1186 Tasting Notes
I placed a wonderfully sizeable Bluebird order at the weekend, so I’m happily finishing off the rest of the teas from my previous orders at the moment. This one I almost expected to dislike, but it’s actually rather yummy. When it’s right, it has a wonderful baked apple flavour with a hint of cinnamon and clove spicing. The dry leaf is really pretty, too, with it’s little specks of red among the leaves.
I have got this wrong, on occasion, and it can be woefully bitter. Today, though, it’s smooth and astringency free. The green tea base really helps the apple flavour to pop, and works with the rest of the flavours genuinely cohesively to form a really satisfying cup. This may be a repurchase come autumn.
I was looking forward to trying this one, because I enjoyed 52 Teas Cucumber Mango Shou Mei a lot last summer. That definitely made me consider cucumber teas more seriously than I would have otherwise — it seems an odd flavour for tea, initially, and I was a little surprised to find it worked so well.
So, anyway. This got the usual SBT treatment (3 minutes in boiling water, topped up to two liters with cold water, and into the fridge overnight). The main flavour is watermelon — slightly candied, like those watermelon haribo sweets. There’s also a delicate note of cucumber, though, which comes over quite well in the aftertaste. The melon definitely has the edge here, but it would be unfair to say that the cucumber doesn’t also have its chance to shine.
This one isn’t an overly sweet choice, and it’s very light and refreshing to drink. The melon and cucumber and both very clean, delicate flavours, so it’s a very nice tea for a hot summer day. Today is supposed to get up to 29 later in the day, so it’ll definitely come into its own if that happens. This one goes on the repurchase list for sure!
Following on from yesterday’s note, I had another cup of this with breakfast this morning. If I concentrate hard, I can just about get raspberry from this. I wouldn’t say it’s a prominent flavour, though. Still, chocolate and caramel is good enough for me!
A sample from ashleyelizabeth. This is a tea I’ve been curious about for a while, primarily because I like almonds (and amaretti biscuits in particular), but also because it seems to divide opinion.
I gave 1.5 tsp of leaf about 4 minutes in boiling water. No additions. To begin with, I honestly though this was a rooibos. Now I know better. I’ve never had a tea with a Lapacho Bark base — indeed, I’m not really sure what it actually is. Research required, I think! Anyway, while brewing this tea smells completely like almond essence, or almond cake…it’s quite strong, but it has a bakey element behind it that makes it smell very appealing.
To taste, this is pretty much liquid marzipan. There’s something slightly biscuitty, too, and the apricot seems to help bring the two together into a really pleasant amaretto flavour. Underneath all that, though, there’s a something bitter and unappealing that I’m not really liking very much. I’m not sure whether it’s the orange, or the rose, or just the unusual base, but whatever it is isn’t gelling very well with the flavour as a whole. It’s not a flavour I recognise, so I’m guessing it’s probably the base. It tastes almost burnt, somehow.
I’m going to say I like this one well enough for the minute — it’s pretty spot on for amaretto, if it wasn’t for that odd flavour that spoils it at the last minute. I have a couple more cups worth left, so I can experiment a little more. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to try this one, though, so many thanks to ashleyelizabeth for sharing with me!
A sample from ashleyelizabeth! I’ve said this before, but I’ve been looking for a replacement for 52 Teas Raspberry Cream for a long, long time. That probably goes some way to explaining why I pounce on raspberry flavoured blends whenever I get the chance! Many of the raspberry rooibos blends I’ve tried have been relatively disappointing — lots of woody rooibos, not so much raspberry. Still, I keep trying.
I gave 1.5 tsp of leaf 4 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk. I can actually smell raspberry, which is encouraging! Fortunately, raspberry is also present in the taste. It’s quite tart, a little sour, a tiny bit juicy…I think this tea pretty much has raspberry nailed. The rooibos is okay — not too woodsy or metallic — but I definitely know it’s there. Even with milk, it pokes out a little too much for my liking. Not to the extent that it drowns out the raspberry, but enough that it takes the shine off it a little. Nonetheless, it’s a pleasant raspberry tea and a sample I’ll enjoy finishing up. Yay for raspberries!
For some reason, I find it hard to separate out Della Terra’s minty black teas in my mind. They’re all pretty similar, as far as I can tell, with just slight variations on the mint/vanilla/chocolate theme. This particular example has little cow shaped candies! I thought they were all white at first, but there are also some black and brown cows in the mix. Too cute!
I gave 1 tsp of leaf about 3.5 minutes in boiling water. No additions. It certainly smells minty and sweet, a little like mint hot chocolate. To taste, the most prominent flavour is chocolate. That surprised me a little, as mint can be so dominating. The vanilla comes out next, and it’s smooth and creamy, adding a hint of sweetness to the chocolate which is actually fairly bittersweet. None of the Della Terra artificial chocolate here! The mint comes through primarily in the aftertaste, adding a crisp, cooling twist. It’s pleasantly refreshing after the chocolate/vanilla headiness of the initial sip. The black tea base is unobtrusive, but smooth and astringency free.
Overall, this makes for a pleasant sweet treat. It’s similar enough to some of DTT’s other mint/chocolate/vanilla blends that I don’t need it around all the time, but it’s certainly a pleasant variation on the theme. A worthwhile try.
A sample from ashleyelizabeth! I’ve been roller derbying today, so I knew in advance that I wouldn’t have chance for much tea/drinks today. That being the case, I chose a high caffeine tea this morning. The energy Yerba is supposed to provide also made it a good choice. I didn’t read the ingredients or any tasting notes before I tried this one, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than chocolate and yerba.
I gave 1 tsp of leaf about 4 minutes in water left to cool slightly after boiling. The resulting liquor is a medium brown, and it smells divinely chocolatey! I’m always a little apprehensive about yerba — plain it’s really not my thing — but there’s no cause for concern here. The chocolate flavouring is nice — not at all artificial or chemical tasting. There’s a dry, very slightly bitter taste to it that actually reminds me of chocolate with a high cocoa solid content. What makes this amazing in my estimation is the caramel that goes alongside the chocolate — it’s smooth and buttery, adding a touch of almost honeyed sweetness to the slightly bitter chocolate. There’s a tinge of nuttiness, and a tiny earthiness in the aftertaste.
Reading the notes here, I was surprised to see that there’s supposed to be raspberry in this. I got no raspberry, but I don’t feel robbed. Raspberry wasn’t necessary in this chocolate caramel wonder brew. I’ll look out for it next time, though.
In case you hadn’t guessed, this is my new favourite mate!
Weekend Sipdown #9
This is one of the nicer chamomile based blends I’ve had the pleasure of trying in a while. This time, my cup was a pale pinky-red (see previous notes for my musings on this magical, colour changing tea!). I don’t usually like hibiscus too much, but it does a sterling job of cutting through some of the sweetness from the chamomile here. The citrus flavours — lime and orange, primarily, to my taste — also pack a refreshing punch. A pleasant evening cup.
Weekend Sipdown #8
This is a pleasant enough darjeeling, considering it’s bagged. There’s nothing too metallic in the flavour, which is what I’ve had the biggest problem with in Mighty Leaf’s darjeelings. Instead, it’s lightly floral, with a very slight muscatel/grapey flavour. Quite brisk. Pleasant enough, but not a repurchase.
Weekend Sipdown #7
I am finding the strawberry here a little on the fake side for my liking, although its similarity to ice cream syrup is actually pretty nice in small doses. I like the strong “ice cream” flavour this one has to. On the whole, though, it’s not a tea I’d want to drink a lot of, or a lot of the time. I’m glad to have had the chance to try it, but it won’t be too sadly missed.