445 Tasting Notes
I always enjoy this one, as long as I’m patient and leave it long enough for the caramel and white chocolate pieces to melt. And then give it a decent stir. It wasn’t my favourite at first, but it’s growing on me as I learn better how to brew it. A surprise contender for a permenant place in my stash.
Tried this for the first time today. I generally like black teas flavoured with red fruit, but finding one with a good flavour balance can be difficult. In the bag, this one smells just as I want it to. Blackberry and raspberry predominate, and I can actually see one or two whole fruits among the leaves. The base of this one is actually identified on my bag as a keemun, but it seems to have been cut fairly liberally with raspberry leaves. The effect is pretty, but I guess I’m kind of wondering why they’re so predominant. Surely they’re not going to add much in the way of flavour?
Anyway, on to the tasting. I brewed this for about 3.5 minutes in boiling water. Yumchaa don’t really give much in the way of brewing parameters, so I know it’s going to be trial and error until I find what works best. At first, this has no discernable smell, but after about three minutes it develops quite a strong smoky scent.
The smokiness doesn’t translate to the flavour too much, although I can taste it. On the other hand, I can’t taste much in the way of berries. Maybe very slightly in the aftertaste, but that’s all. Obviously I’m going to have to work on how I brew this a little, because what I’ve got at the moment can’t be this tea at its best. The smokiness confused me at first, although after a quick google, I established that keemun teas can taste smoky and bitter, depending how they are processed. I know the taste isn’t contamination, as I haven’t had any smoky tea in my cupboard since I bought this. Smoky tea really isn’t my thing. Where is the fruit, though? It’s so odd, because it smells just fine dry, and I want it to taste like that too!
Not sure about this one at the moment. I might try it black, and adjust my leaf and time/temp parameters to see if any of that helps. The name is pretty accurate, though. It tastes like a walk in the woods in early autumn, when there’s the scent of woodsmoke on the breeze…
Had another of these today, as a sort of joyous farewell to winter. Just straight, with a little bit of milk. The chilli and clove come out most prominently when it’s brewed this way, I think. I’m not a huge fan of clove, so I generally prefer this as a latte, but it’s good all the same. Nice, warming hit of chilli. Good stuff.
I think I’m getting better at brewing this, because today’s cup didn’t taste like ordinary black tea, even to start with. I could taste berries, sweet and juicy, straight away. I’m really happy that they’re no longer just in the aftertaste. I’ll have to try and work out what I did differently this time, so that I can repeat it again next time. Or maybe it’s just that it’s been out of the plastic bag and in the caddy for a while since I last drank it. I don’t know. Either way, I feel justified in raising its rating a little now. Truly delicious for a warm spring day!
Okay, so it’s actually been appreciably warm today, so after a walk to the supermarket to get my lunch ingredients for next week, I came home and made a big pitcher of this. I think it’s the first time I’ve been able to use my iced tea jug this year, just when I was beginning to think winter wasn’t going to end!
I used 4 tablespoons worth, and was rewarded with a lovely, strong, fruity result. I can’t decide whether I prefer this cold, or hot with honey. Both are equally nice, but cold is a better fit for today’s weather. I don’t actually have all that much of this left, maybe enough for another pitcher. It’s one I probably won’t be buying again, as there’s something in the flavour that doesn’t appeal to me. I still can’t put my finger on exactly what it is, but I find it puts me off what is otherwise a very pleasant fruit tea. In spite of the hibiscus, as well!
Still, this is going down well this afternoon, and that’s all I’m asking for the minute :)
The last of my samples from Butiki. I really enjoyed the Cider Guayusa yesterday, so I have high hopes for this.
The dry leaves smell delicately of orange, creamy rather than zesty, with the earthiness from the guayusa providing a pleasant undertone. It’s quite a straightforward scent, but if it tastes as good as it smells, I’ll be a happy girl.
I brewed this for 6 mins, and needn’t have feared. The tangerine is a subtle flavour, but it’s definetly there. The creaminess isn’t noticable at first, but develops more as the tea cools. I haven’t added anything to this, but I can imagine the contribution a little sugar would make. There’s not a great deal of natural sweetness from the tangerine, so the earthy guayusa does tend to dominate, at least in the intial sip. The creamy tangerine is noticable in the aftertaste, though, which makes for a very pleasant early-afternoon drink.
On balance, I prefer the Cider Guayusa I tried yesterday, so this probably isn’t one I’d order more of. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try it, though. Experience is the key in all things!
Third sipdown of the day! You can see that I set myself a little challenge there, but it paid off. Another one I won’t be buying again, for the same reasons as Rooibos Vanilla. It’s not unpleasant, just not really my thing. Another to chalk up to experience.
Second sipdown of the day. I don’t mind this terribly, but it’s not something I’d buy again. The vanilla is a bit too fake-tasting for my liking, and adagio’s rooibos appears not to be my thing. Glad to have tried it, though!
Sipdown! Finished this off today. Good, strong, everyday black (as ever), see previous notes for more detail. This’ll be taking a break from my cupboard now while I work on some of my other straight blacks. It’ll be back, though. No doubt about that!
Another of my samples from Butiki, and another first for me as I’ve never tried a guayusa before. I guess this is a funny kind of day to be trying one for the first time, too, but I figure I need waking up. I’ve been feeling so dreary today, maybe this will do the trick.
The dry leaf smells like…cider, as it happens. I usually visit a cider press in the summer with my family, and sniffing this tea takes me right back there. It’s the same beautifully fresh, fermented apple scent. Although the ingredients list specifies other ingredients, at this point apple is all I’m getting, and that’s all right with me.
Brewed, the apple/cider scent comes through even more strongly, and there’s also a definite hint of spice (I think cinnamon and clove, mainly) that I didn’t detect in the dry mix. To taste, the natural sweetness of the apple is just glorious. It almost tastes sticky, if that’s even possible. There’s a slightly dank aftertaste that I’m assuming is the guayusa, but it’s by no means unpleasant. On the scale of my experiences with apple tea, this one is doing pretty well. It’s certaintly the most natural tasting of those I’ve tried so far, and also one of the clearest and strongest in terms of how well the apple translates. It might just be love at first sip. Definetly one I’m glad to have tried, and another I’ll be watching for future orders!