65 Tasting Notes
Busting open the second tin of my fresh H&S delivery for morning tea ..
Wow Paris, you confuzzle me yet again .. The first time I sampled this tea I wasn’t sure it was a stand-out .. The second time (new sachet/day, not a re-steep), it was remarkably better and I put it on my shopping list .. Now I’m getting a whole different flavour profile out of this new batch ?!
This time it started out like a dark fruity black, think plum/currant etc .. And as it’s cooling off I swear I’m picking up a hint of Candy Rose .. It’s fragrance is floral too, but none of the Citrus/Bergamot/ Earl Grey I mention in previous tasting notes ..
Has my palate totally lost the plot or is my mind playing tricks on me??
Either way I’m enjoying it, and very pleased to have a full tin in my cupboard once again :D
Oh Vanilla Comoro, how I’ve missed you!!
When the courier dropped off a box of fresh H&S’s yesterday afternoon I was tempted to tear into it then and there .. Yet I somehow managed to contain myself because I wanted to set the scene for our re-introduction .. I decided to wait until evening, after the children were in bed, so I could snuggle up in my favourite chair by the fire (it’s a really cold, wet Autumn down here in South Island New Zealand), with a good book (Emma Donoghue’s ‘Room’), and a large pot of Rich Creamy Vanilla Goodness = Mmmmm
I fell in love with this tea about a year ago and the quality just never disappoints .. I get two full-flavoured 13oz steepings out of each sachet .. And it’s sweet & creamy, though never artificial tasting, even without the addition of milk & sugar .. I don’t think it’s possible to make it too strong or over-steep – it never goes bitter or too astringent .. Plus it’s a Decaf, which depending on circumstances can be a huge bonus!
Simply put, ♥ Vanilla Comoro ♥ is one of my all-time favourite teas ..
I actually consider this a kind of ‘gate-way’ tea .. That is, the tagalong tins make the perfect gift for anyone who ‘drinks regular black’ .. Trust me, they will love it and you’ll have the pleasure of knowing you’ve created a designer tea appreciating/craving monster :P
Firstly a Big Thank-You to LiberTEAS for giving me this sample, and an apology for not trying it before today!
I just found this at the bottom of a box filled with various pouches and other samples, and despite being a Tuesday morning I decided what I really wanted was a nice calming cup of tea ..
And that’s exactly what this is .. It’s such a pretty mix of dried flowers, both looking and smelling like a sweet potpourri .. I recognized the Chamomile, Lavender, and Hop, but wasn’t sure about the rest until I read it’s description here on Steepster ..
I’m actually not a fan of Chamomile and was a little concerned that it would take over the brew, however this is mixed in such a skilled way that it’s not dominated by any one flavour .. I’m truly loving this blend, and yet saddened that she is no longer selling, because I honestly would like to keep this in my cupboard ..
I guess I’ll have to try and create something myself as I grow all of these ingredients except the Hibiscus & Honeybush .. So if anyone has ideas on other mixes to include, or similar blends to try, please do share ..
For now I’m going to try re-steeping what’s in my pot as my cup’s run dry and I’m really loving this tea!
edited to add Second steep has a lot more ‘apple’ like notes which may be due to the Chamomile, or possible the Honeybush/Hibiscus? It’s YUM :D
My electric kettle died this morning :(
RIP my lovely Russel Hobbs Stainless Steel Salsa – you served me faithful since 2004, and will be ever-so-missed .. Especially since I can’t seem to find a replacement that doesn’t have bits of plastic inside it ?!
Anyhoo, since I was brewing on the stove-top I decided to mix the last of my pouch with a couple of other dessert blacks that I’m not particularly fond of on their own: tleafT’s Vanilla Vice, & Caramel .. They seemed to compliment each other well so I made a big ’ol pot (well sauce-pan) of Sweet Milky Chocolatly Chai .. A nice note to end the day on :)
I don’t feel it’s fair to put a rating on this one as I’m not much of a Green Tea drinker .. That said, it was definitely palatable and I did manage to consume two cups of it ..
It smells sweet & fruity, only it doesn’t deliver more than a weak hint of fruit flavour .. And the name didn’t help as I kept just thinking ’it’s a wishy-washy melding of this-&-that, diluted in lukewarm water’ .. I know it’s more a case of ‘everything but …….’, BUT my head took it to a whole different level (sorry!)
And again, please note this is being written by a flavoured back / Masala Chai kind of girl! This just isn’t my thing, so rest of the pouch (near full) is going to a green-tea-loving friend who I’m sure she will get some joy out of it :D
This ‘was’ going to be the final tea of my 52teas/mysweethoneybush/manteas week-end .. However I’ve decided to pull my pouch of ‘Kitchen Sink Green’ out of the box I’m sending to a friend tomorrow, and doing a write up on that in the morning .. I’m not really a Green Tea drinker though, aside from Jasmine Dragon Pearls, so it may not read favourably – but we’ll see ..
Anyhoo, Mayan Chocolate Puerh .. OMG I LOVE THIS TEA, and wouldn’t want to change a thing! I steep it for the recommended time yet it never gets too strong or bitter .. It brews to an impressive dark cola-black colour, with a red hue that’s most obvious if you choose to add milk .. And just a heads up – taking a good huffin sniff from the pouch isn’t advisable unless you enjoy sneezing :P
Personally I prefer it with milk, but I’m not fussed if it has sugar or not .. It’s smokey, chocolatey, spicy (as in hot, not Masala’ish) – the Cayenne will make your tongue tingle nicely, and I think I’m getting some nutty flavour from the Almonds but I’m not 100% sure on that .. It’s definitely malty and full-bodied, and it holds up to a repeat steeping without loosing any of these characteristics!
This really is an all-round delicious tea, and my absolute favourite out of all seven teas I’ve drunk this week-end .. I’m actually surprised it doesn’t have a whole list of rave reviews with requests for a re-mix of it?!
If it were still available then I know I’d have to order a lot more ..
Afternoon tea time on Day #2 of my 52teas/mysweethoneybush/manteas week-end, and this was the perfect choice ..
The half full pouch is evidence that I’ve drunk this before, yet it must have been some time ago as I really couldn’t recall what it tasted like .. So a generous spoonful went into the pot, and within minutes of the water being added my whole kitchen / lounge-room smelt like Coconut!!!
Once poured into a freshly cleaned cup, I was surprised to see just how oily this tea is .. The whole surface is shiny! I’ve noticed this with some other flavoured blacks before too, but not quite to this extent ..
The very first mouthful instantly reminded me of Harney & Son’s ‘Bangkok’, which is a Green Tea blended with Ginger, Lemongrass, & Coconut flavour .. While Coconut Cream Pie is obviously quite different, they share a very similar rich, Buttery (oily?), Coconut flavour that really coats the roof of my mouth ..
The addition of even a dash of milk helps to intensify the ‘cream’, so that’s how I like to drink this – and I DO like to drink this ..
I think the name says it all, it’s Coconutty & Creamy .. Another unique blend from 52teas, and one that’s perfect on a rainy, cold, Autumn afternoon :D
This looks almost scummy but it’s actually just a layer of oil, and from the second steep no less: http://i51.tinypic.com/29asggh.jpg
Day #2 of my 52teas/mysweethoneybush/manteas week-end, and moving on from my Maple Bacon breakfast blend, I’m now morning tea’ing with an extra large mug of Chai with Chocolate ..
This is also a pouch that I’ve had and used a number of times, and from experience I already know that making it as directions suggest leaves this Masala Chai lover with a disappointing cup of Cardamom & Clove soup = blek :(
So I prefer to make it as a strong stove-top brew: 1 mug water, half mug milk, and 3 generous teaspoons from the pouch once a boil is reached .. I then leave it on the heat for 2-3min, and take it off but leave it to brew for another 3-4min before straining and adding two teaspoons of sugar .. Yes it’s sweet, and strong, and milky – and Mmm, like soul-food in a cup!
It’s still tastes predominately of Cardamom, and Clove isn’t far behind (even though I don’t actually see a lot in the mix?) .. But now there’s a nice balance of TEA! Something often lacking in purchased ‘Chai’ blends ..
I also don’t seem to have any Milk Chocolate Chips in my pouch even though it’s listed on the label, but I’m fine with that .. It’s plenty malty as is, especially as it starts to cool down ..
Oh damn, I finished my mug .. Now I want another :P
Good Morning Tea World, and Happy Mothers Day to all that applies to!
This is Day #2 of my 52teas/mysweethoneybush/manteas week-end, and I have four more blends to drink and review today ..
I’ve actually had this pouch for some time now, but unlike the rest of my zoomdweeblies stash, this has gone untouched since the first pot it made way back when .. Why? Because no-one who was there to sample it (four of us if memory serves right) could stomach drinking more than a few sips :(
Anyhoo, I was determined to revisit it this morning, and with an open mind! So I gave the pouch a good mix up – without taking a sniff as I’m sure strong aroma was partly what put us off originally .. Brewed my pot, and was pleasantly surprised to find the first mouthful wasn’t bad .. Not bad at all ..
I tried it a number of ways: with & without milk, with milk & sugar, with maple syrup & a pinch of salt .. My favourite was with both milk & sugar, however I tried that with the second brew and it turned out pretty weak .. So this doesn’t seem to hold up to a second brewing imho, even with a long steeping time ..
The best way I can describe the flavour is lightly smokey .. I don’t taste any Bacon as such, and it’s not quite strong enough to sit with the Russian Caravans I have either .. But it’s definitely a smokey tea, with medium tannins that leave my mouth feeling a bit tut tut tut .. It can certainly hold it’s own paired with a cooked breakfast!
This really isn’t at all how I remembered it, and while it’s still not something I would purchase again, it’s not bad! Yes I keep saying that, sorry, it just sums up my feelings for it .. I think I’ll pull it out again and serve it without mentioning Bacon to see others also alter their opinion ..
To finish off Day 1 of my 52teas/mysweethoneybush/manteas week-end I chose an obvious dessert tea that I’ve enjoyed a number of times before ..
This is an incredibly strong perfumed tea, so much so that it can actually turn a lot of people I’ve offered it to off .. And I’m not talking just your regular Earl Grey Bergamot either, this is full on floral, plus Bergamot, plus Lemon, plus …. ?? I’m really struggling to put my finger on what else I can smell, but I’d say it’s easily the strongest scented tea I have in my cupboard .. And I love it!
The flavour is smoooooooth, rich, complex, creamy, and very much enhanced by the addition of just a little milk & sugar .. The second brew is even more delightful as it has less of the over-powering fragrance that detracts from the flavour, so I tend to quickly drink the first cup and linger on the second .. As I am right now :D
This might sound strange but I think I can detect some Rose just as I swallow ?! Or at least I’m getting a hint of some flavour profile that’s also in my favourite Rose Tea, and it’s most obvious when the cup is lukewarm to coolish – also just like it is in my fav China Rose blend!
So that’s how I like this best; 2nd brew, a little bit milky, a little bit sweet, and a fraction past the lukewarm stage (cool but not chilled) .. This is the perfect tea to finish off my lazy rainy Saturday, and I will indeed be sad when I finish my pouch of it :(