587 Tasting Notes
It’s been a cold afternoon, so this evening I really felt like a warming, creamy chai latte. I’ve been curious to try my Spiced Apple Chai sample for a while now, so it’s this I selected.
Dry, this smells absolutely like apple pie. Apple, cinnamon and clove are the dominant scents, but I can also detect the ginger, and maybe a touch of orange. I gave it the recommended 5 minutes, and then heated up my milk.
While brewing, the spices definetly predominate. I can smell cloves and cinnamon in no small measure, and the apple has all but disappeared. All this changes once I add the milk, though, which seems to soften the spices and lets the apple come through again. It tastes just like apple pie and cream, only in liquid form, and it smells, as it does dry, primarily of apple and cinnamon. I found myself surprised that I could actually taste the apple under all of the milk and spices, but I can. It adds a very slight sharpness, and a little bite. Perfect! This is definetly one I’ll be drinking again. It’s apple pie — and autumn — in a cup!
With Twinings’ conventional Earl Grey fresh in my mind, I decided to break out their whole leaf silky pyramid version.
On opening the packet, there’s an immediate and strong hit of bergamot. This isn’t something I’m over fond of in Earl Grey – I prefer a more subtle bergamot note. This strength remains while the tea is brewing. It’s very sharp, and not entirely pleasant, while the tea itself has a smoky note to it. Again, unexpected. It’s definetly one I’ll be drinking with milk.
To taste, this is actually more pleasant than I was expecting. The milk softens the almost overpoweringly citrussy bergamot just enough, although it’s still at the limit of what I personally enjoy. The tea aspect of the flavour is a little lost by comparison, but does impart a bitter-smokiness which adds to the complexity.
This actually turned out to be an interesting tea — a little different from all of the Earl Grey’s I’ve tried before. It’s never going to be an absolute favourite, because it’s a bit too heavy on the bergamot for me to want to drink it more than occasionally, but it’s by no means terrible.
I think I’ll be sticking to the conventional stuff for now, though. At least until I find a loose leaf blend more suited to my tastes. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Drank this again this morning, after a cold journey to work. I brewed it for a little longer than usual since my work cup is bigger than the cup I usually use at home. As soon as I brought it back in to the office, my colleagues commented on the gorgeous smell. Toasty nuts and caramel. There probably couldn’t be a more wonderful start to the day!
Okay, so this is my first experience with Gyokuro. Encouraged by my recent successes with Sencha, I decided it was time to branch out and move on.
So far, so good. Looking at the dry leaves, I’m actually struck by their similarity the Sencha I drank. They’re a similar very dark green, but maybe slightly smaller and finer. They definetly have the same sweet, hay-like scent. This still surprises me — until recently, sweetness wasn’t something I’d ever associated with green tea.
Brewed, the leaves are very soft, and the smell is of freshly steamed, buttered green vegetables. Quite yummy, and quite unexpected. The liquor is a deep yellow, and, joy of joys, it tastes just like it smells. Very fresh, very green. It’s smooth, ever so slightly sweet with no bitterness or astringency anywhere in sight. To my mind, it has a more intense flavour than Adagio’s Sencha, which isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s a pleasure to drink this tea, and it definetly cheered up a miserable day!
I have to say, I’m actually really glad I decided to try gourmet loose leaf green tea. I approached them with trepidation initially, as I’ve always believed myself to be a green tea hater. I’m definetly being proved wrong, though, and I’m completely amazed at the difference. I think I’ll always prefer black tea, but a few more experiences like this could make a habitual green tea drinker of me yet.
Had this again today — the second last of this flavour I have left in my stash. Given that I haven’t washed up since this morning, I made this in a smaller cup than usual. I wasn’t all that keen on this tea back when I first reviewed it, but I actually think the smaller cup helped matters. I did actually detect some candy apple taste, and it seemed somehow creamier than it is when made in my usual cup, with more of a caramel taste than I detected previously. Maybe that’s the answer with these teas — I shall have to try it with some of the others I wasn’t so keen on, and see if it helps.
Hmm. Food for thought.
I haven’t had one of these in a long, long time. They were the first tea bags that really got me interested in trying different varieties of tea, so I owe them something for where I am now. Anyway, I added some of these to my last Twinings order on a whim. I generally stay away from supermarket tea these days (with the exception of Twinings Whole Leaf Silky Pyraminds, because I think they’re pretty good, and some of their whole leaf loose teas), but it’a always nice to re-visit old friends.
So, yes. This is pretty much how I remember it. A nice strong tea base, and just the right amount of bergamot flavouring for me. I don’t like a lot of Earl Grey varieties because they have far too much bergamot, and I find that a bit “ick”. I like to taste the tea in my Earl Grey — that’s a bih part of the experience for me. There isn’t all that much to say about this — it’s just one of those teas you can rely on. Unexciting, butunchanging, good stuff. I might keep a few of these on hand in the future, just for those days when I need something reassuring. I’m not sure why it is, but this tea is always that to me.
I genuinely believe that hibiscus is the work of the devil, to the point where I approach any fruit or berry tea containing it with a certain degree of trepidation. Or maybe it’s more like resignation.
Given that hibiscus and rosehip are the top two ingredients in this tea, I should be feeling pretty grumpy right now. Even I have to admit, though, that this tea smells fabulous dry. Like wine gums. I am rather concerned, though, that a tea named “Red Berry Fool” actually contains a decidedly limited range of berries. One, to be exact — elderberry — and right at the bottom of the ingredients list. The other ingredients are the previously mentioned (and inescapable) hibiscus and rosehip, apple, orange, and safflower. It smells, as I said, fruity. Not of red berries. “Fruit Tart” might be a more appropriate name.
And this tea is incredibly tart, and slightly sour, and we know who to blame for that. Despite this, it is pleasant. The fruit is present in pretty generous chunks, and just about manages to stand up to the hibiscus. It would shine more brightly if it was left alone, though, as would the elderberry. This could be a genuinely nice tea — it really almost is. It smells gorgeous, but it’s a shame the flavour is dulled by the hibiscus, which really does know how to ruin a great party. I feel like I’ve said this so many times, but if only it tasted like it smells.
Ultimately, I’m relatively happy with this tea, and I’d drink it again. I just wish manufacturers would end their compulsion to put hibiscus in fruit or berry tea. It’s not fruit, it’s not a berry, and it’s not nice. Simple as that.
I’m not liking the smell of this tea. It’s supposedly coconut and pineapple, but I’m getting a smell I can only describe as hoover bag dust. I don’t know what’s causing it, but I don’t like it. And it’s quite pervasive.
To taste, this tea is kind of floral. I suspect it’s white peony again, but, like with the Blueberry White I tried a week or so ago, that’s all I can taste. No pineapples, no coconut, just white peony. This isn’t in itself unpleasant, but it’s not the tropical white I was promised.
So, again, great white tea. Shame about the (non existant) flavouring.
I’ve been drinking this quite steadily at work these past few days. The mornings have got pretty cold, and this is just the tea I need to get the day started once I arrive. I know there’s some confusion about the origin of this tea, but my bag says chinese keemun.
First off, I have to say that this isn’t quite what I thought. From what I’ve read about Russian Caravan I was expecting a slightly smoky taste, which I can’t detect at all. I find myself mildly disappointed by this. That being said, I think this is a fabulous breakfast tea — strong and dependable. I’m actually considering replacing my usual English Breakfast with this, because, while not very exciting, it is a fabulous tasting tea.
I think I’ll continue to experiment with Russian Caravan blends from other manufacturers, because I’d really like to find one with the fabled smokiness. For now, though, this is really hitting the spot.
This is the last tea I’ve yet to try from my Adagio Holiday Cheer sampler. In theory, I love the idea of this tea. It’s so simple, and yet so brilliant. A classic idea for a christmas tea sampler. In practice, I already suspect it’s going to be a let down. I can’t really smell cranberry — only the faintest whiff — but I can smell that dark bitterness I detected when trying Pumpkin Spice the other day. Already, I’m thinking this isn’t going to end well. Still, onwards. Into the water it goes, with the hope that I might be wrong.
4 minutes and a splash of milk later, I’m not wrong. I can still only smell the very faintest hint of cranberry. I can also smell something very bitter lurking fairly near the surface, and even to smell I don’t like it. I’ve heard it said, but I can’t believe that the base tea is Adagio’s Ceylon Sonata. I like Ceylon Sonata. I even have a big bag of it sitting in my stash, and it doesn’t taste or smell anything like this creature. I’m not saying it’s not in there, but if it is it must be cut with something else. This THING, whatever it is, is probably what I don’t like. I imagine it makes it cheaper to blend, but it also ruins what could be a perfectly good tea. There needs to be more flavouring, though. There’s just nowhere near enough cranberry in this for it to really deserve the name. If only all of these teas could be like Chestnut — the shining star of this sampler — I’d be a very, very happy woman. Alas, it’s apparently not to be.
So, finally, after all my ramblings, it’s just cool enough to taste. It’s tolerable enough, but it’s really no more than an everyday blended black, and not a fabulous one at that. There’s a tantalizing hint of flavour, but it only serves to signal what was not to be. Still, never mind. I can always dream of chestnuts.