1723 Tasting Notes
First cup of the morning! It’s feeling very autumnal today, so I picked out something fall-y, I think for the first time this year (at least, on purpose). What surprises me most is that there are no notes for this one yet – I’m pretty sure it’s from Bluebird’s last autumn collection.
In any case, it’s good. First sip reminded me a lot of David’s Tea Alpine Punch. There’s a very strong almond flavour right up front, very reminiscent of marzipan. In the mid-sip, there’s coconut, and then a touch of warming cinnamon spice in the final fade. It’s a rooibos base, but I can’t really taste any of the woodiness that I typically associate with red rooibos. No sawdust here! I think that’s partly because the almond’s so strong. It pretty well drowns out everything else.
I’m enjoying this one. It’s warming, and comforting, and it perfectly encapsulates early autumn for me. I used 1 tsp for my cup, and gave it 5 minutes in boiling water, plus a splash of milk. Delicious! I’m probably going to add this one to my evening rotation, except I’ll be sad when it’s gone. If only it were still available!
Sipdown! I’ll miss this one on chilly mornings. Although sometimes it borders on being too rich, that’s a small price to pay for a tea that (on the whole) is totally amazing. Really strong caramel and vanilla notes, on a thick and malty black base. Dessert tea perfection!
Today’s work cold brew. I’d been meaning to try this one cold for a while (since last summer, I think?) but I always seem to forget. This year, though, I remembered just in time. I’m not typically a fan of jasmine tea, but I do like peach, and this one strikes just the right balance for me. It’s not too floral or perfumey, and the peach isn’t overly artificial or chemical tasting. Instead, there’s a delicate balance of both. The peach is juicy and natural tasting, and the sweetness is augmented by the light heady floral of the jasmine. It’s a good pairing! The green tea base is smooth, with no bitterness or astringency at all. It must have had at least 7 hours in the fridge, so I wasn’t sure what to expect on that front (I don’t cold brew green teas very often, so I’m less certain about steep times and such like), but I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Another excellent Teavivre offering!
I wanted something fairly straightforward this morning, and this fit the bill perfectly. It’s still one of my favourite plain black teas – deliciously malty, with strong chocolate and cocoa notes. It’s very easy to drink, very smooth, and works well both with and without milk. I have a feeling this – or one of Teavivre’s Dian Hongs — will be a permanent fixture in my cupboard. They’re just too good to do without.
Today’s work SBT. Love blueberry, love banana, so this one should be a hit with me. I prepared it the usual way, and I’m pretty pleased with the result. The blueberry is strong, flavour accurate, juicy, fruity…everything you’d want a blueberry tea to be. The banana, though, is surprisingly absent. I say surprising, because usually it’s a flavour 52Teas/SBT do really well. It’s always a candy-like banana, but also always a flavour you can depend on to come over well. Sadly, I can’t taste it at all here.
I’m thinking it might be because the blueberry is so strong (I can’t even really taste much of the black tea base, which is a rarity with SBTs for me). I’m in no way disappointed with the way that comes across. It’s not really blueberry banana tea, though. Just blueberry, which is fine with me, but the name established certain expectations. If it’s only blueberry, just call it blueberry. Nothing wrong with that!
Yaupon, as a tea varietal, is entirely new to me, At first glance, it looks a lot more like a mate or a guayusa; flakes of greenish-brown leaf that put me in mind (albeit fleetingly) of fish food. Closer inspection reveals that they’re actually quite sizable chunks of (very shiny) tea leaves, although not as oxidized as I expected given that they’re referring to this as a “black” tea. Generously scattered among the leaves are cubes of dried apple, almond slivers, small pieces of beetroot, and cinnamon chips. Even dry, the scent is pretty amazing – spot-on apple pie spices!
Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/09/29/american-apple-pie-catspring-tea/
Today’s “new start”. From the scent of the dry leaf, I was expecting a cup of mostly rooibos, and probably a very woodsy one at that. Fortunately not so. The main flavour here is a slightly sour marscapone-ish creaminess, very reminiscent of tiramisu. Underneath that are notes of almond, coffee, chocolate, and just a hint of caramel. There is some rooibos poking out here and there, but it’s pretty effectively masked by the flavouring for the most part.
I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. The dry leaf contains coffee beans, chocolate chips, and cubes of caramel, so there’s a slightly oily scrim to the brewed cup, but nothing too distracting. I enjoyed this one, on the whole. I’m not sure whether I’d have chosen a rooibos base…but it works. I’m a happy camper!
Today’s work SBT, prepared the usual way. It’s also the most disappointing SBT I’ve tried in a while, because I can’t really taste much in the way of peach, cobbler, or ice cream (the package says a la mode even though the listing doesn’t…) If I concentrate, I can taste tinned peaches, or rather, the syrup that they’re usually preserved in. The flavour really is that light and insubstantial. There’s no vanilla to suggest ice cream, no creaminess, and nothing buttery, biscuitty, or even pastry-like to make me think cobbler. The main flavour is sweet black tea, with only the very, very mildest hint of peach. This makes me sad, because I had high hopes for this one.
Sweet Dreams is part of AstroloTea’s Transformative Loose Tea range, which combines ingredients with specific properties to create teas designed to have an effect on either mind or body. Sweet Dreams, true to its name, is supposed to be a relaxing blend, with the intention of promoting sleep or rest. Like many blends of this kind, it contains a selection of herbal ingredients known for their calming properties, including rose petals, hops, jasmine, lemon balm, and lavender.
Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/09/26/musicandteamonday-sweet-dreams-herbal-astrolotea/
After achieving a couple of sipdowns today, I figured it was time to pull some more “new” black teas out of my sample box. In all honesty, they’re not actually all that new anymore. I guess what I really mean is “unopened”. This one sounded appealing, although I had to check twice because I didn’t believe it would be a black tea at first. “Caribbean Breeze” had me thinking of a while or green blend, probably tropical fruit flavoured. This one is chocolate coconut.
Once brewed, I can kinda see it. I used 1.5 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water. It brewed up pretty dark, so I added a splash of milk. An oily scrim gathers on the surface, and I can only assume the chocolate is responsible for that. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to have any effect on the texture or mouthfeel, and it doesn’t taste oily. All good so far.
The main flavour is definitely coconut, swiftly followed by milk chocolate. It’s very reminiscent of a Bounty at this point. The while chocolate comes out a little in the mid-sip, and with it a creaminess that I think the milk also helps to promote. There’s a slightly odd pepperiness at the end of the sip that’s a little jarring, but mostly ignorable. It’s putting me in mind of a David’s Tea I tried a while back…maybe last winter? I can’t remember the name now, but I know it’s going to annoy me until I do…
On the whole, I enjoyed this one. Liquid bounty, with added pepper. IGNORE THE PEPPER!
ETA: White Chocolate Frost? I didn’t much like that, though, apparently…