1321 Tasting Notes
What I have noticed about this tea is that it’s never the same colour twice. My first cup was green, my second cup was grey, my third cup was purple. Today it’s red. The sane part of my brain believes this is a logical consequence of the balance of ingredients in each bag. The happily insane part believes this is magic, colour changing tea. I’ll leave you to decide which is more likely.
Today’s cup has a nice sharp citrus note which offsets the cloying sweetness of the chamomile flowers. I can taste hibiscus a little more than I usually can; I guess that’s why today’s cup is red!
A sample from ashleyelizabeth Surprisingly, the most difficult thing about this one was opening the tin! I had to prise it off with a spoon handle. Having achieved that much, I gave 1.25 tsp of leaf 3 minutes in boiling water. The dry leaf is quite a pale brown, and covered in spice dust — it looks chocolatey and wonderful!
To taste, this is rather like a spiced, mild hot chocolate. The chocolate itself is a dry, almost dusty cacao flavour, and it’s fairly weak. It’s deliciously creamy, though, especially with a touch of milk added — the vanilla really shines here! The real star, though, is the spicing. Cinnamon is the strongest flavour, but I also get hints of cardamom and maybe ginger. It doesn’t taste at all chai-like, though — it just makes for a very pleasant combination with the chocolate and vanilla, rather like an exotic truffle! This isn’t the most chocolatey tea around, but as a blend it’s lovely to drink. A great early evening treat.
Today’s iced tea for work. This had the usual SBT treatment (which I’ll refrain from outlining again). I’m currently working my way through a pouch of the 52 Teas version of this one, and I’ve been impressed with the strength of the blueberry in that one. Sometimes I get cream cheese/pastry from it, but it can be a bit hit and miss.
I’m pleased to report that the SBT is similarly blueberry-centric. It’s the first flavour to develop upon taking a sip, and it’s deliciously juicy and true-to-life. Sweet, slightly tangy, blueberry amazingness. There’s also a distinctive cream cheese flavour that comes in second and offsets the fruity sweetness nicely, and, then, right at the end, a fleeting hint of buttery, flaky pastry. It’s a really nice combination, and it’s wonderful to taste all of the elements of this one — together they make a great combination! Drinking this has actually made me feel hungry, that’s how spot on danish pastry it really is. Another awesome SBT.
Second pouch. This is one of few oolongs I do genuinely enjoy. The caramel flavour is excellent — sweet, creamy luscious — perhaps no real surprise, because there are many chunks of actual caramel among the dry leaves. The oolong base is dark, and adds a slightly roasty, caramelised (burnt?) flavour which pairs well with the caramel. I did notice that the leaves in this pouch are much smaller and more broken up than the leaves in my first pouch, which came with the 12 Days of Christmas box. The taste is similar as far as I can remember, though. There is apparently orange peel in this one, but I can’t taste it at all. As caramel cream teas go, this is a flavoursome one! It’s not half bad for an oolong, either. Always an enjoyable cup.
I used hotter water today, and was rewarded with a slightly stronger orange flavour. The creaminess is still there, along with the sweet sugariness of a brulee! The oolong is nowhere to be found. I was hoping I’d like this one as much when brewed at proper parameters, and I do! A wonderful dessert replacement (or mid-afternoon treat, as the case may be!)
A sample from ashleyelizabeth. I’ve heard a lot about this one, and I’ve recently had some very positive experiences with Chinese black teas, so I was pretty excited as I brought this one out to try. The dry leaves are simply beautiful — slightly curly, golden brown with cocoa tips, darkening to almost-black. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it approximately 3 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-brown, and the scent is sweetly malty with a hint of smoke.
The initial flavour is similar to the scent — sweetly malty with a very slight edge of bitterness. The flavour of sweet potato develops mid-sip, and I get a hint of milk chocolate. A vague smokiness swirls around in the background, adding a mildly bitter, savoury overtone to perfectly augment the sweetness of the malt. I like this as a middle of the road kind of tea. It hasn’t got the chocolate and bread of Teavivre’s Yunnan Dian Hong Golden Tip, nor the deeper, darker, leathery notes of their Balian Gongfu. Instead, it treads a line somewhere in the middle — the best of both worlds! It’s wonderfully delicious! I would purchase this one as a breakfast/morning tea, simply because it’s strong and tasty, and has many of the flavours I enjoy in a black tea. Truly lovely stuff! Thanks again to ashleyelizabeth for sharing this one with me.
So, I finally worked out how to get turkish delight from this one! You ICE it. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it before, but there you go. I cold-brewed the last of my bag (about 3 tbsp), in one litre of cold water, and left it in the fridge for around 12 hours. I wasn’t expecting a lot, but it’s an okay tea so something pleasant and refreshing to sip on at work was all I was really after. Instead, I get amazingness. The kind of amazingness i was looking for all along!
The initial sip tastes just like biting into a piece of turkish delight; sweet, with rose and lemon flavours by turns. For once, the lemon isn’t first! Rose is the prominent flavour, and as that fades the lovely mellow citrus of the lemongrass takes over. It even tastes somehow gooey, and there’s a pleasing overall sweetness that really is reminiscent of icing sugar. Hot, this is useless. Cold, it’s liquid turkish delight. My only regret now is that I didn’t try cold brewing this one earlier. Somehow, it just didn’t occur to me. I have 1 tsp left for a final hot cup before we say goodbye, but I think this might be on the repurchase list after all. There’s a surprise. I’ve increased the rating, because now I feel I know what this tea is about.
I have two sample pouches of this one, so I’m rather pleased that it turns out I like it. I gave 1 tsp of leaf about 2.5 minutes in cooled water, and the resulting liquor is…orange! The scent brewed is mostly of cream and caramel, which is as unlike the dry leaf as it’s possible to be. The dry leaf smells strongly of orange zest, and reminds me a little of hard boiled orange candy sweets.
To taste, the orange is a little candyish and chemical. It’s also fairly mild. The creaminess is amazing, though! Together, the two flavours do make me think of a brulee. Sweet, a little rich, creamy, a touch of caramel. All I’m missing is the crunchy caramelised sugar! I can’t taste the oolong base at all, which is always a bonus in my book.
I have a feeling I let the water cool a little too much, but I’m at work and I got distracted. Next time I’ll leave it a little hotter and see if that brings out more orange flavour. I can see myself getting along with this tea quite well, though, which is a rare thing for an oolong.
I haven’t had this one in a while, so I pulled it out for last night’s pre-bedtime cup. It’s an interesting one — the main flavour is lemongrass, but there’s also a strong element of hot chocolate. It’s creamy tasting, with strong hints of cocoa, a touch or rose…and lemon. I’m not really getting turkish delight, and I do find the lemon a slightly odd combination with cocoa and rose, but it’s a unique experience all the same. A bit like Narnia, I suppose!