1230 Tasting Notes
I had two bags left over, so I used both of them to make a huge cup of chai latte yesterday. I’ve started to develop a sore throat, maybe heading towards a cold, so the warming spices and comforting milkiness were just the thing. I went to see Propeller perform The Comedy of Errors last night — it was absolutely brilliant. I like to think this tea got me out of the door when it would have been much easier to stay at home. I’m seeing the same company perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream tonight — on the strength of last night, I’m really, really looking forward to it.
A sample from Shmiracles. I’ve never tried a whisky tea before, so this is a new experience for me. Dry, it smells wonderful…there’s a strong hint of whisky, although sweeter than I’d expect, and a touch of fruitiness, rather reminiscent of glace dates.
To taste, I get a light smokiness and a hit of peat whisky, followed by the gentle flavour of stone fruit…apricot, or perhaps peach. It’s a surprising combination, but one that actually seems to work quite well. I expected quite a heavy tasting tea, but this is actually very light and subtle, in keeping with the white tea base. An intriguing and unusual tea.
I bought this one for its billing as a “turkish delight” tea. Generally, floral teas haven’t been my thing, but I know my tastes are changing. Unfortunately, I’m not getting much in the way of turkish delight from this…I guess it needs a little more sweetness to really bring that off. Possibly a little crystal sugar in my next cup might help.
I do get roses, although they’re not as overpowering as I expected them to be (given that there are a lot of rosebuds in the bag). There’s still plenty of space for the lemongrass to shine, and for a slightly earthy herbal taste to develop. I can’t taste chocolate or cocoa very much, although there’s actually very little to be found in the dry mix, so that doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. There’s a slight hint in the aftertaste, especially as it starts to cool, but that’s about it.
My overall impression, then, is of a rose and lemongrass herbal tea. It’s lightly floral, slightly powdery, with a hint of chocolate. I actually think this one might work better iced, so that’s something else I’ll have to try. As it cools, I’m starting to think that, yes, this could actually beigin to taste a little like turkish delight.
Bluebird create some intriguing blends, and some of them take a while to grow on me. I think this is going to be one of those blends. As far as first impressions go, though, this is definitely one I’d like to revisit. Subject to refining my brewing parameters a little, I think this one has the potential to become a spring/summer favourite.
A sample from Shmiracles. This is an interesting one. Judging from the name and a couple of ingredients, I was expecting quite a dark, moody tea. Instead, it’s actually quite light and refreshing — more summer rain than dark winter, strangely. On the other hand, this would be a good tea to curl up in the warm with on the aforementioned dark, stormy winter night. Its ingredients might even be a pleasant reminder if warmer wather to come.
The initial sip is mostly cinnamon, which is followed by satisfyingly creamy coconut and vanilla. The chocolate comes out last, and lingers long in the aftertaste. It’s milk chocolate, rather than dark, and it seems to bind all of the other flavours together fairly effectively — like a friend in common. Taken together, it actually works better than I expected it to…spicy, sweet, creamy, chocolatey. It’s a warming, comforting cup…perfect with a splash of milk.
I was hoping for something a little darker and more brooding, but I’m pleased with what I actually got. An unusual combination of ingredients, and a pleasant tea to have tried. Thanks again to Shmiracles for sharing this with me!
A sample from Shmiracles. I think this is actually the first Adagio custom tea I’ve tried, although I have a few in my stash. This is one I wouldn’t have got to try if it wasn’t for Shmiralces, so many thanks to her for sharing this with me!
It’s an interesting one. Dry, I can smell mostly chocolate, and while brewing I mainly pick up Adagio’s black base. To taste, though, it’s a different story. Blackberry cream, with just a hint of chocolate, and a pleasantly robust, slightly malty, base. I could happily drink this for a good long time — it’s one of those teas that’s easy to sip on and easy to like. A very tasty treat! Hopefully Adagio expand their custom range in the UK soon. If they did, this is one I’d definitely look to restock.
A sample from Shmiracles, and another one I’ve been waiting to try for ages. This smells delicious, and tastes like liquefied popcorn. There’s no other way to describe it. Nutty, buttery, caramelly. Popcorny? The fresh stuff you get at the cinema, rather than shop-bought. The green tea is nowehere in this, although there’s so little of it that’s hardly surprising. I know it’s not the most refined tea, but it’s damn good. The perfect start to my week off work!
A sample from Shmiracles. This one is a little more rooibossy than I would like, but it’s not too bad. I tempered it with a little milk just to flatten the woodsiness a bit, and found it more palatable as a result. The mint here is pretty perfect — a hint of coolness at the end of the sip, a little like mint choc chip ice cream. The chocolate is pretty good too, although there isn’t quite as much as I’d like there to be. I can mostly taste vanilla and mint, with the chocolate squeezed in between. Compared with Read My Lips, which I tried yesterday, I find this one a little lacking in flavour. It’s a good bedtime cup, though, and it’s always nice to have more caffiene free options to hand. Not perfect, but not bad either. A tasty evening treat.
A sample from Shmiracles, and another one I’ve been hoarding. I think part of my problem is that so many of them were teas I’d been wanting to try for a long, long time. Am I afraid of being disappointed? Or just putting off the inevitable day when they’re gone and I’ll be bereft? A bit of both, probably, if I’m honest.
This one smells great right out of the pouch. Chocolate, with a sharp coolness from the mint. The red lips add a cute touch, and make this a pretty tea to look at. While brewing, this filled my whole kitchen with the scent of chocolate and mint, It’s wonderful. Although I’ve tried a few chocolate mint teas, this one is the only one that’s made me think, really and truly, of Christmas. I don’t really understand why I’m making that particular association. Maybe the coolness of the mint reminds me of snow? I don’t know.
To taste, this is just as I’d hoped it would be. The chocolate and mint are both very strong, and create that beautiful hot, sweet, creamy, cool contrast that can work so well. The flavouring is so strong that the tea here is actually rather overpowered — this is more like drinking mint hot chocolate than tea, but it’s so nice I don’t really mind all that much. A flavoured tea with good, strong flavour can be a rare thing, and although I’ve come to appreciate more subtle teas (and plain teas) over the course of my tea journey, there’s still a place in my heart and cupboard for ones like this. Ones that knock your socks off at ten paces with the strength and true to life accuracy of their flavours.
I’ve got enough left for a couple more cups yet, but I was right to think I’d miss this one when it’s gone. A true treat — thank you Shmiracles!
This one surprised me this morning. I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea over the last couple of days, attempting to sip down a couple of smaller amounts I’ve got left at work before I go on leave (only for a week, but I’ll take what I can get). I reached for this one because I wanted a change, but I remembered my last cup at home, and how I couldn’t really taste anything but rooibos anymore. I was pretty convinced it had faded in its poor paper packaging.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I took a sip of my freshly brewed cup and found it actually tasted like carrot cake again! I use a smaller cup at work, and I did forget about it for a good few minutes while the left was still in, so maybe both those factors have something to do with this improved cup. It smells like carrot cake, delicately spiced and slightly creamy, and it tastes like it too. The spicing comes out first, cinnamon, maybe nutmeg, then a slight frutiness that reminds me of raisins. The spongey, vanilliary, cream cheesyness comes out last, and is very fleeting, but it’s there! It’s there! The whole thing is subtle and delicate, and I’m sure this was stronger when I first tried it, but I’m really pleased to have coaxed any flavour from it at all. I’d pretty much written this one off!
First cup! This is such a pretty tea, with its soft green leaves and yellow, blue and red flowers. Gorgeous! Just looking at it makes me think of balloons and birthdays. This was my last cup of the evening, so I was looking for a light, delicate, herbal tea. This fit the bill perfectly. I followed the recommended steeping guidelines for my first cup — 5 minutes in boiling water, with about 1.5 tsp of leaf.
This tea does have a very delicate flavour, but it’s there. I can taste mostly vanilla, a slight creaminess…it is very much like traditional vanilla-sponge birthday cake. I only have a small bag of this, so it’s one I’m going to have to savour at least a little bit. It’s totally yummy.