445 Tasting Notes
Backlog from Thursday.
The second of the samples that came with my first Bluebird order. This one is a herbal, with generous amounts of chamomile (whole flowers, and truly massive at that!), rose petals, lavender, and lemon verbena. The scent is mostly of chamomile with a hint of rose, so quite sweet and floral. I am tired right now, but I’m having trouble winding down, so hopefully this will help to ease me into sleep!
I gave this four minutes before calling it good. It tastes rather like it smells. Sweet, perfumey, floral, but mostly of chamomile. The lavender is quite prominent, and adds a pleasant edge to this tea. I’m not usually a fan of lavender in tea, so it too me by surprise a little. It’s actually very delicate and not at all overpowering. The rose all but disappears, but that’s perhaps not a bad thing. Lavender and chamomile are strong enough flavours in themselves without having rose to compete with also.
The thing I like most about this is that it smells just like the countryside in summer, which I’m guessing is the effect of the lavender. Lavender is a big thing in Norfolk, so it’s a smell I always asspciate with weekends out in the warmer months. It’s evocative, and I like that in a tea. The flavour is interesting, too. I probably wouldn’t have put chamomile and lavender together, but they work quite well. Especially since the lavender is sweet rather than large and reminsicent of pot pourri.
This probably isn’t one I’d drink regularly, simply because I’m not a fan of floral teas, but I’m glad to have tried it — I’m always willing to challenge my taste buds! Thank you, Bluebird!
I’m a bit of a Doctor Who geek, so admittedly it was the name of this tea that intrigued me most at first. I mean, Weeping Angel…that’s inspired. Then I read the description — buttered toffee caramel corn. Also my kind of thing. Did I have to buy this? Obviously!
The dry leaf smells a little odd. There’s a tang of something that’s almost alcoholic, then something quite floral (the marigold petals?), and then a caramel scent, buried deep. Not quite what I was expecting.
Brewed, the tea itself is, thankfully, pure joy to drink. It tastes nothing like it smells, and instead is reminding me primarily of Butterkist toffee popcorn. The toffee/caramel is rich and buttery. Werther’s originals would be another good comparison, but to me this just tastes like popcorn. My favourite type of popcorn. It even has that slightly nutty, toasted flavour about it. The black base is perfect too, and beautifully supports and complements the flavours. I do get the slight sense that the flavouring has more to give, and might be hiding a little, but not to any great extent. It’s certainly one of the more convincing caramel/toffee teas I’ve tried. I might give it a try with sugar next time just to see, but at the moment I’m pretty happy with this tea.
As far as I’m concerned, Doctor Who, toffee popcorn and tea make an amazing combination. Possibly unbeatable. Great work, Frank!
It feels like I’ve been absent from here for an age, but I don’t think it’s been more than a few days. I just started a new job today, and I’m completely worn out. And then, in the few days before, I was really nervous which was also wearing me out…
Anyway, sipdown (!) on this one. It’s wonderfully spring like, and I’ve been enjoying drinking this at work this week. It’s HOT in my new reception area, and I’ve got no window and only a tiny, feeble fan for company. It’s not even summer yet. On the upside, the temp who’s showing me how to do my new job also drinks loose leaf tea, so we’ve got something in common to start with!
I’ve got a few notes waiting to go on here, so I’ll try and get on that soon. I am so tired, though. Starting a new job is certainly more awful than I remembered!
Backlog from Saturday.
I was intrigued by the idea of this tea almost from the moment I discovered 52 Teas and found out I really, really liked Frank’s blends. I have super strong memories of Rainbow Sherbet from when I was a kid, and it’s something I always loved and enjoyed. Sweet and yet sour at the same time, slightly fizzy and tangy. Wonderful. I never thought I’d be able to try this tea, but, thanks to a sample from Sil, I’ve finally got the chance!
Dry, this smells almost exactly like its namesake. Sweet, insanely fruity, and with a slight sour tang about it. I brewed this for 3.5 minutes, after which it smells similar, although slightly more tea-like. I guess that’s to be expected, though. It is, after all, tea.
It does taste remarkably like Rainbow Sherbet, though. Immediately upon taking a sip, there’s a fruity sweet-sour flavour that lingers on the tonuge, and then a powdery taste I can only describe as sherbet-like right at the back of the mouth. I think the taste is mostly citrussy — lemon, lime, orange — although it’s difficult to discern the individual flavours. It’s like the different colours all got mixed together to create the generic “Rainbow Sherbet” taste. It’s really, really nice though, and quite different from any other tea I’ve tried — 52 Teas or otherwise. A great, novel tea that I’m glad to have been able to try at last! Thank you to Sil for making this particular dream come true!
Backlog from Friday.
Today was another difficult day at work. Say no more. Anyway, I definetly felt like a treat tonight, so I pulled this out of the box of samples Sil so generously shared with me.
Dry, the leaves smell quite creamy and buttery, slightly sweet but not overpoweringly so. I definetly get butterscotch — it has that rich, smooth depth to it. Brewed, with a dash of milk, this is exactly what I hoped it would be. It smells so good, just like melted caramel, and it tastes just the same. The black base is exactly right, and very smooth. There’s no astringency here at all. It’s just rich, creamy, and buttery. If you could drink butterscotch, this is what it would be like. If it had a colour, I bet it would be gold. That’s how warm and cuddly this is making me feel.
I generally like teas of this ilk — caramel, toffee, and butterscotch are right up my street — so I’m glad I got to try this. Thanks again to Sil for making it happen!
Sipdown! Drinking my last cup of this as we start with today’s onslaught of coursework. This’ll be nothing compared tomorrow, so I’m trying to enjoy things while I can. I probably won’t buy this one again — I’d really have liked the caramel to be a more dominant flavou. Sometimes I can taste it, but it does like to hide in the background more often than not. A plesant tea, though, that I’m glad to have tried!
This is one of the samples that came with my first Bluebird order. I’ve tried a good few chocolate teas now, but this is my first chocolate orange experience. It’s a combination I like in reality (Terry’s are a favourite of mine), so I’m interested to see how the tea version works out.
The dry leaves smell just like the chocolate bar. There’s the initial milky smoothness, and then the zesty zing of orange. I’m not 100% sure on the ingredients, but it looks like some kind of petal (maybe marigold?), pieces of orange and orange zest, something that looks like a hazelnut shaving, chocolate pieces, and maybe a small amount of hibiscus and rosehip, as well as black tea. All I know at this point is that if it tastes anything like it smells I’ll be too happy to care!
And it does, so I’m over the moon! The liquor, without milk, is a red-brown colour. With milk, it turns the colour of a latte or a mug of hot chocolate. The first thing I can taste is creamy, milky chocolate, followed swiftly by the slight tang of orange. It is just like drinking a bar of orange flavoured chocolate. Creamy, chocolatey, orangey. It sounds simple, and it is, but it’s so, so yummy and not at all artificial tasting. I’m really glad to have tried this one — thank you Bluebird!
Another sample from Sil. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this tea, so it’s one I’ve been eager to try for a while, particularly since black teas have always been my favourite.
And this tea is black. The dry leaves are some of the most solidly and uniquely black I’ve seen so far, and they’re quite long and sort of curly. The scent is intensely chocolatey and maybe slightly bitter. It’s a good kind of bitterness, though, of the kind I’d attribute to dutch-process cocoa powder, which is what I’m being reminded of most at the moment. Definetly intriguing so far!
Brewed, the chocolatey scent remains and pulls through into the flavour. There’s also a slight something that reminds me of driving past a malting barley processing plant in the summer, and a deeper scent that reminds me of molasses. This is so good. Probably my new favourite among the black teas I’ve tried so far.
The taste is a more intense version of the scent — it’s strong, chocolatey, rich, malty, and bittersweet all at the same time. It almost seems slightly smoky, but I think that might be an coincidence of the strength rather than an element of the flavour in itself. As it cools, the chocolatey notes develop in intensity and there’s even something spicy (peppery?) that lingers at the back of the palate. It’s certainly a complex tea, but a deeply satisfying one all the same. I’m not surprised this gets such favourable reviews, because it really is a spectacular black tea that I won’t hesitate to recommend. I’m off to try some more steepings now!
Thanks again to Sil for giving me the opportunity to try this one!
I’ve tried this before in a sample pack I had back when I first started drinking whole leaf tea. I didn’t write a note, though. It might actually have been before I joined Steepster. Anyway, Silver Needle is one of my favourite varieties of white tea. I love the creamy green, downy buds, the smoothly floral scent, and the honeyed texture. It’s a tea that appeals to my senses.
Dry, the scent is lightly grassy with a delicate floral edge, almost like honeysuckle. Just the smell of this tea makes me think of spring, which is why I finally broke it out tonight. I’ve had enough of winter, and it looks like it might (finally!) be over.
Brewed, the liquor is very pale champagne-yellow, and the smell is delicately equally delicately floral. There’s a slight grassy note as well, but I have to sniff deeply to pick that up. The taste is very similar. Dew-like honeysuckle, and a flavour I find unique to white tea, almost like an unripe banana.
I find this tea great for helping me to calm down and relax for some reason, maybe because it’s so subtle and gentle. I’m definetly taking some of this to work with me tomorrow — we’ve got a manic week ahead and I’ll need all the help I can get to survive it. All I can say to sum up this tea is that it’s simply sublime. I luffs it.
Almost a sipdown on this one today — two cups worth left. This has been languishing in my desk drawer for a while, so I might take it home and finish it off this weekend. Then I can replace it with something new on monday. I always enjoy this one as an everyday black, but it’s definetly time to try something else!