1723 Tasting Notes
Open the pouch, smells like…banana? Although having skimmed the other notes on this one, it looks like this is a fairly common reaction. I’m also going to say that I didn’t know kiwi cheesecake was that much of a thing…I’ve certainly never come across one, and I’m wondering how a fairly wet fruit would pair with cream cheese…Not well, my brain tells me. I’m probably wrong, though.
I gave 1 tsp of leaf 3 minutes in water cooled to 175 degrees. Once brewed, it still takes like banana. I don’t have any real complaint about this, because I like banana tea. Given that it’s supposed to be kiwi, though, it’s a little odd. There’s a definite cheesecake-like creaminess alongside the banana, which reminds me a little of Red Leaf’s Cheesecake Matcha in terms of flavour. The oolong base works well – probably better than I thought it would if I’m honest. It’s smooth and only very slightly mineral, mostly absent from the overall flavour profile. Pretty good, all told, as long as you remember it’s banana cheesecake and not kiwi. Not sure what happened here, but it tastes excellent!
I keep drinking this one at events, from my Timolino, and then forgetting to log it. It’s one of those teas that everyone comments on, because it smells so deliciously rich and creamy even while it’s just sitting there. It’s not particularly unique – I’ve had many an Earl Grey Creme, some better than others – but it’s still one of my favourite kinds of blend. I think you can tell a lot about a company based on their success at creating an EGC (or otherwise…)
This one’s a good ‘un, as you’d expect from David’s. The creaminess is very prominent, and it’s not too artificial considering it’s probably primarily flavouring and not anything especially natural. It’s too strong and thick tasting to be just vanilla, let’s face it. The earl grey aspect (very important!) is good also – there’s a hint of citrussy bergamot, but it’s not too bitter or overpowering. The black tea base is smooth and gently malty, and gets strong enough to take milk if that’s the way you like to do things.
I like this one. I wish it were more readily available in the UK.
I didn’t realise this one had such bad ratings until today, which strikes me as odd because while it’s brewing it smells really nice. Fruity, sweet, plummy. I used 1 bag for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water, no additions.
To taste, it’s pretty okay. The plum is very apparent, but it’s not artificial tasting in the way I expected it to be. It’s actually quite juicy and natural, as if actual plum juice had been squeezed into a cup of earl grey. The bergamot isn’t too strong, which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. It’s a floral/citrus tang in the background, and there it stays. The black tea base is smooth, with no bitterness or astringency. On the whole, I’d say it’s a successful cup.
I’m not the greatest fan of Twinings, or of bagged tea generally, but this one is better than average. It lives up to its name, and the flavouring is pretty true-to-life. I’d happily drink this one again, which is good because I have another 11…
Morning + work = mate. At least, at this time of year. This is one of the last older 52Teas I own, I think other than this there are about 5 left in my cupboard, and all sample sizes. So I’m nearly there, with those at least! I was hoping for popcorn when I brewed this one up, but unfortunately it’s not quite there. The mate is pretty strong, with its distinctive coffee-like flavour, and underneath that there’s a sweet-ish honey flavour. It’s reminding me a little bit of sugar puffs…or sugar puffs eaten with a cup of coffee more accurately. It’s not a strong flavour, just background, but it’s pleasant enough. It made for a good start to the day, at any rate.
Another new start. Apple, cinnamon, and almond feels kinda Christmassy to me, so I brought my sample tin of this one to work with me today. It’s one of the better “apple pie” esque blends I’ve tried – the apple strikes a pretty perfect balance between sharp and sweet, with just a touch of floury-floral. The cinnamon adds a hint of spice, but isn’t overpowering, and the almond rounds everything out with a kind of crumbley amazingness. I could probably have left the leaf in longer and come up with a stronger flavour, but I was in a hurry so 1.5 tsp of leaf got around 4 minutes in boiling water. It’s pretty delicious, even so. I’m looking forward to drinking a lot more of this one!
It’s that time of year again. Work really picks up from the end of November right through to February now, pretty much, and then there’s Christmas and all the associated hoo-ha that comes along with, and this year I’m also half-way through buying a flat. So I’m tired, and stressed, and a bit grumpy right now. And I have to do reception this morning as well as my own work (try concentrating when you’re being interrupted every ten fucking seconds), so that’s already put me in a fairly disgusting mood and today’s work day is only 10 minutes old.
Mate is what I usually turn to from mid-December until the Christmas break starts on the 23rd. I’m looking forward to having 10 days off more than it’s possible to communicate in words. I plan to sleep a lot, and be at least a little bit selfish. Until then, I’ve got this. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water.
It’s good. Maybe the best mate blend I’ve tried in a while. I like the freshness of the orange. It’s juicy and fruity and walks the perfect line between sweet and sharp. There’s also a hint of papaya, and just a touch of pineapple, but it’s mostly orange. Like orange juice orange. Orange perfection. The mate is a little earthy, but it works, somehow, and I’m really appreciating the energy boost. On the whole? A really good ’un. Love this.
This random steeping is alternatively known as “Free Tea #3” from Liquid Proust. It’s a Japanese green from 2015, with added flavouring (described as oh so mild). The first thing that struck me about it is how finely ground it seems to be – almost like powder. I’ve only had one tea like this previously that I can recall. The recommendation was for 2 minutes at 170 degrees, so that’s what I went with. Dry, the leaf isn’t giving much away. It smells grassy, vegetal, with maybe a hint of “orange” fruitiness. Mango? I could be imagining that, though.
To taste, I’m getting a mildly vegetal green tea (a LOT milder than I expected), very smooth, with a pleasant grassy flavour. It’s very fresh and spring-like. In terms of flavour, I’m sticking with “orange” or “tropical” fruit. It’s not quite peppery enough for mango, I don’t think, but not sharp or citrussy enough to be orange. It could be peach, or apricot…along those lines, anyway.
Despite not knowing exactly what I’m drinking, I’m enjoying this one. It’d be perfect for warmer weather, but it’s certainly cheering me up on this cold December day.
I’m forcing myself to try “new” old teas today, and it helps that I haven’t actually got much at work with me at the moment so it’s try things or have no tea. It doesn’t help that they’re mostly green teas in my untried pile, because they’re never my favourite. I say that, but I think it’s really a historical hangover from when I thought all green tea was bitter and horrible. I know for a fact now that that’s not the case, but somehow I still have a bit of a prejudice about green tea, even though some of my best friends are green tea…I never said I wasn’t odd.
So. This one. The reviews seem a bit mixed, and I’m not much liking the sound of soap as a descriptor. Otherwise? Orange, cinnamon and vanilla sounds okay (I probably wouldn’t have put it with green tea, though…) Sea buckthorn I’ve never tried. What even is it? I’m okay with sencha, although it’s not my favourite green. I’d happily say that no green is my favourite, but that’s a lie. I actually really do like Bi Luo Chun.
I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. The leaf is pretty, lots of yellow and green. It smells spicier than I expected, a little bit like chai. But also a little bit like a Lush soap I had once. Sea Vegetable? Not encouraging.
To taste, it’s thankfully not too much like soap. There’s a strong initial creaminess that’s really nice and almost thick tasting. I’m assuming that’s due in large part to the vanilla, and it has a lovely heavy dairy cream vibe that’s just perfect on a cold day. The orange comes through second, mostly pith and zest to begin with but followed by a sharp, clean, bright splash of orange that’s more reminiscent of freshly squeezed juice. The cinnamon rounds things off, adding a warming spiciness that’s actually makes me think of Christmas – just right for December! My only complaint about this one is the liquorice, because it’s horribly over-sweet and cloying, and it coats the back of my throat with its artificial sweetener-like stickiness. Otherwise, I get along just fine with this blend. I can’t taste the sea buckthorn, and I still don’t know what that actually is. I can’t taste the green tea base, either, which is fine with me. It’s smooth and unobtrusive, just how I like it. I’ll probably drink a fair bit more of this one before Christmas – it’s a surprise win. If it wasn’t for the liquorice, we could be the best of friends.
This has to be one of the older blends in my cupboard…it’s been there more than a year, maybe closer to two? The fact that I can’t remember isn’t a good sign. I think I bought it off the back of a 52Teas cucumber blend that I really enjoyed a couple of summers ago…and then promptly forgot about it. It’s been sealed, though, and the scent is still good, so today it finally sees the light.
The dry leaf looks a little crusty, but at this point I’m really not surprised. There are pieces of dried lime zest and small cubes of freeze-dried cucumber, a lot of peppermint, plus the green tea base (apparently both straight green – sencha? – and jasmine green). It’s pre-sweetened with stevia, which I’m usually against, but if it helps to create a mojito kind of vibe then I might be on side…
I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. This blend reminds me a lot of Bluebird’s MojiTEA, which is a good thing because I like that one. On the other hand, they’re not sufficiently different for me to want to keep both around, and I wouldn’t replace the Bluebird with this one because (for me, in the UK) Bluebird is more readily accessible anyway.
This one has strong lime notes, followed by cool, dank peppermint. There’s an edge of sweetness from the stevia, but it’s not overdone and it doesn’t strike me as “artificial” in any way. It’s just a touch of (welcome) background sugariness. The green tea base is smooth, a little vegetal. I can’t taste the jasmine at all, which is a bonus for me because I’m not over keen on floral greens. I’m guessing this one would be better iced or cold brewed, but it’s hardly the season for that at the moment. I might try and hang on to some leaf for next summer…but then this one really will be an antique by then, so maybe not.
I’d like to get to a place with my cupboard where most of my tea is less than a year old, and where the amount I’ve got around seems manageable rather than overwhelming. I’m conscious that I’m neglecting stuff, which makes me feel bad, and I don’t want it to be like that. I’ve been pretty good at not buying anything new lately, but the temptation is growing as it always seems to once my cupboard gets under 200. I’d like it to be under 100…maybe within the next year? I guess we’ll see! And at least I know what my New Year’s Resolution is going to be…
Finally got around to trying this one today. It’s a slightly odd blend, I think. Dry, it looks very…beige. The bag is basically cubes of various things in shades of brown and yellow – date and pineapple primarily, I think, although there’s also some cherry pieces (still brown) and elderberries (brown, surprisingly). Everything’s covered in – guess what colour? – brown dust, which settled at the bottom of my cup. I’m convinced it’s powdered ginger, but it’s not listed in the ingredients…
To taste, this is sweeter than I was expecting. It’s mostly pineapple, but dried pineapple (you know, with a ton of extra sugar that makes it all candy-like…) rather than fresh. There’s an undertone of tartness (thanks, hibi), and a whole lot of ginger. I can’t taste much of the other ingredients really at all, because those three dominate pretty much totally. I was hoping the date and cherry would be more prominent, but sadly that’s not the case.
It’s an odd combination of things, but it doesn’t taste bad. It’s not my favourite tropical blend, or even my favourite fruit blend, but it’s drinkable. It wouldn’t be a repurchase for me, though, even if I could get hold of more. Which I can’t. Can you tell I’m feeling a bit meh about this one?