1433 Tasting Notes
A sample from KittyLovesTea. I like being presented with things that I wouldn’t otherwise try, so I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. I like white tea in general, and most berry teas, so it’s a good combination for me. Initially, I was concerned about the colour this brews to in a surprisingly short time. It’s quite a dark brown, even in cooled water, and only for about 2 or 2.5 minutes. As another reviewer has commented, though, it does contain things like blackcurrant, liquorice and cranberry, so perhaps it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise.
The real proof is in the taste, of course, and the taste here is wonderful. The berry flavour is clear, slightly sweet, and very fresh tasting. Not a hint of artificiality at all. It’s mostly blackcurrant, I think — it actually reminds me of the hot ribena my mum used to make me when I was a child. It’s not as strong or as chemically sweet, but the flavour is there. There’s not much in the way of white tea to be found, but I suppose that can’t be expected when put next to strong flavours like blackcurrant.
I really like this one, and it’s something I’d consider purchasing for myself. I’m going to go and check out Goodness Direct, now!
A sample from KittyLovesTea, and another one I neglected because I was scared of it. I read some of the reviews below, became even more scared, and then decided to give it a go anyway. I mean, it’s better to know.
I wasn’t really sure how to treat this one, so I dumped a teaspoon (about 35 berries) into my infused, and added it to a cup of freshly boiled water. I forgot about it for a few minutes, so it probably had about 4-5 minutes brew time in total. The liquor is a pale yellow, and it smells…vaguely fruity, and a little medicinal. I sniffed it suspiciously before taking a sip, you see. So I know.
First taste isn’t actually too bad. It does taste subtly fruity — I agree with the sour plum another reviewed picked out. There is something a little vinegary about it in the aftertaste, but it’s not terrible. For some reason, I was expecting a much stronger flavour, but it’s actually quite palatable. I’m coming round to the view that it’s rather nice to drink something completely different once in a while. Something you’re probably not going to come across ever again — a challenge for the tastebuds.
I wouldn’t say this is something I’d drink often, or even seek out. I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to try it, though. I’m not getting five flavours from it (which might be a blessing in disguise), but it’s a nice enough vaguely fruit/berry flavoured cup, if a little odd around the edges, Something everyone should try once.
A sample from KittyLovesTea, and another one I left for fear of messing it up. I’m still not entirely sure how to treat it, “it” being a white tea left to oxidise. I plumped for treating it like a while for my first go, and I think that was probably right. It tastes smooth, anyway, so it certainly didn’t do it any harm.
Hot, I’m not sure whether I like it all that much. As it cools, however, it’s a lot more pleasant. More of the flavour seems to come out, and it takes on more of the natural sweetness white tea can sometimes have. It tastes very honeyed, and slightly hay-like, but there’s a deeper edge to this that I suspect is caused by the oxidisation. It’s pretty unique, I think. The dry leaves are pretty unique, too, retaining some of their white downiness, but largely being very fine, needle-like, and almost black in colour. The liquor is a deep honey colour.
It’s not a strong flavour, and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I’m tasting. A stouter, sturdier version of a white tea, with a slightly fruity edge. When I say fruity in this case, I’m thinking of orange fruits like peach and apricot.
I think this is one that will grow on me, and I can actually imagine it tasting really wonderful iced. It’s certainly one I’ll continue drinking at a lower temperature. It’s an odd creature hot.
A sample from KittyLovesTea. I was intrigued by this one, but completely clueless about how best to treat it. For this reason, I went with the steeping parameters indicated in the description on this page – 5 mins at about 180. I like Darjeeling, on the whole, but green tea and jasmine flavouring have always been borderline flavours for me. That’s probably why I wasn’t expecting to like this a whole lot, and so I took myself completely by surprise when it turned out that I did. Like it a lot, that it.
It’s sweet, for starters, and I wasn’t expecting anything like that. It is a little bitter at the end of the sip, but the initial sweetness is just phenomenal. It smells delicious, too. Sweet, again, and slightly floral. Juicy, somehow. It’s quite perfumey to taste, but somehow this isn’t a bad thing. Usually, heavy jasmine scents or flavours aren’t my thing at all, but this is something else. Although the jasmine is both strong and heavy, I actually don’t mind it. It works really well with the base Darjeeling, perhaps because it’s a “green” Darjeeling. In addition to the jasmine, there’s a strong grassy flavour. Again, sweet, but it cuts through the floral a little in the middle of the sip, and reminds me of some of the more delicate green teas I’ve tried recently.
Looking at the leaves, the majority are a medium green colour, with some darker leaves (approaching black) among the mix. They’re quite small, and some are broken, but the majority actually unfurl to a reasonable size once steeped. The liquor is a bright yellow, very sunny looking. I needed things to cheer me up today, and this has done the trick admirably.
Overall, a huge success! I’m going to resteep the leaves, as recommended, to try and lose some of the bitterness. I might also try my next fresh infusion with a slightly shorter brew time. I’d put off trying this one because I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but I’m glad I finally took the plunge. A reward if ever there was one!
2nd steep isn’t so great. The bitterness is still there, only this time there is significantly less flavour. The jasmine is more subtle, but in this case I don’t think that’s an advantage. I much prefer this at full strength.
Right. Today I am endeavouring to stay calm. I will not let my job dictate how I feel.
Starting the day with a cup of Red Christmas, which will soon be a sipdown. I like it, although probably not so much that I’d seek out another bag next year. 100g over the last two has been enough of this one for the foreseeable future. It makes for a pleasant cup, but it’s not overwhelmingly different from all of the other cinnamon teas out there. Particularly at Christmas. It’s a good rooibos, though — not too woody or overpowering in its own right, and delicious with milk.
So, that’s the last of my backlog caught up. I’ve had a really hard week at work, with our teamleader signed off with stress for the foreseeable future. There are no plans to replace her for the time being, meaning that all of the stuff that caused the problem in the first place now falls to me and two of my colleagues. Great.
On a different note, I’m thinking of participating in Camp NaNoWriMo next month. It might be a little crazy considering what’s happening at work at the moment, but it’s something I’ve fancied doing for a while now, and I think I should just get on and take the plunge. Otherwise I’ll procrastinate for ever, probably.
Anyway, I am here, even if my appearances are a bit sporadic, and I’m still drinking tea. Lots of it, as it happens, because it’s one of the few things keeping me sane at the moment.
Hopefully things will get back on a more even keel before too long.
Sipdown! This one is so much better brewed strong in a small cup. The toffee flavour comes out so well, resulting in an almost honeycomb or cinder toffee flavour, beautifully augmented with a touch of smoke. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to try this one, because it makes for a pretty awesome autumn/winter tea. Definitely one I’d consider restocking.
Sipdown! Finished this one off at work over the past few days. Although it’s a white tea, it has quite a substantial flavour in and of itself. Fortunately, the white chocolate and coconut notes still came over clearly, resulting in a delightfully creamy concoction. One I’d seek out again next winter.
I’m making an effort to revisit some of the teas I’ve opened but not tried in a while at the moment. This one I tried first with milk, which was fine, but it shines best without which is how I drank it this evening. The baked apple taste comes through really clearly, and there’s a glutinous, starchy note that really reminds me of strudel. It’s possible to detect hints of pastry, although not in every sip, along with a delicate cinnamon flavour. It tastes almost sticky, and has to be one of the best dessert replacement teas I’ve tried in a good long while. Amazing!