1391 Tasting Notes
This afternoon’s new tea, and another Tealux sample. The description of this one really appealed to me – it’s an almost-mild, spring-like day, and I’m finding myself in the mood for white tea and relatively light, refreshing flavours. This fits the bill perfectly. As usual with a new white, I went for 1.5 tsp of leaf, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 180.
To taste, it’s what I hoped it would be. Light and juicy tasting, with a mild edge of sweetness. I did fear for a moment when I saw jasmine mentioned in the ingredients, but I can’t taste it so that’s okay. The main flavour is actually melon – cantaloupe for sure – and it’s wonderfully refreshing. This would be perfect on an even hotter day, and maybe more perfect still iced. It reminds me of Butiki’s Cantaloupe & Cream a little, so might be a good replacement now that that’s gone forever. Sweet, juicy and delicious! A sample I’ll have no trouble polishing off, and even a potential repurchase!
I’ve drank this one a few times on an evening, but I’ve not made it to a note as yet. I think that’s partly because I feel like I don’t quite understand this blend. I mean, it’s simple: chamomile, lemon, honeybush. Those three things are fine with me. What I don’t quite understand is what happens when they’re combined in this specific blend. I like lemon, and I like chamomile. I even like honeybush, on occasion, but I don’t like this tea. My main problem with it is that it’s somehow astringent, which isn’t something I associate at all with honeybush. Even so, it really, really dries my mouth out after just a couple of sips. The second thing that strikes me wrong is the flavour. It’s harsh, almost sharp, and somehow medicinal tasting. I get mild notes of honey, and a whole whack of lemon, and then somehow it just all goes downhill. It’s hard to describe what happens, but it’s like the initial flavour (pleasant) is somehow overtaken by a sour, bitter monster. Very odd.
I’ve tried various combinations of leaf quantity, brew time, and water temperature, but I just can’t get this one to work for me. I feel like I’m drinking a different tea to everyone else! I’ll persevere for a couple more cups, but after that I’ll have to admit defeat. It’s a shame, because I wanted to like this one. The description is just my thing, but sadly it seems the actuality is not.
Today’s new start. I’m glad I finally broke in to my stash of Tealux teas, because they’re actually pretty good (in other words, a lot better than I was expecting). Sometimes I think I might actually have flavoured tea fatigue. Anyway, today is almost a Spring day, so I decided a white might finally be appropriate. I used 1.5tsp of leaf, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. The resulting liquor is a pale yellow-green, and smells remarkably accurately of butterscotch!
To taste, this is a slightly odder story. What I’m picking up on initially actually tastes more like coconut than butterscotch. It’s also really creamy and a little vanilla-like, and reminds me of buttercream cake frosting. I’m reminded more of butterscotch towards the end of the sip, once the coconutty flavour has faded a bit, and what’s left is sweet, smooth and buttery. It’s not butterscotch from the word go, though.
Based on this impression, I had another look at the bag. Apparently, this contains cinnamon, but I wouldn’t know it. It also contains peppercorns, but they do make themselves known in the aftertaste, after a couple of sips. A spicy warmth is building up at the back of my throat, and it’s not entirely pleasant or suited to my image of “butterscotch”. Hmm. Somehow, now I’ve detected the pepper, it’s suddenly all I can taste. Bad that.
My first couple of sips were really encouraging, but I think over the course of one cup, my enthusiasm for this tea has waned. It’s pleasant initially, but it’s not really butterscotch, and the pepper is just plain odd. Not a favourite for me.
Today’s new start, and the perfect thing to cheer up a dull Tuesday morning. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. No additions. It’s another Della Terra blend that scented the whole kitchen beautifully – just like caramel and cream, somehow.
Hot, this one is a big tasting tea. Caramel is immediately detectable, followed by the almost cloying sweetness of melted marshmallow. The pumpkin emerges mid sip, although it’s not as “squashy” as I’d have liked, followed by a warming hit of spice. I think cinnamon, primarily. This is definitely up there with the sweetest teas I’ve tried, although the pumpkin and spice elements help to tone that down a little. As it cools, however, some of the flavour seems to fade away and the whole thing becomes a little washed out. Definitely one to drink immediately.
This makes for a pleasant cup, although it’s not particularly brilliant as a pumpkin tea. There are many I’ve tried that I prefer on that count. It’s pretty good as a caramel marshmallow tea, though, with the added squash/spice element helping to make it a bit unique. A sample I’ll have no trouble finishing up!
This was Sunday morning’s first cup. It was quite a weekend for revisiting my Sherlock sampler! Fortunately, I like this one just as much as I did initially. Black-green blends can be a bit hit and miss for me, but this is one big hit! Strong, malty Irish Breakfast, a light tang of bergamot, the slight dankness of green tea, and the warming spice of cinnamon. A great tea to wake up to!
The last of Friday’s teas. After two cups of chai, something light and refreshing was just the ticket! I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. No additions.
I have to say that the flavour here is mainly ceylon. I’ve actually drank Adagio’s Ceylon Sonata plain a good few times before, so I know the taste pretty well. It’s quite a citrussy tea to begin with, but with this blend it’s hard to know where that ends and the grapefruit/blood orange begins. They’re fairly mild in any case, although it’s fair to say that I can taste the grapefruit more than the orange. It adds just a slightly sharp, bitter note to the overall cup.
If boring and bitter sum up Anderson, then this is a great fandom blend. I suppose he can be a little bitter, at times, although who wouldn’t be after what he’s experienced? Maybe sour is a better word, and that works too.
This one’s a good palate refresher, purely because it lacks a strong flavour punch. For the same reason, though, this isn’t a stand out blend to me. I’m going to follow the recommendation to try this one cold, and see if that improves matters any. I can only hope that it does!
The second Sherlock chai of Friday. This one is more suited to my personal tastes, so I felt more confident brewing up a cup of Donovan. As ever, I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk, because that’s how I roll when it comes to chai.
The initial flavour here is chocolate, with an undertone of chai spices (clove, cardamon, and a hint of cinnamon?) The spices are by no means strong, but they provide a nice background flavour; the combination reminds me of spiced hot chocolate! The black tea base provides a nice sweet maltiness, which combines well with the mild, creamy vanilla and almond notes that come out towards the end of the sip. It’s just like the description says, really – this one starts off with a spicy kick, and then slowly mellows out.
As blends go, I think this one is pretty suited to Donovan’s character. She seems to attack first and ask questions later, in the same way that this blend starts off spicy and then mellows out. I’d rate this blend equally with Mycroft in terms of flavour, and it’s definitely one I’d consider repurchasing in the future.
This was another Friday try, but due to a busy weekend I never did get chance to write a note. Quite a few of the Sherlock blends are chai-based, it seems, which is okay with me because I rather like chai. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.
This is probably my favourite of them so far – a relatively normal masala chai blend (good notes of pepper, clove and cardamon), with a strong overtone of ginger spiciness. It wasn’t too hot, or mouth-burningly spicy, although I expect that could be ramped up with a longer brew time or a bit more leaf, or by leaving out the milk. I like it as-is, though. I think it strikes a good balance for my tastes personally.
The fandom aspect is pretty apparent here – Moriarty says he will burn Sherlock, after all, so a spicy blend is more than fitting. It’s not as devilish as it could be (clearly something could be learned from 52Teas Mayan Chocolate Chai), but it’s drinkable, which is definitely more important. And I reckon the spiciness could be increased as I’ve already said, so that’s fair enough. A great cup for a cold evening.
I actually drank this one for the first time on Friday afternoon, but I ran out of time to write notes. Hence, we’re having a reprise this morning. The scent of the dry leaf is a little overpowering, so I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this one all that much. It’s definitely molasses, though…and “cake”. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a medium golden brown. No additions.
To taste, the apple flavour actually comes out really well. I was half expecting it to be completely drowned in all the sweetness, but it’s not like that at all. It’s a fresh, crisp apple flavour, not flowery or floral in the slightest. The molasses comes out in the mid-sip, just like a freshly opened bag of muscavodo sugar. It’s not as sweet as I anticipated, which is a good thing, but rich and treacly and almost thick tasting. The combination is actually putting me in mind of toffee apples, bonfires, and autumn. An atmospheric tea if ever there was one!
This one is definitely a welcome change from the normal run of teas I drink at work, and a pleasant, easily drinkable cup. A treat for a cold morning!