1120 Tasting Notes
First cup of this last night was a no-no. I admit that I felt a little trepidation before trying a sip, and I proved myself right because in the end it wasn’t a cup I could finish.
I love the secnt of this tea dry. The chocolate is the thing I can smell the most, so I was hoping that I’d get a strong chocolate taste accompanied by a very spicy chai blend. I like spicy things, so I was figuring this would be right up my street. I gave this about four minutes in boiling water, and added a fair splash of milk.
Unfortunately, that’s where things started to go wrong, because all I can taste is cayenne pepper. NOTHING else. There’s no chocolate, no other spices, not even any black tea. Just cayenne pepper. It’s not painful, but it’s the kind of spice that sticks at the back of the throat and makes you cough. Unpleasant. I would have put up with it if there’d been other flavours, but there weren’t. Down the sink it went.
So. Either I need to adjust the way I brew this, or it’s just really not the tea for me. I’m going to try again with a smaller cup, a shorter brew time, more milk, and maybe some sugar. I might even try putting it in a t-sac or something, to try and keep back some of the cayenne pepper. I really want to like this, but I want to taste chocolate and spice as well as the cayenne heat.
We’ll see how the next cup goes. For now, though…ugh. Sad face.
I actually tried my first cup of this on Saturday night, I think, although it looks like I didn’t get around to logging it. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’m going to like it, but I’ll have to try another cup to be sure. I brewed this as a latte, with a long brew for the leaves and plenty of milk. The spices are the first thing I could taste, followed by an intensely chocolatey taste (like a brownie…), a touch of smoke, and then the tiniest hint of creamy marshmallow. I was sort of expecting the spice to be one of the later flavours to develop, which is probably why I’m not 100% sure I like it. I do like the combination of fudgey chocolate, smoke, and sweet marshmallow, but the “chai” aspect really seems to dominate. Part of me wonders what I expected, because this is a chai blend…but another part of me insists that the flavour should present itself first, and then the chai as a base.
I’m going to have another cup of this before I rate it, just to clarify me feelings on the taste.
I’ve had a few cups of this today. It’s my first day back on reception full-time, and one visitor has already been rude and threatened to report me. For…doing my job? I don’t know what she’s going to find to say about me, I only referred her query and then discovered there was no-one around to answer it. Since when was that my fault? Days like this make me glad I’m leaving.
Anyway, this tea is going some way towards alleviating my headache, and it’s at least nearly home time. The chocolate and cocoa notes here are delicious, and I just find the whole thing really soothing. I was actually drinking a cup of Pineapple Cilantro Cream when “The Incident” occured, but I had to set that aside and find some black tea to calm me down. I’ve told my manager about it, and she says not to worry, but I would have liked a more successful first day back. It’s only Monday, and it’s got the week off to a bad start.
Still. I have things to look forward to. Don’t I?
I like this better than the black version, which is surprising for me as I’m usually a black tea person when it really comes down to it. Anyway, I’ve tried a few chocolate peppermint rooibos blends in my time, and this is a pretty nice one. The chocolate adds a lovely cocoa note, which the peppermint cuts through nicely. The rooibos is a little on the woody side, but it’s disguised pretty effectively by the flavouring. It’s like drinking an After Eight, really, and it’s always nice to have another caffeine-free blends on hand for pre-bedtime drinks. It’s nothing earth shattering, but the flavours here are well balanced, and it makes for a genuinely pleasant cup. Quite a successful Halloween in terms of tea!
I’m extending Halloween into a second day, while I finish sampling my themed teas. I love the smell of this one. It’s like blueberry compote. It’s strong, sweet and fruity dry, and most of that carries over into the brewed cup. I gave this 3.5, nearly 4 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk.
The taste here is mainly blueberry. The ghosts are entertaining, but I don’t think they add anything to the flavour. At least there was no weird colouring this time! The chocolate bits don’t seem to add much in the way of taste, either, which is a bit odd. Perhaps I need to give it a stir next time to make sure it’s melted into the water rather than sticking to the leaves in my strainer. Hmm. I can’t say I mind, though, because the blueberry taste here is wonderful. It’s very fresh and natural tasting, and I can see myself picking out a cup of this pretty often when I want something desserty but not cloying. Major yum.
Sipdown! I’m not too sad to see this one go. I could taste banana, although it wasn’t as strong as I’d have liked it to be. I think 52 Teas Monkey Fart spoilt me a bit for banana teas, even though I’ve only tried the SBT version. There is banana here, but it’s pretty mild. The strongest flavour I can detect is actually caramel — caramelised banana? A little bit like a banana split, I suppose. It’s palatable, though, and it makes a nice dessert tea with a little bit of milk and sugar. I just think there are better Bluebird teas than this one, on the whole.
First cup of the morning. I’m still really enjoying drinking this when I arrive at work. The combination of the lemon and spices makes me feel all warm and cosy, and somehow cheered.
I have things to be cheerful about today, though. The 52 Teas reblends, for one. I read about them on the bus, and took the opportunity to grab a few before I started work at 9.00. I’ve had one cup of Rainbow Sherbet in my life, thanks to Sil, and I loved it, so I’m really pleased I’ve finally got the opportunity to try more. Cotton Candy I love, so that was a no-brainer, and I’ve been desperate to try Coconut Cream Pie and Strawberry Zabaglione for ages, so they went into the basket too. I could have added more, but I usually try and restrict my orders to 4. It’s not like I need loads more tea, but I just find myself unable to resist.
The second bit of good news was that I won my battle with HR, and I will now be offered four weeks notice on my new contract instead of one. It’s a risk for me to leave a permanent job for a fixed term one, but I think it’ll be a good career move, and I’m happier about it now that I’ll have a little more warning should it end unexpectedly. It was a battle worth fighting, so yay for me! I’m off to collect my new contract now! It’s also Friday, so what could be better? I love days that keep on giving in the happiness department :)
A better experience with this one than with Bats in the Belfry. The black and yellow bug sprinkles are kind of cute, and they don’t bleed colour like the bats I mentioned in my Bats in the Belfry tasting note. They don’t add any flavour, either, so I guess they’re kind of gimmicky, but they’re sweet. Again, though, the sprinkles and the name are the only things that make this a Halloween tea. Otherwise, it’s just a run of the mill vanilla cream rooibos.
That’s fine with me, though, because there’s space in my affections for a vanilla cream rooibos. Especially one that tastes of vanilla and cream, and this one does that all right. The rooibos is really quite prominent, so the first taste is the typical woody-brassy flavour I know well and don’t really love. It’s saved by the vanilla, though, which really comes out in the middle of the sip. It’s a nice, natural vanilla bean flavour, rather than a chemically vanilla essence type taste, too. The creaminess is more detectable as a mouthfeel than a flavour, although there is a depth to the vanilla that suggests something like coffee creamer to me. I added milk, too, so they work together really well to create quite a decadent creaminess.
This isn’t the best rooibos I’ve ever tried, but it’s a nice enough tea. It’s comforting, sweet and creamy, and it works well as a cosy tea on a cold dark night. I’ll happily drink the rest of this — it’s not earth shattering, but it’s pleasant, and the bugs are a novelty. That’s probably more than enough Halloween excitement for me :)
Backlog from Thursday.
This is Swiss Mountain with added sprinkles, right? I like the name, it’s very Halloween appropriate, and it made me smile. That’s really all the Halloween there is about this tea, though, if you don’t count the bat sprinkles. I wasn’t, at first, because you can’t really see them among the dark tea leaves, anyway. Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that the bat sprinkles turn this tea a murky green-grey colour. I guess it’s the dye they’re coloured with. Add milk, and it looks even worse. I guess drinking tea the colour of zombie skin probably is kind of Halloween appropriate after all, although it’s a little bit off putting.
I drank it anyway. It tastes really lovely, but if you’ve tried Swiss Mountain you know that already. There’s just the right balance of peppermint and chocolate against the black tea, and it’s sweet, refreshing and lovely. I think I’ll be tempted to drink the rest of this without milk, simply to avoid the weird colour. The black tea is a little on the weak side for milk anyway, so I guess it’s not all that much of a sacrifice. It tastes great, but I’m not 100% sold on this variation. I’ll be sticking to Swiss Mountain in future, that’s for sure.
Backlog from Thursday.
It was Halloween teas a go-go last night, and this was the first of them. I don’t really have all that much to add to my first tasting note — I’m impressed how much flavour the piece of melted candy corn adds to this, but also how much flavour the tea itself has. It tastes exactly like candy corn — sweet (quite overbearingly so, if a large piece of candy corn melts in a small cup…), but also quite honey-like. It’s the most obviously Halloween themed tea out of all the teas I drank yesterday, maybe with the exception of The Witching Hour. 52 Teas wins this one, either way. A lovely treat for a dark night!