1699 Tasting Notes
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?
A sample from Miss B. It seems a little perverse to drink this one hot, but that’s what I’m about at the moment so that’s what I’m doing. I’m also really keen on having a taste of summer to remind me that there will be an end to winter. Now it’s here, it seems keen to stick around. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it approximately 3 minutes in boiling water. No additions. In terms of flavour, I’m getting mostly honeydew melon with just a touch of cool, refreshing cucumber. It’s sweet, juicy-tasting, and very refreshing. I can imagine this being brilliant iced, but I don’t really have enough to try that and I can guarantee my final tsp won’t still be around once the warm weather finally arrives. Once again, I find myself wishing David’s Tea was more readily available in the UK.
I thought I was over this morning’s “I feel sick and dizzy” blip, but apparently I’m not. I actually felt so bad earlier than I tipped out my tea (52 Teas Rainbow Sherbet! The loss!) after just a couple of sips because I was convinced it was making me feel worse. I’ve just been drinking water up until now, but I thought I’d risk a fruit tisane because work without tea is not a place I really want to be. As soon as I stand up I feel all wonky and off balance, though, so something’s clearly up. Maybe if I sit down and drink my tea quietly, I’ll feel better soon? I hope so. If not, I’ll have to try and get myself home, which could be interesting.
Anyway, the tea. This sample pouch of Mulled Wine is from last year – I don’t think I bought any this Christmas, though I planned to originally. It’s a pretty good representation, with flavours of red fruit, clove, cinnamon, and a hint of citrus. No wine, obviously, but mulling spices for sure. It’s still cold outside, so it’s fairly season-appropriate. It’s warming, comforting, and not too sweet, so I’m finding it palatable even though I feel all wrong at the moment. A good decision.
This morning’s matcha was a 1/4 tsp whisked into a shot glass of hot water. It wasn’t my favourite combination, let’s say. A little too citrus peel/fresh cut grass for first thing, maybe, and it’s an odd combination to start with. I felt pretty horrible for about an hour afterwards, but I’m not sure whether the matcha had anything to do with that. I was feeling pretty rubbish to begin with, although not quite as nauseous. Not the combination for me!
This morning’s matcha was a plain latte made with 1/2 tsp, a bit of hot water, and lots of milk! I thought at the time that the powder had incorporated well, but I did find clumps that had settled to the bottom once I got to the dregs. Clearly my whisking technique needs more work! I think it’s pretty safe to say that I prefer flavoured matcha – it’s just so much more palatable. I didn’t mind this, though – it’s a bit grassy, and that’s an odd contrast at first with the sweetish flavour of boiled milk, but it’s not overwhelmingly pungent. I think it’s doing me some good, too, so I can tolerate it just to feel better.
Another old favourite, but this time the “old” 52Teas reblend version. I only opened the pouch today, and I’m getting the alcoholic tang that sometimes seems to occur with 52 Teas. I’m thinking I’ll need to air this one before it’s at its best in terms of flavour, but I gave it a go anyway just in case. I went with my normal parameters – 1tsp, 3.5 minutes in boiling water, splash of milk. The flavour is okay – definitely cotton candy, sweet, sugary, delicious. I can taste the alcohol-like tang right at the beginning of the sip, though, so I was right to think about airing it. I’ll try and be more patient before I go for my next cup! Either way, I enjoyed this one. It’s good to have it back in my “active” cupboard, and I’ve let my original rating stand.
A sample from Miss B. I’m very much a chocolate tea fan, so I’m more than happy to take any opportunity to try one that’s new to me. I used 1.5 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.
I was looking forward to chocolate truffle in a cup – who wouldn’t? – but it’s really not that intense. The black tea is malty and sweet, but that’s mostly all I can taste. There’s a hint of chocolate, but I think potentially I’ve been spoilt by some of the other chocolate teas I’ve tried recently. I’m looking for MORE CHOCOLATE, and it’s not there to find. Still, though, it’s tea. My expectations should probably be more reasonable.
This isn’t a bad cup, by any means. The base tea is pleasant and there is some chocolate. Just not enough for me, clearly!
A sample from Miss B – I’m still working through the very generous (and seemingly bottomless!) box she sent me. At first I thought this one was mainly black tea, and wondered why it looked so…shiny. At this point I realised that it actually contains a very high proportion of vanilla pod pieces – maybe as much as 50% now that I’ve taken a closer look. This clearly explains the name. I gave 1.5 tsp of leaf approximately 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.
I’m pretty impressed with the flavour. I wasn’t sure how a tea with such a high proportion of vanilla would come across – whether it would taste thin because there’s not too much actual “tea”, whether the vanilla pods would even infuse well in only a few minutes. I was wrong on both counts – the black tea base is nicely malty and pairs amazingly well with the sweet, rich, creamy, fudge-like vanilla. This one reminds me a little of Whispering Pines Golden Orchid – it’s not as intense or chocolatey, but the vanilla gives it a similar dessert-like vibe. It’s definitely a pleasant tea to sip on – very enjoyable.