1391 Tasting Notes
This is one robust tea! I made a cup for myself on Sunday afternoon to try and galvanise myself for the week of work ahead. I was feeling pretty stressed at the prospect, and so a strong, plain, dependable tea was just the ticket.
I gave 1 tsp of leaf 3 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk. I was expecting a fairly generic black CTC, but this actually tastes remarkably distinctive. It’s malty with a slight edge of sweetness, a touch of honey, and a little baked bread. I’m going to say rye bread, because it’s a dark kind of taste. There’s a tiny bit of astringency in the aftertaste, but it’s actually reasonably pleasant. To be fair, I was expecting it in a tea so strong.
I do want to try this with cream at some point, because I think that would really turn it into something special. Maybe a little sugar, on occasion, although it’s malty enough to not really need that. This is a straightforward, easy drinking tea, but it’s also flavourful and delicious. I confess myself very pleasantly surprised! This may become my go-to “stress” tea.
To add my thoughts to previous reviews, I had no idea there was hibiscus in this one either. I’ll have to look out for that in my next cup. This is the ML Collection version of Organic African Nectar, and like others that are based on the Mighty Leaf range, it does have some subtle differences. It’s less fruity, for a start. I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing, as it was the juicy flavour of tropical fruit that really made Organic African Nectar appeal to me. African Amber Organic is primarily a plain rooibos, as far as I can taste, with light spicing and a hint of vanilla. The description says mango and hibiscus, but I can’t say I got either of those. I did pick up on a slightly jarring bitterness, so maybe that was caused by one of those? Back to the drawing board with this one, I think! I have a few more bags to experiment with before I make my final judgement :)
A sample from ashleyelizabeth. I’ve had a couple of cups of this one over the last couple of days, primarily because I’m back at work and have reverted to rooibos or caffeine free blends in the evening again. I also wanted to compare with David’s Amaretto, as these are both almond/marzipan teas.
This one is mild in flavour. Even with plenty of leaf and a long brew time, it’s a very subtle nutty, almond-y flavour. There’s also a hint of apple, which is actually really nice. The almond is so delicate that it doesn’t overpower it, and it adds a nice additional element to the overall cup. It’s not fresh, crisp, sharp apple — more mushy baked apple like in a crumble.
This isn’t the tea to choose when you’re looking for a punch of flavour, but it’s a good choice for a light swirl of flavour. Like a snowflake on the tongue, maybe. If snowflakes tasted of almond and apple.
I tried a second cup of this last night, with a longer brew time. I found the almond/marzipan flavour even stronger. I wasn’t sure that was even possible, given that my last cup tasted like liquid marzipan, but apparently it is. I still got the odd bitterness in the aftertaste, though, although it seemed not to linger as long. I can only conclude that it’s the odd base. On balance, though, this one is okay. Especially if you like almonds/marzipan/amaretty biscuits. And I do.
I finished my first pouch of this off at work today. I have another in my cupboard from Valentines Day, so it’s not a sipdown. I don’t mind that, though, because this is a niiiiice tea. It took me three tries to get my cup this afternoon, though. The first time I boiled the water and left it to cool in my cup, and then forgot about it. The second time I actually got as far as adding the leaves, and then I forgot about it again. It was third time lucky! Clearly work is distracting :) It was good tea, though. When I got it.
I placed a wonderfully sizeable Bluebird order at the weekend, so I’m happily finishing off the rest of the teas from my previous orders at the moment. This one I almost expected to dislike, but it’s actually rather yummy. When it’s right, it has a wonderful baked apple flavour with a hint of cinnamon and clove spicing. The dry leaf is really pretty, too, with it’s little specks of red among the leaves.
I have got this wrong, on occasion, and it can be woefully bitter. Today, though, it’s smooth and astringency free. The green tea base really helps the apple flavour to pop, and works with the rest of the flavours genuinely cohesively to form a really satisfying cup. This may be a repurchase come autumn.
I was looking forward to trying this one, because I enjoyed 52 Teas Cucumber Mango Shou Mei a lot last summer. That definitely made me consider cucumber teas more seriously than I would have otherwise — it seems an odd flavour for tea, initially, and I was a little surprised to find it worked so well.
So, anyway. This got the usual SBT treatment (3 minutes in boiling water, topped up to two liters with cold water, and into the fridge overnight). The main flavour is watermelon — slightly candied, like those watermelon haribo sweets. There’s also a delicate note of cucumber, though, which comes over quite well in the aftertaste. The melon definitely has the edge here, but it would be unfair to say that the cucumber doesn’t also have its chance to shine.
This one isn’t an overly sweet choice, and it’s very light and refreshing to drink. The melon and cucumber and both very clean, delicate flavours, so it’s a very nice tea for a hot summer day. Today is supposed to get up to 29 later in the day, so it’ll definitely come into its own if that happens. This one goes on the repurchase list for sure!
Following on from yesterday’s note, I had another cup of this with breakfast this morning. If I concentrate hard, I can just about get raspberry from this. I wouldn’t say it’s a prominent flavour, though. Still, chocolate and caramel is good enough for me!
A sample from ashleyelizabeth. This is a tea I’ve been curious about for a while, primarily because I like almonds (and amaretti biscuits in particular), but also because it seems to divide opinion.
I gave 1.5 tsp of leaf about 4 minutes in boiling water. No additions. To begin with, I honestly though this was a rooibos. Now I know better. I’ve never had a tea with a Lapacho Bark base — indeed, I’m not really sure what it actually is. Research required, I think! Anyway, while brewing this tea smells completely like almond essence, or almond cake…it’s quite strong, but it has a bakey element behind it that makes it smell very appealing.
To taste, this is pretty much liquid marzipan. There’s something slightly biscuitty, too, and the apricot seems to help bring the two together into a really pleasant amaretto flavour. Underneath all that, though, there’s a something bitter and unappealing that I’m not really liking very much. I’m not sure whether it’s the orange, or the rose, or just the unusual base, but whatever it is isn’t gelling very well with the flavour as a whole. It’s not a flavour I recognise, so I’m guessing it’s probably the base. It tastes almost burnt, somehow.
I’m going to say I like this one well enough for the minute — it’s pretty spot on for amaretto, if it wasn’t for that odd flavour that spoils it at the last minute. I have a couple more cups worth left, so I can experiment a little more. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to try this one, though, so many thanks to ashleyelizabeth for sharing with me!
A sample from ashleyelizabeth! I’ve said this before, but I’ve been looking for a replacement for 52 Teas Raspberry Cream for a long, long time. That probably goes some way to explaining why I pounce on raspberry flavoured blends whenever I get the chance! Many of the raspberry rooibos blends I’ve tried have been relatively disappointing — lots of woody rooibos, not so much raspberry. Still, I keep trying.
I gave 1.5 tsp of leaf 4 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk. I can actually smell raspberry, which is encouraging! Fortunately, raspberry is also present in the taste. It’s quite tart, a little sour, a tiny bit juicy…I think this tea pretty much has raspberry nailed. The rooibos is okay — not too woodsy or metallic — but I definitely know it’s there. Even with milk, it pokes out a little too much for my liking. Not to the extent that it drowns out the raspberry, but enough that it takes the shine off it a little. Nonetheless, it’s a pleasant raspberry tea and a sample I’ll enjoy finishing up. Yay for raspberries!