682 Tasting Notes
I was naughty and ordered more tea. Oops. That wasn’t supposed to be allowed until I was under 200. Still…hard week at work. I need something to cheer me up.
So anyway, in an effort to begin using up some of the tea I actually have, I pulled this one out to try today. I have a love/hate relationship with Earl Grey. In general, we get along very well, but I’m not a fan of very strong, sharp bergamot, especially when paired with an astringent base. That’s why, although it’s generally something I enjoy, I tend to approach each new EG with a little trepidation. It’s probably also why the idea of Earl Gret Creme appeals to me, although it wasn’t something that was even on my radar until I joined Steepster. How the world of tea has opened up to me. This was actually the first Earl Grey Creme I purchased, so it’s been waiting in my stash for a while. I was in the mood for something like this at breakfast this morning, though, so that’s why it was finally chosen.
It’s love at first sip. In my ideal world, EG would have bergamot, but it would be a mild, tame thing that added a bitter citrus edge but generally minded its own business. IT DOES THAT HERE! I think the cream flavour helps to tone it down, but it’s a slight thing. It’s not sharp, it’s not right in your face like it is in some EGs, it’s not screaming “I’m bergamot, hear me roar.” It’s just there, sitting still and minding its own business, adding a touch of flavour and nothing more. For me, it’s perfect.
Then there’s the cream. Oh goodness, don’t get me started on the cream. Again, it’s perfect. I was half expecting it to be quite an artificial taste, but it’s not at all. It’s deliciously vanilla-flavoured, soft, and adds a cloud-like fluffiness to this cup. It’s got the bergamot on a tight leash, and it’s toned down any astringency the base might have dared to have had. The base itself is pleasant, although I can’t really taste that much of it. It’s pretty hard to identify where the base ends and the flavouring begins, if you see what I mean. It’s just a really great combination.
This is my favourite Bluebird tea to date. We are officially friends, me and EGC.
I love Premium Taiwanese Assam, and so I was really, really eager to try this one. I got it as a sample with my latest Butiki order, and as soon as I opened the box I could smell it — wonderful coconut banana creaminess! To taste, it’s just as fabulous as I’d hoped it would be. The coconut is beautifully toasty, and adds a slight nuttiness. The banana tastes natural (rather than artificial like those banana foam sweets…), and adds a creaminess and subtle flavour that really helps to round this out. The PTA is probably the perfect base — sweet, malty deliciousness. I added milk to this cup, and the whole thing is just a dream. I have enough left for another cup, but this is definitely one I will order more of!
Sipdown! Finished off the last couple of these bags at work today. I was thinking this morning that I couldn’t really smell or taste much mate, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A closer inspection of the bag revealed that there actually isn’t very much actual mate to be found in this blend, so that explains that. There’s a lot of fruit and spice, however, and it produces quite a strong, heady scent while brewing. The taste is less pungent, but quite tart. I guess there’s a lot of hibiscus and rosehip in here, because that’s the main flavour I can detect. Clove is probably the second strongest flavour, with a touch of liquorice and mint to finish. It’s a slightly odd combination, but it more or less works. Not one I’d keep on hand all the time, but nice to have tried.
Sipdown! Finished off my last couple of bags at work today. I drank them with milk added, and found I liked it much better this way. The milk tones down the rooibos, and helps the chocolate and mint to shine, as well as adding a pleasant creaminess. Milk is the way forward here.
A sample from Shmiracles. This has got to be one of the nicer herbal/fruit blends I’ve tried in a while. It’s not ref fruit, for starters, and there’s no hibiscus — the difference! Dry, it smells delicious. Citrussy and slightly sharp — it makes me think of grapefruit. It’s equally nice to taste — spearmint and orange are the main flavours I can pick out, with gooseberry hanging around in the background. It’s a delicious combination, and very refreshing. I can only imagine how fabulous this would be iced on a hot day! This is a sample I will very much enjoy finishing, and one whose absence from my cupboard I know I’ll come to lament.
A sample from Shmiracles. This is a very pleasant evening cup. It’s delicately flavoured, with a medium strength base. I added milk to this, which is just about stands, but I imagine it’d be just as palatable without. The flavouring here is subtle, but all of the different elements are there. Vanilla is probably the strongest flavour, followed by cherry, and then chocolate. It’s beautifully spring-like, both in flavour combination and appearance. The red and blue flowers scattered through the dry mix remind me of the foil wrapping on an easter egg. So pretty!
This is a welcome change from the more heavily flavoured teas I’ve been drinking recently. Sophisticated and satisfying! A positive first experience with Dammann Freres.
A sample from Shmiracles. Plain genmaicha isn’t something I’d usually seek out, but it appealed to me tonight as I finally start to shake off my cold. For some reason, I was expecting this to be quite a pungent genmaicha, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s actually beautifully delicate — mild, grassy green tea, with a touch of toastiness running over the top. It’s delicious, and very easy to drink. It’s one of the more well balanced genmaicha blends to look at, also, appearing to be equal parts popped rice, toasted rice, and green tea. Pretty AND tasty — a rare treat!
It’s teas like this one that make me appreciate just how pleasing a plain tea can be. There’ll always be a place in my cupboard for zany, outrageous tea in kooky flavours, but from time to time something like this is far more satisfying. Plain, straightforward, fabulous tasting TEA!
A sample from Shmiracles. This is an interesting one. I was expecting something thoroughly minty, but that’s not this tea at all. The mint is actually the most subtle flavour, bar the green tea base. The main flavour here is a mixture of chai-like spices — drinking this actually reminds me quite strongly of 52 Teas GenmaiCHAI. My tastebuds are still a little off after my cold, but I’m pretty sure I can taste ginger, cardamon, and clove. I expected the mint to add a fresh edge to the flavour, but it actually adds a murky swampiness all its own, although probably assisted by the hojicha. This isn’t what I was expecting, but it’s uniquely pleasant. It’s probably not something I’d want on hand all the time, but I’ll enjoy finishing off this sample and trying to identify some more of the flavours. Different and intriguing!
Sipdown! Finished off the last of this one last night. It’ll be sadly missed — the blueberry flavour here is pretty great, even if I don’t get much in the way of chocolate from it any more. The ghost sprinkles are cute, too — fortunately, they seem to melt pretty easily, so I don’t find them stuck to the bottom of my infuser. I’m pretty sure that helped it score points with me. I wouldn’t mind drinking this one again, if the opportunity arose. I’ve got 52 Teas Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish to satisfy my blueberry cravings for now, though, so I can’t be too sad.