545 Tasting Notes
1 TB for 450 mL water, biggish splash of 2% milk.
Cayenne leads, but ginger at once smooths and sharpens the edges. Tasting some cocoa on the aftertaste, almost a comforting ‘There, there.’ Not tasting much Assam tea, but I expect I’d miss it were this blend made with a China black. All this sauciness needs a bold tea to stand up to it. Ahh, there’s the Assam, again, on the aftertaste, once the cayenne turns to sparkledust and evaporates. Very hot chai. I added the milk as a precaution; very glad I did. LOVE THIS/.
2 TB in a mate gourd (maybe 125 mL of water) half a packet of stevia, no milk.
Innnnnnnn-tense. I love roasted mate drunk with groud and bombilla: very rich and concentrated. Roasted mate with malt and cocoa: YUM. Definitely for slow sipping. Some bitterness, some — oddly enough — distant banana flavour, and some distant mint/green/vegetal flavour that I normally only detect on green mate. Some pipe toboacco scent, too. Yum to the E. Can’t wait to try this brewed as a tisane to compare. Maybe tomorrow. Not sure my body can handle much more mateine/caffeine right now.
1 rounded TB for 450 mL water, 1/2 packet stevia, no milk.
A bit o’ heat! Yessssss, this is what I’m looking for in anything labelled ‘chai’. The cloves and citrus oil make the very pungent cinnamon stand out all the more. The red rooibos gets a bit lost, but that’s okay. While Cinnamon Rooibos Chai is caffeine-free, it’s still quite stimulating — the scent alone can knock you silly, in a good way — and yes, it does help concentration. Sharp and sweet with some pleasant heat. Perhaps quite sweet enough on its own without my added stevia, but I find a stevia or sugar coaxes out spice-heat. (Not so much the artificial sweeteners; they just dominate the cup with their chem lab mace and chain.) I may blend this one with some ginger rooibos and then spontaneously combust.
1 TB for 500mL water, no milk or sweetener.
I brewed the Pure Chai today expecting it to pack no heat; I really miss any spicekick i this blend, as I noted before.
So today I just expected a pleasant, slightly sweet cinnamon black tea.
And if that’s what you want, David’s Pure Chai is lovely. It’s an Indian black tea base, with CTC leaves I think (they’re very small_ and great big chunks of cinnamon sticks. plus whole cloves. Neither spice nor tea dominates.
I still want to try this simmered on the stovetop, perhaps with some ginger tea tossed in.
Today, I’ll settle for upping the rating.
Drunk bare, no milk or sweetener.
I steep around. An intense affair with Captain Assam’s High Seas Elixir now just a happy memory, I come back to my old standby, this particular organic and fair trade English Breakfast blend from my local teashop, Britannia Teas and Gifts.
This tea will gently but definitely wake you up. Pretty sure Assam’s in the blend, but I taste much more Keemun this morning, and that beautiful winey-ness is so civilized, almost decadent on a lazy Sunday morning. I ate too much salt and sugar yesterday, and I’m sure I can feel the tea (and my rooibos chaser) balancing out my electrolytes. I did steep this morning’s brew maybe a minute too long — somewhere around 6 minutes, I recalled I hadn’t set the time — and it’s slightly bitter on the aftertaste. But that’s okay. My own fault. This tea can do no wrong, so long as you treat it right.
This is a full leaf blend that is also a real reat to watch infuse through clear glass.
2.5 TB for 500mL water, no milk or sweetener.
I let this steep too long — made it while getting supper on the table — and now an apple flavour dominates.
Before I forgot it, I liked it much better, though I’d definitely not call it nutty. Someone else compared it to an oatmeal cookie; I can go with that.
A sweet, if weak and thin, tisane. I like my brews fairly strong, so I loaded up … which may be another reason I got too much apple. And it’s apple peel I’m tasting, with all its tang and sharpness.
Not what I expected, and a quite thin-bodied, but still a very pleasant tisane.
Drunk bare, mo nilk or sweetener.
At it again … trying varied steep times today. Three minutes: like hearing the voice of a beloved round the corner. Five minutes: Yunna bliss, as I’ve noted before.
Also drinking this from my Royal Albert china cup and saucer. Don’t know why, but tea always tastes best to me in a fine china cup. Next best is a clear glass mug.
1.5TB for 500mL water, no milk or sweetener.
My last, my very last, serving of Captain Assam. He’s moving on after too short a stay. (I finished off that 2 oz tin in 9 days.) This morning’s steep: very long, a good 15 minutes. Major puckery-astringency now but also a lovely new mouth-feel, very winey. Still no bitterness. Very refreshing. Captain Assam, I wish you the best on you the nest on your journeys, and I shall sorely miss you.