1617 Tasting Notes
This is one of the older Butiki teas in my cupboard, so even though it’s almost summer and not even remotely autumnal outside, I’ve brought this one to work with me today. It was calling to me, somehow. I guess I’m a year-round pumpkin fan, and not just seasonal one. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it approximately 3 minutes in boiling water. No additions. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-brown, and the scent is deliciously pumpkin-y, with a hint of cinnamon.
To taste, the first thing I can detect is the spicing. It’s very cinnamon heavy, with maybe a touch of cardamon or clove? It’s a little bitter right at the end, in the way that heavy spice sometimes is. The mid-sip is beautifully creamy, and it does put me in mind of a creme brulee. There’s a hint of slightly-burnt caramel as well, that really conjures up the crispy crust. The pumpkin emerges right at the end of the sip, almost an afterthought, and adds a squashy, sweet potato-y note to the overall cup that works really well with the other flavours. I wish it was a little more prominent throughout, but you can’t have everything. However you look at it, this is one delicious tea!
I added a couple of small pieces of crystal sugar at this point, just to see what the effect would be. After a couple of sips, it’s obvious that sugar really does help to bring out the creaminess, and it also seems to smooth out a little of the bitterness from the spices. Definitely a worthwhile addition!
This one is a little unseasonal, but as I’m just recovering from my latest cold it’s actually pretty well suited to the way I feel at the moment. It’s warming, creamy and sweet, with a spicy edge. A real comfort tea – delicious!
This is today’s cold brew. I don’t have a great deal of leaf left now, which is probably a good thing since I’m not over fond of this one. I think when I bought it, I imagined it as a sharp, bitter lemon sort of tea – maybe reminiscent of lemonade. In actuality, it’s a lemongrass/hibiscus blend, and it’s just a little weak and not-really-lemon like for my tastes. I used 2 tbsp of leaf for today’s brew, added to 1.8 litres of cold water, and then into the fridge for about 10 hours overnight.
The result is okay, in a so-so average kind of way. I can taste a tiny edge of sour lemon, but it’s very fleeting and hardly as present as I’d like it to be. The sip ends with a flash of tart hibiscus, which is fine as far as it goes. I just find the whole thing rather tasteless.
I mention trying this one hot in one of my previous notes, maybe with some honey or crystal sugar. I had thought I’d tried this one hot already, but perhaps I haven’t. I’ll probably do that before I finish this one off for good, but I’m not convinced it’ll make much difference. River Tea did better than this, that’s for sure. I’m sad they closed, but this isn’t ultimately a blend I’ll miss.
In other news, I no longer feel like death warmed over. I’m not exactly better, but I think my cold is slowly disappearing. Other than the first two days, I haven’t actually suffered too much this time. It’s annoying when you want to drink new teas and you can’t, but hey ho! I’ll be back to it soon :)
My no-buy failed fairly spectacularly this weekend. I placed orders with Twinings, Bluebird, and Teavivre, plus Christine Dattner in Paris. Not for huge quantities, but enough that it’ll probably push my cupboard number higher than I really wanted it to go. Still, I’m ill and I needed cheering up. Tea does that, every time.
Moving swiftly on (I was doing so well!), I’ve mostly been drinking this tea for the last couple of days. My cold is fairly awful and I can’t taste much right now, but I found out that Blackberry leaf is good for colds, so I’ve been drinking at least three or four cups of this one spread throughout the day. I think it’s helping at least a bit – I’m having less throat sweets and lemsip than I usually would be, and my throat is a lot less sore than I imagined it would be by now.
I’m not particularly sold on the taste of this one, but I can get behind it if it helps my cold!
This was the first Mariage Freres tea I tried, and it’s still among my favourites today. It’s one of their most well-known and iconic blends, and it’s one I was initially most curious to try, having heard various opinions. I used 1 tsp of leaf for this cup, and gave it approximately 3 minutes in boiling water. No additions. The resulting liquor is a medium red, with little scent except a vauge sweetness. The dry leaf is similarly innocuous in this way, with its scent giving little away. I think that’s why I find it such an intriguing tea in many ways – its secrets are well hidden, and a true impression of this tea comes only through having tried it.
See my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/06/06/marco-polo-rouge-mariage-freres/
In my opinion, Golden Monkey is a Teavivre classic – one that all tea lovers (and particularly black tea lovers) should try at some point. It’s a cupboard staple for me, perfect in any season, and at any time of the day or night. It’s a real comfort tea, for me. Reliable, versatile, and tasty to boot! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my current cup, and gave it approximately 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is lightly golden, the scent sweet and malty with an underlying hint of grain. I’m drinking it without additions today, hence the reasonably low steep time on this occasion, but it also works well with a 4 minute brew and a splash of milk.
One of the reasons I like this one so much is its almost intensely chocolatey initial flavour. It’s like a square of high quality dark chocolate; bittersweet, with an edge of dark, dry cacao. The malty notes emerge in the mid-sip, and make this a much sweeter prospect, which becomes a little reminiscent of molasses. It’s by no means overpowering, though – there’s just a hint of something treacley lurking in the background. Notes of baked bread, grain and a light nuttiness develop towards the end of the sip, along with a smooth caramel richness.
See my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/05/22/golden-monkey-black-tea-teavivre/
This is one of the Mariage Freres teas that I always seem to overlook when I’m choosing a green tea to drink. There’s no reason for it; it just seems to happen. From time to time, I’ll make an effort to pull out those languishing teas and give them another try. I’m usually surprised by what I discover!
See my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/06/02/yuzu-temple-green-tea-mariage-freres/
So today I have another cold, which started yesterday afternoon and turned into something awful overnight. It’s totally grim. I’m mostly drinking strongly flavoured teas today, such as this one, although I can’t say I’m really able to taste them. It’s a very sad state of affairs.
Just in time for the weekend, too.
I first opened this pouch a few months back, and drank it hot for a while at work. I liked it a lot more than I thought I was going to, and it’s sheer juiciness meant that I decided to hold the rest back for summer cold brews. I’m having the first of those today! I used 2 tbsp of leaf to two litres of cold water, and put it in the fridge for approximately 10 hours overnight. I’m a little nervous about green teas getting bitter when cold brewing, but fortunately I haven’t encountered too much of a problem with that so far.
This one is perfect – as perfect as I hoped it’d be! It’s just as good cold as it is hot, and the juicy flavour of the fruit makes it hugely refreshing. Mango is the dominant flavour at the moment, with a very light peppery edge. There’s also a touch of pineapple that rounds off each sip on a deliciously sweet note, and just a hint of white rum lurking in the background. It’s delicious!
I might be sitting in an over-warm office at the moment, but this tea could make me believe I’m somewhere much nicer – like a tropical island, maybe. I’ll be sipping and smiling all day long!
This one is at work with me again. I figured the best way to finish up the last 4 Sherlock teas would be to leave them on my desk, and so far I’ve been right. I’m really enjoying this one today – the cherry is really prominent, and there’s a wonderful sweet creaminess from the vanilla honeybush. The smoke is very muted, which is how I prefer it. I’m not sure why I waited so long to try this one – there was nothing to be scared of after all. Much like a meeting with The Woman herself, perhaps? Or maybe not. Either way, I’ll miss this one when it’s gone! It would be a potential repurchase, if only I had less tea. Ah, one day…
This is from the Spring 2014 harvest of this tea, which I’m only just getting around to trying now. Boo for me. Every time I drink a Teavivre green, though, I’m reminded of how good green tea CAN be, and that there are even green teas out there that I can love. This is another of those rarities. I used 1 tsp of leaf for this cup, and gave it 2 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. The resulting liquor is a very pale yellow, the scent mildly vegetal with a light floral edge.
The scent of the dry leaf is absolutely, totally, 100% amazing. It’s sweet and very vegetal, like fresh green beans and asparagus. The leaves are long and thin and a little downy, predominantly very pale green but with darker tips. Once brewed, the leaves are a more obvious grass green, although a few are darker and some lighter, giving a pretty variagated effect. The scent is almost a little salty – it’s actually reminding me of beef oxo cubes, strangely enough!
To taste, though, there’s no oxo to be found. This is a good thing, I think, on balance. What I can actually taste is sweet, fresh, green vegetables. Like the scent of the dry leaf, the main flavours are green bean and asparagus, with a hint of grass towards the end of the sip. This one reminds me a little of Bi Luo Chun, although I think it’s a touch milder overall. This is a very smooth green, although I wouldn’t say it’s particularly buttery. Just very clean and refreshing, with a well balanced flavour. It’s the perfect choice for spring!