1676 Tasting Notes
These “new” Teapigs have been in my stash so long they’re not new any longer! Fortunately they’re packaged and wrapped, so they’ve not deteriorated at all in the time it’s taken me to get to them. I’m pleased I only bought “Piglets” (2 bag sample boxes) also, because I think my instinct at the time was to buy the full box of 15 and in hindsight that would have been a bad idea. Not because I don’t like this tea – actually, on first acquaintance, I’m really impressed. Just because of all the other stuff I’ve got going on, the more limited amount of tea I seem to be drinking at the moment, and the size of my cupboard.
The tea, though. It’s a herbal, and those aren’t always my thing. It’s a really, really GOOD herbal, though – the kind I could make an exception for. I left the bag for 5 minutes before I took it out, because tiny sips told me that I was happy with the balance of flavours at this point. The early sips were really just peppermint, but as the chocolate chips melt this becomes something far more indulgent. After 5 minutes, it tastes like liquid After Eight, and that’s no exaggeration. The chocolate is dark, intensely rich and a touch bittersweet, with a slightly dry cocoa-like edge. It pairs really well with the mint, which is fresh, cooling, and even a little sweet-tasting against the chocolate. I’m also reminded of mint choc chip ice cream, largely because of the cooling effect the mint is having.
This is a herbal I’d keep around. It’s bagged, which isn’t my preference, but that does give it added convenience. I can see myself drinking it all year round when the occasion for caffeine-free arises. There’s nothing else like this in my cupboard, and the flavour is amazing. A total (and unexpected!) win.
Tea of the morning, and another of my older 52 Teas finally started! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. No additions. I was a tiny bit confused by the flavour at first, because it tasted initially very floral, and then mostly of turkish delight. Um, orange? Cream? Absolutely not what I was prepared for, let’s say. I’m hoping that I just left it to brew a bit long, and also that the addition of some milk might help a bit with my next cup. I really wanted a cup of dreamsicle this morning, but for the moment I’m still bereft.
Today’s matcha was a random Chinese (?) matcha sample from my swap with Roswell Strange. It came in a single-serving pink and green sachet. I prepared it my usual way – whisked into hot water as a shot. I wasn’t hugely keen – it’s quite bitter, yet very “thin” tasting, and it didn’t seem to want to combine very well despite extensive whisking. Possibly it would have been better as a latte, but it’s too late now!
This was yesterday afternoon’s treat. I really like 52Teas Cotton Candy Black, so when the white tea version was released AGES AGO I picked up a bag. Why did I wait this long to try it? I suppose “too much tea” is always a reason, but not a great one. Anyway, it finally escaped the waiting box! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. The scent is primarily white tea – a little floral and almost starchy. The flavour, though? Pure cotton candy. There’s an element of “liquid sugar” to this, a flavour which white tea alone can often contribute in my experience. I can detect a hint of strawberry here though, which really helps to take it to another level. I think that’s what makes it less “sweet water” and more “cotton candy”, but it’s a tricky flavour to describe. Great for those with a sweet tooth!
Today’s matcha is a latte, made with actual Teapigs matcha (for a change). I felt kind of bad doing their challenge but not using their matcha, but there you go. Now I am. I hasten to add that I only have a sample sachet containing 3g, at least for now. Their matcha is pretty expensive, and it doesn’t have the best reviews…
This was actually the first matcha I ever heard about, and it’s got to be at least 3 years ago now. I just didn’t get around to trying it until recently, largely because I wasn’t all that keen on green tea and so matcha just wasn’t something I was up for trying. It probably still wouldn’t be if it weren’t for my current health issues. I’m appreciating the energy boost if nothing else!
I used 1/4 tsp of matcha for my latte, whisked into hot water and then topped up with hot milk. It seems a lot more potent in terms of both colour and flavour to Grace & Green’s Morning Organic Matcha, which is what I’ve been using for my plain matcha up to now. It’s mellower, with less of an outright grassy taste, but somehow also more…savoury? It’s hard to describe. I think it’s reminding me of samphire, but I haven’t eaten that for a long time so I’m not 100% sure that’s what it is. Maybe it’ll come to me.
Anyway, it’s palatable. When it comes to matcha, that’s what’s important to me. The only flavoured matcha that’s easy to come by in the UK is Bluebird, and I’ve not tried those yet. I definitely feel that flavoured matcha is the way forward for me, though. I’d love to try more Red Leaf flavours, but I can’t find a UK supplier at the moment, which makes me sad. I’m currently considering offering my first-born as a trade.
Yet another of my older 52Teas blends! This was my reaction to Turtle Cheesecake, because I figured you can’t really go wrong with strawberry. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.
When I returned to the kitchen after leaving this one to brew, I could immediately smell artificial strawberry. My first thought was “uh-oh”, but it’s actually not so bad. The strawberry is far too candy-like to be realistic, that’s true, but it’s also part of its charm. It reminds me of the strawberry nesquik powder I had as a child. There’s also an underlying creamy flavour that reminds me a bit of custard – or custard powder, really. The value of this one, for me, is in it being such a nostalgic blend. It reminds me of my childhood, and even though milkshake and custard powder perhaps aren’t the best recreation of strawberry zabaglione, they’re not too far off the mark. It’s a sweet-tasting, very much dessert-like tea, and that’s all I was really looking for this morning. I’m going to call it a hit.
Another shot in cold milk this morning, and I’m halfway through my matcha challenge. I think it is helping me to feel more awake and energised, although I’m not sure I could drink anything other than flavoured matcha long-term. The plain stuff is just too grassy and generally “ugh” for me. An interesting experiment, nonetheless. I now know that I love vanilla matcha more than a lot of things in this world.
Yesterday afternoon’s treat! I’m so pleased to have this one back in my cupboard. It’s one of my favourite Bluebird blends, and my favourite pumpkin tea. It really captures the flavour of squash, and the spicing is at exactly the right level for my tastes. There’s even a touch of pastry that really brings pie/baked goods to mind. Truly delicious stuff!
Another of my older 52Teas blends. I’ve drank this one twice now, and I feel I can say with some certainty that it’s not my favourite. My main complaint is that it seems a bit thin and watery – and it doesn’t seem to matter whether I adjust the brew time. I’m going to try a bit more leaf for my next cup, so we’ll see whether that helps.
The black tea base is the main flavour here. It’s by no means a bad thing – it’s sweet, malty, a little thick tasting. I’m feeling generous, so I’ll say that it helps to create a kind of “caramel” flavour, although that’s maybe a bit of a stretch. There’s a tiny bit of chocolate, a touch of nuttiness, but absolutely no cheesecake. Mostly, this one just leaves me feeling underwhelmed.
It’s drinkable, but there’s not a great deal of flavour considering this is a flavoured tea. It doesn’t live up to its name, though, or at least not in the way I hoped. A disappointment.
Back on the matcha after yesterday’s blip. I went with one of my favourite combinations so far – 1/4 tsp whisked into a shot glass of cold milk. It taste just like vanilla milkshake, and I love it – no chance of queasiness with this one! It begs the question, though – what will I do when I run out of Vanilla Matcha?