2029 Tasting Notes
I woke up at 6 today since I went to bed super early last night and that dratted time change happened. I’ve been puttering around, getting things done in the apartment before I head out to the mall to run some errands. Sadly, the mall doesn’t open until 11. Yeah. It’s like half my day will be over by that point.
Anyways, I went through my teas again last night and (gasp) threw some out that were old and icky. Set some aside to send to my brother. Put a couple out to taste again before I get rid of them.
This is one I had totally forgot I had. And it’s so good. I made it and sipped on it while I set up a chicken and wild rice soup in my slow cooker. I think I have 1 or 2 cups left, and I should really go ahead and drink them. The other teas are straight blacks, so they’ll be fine for a while if I throw them into a tin to protect them a little more from the air.
I used this recipe, but with more of everything since my slow cooker is ginormous. http://pinchofyum.com/crockpot-chicken-wild-rice-soup I’ll also use tapioca or sweet rice flour to make the thickener. And I’ll get some almond or cashew milk today to make it creamy.
Yes, it’s Halloween. I’m dressed as a viking, drinking Christmas tea and cleaning my house. Anachronisms, yo. I might go out to Costco like this, as I need to pick up a couple things. We’ll see how I’m feeling in an hour or so. Right now I just want to crawl back into bed!
So yes, a Christmas tea. I was going through my cupboard choosing things to throw out (yes, throw out) and give away. This was one that pretty much only had a serving left so I decided to drink it. Again, it’s pretty nice. Not my most favourite spiced tea, but pretty nice.
This is some random “Caramel Toffee” tea from France that MissB shared with me. I don’t think it’s the Dammann Freres one, because there’s no papaya pieces in it and also it says it’s a Ceylon, while DF says a blend.
Right after steeping, it smelled quite drying. So I added milk. As usual. So with milk, although it does feel a little funny on the teeth, it tastes quite nice. The flavour is much reduced due to the fold-over baggie style of packaging, but it’s still nice.
Thanks so much, MissB!
This is the new one, as of Oct 2015.
I really like the steeping instructions on the bags (thank you!) but I think it’s interesting how they all recommend 1 tsp per 12 oz, instead of the more typical 1 tsp per 6-8 oz. I usually use 2 scant tsp per 12 oz, and 2 full tsp per 16 oz. Silk Road in Victoria takes everything even further and recommends 1 tsp per 16 oz. Which is honestly not enough. I mean, I suppose it’s more hydrating, but there’s not enough caffeine!
Anyways. This tea. I think I had it before, and it was just OK. The base tea was never my favourite, but I have to say that the new base is really quite nice. A little lighter than my go-to CTC or Assam, but quite nice.
Opening the bag, it smells sweet and cakey. Steeped, it smells… I’m not really sure. Definitely tea. Sweetness which must be the caramel. A little spice I think? I just ate a peanut butter cookie so my sense of taste is feeling really weird. Sorry.
Anyways, I’m glad I got this one. If it was a favourite, it’s definitely worth checking out again. If you were kinda meh about it the first time, the base is better. I’m not sure it’s my favourite flavour, but I’m glad I grabbed a sample pack. :)
(1.5-2 tsp in 12 oz for 3 min at 195F.)
This is one of those instant, mix it with hot milk and/or water things. But! It’s made locally of local and fair trade products, so my Vancouver hipster cred (ha!) is intact.
It’s sweetened. Too much tbh, but I don’t usually put sugar in my tea anymore. I used some coffee cream, because I had it, and some boiling water. It’s decent. Lots of vanilla, which is nice, although I still don’t get the “London Fog” thing of bergamot and vanilla. The first time I ever had one way back in the day, it was just earl grey tea steeped in steamed milk. Which you can’t get anymore because they always add water to it.
Soooo. When Bear With Me mentioned this tea I had to get a packet of it as well. It sounded so intriguing! And I thought the “Secret blend of spices” bit was cute and a little cheezy.
Opening the bag, it’s kind of intense. The spices and lapsang mix to give almost a meaty scent. If you do not like smoky teas, stay away from this one. FAR away. Srsly.
Steeped for my standard time, it smells like a campfire. OMG, so good. Campfire and some spices. This is not a usual chai. I think I have to add some milk though. The weather is pretty perfect for this tea right now too. Although it got nice and warm today, now that the sun’s gone down it’s nice and crisp outside and I can smell that people are burning wood fires in my neighbouhood.
Letting it cool as recommended is hard.
This is seriously a smoky spice tea. There’s really nice smoke. There’s spices toasting in a cast iron skillet. There’s charcoal briquette BBQ going on a bit too, with everything rubbed in the toasted spice mixture.
I think I like it. Definitely not your usual tea. And actually fairly smoky. It’s almost as smoky as the Murchie’s Russian Caravan that I loved with maple whipped cream. So I might have to get some heavy cream and mix some up have with this tea.
(2 tsp in 12 oz for 3 min at 195F)
Really. Cinnamon chips. Huh. I didn’t pick that out at all.
So this tea. No caffeine, which is why I’m trying it. Intensely maple. INTENSE. So far, the honeybush is good. Not sour at all.
But pears? Hmm… I’m not so sure I’m getting pears. At least, I’m not getting the gross over ripe pear jelly belly pears. Just some fruityness. And then some spice at the end. So that’s a win for me because I don’t actually, umm, really like pears. I know, I know. But I looooove maple and I hoped that it would be maple >>> pear.
Again, I’m having it completely plain. And it’s nice and sweet, and feels like it would take milk and/or sugar really well.
I’m just over half way through my cup now, and the honeybush still isn’t sour (yay!) but the pear is starting to come out a bit more. Maybe the tea just had to cool a bit. Anyways, this one I also like and kinda wish I had bought more of. The rest of my sample is heading out soon to be tried by others who have more discerning palates than I do.
(2 tsp in 13 oz at 195F for 4 minutes. Maybe longer would mean more pear? IDK. I would think it’d bring out the spice more.)
I have the new one. The one Anne just made. And whoa.
When I opened the bag I was super surprised to see such GIANT LEAVES. And it smells so much like Butiki’s Praline Horizon. Score! They must use the same flavourings. However, the base is seriously different. IDK what this one is, but it steeped up fairly light. Well. I’ve been drinking a lot of coffee lately so light is subjective. I mean, I could see the bottom of my mug through the amber brew.
And I’m drinking it plain.
It’s super nutty. A little astringent, but honestly most black teas are a little astringent. And I’d probably almost always drink this with milk. And it’s not enough to bother me right now anyways.
And sniffing Praline Horizon, it’s not exactly the same. But it’s similar enough. Why didn’t I get two of this? Well… perhaps because I did a mega huge group order of whoops. As in, whoops the exchange rate is terrible and I bought all the teas then spent an extra 30% over what I thought I was spending whoops. Haha. Oh well, I’m happy I have it.
(2.5 loose teaspoons in 13 oz at 195F for 3 minutes)
Edit: As I get down, the astringency reminds me of nut skins. More so of walnuts, but still. So nutty. Very nutty. I bet this will be fantastic as a latte.