587 Tasting Notes
This is one of my favourite chamomile teas, and, also, a SIPDOWN! The first thing I notice about it on opening the packet is the strong honeyed scent. It’s almost like opening a jar of fresh honey. Sweet, slightly floral. The chamomile is whole flower, another of my favourite qualities in a chamomile tea. They rehydrate when wet, fill the bag like little golden-yellow beads, and turn the water a bright, sunny yellow.
It may be nice to smell and pretty to look at, but it’s also equally pleasing to taste. Naturally sweet, slightly floral, with an overriding hat-like flavour and a slight green-apple like sharpness to the aftertaste. I tend to leave the bag in all the while I’m drinking this tea, which is maybe slightly heretical, but I find that as it steeps the apple note becomes more predominant and defined, and this is something I can appreciate in such a naturally sweet tea. It adds a pleasing edge, and is a perfect counterpoint, to the otherwise strongly honey-like flavour.
This is a tea I always find genuinely soothing. It’s my post-interview drink of choice, which is why this post is also a sipdown. I’ve had six interviews in the last four weeks, and I’ve been drinking this almost compulsively both before and afterwards. I finally got offered a job on Thursday, so I can leave off this particular tea for a while, but it certainly helped to calm my interview fear which always seems to strike particularly badly.
Calming, uplifting, sunny. Perfect!
I’m drinking this as I type. Thankfully, it’s one I’ve tried before, because I know I’m getting a cold at the moment and my sense of taste is starting to diminish. Anyway, it’s safe to say that I’m not the biggest fan of jasmine tea. I haven’t tried all that many as yet, but something about the perfumeyness of it just doesn’t seem to agree with me. I got a box of this for christmas, though, and it’s not so terrible that I’m not willing to drink it at all. It’ll just never be my favourite.
I may not like the taste of jasmine, but these kind of teas always fascinate me. I love the pearl shape, the colours of the leaves, and the way they unfurl and end up looking like seaweed. This tea is no exception on that front. The pearls are quite dark, brownish-black on the whole, with paler white and green leaves running through them. They’re also slightly fuzzy-looking. I’m feeling patient today, so I let the water cool before adding the bag, and leave it for just about three minutes. As the pearls unfurl, it’s easier to see the leaves are actually predominantly green. The liquor is a light yellow-green, and the scent at this point is strongly floral, very much like fresh jasmine flowers.
To taste, I’m pleased to find that the floral aspect has faded into the background a little. It’s still there, but it’s more a flavour that you taste at the back of your mouth after swallowing than one that hits you in the tastebuds as soon as you take a sip. The green tea itself is very subtle and delicate. There are no strong green flavours here, just a refreshing lightness and then the slight floral. I can imagine this being a really wonderful tea for drinking on a hot summer afternoon, simply because it’s so delicately sweet and light in flavour.
It’s actually more pleasant than I remember finding it initially, but my tastes are changing as time passes and I try more and better teas. I don’t think I’ll ever completely warm up to jasmine, but this was definetly a very pleasant surprise!
Okay, so I have a lot of backlogging to do today. May as well start with this one!
The first thing I want to say about this tea is that it smells amazing. Like, really amazing. It’s exceptionally fruity. I think I’d say the blackcurrant, strawberry and raspberry are the dominant notes, but it also contains hibiscus, elderberry, papaya and raisin. The fruit pieces are generously sized, probably on a par with Adagio or maybe a touch larger. The colours are amazing and almost jewel like — blood red, burgandy, aubergine, and orange, with the rippled creamy-red hibiscus flowers standing out among them.
In practice, though, it doesn’t actually taste quite as I expected. It’s a lot sweeter than the ingerdients made me think it would be, and the initial sip is almost too sweet — a bit like artificial sweetner. This develops into the taste I’m usually expecting when I drink fruit tea. A slight tartness, a tangy edge of almost-bitterness, and a drying sensation on the palate. The aftertaste offers a hint of pepperiness, I’m assuming from the papaya.
The more I drink this, the more I like it. I wasn’t at all sure at first, with it being so sweet, but it’s actually quite pleasant. More so as it cools. It’s more complex in flavour than any fruit tea I’ve had before, that’s for sure. It doesn’t beat my favourite — Teapigs Superfruit — for now, but it’s a pretty good contender. Definetly one for icing in the summer!
I’m slowly learning to appreciate bergamot in Earl Grey. There was a time in my tea drinking history when I wouldn’t have been able to drink this one, because the bergamot is pretty pronounced and it was a flavour that always made me feel slightly nauseous. Neither would I have been able to drink it without milk. Now, I can do both, and happily.
This one strikes a perfect balance for me. It’s not too bitterly citrus, but I can definetly taste the bergamot. It’s just right for my current tastes, but I am going to branch out and try some more varieties now it’s a flavour I’m coming to appreciate.
This is still my tea of choice at work at the moment. So light and fresh tasting. I’ve done a detailed tasting note for this previously, but, needless to day, this is still ticking a lot of boxes for me. Morning or afternoon — it’s just perfect. I didn’t really like darjeeling over much before I tried first flush. I’ll definetly be seeking out some of 2013s in the coming months. Absolutely divine!
Last time I drank one of these, I wasn’t in a fit state to taste anything. I opened a fresh packet today, though, so it’s time for a fresh tasting note — this time with tastebuds intact.
As soon as I open the box, I can smell the sweetness of the liquorice. I’m not sure why this surprises me every time, but it does. I breathed in a little too close to the packet — entirely by accident — and was rewarded with a mouthful of residual dust. It tastes a little like artificial sweetner. Not my favourite thing.
I can’t remember whether I’ve said it before, but I like this tea iced. It’s somehow more palatable cold — maybe because it complements the peppermint more. Hot, this is odd to say the least. The sweetness really lingers at the back of the mouth. It’s an acquired taste, I think, but one I’m in the process of acquiring. I don’t know how — I couldn’t finish my first cup of this all that time ago — but it is. Each time I drink it the extreme sweetness seems a little less repulsive, and I’m starting to taste something underneath the initial hit that I actually rather like. I’m going to need to try a few more cups before I can identify it with any certainty, but I’m kind of pleased this is no longer on my “ick” list. It’s a tea I’ve always wanted to like — despite myself — and maybe now I can finally say I’m getting there!
Okay, so I am “archiving” at work. This basically means putting stuff in boxes, and is possibly the most boring job known to man. I’ve just made myself a cup of this in a vain attempt to try and make it more bearable.For some reason, this is one of the more pleantiful teas among my stash. I have it both loose and bagged — today’s version is loose.
On opening the packet, I’m greeted with the strong smell of bergamot, and a floral undertone from the cornflowers. It instantly transports me, in mind, to a sunnier place. Just one reason why this was such a good choice of tea for a rainy day while tasked with a mind-numbing job.
Anyhow, I brewed this for three minutes in boiling water. The leaves are so pretty at this stage — darker brown, red-brown, and pale green, with the blue of the cornflowers scattered amongst. The scent is a much more delicate version of the packet — lightly floral and citrussy, with the classic notes of darjeeling just detectable. I don’t think I’ve ever come across another earl grey made with a darjeeling base, actually — which is probabky why, when I first tried this tea a couple of years back, I really didn’t like it. Those days are gone, thankfully, and this is now one of my favourite earl grey varieties.
I usually drink this with milk, but I have none, so today it’s as it comes. I’d brew it a little stronger usually, too, but I’m not one for a really overpowering bergamot flavour, so I’ve been careful. The liquor is a medium red-brown. To taste, this is just as you’d expect. Light, refreshing, delicately floral, with a sweetness from the darjeeling that just comes out in the aftertaste. It’s not at all drying on the palate, as I’ve found some darjeelings, just beautifully smooth and fragrant. It belongs in a sunnier place, and I can’t help but be cheered by its optimistic vibe. I really love to drink this iced in the summer, but it’s also great as a warming, mood-lifting drink in the winter. Maybe sunnier climes aren’t that far away, after all.
After my initial cup of “normal” tea (i.e. Twinings Everyday), I thought I’d enjoy my last morning off work by starting it with a cup of this. The dry leaves smell amazingly fresh, and very floral. For some reason, the scent reminds me of spring — cool mornings and a bright sky, sun, and the budding beginnings of flowers. There’s something maybe a little fruity in the depths, too. I’m thinking pear at the moment, but there’s something dry and grape-like about the aroma too. The leaves, as I was expecting, are a variety of shades, ranging from dark to pale green, with creamy tips, and the occasional brown.
As per the recommendations, I brewed this tea for three minutes, after having let the boiling water stand for a minute or so. The liquor is a clear medium yellow-brown. The smell, though, is something else. It’s just like the smell of the dry leaves, perhaps slightly milder, with a developing hint of grass. The taste is phenomenal. It’s sweet, slightly grassy, with a wine-like depth to the aftertaste. It’s honestly like drinking spring. There’s also none of the metallic astringency that has put me off darjeelings before. Some of the characteristics are there, but they’re smoother, less harsh, and so a pleasant part of the complex taste.
I could go on drinking and discussing this for hours, and I imagine it’s going to take more than this one note to really extract and document all of the nuances of this tea. This is quite sufficient for first impressions, though. I’m going to sit and enjoy the rest of the cup now!
This is the last of the Adagio flavoured black samples I bought a while back. I quite liked the strawberry, but wasn’t all that sold on the coconut. I’m not sure how I’ll feel about this one.
The dry leaves smell sweet, which is fine, and I can catch a hint of creaminess. It smells more like warm UHT cream than the real thing, though. There’s also a sharper, rather unpleasant scent that I can’t quite place. I noticed the same thing with the coconut, and that was one of the things that put me off it so thoroughly. Still, for the sake of fairness, I’ll give this a try.
I brewed it for three minutes in boiling water. It smells much as it does dry. Definetly creamy, with perhaps a vanilla-ish undertone. A little sickly. I have to say that, as it cools, it smells increasingly sweet. It tastes a lot sweeter than I was expecting — too sweet for me, really. This has come as a bit of a surprise, as I was expecting the bitter aftertaste of Adagio’s other flavoured blacks, but this one doesn’t seem to have it. In this respect it’s actually quite nice, but it’s too sickly and cloying for me to really be able to enjoy. It’s the kind of sweetness that seems to coat your mouth and hang about for a good long time. I’m not going to be able to finish the cup, but, hey, I tried!
This isn’t bad tea by any estimation. It actually tastes okay, and would probably delight someone with a seriously sweet tooth. I’m not one of those people, and this is just too much for me. Another one chalked up to experience!
Been drinking the remnants of tea from my desk drawer today — mostly this and Teapigs Green Tea with Mint. I’ve written full tasting notes for both of them before, so I won’t bore you with all that again, but, needless to say, a very minty tea day was had!
I never used to be much of a mint tea fan, but I’m coming to enjoy drinking it on an afternoon at work. It’s somehow refreshing and soothing at the same time. Just perfect, then!