1186 Tasting Notes
Had a cup of this when I returned from lunch this afternoon. After I’d cleared the backlog of visitors in my reception, anyway. I’d been reading Dr No (I know, I know…), and I’d just got to the part when his “dragon” appears. To continue the theme, this seemed a fitting tea to start the afternoon off. I think this is actually only my second or third cup of this — my pouch is still pretty full. I like it just as much as I did last time I logged it, though. The cinnamon is sweet, the cayenne pepper spicy, and the dragonwell is a beautiful complement to both. Slightly vegetal, but not at all astringent. This tea really does make me think of dragons, somehow. The green tea for the dragon itself, the cinnamon for the fire, and the cayenne pepper for the smoke puffs that are obviously going to ensue. Evocative, this one. I love that in a tea!
This is so good when it’s cold. I put my SBTs in a bottle to bring to work a litre at a time, leaving the second litre in the fridge at home for the next day. I drank half of yesterday’s bottle in the morning while it was cold, and absolutely loved it. I forgot to put the other half in the fridge while I went for lunch, though, and came back to a warm-ish glass that wasn’t so fabulous. Somehow, this tea seems to lose some of its flavour when it gets warm. I guess the clue’s in the name given that it’s iced tea, though. Anyway, today I’m making an effort to be less forgetful so I can log this successfully.
Cold, this tastes beautifully of cola with a twist of lime. It’s cola rather than coke — the kind of flavour you’d expect if you bought own brand rather tha coca cola or pepsi, or whatever. Like cola bottles, really, I suppose. The lime tatses remarkably fresh and zingy, almost like I’d squeezed it in myself. On a hot day (and today is warming up quickly), this is just the thing. Better for me than actual cola, but just as tasty. All that, combined with the fact that it’s tea make it a winner in my book! This is great stuff — I definitely feel a repurchase coming on.
This is one of the boxes of Teapigs from my “Ultimate” collection that I’ve left until last fairly intentionally. Plain rooibos blends aren’t usually my thing – I want to like them, but I can’t get past the taste of rooibos on its own. It’s just too earthy and woodsy and plain odd. On closer inspection, though, this is actually a rooibos/honeybush blend despite its name, so I’m a little more hopeful about it now. Honeybush I can tolerate.
Dry and while brewing, this just smells like rooibos. It’s that typical, almost medicinal scent. Possibly there’s a higher proportion of rooibos than honeybush in here, which would make sense given that this blend is called rooibos, so perhaps I should have expected that. In any case, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to my first sip.
Strangely, though, the predominant taste here is honeybush. Relief is probably the first thing I felt, because now I know I’ll be able to finish the box. I was expecting the harsh edge of rooibos here, for certain, but this tea is remarkably sweet and smooth tasting. It’s almost as if I’d added honey, which I haven’t. After seeing the colour of the liquor, which is a deep, dark red-brown, I was half tempted to add some milk in an effort to make it more palatable. I’m glad I tried it first, though, because it absolutely doesn’t need it. I suppose there’s a lesson here in how not to judge a tea by its cover, as it were. Or by previous experiences with other similar teas, for that matter. It’s not my favourite, and no rooibos/honeybush blend ever will be, but it’s eminently drinkable and, I feel, one of the more pleasant examples of its type. A successful end to this experience, anyway!
Sipdown! Had my final cup of this hot last night, and I’m finishing off the last of my second cold-brewed pitcher this morning. This wasn’t my favourite tea at first, but now I’ve found a way I like to drink it I think I’ll be missing it after all.
On a different note, I wish Steepster’s cupboard problems would resolve themselves — it’s getting kind of annoying! Apparently I have logged everything in my cupboard once, which just isn’t true…
Cold brewed this last night to bring in to work today. I actually think I prefer it this way — something about the taste of pineapple and coconut together, and in a hot drink, makes me feel a little nauseous. Cold, I’m fine with it. I also think the flavours have chance to shine much more. The pineapple tastes sweet and juicy, and pairs really well with the cocount to make a pretty authentic pina colada taste (minus the alcohol, obviously). Although it was in the fridge all night, the honeybush is pretty indiscernable, which is fine with me. I’m sad that I left it this long to try this tea cold brewed, because I was really missing a trick. Unfortunately, my pouch is almost gone, but there might be just enough left for another pitcher tomorrow. I finally found my happy place with this tea, though, and maybe with pineapple/coconut blends in general. Yay for that!
I’ve had this one before, but I think it was before I joined Steepster so I’ve never logged it. It’s not my favourite genmaicha these days, but I think I’ve been spoilt a bit by other varieties. It is wonderfully nutty, and slightly sugary tasting, very much like the sugar puffs the description refers to. The green tea base is light and delicate, although it also has a slightly bitter aftertaste, and is a little astringent. This is a fairly average genmaicha — not bad, not great. As an introduction to this kind of tea, you could probably do a lot worse. I just know what else is out there now, and on the whole I prefer it.
Sipdown! Finished these off today. I think white tea is just about the perfect summer tea for me. Not too heavy when the weather’s hot, but satisfying nonetheless. This one is so light and delicate, it almost doesn’t have a colour once brewer. It’s beautifully, airily floral, though. Probably one of Teapigs’ best imo.
Decided to give Lime Chiffon another go tonight, just to compare with the Lemon Chiffon I’ve just finished. This got the same treatment as the lemon; I started the cup without milk, and added a splash half way to compare. Dry, the lime flavouring is less detectable than it is with the lemon. It’s no less creamy, though. This tea is really making me think of dessert; key lime pie, maybe? Some kind of creamy, citrussy confection, anyway.
Fortunately, the lime emerges a little more when brewed, enough to compete with the rooibos, which was my main concern. Without milk, the rooibos steals the show a little bit, but the lime is reasonably prominent. The creaminess is a little muted. With milk, the creaminess is enhanced, and the rooibos fades a little, but so too does the lime. I prefer this one without milk, simply because I love the taste of lime and I’m willing to make the trade with the creaminess to taste a little more of it.
Another gorgeous rooibos blend — it’s impossible to split these in my estimation at the moment. Maybe I need another cup? I’m definitely going to try this one cold if there’s enough left in the sachet. I think its true colours may shine through.
My last Harney & Sons sample, courtesy of Courtney. Dry, this has a very faint scent, maybe vaguely fruity but mostly black tea. It reminds me a bit of Adagio’s Cranberry, from their Holiday Cheer set, in that respect.
Brewed, this smells much more strongly of cranberry — it’s definitely cranberry that’s detectable now, rather than just “red fruit”. There’s also a pretty strong influence from the black tea base — it’s kind of sweet smelling and slightly malty, and it contrasts nicely with the tart, almost bittersweet cranberries.
In terms of taste, I feel much the same way as I do about the scent. It’s softer than I expected it to be, with the tart cranberry taking centre stage and the mellow, sweet base still a big part of the flavour, but in a purely complementary way. I think I expected this to taste bitter (maybe a memory from the Adagio!), so I’m pleasantly surprised that it’s not. This is a tea no doubt better suited to a brisk autumnal day, but it’s certainly been a pleasing cup tonight anyway. Thanks again to Courtney for sharing this with me!