1554 Tasting Notes
A sample from VariaTEA. I had my first cup of this last night, and have to admit to being slightly disappointed. I didn’t get much in the way of pumpkin pie from this, and it wasn’t even remotely spicy. I know it doesn’t claim to be, but I’ve come to associate spice with pumpkin pie, and I felt kind of cheated. We could perhaps argue about the pumpkin. There is a sweetness that floats over the top of the rooibos, but it’s so generic I really wouldn’t want to define it as pumpkin. Not the vegetable anyway. Maybe it could faintly recall tinned, pre-sweetned pumpkin pie filling…but I don’t think so. Not really. Let’s say that if I hadn’t read the label first and known this was supposed to be a pumpkin tea, I wouldn’t have been able to guess. There’s no pie, but I think you knew I was going to say that already.
All this being said, it’s not an unpleasant rooibos blend. There’s no woodiness, and it takes milk nicely. The sweet flavour makes it a little different from a plain rooibos, and it’s not difficult to drink. I’ll happily make up my second cup from the sample I received, and drink it too. It’s just not pumpkin pie, and having expected that I now feel bereft. It scores low because it disappointed me, although I don’t mind the flavour.
I feel I should say I’m drinking the ML collection version of this tea today, rather than the Mighty Leaf. To all intents and purposes, though, I think they’re the same. I certainly can’t taste any discernable difference (unlike this morning’s breakfast blend).
For that reason, I’ll stick with what I’ve said all along. This is a pleasant, eminently palatable earl grey, not too heavy on the bergamot and with a nice robust base. I don’t like all earl grey varieties, but this is one I’m happy to drink. I had a couple of cups in my eco mug today, and was pleased with both. I added milk, because that’s what I do, and that added a pleasant creaminess which just took the edge off the slightly bitter bergamot. That’s how to improve a process workshop, ladies and gentlemen.
I wasn’t expecting this one to be so different from the Organic Breakfast that’s sold under the “Mighty Leaf” range, rather than this one from the ML Collection. It is, though, and I could tell immediately. I don’t think this one contains any darjeeling. it’s much sweeter and maltier, and it doesn’t have the metallic tang I associate with Mighty Leaf’s darjeelings. On this point alone, it’s a much more palatable breakfast tea for me. I feel it’s a more robust blend, as well. It definitely accepts milk more readily without becoming ridiculously weak, and it has more body. By that, I think I mean the “darker” notes are more pronounced, and it potentially has a heavier mouthfeel. I did detect a hint of chocolate while sipping on this one, and that complemented the malty flavour wonderfully.
On the whole, this struck me as a very pleasant breakfast tea. There are a good few bags in my ML Collection Master Sampler, so I can enjoy some more cups of this one and firm up my opinion. For a first impression in less than ideal brewing circumstances (process workshop away from the office), though, I think it stood up pretty well.
I used to love this tea, back when I first had a Mighty Leaf Master Sampler. That was about two years ago now, though, and today I realised that my tastes have changed fundementally. Either that, or the tea has changed. I think it’s safer to assume it’s me.
I used to think it was delicate, juicy, and wonderfully melony. I’ve been in a Processfix workshop for the last two days (last one tomorrow), so I took a small supply of tea bags knowing that loose tea wouldn’t be practical. This was one I pulled out this afternoon. I let my water cool first, added the bag, and gave it about two minutes. The liquor quickly turned a fairly deep yellow, so I was expecting at least some bitterness from the base. Fortunately it was smooth and relatively sweet tasting.
My problem with this tea is the flavouring. I got a lot of peach, but it was the kind of plasticy, artificial peach I can’t get along with. Sometimes it even gives me a headache. There was no melon to be found. The flavouring didn’t completely overpower the base, which was actually the nicest thing about this tea, although I would have preferred just white rather than a white/green blend. And some melon, obviously.
It’s not that this is a bad tea…I just can’t believe my recollection of it from two years ago was so vastly different to today’s experience. Unfortunately, once I’ve finished the bags in my sampler box, it won’t be one I come back to again.
I’m actually getting more from this today than I ever have before. I’m wondering whether it’s because I’m at the bottom of the bag, and all of the chocolate, coconut and assorted flavourings have accumulated here? After the cup I’m drinking now, I literally have two more teaspoons of leaf left. If they’re both as good as this, I’ll go away from this blend happy!
It tastes just like chocolate sponge cake. I wouldn’t say I’m getting “red velvet” cake particularly — certainly there’s no cream cheese icing to be found here — but I’m happy enough with cake. Why have I never tasted it before?! It even smells like cake, and where I usually get a whole lot of rooibos and nothing else, today the rooibos is actually farily tame.
Strange and stranger. I’m not complaining, though. Chocolate cake tea is fine with me!
Enjoyed two delcious cups of this yesterday evening. It’s so much “darker” in flavour than the other two Chinese blacks I’ve sipped down over the last couple of days. I’m not usually a fan of smoky or leathery teas, but I did enjoy this one. It will make a return to my cupboard before long, I’m sure :)
After my success with S&V Candy Cane, I decided to cold-brew the last of my Carrot Cake Cupcake Green Rooibos for work today. I’m reasonably pleased with it — I think on balance I can taste more carrot cake, and certainly more cream cheese, than I could when drinking this hot. It’s still quite delicate, though. In the initial sip, it doesn’t seem like there’s much flavour to be had, but it does develop quite wonderfully in the aftertaste. There’s a delicate carroty freshness, a hint of spice, and a slightly tangy sweetness that really is reminiscent of cream cheese frosting. This will be an easy cold brew to sip on today, and it gets one of my languishing teas out of my cupboard. Not a restock, I don’t think, but enjoyable enough.
Sipdown! I love this one…when I place an order with Teavivre next, this will definitely be on my list. It’ll probably be a little while, because I’ve just received my sampler of 2014 spring harvest green teas from them, but no doubt missing it will make it all the more desirable once it does make a return to my cupboard.
It’s deliciously malty, with grain and sweet potato notes…maybe a touch of honey at the very end of the sip. And soooo smooth! I’m on my third cup today, and I’ve loved every mouthful. Gorgeous!
My final cup last night was much better. I managed to replicate my first cup, which I enjoyed quite a lot. I’m still not enjoying the “base” flavour, or the oiliness, but the creamy vanilla mintiness almost makes it worthwhile. Still, I’m not too sad that it’s now left my cupboard. It was certainly an experience!