479 Tasting Notes
1.25 tsp for 250 mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.
I’m not a fan of flavoured teasm but I keep trying them. My local DavidsTea has a little rack at the cash of 25 g packets, 2 for $5.00, so I picked up 25g of Buttered Rum.
I can actually taste some tea in this one. The coconut is an inspiration, lending the liquor a creamy mouthfeel. Not too sweet, not too heavy, definitely a bit different. It smells like a Buttered Rum Lifesaver but tastes way better. I can see drinking this one a fair bit, to my pleasant surprise.
Made for me at a DavidsTea store.
I sniffed this one last week and found it dusty; I blamed the cinnamon. I also didn’t like th elook of it; dark oolong generally doesn’t appeal to me. And the former name, Dr CHocolate, irked me because the blend contains no chocolate. See? mbh, the tea bitch.
It’s got a pleasant ginger bite which balances well with the cinnamon and carob. Inoffensive. But I detected no oolong at all. I’d drink this medicainlly, but I doubt I’ll drink it for pleasure.
1.25 for 250mL water @90C, steeped 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes.
The first infusion gave up so much cream I thought I would swoon. I got three excellent infusions from the one little scoop, and could probably have gotten a fourth, more orchid than cream by then. I needed this tea so badly this weekend that I shook out my bag for every loose coin — I’ve just gotten my kids ready for school and really have no business buying tea right now — but oh, oh yes, it’s worth whatever ya gotta do to get some. As I’ve noted before, I don’t know where my local indie tea shop, Britannia Teas and Gifts, gets their Quangzhou milk, but it is better than what DavidsTea carries. Delicious, fragrant, nuanced, and creamy — perfection.
1 TB in 2/3 cup gourd, water @ 90C.
Smells sooo good, lots of cinnamon, but not air-freshener or bad candle cinnamon. The roasted mate itself can get bitter, but a lower temp on the water helps. Pleasant milk chocolate notes. Gives a decent mate buzz, though Jumpy Monkey is better for that.
1.25 tsp, steeped, er, God knows how long forgotten on my desk (11+ minutes), drunk bare.
I noticed yesterday that a five-minute steep brought out bitterness in the Tiger, but there’s no bitterness today. What I’ve got here, in my covered mug, is a thick and creamy Assam concentrate that remains, somehow, gentle. Not bitter. Not malty enough to strip paint (though there is a lovely pucker), and nowhere near acidic enough to upset my stomac, as some stronglybrewed black teas will. Floral and plum notes round out a chewy liquor that may well keep me awake through the night. A&D are correct; this one forgives a long steep. This is a really good Assam, mellow and easy-going, and well worth the price.
1.25 tsp for 250mL water@100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.
Like, omigod, the tea even came with, like, a blood-dripping A&D button I can pin on my jacket!
An excellent smoky China black tea. Not quite the same as I remember — it’s missing that almost savoury /salty note — but still a more nuanced smoky tea than many. The smoke scent is strong but not smothering, while the liquor itself, a light brown with some reddish tones, is mineral and sweet and sparkling — not carbonated, obviously, but giving definite bite. Smoky notes in the finish. A very light body. I may try making this stronger tomorrow.
1.25 tsp for 250mL water @100C, drunk bare, steeped 4 minutes.
I’ve had a hell of a week. A chronic illness has been seriously bullying me since last Saturday; my writing is a hard slog; the dayjob took every drop of blood out of me; I needed to get groceries on the way home; I arrived home late, supper-less, grumpy, and in a muck sweat, put away the groceries, then did a good half hour of heavy cleaning in the basement. Done that, I was in a foul temper.
And then I saw a rock band (Caravan) and a tiger on my dining room table.
Things are looking up.
The dry leaf is dark and rich-looking, with only the occasional fleck of amber. The leaves are long and smell damp-earthy for an Assam, but in a very good way. The liquor is reddish-brown, almost as reddish as a good Keemun. Aroma is winy rather than malty, with some cocoa and plum notes. Medium to heavy body, smooth mouthfeel, mineral start and finish with sweet malt and again, a slightly winey finish. A really good Assam — though I long for the Captain (ahem). Some surprising but pleasing buttery notes as I get further down the cup. Some malty pucker, too.
Tiger Assam is restoring my good will. Seriously, I’ve got this tea-dork smile on. And I got a button to put on my jacket with my order.
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.