1679 Tasting Notes
Another one rescued from languishing in my stash. I think I bought this one about a year ago, and I just never got around to pulling it out. Now’s its chance!
I think it’s fair to say that I’m in love with this one even just having opened the bag. It smells so much like cream cheese icing and rich, spiced cake, it’s ridiculous! It reminds me most at this point of Della Terra’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake – it shares the same “cakey” scent. The thing I like most about the dry mix is actually the tiny caramac chips, although pieces of carrot and orange peel are also readily visible. I think it’s going to be a good one! I gave 1 tsp of leaf 3 minutes in boiling water. No additions. It filled the whole kitchen with the scent of carrot cake; a blissful 3 minute break from work.
Fortunately, I’m not wrong about this being a good one. It’s not often that a flavoured tea lives up to its scent, but this is one that definitely does. The initial flavour is spiced icing, with the cinnamon and orange coming through readily, along with a rich, almost tooth-tingling, sweetness. There’s a cream cheese aspect, too, which adds an almost cool, slightly sour tang right at the end of the sip. The “carrot cake” itself resides mainly in the mid sip, with a pleasant raisin note and a lovely smack of Della Terra “cake” flavouring. It’s a beautiful thing.
This one has a rooibos base, but it’s hard to tell under all of the flavouring. This makes for a delicious dessert tea – and a real dessert replacement, rather than the inspiration for a craving. This is one sample I’ll have no trouble polishing off!
This teabag was left over from an interview I hosted last week. Never one to pass up a tea opportunity, I pocketed it for later consumption. It helps that I like darjeeling, although my tastes err towards loose leaf first flush. It’s been a long time since I tried a bagged variety. In any case, I gave this one 2 minutes in boiling water. No additions. The bag contains very finely chopped leaves (really almost dust), although there is some green to be seen, which is mildly encouraging. The resulting liquor is a medium amber, and the scent is fresh and mildly floral.
The first thing that strikes me about the flavour is, unfortunately, the bitterness. There’s a small wash of pleasing flavour before the bitterness kicks in, but it’s undeniably fleeting. The very beginning of the sip is lightly grapey, and carries a hint of orchid. It has the potential to be pleasant, but the overwhelming bitterness puts an immediate stop to that. The end of the sip is highly astringent, and very drying on the palate.
Sadly, this isn’t the darjeeling for me. I think perhaps cooler water or a much, much shorter brew time would be required to make this one even remotely palatable. I’m not too sad that I don’t have another bag to experiment with, though. There are better darjeelings out there for a fact.
I’m sure I’ve written more than one note for this one, but never mind. This one was the second tea that accompanied me to work this morning, and it’s always a solid choice. I really like the combination of sweet maltiness and roasted white potato that I get from this one, even though it sounds odd. There aren’t many “breakfast” style blends that really stand out to me, but this is a shining example. Good thing I have a huge tin!
This one accompanied me to work this morning. I think I’ve tried this one before in its previous incarnation (Monkey Bread?), but it was a while ago and I can honestly say that I don’t really remember. I might be getting mixed up.
Anyway, I used 1.5 tsp of leaf, and gave it three minutes in boiling water. It came out fairly light in colour, so no additions. It smells wonderfully cinnamonny, though. Perfect for a cold morning!
To taste, the main flavour is definitely cinnamon. It’s on the sweet side, though, reminiscent of cinnamon sugar you’d sprinkle on doughnuts. There’s a hint of glace icing lurking just in the aftertaste, which is pleasant, and the cup as a whole is smooth and eminently sippable. The only thing I would have liked is a little more of a “bun” flavour. A nice, bready black base would have done wonders here. Still, it’s by no means bad. A sample pouch I’ll have no problem finishing.
This one also came with me to work on Saturday, and I have to say I was pretty impressed. It’s a caramel marshmallow black, so wonderfully sweet and sugary, and it made for a pleasant afternoon pick-me-up when I started flagging. I’m drinking it again today, and it’s still a winner. I don’t think I’d ever be able to dislike a caramel tea, it’s just one of those good things in life. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water.
The initial flavour of this one reminds me a lot of Eight Candles, which had good flavour, but which was spoilt a little for me by the oiliness and scum produced by the sprinkles and caramel. This one suffers a little from that, but not nearly so badly. There’s less initial “ick”, shall we say. The second tea this one reminds me of is S’mores, but without the graham cracker. The marshmallow flavour is pretty much identical, and then the caramel just takes it to another level.
It’s fair to say that this one’s a sugar overload, but sometimes that’s okay. It tastes a little artificial after a few sips, but on the whole it’s pretty good. As a dessert tea, it definitely hits the mark. There are definitely more refined teas out there, but for a cup of indulgent sugar rush, caramel and marshmallow are rarely wrong.
I’ve been drinking this one most of the weekend, which I spent at work hosting Nursing interviews. I went straight from my pouch of Hattialli Golden Lion to this one, and I have to say that I’m not noticing a huge difference, flavour-wise. If anything, this one is a little stronger in flavour, a little darker and more grain-like. I used 2 tsp of leaf for this cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.
The initial flavour is primarily smooth dark chocolate. It’s rich and cocoa-like, and somehow almost thick tasting. Underneath that there’s a sweet maltiness, which helps to take the edge off the almost-bitterness of the initial flavour. I can detect a fleeting sweet potato note towards the end of the sip, but it doesn’t linger long.
It’s a hard call to make between Golden Lion and Golden Paw. They’re both excellent Assams, with bags of flavour; two of the best I’ve tried. I think on balance I’m leaning slightly towards the Golden Lion as my favourite, due to its creaminess and slightly sweeter flavour profile, but Golden Paw is a very close contender. Certainly a pair of teas I’ll never forget!
This one came with me in a timolino yesterday, since I was out of the office hosting events all day. I tried it first at home in a cup and wasn’t that struck, but yesterday I actually really enjoyed it. The cherry and cocoa are the stand out flavours, and the cherry in particular was wonderfully rich and syrupy. The white chocolate chips added a sweet creaminess. My only complaint is that the rooibos was a little prominent, and maybe a little peppery, for my tastes. Still, an enjoyable cup.
First cup of the morning. I’ve been drinking this fairly frequently over the last couple of days, and it’s earned a place as one of my favourite assams. Sad that it’s no longer available, but there you go. I used 2 tsp of leaf, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.
I’d say this is a mid-range assam, not hugely strong/bold, but rich and malty instead. It has a beautiful creamy quality that I really like – it’s so smooth, with not a hint of briskness or astringency. It’s quite mellow to taste, and I can pick out notes of squash, sweet potato, a hint of chocolate, and a light nuttiness. It’s a tasty cup, for sure.
I felt like I needed a Mrs Hudson last night, but this tea was the closest I could get. Strong, comforting, sensitive. I used 1 tsp of leaf and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.
This tea is straight-talking. The Assam is the main component, and it’s quite robust, with a strong edge of malty sweetness. I can imagine it being a little rough around the edges without milk, but fortunately I pre-tamed mine. The second flavour that emerges is almond. It’s not strong, by any means, but it contributes the delicious flavour of cookies, and it works perfectly with the assam base. It’s a simple tea, but a delicious one, and I can see myself returning to it fairly frequently.
As a fandom blend, I think it characterises Mrs Hudson pretty well. Warm cookies and comfort blankets, reliable and straightforward. Strong, yet sensitive. The exotic floral of the osmanthus even captures the slight hint of the unusual in her background, although I didn’t find that I could really pick it out. Still, a minor complaint. I love Mrs Hudson – character and tea.