1052 Tasting Notes
First cup of the day this morning, and my first try of this tea. It’s another one I’ve been saving a little, because I do like my breakfast teas. I’ve just packaged some up for a swap, though, and that kind of prompted me to get going on it. I don’t know why I was waiting, really, or what I was waiting for. It just seems to be something I do, and I must resist this turn toward hoarding. My cupboard is definitely substantial enough to stand some drinking.
Anyway, on to the tea. The leaves here are quite large, so I went for 1.5 tsp in my infuser. I gave it the recommended 4 minutes. The first surprise was how light this brews up — it’s a medium brown. I was expecting something much darker from a breakfast tea, but there you go. The second surprise was the amount of flavour this has, considering it looks like it doesn’t have much body. It’s rich, smooth and delicately sweet, perfect breakfast tea material, and it doesn’t need any additions. As far as I can discern, it takes the light colour and mouthfeel of the darjeeling, but the full malty chocolate flavours from the assam. The keemun adds a slight earthiness, maybe a tiny hint of smoke. It’s a surprisingly complex tea — full of flavour, but with an airiness that makes it very easy to drink in quantity. I wouldn’t choose it for a morning when I need a wake up slap, but for a slow-starting weekend morning like this, it’s perfection.
The final surprise was the amount of pale green leaves when I removed my infuser basket. I guess they’re the darjeeling, and the quantity of them explains the light colour and texture. For a tea like this, I think the name is perfect. It’s light, gentle and airy — like a lotus, but with a darker (black, I suppose) depth of flavour.
I love Butiki more and more every day.
This one surprises me with how different it is from its black counterpart. It occured to me that I’d never really compared them before, so I made a cup of this after finishing off my Marco Polo.
The rouge is far more floral tasting, and the fruit element is fairly muted. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what flavours there are, actually, unlike Marco Polo where it’s all pretty obvious. This is a far more subtle tea, and there’s a little too much brassy rooibos kicking about for me to really be able to say I like it.
I find this a fairly mysterious tea. The flavours flit across the tonuge just a little too quickly to be readily identifiable. I have a feeling I recognise them, but I can’t put my finger on them exactly. There’s a tiny hint of strawberry, I think, and I’d like to say jasmine although that’s somehow not quite right. Orchid? Something floral and scented. It’s nice enough, but I prefer the black version overall. I feel I’m on firmer ground with that, while this one consistently evades me. Sadly, all I’m really left with as a lasting impression is rooibos.
First cup of the day. This is another one I tend to forget about, although I do like it. The strawberry/grenadine flavouring is thick and syrupy, maybe a touch artificial tasting. It reminds me a little of strawberry ice cream syrup. The black base also has a tendency to become bitter, so care when brewing is pretty necessary.
Even though it can be finicky, this one is worth the effort. When it’s right, it’s a really nice, sweet, easy-drinking cup. One of the first Mariage Freres teas I tried, and one I’ll remember fondly for a long time to come.
This is one that tends to get a bit neglected in my stash, through no fault of its own. As vanilla cream rooibos blends go, it’s a pretty good one. Hot, it’s a little too woody but as it cools the thick creaminess comes out more and more, and a hint of vanilla is detectable at the edges. It has quite a weighty, decadent mouthfeel, which makes it a perfect bedtime tea on a cold night. One to try and remember more often!
A sample from Shmiracles!
I’ve been saving this one for a time when I felt I deserved it, and I’ve worked so hard recently I felt that day had finally come. I love this. I knew I’d love it. Dry, it smells pretty amazing. Biscuitty, caramelly, sweet…it smells like a caramel tea SHOULD smell, in the best of all worlds. While brewing, the base tea comes out in the scent a little more, and adds its own malty sweetness to the overall profile.
To taste, this is just…divine. It’s smooth, it tastes like the richest, most decadent caramel dessert imaginable. It’s creamy, sweet, heavenly deliciousness. The assam base pokes out a little in the aftertaste, but it’s robust maltiness is so well matched to the caramel flavouring that it enhances, rather than detracts from, the overall experience. I’m a fan of assam at the best of times, but here, and in this combination, it’s more perfect than ever.
I’m in love. Huge thanks to Shmiracles for sharing some of this with me!
A sample from Shmiracles!
This is a tea I’ve wanted to try for ages, which is probably the main reason I’ve held on to my sample for so long. The scent reminds me of Della Terra’s Fireside Spice, only far, far creamier. I love the swirls of gold sparkle that spin through the cup, too. It’s such a festive and cosy-looking cup. Which is why I’m drinking it on a beautiful warm spring day, while listening to the Eagles. Obvious, really.
I could have done better with seasonal ambience, but I’m really enjoying this one. It’s actually a bit of a relief, because I’d built it up to be something really amazing in my head, and I didn’t want it to be a let down. It tastes primarily of cinnamon, and while it’s pleasantly sweet it’s not overdone. What I love most is the thick creaminess this somehow has. It’s gorgeous, like drinking a cup of some rich, spiced dessert.
Thank you so much to shmiracles for sharing a sample of this with me!
A sample from Shmiracles!
This is a really great caramel tea. I’ve been on the hunt for a decent one for what feels like a long time, and now I’ve found two in two days. More on that later. This is the more subtle of the pair, so far as the caramel flavouring goes. It’s creamy, smooth, sweet, and distinctively caramel flavoured, but it’s also beautifully balanced with the black base. As far as shares in the overall flavour go, they’re equal contenders.
It’s probably fair to say that this one smells more like caramel than it tastes, but when the combination is as good as it is here, that’s more than okay with me. There’s nothing fake or artificial here — it’s like actual caramel was melted into a sturdy black base. A genuinely lovely afternoon tea, and a wonderful treat for my Sunday!
A sample from KittyLovesTea. Last cup of the day at work. I found this one a bit of an odd duck while hot, but as it cooled it seemed to settle down. It brewed up pretty dark, which suprised me. It’s a herbal, so I just dumped the bag in boiling water and hoped for the best. I found chicory an odd ingredient here, and it might be responsible for the slightly weird flavour I detected initially, but it’s an undeniably lemony tea. It’s a little sour as well, so quite accurate lemon, rather than over sweetened or candied lemon.
I think this one would be really refreshing on a hot day, and even better cold. As lemon teas go, it’s a good one. I’m not over-awed or anything, but it’s a nice tea to have tried. Thanks to KittyLovesTea for sharing it with me!
A sample from KittyLovesTea. I’m naturally suspicious of peach tea. I’ve tried a few, and almost all of them have been unbearably fake-tasting. The kind of peach a kid’s lipgloss might be flavoured with. The smell of this one dry concerns me. It’s exactly the kind of over sweet, cloying, thick artificial peach that I dislike most. I’ve never had a real peach that tasted anything remotely like this (and other peach teas) smell.
As ever, though, I’m up for giving it a chance. Brewed, it’s not actually so bad. There is quite a thick, artificial peach taste, but the base tea is nice and smooth, and it peeks through in just the right places. I actually added milk to this, based on how dark it brewed up after only a couple of minutes, and I think that’s helped to give it a creaminess that it maybe wouldn’t have had otherwise. The suggestion on the sachet this bag came in was to ice it, and I think it might be very refreshing like that. Unfortunately, this doesn’t have quite the natural, fresh peach taste I was really hoping for, so it’s probably not one I’d seek out again. It’s just a little too far on the wrong side of cloying for my tastes. My search for the perfect peach tea continues.
A sample from KittyLovesTea. I like being presented with things that I wouldn’t otherwise try, so I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. I like white tea in general, and most berry teas, so it’s a good combination for me. Initially, I was concerned about the colour this brews to in a surprisingly short time. It’s quite a dark brown, even in cooled water, and only for about 2 or 2.5 minutes. As another reviewer has commented, though, it does contain things like blackcurrant, liquorice and cranberry, so perhaps it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise.
The real proof is in the taste, of course, and the taste here is wonderful. The berry flavour is clear, slightly sweet, and very fresh tasting. Not a hint of artificiality at all. It’s mostly blackcurrant, I think — it actually reminds me of the hot ribena my mum used to make me when I was a child. It’s not as strong or as chemically sweet, but the flavour is there. There’s not much in the way of white tea to be found, but I suppose that can’t be expected when put next to strong flavours like blackcurrant.
I really like this one, and it’s something I’d consider purchasing for myself. I’m going to go and check out Goodness Direct, now!