add a generous dollop of honey… and drink hot, honeyed lemon water to soothe my sore throat. That is what this tastes like, sans the lemon.
Yummy Yummy Oolong! Many more infusions to enjoy!
Yep… matcha. I thought I had had enough of gadgets for the day as I am using a teapot, mary pop-in and tea cozy as opposed to my standard smart brewing device… but apparently not, since … I found myself walking to my tea cupboard and removing my chasen and chawan. I don’t know why I did it. I didn’t even think about it, it was like… “habit.”
Anyway… here I sit with a bowl of Matcha Miyabi in front of me. Pleasant, sweet, and that ever so slight touch of bitterness that I find so appealing. Lovely. So lovely, in fact, that just for fun, I have decided to give it another point or two…
Once again enjoying this generous sampling from Doulton
This time I decreased the steep time by about 30 seconds and found that the cup was even better than I remember it. The slight bitter taste that I noticed the first time around is not present now, just a very beautiful bergamot flavor. The tea is robust – surprisingly robust for a Ceylon. The bergamot is very strong here… citrus-y with a pleasing floral note.
I recently blended a batch of this tea (which has already sold out, thanks to some very devoted fans of the tea), but I needed to test it before I could ship it! So that’s what I’m doing.
Pleasant, smooth, and rich. I love the note of cinnamon which is not spicy – a sweeter side of cinnamon.
I chose to start my day with a Nilgiri. One of my two favorite black teas (with a good quality Yunnan being first, a good quality Nilgiri being second).
This one has a nice complexity. It is bright and flavorful, with interesting fruit-like notes (I can definitely taste a citrus-y flavor, especially right at the finish).
Very smooth and rich tasting for a medium-bodied tea. This is definitely a tea you want to watch carefully to not over-brew, as it can get bitter.
I had to use a different tool today to brew my tea (yep, had to grab a different gadget!) The brewing of the Fleur De Vie tea last night left my smart brewing device smelling quite like the very fragrant tea, so the device requires some added attention to free it of that aroma so that it doesn’t possibly affect the flavors of the teas that I brew today.
So, I got out a teapot, and used for the first time a Mary Pop-In. This seems like an effective tool to strain teas from a tea pot, but I don’t know how well it would fair with a rooibos or a finely cut chai. I shall have to do a little more testing.
I also used for the first time a tea cozy from Thistledown Cozies – I like this cozy! What it lacks in handmade charm it makes up for in conventional wisdom.
So, there! See! I can and do use gadgetry. However, there is something that is quite peaceful and meditative about simplicity when brewing tea, and I prefer that overall sense of calm to being the TEAtective Gadget, which is why I am so resistant to the gadgets in the first place. Tea isn’t just about good taste, it’s about that beautiful sense of serenity that comes from the process… it helps the chaos of everyday life melt away for a few moments each day.
The last time I wrote a tasting note on this tea, I was unsure about this tea. I liked it, but something felt a little off so I wanted to add a little extra leaf and adjust the brewing parameters a bit. I didn’t adjust the brewing parameters, but I did add a little extra leaf, and I do think I like it better now than I did.
I can taste the bergamot, but it is a gentler bergamot than a typical Earl Grey tea… the green tea is also a bit mild, but the tulsi is vibrant. These three flavors together with the rose create a very exciting and unique cup of tea that I’m enjoying quite a bit. The rose is really delicious in this blend… and really works well with the bergamot. (I also quite like tulsi and rose together).