1321 Tasting Notes
Final tea of the day at work was this herbal from my ML Collection sampler. It’s very, very similar to the ordinary Mighty Leaf version (Chamomile Citrus), with perhaps a touch more citrus and slightly less sweetness from the chamomile. It’s a good combination, and particularly since the citrus makes me think more of orange and lime than the ubiquitous lemon.
So far I’m finding the the ML Collection teas are often just slightly refined versions of the standard Mighty Leaf bags. Some of them appear in either one range or the other, but many are held in common. It’s hard to say which I like best. They’re so similar they’re practically the identical, but with a couple of tiny distinguishing features. With this one, I think on balance i prefer the ML Collection’s slightly stronger citrus quotient. I have a few more bags left to help me make up my mind, though!
This has been my bedtime cup the last couple of nights. Of the Celestial Seasonings I’ve tried so far, this is probably my least favourite. That makes me sad, because it’s actually one of the ones I wanted to like most.
I tried this first plain with no additions, and it was okay, but largely almondy with an odd herbal tang. I tried my second cup with the addition of crystal sugar and milk, but found the milk made it very watery and washed out in flavour. I tried my third cup with just sugar, and found it the most palatable of the three versions. The herbal note disappears with sugar, and a little more “cookie” flavour comes out to play with the almond. Somehow, though, it’s still not quite what I hoped. Still, can’t win them all! I have three bags left to play with, even so!
Today’s iced tea for work. I gave this my usual treatment (3 mins in 1/4 pint boiling water, topped up to 2 litres with cold and into the fridge overnight). It tastes beautifully of cola — absolutely, ridiculously spot on. How does Frank do it?! It’s flat cola, to be sure, but it’s cola! What I can’t really taste here is vanilla, which is a shame because I was particularly looking forward to that aspect. There’s a very mild creamy sweetness kicking around in the background, but it’s not enough to make me really say “yeah, that’s vanilla.” I do like cola flavoured iced tea, though, and this is a good one. I’d definitely try another bag at some point in the future to see if I can eke out some vanilla flavour. A good treat for a hot day, all the same!
Scheherazade’s Super Sipdown Week! #25
The last of my sipdowns, which I finished yesterday evening. Unlike ML’s Organic Hojicha, this is a green tea I can confidently say I like. It’s grassy and slightly vegetal, but fresh and mild all the same. It reminds me of some of the better Mao Feng greens I’ve tried (maybe not surprisingly?), but the leaf here is more beautiful! A sad sipdown.
Scheherazade’s Super Sipdown Week! #24
The more I drink this one, the more I find myself not really liking it. It’s not the green for me, and I knew that from the first time I tried it, but the roasty/nuttiness kept me interested for a while. It’s too…dank…for my tastes. Sorry!
Another from the ML Collection sampler. I like this one better than I do the Organic Darjeeling Estate from the “normal” Mighty Leaf range. This one has a much gentler, less metallic, taste. It’s also got a more pleasant grapey muscatel edge, and a slight floral hint. Saying that, I only gave this a very brief brew time — 1.5 minutes in boiling water. This yielded a medium brown liquor, which was plenty strong enough for me. I hate darjeelings that are bitter, astringent and metallic tasting, and with bagged versions I’ve learned to be cautious.
This cup has been pleasant so far, but it’s probably not something I’d keep around long term. I prefer loose darjeeling on the whole, and first flush more particularly. Just call me a darjeeling snob.
First day back at work today. Boo! Fortunately it’s only for this week, and then I have another week off. I’m finding it hard to get going again, and decided I needed a guayusa this morning to give me a boot. It worked, more or less, I think. I’m still tired and a little grouchy — what is this work thing, anyway? — but I feel more awake than I did!
This is one of my favourite Butiki guayusas, second only to Good Morning Sunshine in my estimation. I like the mint/vanilla combination, and the hint of lavender is pleasant too. It’s very gentle in flavour, but with a good old dose of wake-up from the guayusa base. I don’t get much earthiness from this one, which is a bonus. The flavours themselves are the real centre stage star here. I think I’m going to be relying pretty heavily on this one over the next couple of weeks!
This was my breakfast tea this morning, and I was almost blown away by it. I knew it would be good, but it’s a little hard to imagine exactly how good until you taste it in person. For my first cup, I followed the pouch parameters and gave 2 tsp of leaf 3.5 minutes in boiling water. Appearance wise, this reminds me strongly of Premium Taiwanese Assam. The leaves are fairly thick, charcoal black/brown in colour, long and very twisty. Measuring is ever a problem, but I got there!
After 3.5 minutes, I’m presented with a fairly light honey-gold liquor. The scent is very bakey — waffles and bread. It’s warm, sweet, and inviting! The initial taste is fairly sweet, with notes of honey and caramel. The bread notes soon take over, however, along with a robust maltiness. It’s sort of yeasty, freshly baked artisan bread, with an edge of sweetness that really is reminiscent of waffles. Deeply rich, maybe almost too much. In the aftertaste, the honey returns with a refreshing note of apricot. Another lovely black tea with a lot to offer. There are definitely good drinking days ahead!
So, after achieving a good number of sipdowns this week, I decided to spend the last day of my holiday drinking teas I’ve been holding back on. I brought out the “I Love Leafhoppers” sampler I got a while back, and this was the first one I tried! From the very first sip, I can see why this one gets so much love on here.
For my first cup, I followed the recommended parameters on the pouch , and gave 2tsp of leaf 4 minutes in boiling water. The most difficult thing was measuring a teaspoon — the leaves are so big they don’t really fit that measure particularly well. In appearance, this reminds me of other taiwanese blacks — the leaves are a very dark brown, almost black, and are very long and twisty.
Brewed, the liquor is a medium golden brown, and the scent is sweet with an edge of malt. The first sip is sweet too, and I can detect flavours of honey and a light fruitiness. This develops into quite rich, grapey flavour with the tiniest hint of high-cocoa chocolate. It lingers sweetly on the tongue, and has a sliky smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel.
I really am starting to love plain blacks, now that I have some tea experience, and feel better able to judge the flavours. This is a lovely one — not quite my favourite of those I’ve tried so far, but definitely up there! I can see many a happy hours before me with this tea.