1723 Tasting Notes
Well, I am still alive. I’ve been majorly MIA, I know, but my cold has just dragged on and on, and I haven’t actually felt like drinking much tea for a good week now. Largely because I can’t taste anything. I’ve been drinking Twining’s English Breakfast, but not much else, and that’s an average tea at the best of times. I still feel crappy, but I think I started to perk up a little today. I brewed up a cup of this at work this afternoon, and I was rewarded with one of the best tasting cups I’ve ever had from this tea! I actually got raspberry, which has always evaded me previously. It wasn’t strong, but it was there, albeit fairly candy-ish. Although this isn’t a patch on my beloved 52 Teas Raspberry Cream, I have to admit it was pretty good. As my first “proper” tea in quite a while, I think I did pretty well!
I actually drank this yeaterday, but I didn’t have time to log it. I’m not usually a big fan of jasmine tea, as I find it too heavy and floral on the whole. This one is actually pretty nice, though. Possibly it doesn’t contain as much jasmine as some I’ve tried — it’s not a pearl tea, which is what I’ve usually tried. The green base is actually the main flavour, and it’s light, sweet and buttery. The jasmine is almost an afterthought, and adds an almost creamy, delicately floral edge to the end of the sip. Looking at the leaves in the bag, they’re small and a little twisted looking. That’s probably why I was expecting a dark, maybe slightly bitter green base, but it’s so much better than that. I wouldn’t keep this one around all the time, but if I was going to drink a jasmine tea, this would be firmly on my list of choices. A pretty decent cup!
Before work this morning I bought my emergency cold supplies from the campus shop; Strepsils, Lemsip, Twining’s English Breakfast, and milk. I’ll be drinking this pretty much all day, I imagine, since my tastebuds are shot. I just want something plain and straightforward to drink, and this fits the bill prefectly. It’s a pretty average tea — strong, a nice malty sweetness, and great with milk. It’ll be my saviour today, and I love it for that alone.
On reflection, I chose a bad day to try a new SBT. I was fine in the early evening when I brewed this up, but I inexplicably delevoped a cold and a REALLY sore throat overnight, and now I can’t really taste much of all. Admittedly, I’ve probably ruined my own tastebuds with strepsils and lemsip, but I’m such a wimp when it comes to colds. Still, it’s done now, and I’m at work so I can’t be feeling that awful. Yet.
I first tried 52 Teas Root Beer Float in last year’s 12 Teas of Christmas box, albeit the black, “normal” tea version rather than the SBT. I was pretty impressed, and I actually have a full pouch in my cupboard now, so I have high hopes for this one. I gave it the standard SBT treatment — 3 minutes in 1/4 pint of boiling water, topped off with cold to 2 litres and into the fridge overnight. Brewing, I could smell mostly sweet, creamy vanilla and not much in the way of root beer. I like a root beer float tea where the “ice cream” element comes out strongly, but that’s not all I want it to be. Fortunately, I needn’t have worried with this one. It’s fair to say that the ice cream flavour is what I get first — it’s creamy, it’s smooth, it’s sweet, and it tastes strongly of vanilla. I also get root beer, though, although it’s pretty mild in comparison with the “float” aspect. It’s a little bit medicinal, a little bit reminiscent of chicory. Root beer is one of those flavours I always have a hard time describing, but it’s there.
It’s nice to have something cool to sip on today. I usually run straight to hot drinks when I have a sore throat, but this is pretty soothing too. Another great SBT!
This is one I’ve tried often before and really liked, and today is no different. I love the clean, sweet spearmint notes, and the light, slightly nutty green base. It’s a great pairing, particularly iced on a hot day. It’s rainy today, so I’m drinking this one hot for a change and it’s just as pleasant. I know it’s traditional to drink Moroccan mint teas with lots of sugar, but I absolutely don’t feel the need with this one. Maybe it’s the spearmint, but it’s plenty sweet enough for my tastes already. I think I overdid this one slightly today — I got distracted by a phone call and forgot to take the bag out. There’s a slight dryness at the back of my throat, but it’s nothing terrible. This is one I really could be pursuaded to keep around in the summer — it’s one of the nicest green teas with mint I’ve tried so far!
Another Mighty Leaf that I’m approaching for the second time. The first time I tried this one, I couldn’t finish the cup. Possibly I had the water too hot, or gave it too long. Either way, it was uck. I had a better time with it today — it’s quite a heavy, dark, earthy flavoured green. It’s not bitter or astringent, though, just strongly flavoured. It’s almost slightly salty, which is a little unexpected — it reminds me of seawater! Potentially that’s because I can also taste seaweed. That’s the closest descriptor I have for the flavour I’m getting from this one. It’s not sweet or vegetal like some greens, it’s slightly nutty, roasty, with a definite “green” flavour — seaweed is the closest I can come.
Not a favourite of mine, but then hojicha in general never has been. I appreciated the difference between this one and some of the other greens I’m drinking at the moment — it was a bit of a palate refresher if nothing else! I’ll happily drink up the rest of my bags, but it’s not one I’d seek our again.
Today’s iced tea of choice. I haven’t tried this one before, but the flavour appealed to me when I tipped out my selection of SBTs to sort through. Dry, it smells strongly of grape candy; sweet and slightly artificial. Since that’s actually what I was hoping for, I’m really rather pleased! I gave this one the usual SBT treatment — three minutes in 1/4 litre of boiling water, topped up to 2 litres with cold water and into the fridge overnight.
Brewed, this one retains the grape candy flavour, although it’s not quite as sweet as I was expecting. That’s a good thing, on balance, because I think it might have been too cloying if it were as sweet as it smelled — the grape flavour is quite strong and lingering enough without being uber sweet to boot. The black tea base seems a lot lighter in this one than it has been in the SBTs I tried last year. I’m not sure whether it’s been altered, or whether it’s just the flavouring here, but I can’t really taste it at all. The flavour actually reminds me of a grape lipgloss I had as a teenager — nice in an odd sort of way! It’s funny the memories tea recalls sometimes.
I’m enjoying this one a lot. It’s got a good, strong flavour, it’s not too sweet, and it’s pretty unique. I’ll come back to this one next year if it’s still available.
Another from the Mighty Leaf sampler. This is not how I expected it to be, surprisingly. I was anticipating something very much like Teapigs Lemon and Ginger, but this is quite different. The main flavour is lemongrass, which is generically citrussy and somewhat hay-like. There’s also a hint of tropical fruit, maybe mango or pineapple, and the slightest touch of mint. I don’t really get ginger at all, which is surprising in a tea called “Ginger Twist” I think. I get the twist, but no ginger other than perhaps the tiniest spicy warmth in the aftertaste. I might be imagining that, or at least wishing it into existence.
This means that my feelings about this one are mixed. I don’t always like ginger in tea, so part of me is a little relieved. I wasn’t expecting a lemongrass/fruit blend, though, which is what this essentially is. It’s pleasant, but nothing out of the ordinary. It also makes me wonder how I should rate this. As a ginger tea, I wouldn’t score it very highly at all, largely because there’s no ginger and it doesn’t live up to its promise. As a lemongrass/fruit blend, I’d rate it more highly. I’m going to go with an average and call it good, I think. I’ll have no problem finishing off my last few bags, but it’s not one I’d seek out again because overall it’s just a bit meh.
I’ve brought the last of the teabags from my Mighty Leaf sampler to work this week to try and finish them off. They’re mostly green, and this is the one I felt more comfortable with for starters. It’s similar to other Green Dragon teas I’ve tried, although not as light as some. It has quite a heavy flavour that’s both savoury and nutty, and a little dank. It’s smooth, with not even the slightest hint of astringency, and that makes it more palatable than I think I’d find it otherwise. I’ve had Green Dragon teas I prefer, so this isn’t one I’d keep in my cupboard long term. I’m glad I had a second opportunity to try this one, though — my first experience back when I had just started drinking tea wasn’t overwhelmingly postive, but I feel better about this one now :)
Scheherazade’s Super Sipdown (Long) Weekend #14
So, here we are with the final sipdown of the weekend. I actually have another in the little box that I set aside, but I’m not sure I’ll have time to get to it today. Possibly I’ll save it for next week. At least I’m back under 300…staying there will be the biggest challenge!
As white peony teas go, this is one of my favourites. The leaves are actually green, and they look so fresh. They’re bigger than any white peony leaves I’ve seen previously, and not so broken up. I used about 1.5 tsp of leaf, and a slightly shorter brew time than I gave my last cup. This resulted in a lighter, less heavily floral flavour, which I like a lot. Sometimes on a hot day, a heavy floral is not what I’m looking for. Without the floral flavour, this could easily become sweet water. it doesn’t, though. There’s almost a creaminess about it that sets it apart from other white peony teas I’ve tried. It’s very smooth, naturally sweet, light, refreshing and delicious. When I get back to buying again, this could very well become my go-to white peony. Many thanks to Teavivre for this sample.