518 Tasting Notes
The owner of Britannia Teas warned me I would not be able to ‘go back’ to other (and less expensive) jasmine teas once I tried the Jasmine Dragon Tears. She was right. Not perfumey, not bitter, but certainly not weak … and the jasmine ‘hit’ lasts and lasts. Demand may increase the price of these hand-rolled tears, but I don’t care.
My favourite black tea blend, ever, and I have drunk many. While David’sTea’s David’s Organic Breakfast gives this blend a serious challenge, Britannia’s English Breakfast remains my Writin Tea, my comfort, and, when needed, my wake-up. I am not sure what’s in this blend, but I will guess at a goodly amount of Keemun (winey), Assam (malt and heft) and possibly Ceylon (brightness). Deep and complex, with many tastes dancing in the mouth. I never let myself run out of this one. I steep it just over three minutes but have drunk it after 5+ minutes. Can get a little tannic and astringent around 4-5 minutes, so just treat it nice.
I must have a REALLY fresh batch this time, because the apple-y taste of the green rooibos dominates. And that’s fine. I get the cocoa on the aftertaste. Perhaps not as much cinnamon as last time. Still, my favourite rooibos-based blend ever. And really refreshing.
I wish, I so wish, I could find or blend a tes and spice mix that satisfies like this concentrate; I always feel like I’m cheating somehow when I enjoy this. I make this withone part conencetrate, one part milk. If making it on the stove, I might add an extra ginger&black teabag or two (Stash Ginger Breakfast). Pleasantly warming with a goodly punch of ginger; creaminess from the milk soothes any burn. A bit sweeter than I’d normally drink milky tea, but then adding water or more black tea can help fix that. Fabulous treat when you’re chilled through to the bone. Not much black tea taste on its own. Prepares easily in the microwave, but it tastes and feels better to me on the stove, with extra black tea added.
Yes, I’m yakkin about Super Chocolate again.
Today I steeped 1TB in a filter bag in a 300mL glass mug rather than in my 450mL travel mug, and I forgot to add stevia. So I have a stronger tea base, and I can really get the sharp nip of cinnamon this time. Seriously, the more I drink this stuff, the better it gets. Puh-LEEZE, Canada Post, bring me my order that you said would arrive on the 28th.
Sweet, almost too heavy on the papaya, and grassy. Potent kick through the bombilla. Gives at least four good infusions. For all the sweetness, I find I still need to add stevia to it or the blend upsets my stomach. Not an everyday cup for me, but it certainly delivers what it promises.
Trying the ‘Improved’ version of this today, ‘improved’ apparently meaning new, mostly white box and individually wrapped bags.
I don’t smell anything cuminy, thank GAWD. Eugh. I do get minor spiciness, some decent carob with a distant whisper of cocoa. They show ginger and clove on the box, and list ginger in the ingredients, but I’ll be steeped if I can taste any.
Lessee … roasted chicory root (ah, bitterness and barkiness), carob pods, spices (how mysterious), natural flavour (of what, I should like to know), cocoa shells, ginger, licorice root (gag — except I can’t taste it, either), stevia leaves, cocoa.
Usually I run away from anything ‘Chocolatey,’ as it tastes fake.
This is not a disaster. It’s not brilliant, either. A bit like spicy cardboard with carob rubbed into it. My teabag’s been in the cup now 8 minutes and cooling off. It might be better brewed in a pot and kept hot. It gets sweeter and deeper the longer it’s steeped. The carob smells medicinal to me, but then I’ve also encountered it in various health tisanes, like Traditional Medicinals’ PMS Tea. The Chocolatey Chai tastes better than PMS Tea, but then one expects mediciinal teas to be a little harsh. Yeah, cardboard. I go back to cardboard from the back of the spice rack with some carob and cocoa on it.
Okay, at the 9-minute mark it gets bitter and barky, probably from the cocoa shells and carob. I know, 9 minutes is a bit extreme …
I expect I’ll finish the box, if only out of a sense of duty and to ration out my dwindling stash of Super Chocolate from David’s Tea, but I wouldn’t recommend any of my buddies waste their time on this one, ‘improved’ or not.
Maybe if I steeped the box instead …
I think this stuff is helping me beat back a cold. And it gets better every time. Try being generous with the amount of tea; I use 1 TB for 450mL. Tastes of cocoa, apples and cinnamon, yet it doesn’t. Like no other tisane I’ve tried. I steep this one a long a time, keeping the leaves in the infuster basket of my travel mug as I sip it. Not candy-bar chocolate.