911 Tasting Notes
More of this today. I’ve been offered a new job, so I’m feeling optimistic, and bouncy and happy. It’s only for two years, and I have to give up a permanent job to take it, but hopefully it’ll all work out for the best. It’s a chance I’m willing to take to get off reception, anyway :)
So, yes. Two cups of this today. The first when I arrived at work, cold and irritable after a difficult journey. The second after my appraisal training, and after telling my current manager I’m leaving after 4 months in the job they originally employed me to do (+ two on a temporary promotion). I drank the second with soya milk, which I found in the shop on my way in. I think I like it with this addition. It seems somehow creamier, and the vanilla becomes more prominet. Whatever, really. I just really like this tea!
Tried this with a piece of crystal sugar last night. It didn’t make this taste of strawberries. Not that I was expecting it to, but you can hope. It did, however, make me think more of chocolate cake. I don’t know why, and nor do I know why I thought of vanilla originally. So, yeh. Not doing that well with this tea so far. All I really want is for it to taste even slight of strawberry! Back to the drawing board again!
Sipdown! Not a favourite in the end. The strawberry is lovely and strong, although not very natural tasting, but the green base was just too bitter for me to really enjoy.
More importantly, I was just chosen to set the fire alarm off at work. Oh, the excitement!
A little confused by this one at the moment. I’m not getting strawberry at all. I mean, not even slightly, and yet I can see little pieces in the dry mix. Huh? The cake’s there, although I was thinking more vanilla than chocolate, so that’s thrown me again. There’s something rich and bakey about this, though, and it’s kind of nice. I do find that this becomes astringent as it cools, though. I let it a bit on purpose in case that helped the strawberry to develop, but instead I just got a cup of bitterness, more or less.
I’m going to try this again later with some crystal sugar, I think. At the moment, though, I feel like I’m getting something wrong here…
Sipdown! Last two cups of this finished off this morning. Bad journey in to work — traffic jams on the main road, the bus was broken down when I got to the Park and Ride site. I’m waiting to hear the outcome of an interview, as well, so I’m feeling a bit antsy. The chair of the panel said she’d come and find me today if she was going to offer, but she hasn’t as yet. I suppose if she doesn’t that means I wasn’t successful, but it seems a pretty cruel method of informing people. I’d rather just know. Still, fingers crossed.
This tea wasn’t a favourite, so I’m glad to see the sample gone. It was good to try green rooibos in its natural state, though. I know better what I’m tasting when I come across it in blends now!
I tried my first cup of this last night, but I was so sleepy I don’t really remember all that much about it. I brought a bit to work with me today, and made it to enjoy over lunch. I have to say, this is probably the best caramel/vanilla tea I have ever tasted. It smells like 52Teas Weeping Angel, but it has a much greater depth of flavour. It’s almost like the flavouring is part of the tea, rather than floating on top of it.
I’m glad I tried Butiki’s Premium Taiwanese Assam separately before opening this, because I feel like I understand it better than I would have done. The base tea is still the best assam I’ve ever tasted, and it’s just even better with the delicate, creamy caramel and vanilla flavouring added. The caramel is rich and warm-tasting, the vanilla light and sweet. Both work beautifully with the chocolatey cocoa notes in the base tea, and it all tastes very natural, like it was somehow meant to be. I’m drinking this with a splash of milk, and that seems to really augment the creaminess and bring the flavours together. It’s lucious stuff. I feel like I could drink it forever.
I’m on my second resteep of the leaves at the moment, and they haven’t really lost anything. The depth of flavour in the base tea is still there, and the caramel and vanilla are as distinct and clear as they were the first time.
I’ve got a few cups worth left in my 1oz packet, but this is definitely one I’ll restock in future. I can see it being a great tea for autumn. Another hit from Butiki!
SIPDOWN! Finished off the packet this morning, with a couple of chai lattes. I had a pretty frazzled day yesterday (interview, ugh), and felt like something relaxing to start my Friday. I added a spoonful of honey to the milk this morning, then added two tea bags, topped up with boiling water, and left the whole lot until the colour brightened from ghostly white to pale creamy brown. I’m surprised how much difference the honey makes, actually. It sweetens and adds something I hadn’t known I was looking for previously. Yum, basically. Just what I needed this morning. This is a tea I’d definitely repurchase.
I love the scent of this one dry. It’s so fresh and clean. It’s supposed to be an earl grey, but I can’t detect bergamot at all. Instead, the main note is grapefruit. It’s almost sweet, but there’s an underlying twang of sharpness, just like the fruit itself.
The bergamot emerges while this is brewing. Not too strongly, just enough to know it’s there. The liquor was pretty dark after 3.5 minutes, so I added a splash of milk. Fortunately, it withstands it rather well.
I like this. The grapefruit is clear in the initial sip, more so as it cools, and tastes clean and fresh. The bergamot is surprisingly strong and a little bitter in the aftertaste, but the citrusy aspect pairs well with the grapefruit. I’ve not tried an earl grey quite like this before, so it’s been an interesting experience. I think I’m coming to like fruit flavoured EGs, though, so this is definitely a tea I’d revisit in the future. My first Simpson and Vail, and a pleasant cup. Shame it’s just a sample!
Last sample from Queen of Tarts. One thing’s for certain, this definitely smells like apple pie. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was. It perfectly captures the sweet yet sharp apple and buttery pastry. It’s right there in the scent. I wasn’t sure about the green base here, but it really works. It’s slightly vegetal and fresh tasting, and is itself partially reminiscent of tart, sour apple. The green tea combines beautifully with a sweet sugariness, and a hint of cinnamon, to make me think of the finished baked product. Sweet sugary baked apple flavour, and the sense of buttery, rich pastry. I don’t know exactly how all of this manages to be there, but it is. It really, absolutely is. I think this is probably as close as you can get to drinking apple pie. It’s just perfect, and really captures the essence of the real thing. Amazing!
Third steep. This has rather lost its flavour now, both in terms of maple/pecan, and even the oolong itself. It’s still smooth and eminently drinkable, but I can’t get it much beyond a pale yellow-gold now, and the only really discernable flavour is a weak mineral nuttiness. I’m pleased with how this one worked out, though — I can’t say I haven’t had a good morning’s tea from these leaves!