471 Tasting Notes
1 TB in a gourd with 250 mL water @ 98, drunk bare.
First, I gotta warm ya: the new ceramic mate gourd with bombilla at DavidsTea is a design FAILURE. It looks cute, but it gets WAYYYY too hot to touch. Seriously, there is no safe way to pick it up. The ceramic gets extremely hot. This could easily result in a bad scald.My hand has a slight burn from trying not to drop the damn thing.
The new Cocoa Canela mate blend, however, is quite good. Lots of cinnamon. Lots of chocolate. Some mate. Makes a very murky brew in the gourd, but that’s to be expected with the chcooclate and cinnamon. It’s a sweetish, mily chooclate flavour, and the cinnamon is fresh and penetrating.
4 tsp for 750mL @100C for 5 minutes and 30 seconds in the Breville, basket cycle on. Drunk bare.
Fresh batch. Winier than the last batch. Distant smoke. Liquor in the glass Breville pot is more red than brown. Some floral and toasty notes. A thoroughly enjoyable Keemun.
1.5 tsp for 250mL water @80C, steeped two minutes, drunk bare.
Cleaning out my tea cabinet to make room for my Persian tea glasses, and I found this beauty in a good tin. Why don’t I gave this more often? (I say the same about Dragonwell.) Mostly because there’s only a standard kettle at my workplace, so it’s hard to judge water temp.
Biscuity, a bit sweet, and a creamy-green taste. Refreshing and a bit different after a lot of Keemun. This is a first infusion; I am guessing the leaves are good for at least two more steeps.
Made for me at a DavidsTEa store.
And you’re saying, Michelle, for the love of all that’s good and pure, stop trying the flavoured teas, because you hardly ever like them.
I live in optimism.
This one is pineapple-flavoured hot water. Some mineral notes as the liquor cools. That’s it.
I just, this minute, ordered the 4oz re-issue. CAN HARDLY WAIT … and shipping to Canada is 9-11 DAYS.
1.5 tsp for 250mL water @95C, steeped seven minutes, drunk bare.
This tea has one delightful and unusual charactertisic: the longer is steeps, the sweeter the finish. A longer steep does obscure some of the nuances I talked about earlier, and it makes the liquor look like coffee, but the blend of tastes, now dark plums, dark honey, oak, and and toasted bread, is very agreeable. Body remains light as plain water. Finish is sweet, as noted, with some faint oakiness that could get bitter, and mineral. Superbly refreshing.
1 bag for 250mL water @100C, steeped five minutes. Drunk bare.
Well, look what I just found, hinding in my tea cupboard. This blend is an old favourite from university, back in the early 1990s. I had a kettle in my dorm room, which I’m pretty sure was against some rule or another, and, after far too little sleep, I’d plop a bag of this into a travel mug, pour in the boiling water and lurch to class. I’d leave the bag in, desperate for any spare molecule of caffeine. I also liked the Assam notes.
CTC leaf that does not swell much. Liquor is dark and murky. Scent is all malt and biscuits with, believe it or not, a very faint floral note. It’s not bitter, but it does get assertive: no doubt, you’re drinking an Assam-heavy blend.And that’s just fine on a damp, foggy and cold day here in St. John’s.
I’ve drunk better Irish Breakfast blend. My local indie shop. Britannia, sells one so strong and malty it’ll make your socks roll up and down. Stash’s own loose leaf IB, and their loose Super IB, arem preditably, better than their bagged version. But the bagged IB gets serious nostalgia points. It was also one of my gateway teas, so I owe it gratitude. You can do much, much worse in a bagged tea.
1.5 tsp for 250mL water @ 95C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.
This is a really good Ceylon tea. Bright and cheerful.My mom-in-law will make an entire 6-cup pot from the amount I use for a cup, so it’s pretty versatile. Forgives an accidentally long steep, but I find I really like it at the four-minute mark. Would welcome cookies and shortbreads, I think; I’d fearlessly serve this as a fancy tea party.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @95C. Drunk bare.
Well, unlikely many of the blends at DavidsTea, I _can_actually taste the tea in this one. The balance of strawberries and little bits of sugar is quite nice, and, thank the tea gods, there’s no freakin hibiscus in this blend. But but but — and I’m being difficult — I wish I could taste more tea than I can strawberries and sugar.
I expect this might be quite nice, if a little weak, cold-brewed for an iced tea.
1.25 tsp for 250mL water @100C. Drunk bare.
I have no idea if my city’s water is hard or soft. I can tell you it comes directly from a lake, with minimal treatment. The City might up the chlorine in summer, but otherwise my tap water tastes very clean: a bit reedy, with some faint mineral notes. So far, it’s never let me down when making tea, so I don’t bother with expensive and, frankly, bothersome 18.l L jugs pf springwater.
So I can’t say if Scottish Blend is any good for hard or soft water.
I can say it’s a very acceptable black tea blend, lighter than I expected, and one I would serve to my late Geordie grandmother without fear. I got a 250g package of it from a friend in Edinburgh, along with some Scottish sweets. Am I spoilt, or what? Scottish Blend smells malty and a bready, but the liquor is a medium reddish brown and quite clear. It’s more confident than assertive, and not bitter, even with a long steep. The body is light, which surprised me. There is a malty pucker at the end of a sip, but I’m thinking this is more Kenyan tea than Assam. The leaves are tiny, little CTC pinheads,and they don’t expand much. This tea would totally stand up to milk. I like it much more than I thought I would. Scottish Blend 1, Tea Snob 0.