970 Tasting Notes
Weekend Sipdown #1
I decided to round off my week’s holiday with a few sipdowns, to make way for new incoming teas. Yes, I was baaaaad again! Also because there are many in my sipdown box that I’ve enjoyed a lot, and I want my final acquaintance with them to be a memorable one.
So, this morning’s obvious choice was this. It’s as lovely as I recall from previous cups — slightly sweet, malty, with a sweet potato note and a mild hint of cocoa. There’s a twist of smoke lurking around in the background, too, but it’s never overpowering. I’m just beginning my exploration of plain black teas, so it’s hard to say where this will eventually come in my ratings. For the moment, though, I love it. It tastes wonderful, and it’s the perfect comfort cup. Most definitely a tea I can see myself coming back to!
I’ve just finished a cup of this, and I have to say I’m pretty much an instant fan! This reminds me a little of my much missed 52 Teas Raspberry Cream, except that it’s not raspberry, obviously! It has the same balance of fruit and cream flavouring, however, and it’s just reminiscent of my old favourite.
That aside, I used 1.5 tsp of leaf, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk. It smells delicious — creamy, fruity, sweetness. I’m pleased to report that it also tastes as good as it smells! There’s a slightly sharp tang from the blackberry, a hint of subtle tartness, and a quite intense fruity hit. This is complemented perfectly by the cream flavour, which is smooth, sweet, and adds a touch of dessert like wonderfulness to what would otherwise be quite a tart cup. I’ll certainly have no trouble finishing this sample!
This one is growing on me the more I drink it. It’s deliciously creamy, but I do feel that this aspect completely overwhelms the earl grey base — it’s supposed to be both cream and earl grey, after all, and all I can really taste here is cream. For that reason, it’s not the EGC for me. It’s a pleasant enough treat, though.
I pulled out a selection of DTT rooibos blends a couple of days ago, and this was one of the first ones I decided to try. I really like creamy teas in general, but I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with this one. There’s hardly any cream to be found here. That’s a shame, because I think cream is something that would pair well with blueberry, especially the way Della Terra do it!
For my first cup, I gave 1 tsp of leaf 3.5 minutes in boiling water, and for my second I have 1.25 tsp of leaf nearly 4 minutes in boiling water. Neither yielded any cream flavour, although the blueberry is strong and juicy, very true to life. The rooibos base is a little too clear for my tastes — it’s slightly peppery and it gets in the way a little.
I have a couple more teaspoons of leaf to play around with, but I think this one isn’t going to be for me.
I actually meant to drink and log this one on my birthday (sunday gone), but I ended up being so busy I didn’t get chance! This one was a real surprise to me — somehow, I associate birthday cake with light, airy, vanilla. This is chocolate, and I knew that, but I think subconsciously I was still expecting something else!
What’s obvious straight from the off is that this contains DTT’s “cake” flavouring. It’s that mouthwatering, sweet, buttery bakey smell that Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Blueberry Crumble have…the scent of cake fresh from the oven. Rich and heady. It filled the whole kitchen by the time it was done brewing!
I gave 1 tsp of this tea 3.5 minutes in boiling water. The leaf is really pretty — red and blue sprinkles, and white coconut, scattered amongst the brown/black leaves. It really does remind me of a decorated chocolate cupcake! Once brewed, the liquor was a very pale golden, so I skipped milk. The initial taste is chocolate — DTT’s overly sweet, fakey chocolate. Then comes the “cake” flavour, with a hint of coconut and a kind of generic sweetness to finish (the sprinkles?). Taken together, it’s a reasonable combination. There are “birthday cake” teas I prefer (Butiki, Bluebird…), but this one is by no means a bad example. The fact that it’s chocolate sets is apart, although I wish the chocolate was a bit more…real tasting. I didn’t get to drink this on my birthday, but it was a pleasant cup anyway – happy belated birthday to me!
This is the second earl grey creme I’ve tried. I gave 1 tsp about three minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk. To be perfectly honest, I think this would be fine without it, but since those are my normal parameters, I decided to stick with them for today.
This one looks (medium brown liquor) and smells (black tea, bergamot…citrus!) just like a conventional earl grey. As soon as I took a sip, though, I could taste the creaminess really well. It’s pretty much the main flavour, although it works well with the relatively mild earl grey here. My main complaint about Della Terra teas is that they sometimes taste artificial. I feared this would be the case with the “creme” here, but fortunately it’s not. It doesn’t taste half so chemical as coffee creamer, so it’s a nice alternative to earl grey with milk/cream when that’s the effect you’re looking for. I added milk of my own, so I think I got a bit of a double whammy. I love creamy teas, though, so I’m okay with that!
This one isn’t quite as good as my current favourite — Bluebird’s Earl Grey Creme — but I think it probably just needs time to grow on me! Fortunately there’s enough in my sample for another few cups, so I can get to grips a bit more with this one. First impression is good, however.
I gave this one a much shorter brew time yesterday, and was rewarded with a much more distinctive strawberries and cream flavour. I’d got used to the slightly bitter, slightly fake tasting strawberry, I think, so this cup actually came as a pleasant surprise! Who’d have thought that rushing held the key? This one can be finicky, but I’m happy that I’ve now found a way around that!
This is one of my older samples from Della Terra, so I pulled it out to try last night. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but after a couple of sips, I think I get what this one’s about. The first thing I could taste was the chocolate, and DTT’s chocolate isn’t always to my liking. This one was saved by the emergence of the strawberry flavouring, which reminds me of strawberry syrup rather than an actual strawberry, and a distinctive vanilla ice cream flavour. Very creamy and delicious! Happily, both these flavours are the main stars once they come to the fore, and there’s not much of the slightly artificial, basically weird tasting chocolate to be found. It’s probably not a tea I’d buy in quantity, but the strawberry/ice cream flavouring is nice enough that I’ll have no trouble drinking up the rest of the sample. A sweet, tasty summer treat!
A sample from ashleyelizabeth, and another delicious tea from Silk Road. The dry leaf smells deliciously peachy, and this translates well into the flavour. I gave 1.25tsp of leaf anout 3.5 minutes in boiling water. The result is a medium brown liquor, and I added a splash of milk.
The peach here is obviously the main attraction, and it tastes remarkably true to life. Sweet, mellow, juicy, fuzzy — it’s as close to eating an actual peach as I imagine it’s possible to get in a hot drink! The ceylon base provides the ideal background — it has a slight natural citrussyness of its own, and isn’t at all overpowering. It just provides a pleasant, smooth base upon which the peach flavour can float happily. A perfect summer tea.
What I have noticed about this tea is that it’s never the same colour twice. My first cup was green, my second cup was grey, my third cup was purple. Today it’s red. The sane part of my brain believes this is a logical consequence of the balance of ingredients in each bag. The happily insane part believes this is magic, colour changing tea. I’ll leave you to decide which is more likely.
Today’s cup has a nice sharp citrus note which offsets the cloying sweetness of the chamomile flowers. I can taste hibiscus a little more than I usually can; I guess that’s why today’s cup is red!