120 Tasting Notes
Hello Steepster! I’m back, albeit very briefly. I’m currently having some issues and dealing with some things, at the same time trying to write my dissertation (and a million other essays) and finish my degree. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t had much time for steepster of late. I was starting to worry that if I didn’t make some time for it soon I would never come back, and that cannot happen! So I’m making a brief stop by just to check in.
I chose this tea because I haven’t written a tasting note on it yet, and had put it up on the Butiki trading post as I think it could go to a more appreciative home than my own – so many people seem to love it, but it’s just good to me. Nobody has taken it off my hands yet, so if anyone is interested you’re welcome to it.
This tea reminds me of the Mrs. Hudson Adagio custom blend from Cara McGee’s Sherlock collection, only with a much better black base (I think one of my favourites) and a more subtle almond flavouring. In my head I associate this tea with grandma type people, and it could be to do with this connection. The almond flavour is the first thing I notice, but it doesn’t last long and is replaced by the base tea, which is a lovely well-rounded black that goes very well with milk (I’m drinking it like a traditional English cuppa today). Frank isn’t one for my teas usually – he doesn’t like anything he considers to be ‘abnormal’ – but I think this is one he might enjoy. The note that lingers the most is the cinnamon, which only comes through in the aftertaste. This is definitely an enjoyable cup of tea, and maybe a good choice for brunch or when I want something that’s not too fussy, but it’s definitely a like more than a love for me.
Just sipped down the rest of my sample of this from Janelle ‘s mystery box sale a while back. I thought it was a sipdown, but after consulting my spreadsheet it looks like I have some more of this somewhere courtesy of Miss B! I’m glad, because I’d really like to try this with maple syrup as a sweetener. I was distracted when I drank this, but I don’t remember getting much bacon flavour. It was mainly a plain daytime black tea, with a faint bacon aftertaste like I’d eaten a packet of bacon rashers a while ago and they were lingering. Part of me is disappointed that the bacon wasn’t stronger, but part of me is really glad. Maple syrup and bacon is still such a weird combination to me, I’m not sure I’m ready to add tea to the mix!
Unexpected third sipdown of the day! (29/330)
I was packing up the rest of a swap package for Janelle today, and was only going to have one serving of this left over, so I thought I might as well have it now. I’m upping my rating a bit from 34 as it wasn’t too bad this time around. Hot, I mainly got a nice enough, plain genmaicha. Still no gingerbread. As the cup cools I’m getting that weird cola flavour again, but not as strongly as last time. I’m also getting some citrus through this time, which I’m translating as lime, though judging by the peel in the dry leaf it’s probably orange. I’m still not sure how this fits in with the ‘gingerbread house’ theme. That’s definitely not what I would have called this tea.
Sipdown number 28 of 330 on this sample from Janelle.
As a lover of coconut teas, this disappointed me. I seem to be bucking the trend, here. I was setting myself up for disappointment from the beginning, as to me coconut and vanilla flavours aren’t a good enough representation of ‘coconut cream pie’, and personally I would have tried harder to replacate the pie flavour – maybe with some kind of butter or pastry type flavouring. The black base wasn’t strong enough for me, though that’s just personal preference. The coconut note was somewhat creamy, but very faint. For some odd reason, I actually get a stronger – and actually pretty authentic – banana flavour from this. If it was a banana tea, I think I’d be pretty impressed! As it is I’m mainly confused. I don’t even remember drinking this the first time around, so I don’t know whether the sample has been contaminated. That probably means it wasn’t too memorable the first time around, either, though. Still, I’m happy to be able to say I’ve tried it, and happy to have another sipdown.
Sipdown (27/330)! I wanna reach 33 – 10% – by the end of the week.
This was a sample from VariaTEA. Thank you so much! I am so glad to have gotten the chance to try this tea and company. I only wish I could pick up more. ):
VariaTEA was kind enough to send me a two cup sample of this, even though it was one of her favourites! I’m glad she did, because I messed the first one up. I didn’t look at the instructions she’d written down, and assumed I should use boiling water since it was a black tea. I ended up with a bitter mess, and tried to cancel it out by adding milk. That just made the whole thing too bland, as I underleafed a bit too, and I was basically drinking warm, thin milk with a hint of roses. This cup, I paid attention and it paid off! I now have one very delicious cup of cherry and rose tea – a combination which I wouldn’t have put together, but it totally works. The dry leaf smells strongly of roses, and the cherry comes in after steeping. The scent of the liquid is sweet acerola cherries with a floral rose back note. I get rose notes primarily in the sip, rounded out wonderfully by the sweet juicy cherry which lingers. I added half a teaspoon of sugar as an experiment, and that really made the flavours pop! The cherry, especially, comes out more and is very juicy now. It’s a shame that this isn’t more readily available to me. It would definitely go on my reorder list if I could actually get my hands on some. It might have even become my go-to rose tea (I love rose tea). Sigh. Oh well. I guess I’ll have to think wistfully on what could have been.
This came to me from KittyLovesTea – thanks, Kayleigh!
I’ve had this for quite a while now, but it didn’t excite me enough to write up a tasting note right away. I was craving earl grey this morning, and I need to get back on my sipdowns, so this was a good choice. The base is brisk and slightly astringent when drank plain, but perfect for a breakfast tea when sweetener and a splash of milk is added. I love a strong cup of tea in the morning. The scent of this tea is kinda muddled, and this was reflected in the flavours. The predominant note is bergamot, with indistinct citrus and indistinct floral notes in the background, although interestingly I think the floral notes longer longest, with something which is probably rose being the main aftertaste.
I really enjoyed this as a breakfast tea, despite the recommendation to drink it in the afternoon! Thanks again, Kitty.
Drinking this again as I package up some swaps. This one is going out to Janelle along with the rest of the Harry Potter sampler teas, who will hopefully enjoy the whimsy (:
This time, I can taste a fairly strong raisin note, which is confusing me. I haven’t picked up on it before with this tea, and it can’t be cross contamination either. Hmm. Oh well, it’s pretty tasty and the 50/50 black and Rooibos base means no caffeine overload!
I am so happy Stacy sent me 1/2 an oz of this as a bonus with my last order! The only downside is that I really love it, and now I can’t get more ):
I was born in 1994, which makes this tea extra special – it’s the same age as me! Give or take a few months, probably. I love oolongs, particularly the darker roasty ones, but I think this might be my first foray into the world of aged oolongs. It is definitely a good introduction. The dry leaf smells quite musty and definitely ‘old’, which made me a little wary, but steeping this completely transforms. Then it’s all nutty and cocoa. Sooo yummy! I could inhale it all day. The cocoa notes come through in the sip, and to me are the most prominent, along with the nutty notes I identified in the scent too. There is a noticeable hay note, which I would have expected more from a white tea, but I think Bai Hao means ‘white tips’ so perhaps that’s why I’m getting that note. It actually reminds me of an aged Bai Mu Dan I have, so on the other hand maybe the ageing is where that similarity comes from. I am very happy to have gotten to try this, and will definitely look out for more aged oolongs in the future. If I had one negative about this, it’s that the second steep doesn’t hold up so well when brewed western style. I’m drinking my resteep now and the flavour is mostly unchanged but a little less chocolatey and a whole lot weaker. Fingers crossed it’ll hold up better when I try it gongfu style – that is what Stacy recommends, after all.
Resteeped my leaves from the cold brew. BAD idea. Yeesh, seriously, what was I thinking? There is zero watermelon flavour in the resteep. Or any flavour at all come to mention it. Other than what can only be described as ‘lightly fishy’. Blech. Stick to the one steep for this one, methinks.
A few days back, I was craving a light tea and also something I could gulp as I was super thirsty. My solution was to grab a bottle of ‘tea’ I’d picked up from Marks&Spencer out of curiosity, labelled Watermelon and Coconut White Tea. It was delicious, and I finished it pretty quickly, and was still craving more. It occurred to me that I’d had a pouch of this one lying around for a few months unopened (I bought it just as the weather was turning colder, since it was a limited edition going out of stock, but always just seemed too summery for me to try). I tossed 6tsps of the leaf into my 750ml bottle, filled it with water and left it in the fridge for ~20 hours.
As soon as I poured the water in, the liquid turned a very pale pink, and was quite a dark pink by the time I took it out. Because of this, I was a bit worried that it would be too hibiscusy. I’m not a hibiscus hater like many people on here seem to be, but still, I wanted a sweet drink not a tart one. Happily, though, the hibiscus doesn’t come through in the flavour. Cold-brewed, this is amazing! I plan on re-steeping the leaves tomorrow, as I still haven’t tried it hot.
I might have brewed it a couple hours too long, ‘cause I’m detecting a very mild astringency from the base. Nothing I can’t deal with, though. It’s pretty much exactly what I wanted. The watermelon is sweet, but not too sweet, and I could taste coconut too, which I was pleasantly surprised with – I didn’t read the ingredients list. The tea lends some grassy notes, but stays very much in the background when cold brewed. Part way through the bottle I started to notice a floral note to the background, reminiscent of jasmine though not as strong. I have no idea whether it’s an ingredient or an element of the green or white base teas, but I think it goes quite well. The only downside to this tea is that my cold brewing used up almost all of my sample pouch, and I probably only have enough left for one or two hot cups, and definitely not enough to indulge in another cold brew! Yet another reason to resteep my leaves tomorrow. I hope this is brought out again in the summer (not that there’s much chance of me being post-hiatus by then).
Frank has a friend round (Sam, who we lived with last year) and they’re playing X Box in the living room. I just overheard him say the phrase ‘sexy-ass sticky grenade’. Should I be worried?